Page 1

Humanitas pays Homage to pope Francis and pope emeritus Benedict XVi


HUMANITAS Christian Anthropological and Cultural Review HUMANITAS review came into being to provide the University with a source of reflection and study at the service of the academic community and the wider public in general. Its objective is to reflect the concerns and teachings of the Papal Magisterium (Decree of the Rector from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile 147/95, par. 2) EDITOR Jaime Antúnez Aldunate EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Hernán Corral Talciani Samuel Fernández Eyzaguirre Gabriel Guarda O.S.B. René Millar Carvacho Pedro Morandé Court Ricardo Riesco Jaramillo Francisco Rosende Ramírez Juan de Dios Vial Correa Juan de Dios Vial Larraín Arturo Yrarrázaval Covarrubias ASSISTANT EDITOR Bernardita M. Cubillos WEB CONTENT MANAGER Francisco Javier Tagle Montt COUNCIL OF CONSULTANTS AND COLLABORATORS Honorary President: H.E. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Chile. Héctor Aguer, Anselmo Álvarez O.S.B., Carl Anderson, Andrés Arteaga, Francisca Alessandri, Antonio Amado, Felipe Bacarreza, Remi Brague, Jean-Louis Bruguès O.P., Rocco Buttiglione, Massimo Borghesi, Carlos Francisco Cáceres, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Stratford Caldecott, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Jorge Cauas Lama, Guzmán Carriquiry, William E. Carroll, Alberto Caturelli, Cesare Cavalleri, Fernando Chomalí, Francisco Claro, Ricardo Couyoumdjian, Mario Correa Bascuñán, Francesco D’Agostino, Adriano Dell’Asta, Vittorio di Girolamo, Carmen Domínguez, Carlos José Errázuriz, Jesús Colina, Luis Fernando Figari, Alfredo García Quesada, Juan Ignacio González, Stanislaw Grygiel, Gonzalo Ibáñez Santa-María, Raúl Hasbun, Henri Hude, José Miguel Ibáñez, Raúl Irarrázabal, Lydia Jiménez, Paul Johnson, Jean Laffitte, Nikolaus Lobkowicz, Alfonso López Quintás, Alejandro Llano, Raúl Madrid, Javier Martínez Fernández, Patricia Matte Larraín, Carlos Ignacio Massini Correas, Mauro Matthei O.S.B., Cardinal Jorge Medina, Livio Melina, Augusto Merino, Dominic Milroy O.S.B., Antonio Moreno Casamitjana, Fernando Moreno Valencia, Rodrigo Moreno Jeria, José Miguel Oriol, Máximo Pacheco Gómez, Mario Paredes, Francisco Petrillo O.M.D., Bernardino Piñera, Aquilino Polaino-Lorente, Cardinal Paul Poupard, Javier Prades, Dominique Rey, Héctor Riesle, Florián Rodero L.C., Alejandro San Francisco, Romano Scalfi, Cardinal Angelo Scola, David L. Schindler, Josef Seifert, Gisela Silva Encina, Robert Spaemann, Paulina Taboada, William Thayer Arteaga, Olga Ulianova, Luis Vargas Saavedra, Miguel Ángel Velasco, Juan Velarde Fuertes, Aníbal Vial, Pilar Vigil, Richard Yeo O.S.B., Diego Yuuki S.J.


H umanitas Nº 4 2013 - Y EAR III

Biannual English Digital Version



Year of Faith 2012-2013 EASTER IS ADVENT Anselmo Álvarez Navarrete O.S.B.






THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND THE MODERN WORLD Cardinal Joseph Frings and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger




HUMANITAS in New York:







Psychology with Soul



We highlight in NOTES





Summary Editorial Notes The Pope in his own words The Church and the world Music Books About the authors Front cover:

Pope Francis. March 13, 2013

Cover designed by M. Ximena Ulibarri.

219 222 408 426 456 486 490 507





See the Digital Version of English and Spanish edition on our page


Serving the encounter of faith and culture

HUMANITAS (ISSN 07172168) publishes articles by its regular, national and foreign collaborators as well as authors whose subject matter is in harmony with the goals of HUMANITAS. The total or partial reproduction of articles published by HUMANITAS requires authorization, with the exception of commentary or quotes. Design and Production: Ximena Ulibarri, Diseño Corporativo UC Letters: HUMANITAS / Centro de Extensión de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile / Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 390, 3rd floor / Santiago / Chile Tel: (56 - 2) 354 65 19 - Fax: (56 – 2) 354 37 55 – email:

HUMANITAS Summary n° 4 (April - September 2013) Biannual English Digital Edition

HOMAGE TO THE NEW PONTIFF, POPE FRANCIS. At 8:12pm, fifty-four minutes after the appearance of thick white smoke at 7:06pm, Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran, announced from the Vatican balcony: “Anuntio Vobis Gaudium Magnum; Habemus Papam: Eminentissimun ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Bergoglio, qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum.” The Church welcomed the first Latin American Pope, who belonged to the Society of Jesus, the order that evangelised those territories. The Pope immediately impressed his mark on his pontificate with his name and messages. Humanitas wishes to greet Pope Francis by following in an orderly fashion the words he pronounced at the start of his ministry. Besides this, the article “Look for the road towards the future, taking with you the memory of your roots” is here republished. It originally appeared in Humanitas, number 47, Spanish Edition, when Cardinal Bergoglio was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 232-271 HOMAGE TO POPE BENEDICT XVI, WHO GOVERNED THE BARQUE OF ST PETER FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS. On May 11, 2013, His Holiness Benedict XVI abdicated after having “repeatedly examined his conscience before God.” He said: “I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” As a farewell, Humanitas wishes to dedicate a homage to the Pontiff Emeritus by reviewing the great happenings that took place at the end of his pontificate, his last speeches, and the words of gratitude and farewell that the Church authorities offered to a Pope that understood the spirit of Modernity in its entirety. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 272-317 EASTER IS ADVENT, by Anselmo Álvarez Navarrete, O.S.B.. God’s entrance on the human scene, in Word and flesh, is history’s central event. Motivated by love, God responded to man’s condition, which required an extraordinary intervention, in order to re-establish order in creation. Above all, God’s Word and the theology of history facilitate the analysis of this situation. In their light, it is possible to practice a kind of lectio divina of humanity’s actions and to understand these actions from God’s perspective, not only for our own enlightenment but also for the enlightenment of others. This practice is essential, for we must know how to guide God’s people in interpreting the signs of the times, in the light of the Lord of time and history, who is history’s central figure and the source of all wisdom. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 318-325 THE PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. Speech of Paul VI. It is common nowadays to know of believers who profess themselves Christians, yet deny the historical value of the inspired witness of Holy Scripture, and so interpret Christ’s resurrection in a way that is purely mythical, spiritual, or moral. Pope Paul VI – who sees in these tendencies the multiform rebirth of old expressions of Gnosticism – proclaims the necessity of contemplating this mystery with full admiration and wonderment – as before those of the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth – , thus letting ourselves “enter, with the Apostles, into that faith in the Risen Christ which alone can bring us salvation.” Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 326-331 THE MYSTERY AND LIFE OF THE CHURCH, by Georges Cottier O.P. 2012 market the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II. Half a century after that crucial event for the life of the Church, the debate regarding the most adequate interpretation to define its teaching continues. With this in mind, and considering the interest of the general public above that of the learned, it is important to inquire into the origins of the Council in order to rediscover the source that animated it. Indeed, this will enable us to begin to see the intimate countenance of the Church that the Council tried to confess and present to the world. The first lines of the Constitution Lumen gentium are of help in unveiling the source: “Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by

H 219

proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church.” Here it is recognised that the core element of the Church is not the Church itself, but Christ, who personally edifies it and whose light is reflected upon it like a mirror. The presence of the Church in the world blooms and remains as a recognition of the figure and action of its divine Founder. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 332-335 THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND THE MODERN WORLD, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Cardinal Joseph Frings. A few weeks before Vatican Council II, Cardinal Siri invited Cardinal Frings, Archbishop of Cologne, to Genoa for a conference on the Church in the modern world. The elderly German Cardinal asked for help from a young teacher and theologian whom he trusted: Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote the text for the conference. John XXIII was so impressed that during an audience he embraced Cardinal Joseph Frings and said to him: “Those where precisely my intentions for calling the Council.” On the occasion of the indiction of the Year of Faith and of the celebration of the anniversary of the Vatican Council II, the following pages present a summary of that enlightening text that exposes with surprising clarity the profound transformations that occurred after Vatican Council I (1869-1870) and that were the source of the need to call the new Council. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 336-347 A DEEP, HOLY, AND UNCOMFORTABLE CHARISM, by Cardinal Karl Lehmann. For almost 2000 years the doctors of the Church were invariably men. However, the period following the Second Vatican Council marked a great turning point, for between 1970 and 1997 three women were elevated to the rank of doctor of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila (on September 27, 1970) and St. Catherine of Siena (on October 4, 1970) were both named by Paul VI, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux was proclaimed a doctor ecclesiae on October 19, 1997 by John Paul II. On October 7, St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was added to their ranks. She too maintained an extensive correspondence with popes, kings, princes, bishops, religious, and laity. She too undertook various missionary journeys, especially along the banks of the Rhine and into southern Germany, where she preached conversion to the faithful and clergy alike. And she too was endowed with extraordinary poetic gifts. While the other three saints hail from Italy, Spain and France, St. Hildegard of Bingen is the first female saint from central Europe, and the first of German tongue, to be so honored. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 348-363 FAITH AS A WAY OF LIFE IN FOLLOWING CHRIST, by Rodrigo Polanco. The American Bible Society organised two conferences during the occasion of the Year of Faith, which were held in the last days of January. The place was the Society’s auditorium, located in New York City. The presentations were given by Jaime Antúnez, director of Humanitas, and by father Rodrigo Polanco, a theologian and former vice-deacon of the Theological Faculty of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Both lectures served as occasions to present the Spanish and English editions of Humanitas to the public in New York. In these pages, we publish the words of father Rodrigo Polanco, who delved into the meaning of the act of faith, showing how it is not merely an intellectual act, but that it comprehends, much more profoundly, the whole existence of the believer. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 364-373 AN ANARCHIC AND TOTALITARIAN FATHER FOR MODERN TIMES, by Gianfranco Morra. The influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas makes him one of the fathers of modernity. Through the centuries, his actions and ideas have been the object of resolved exaltations and ruthless polemics. Rousseau has been dissected and studied in thousands of writings, no less than Dante or Goethe, a clear indication of the fact that his personality left a mark. Many of his intuitions prophetically preceded the fate of Europe, from the French Revolution onwards, and many revolutionaries were impregnated by his teachings. Rousseau’s Discourses are animated by the certainty that the values of authenticity and unity proper to human beings are only possible if they remain in a state of nature. Therefore, these values vanish when human beings are molded by a culture. This certainty, then, generates, on Rousseau’s part, an animadversion on society and history, which will be taken up by modernity. The result is the substitution of a friendship with reality, which characterised the Greek and Christian world, for a new attitude of resentment towards it. The ideas of the Genevan thinker have shaped the predominant culture, thus forming an aspiration which can be formulated as the rule: I ought to be not what I am, but what I’m not. This is an ideal that cannot be fulfilled, for Rousseau believes that only what doesn’t exist is good. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 374-385

H 220

TOLKIEN AND MODERNITY, by Stratford Caldecott. Was J.R.R. Tolkien a modern writer? The author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion is undoubtedly “modern” in the sense that he lived in our own historical period (he died in 1973). Furthermore, his writing is extraordinarily popular with modern readers. But critics often allege that he was not modern but rather pre-modern in his approach to literature, and certainly they are right in the sense that it was ancient storytelling traditions and Anglo-Saxon literature such as Beowulf that particularly inspired him. His book contained many archaic elements. It was not, however, archaic or pre-modern in itself. The Lord of the Rings is a novel with modern concerns. It could not have been written in an earlier age. It contains an implicit but very strong critique of modernity – of aspects and tendencies of the modern world – such as globalization, socialism, and reliance on technology. But is this regressive or progressive? Only time will tell. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 386-399 WHAT IS BOREDOM? OR SOCIAL DEATH BECAUSE OF PHILOSOPHICAL INSUFFICIENCY, by Rafael Alvira. In this article, which is part of the series “Psychology with Soul,” the author draws with clarity and depth the main characteristics of boredom, or “social death due to philosophical insufficiency.” To be bored is a serious sickness, even more because its gravity is not properly weighed. It comes from rejection, disinterestedness, that is, lack of the practice of the “inter-esse.” Tediousness is not overcome by excitement or frenzy, but through a real feast of the spirit: being with God, with man, and with the entire creation. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 400-407 NOTES PROUST IN THE GULAG, by Antonio Spadaro. In 1940, 15,000 Polish officers were incarcerated by the Russians. Among them was Joseph Czapski, the son of a Polish aristocratic family, who was also a painter, art critic, bibliophile, and brilliant conversationalist. For these imprisoned men, the only thing that remained was the memory and richness of culture, which they carried in their intimacy, and which strengthened them in their humanity: science, art, architecture, literature, history. Many of them decided to fight against spiritual degradation and physical decadence by giving lectures about their respective cultural passions. Czapski revived for his fellow inmates his personal reading of In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust’s masterpiece. His lecture was dictated and written down, since it had to be subjected to censorship in the camp. When Czapski left Russia, he took the manuscript with him. “IN MY LAND I WAS CALLED JEANNETTE,” by Régine Pernoud. On the 600th anniversary of the birth of St. Joan of Arc, the figure of this great French saint is remembered through testimonies related to her infancy, youth, and her visions, compiled by the renowned medievalist Régine Pernoud. The testimonies make it possible for us to contemplate the true face of Joan who, having died at the early age of 19, was nevertheless capable of inspiring love as much as other young women of her time. She decided to give herself to no one but God in order to faithfully respond to an early call He gave to her through the Holy Archangel Michael. THE PASCHAL DEATH OF SAINT JOSEPH, by Giuseppe Brioschi. The moment of Jesus’ death was the ratification of that oblation with which He lived and sacrificed his life for the Father’s cause. Jesus was, from the beginning of his conception till his last breath, the oblation in a preeminent way. The act of offering is the distinctive form of Christian existence; and death is the ratifying moment of that pact of oblation initiated with Baptism. When we pray the Prayer to St. Joseph, we shouldn’t ask the Holy Patriarch for a death “in a state of grace” only, but for a death “in Paschal tension”; that is, of abandonment in God, with the certainty of deserving, at the end of the centuries, a glorious resurrection and glorification in Heaven, analogous to those of Jesus and Mary. Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 408-425 BOOKS “Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio” by Francesca Ambroggeti and Sergio Rubín (Penguin); “Amare nella differenza” by Livio Melina and Sergio Belidarnelli (Sergio Editores); “Non mi sono mai sentito solo” by Joseph Ratzinger- Benedict XVI (Libreria Editrice Vaticana); “ Nell’Anno della Fede” by Joseph RatzingerBenedict XVI (Libreria Editrice Vaticana); “Chi è la Chiesa” by Angelo Scola (Editrice Queriniana); “Pour l’amor de l’invisible” by Olivier de Berranger (Ad Solem); “Urgence educative” by Dominique Rey (Éditions Salvator); “Élizabeth de Russie” by Anne Khoudokormoff-Kotschoubey and soeur Elizabeth (Editions Lessius); “Cluny: 910-2010. Onze siècles de rayyonement” by Neil Stratford (Editions du Patrimoine); “Histoire de l’ordre de Malte” by Bertrand Gallimard (Libraire Académique Perrin) Humanitas 2013, IV, pp. 490-505

H 221

Like a Hurricane from tHe HoLy spirit The Lord has done great things for us: we are joyful (Psalm CXXV)


ince H. H. Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Roman Pontificate last February 11 (see pp. 272 to 315 in this edition),with no previous sign whatsoever, – and only within a few weeks – the Catholic Church and the whole world have witnessed the unchaining of enormous deeds, as though it were a sort of hurricane coming from the Holy Spirit.

