Rome Reports explains, this is "the most important [Church] document on Scripture since Vatican II."Carl Olsen of Ignatius Press describes why this is so.
Get it here at ZENIT or in Postscript format here from the Vatican website.
"I am God's pencil, a tiny bit of pencil with which He writes what he likes; He writes through us, and however imperfect we may be, He writes beautifully." -- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Rome Reports explains, this is "the most important [Church] document on Scripture since Vatican II."Carl Olsen of Ignatius Press describes why this is so.
In other words, the Pope sees his Anglican “fast pass” into the Catholic Church as the fruit of ecumenism — a chance for Anglicans to return to the faith of their fathers before the Reformation and to protect themselves from an insidious secularism that is plaguing society at large and their communion in particular.All of the Holy Father's speeches while in the UK, (and the speeches of others at each event) are available here. If you haven't heard or read them you should. He was at once orthodox and ecumenical. He gave away something for the cause of ecumenism, but gave away nothing which in any way was dogmatic or would compromise the Truth of which the Church is the guardian.
With this understanding, the symbolic and stated message of Pope Benedict during his British sojourn comes into stark relief. His meeting with the Catholic and Anglican bishops at Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury for 800 years (the first 70 Archbishops of Canterbury were Catholics), his visit to Westminster Abbey (built by the Catholic king, Henry III and home to Benedictine monks until the Reformation), his moving speech at Westminster Hall (where Catholic martyrs Thomas More, Edmund Campion, Bishop John Fisher, and others were condemned to death for their refusal to disavow their faith), and finally his beatification of the 19th century Anglican convert to Catholicism, Blessed John Henry Newman suddenly all seems one piece. Benedict’s visit was a stand against relativism in the heart of Europe and a plea for Britain to return to herself — to return to her Catholic roots.
In a discussion recently about liturgy I was faced with the opinion that during the times between the the time of the Church Fathers and the Middle Ages that the character of the Mass was perverted in the name of clericalism and elitism, primarily by the Roman Emperor Constantine with the collusion of the Pope, who was Sylvester I (and not actually in attendance.)
Constantine did this, the narrative goes because he was seeking to accumulate power, or at least consolidate his power over the Roman Empire. So the narrative goes the laity were excluded from the sanctuary and Latin was enshrined in the Mass in an effort to exercise control over the faithful.
This is not a new narrative. It has been used by Protestants for centuries. In the pre-Vatican II era it was picked up by dissident Catholic theologians and widely used to justify everything form the wreck-ovations of the churches to the army of laity who now minister at Mass.
I will start by stating that contemporary pagan and Christian authors laud Constantine. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, and Church Father wrote a basically unfinished work on Constantine after his death, which was considered the standard on the Emperor's life until the Reformation, when later pagan sources were brought forward in an attempt to discredit him. They were written during the time of the Emperor Julian, called the apostate, who was a pagan and the last Emperor of Constantine's line. Modern secular interpretations of Constatine have ignored the contemporary sources and leaned heavily on the post reformation sources, in the interest of besmirching the Church, and traditional Catholic practices.
Certainly Constantine was interested in supporting orthodoxy, which was why he call for the First Council of Nicaea to deal with the Arian heresy. As far as I know, or have been able to find Nicaea had no role in liturgical practice at all, in either East or West (except for prohibiting kneeling during the consecration on Sundays and during the Pentecost season, and excepting the fact that the Creed was recited at Mass.)
As far as the use of Latin is concerned it was the vernacular for most of the western world until at least the 8th century. This is at least three hundred years after Constantine and Nicaea. Certainly Medieval Latin served the same purpose during the High Middle Ages as French did in the post Renaissance period and that English does today. For example English is used as the international language of pilots and air traffic control, as well as in the Mass in many countries where only a small number of people speak the local dialect, and for which no vernacular translation of the Mass exists. ( I should acknowledged that both Spanish and French perform the same funtion in regard to liturgy in differnet parts of the world.)
The Mass itself , as a sacrificial ritual, predates Constantine. We have records from as long ago as the second century, some written by Pope Clement I, who likely was alive during the time St. Peter and St. Paul were in Rome. Even the Didache describes liturgical worship. I would remind you that this document was unavailable to Renaissance writers and though found in 1873 was mostly ignored by modern historians unitl after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It's definitive origin in the late first century, contemporaneous with the Apostles and the early church was only widely accepted in the 1970s, after the changes in the liturgy which were implemented in the Post Vatican II era.
As for the use of Latin in the Mass this also pre-dated Constantine, probably dating from the middle of the third century. Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century, hundreds of years after Constantine made a major revision of the way the Mass was said, which was in Latin, at that time the vernacular. There were still many regional variations at this time. Charles the Great (Charlemagne), who conquered much of Western Europe during his life ordered that the Mass according to the Roman rite (that is the Mass as celebrated in Rome) be said throughout his realm. By this time the Romance Languages were developing and Latin was a distinct separate language. Spoken by most of the nobility for sure and in most places the only language which actually had a written form. It would be a hundred years or more later before the Romance languages were written and several hundred years later before languages outside of Southern Europe developed their own written language.
I think you can see how something which was ritualistic, like liturgy, that had a rhythm and cycle of readings required a language that not only could be written but was also commonly read in an international sense. Don't forget that for much of this period concepts of French or Italian or German as a national identity did not exists. At the same time there were areas of Europe that did not use the Roman rite. Ireland for example had its own rite, the Celtic rite, which lasted into the 12the century. It was also said in Latin, which was obviously not a vernacular language for that country, but considering that Ireland was Christianize by St Patrick, who was a British Roman I guess that use of Latin should not be surprising.
