Thursday, February 21, 2013

Summarising Pope Benedict's Theology


Fr Wang has a summary of the Pope's theology in 263 words, the BBC asked for a 150 word summary which is presumably the attention span of the average BBC commentator. Father Stephen didn't succeed but Ttony did a bit of editing and came up with this, which is 156:

Benedict’s theology seeks ‘connection’ or ‘continuity’, preserving connections between faith and reason, past and present, human and divine, avoiding a rupture that would betray the Christian vision.
His first encyclical letter was surprisingly a meditation on love. The joy of human love leads us to a sacrificial love fulfilled in Jesus’ love on the Cross. Human and Divine connect; they are not opposed.
The Church’s worship must connect with its history. Its moral values must be rooted in the Bible and Christian tradition’s wisdom. Catholic teaching, which always develops, should never betray the faith handed down.
He believed in renewal and reform, but always in continuity with the past.
He wanted Catholics to deepen their faith through the Catechism. He encouraged the West not to become trapped in a ‘dictatorship of relativism’.
His Christianity is revealed, not something we create, surprising and startling: so his last book was about discovering God in the child of Bethlehem.

My friend Dom Alcuin Read whose book The Organic Development of the Liturgy was highly praised by the then Cardinal Ratzinger has written an appreciation of Pope Benedict's liturgical theology.
It ends:

The conclusion of Pope Benedict’s final public Mass was yet another lesson about the liturgy. Not unnaturally, there was sustained applause. But even on that occasion Pope Benedict the liturgist could not allow personal adulation to take priority. “Thank you,” he said. Then, with five words which may well serve as his liturgical testament, he brought it firmly to an end: “Let us return to prayer.” Thank you, Holy Father. Ad multos annos!

2 comments:

Mr Grumpy said...

Spot on.

wretchedwithhope said...

"preserving connections between faith and reason, past and present, human and divine, avoiding a rupture that would betray the Christian vision...His Christianity is revealed, not something we create, surprising and startling". How's that for crystallizing a quarry into a nugget?