I. The first Latin American pope, a Jesuit priest The election on March 13 of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, a priest belonging to the Company of Jesus, as the first Roman Pontiff from our continent – after the first surprise which struck both Tyrians and Christians alike – there soon began the reestablishment of an encounter between Ibero-American Christianity and an intimate and familiar voice: that which spread the Gospel through centuries of sowing, turning this sub- continent into a source of catholic culture. Since his appearance on the balcony of St. Peter’s, and through his words and gestures at that expectant moment, and during the days that followed, we can say that the Church’s pilgrimage in this part of the world has again heard a voice within the ears of the soul, that of Father Bergoglio, in which there resonates the sound and longed for echoes of the Fathers Pedro Claver, José de Anchieta, Ruiz de Montoya, and other Jesuit missionaries from Guayra in Paraguay, Chiquitos in Bolivia, California in the north, and Chiloé in the south of America, those who evangelized and died for the faith in Canada, Brazil, Nahuelhuapi, and Elicura, not to mention our Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, all of them great apostles of the religious family founded by St. Ignatius – in which served Francis Xavier – and who provided this race with their DNA. The same Father Bergoglio explained in his “Meditations for the religious” (1982), that it is a consignment of the Gospel “without rationalism or ingenuousness, but with strong intellectual argument in harmony with the allegiance to

H 222

EDITORIAL «St. Francis holds St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica.» Fresco by Giotto (Asissi).

H 223

Revelation and the Magisterium”, that is very distant, therefore, from other voices “not exempt from indiscreet ‘avant-gardism,’ such as those which compelled John Paul II to express his fellow brother’s strong reservations. Since his election at the March Conclave, it has been known and commented many times, that Cardinal Bergoglio played a fundamental part in compiling the Aparecida Document, the “magna carta” of the Church’s Social Doctrine for Latin America and a new initiative towards the evangelization of the Continent. Two months after the Conference was over, the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires authorized Humanitas to translate and edit a work of his presented in Italy by the Pontifical Lateran University –“Look for the road towards the future, taking with you the memory of your roots”– which he acknowledged to be a summary of his teaching as head of the main Argentine archdiocese and which we reproduce again at the beginning of this issue as a homage to Pope Francis. In his writing one notices at once a clear and profound development of the doctrine concerning the “subjectivity of the individual”, expounded by John Paul II in the encyclical Centesimus Annus, which the author also takes up again in a very explicit way in his book “Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro” (1998). His criticism of true socialism is certainly transposed to all mechanisms which reduce the humanity of contemporary man, as is inferred in the main premise: “The denial of God deprives a person of the supreme value of what is essentially fundamental, and leads him to the organization of a social order laying aside the dignity and responsibility which it must take upon itself. This proclaimed atheism bears an authentic relation to the enlightened rationalism in which the concept of man’s reality is rendered in a totally mechanical way.” For this swarthy America, lashed by much turmoil which seriously undermines its deepest identity, the Spirit’s hurricane which steers to Peter’s chair a bishop born in Argentina –a country which represents so strongly that which is best in Latin America’s identity– restores immediately in all our people – the often fading link with the Roman seat. For example, when we consider that Peter’s successor knows from within what he has called, with regards to Buenos Aires, the obscure new forms of “slavery” in which millions of people live in the great towns of the continent; it must undoubtedly cast a strong light of hope in the midst of this exacting exile, which strengthens the catholic faith of these nations. His presence in Rome and his close contact with the realities of our continent constitute a warning to the Latin American political, social, and economic leadership, according to what is expressed by Benedict XVI in the encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” Nº 3, regarding

H 224

EDITORIAL Church San Xavier, part of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, Bolivia.

fideism. In the anti-intellectual trend which pervades those sectors, where ignorance grows with regards to the essential categories of a humanist culture –particularly the Christian one– it is worth quickly asking ourselves: Will it be possible to sustain the catholic faith for a long time in a merely devotional scheme, at times almost entirely alien – in actual practice – to the categories true to Christian culture on such subjects as the right to live, the family, an equitable and distributive justice, to mention only a few? The freedom with which saintly priests and Jesuit missionaries have always acted before the earthly powers, –predecessors of the now Pope Bergoglio– the freedom with which he acted as archbishop before such powers, that which he has also expressed from the first moment, arguing that the Church is not an NGO and that it is centered on, prays, and serves Jesus Christ, its Lord, or else it falls into a worldliness which is the soil of the father of darkness – words in which resonate St. Ignatius’ long silenced discourse of the “two flags” – outlines a message which can be either admitted or ignored, but which is unequivocal: the Church belongs to Jesus Christ, not even to Peter, as Benedict XVI reminded us just after his resignation, and for this reason the reforms and renewals

H 225

which so many voices claim can only aim at, and have for an answer, a growing allegiance to the Gospel, to the millenary teaching of the Church and to the apostolic zeal in the transmission of the catholic faith.

II. The Pontiff of the universal church The new pontiff is the first in two thousand years to take the name of Francis, a relevant choice full of symbolic significance when one thinks that the Saint of Assisi, with the faithful’s universal consent, carried further the “sequela Cristo”, even through a physical similarity with the Lord in his stigmata. Regarding him, history has handed down a picture of one who, in the middle of the twelfth century revolution, supports the catholic faith through his sanctity and his renunciation of the world, but always from within the church –as Benedict XVI emphasized– and in absolute allegiance with the Pontiffs Innocent III and Honorius III, who approved the constitution of the Franciscan Order. A well-known Giotto fresco shows us today the dream of Pope Innocent who sees Francis upholding the walls of the Lateran basilica which threatens to collapse into ruin, a reflection of the general state of society at that time. The name of Francis reminds us, therefore, of the extent of the contemporary crisis and the responsibility of those who hold faith as a gift; this is precisely the urgent call made by Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter “Porta fidei”, through which he summons all to the Year of Faith, which will end on the Feast of Christ, King of the Universe, next November. However, not everyone understands this in the same way. Complicit with the doubtful origin of interpretations made by the press –as similarly occurred during the Council which highly risks leading the faithful to confusion– many of the words we heard insistently repeated when depicting the present moment of the Church and the beginning of a new pontificate: renewal, transparency, modernization, etc. – are emotionally inserted in a dynamic of change, mainly one of disruption, that of the “hermeneutic of disruption”, not so different from the one denounced by Benedict XVI in his annual speech to the Curia in 2005, contrasting it with the “hermeneutic of continuity and reform”, the appropriate way to carry on the Second Vatican Council’s task, which is exactly what the Year of Faith will commemorate. Observed from the perspective of the phenomena of “long duration”, this moment of upheaval which the Church has lived through at the beginning of 2013 should be regarded,

H 226

The dream of Pope Inocent III: ÂŤIn it, he saw the Basilica of St John Lateran, the mother of all churches, collapsing and one small and insignificant religious brother supporting the church on his shoulders to prevent it from falling. On the one hand, it is interesting to note that it is not the Pope who was helping to prevent the church from collapsing but rather a small and insignificant brother, whom the Pope recognized in Francis when he later came to visit. (...) it is important to note that St Francis does not renew the Church without or in opposition to the Pope, but only in communion with him.Âť (Benedict XVI: Saint Francis, the living icon of Assisi. General Audience, January 27, 2010) [Fresco by Giotto. Assisi]

H 227

above all, as another episode of the lengthy dialogue with modernity. More explicitly, that dialectic started in the first half of the nineteenth century, with Gregory XVI’s papacy and the encyclical “Mirari vos”. Liberalism, positivism, fideism and many other isms which issue from the agnostic or atheistic enlightenment were approached in all their depth and complexity by that pontiff’s teaching, as did later, in a continual line, Blessed Pius IX, Leon XIII, Saint Pius X and an uninterrupted succession of popes until this day, without having to change the main criteria. There were changes, of course, derived from the circumstances which go along with the historic period in which this debate develops: its conditioning circumstances, for example, are different during the Italian unification war which brought Pius IX the loss of the pontifical states, from those others which prevailed within the context of Leon XIII’s ralliement or from the post war era of World War II and the Second Vatican Council. However, if the means are transformed according to the different situations, the essence remains the same. The most eloquent proof of that permanence can be seen, for instance, when one ponders on what Joseph Ratzinger pointed out, in the sense that theological modernism, which Saint Pius X had to fight so arduously in the first decade of the twentieth century, submerges and reappears later during the post council crisis of the sixties and seventies, with John Paul II and Benedict XVI having to undertake the task of clarifying the truth which had been exposed by their errors. (cf. “The present situation of faith and theology”, by Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger, in Humanitas Nº6, April-June 1997 p.280; in Humanitas special edition Habemus Papam, May 2005, p.30.) Still, but in quite a different sense than that which the mass media would have you believe, the present moment could also constitute in its own way, a qualitative and decidedly new turning point, different, and maybe distant, from that centenary dialectic process between the church and modernity. We can visualize it if, for instance, we weigh the dimension of the task carried out in Europe by the two popes at the end of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first, throughout 34 years; first by the Blessed Pope John Paul II, whose long and momentous pontificate bore a profound anthropological consistency to that commanding continuum of over a century – strengthened and enriched then by new categories of analysis handed over by the Council –the first Polish Pope transforming himself into the cornerstone of a world which left behind 75 years of communism, mainly in Europe; later by Joseph Ratzinger– Benedict XVI, one of the most eminent theologians of his century, whose parcours did not omit any of the main areopagites of the contemporary world, enlightening from there –always with strong

H 228


arguments sprung from a breadth of the “logos” to which he tirelessly invited and for which he always bore a vivid and personal witness– all those responsible for the people’s government. It would suffice, under this light, and considering these popes, to conclude that during the three gravitating decades which this period covers, the natural and divine order could not have been better illustrated, which in itself vindicates God’s glory. That which has been pointed out above all however, and paradoxically, the time which has transpired in that quarter of a century which spans from the fall of the Berlin wall until today –a period which coincides with the unfolding of the magisterium referred to– also shows the observer, in its social and moral dynamics, a space which has in fact been more devastating for the faith of Western Christians than the 75 years of communist oppression in Russia and elsewhere on the planet, including taking into account the pernicious effects which its defiance has meant for the religious, cultural, and political freedom of the many countries of the earth. It would appear that fixing the attention on the immediate causal order which, given the toughness of the ideological standpoint of the antichristian inclination adopted today by the media and the political establishment of the first world –which, imitating “the accuser”, pretends that the church should always questioned and justify its existence– it would be useless to go on with that debate, now over a century long. The radical militant leanings of certain leading secular circles, often implies that they no longer pay attention to the dialogue over what modernity is really about. (cf. “Benedict XVI, the pope of modernity”, pp. 274-277). Its demographic strength being weakened –when once it was an inexhaustible supply for recruiting all sorts of laborers– at present this developed world, not knowing what to do, looks at a population and cultural invasion coming from Latin America, Africa, and Asia , which the American writer Samuel Huntington qualified as the “re-conquest”, but which, in a way, leads to a cross breed of civilizations whose future presents different kinds of questions, including religious ones, as well as undoubtedly, some positive aspects. Here we have then, that while the church was engaged for one and a half centuries in developing and steadily bringing up to date its magisterium in order to illuminate the world’s challenges, a world which became materially wealthier but more and more reduced in its spiritual horizons – thus contributing to this dramatic contrast: two catastrophes of previously unknown dimensions such as the two world wars, with their causes and ideological sequels – other sections of our geography blossomed under their wing, while other old seeds ripened. The former is the case of Africa, and of America the latter.

H 229

Embrace between Saint Francis and Saint Dominic. Panelpainting, Museum of Santiago, Paraguay.

H 230

It is by these means, then, that Providence would have prepared the election of the first successor of the apostle Peter, emerging from Spanish American lands. With what prophetic strength thus resound the words of the Blessed John Paul II when arriving in Santo Domingo in1992, for the inauguration of the Latin American IV Episcopal Conference: “October 12, 1492 is one of the most important dates in the history of humanity!” (cf. “Faith in America”, editorial Humanitas Nº68, October-December 2012.)

III. Sentire cum Ecclesiae As days and weeks go by, the Christian world is molding in terms of global communication the up to now little known image of its pastor. Different figures, texts, and impressions cross from north to south and east to west trying to understand, in a genuine sentire cum Ecclesiae, the signs of the moment we are living. For some, the three successive pontiffs which God has given his Church represent, each one, the cardinal virtues: John Paul II, hope, Benedict XVI, faith and Francis, charity. For others, in order to sail through the troubled waters of the third millennium, the Church has found its navigation chart in the inspiration given by two of its dearest and most historically relevant charisms, which had a foundational meaning. First, the charism of saint Benedict, that is his contemplative prayer, and his labora which prepares the land to bear fruits, and transmit the faith and wisdom that are the basis of civilization. Then, saint Francis, whose kerygmatic testimony of love to God and to His creatures sustains the Church and strengthens the people’s faith amid turbulences and crises. It seems that, after the huge task of deepening the doctrines of the Second Vatican Council carried on by his predecessors, with pope Francis the time of the Kerygma has come. We, corde magno et animo volente, join him with filial affection and prayer, filled with enthusiasm by his gestures and words. These gestures and words –just as those of Saint Francis of whom the pope took his name– always summarize a deep love for the entire creation, especially for man, who is the center of creation, and whose mystery does only take on light –as II Vatican Council says– “in the mystery of the incarnate Word” (cf. John Paul II, Redemptor hominis n° 1 and 8). Santiago de Chile, Friday 19 of April, 2013. One month after the Solemn inauguration of the pontificate of H.H. Francis. JAIME ANTÚNEZ ALDUNATE Translated by Juana Subercaseaux

Editor, HUMANITAS Review

H 231

March 13, 2013

H 232

Pope Francis

Habemus PaPam franciscum

At 20:12, fifty-four minutes after the white smoke first bleched out of the chimney, Cardinal Deacon Jean-Louis Tauran appeard at the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to announce the name of the name of the new Pope with this words:

Annuntio vobis gAudium mAgnum, hAbemus PAPAm: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum

HUMANITAS NÂş 4 pp. 232 - 271

H 233

APOSTOLIC BLESSING “URBI ET ORBI” Brothers and sisters, good evening! You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here we are... I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome now has its Bishop. Thank you! And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him. (Our Father..., Hail Mary..., Glory Be...) And now, we take up this journey: Bishop and People. This journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches. A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity. It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church, which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present, will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most beautiful city. And now I would like to give the blessing, but first - first I ask a favor of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this prayer: your prayer over me… Now I will give the Blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will. Brothers and sisters, I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and until we meet again. We will see each other soon. Tomorrow I wish to go and pray to Our Lady, that she may watch over all of Rome. Good night and sleep well!