The narrative of the pre-Vatican II Mass as a exclusionary ritual where by the priest mumbled in Latin while the faithful, ignorant of what was happening, prayed rosaries is mis-guided simplification. The Latin responses were learned by eight year olds. I can attest to you that I certainly knew what Et cum spiritu tuo meant when I intoned it. In Europe and America Latin was taught in every Catholic high school and even many secular ones. I can attest to the fact my father who never never finished high school, could recite the standard prayers in both Latin and English, knew the Tridentine Mass probably better than most modern faithful know the Novus Ordo, and as an adult the Liturgy responses he no doubt learned as a boy. I don't doubt there were people who could not do this and did not understand what was happening at Mass. I would also maintain that many of the modern faithful have mastery of English ( or Spanish or French...) have no idea of what is happening at Mass. Indeed at a certain level no one truly knows, it is a mystery of faith, something we cannot know this side of death. The fact that they understand the words without grasping their meaning, or in many cases misunderstanding their meaning is not an improvement of the situation.
My last point is that the demonizing of Constantine by sources inside the Church as opposed to Protestants outside the Church is a something which has its roots in the mid twentieth century modernist movement. This is the same movement which used Vatican II's valid and specific documents as an excuse to do many things never called for by the council, one of which was the elimination of Latin as a liturgical language. The Vatican II document Sancrosanctum Concilium actually called for Latin to be retained in the Liturgy and required that the faithful (that's us) know all of the Propers of the Mass in Latin. It says:
1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
As can be seen Vatican II called for the retention of Latin in the Mass. Whether its elimination is good or not is another discussion. But whether good or not its elimination was not called for by the council. Books written by people in the group who implemented that change admit that it was an action taken to make the Mass more appealing to Protestants, not an action to either improve the quality of Liturgical Worship nor to edify the sacrifice which is taking place therein.
At many places the sacrificial character of the Mass has been completely subsumed in a paradigm of communal meal, so much so that a good portion of the faithful in those places no longer believe in the Real Presence.
I have been very fortunate at my parish to always have a priest who is faithful to spirit of the liturgical celebration, and one who follows the rubrics and forms of the liturgical worship. Not every parish has been so fortunate, resulting in large numbers of faithful who are more ignorant what is happening at the Liturgy than ever existed when the Mass was said in Latin.
"If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector."
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world.
But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.
For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within?
As can be seen by Paul there is an assumption that there is a group of people who are within the Church and a group who are without. He assumes that our relationship to our brothers and sisters within the Church will be different than our relationship to those without.
I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family;
Where is Peter there is the Church.
...go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
Wisdom sings her own praises, before her own people she proclaims her glory;In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she declares her worth:"From the mouth of the Most High I came forth..
Glory to the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Ghost.
Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We praise the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit of God
The true profession of the mystery of the Trinity is to own that we do not comprehend it.
And you did this of your own free will? Chose to be subservient in a patriarchal church?Sister Prudence: The first part of this question is important. A simple answer is: “Yes.”The sister then continues:The second part of this question is framed within a feminist political ideology. As we say in Catholic philosophy, the mind receives according to the mode of the receiver. If the mode of the receiver is a political feminist ideology, then that is how he or she will perceive the Catholic Church. The word “subservient” as used in your question seems to imply serving in an inferior way, which is not what we do. We serve as Christ, who came “not to be served but to serve.”
The difficulty is that, throughout history, there has been a struggle between basically three different positions about the relation between women and men: 1) traditional gender polarity, which viewed men as naturally superior to women, and its modern counterpart, reverse gender polarity, which views women as naturally superior to men; 2) unisex positions, which claim that there are no significant differences between women and men; and 3) complementary positions, which argue for the simultaneous fundamental equality and worth of women and men and their significant differentiation.Sister Prudence has a PhD in philosophy, and it shows. Read the whole article and you'll understand why, while some orders are dying others prosper.
Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right.This was not a one-time act. The positioning of the Queen Mother at the King's right hand was an indication of her relationship to the king. It was a position of power, down to almost the present day, when the prestige position is at a leaders right hand, so the phase "right hand man." Further, throughout the rest of the books of Kings whenever it lists the name of the king in the genealogy of the Davidic Line it also lists the name of his mother.
Magnificat anima mea Dominum,In every word spoken by Mary in Scripture it is evident that she points to her son. Nowhere is this more evident than in her final words in Scripture, in John 2:5
My souls does magnify the Lord,
Do what ever He tells you.The mark of an authentic Marian Apparition is always "how does it point to Chris?" for Mary never points to herself.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what he thought best.
Shouldn't a church be open to anyone who wants to come? It wasn't like Jesus founded the Catholic Church. He founded His Church. If the Catholic church had stayed true to the teachings of Christ and His mission on earth, there never would have been a need for Protestant religions.
*811 *"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic."
These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other, indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.
*817 *In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame." The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:
"In fact, precisely because the Church willed by Christ actually continues to exist (subsistit in) in the Catholic Church, this continuity of subsistence implies an essential identity between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church. The Council wished to teach that we encounter the Church of Jesus Christ as a concrete historical subject in the Catholic Church. The idea, therefore, that subsistence can somehow be multiplied does not express what was intended by the choice of the term “subsistit”. In choosing the word “subsistit” the Council intended to express the singularity and non “multipliability” of the Church of Christ: the Church exists as a unique historical reality."The Church's stance on whether the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ is pretty clear.