Central balcony of the Vatican Basilica. Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

H 234

H 235

March 14, 2013

“To walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ crucified” Homily addressed by the Holy Father Pope Francis during the Pro Ecclesia Mass celebrated on February 14 at 17:00 in the Sistine Chapel with the 114 cardinal Electors and conclavists. The first reading was taken from a song of the Prophet Isaiah which begins with the words: “In days to come, The mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.” The reading continues with these famous sentences: “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” Then, the second reading, which was taken from the first letter of Saint Peter, talked about the common priesthood of the faithful: “…like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. (…) you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The Gospel told the confession of Saint Peter according to Saint Matthew: “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.’”

H 236

Pope Francis

In his first homily –pronounced in Italian and without reading notes– Pope Francis observed that there is a common element in these three readings: “that of movement. In the first reading, it is the movement of a journey; in the second reading, the movement of building the Church; in the third, in the Gospel, the movement involved in professing the faith. Journeying, building, professing.” The Pontiff remembered that the first thing that God told to Abraham was “Walk in my presence and live blamelessly. Journeying: our life is a journey, and when we stop moving, things go wrong. Always journeying, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with the blamelessness that God asked of Abraham in his promise.” “Building,” – the Pope said – “Building the Church. We speak of stones: stones are solid; but living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Building the Church, the Bride of Christ, on the cornerstone that is the Lord himself.” “Thirdly, professing. We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity.” Then, quoting Léon Bloy, the Holy Father said: “Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil,” because “when we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.” “Journeying, building, professing. But things are not so straightforward, because in journeying, building, professing, there can sometimes be jolts, movements that are not properly part of the journey: movements that pull us back.” “This Gospel continues with a situation of a particular kind,” said then the Pope. “The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.” “My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward. My prayer for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, will grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ crucified. Amen.”

H 237

March 15, 2013

“Like good wine that improves with age, let us give life’s wisdom to the young” Address of the Holy Father Pope Francis during the audience with the College of Cardinals in the Clementine Hall. “Dear brother Cardinals, take courage! Half of us are advanced in age. Old age is – as I like to say – the seat of life’s wisdom. The old have acquired the wisdom that comes from having journeyed through life, like the old man Simeon, the old prophetess Anna in the Temple. And that wisdom enabled them to recognize Jesus. Let us pass on this wisdom to the young: like good wine that improves with age, let us give life’s wisdom to the young.” Thus spoke Pope Francis to the Cardinals – both electors and non-electors – during his first meeting with the Holy College in the Clementine Hall. The Pontiff spoke extemporaneously many times during his speech, as when he told the Cardinals that one of them – cardinal Jorge Mejía – was recovering from a heart attack in a hospital of Rome; he said: “his condition is stable, and he has sent us his greetings.” The Pope had heard before the greeting that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, had addressed to him: “Let us thank God our Lord. This is the liturgical invitation that we – the Cardinal Fathers – make to each other to thank the Lord for the gift of a new shepherd of the Church… You must know, Holy Father,

H 238

During his speech, Pope Francis said that that meeting intended to be “a prolongation of the intense ecclesial communion” they had experienced during the Conclave. “Inspired by a profound sense of responsibility and supported by a great love for Christ and for the Church,” said the Pope, “we have prayed together, fraternally sharing our feelings, our experiences and reflections. In this atmosphere of great warmth we have come to know one another better in a climate of mutual openness.” And then improvised, adding that those feelings were good, “because we are brothers. Someone said to me: the Cardinals are the priests of the Holy Father. That community, that friendship, that closeness will do us all good. And our acquaintanceship and mutual openness have helped us to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit. He, the Paraclete, is the ultimate source of every initiative and manifestation of faith. It is a curious thing: it makes me think of this. The Paraclete creates all the differences among the Churches, almost as if he were an Apostle of Babel. But on the other hand, it is he who creates unity from these differences, not in “equality,” but in harmony. I remember the Father of the Church who described him thus: “Ipse harmonia est.” The Paraclete, who gives different charisms to each of us, unites us in this community of the Church that worships the Father, the Son, and Him, the Holy Spirit.”

Pope Francis

that we, your Cardinals, are entirely at your disposal in order to form with you the Cenacle of the growing Church, the Church of Pentecost. We will keep an open mind and a believing heart, as you wrote in your book on meditation.”

The Holy Father remembered that the “period of the conclave has been a momentous time not only for the College of Cardinals, but also for all the faithful. In these days we have felt almost tangibly the affection and the solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the concern of so many people who, even if they do not share our faith, look to the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration.” The Pope expressed his gratitude to all the Cardinals for their cooperation in the task of leading the Church during the period of the Vacant See. “I greet each one of you warmly, beginning with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom I thank for his devoted words and his fervent good wishes addressed to me on behalf of all of you. I also thank Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, for his attentive service during this transitional period, as well as our dear friend Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who led us during the conclave.” “My thoughts turn with great affection and profound gratitude to my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI, who enriched and invigorated the Church during the years of his Pontificate by his teaching, his goodness, his leadership, his faith, his humility and his meekness. All this remains as a spiritual patrimony for us all […]. As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us so many times in his teachings, and at the end by his courageous and humble gesture, it is Christ who leads the Church through his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church through his life-giving and unifying force: out of many, he makes one single body, the Mystical Body of Christ.”

H 239

“Let us never yield to pessimism,” he exclaimed “to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day; let us not yield to pessimism or discouragement: let us be quite certain that the Holy Spirit bestows upon the Church, with his powerful breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, so as to bring the Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the profound need of human life, proclaiming convincingly that Christ is the one Savior of the whole man and of all men. This proclamation remains as valid today as it was at the origin of Christianity, when the first great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place.” “You will now return to your respective sees to continue your ministry, enriched by the experience of these days, so full of faith and ecclesial communion. This unique and incomparable experience has enabled us to grasp deeply all the beauty of the Church, which is a glimpse of the radiance of the risen Christ: one day we will gaze upon that beautiful face of the risen Christ!”

March 16, 2013 Extract from thE holy fathEr´s addrEss to thE world prEss

To communicate Truth, Goodness and Beauty

“I am particularly grateful to those who viewed and presented these events of the Church’s history in a way which was sensitive to the right context in which they need to be read, namely that of faith. Historical events almost always demand a nuanced interpretation which at times can also take into account the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly no more intricate than political or economic events! But they do have one particular underlying feature: they follow a pattern which does not readily correspond to the “worldly” categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public. The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, the Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church’s life and activity. Christ is the Church’s Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Yet Christ remains the center, not the Successor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the center. Christ is the fundamental point of reference, the heart of the Church. Without him, Peter and the Church would not exist or have reason to exist. As Benedict XVI frequently reminded us, Christ is present in the Church and guides

H 240

Pope Francis holds his first audience with six thousand Vatican communication officials, as well as journalists and media professionals inside the Paul VI hall.

her. In everything that has occurred, the principal agent has been, in the final analysis, the Holy Spirit. He prompted the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church; he guided the Cardinals in prayer and in the election. It is important, dear friends, to take into due account this way of looking at things, this hermeneutic, in order to bring into proper focus what really happened in these days. All of this leads me to thank you once more for your work in these particularly demanding days, but also to ask you to try to understand more fully the true nature of the Church, as well as her journey in this world, with her virtues and her sins, and to know the spiritual concerns which guide her and are the most genuine way to understand her. Be assured that the Church, for her part, highly esteems your important work. At your disposal you have the means to hear and to give voice to people’s expectations and demands, and to provide for an analysis and interpretation of current events. Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity and experience, like so many other professions, but it also demands a particular concern for what is true, good, and beautiful. This is something which we have in common, since the Church exists to communicate precisely this: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty “in person.” It should be apparent that all of us are called not to communicate ourselves, but this existential triad made up of truth, beauty, and goodness.”

H 241

March 17, 2013

“If the Lord did not forgive everything, the world would not exist” Words addressed by the Holy Father Pope Francis to almost 200,000 people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for the praying of the first Angelus. “Brothers and Sisters, good morning! After our first meeting last Wednesday, today I can once again address my greeting to you all! And I am glad to do so on a Sunday, on the Lord’s Day! This is beautiful and important for us Christians: to meet on Sundays, to greet each other, to speak to each other as we are doing now, in the square. A square which, thanks to the media, has global dimensions. On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel presents to us the episode of the adulterous woman (cf. Jn. 8:1-11), whom Jesus saves from being condemned to death. Jesus’ attitude is striking: we do not hear words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, which are an invitation to conversion. “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” Ah! Brothers and Sisters, God’s face is the face of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God’s patience, the patience he has with each one of us? That is his mercy. He always has patience, patience with

H 242

In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal – Cardinal Kasper, a clever theologian, a good theologian – on mercy. And that book did me a lot of good, but do not think I am promoting my cardinals’ books! Not at all! Yet it has done me so much good, so much good... Cardinal Kasper said that feeling mercy, that this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient.... Let us remember the Prophet Isaiah who says that even if our sins were scarlet, God’s love would make them white as snow.

Pope Francis

us, he understands us, he waits for us, he does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to him with a contrite heart. “Great is God’s mercy,” says the Psalm.

This mercy is beautiful! I remember, when I had only just become a bishop in the year 1992, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima had just arrived in Buenos Aires and a big Mass was celebrated for the sick. I went to hear confessions at that Mass. And almost at the end of the Mass I stood up, because I had to go and administer a First Confirmation. And an elderly woman approached me, humble, very humble, and over eighty years old. I looked at her, and I said, “Grandmother” – because in our country that is how we address the elderly – do you want to make your confession?” “Yes,” she said to me. “But if you have not sinned…”. And she said to me: “We all have sins...” “But perhaps the Lord does not forgive them.” “The Lord forgives all things,” she said to me with conviction. “But how do you know, Madam?” “If the Lord did not forgive everything, the world would not exist.” I felt an urge to ask her: “Tell me, Madam, did you study at the Gregorian [University]?” because that is the wisdom which the Holy Spirit gives: inner wisdom focused on God’s mercy. Let us not forget this word: God never ever tires of forgiving us! “Well, Father what is the problem?” Well, the problem is that we ourselves tire, we do not want to ask, we grow weary of asking for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving, but at times we get tired of asking for forgiveness. Let us never tire, let us never tire! He is the loving Father who always pardons, who has that heart of mercy for us all. And let us too learn to be merciful to everyone. Let us invoke the intercession of Our Lady who held in her arms the Mercy of the God made man.”

H 243

March 19, 2013

Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome Holy Mass, imposition of the Pallium and bestowal of the Fisherman’s Ring Homily of the Holy Father at Saint Peter’s Square. Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Solemnity of Saint Joseph. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude. I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps. In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt. 1:24). These words already point to the mission which

H 244

Pope Francis

God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1). How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus. How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus, and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation! The vocation of being a “protector,” however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts! Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

H 245

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political, and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors,” we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness! Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness! Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete, and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and those in prison (cf. Mt. 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect! In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom. 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God. To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us! I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.

H 246

Thousands of Believers at Pope Francis’s Inauguration Mass Approximately 200,000 believers took part in Pope Francis’s Inauguration Mass. The ceremony of ‘inauguration of the Bishop of Rome’s petrine ministry’ started at the tomb of the Apostle St Peter, beneath the Basilica’s central altar. Therefrom the Pope came down accompanied by the Patriarchs and leaders of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches; among them, there were four cardinals, who took the symbols the Pontiff received during mass, namely: the fisherman’s ring, the pallium, and the evangelistary. And they went outside of the Basilica while the choir sung the litanies Laudes Reges, which ask for the help of the holy popes. The retinue went out to a square where a multitude awaited them with great enthusiasm, agitating thousands of flags, many of which were of Latin American countries and of the Pope’s native land. Cardinal Protodeacon Jean Louis Tauran, the same that announced habemus papam, bestowed the pallium on the Holy Father, a white garment with red crosses, the same that Benedict XVI wore. The fisherman’s ring, made of golden silver, was given to him by Cardinal Deacon Angelo Sodano.

H 247

Then six cardinals pronounced the “Tu es Petrus” while they leaned before the Pope as an act of obedience on behalf of the College of Cardinals. From that moment on, having concluded the pontificate’s inauguration rites, Pope Francis celebrated mass in St Joseph’s honour, whose feast day was on March 19. The mass was co-celebrated by all cardinals who are in Rome, the Eastern Patriarchs and Archbishops who aren’t cardinals, the secretary of the College of Cardinals, and the Superior Generals: that of the Order of Friars Minor (commonly called the “Franciscans”), Father José Rodríguez Carballo, and that of the Jesuits, Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, who are respectively President and Vice-President of the Union of Superior Generals. Some 500 priests gave out Holy Communion to the thousands of believers. The Pope blessed and asked the crowd: “Pray for me”. The main delegations present at the inauguration mass were: On the part of the Christian Churches and Denominations: 33 delegations (14 Eastern, 10 Western, 3 Christian organizations, and others). The presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is noteworthy; also that of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians. Other important Christian leaders also attended: Metropolitan Hilarion, First-Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, Anglican Archbishop of York; Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches; etc. The Jewish delegation was very important (16 members). There were representatives of the Jewish community of Rome; of Jewish international committees; of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel; of the World Jewish Council; of the Anti-Defamation League. There were also Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jansenistic delegations. Delegation from 132 countries also took part. There were 6 ruling sovereigns (Belgium, Monaco); 31 chiefs of state or of international organizations (Austria, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Poland, Portugal, the European Union); 3 hereditary princes (Spain, Netherlands, Bahrain); 11 heads of government (Germany, France, the Vice-President of the United States); and there were also delegations presided by first ladies, vice-presidents, deputy prime ministers, presidents of parliament, ministers, ambassadors, and other dignitaries.

H 248

An expert in Ibero-America speaks about the first Latin American Pope

Pope Francis

Guzmán carriquiry

Firmness and kindness. Someone who knows Pope Francis very well describes his character with these two words that will also guide him in his ministry during the difficult situations of government that he we will have to assume soon for the reorganization of the Roman Curia. “He will certainly be very free and independent in his decisions, but he won’t act traumatically either,” explains Professor Guzmán Carriquiry, Uruguayan, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin American, the first layman to undertake an assignment that was normally linked to the title of Archbishop. His friendship with Archbishop Bergoglio goes back many years. An old friendship with him allows Professor Carriquiry to confirm that all the gestures of the new Pontiff are not a pose nor are they studied: “He does not make demagogic gestures to project a certain image to the world: he is exactly what he looks like, as a person and as a Pastor, and he will continue to be so.” — Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Latin American Pope in history. Why is this decision of the Cardinal College so original? — “An Argentinean, a Latin American, a citizen and promoter of our ‘great motherland’ has been chosen. With the election of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Latin America – an increasingly emerging region in world scene – has given the Universal Church the best of itself, it has restored the center of Christianity, the treasure of Catholic tradition that arrived there five centuries ago through the first Evangelization of the European Missionaries, deeply cultured in the history and in the life of our peoples. If, currently, in our nations there is a healthy and legitimate pride for this event, the Churches of Latin America must show themselves worthy of the place in which Providence has put them. A requirement that can take shape in two fields, among others: the continental mission and the Universal Apostolic request.”

H 249

— The first challenge of this pontificate is undoubtedly that of the new Evangelization. Is Pope Francis prepared to face it with determination? — “Certainly. Buenos Aires, the great Diocese of which he was Archbishop until a few days ago, is a gigantic cosmopolitan city, the most attentive to the trends of European thought, with the highest intellectual and cultural density in Latin America. It has also been the theater of one of the largest national and popular movements of Christian inspiration. On one side, there is a deep rooting of Christianity in the people, and on the other, the typical secularization process of the West is fully manifest. In the pastoral commitment, always close to his people, Cardinal Bergoglio had to face all these ferments day after day, and he did so basing himself on Evangelic radicalism, constantly dialoguing with anyone and with Christian discernment for a vision of the future. Moreover, his contribution was decisive for the major event of the Latin American Church, that is the 5th General Conference of its Episcopate at Aparecida (Brazil, May 2007), completely centered on the missionary discipleship for the good of the peoples. Father Bergoglio does not theorize on the new Evangelization, he produces it.” — In fact, one has been able to observe already the dimension of encounter and dialogue as one of his main attitudes. — “This is one of the reasons for which he is well prepared to be a Pastor at the service of the universal Church, but also of humanity in search of sense. In Argentina, when he made any public statement, everyone listened to him. And the various religious leaders –Orthodox, Evangelical, but also Hebrew, and Islamic– usually supported his positions, because they recognized a moral authority and the credibility of his contributions.” — What can the coordinates of his Pontifical Magisterium be? — “The light of his eyes is the Evangelii Nuntiandi. His essential invitation shall be to be disciples in the encounter and following of Christ. An evangelized and evangelizing Church! He will seek, therefore, to communicate the Gospel in Francis’ way that is with humbleness and frankness, full of apostolic zeal. Additionally, he will privilege the road of popular religiosity, with particular attention on Marian devotion. Furthermore, he will not stop from making apostolic trips to meet with men and peoples there where they are, because he knows that his best apostolate is the one he carries out “face to face,” from person to person, in the live relationship between the Pastor and his people.” — And what about the moral side? — “He shall defend the fundamental principles of the Christian doctrine with cape and sword but he will not seek a ‘wall against wall’ confrontation; rather he will highlight the beauty of the Christian experience, under which the moral rules are followed, and that make them more understandable at the same time. Occasionally he may pronounce harsh words, but always with a merciful attitude that clearly distinguishes the evil, the sin, from those who make mistakes, and these not as an object of condemnation, but as persons embraced by a love that changes life making it more

H 250

— Should we also be attentive to the new clamors over hope in the midst of a disoriented, violent, and unjust world? — “I have no doubt that his prophetic voice that lights the fire on any form of exploitation or exclusion, voices solidary with the poor, the needed, the sufferers, the preferred of God’s love, will continue to rise, now with world echoing. His Pontificate goes beyond the “fall of the totalitarian empire of actual socialism,” and the contradictions and inequality of capitalist neo-liberalism fed by the utopia of the self- regulating market. “The enormous problems and challenges of Latin American reality – wrote Cardinal Bergoglio in the Preface of my book “Una apuesta por America Latina” (“A bet for Latin America”) – cannot be faced nor resolved by re-proposing old ideological behaviors so anachronistic as to be damaging, or disseminating decaying cultural sub-products of individualistic ultra-liberalism and the consumer hedonism of the show-biz society.”

Pope Francis

true, more human. We are already beginning to see a movement of attraction towards the Church by many who, for different reasons, were a bit distant.”

— What are the characteristics of his spirituality? — “One must constantly trust in prayer, a great personal austerity, and a strong sense of penitence that do not reduce, but rather reinforce, a jubilant and cordial spirit in life together. He gets up early in the morning, and dedicates a long time to prayer before the Mass. His serenity undoubtedly comes from his confident surrender to God.” — Does he have a specific devotion? — “Father Bergoglio introduced my family to the devotion of St. Joseph. Moreover, this was clearly manifest in the homily at the inception of his Pontificate. St. Teresa of the Child Jesus also occupies a very important place in his spiritual life. When he is faced with difficult decisions he lets them mature in prayer and in discernment. He invokes, before anything else, the help of “the Virgin who unties knots,” but he also trusts in St. Teresita saying: ‘I don’t know what you are going to do, but at least send me a signal that you have listened to me.’ And the request, as all the devotees of the patron of the missions do, is to find during the course of the week, somewhere, a white rose as a confirmation of her attention.” — First, the solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica presided by Pope Benedict XVI, on December 12, 2011, for the commemoration of the bicentennial of the Independence of Latin American countries; thereafter the Congress “Ecclesia in America,” a year later, around the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; and now the election of a Latin American Pope…Is the Commission for Latin America celebrating? — “All Catholicism is celebrating, but Latin America in a particular way. Let us pray that the words Our Lady of Guadalupe addressed to Juan Diego may be heard forever in the heart of Pope Francis: “Let not your face, your heart be disturbed, […] Am I not here, your Mother? Aren’t you under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your happiness? Are you not in the hollow of my robe, and the crossing of my arms?

H 251

The Ring of Pope Francis This is the history of the Fisherman’s Ring that, beginning today, Pope Francis will wear on the ring finger of his right hand. Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, the personal secretary of Pope Paul VI, kept the wax cast of the ring that had been designed for Paul VI by the Italian artist Enrico Manfrini. (He also made several medals and other artistic objects for Paul VI.) The ring depicts St. Peter holding the keys. It was never cast into metal therefore Paul VI never wore it. Instead, he always wore the ring that was commissioned at the time of the Second Vatican Council. When he passed away in 2006, the cast, along with other objects, was left by Archbishop Macchi to Monsignor Ettore Malnati, who had worked closely with him for many years. Msgr. Malnati made a ring of gold-plated silver from the wax cast. This ring was offered to Pope Francis, along with several other possible options, by the Papal Master of Ceremonies, through the auspices of Cardinal Re. Pope Francis chose it for his Ring of the Fisherman and it was bestowed upon him at this morning’s Mass of the Inauguration of his Petrine Ministry.

H 252

Pope Francis

The new pontiff’s papal coat of arms and motto The new pontiff’s papal coat of arms and motto are the same that he used as bishop. The shield has a bright blue background, at the center top of which is a yellow radiant sun with the IHS christogram on it representing Jesus (it is also the Jesuit logo). The IHS monogram, as well as a cross that pierces the H, are in red with three black nails directly under them. Under that, to the left, is a star representing Mary, Mother of Christ and the Church. To the right of the star is a nard flower representing Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. With these symbols the Pope demonstrates his love for the Holy Family. What distinguishes his coat of arms as pontiff is that, instead of the widebrimmed, red cardinal’s hat atop the shield, it now bears the same symbols of papal dignity as that of Benedict XVI: the papal mitre and crossed silver and gold keys joined by a red cord. His motto – “Miserando atque eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him) – is taken from the Venerable Bede’s homily on the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because – when he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St. Matthew in 1953 – he perceived God’s mercy in his life and felt the call to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

H 253

H 254

a refLection on Latin-american reaLity by tHe arcHbisHop of buenos aires, Cardinal Jorge M ario Bergoglio, now PoPe FranCis, PUBLISHED IN HUMANITAS Nº 47 (SPANISH EDITION) IN JULY, 2007.

A s it has been described in the editorial of this issue of

Humanitas, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, participated fundamentally in the composition of the Document of Aparecida, which was the result of the 5th General Conference of Latin-American and Caribbean Bishops held in May 2007. That document is considered as the true Magna Carta for the new evangelization of the continent, and as an updated directive for the Church’s Social Doctrine for Latin America. Two months after the Conference was over, Cardinal Bergoglio authorized Humanitas review to translate and edit an article he had presented to the Pontifical Lateran University, —“Look for the road towards the future, taking with you the memory of your roots,”— which summarized his teachings as bishop of the main dioceses of Argentina. Here we reproduce again this article for our readers as a sign of our gratitude to its author, and homage to Pope Francis.

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 254 - 271

H 255

Look for tHe road


This text was published in Italian by the magazine Nuntium, of the Pontifical University Lateranense of Rome, as part of a series dedicated to each of the five continents. This article reported on Latin America. The reflection of the author and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to whom we thank for the authorization to reproduce it in Humanitas, has been abridged from its original version in Spanish, particularly deleting the parts referring to Argentina.

H 256

This reflection does not intend to be original. I recall the things that I have written on the subject in these seven years as Archbishop.

I. A THOUGHT THAT REMEBERS ITS ROOTS To start with, we are asked to possess wideness of heart; a vast outlook that links the present time with the “memory of its roots” and gazes towards the future, where the fruits of its work will ripen; we are asked to have something like the look of a traveler who confirms where he is, where he comes from and where he is headed to. This is a look that “makes the road,” it is constructive and becomes fruitful; it is a look that encourages withdrawing from all narcissistic contemplation or from the possessive compulsion of the person who only seeks his own interest and, instead of serving his country, uses it. Therefore, if we wish our reflection to be a contribution, let us start by humbly accepting reality, history, and promise as they are. The present is a time of global and complex crisis. The crisis is global because it includes a hermeneutics, a way of understanding reality. This reality is us as a nation in movement, as a collective work in continual construction, and includes both a spatial and a temporal dimension, the place and time where our history is embodied. The crisis questions us on where we are headed and on the direction that is open before us. The answer requires, above all, a realistic meditation on the nature of the bonds that link us with our community. Facing this deep crisis, Providence gives us a new opportunity that is simultaneously a challenge. The challenge is to become a truly just community with solidarity, where every person’s dignity

Pope Francis «The dimension of the uprooting: spatial, existential, and spiritual. Uprooting has also grown along with discontinuity. We can place this in three areas: spatial, existential, and spiritual. The relationship between man and his vital space has been broken, as a result of the current dynamic of fragmentation and the segmentation of human groups. The identity dimension of man with his environment, with his land, with his community is lost. The city is being populated by “non-places,” void spaces exclusively submitted to instrumental logic, deprived of symbols and references that contribute to the construction of communal identities.» (Work of William Blake).

H 257


«Here we connect with the crisis of modernity and the questionings of reason. The disenchantment facing the promises of modernity has brought about the emergence of multiple fragmentary, partial, particular, and uprooted truths and senses. Thought that moves in the relative and the ambiguous, in the fragmentary and the multiple, constitutes the mood that stains not only philosophy and academic knowledge, but also the culture “on the street.” It is the period of weak thought.»

(Portrait of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Archbishop of Buenos Aires).

is respected and where one is encouraged in one’s freedom to achieve his or hers destiny as daughters and sons of God. Our nation is facing a historical crossroads to choose in the present a course to reclaim its constitutive roots and that will take us to a future that includes us all. We find ourselves facing a reality that presents us with the results of the model of a country armed around certain economic interests, a model that excludes the majorities, that generates poverty and marginality, that is tolerant of all sorts of corruption, and the generator of privileges and injustices. This situation is the result of a crisis in the beliefs and values that forged our social bonds. Before all this, we must begin our task of reconstruction.

The experience of orphanage As a phenomenological starting point I wish to refer to the experience of orphanage which is common in the life experience of our society. This experience is characterized by three dimensions: a) A dimension of the discontinuity of memory, relating to time and history. Discontinuity: a loss or absence of the bonds in time and the socio-political interweaving that constitutes a people. We are part of a fragmented society that has cut its communal bonds. This reality is due

H 258

b) The dimension of the uprooting: spatial, existential, and spiritual. Uprooting has also grown along with discontinuity. We can place this in three areas: spatial, existential, and spiritual. The relationship between man and his vital space has been broken, as a result of the current dynamic of fragmentation and the segmentation of human groups. The identity dimension of man with his environment, with his land, with his community is lost. The city is being populated by “non-places,” void spaces exclusively submitted to instrumental logic, deprived of symbols and references that contribute to the construction of communal identities. Existential and spiritual uprooting is joined to spatial uprooting. The latter is linked to the absence of projects. When the continuity with place and history is broken, man loses the tools that allow him to compose his identity and his personal project. The dimension of belonging to a time-space is lost and this affects his dimension of identity, because identity is both man’s roots and his memory, as well as his personal development project. The loss of spatial references and temporal continuity also drains from the life of the inhabitant of the city certain symbolic references, those “windows,” true “horizons of the sense” towards what is transcendent, that were open here and there in the city and in human action. The sense of transcendence is lost and, therefore, the uprooting also reaches the spiritual dimension. Thus, generational and political discontinuity, and spatial, existential, and spiritual uprooting are characteristic of such a condition that we have more generically called orphanage.

Pope Francis

to a deficit of memory, conceived as the integrating power of our history; and to a deficit of tradition, conceived as the richness of the road walked by our elders. This implies the rupture and discontinuity of an inter-generational dialogue on the anxieties and questions that link that past with the present and this present with the future. This break in the generational experience adopts an array of pits and ruptures: between society and the leading class and between institutions and personal expectations.


c) The fall of certainty: many of the basic certainties that serve as a foundation for historical construction have become diluted, fallen, or worn down. The fatherland, the revolution, even solidarity tend to be seen with curiosity, mockery, or skepticism. The loss of certainty also undermines the foundations of the person, the family, and the faith. This fall of certainty, the loss of references, is of global character, it occurs at the world level, and constitutes a new certainty of contemporary thought.

H 259

Here we connect with the crisis of modernity and the questionings of reason. The disenchantment facing the promises of modernity has brought about the emergence of multiple fragmentary, partial, particular, and uprooted truths and senses. Thought that moves in the relative and the ambiguous, in the fragmentary and the multiple, constitutes the mood that stains not only philosophy and academic knowledge, but also the culture “on the street.” It is the period of weak thought.

Globalization and single thought


With the experience of orphanage and uprooting, women and men lose their points of reference within their place and time, the root from which they stand and observe their reality. Relativism emerges as the outlook of social life and political work. The loss of certainty places us in front of a serious socio-political challenge. This challenge, according to John Paul II, “is the risk of an alliance between democracy and ethical relativism, which would remove any sure moral reference point from political and social life, and on a deeper level make the acknowledgement of truth impossible. Indeed, if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism” (Veritatis Splendor 101; quote from Centesimus annus, 46). It may seem a contradiction, but by assuming a relativistic outlook, globalization, in its present form, encourages uprooting and the loss of certainty, it homogenizes thought and eliminates the diversity that constitutes the entire human society. Its disintegrating power reduces people to their economic dimension, and the capacity for transformative action is reduced to the roles of consumers of merchandise. Globalization is a word full of homogenizing meaning. People tend to draw a single line of thought, a single line of conduct, a single line of survival, and what is behind all this is a single cultural direction of existence. A globalization that – in its negative aspect – deprives us of our human dignity in order to make us dance in the sieve of the whimsical, cold, and calculating market economy. And in front of this project that makes us identical and deprives us of what is ours, the Church encourages us to make in common that which makes us different, that is, the personal charisma of each human being, the individual belonging to a group, a political par-

H 260

Pope Francis

ty, non-governmental organizations, parishes, different sectors. The Church asks us to make in common this particularity that make us different, so that from such diversity, the Holy Spirit itself, who gave us diversity as a gift, will reward us with multifaceted unity. Nothing is farther away from the hegemony of a globalizing project, that homogenizes and eliminates diversity, and from the dominion of an atomizing and depersonalizing relativism. This must also be read in an inverse sense: How can I dialogue, how can I love, how can I build something in common without letting my contribution dilute, get lost, disappear? Globalization – as a unidirectional imposition that uniforms values – practices and advertises, it goes hand in hand with integration understood as a cultural, intellectual, and spiritual imitation and subordination. Hence, which is the road? It is neither the way pointed by the prophets of relativistic isolation, local hermits in a global world, nor that way pointed by the brainless and mimetic passengers of the last car of the train, admiring the fireworks of the world (of others) in awe and programmed applauses. The dynamic of the world is richer and more complex. The peoples, when joining the global dialogue, contribute the values of their culture and must defend them from any boundless absorption or “laboratory synthesis” that will dilute them into “the common,” “the global”; and – when contributing with these values – they receive from other peoples, with the same respect and dignity, the cultures belonging to them. One cannot include in this sharing an illegal eclecticism because, in that case, the values of a people are uprooted from the fertile land that gave them and maintains their being to mix in a sort of market of curiosities where “everything is the same, go on… because we will find each other in the oven over there.”


The current process of globalization aggressively strips our antinomies: a progress of the economic power and language that goes with it, that – in a disproportionate interest and use – has monopolized large fields of national life; while – as a counterpart – the majority of our men and women see the danger of losing in practice their self-esteem, their deepest sense, their humanity, and the possibility of accessing a more worthy life. John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America refers to the negative aspect of this globalization, saying: “… if globalization is ruled merely by laws of the market applied to suit the powerful, the consequences cannot but be negative… the absolutizing of the economy,

H 261


unemployment, the reduction and deterioration of public services, the destruction of the environment and natural resources, the growing distance between rich and poor, and the unfair competition which puts the poor nations in a situation of an ever increasing inferiority…” (nr. 20). Together with these issues, already set forth in the international area, we also find ourselves with a certain incapacity to face actual problems. Therefore, it would seem that to face the exhaustion and disillusionment one can only offer heated and vindictive proposals or dogmas that only announce principles and increase the primacy of the formal over the real. Or worse still, an increasing distrust and loss of interest for any commitment with the common proper that ends by “only wanting to live the moment,” with the urgency of consumerism. This attitude encourages certain valuation ingenuousness. And we are living an historical moment in which we cannot allow ourselves to be candid: the shadow of a cloud of social upheaval is looming in the horizon while different interest groups play their game, unaware of everybody’s needs. The primacy of the formal over the real is functionally anesthetic. One can even live in a state of “joyful stupidity” in which the prophecy rooted in the real cannot enter; society lives the complexity of Cassandra.

Remember the road in order to open spaces for the future We return to the historical nucleus of our beginnings, not to exercise formal nostalgias, but searching for a trace of hope. We remember the road walked in order to open spaces for the future. As our faith teaches us, from the memory of plenitude one can visualize new roads. When memory is not open to the future it is a mere reminiscence that, if it encompasses the environment, can trap us in a Proustian nebula. If, otherwise, we intellectualize it, it becomes a breeding ground for all sorts of fundamentalism. Memory always carries the dimension of a promise that projects it towards the future. When in the present, we remember, then we assert the truth of our belonging to a people that walks, and – at the same time – the projection forward of such road. Facing the crisis, it is once again necessary to ask ourselves the basic question: What is that which we call a “social bond” based upon? That which we say is at serious risk of being lost, what is it, finally? What “links” me, what “bonds” me to other people in a certain place, to the point of sharing the same destiny? Allow me to put forward an answer: it is a matter of ethics. The foundation of the relationship between the moral and the social is

H 262

ÂŤThe fall of certainty: many of the basic certainties that serve as a foundation for historical construction have become diluted, fallen, or worn down. The fatherland, the revolution, even solidarity tend to be seen with curiosity, mockery, or skepticism. The loss of certainty also undermines the foundations of the person, the family, and the faith. This fall of certainty, the loss of references, is of global character, it occurs at the world level, and constitutes a new certainty of contemporary thought.Âť (Work of William Blake).

exactly in that space (so elusive) in which man is man in society, a political animal, as Aristotle would say and as well as all the classical republican tradition. This social nature of man is what lays the foundation of the possibility of a contract between free individuals, as proposed by the democratic tradition (a vision opposed so many times, as shown by numerous confrontations in our history). Hence, to present the crisis as a moral issue will presuppose the need to refer again to universal human values that God has sown in the heart of man and that steadily ripen with personal and communal growth. When we, the Bishops, repeat, once and again, that the crisis is fundamentally moral, it is not a matter of wielding a cheap morality, a reduction of the political, social and economic question to an individual matter of conscience, but to point out the collective valua-

H 263

RELIGION, CULTURE Selected paragraphs from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s presentation at the Assembly of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate. In the Religious Order The rupture in the transmission of the Christian faith between generations among the Catholic people. We assert the validity of Catholic popular piety as a live form of the inculturation and communication of the faith, but in the last decades we have observed a certain misidentification of the Catholic tradition, the lack of its transmission to the new generations, and the exodus to other communities (in the poorer ones towards Pentecostal evangelism and some new sects) and experiences (in the middle and upper classes towards alternative spiritual life experiences) far from the sense of the Church and it social commitment. Some causes are the crisis of family dialogue, the influence of the media, the relativistic subjectivism, the consumerism of the market, the lack of pastoral company to the poorer, and our difficulty to recreate the mystical adhesion to faith in a pluralistic religious setting; the diagnosis of Puebla becomes worse: the faith and popular religion are in a “condition of urgency,” submitted to a “decisive crisis” (DP, 460). One must generate the greater fervor of the disciples and apostles that will shoulder our religious sensibility and find new roads to communicate the faith. In all the culture The crisis of the family and social bonds which are the foundations of a people. There is a reserve of religious, ethical, and cultural values in our people, but postmodern and globalized individualism favors a life style that weakens the development and stability of the bonds between individuals that form communities and the communities formed by people. This is evident in family conflicts, the upheaval of the nation, and the disintegration of the continent. Pastoral action must reveal that the relationship with our Father requires the development of the union among brothers. Within this order, the nucleus of the evangelical content (cf. NMA, 50-51) seeks to strengthen a higher communion with the Trinity in the Spirit of Christ that will heal, promote, and strengthen the personal bonds in new expressions of love, friendship, and communion at the familial, social, and ecclesial level. Here is where both the need for an intense ecclesiastical communion ad intra is required to encourage the renewed diocesan and organically national pastoral, as well as the demand of an ad extra service for the communion of the Church to encourage a higher Latin American integration. tions that have been expressed in attitudes, actions and processes of historical-political and social type. To summarize what has recently been said, one can assert that the union of the people is based on three pillars that form their relationship with the times and that are in dialectical tension amongst them. First, the memory of its roots. A people that does not have a memory of its roots and that continuously imports programs of survival, of action, of growth from somewhere else, is losing one of the major pillars of its identity as a people.

H 264

Third, capturing the reality of the present. A people that does not know how to analyze the reality in which they are living, atomizes and fragments. Individual interests have priority over common interests, the common good. Then they are divided into the various private interests that arise from a bad analysis of the reality in which they are living. The analysis of reality does not have to be an ideological analysis where I project a held position over reality, but to see the reality just as it is and then take it from there. Someone once said that reality is better seen from the periphery than from the center, and that is true. That is to say, we are not going to understand the truth of what is happening to us as a people, and therefore we will not be able to build up in the present the courage for the future with the memory of our roots, if we do not come out of the state of “installation in the center,” of reticence, torpidity, and do not become involved in the peripheral and the marginal.

II. THE UTOPIA OF REFOUNDING OUR SOCIAL BONDS I was saying that, in face of our uprooting, one must re-gather our essential roots to build the future from the present, a present propelled towards the future by the promise of memory, which turns it into a present of continuous tension between the center and the periphery.

Pope Francis

Second, the courage to face the future. A people without courage is a population easily dominated, submissive in the bad sense of the word. When a population does not have courage it becomes submissive to the empires which are in power, or the fashions either cultural, political, or economic in turn, anything that dominates and prevents growing in plurality.


To revitalize the woof and warp of society. (…) We cannot walk without knowing towards where we are heading. It is a crime to deprive a people from utopia, because it also leads us to deprive people from hope. A utopia implies knowing where each one wishes to go. Facing bad globalization, which is paralyzing, one must determine utopia, reformulate it, and recover it. When there is no utopia, the most important is what is the immediately relevant, and we remain in a utilitarian action, or in devolution. When devolution precedes, every social and political action turns against the subject itself, and annuls the building of the common good. The true utopia is not ideological, but is already in germ in the foundational roots. It must grow from there.

H 265

To rebuild the sense of community implies breaking from the logic of competitive individualism, through the ethics of solidarity. The ethics of competition (which is no more than a utilization of reason in order to justify force, and that contributes in breaking social bonds) is fully in force in our society. What is the foundation of what we call “the social bond”? What “links” me, what “ties” me to other people in a certain place, up to the point of sharing the same destiny? How can we set up our social bonds again?


The value that we have to create is not only behind us, in the “origin,” but also ahead of us, in the project. The dignity of the son of God is in the origin, the vocation, the call to create a project that is already sprouting. The idea is to “to put the end at the beginning” (an idea fundamentally Biblical and Christian). The direction that we give to our living together will have to do with the kind of society that we wish to form: it is the telos. There is a clue of this in the disposition of a people. We do not mean to ignore the biological, psychological, and psycho-social elements that have an influence in the field of our decisions. We cannot avoid developing (in the negative sense the limitations, conditioning, dead weight, but also in the positive sense of carrying, incorporating, adding, integrating) with the inheritance received, the behaviors, preferences, and values that have been building throughout time. But a Christian perspective (and this is one of the contributions of Christianity to humankind in the whole) knows how to value “all that has been given,” what is already in man, and it cannot be in any other way than what springs up from his freedom, his openness to new things, finally, from his spirit as transcendent dimension, always according to the virtuality of “what has been given.” The common will is put at stake and is carried out concretely in time and space: in an actual community sharing a land; putting forward common objectives; building a proper way of being human to cultivate numerous bonds together, throughout so many shared experiences, preferences, decisions and events. Thus a common ethic is needed and the openness towards a destiny of plenitude that defines man as a spiritual being. That common ethics, that “moral dimension” is what allows a multitude to develop together, without turning into enemies against one another. Let us think of a pilgrimage: leaving from the same place and heading

H 266

Now, let us synthesize this idea. What makes that many individuals form a people? In the first place, there is a natural law and then an inheritance. In the second place, there is a psychological factor: man becomes man in communication, the relationship in charity with his fellow men, through the word and love. And, in the third place, these biological and psychological factors are developed, they are really at stake, in the free attitudes, in the will to establish a relationship with others, to build a life with our fellow men with an array of shared preferences and practices. (St. Augustine defines the people as “a group of rational beings associated by an agreed community of loved objects”). The “natural” grows turning into “cultural,” “ethical”; the social instinct acquires human form in the free choice of being “us.” A choice that, as every human action, tends thereafter to become a “habit” (in the best sense of the word) and to generate an established feeling and to produce historical institutions, up to the point in which each one of us comes into this world in the heart of a community already formed (the family, the fatherland), without denying, for that reason, the responsible freedom of each person. From here, we may progress in our reflection. We are interested in knowing where to support hope, from where we may start to build the social bonds that have been so penalized in these times. We must recover, creatively and in an organized manner, the leadership which we should have never renounced, therefore we cannot put our heads in the sand again, leaving the leaders to do what they please. And we cannot do this for two reasons: because we have already seen what happens when the political and economic powers detach themselves from the people, and because the reconstruction is not a task for a few, but for all (…).

Pope Francis

towards the same destiny allows the trail of people to stay as such, beyond the different rhythm or pace of each group or individual.


The culture of encounter In order to form our social bonds again, we must appeal to the ethics of solidarity, and generate a culture of encounter. In face of the culture of fragmentation – as some have wished to call it– or of non-integration, we are compelled, even more so in difficult times, not to favor those who intend to capitalize resentment, to forget our shared history, or who are very happy to weaken our bonds, manipulate the memory and market with cheap utopias.

H 267


«The loss of certainty places us in front of a serious socio-political challenge. This challenge, according to John Paul II, “is the risk of an alliance between democracy and ethical relativism, which would remove any sure moral reference point from political and social life, and on a deeper level make the acknowledgement of truth impossible. Indeed, if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”» (Veritatis Splendor 101; quote from Centesimus annus, 46)

For a culture of encounter we need to move from cultural refuges to the transcendence that founds; to build an integrating universality that respects differences; we also need to exercise fruitful dialogue in a shared project; the exercise of authority as a service for the development of the common project (common good); the opening of spaces for encounter and the rediscovery of the creative force of the religious within the life of humanity and its history, a rediscovery that has man as its referential center: • From cultural refuges to the founding transcendence . One will have to seek an anthropology that leaves aside any road of “return” conceived – more or less consciously – as a cultural shelter. Man tends by inertia to reconstruct what was yesterday. A culture that makes settlement a static and closed place does not stand.

H 268

• The exercise of dialogue is the most human way of communication. And one must establish in all fields a space of serious and constructive dialogue, not merely formal or distracting. An exchange that destroys prejudices and builds, to achieve a common aim, to share – and that carries with it the interaction of wills in favor of a common task or a shared project. We must not relinquish our ideas, utopias, properties, or rights, but let us only renounce the pretension that they should be unique or absolute. • The exercise of authority. Guidance is always necessary, but this means participating in the formality that gives cohesion to the body, not taking one’s own side, but putting oneself totally in the service of others. In order to make visible the force that we all have within us, it is necessary that everyone –particularly those who have a high share of political and economic power, or any other type of influence – renounces to any interest that goes beyond the common good that brings us together; we must undertake with austere disposition and greatness, the mission that is imposed on us in this time. When authority is not a service, then guidance begins to turn to one’s own interest; one attacks the most opposing demagogical resources, the spaces of confrontation of ideas and projects are emptied, loyalties are bought, and one falls into a politics of contract without a project addressed to the common good.

Pope Francis

• Integrating universalism through the respect of differences. We must enter into this culture of globalization from the outlook of universality. Instead of being atoms that only acquire sense in the whole, we must integrate ourselves in a new vital organization of higher order that assumes what is ours, but without nullifying it. We incorporate ourselves in harmony, without relinquishing what is ours, to something that transcends us. And this cannot be done through a consensus that levels downwards, but through the road of dialogue, of the confrontation of ideas and the exercise of authority.


• The exercise of opening spaces of encounter. Riding on the back of superficiality and instant gratification (flowers that are not fruitful) there is a people with collective memory that does not renounce walking with nobility: communitarian efforts and undertakings, the growth of neighborhood initiatives, the thriving of so many movements of mutual assistance, are a sign of God in the upheaval of global participation, (…). To empower [these spaces of encounter] and protect them may, perhaps, become our principal mission.

H 269

• Openness to the committed, personal, and social religious experience. The religious is a creative force within the life of humanity and its history, an energy that invigorates each existence that opens up to such experience. How is it that, in so many fields, it is the new fashion to talk about all subjects and issues, but there is only one subject which is forbidden, a great outcast: God? The sphere of the layman is dangerously sliding down towards a militant laicism; just another god of the diffused theism-profane inundation proposed to us.


• The ordering point of view of a culture of encounter must be centered on man: beginning, subject, and end of all human activity. John Paul II says to us: “Human activity takes place within a culture and has a reciprocal relationship with it. For an adequate formation of a culture the involvement of the whole man is required, whereby he exercises his creativity, intelligence, and knowledge of the world and of people. Furthermore, he displays his capacity for self-control, personal sacrifice, solidarity and readiness to promote the common good. Thus, the first and most important task is accomplished within man’s heart. The way in which he is involved in building his own future depends on the understanding he has of himself and of his own destiny. It is on this level that the Church’s specific and decisive contribution to true culture is found.” (Cenesimus annus, 51).

Maturity and liberty As a final subject on “the utopia of re-founding our social bonds” there is a brief reflection on what maturity and liberty mean in this process, and how they must be conceived in the field of social and political reflection. Maturity is the capacity to use our freedom in a “sensible” and “judicious” way. In order to reach a point of maturity, that is, to be capable of making truly free and responsible decisions, one must have had (and must have been given), time. The judicious, mature man “thinks” before acting. “He takes his time.” How can we have the time “to think,” to dialogue, to exchange criteria, to build solid and responsible positions, when day after day we have to accept a style of thought that is made on the provisional, the superficial, and the incoherent? It is obvious that we cannot stop from being a part of the “information society” in which we live, but what we can do is to “take our time” to analyze, evaluate possibilities, visualize

H 270

In other words: freedom is not an end in itself, a black hole behind which there is nothing. It is ordered to the more plentiful life of the human being, of all of man and all men. It is guided by love, like an unconditional affirmation of life and the value of each and everyone (…). A mature personality, thus, is the one that has been able to insert his unique and unrepeatable character in the community of his fellow men. The difference is not enough: one must also recognize the similarity. We insist here on the requirement to build and rebuild the social and communal bonds that uncontrolled individualism has destroyed. A society, a people, a community, is not only the sum of individuals that do not interfere with each other. The negative definition of freedom that claims that freedom ends when it touches the limits of the other is left half finished. Why do I want a freedom that locks me in the cell of my individuality, and leaves others outside, that prevents me from opening the door and sharing with my neighbor? What kind of desirable society is one where everybody only enjoys his goods, and in which the other person is a potential enemy until he proves that he is not interested in anything of mine? It won’t be through the enthronement of individualism that a place will be given to a person’s rights. The highest right of a person is not only that nobody prevents him from carrying out his objectives, but that he actually achieves them. It is not enough to avoid injustice if one does not promote justice. It is not enough to protect children from negligence, abuse, and ill-treatment, if one does not educate young people for full and integral love of their future children, if one does not provide families with all kinds of resources that they need to carry out their essential mission, if the entire society is not rewarded with an attitude of acceptance and love for one and all of its members through the different means with which the State must contribute.

Pope Francis

consequences, exchange points of view, listen to other voices… and then go building, in this way, the discursive canvas on which one produces “judicious” decisions.


A mature person, a mature society, therefore, shall be one whose freedom is fully responsible through love. And that not only grows on the outskirts of the road. It implies investing much work, much patience, much sincerity, much humility, and much magnanimity. That is the road one must walk.

H 271

Bleib bei uns; denn es wird bald Abend, der Tag hat sich schon geneigt (Lk 24, 29) Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over (Lc 24, 29)

H 272

HUMANITAS Nยบ 4 pp. 272 - 317

ÂŤIt will take us long to assimilate his legacy entirely. Because, in order to teach the II Vatican Council to the Church and to the convulsed world which was addressed, the Divine Providence wished to join- in the middle of the change of the millennium- a prophetic Pope and a doctor pope, and mark with both a milestone inside the history, unrepeatable by human calculations or strategies.Âť

H 273

benedict XVi, tHe pope of modernity


he announcement which Benedict XVI made on Monday, February 11, 2013, astounded

the Church and the world. Preceded by the words “having examined over and over my conscience before God,” it revealed once again to the Church itself and to the entire world the magnitude of this personality who steered St. Peter’s vessel for the last eight years, and who earlier for two decades assisted his predecessor, John Paul II, in his magisterium. This announcement came with far more power than a “thunderbolt in a clear sky” – an expression used by the Dean of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, when receiving the pope’s resignation on behalf of the Church. An evident trait in Joseph Ratzinger has always been , in effect, his fidelity of conscience, most certainly understood by his master’s stamp, the Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, in accordance with God and coherent with both reason and truth. It is only in this Light, in the most radiant as well as in the most dramatic moments of his pontificate that he can be understood, as well as in his extensive service which begins with the university chair, spans through his participation as expert in the Vatican Council, his rule as Bishop of Bavaria and ends, previous to his pontificate, with his historic prefecture of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most important of the Roman dicasteries.

H 274

Unlike the previous resignation of St. Celestine V in the 13th century, the news of this new resignation travelled in no time, in a few seconds, more than once across the planet. The world had lost memory of such an event and it was not foreseeable even by his closest collaborators. But Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, whose thought and action reflected in everything his constant dialogue with God, has never given up his inner freedom born from that same dialogue, before any power or human circumstance. The responsibility of what he says and does is rooted there. It is consistent, therefore, that having reasoned over his condition he should then have expressed that “now, we trust the Church to the care of the Holy Shepherd, Jesus Christ.” The leading world authorities and, of course, also the Church authorities throughout the earth manifested at once – as we ourselves do, humbly and from the bottom of our heart – their gratefulness and respect to Benedict XVI, without omitting those who are lamenting because they will miss his voice so full of wisdom. They are quite right; even though, it is true, it will take us long to assimilate his legacy. For, in order to teach the Second Vatican Council to the church and to the convulsed world to which it was

H 275

entrusted, Providence has wished to bring together – in the concurrence of a change of millenium – a “prophet pope” and a “doctor pope,” embodying between them a historic milestone, unrepeatable by any reckoning or human strategy. It is valid to consider that the frame within which the announcement was made established an invitation for Christians to focus on prayer and, through God’s help, to safe-keep the communion of the Church, in hope and faith. It cannot be overlooked that in order to present his resignation to the Cardinals’ Consistory, Benedict XVI chose the day of the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, on a Monday which started Lent, a time for conversion and penance. According to this no one must have been surprised by the high spiritual climate felt between February 11 and 28, when the Vacant See (Sede Vacante) was declared. Meanwhile, as was to be foreseen, tons of press paper ink and innumerable hours of television broadcasting were and are still being spent all over the world in wishing to convince us Christians that with the resignation and the end of Benedict XVI’s pontificate – the Wojtyla-Ratzinger era supposedly now being over – the moment has come for the church to enter modernity (a term which is usually used to disguise simpler and attractive terms such as “renewal,” “transparency,” “functionality,” etc.). However, it is an obvious fact that the “modernity” which those voices claim for the church is not far distant from that which the media of the secular age conceive and vociferate, has nothing to do with the categories which strictly constitute them. Modernity, as one has heard since ones’ school days, is defined as man sustaining his raison d’être with a clarity of thought able to provide him with a balanced autonomy; that autonomy which, thinking of modern man, defends the human person as does, for example, the

H 276

bleib bei uns conciliar constitution “Gaudem et Spes” (n.35-36), while it warns that it is confused and lost when one understands it as a “disposing of everything without referring it to the Creator.” Now, at a time of utterly technical or technological discussion, people and things lose their value, the utilitarian mentality puts a price on everything – and modern reason yields to postmodern irrationality – paradoxically in the confusion of non-reason there rises a sweet and powerful voice which, for over half a century, constitutes itself in the strongest defense of authentic rationality, the pivot of modernity. Who can sincerely deny that since “Introduction to Christianity,” a book translated an endless number of times into the most varied languages, starting with the definitive sermon at Regensburg University in September 2006, until today, there is absolutely no contemporary thinker comparable to the theologian Joseph Ratzinger when it comes to explaining the importance and need to “broaden the reason” of modern man? It is not “praxis” but “logos” (reason) which precedes “ethos,” he said during an interview over twenty years ago (cf. “The heart of the problem,” in an interview by Jaime Antúnez in “Humanitas,” special issue Habemus Papam, May 2005). It is precisely what, in view of the whole world, he had the foresight to put into action. When the legacy of the last two popes is measured according to the scale of that reason, which is not reductive but extended to the transcendent horizons claimed by the human soul, the catholic church cannot be denied – enlightened by that magisterium which flows from the Second Vatican Council - the befitting title of forerunner of modernity. Benedict XVI has had a great deal to do in this move, a real crossing of the Red Sea. The way to Jerusalem which is about to be perceived will probably be a purifying march across the desert (cf. “How will the church display itself in the year 2000?” by Joseph Ratzinger (1969), in “Humanitas” Nº 59 (Spanish Edition), July-September 2010).


Translated by Juana Subercaseaux

H 277

H 278

February 8, 2013

It is Peter who speaks Three day before the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced his resignation as Pope in front of the College of Cardinals, he held a Lectio Divina with the seminarians of Rome. On that occasion he delivered a rich and impressive reflection on the destiny of those called to preside over the Catholic community, and also on the destiny of the Church and of every Christian. Using biblical expressions like an ancient author, the Pope described well with striking and true images “the tree of the Church” that does not die but “grows ever anew.” Benedict XVI knows – he has said it often and experiences it like every Christian – that though “the Church is dying because of the sins of men,” she is also “the tree of God” and carries with her the true lasting inheritance.

Your Eminence, Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, Dear Friends, Every year it gives me great joy to be here with you and to see so many young men bound for the priesthood who are attentive to the Lord’s voice, who want to follow this voice and seek the way to serve the Lord in our time. We have heard three verses from the First Letter of St. Peter (cf. 1:3-5). Before going into this text it seems to me important to be aware of the fact that it is Peter who is speaking. The first two words of the Letter are “Petrus apostolus” (cf. v.1): he speaks and he speaks to the Churches in Asia and calls the faithful “chosen,” and “exiles of the Dispersion” (ibid.). Let us reflect a little on this. Peter is speaking and – as we hear at the end of the Letter – he is speaking from Rome, which he called “Babylon” (cf. 5:13). Peter speaks as if it were a first encyclical with which the first Apostle, Vicar of Christ, addresses the Church of all time. Peter, an apostle: thus the one who is speaking is the one who found the Messiah in Jesus Christ, who was the first to speak on behalf of the future Church: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (cf. Mt. 16:16). The one who introduced us to this faith is speaking, the one to whom the Lord said: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (cf. Mt. 16:19), to whom he entrusted his flock after the Resurrection, saying to him three times: “Feed my lambs...Tend my sheep” (cf. Jn. 21:15-17). And it is also the man who fell who is

H 279

speaking, the man who denied Jesus three times and was granted the grace to see Jesus’ look, to feel deeply moved in his heart and to find forgiveness and a renewal of his mission. However, above all it is important that this man, full of passion, full of longing for God, full of a desire for the Kingdom of God, for the Messiah, this man who has found Jesus, the Lord and the Messiah, is also the man who sinned, who fell; and yet he remained in God’s sight and in this way he remained responsible for the Lord’s Church, he remained the one assigned by Christ, he remained the messenger of Christ’s love. Peter the Apostle is speaking but the exegetes tell us: it is impossible for this Letter to have been written by Peter because the Greek is so good that it cannot be the Greek of a fisherman from the Sea of Galilee. And it is not only the language – the syntax is excellent – but also the thought which is already quite mature, there are actual formulas in which the faith and the reflection of the Church are summed up. These exegetes say, therefore: it had already reached a degree of development that cannot be Peter’s. How does one respond? There are two important positions: first, Peter himself – that is, the Letter – gives us a clue, for at the end of the writing he says I write to you: “By Silvanus... dia Silvanus.” This “by” [dia] could mean various things. It may mean that he [Silvanus] brings or transmits; it may mean that Silvanus helped him write it; it may mean that in practice it was really Silvanus who wrote it. In any case, we may conclude that the Letter itself points out to us that Peter was not alone in writing this Letter but it expresses the faith of a Church, which is already on a journey of faith, a faith increasingly mature. He does not write alone, as an isolated individual; he writes with the assistance of the Church, of people who help him to deepen the faith, to enter into the depths of his thought, of his rationality, of his profundity. And this is very important: Peter is not speaking as an individual, he is speaking ex persona Ecclesiae, he is speaking as a man of the Church, as an individual of course, with his personal responsibility, but also as a person who speaks on behalf of the Church; not only private and original ideas, not as a 19th-century genius who wished to express only personal and original ideas that no one else could have expressed first. No. He does not speak as an individualistic genius, but speaks, precisely, in the communion of the Church. In the Apocalypse, in the initial vision of Christ, it is said that Christ’s voice is like the sound of many waters (cf. Rev. 1:15). This means: Christ’s voice gathers together all the waters of the world, bears within it all the living waters that give life to the world; he is a Person, but this is the very greatness of the Lord, that he bears within him all the rivers of the Old Testament, indeed, of the wisdom of peoples. And what is said of the Lord also applies here, in a different way, to the Apostle. This does not mean to say a word that is his alone, but one that really contains the waters of faith, the waters of the whole Church, and in this very way gives fertility, gives fecundity. Thus it is a personal witness which is open to the Lord and thereby becomes open and broad. So this is very important.

H 280

I would like to say something more: St. Peter writes from Rome. This is important. Here we already have the Bishop of Rome, we have the beginning of Succession, we already have the beginning of the actual Primacy located in Rome, not only granted by the Lord but placed here, in this city, in this world capital. How did Peter come to Rome? This is a serious question. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after his escape from Herod’s prison, he went to another place (cf. 12:17) – eis eteron topon – where he went is not known; some say to Antioch, others, to Rome. In any case, in this capital it should also be said that before fleeing he entrusted the Judaeo-Christian Church, the Church of Jerusalem, to James, and in entrusting her to James he nevertheless remained Primate of the universal Church, of the Church of the Gentiles but also of the Judaeo-Christian Church. And here in Rome he found a great Judaeo-Christian community. The liturgists tell us that in the Roman Canon there are traces of a characteristically Judaeo-Christian language. Thus we see that in Rome both parts of the Church were to be found: the Judaeo-Christian and the pagan-Christian, united, an expression of the universal Church. And for Peter, moving from Jerusalem to Rome meant moving to the universality of the Church, moving to the Church of the Gentiles and of all the epochs, to the Church that also still belongs to the Jews. And I think that in going to Rome, St. Peter not only thought of this transfer: Jerusalem/Rome, Judaeo-Christian Church/universal Church. He certainly also remembered Jesus’ last words to him, recorded by St. John: “when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go” (cf. Jn 21:18). It is a prophecy of the crucifixion. Philologists show us that “stretch out your hands” is a precise, technical expression for the crucifixion. St. Peter knew that his end would be martyrdom, would be the cross: that it would therefore be following Christ completely. Consequently, in going to Rome there is no doubt that he was also going to martyrdom: martyrdom awaited him in Babylon. The primacy, therefore, has this content of universality but it has a martyrological content as well. Furthermore, Rome had been a place of martyrdom from the outset. In going to Rome, Peter once again accepts this word of the Lord: he heads for the cross and invites us too to accept the martyrological aspect of Christianity, which may have very different forms. And the cross may have very different forms, but no one can be Christian without following the Crucified One, without accepting the martyrological moment too.

bleib bei uns

Then I think it is important that in the conclusion of the Letter Silvanus and Mark are mentioned, two people who were also friends of St. Paul. So it is that through this conclusion the worlds of St. Peter and St Paul converge: there is no exclusive Petrine theology as against a Pauline theology, but a theology of the Church, of the faith of the Church, in which there is – of cours – a diversity of temperament, of thought, of style, between the manner of speaking of Paul and that of Peter. It is right that these differences should also exist today. There are different charisms, different temperaments, yet they are not in conflict but are united in the common faith.

H 281

After these words about the author, a brief word too about the people to whom the Letter was written. I have already said that St. Peter describes those to whom he wrote with the words: “eklektois parepidemois,” “to the chosen who are exiles of the Dispersion” (cf. 1 Pt. 1:1). Once again we have this paradox of glory and of the cross: chosen, but exiles and foreigners. Chosen: this was Israel’s title of glory: we are the chosen ones, God chose this small people not because it was more in number – Deuteronomy says – but because he loves it (cf. 7:7-8). We are chosen: St. Peter now transfers this to all the baptized and the very content of the first chapters of his First Letter is that the baptized are admitted to the privileges of Israel, they are the new Israel. Chosen: I think it is worth reflecting on this word. We are chosen. God has always known us, even before our birth, before our conception; God wanted me as a Christian, as a Catholic, he wanted me as a priest. God thought of me, he sought me among millions, among a great many, he saw me and he chose me. It was not for my merits, which were non-existent, but out of his goodness; he wanted me to be a messenger of his choice, which is also always a mission, above all a mission, and a responsibility for others. Chosen: we must be grateful and joyful for this event. God thought of me, he chose me as a Catholic, me, as a messenger of his Gospel, as a priest. In my opinion it is worth reflecting several times on this and coming back to this fact of his choice; he chose me, he wanted me; now I am responding. Perhaps today we are tempted to say: we do not want to rejoice at having been chosen, for this would be triumphalism. It would be triumphalism to think that God had chosen me because I was so important. This would really be erroneous triumphalism. However, being glad because God wanted me is not triumphalism. Rather, it is gratitude and I think we should re-learn this joy: God wanted me to be born in this way, into a Catholic family, he wanted me to know Jesus from the first. What a gift to be wanted by God so that I could know his face, so that I could know Jesus Christ, the human face of God, the human history of God in this world! Being joyful because he has chosen me to be a Catholic, to be in this Church of his, where subsistit Ecclesia unica; we should rejoice because God has given me this grace, this beauty of knowing the fullness of God’s truth, the joy of his love. Chosen: a word of privilege and at the same time of humility. However “chosen” – as I said – is accompanied by the word “parepidemois,” exiles, foreigners. As Christians we are dispersed and we are foreigners: we see that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today, because it does not conform, because it is a stimulus, because it opposes the tendencies to selfishness, to materialism and to all these things. Christians are certainly not only foreigners; we are also Christian nations, we are proud of having contributed to the formation of culture; there is a healthy patriotism, a healthy joy of belonging to a nation that has a great history of cul-

H 282

bleib bei uns

ture and of faith. Yet, as Christians, we are always also foreigners – the destiny of Abraham, described in the Letter to the Hebrews. As Christians we are, even today, also always foreigners. In the work place Christians are a minority, they find themselves in an extraneous situation; it is surprising that a person today can still believe and live like this. This is also part of our life: it is a form of being with the Crucified Christ; this being foreigners, not living in the way that everyone else lives, but living – or at least seeking to live – in accordance with his Word, very differently from what everyone says. And it is precisely this that is characteristic of Christians. They all say: “But everyone does this, why don’t I?” No, I don’t, because I want to live in accordance with God. St. Augustine once said: “Christians are those who do not have their roots below, like trees, but have their roots above, and they do not live this gravity in the natural downwards gravitation.” Let us pray the Lord that he help us to accept this mission of living as exiles, as a minority, in a certain sense, of living as foreigners and yet being responsible for others and, in this way, reinforcing the goodness in our world. Lastly let us come to the three verses of today. I would only like to stress or, let us say, briefly interpret, as far as I can, three terms: the term “born anew,” the term “inheritance,” and the term “guarded through faith.” Born anew – anaghennesas, the Greek text says – means that being Christian is not merely a decision of my will, an idea of mine; I see there is a group I like, I join this group, I share their aims, etc. No. Being Christian does not mean entering a group to do something, it is not only an act of my will, not primarily of my will, of my reason. It is an act of God. Born anew does not solely concern the sphere of the will or of thought, but the sphere of being. I am reborn: this means that becoming Christian is first of all passive; I cannot make myself Christian, but I am caused to be reborn, I am remade by the Lord in the depths of my being. And I enter into this process of rebirth, I let myself be transformed, renewed, reborn. This seems to me very important: as a Christian I do not just form an idea of my own that I share with a few others and if I do not like them any more I can leave. No: it concerns the very depths of being, namely, becoming a Christian begins with an action of God, above all with an action of his, and I let myself be formed and transformed. I think that a topic for reflection, especially in a year in which we are reflecting on the sacraments of Christian Initiation, is the meditation on this: this passive and active depth of being born anew, of becoming one with Christian life, of letting myself be transformed by his Word, for the communion of the Church, for the life of the Church, for the signs with which the Lord works in me, works with me and for me. And being reborn, being born anew, also means that I thereby enter a new family: God, my Father, the Church, my mother, other Christians, my brothers and sisters. Being born anew, letting ourselves be born anew, therefore involves deliberately letting ourselves be incorporated into this family, living for God the Father and by God the Father, living by communion

H 283

with Christ his Son who causes me to be born anew through his Resurrection, as the Letter says (cf. 1 Pet. 1:3), living with the Church, letting myself be formed by the Church in so many ways, in so many processes, and being open to my brethren, really recognizing others as my brothers and sisters, who are born anew with me, transformed, renewed; each is responsible for the other, hence a responsibility of Baptism which is a life-long process of the whole of life. The second term: inheritance. It is a very important word in the Old Testament, where Abraham is told that his seed will inherit the earth, and this was always the promise for his descendants. You will have the earth, you will be heirs of the earth. In the New Testament, this word becomes a word for us; we are heirs, not of a specific country, but of the land of God, of the future of God. Inheritance is something of the future, and thus this word tells us above all that as Christians we have a future, the future is ours, the future is God’s. Thus, being Christians, we know that the future is ours and the tree of the Church is not a tree that is dying but a tree that constantly puts out new shoots. Therefore we have a reason not to let ourselves be upset, as Pope John said, by the prophets of doom who say: well, the Church is a tree that grew from the mustard seed, grew for two thousand years, now she has time behind her, it is now time for her to die. No. The Church is ever renewed, she is always reborn. The future belongs to us. Of course, there is a false optimism and a false pessimism. A false pessimism tells us that the epoch of Christianity is over. No: it is beginning again! The false optimism was the post-Council optimism, when convents closed, seminaries closed and they said “but... nothing, everything is fine!�.... No! Everything is not fine. There are also serious, dangerous omissions and we have to recognize with healthy realism that in this way things are not all right, it is not all right when errors are made. However, we must also be certain at the same time that if, here and there, the Church is dying because of the sins of men and women, because of

H 284

And, lastly, “guarded through faith.” The New Testament text, from the Letter of St. Peter, uses a rare word here, phrouroumenoi, which means: there are the “guards,” and faith is like the guards who preserve the integrity of my being, of my faith. This word interprets in particular “the guards” at the gates of a city, where they stand and keep watch over the city so that it is not invaded by destructive powers. Thus faith is a “guard” of my being, of my life, of my inheritance. We must be grateful for this vigilance of faith that protects us, helps us, guides us, gives us security: God does not let me fall from his hands: Safeguarded by faith: I’ll end with this. Speaking of faith I must always think of that sick woman among the crowd who, gaining access to Jesus, touched him in order to be healed and was healed. The Lord said: “Who touched my garments?” They said to him: “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘who touched me?’” (cf. Mk. 5:25-34, 7:27-30). But the Lord knows there is a way of touching him that is superficial, external, that really has nothing to do with a true encounter with him. And there is a way of touching him profoundly. And this woman truly touched him: she did not only touch him with her hand, but with her heart and thus received Christ’s healing power, truly touching him from within, from faith. This is faith: touching Christ with the hand of faith, with our heart, and thus entering into the power of his life, into the healing power of the Lord. And let us pray the Lord that we may touch him more and more, so as to be healed. Let us pray that he will not let us fall, that he too may take us by the hand and thus preserve us for true life. Many thanks.

bleib bei uns

their non-belief, at the same time she is reborn. The future really belongs to God: this is the great certainty of our life, the great, true optimism that we know. The Church is the tree of God that lives forever and bears within her eternity and the true inheritance: eternal life.

(Visit to the Pontifical Major Seminary on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Trust, February 8, 2013)

H 285

Declaratio / February 11, 2013


Fratres carissimi Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem.Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum. Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse. Fratres carissimi, ex toto corde gratias ago vobis pro omni amore et labore, quo mecum pondus ministerii mei portastis et veniam peto pro omnibus defectibus meis. Nunc autem Sanctam Dei Ecclesiam curae Summi eius Pastoris, Domini nostri Iesu Christi confidimus sanctamque eius Matrem Mariam imploramus, ut patribus Cardinalibus in eligendo novo Summo Pontifice materna sua bonitate assistat. Quod ad me attinet etiam in futuro vita orationi dedicata Sanctae Ecclesiae Dei toto ex corde servire velim. Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die 10 mensis februarii MMXII BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

H 288

English translation of thE official tExt of thE rEsignation of BEnEdict xVi

February 11, 2013

Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on April 19, 2005, in such a way, that as from February 28, 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer. From the Vatican, February 10, 2013 BENEDICT PP. XVI

H 289

Dean of the College of Cardinals, after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Statement made by Cardinal Angelo Sodano during the Consistory on February 11, 2013. We listened to you with a sense of loss, almost in total disbelief. In your words we noticed the great affection that you have always had for the Holy Church of God, for this Church that you loved so much. Now allow me to tell you, in the name of this apostolic cenacle – the College of Cardinals – on behalf of these your dear colleagues, let me tell you that we are closer to you than ever, as we have been in these eight luminous years of your pontificate. On April 19, 2005, if I remember correctly, at the end of the Conclave I asked you, with trembling voice, “Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?” And you did not take long – albeit with trepidation – to respond by saying that you accepted, trusting in the Lord and in the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church. Like Mary, that day you gave your “yes” and thus began your luminous pontificate following in continuity, that continuity of which you have spoken to us so much in the history of the Church, in continuity with your 265 predecessors in the Chair of Peter, in the course of two thousand years of history, from the Apostle Peter, the humble fisherman of Galilee, up to the great popes of the last century, from St. Pius X to Blessed John Paul II. ... Holy Father, before February 28, as you said, the day you wish to put the word ‘fine’ over your pontifical service, performed with so much love, with humility, before February 28, we will have the opportunity to better express our feelings; as will many pastors and faithful throughout the world, as will so many people of good will along with the authorities of many countries. Then, in this month, too, we will have the joy of hearing your voice as shepherd on Ash Wednesday, then on Thursday, with the clergy of Rome, in the Angelus of these Sundays, at the Wednesday audiences; there will thus be many opportunities still to hear your fatherly voice ... Your mission, however, will continue: you have said that you will always be close to us with your testimony and your prayer. Of course, the stars in the sky shine forever and so there will always shine in our midst the star of your pontificate.

We are close to you, Holy Father, and bless us.

H 290

February 13, 2013

Farwell address made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State To the Holy Father Benedict XVI at the end of Ash Wednesday Mass. Most Holy Father, With feelings of great emotion and profound respect, not only the Church, but the whole world, has heard the news of your decision to give up the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Apostle Peter. We would not be honest, Your Holiness, if we said that this evening there is not a hint of sadness in our hearts. In recent years, your teaching has been a window open onto the Church and the world, which let in the rays of truth and love of God, to enlighten and warm our journey, even and especially at times when clouds gathered in the sky. All of us have realized that it is precisely the deep love that Your Holiness has for God and the Church that prompted you to make this act, revealing that purity of mind, that strong and demanding faith, that strength of humility and meekness, along with great courage, that have marked every step of your life and your ministry, and that can only come from being with God, from standing in the light of the word of God, from continuously going up the mountain of encounter with Him to descend again into the City of men. Holy Father, a few days ago with the seminarians of your Diocese of Rome, you said that as Christians we know that the future is ours, the future belongs to God, and that the tree of the Church grows ever anew. The Church is always renewed, always reborn. Serving the Church in the firm knowledge that it is not ours, but God’s, that it is not we who build it but He; being able to say in truth: “We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty “(Lk. 17:10), trusting completely in the Lord, is a great lesson that you, also with this difficult decision, have given not only to us, the Pastors of the Church, but to the entire People of God. The Eucharist is a thanksgiving to God. Tonight, we want to thank the Lord for the path that the whole Church has walked under the guidance of Your Holiness and we want to tell you from the depths of our heart, with great affection, emotion, and admiration: thank you for giving us the shining example of a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord, a worker, however, who knew at all times how to do that which is most important: to bring God to men and to bring men to God. (Vatican, February 13, 2013)

H 291

February 27, 2013

Final General Audience in St. Peter’s Square The sun shined brightly in Vatican City after several days of rain while Pope Benedict XVI greeted an estimated 150,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the final General Audience of his pontificate. Amid shouts of “Benedetto” (Benedict) and “Viva il Papa” (Long live the Pope), the Holy Father circled St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile, as the crowds waved and tried to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff in his last public talk before he officially resigns from the papacy tomorrow. The Pope expressed his heartfelt thanks to the faithful, stating that through their presence, he could see that “the Church is alive.” Reminiscing on the start of his pontificate, Pope Benedict said that he felt great trust knowing that the truth of the Gospel is the strength of the Church. “This is my trust, this is my joy,” the Pope said. “When, on April 19 almost eight years ago, I agreed to take on the Petrine ministry, I felt this certainty firmly, and it has always accompanied me. At that moment, as I have already stated several times, the words that resounded in my heart were: Lord, why are you asking this of me and what are you asking of me? It is a great weight you are placing on my shoulders, but if this is what

H 292

bleib bei uns

You ask, at your word I will let down the nets, confident that You will guide me, even with my weaknesses. And eight years later I can say that the Lord has truly guided me.” The Holy Father compared the moments of his pontificate to the experience of St. Peter and the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee, stating that while the Lord had given many days of sunshine and gentle breezes, “there were also times when the water was rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church, and the Lord seemed to sleep.” “But I always knew that the Lord is in the boat, and I always knew that the boat of the Church is not mine, not ours, but it is His. And He will not let her sink, it is He who leads it, certainly also through the men he has chosen, because so He has willed it. This was and is a certainty, that nothing can obscure. And that is why today my heart is filled with gratitude to God because He has never left me or the Church without His consolation, His light, His love,” the Holy Father said. Throughout the audience, many of the faithful, including many of the cardinals, shed tears. The Pope thanked the Cardinals, particularly Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as well as the members of the Roman Curia, saying that “they have been a solid and reliable support for” him. Commenting on his resignation, Pope Benedict said that upon feeling his strength was decreasing, he asked God “to make me take the right decision not for my sake, but for the good of the Church.” “I have taken this step in full awareness of its seriousness and also its novelty, but with profound peace of mind. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make tough choices, difficult ones, having always before oneself the good of the Church and not oneself,” the Pope said. The Supreme Pontiff said that he had experienced that one can receive life when it is given. Speaking on life after his resignation goes into effect, the Pope stated that he could not return to a private life, nor spend his time travelling or attending meetings and conferences. “I am not abandoning the cross,” he said, “but remain in a new way with the Crucified Lord. I no longer carry the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter’s bounds.” “St. Benedict,” he continued, “whose name I bear as Pope, will be for me a great example in this. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.” Pope Benedict thanked the faithful present for their “respect and understanding” in accepting his decision to resign from the Petrine ministry. Concluding the General Audience, Benedict XVI asked the faithful to remember him in their prayers before God and, above all, “to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to so important a task, and for the new Successor of Peter: may the Lord accompany him with the light and the power of his Spirit.”

H 293

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, address to the Holy Father on the last day of his Pontificate Your Holiness, With great trepidation the Cardinal Fathers present in Rome gather around you today, to once again express their deep affection and to express our heartfelt gratitude for your selfless witness of apostolic service, for the good of the Church of Christ and of all humanity. Last Saturday, at the end of the Spiritual Exercises in the Vatican, you thanked your collaborators in the Roman Curia, with these moving words: “My friends, I would like to thank all of you not only for this week but for these eight years, during which you have carried with me, with great skill, affection, love and faith, the weight of the Petrine ministry.” Beloved and revered Successor of Peter, it is we who must thank you for the example you have given us in the past eight years of your Pontificate. On April 19, 2005, you came to join the long line of successors of the Apostle Peter, and today, February 28, 2013, you prepare to leave us, waiting for the helm of the barque of Peter to pass into other hands. There shall thus continue that apostolic succession, which the Lord has promised to his Holy Church, until the voice of the Angel of the Apocalypse is heard on earth proclaiming: Tempus not erit amplius... consummabitur mysterium Dei”(Rev. 10:6-7). “There will be no more delay: the mystery of God will be fulfilled!” Thus shall end the history of the Church, together with the history of the world, with the advent of a new heaven and a new earth. Holy Father, with deep love we have tried to accompany you on your journey, reliving the experience of the disciples of Emmaus who, after walking with Jesus for a good stretch of road, said to one another: “Were not our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way?”(Lk. 24:32). Yes, Holy Father, know that our hearts, too, burned while we walked with you these past eight years. Today we want to once again express our gratitude to you. We repeat in chorus a typical expression of your dear native land: Vergelt’s Gott, may God reward you! (Clementine Hall, February 28, 2013)

H 294

Benedict XVI’s final address to the College of Cardinals Venerable and Dear Brothers, I welcome you with great joy and I offer each one of you my most cordial greeting. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano who, as always, interpreted the sentiments of the entire College: Cor ad cor loquitur [heart speaks to heart] I warmly thank you, Your Eminence. And I would like to say – taking up your reference to the disciples of Emmaus – that for me too it has been a joy to walk with you in these years, in the light of the presence of the Risen Lord. As I said yesterday to the thousands of faithful who filled St. Peter’s Square, your closeness and your advice have been of great help to me in my ministry. In these eight years we have lived with faith very beautiful moments of radiant light on the Church’s journey, as well as moments when several clouds gathered in the sky. We sought to serve Christ and his Church with profound and total love, which is the heart and soul of our ministry. We gave hope, the hope that comes to us from Christ, which alone can give light to us on our journey. Together we may thank the Lord who has enabled us to grow in communion and, together, pray him to help us to grow even more in this profound unity, so that the College of Cardinals may be like an orchestra where differences – an expression of the universal Church – contribute to a superior and harmonious concord.

H 295

I would like to leave you a simple thought, which is deep in my heart: a thought about the Church, about her mystery, that constitutes for us all – we can say – the reason and passion for life. I will allow a sentence of Romano Guardini to help me. It was written in the very same year that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution Lumen Gentium, in his last book, which was also a personal dedication to me – which makes the words of this book particularly dear to me. Guardini says the Church “is not an institution conceived and built in theory... but a living reality.... She lives through the course of time, in becoming, like every living being, in undergoing change.... And yet in her nature she remains ever the same and her heart is Christ.” It seems to me that this was our experience yesterday in the Square: seeing that the Church is a living body, enlivened by the Holy Spirit and which is really brought to life by God’s power. She is in the world but not of the world: she is of God, of Christ, of the Spirit. We saw this yesterday. That is why Guardini’s other famous saying is both true and eloquent: “The Church is reawakened in souls.” The Church is alive, she grows and is reawakened in souls who – like the Virgin Mary – welcome the Word of God and conceive it through the action of the Holy Spirit; they offer to God their own flesh. It is precisely in their poverty and humility that they become capable of begetting Christ in the world today. Through the Church, the Mystery of the Incarnation lives on forever. Christ continues to walk through the epochs and in all places. Let us stay united, dear Brothers, in this Mystery: in prayer, especially in the daily Eucharist, and in this way we shall serve the Church and the whole of humanity. This is our joy that no one can take from us. Before I say goodbye to each one of you personally, I would like to tell you that I shall continue to be close to you with my prayers, especially in these coming days, that you may be completely docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope. May the Lord show you the one whom he wants. And among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience. For this reason, with affection and gratitude, I cordially impart to you the Apostolic Blessing. (Clementine Hall, Thursday, February 28, 2013)

H 296

bleib bei uns

Last Words of Pope Benedict XVI pronounced from the balcony of Castel Gandolfo Thank you. Thank you all. Dear Friends, I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your kindness, which does me so much good. Thank you for your friendship and your affection. You know that this day is different for me from the preceding ones. I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still, thank you, I would still – with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength – like to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. I feel greatly supported by your kindness. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing. May Almighty God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!

(Central Loggia of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. Thursday, February 28, 2013)

H 297

Benedict XVI, the Sacred, and the Holy The painful decision of Benedict XVI to leave the pontificate has from the beginning been interpreted in several ways. One of them is the desacralizing version, according to which the Papacy would be turning into a position like any other, laicized, temporal, and with a functional aim. The Pope as “one of us.” Our Observatory has been warned about these interpretations; however, they have been much diffused, even inside the Church, and especially at its base, through diocesan seminaries. In recent days, a theologian has written: “After all, Christianity has desacralized religion: Jesus has closed the gap with men by becoming flesh. For us Christians greatness is holiness, not sacredness: sacredness, in opposition to holiness, indicates distance.” The Pope’s gesture has been viewed, then, as the abandonment of sacredness in order to move on to holiness. In my view, both the holy and the sacred are present in the life of the Church. Certainly people are, holy or not, not sacred. Every believer is called not to sacralise, but to sanctify, themselves. But this does not mean that the sacred does not exist too, as an objective source of grace to recourse to in order to become holy. Holy Scripture is sacred. Sacraments are sacred. The Eucharist is sacred. The sanctuary and the church as a place are sacred. Mary is certainly most holy, but she is also sacred because she is a living sanctuary. The Church is holy but also sacred as mystery. The priest can be more or less holy, but he is certainly sacred, just as the Consecration he performs at the altar. Our body has its sacredness because it is a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Pope and the bishops can be more or less holy as believers, but they are also sacred as successors of Peter and the Apostles. Christ has desacralized pagan religion insofar as He has opposed the sacralisation of myth and has taught to worship the Father “in spirit and truth.” He has become flesh, but He has not reduced Himself to flesh. He has become one of us, but He has not reduced Himself to one of us. He has presented Himself as the Temple and has said He may be worshiped outside the places meant for worship. However, He continues to let Himself be encountered in the sacrality of divine grace and in every sacred occasion in which the Church celebrates and announces Him. To speak of holiness by cutting off the bridges with the sacred, or even to present holiness as the anti-sacred, as the abandonment of the sacred, is a position which, in my opinion, involves many errors. It amounts to giving in to secularisation, which is often a desacralization and does not, because of it, lead to becoming holy. Coming back to Benedict XVI, he has wanted to go on living in the “premises of Saint Peter,” plainly considering it a sacred place. He said, using an image of the Gospels, that he wants to retire “to the mount,” which in the Bible is the

H 298

bleib bei uns

sacred place par excellence. He said he shall continue to accompany the Church in the sacredness of prayer. He hasn’t become “one of us”; he has not got rid of his white garment, nor has he retired to a private life. He is no longer the Pope, but he did not retire either. After this resignation, the Pope does not become an employee of the Vatican State, holy maybe, yet not sacred. Is the Papacy strong because it is human, as some newspaper headlined? No, thanks. The Papacy is strong because it is divine. STEFANO FONTANA

Director of the International Observatory Cardinal Van Thuan.

pEtEr sEEwald, who intErviEwEd BEnEdict xvi, spEaks

The end of the old and the beginning of the new

Our last meeting goes back to ten weeks ago. The Pope received me in the Apostolic Palace to continue with our conversations in order to work on his biography. His hearing was resented, he didn’t see well through his left eye. He didn’t look ill, but tiredness had taken hold of his entire person. In August, during the conversation we had at Castel Gandolfo that lasted an hour and a half, I asked him how the Vatileaks case had affected him. “I don’t let myself fall to universal despair or universal pain,” he answered me. I had never seen him so exhausted, almost prostrate. With his last strength of will he finished the third part of his work on Jesus, “My last book” he said to me with a sad look, when we said good-bye. While two years earlier, in spite of his first ailments which are common to his age, he still seemed agile, almost young, now he received every tray that arrived on his desk, from the State Secretariat, like a blow. “What must we still expect from Your Holiness, of your pontificate?” I asked him. “From me? Not much. I am an old man and my strength is abandoning me. I think I have done enough.” Do you intend to retire? “That depends on how my

H 299

physical strength will force me to that.” That same month he wrote to one of his PhD students that their next meeting would be the last. In 1992, when we met for the first time, it rained in Rome. The years tried him out severely. He was described as a persecutor, while it was he that was persecuted, the great inquisitor… However, nobody ever heard him complain. No one has ever heard a bad word coming out of his mouth, a negative comment about other people, not even about Hans Küng. Four years later we spent many days together to talk about the project of a book on faith, the Church, celibacy… My interlocutor did not walk around the room, as professors usually do. He didn’t have the slightest trace of vanity. His superiority impressed me. His thought did not question the times, and I was surprised to hear such relevant answers to the issues of our era, apparently almost unsolvable, taken from the great treasure of the Revelation. Joseph Ratzinger is the man of paradoxes: soft language and strong voice, meekness and severity. He thinks highly, but pays attention to detail. He embodies a new intelligence when recognizing and revealing the mysteries of faith, he is a theologian, but he defends the faith of the people against the religion of the professors… He is the small Pope that, with his pencil, has written great works. Nobody before him has left such an impressive work on Jesus for the people of God during his papacy Ratzinger never sought power. He withdrew from the game of intrigues in the Vatican. He always lived the modest life of a monk, luxury was strange to him. But let us go to the small things, frequently more eloquent than the great statements. I liked his pontifical style, I liked that his first action was a letter to the Hebrew community, I liked that he removed the tiara from of his coat of arms, a symbol of the worldly power of the Church… With Benedict XVI, for the first time, the man above has participated in the debate, without speaking downwards, but introducing that collegiality for which he fought in the Council. Correct me, he said, when he presented his book on Jesus. The abolition of the levee (hand kissing) was the most difficult to execute. Once he took the arm of an old student that bowed to kiss his ring and said to him: “Let’s behave normally”. Ratzinger is a man of tradition, who voluntarily trusts in what is consolidated, but he knows how to distinguish what is truly eternal from that which is valid only for the epoch in which it emerges. And if necessary, as in the case of the Tridentine mass he adds the old to the new, because together they do not reduce the liturgical space, but broaden it. He hasn’t done everything well, he has admitted mistakes, even those (such as the Williamson scandal) in which he had no responsibility. No failure has made him suffer more than the mistakes of his priests, although already as a Prefect he took measures that would allow him to discover the terrible abuses and punish the guilty.

H 300

bleib bei uns

Benedict XVI is leaving, but his legacy stays with us. The successor of this humble Pope will follow his steps. It will be a Pope with another charisma, with another style, but with the same mission, that is: not to encourage the centrifugal forces, but those that will keep the heritage of faith together, will infuse courage, will announce a message, and will give an authentic testimony. It is not by chance that the Pope chose Ash Wednesday for his last great liturgy. Look, he seems to say, it is here where I wanted to lead you from the very beginning. Cure yourselves from addiction, be quiet, free yourselves from anxiety, do not let yourselves be devoured by the spirit of the times, do not be secularized… Make the load lighter to increase the weight is the program of the Church of the future. Deprive yourself of the fat to gain vitality, spiritual freshness. “Are you the end of the old – I asked the Pope in our last meeting, or the beginning of the new?” The answer was: “Both things.”

By thE noBEl prizE winnEr mario varGas llosa

The highest expression of thought

“Benedict XVI is certainly one of the most intelligent and cultured popes that the Catholic Church has had in all her history. In an age when ideas and reasons matter much less than images and gestures, Joseph Ratzinger was already an anachronism, since he belonged to what is an especially conspicuous species on the way to extinction: the intellectual. He thought with depth and originality, based on his enormous theological, philosophical, historical and literary knowledge, gained in the many classical and modern languages that he had mastered, among them Latin, Greek and Hebrew. “Although his books were always conceived within the bounds of Christian Orthodoxy - but with a very broad horizon, his books and encyclicals often went beyond the strictly dogmatic, and contained novel and bold insights concerning moral, cultural and existential problems of our time that the non-believing readers could read fruitfully and, often – this has happened to me – with some discomfort. His three volumes dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth, his small autobiography, and his three encyclicals – especially the second one, Spe Salvi, of 2007 – devoted to the twofold nature of a science that can extraordinarily enrich human life but can also destroy and degrade it – contain a dialectical vigor and expositive elegance that stand out sharply among conventional and redundant texts, written for the convinced, that the Vatican has customarily produced, since a long time ago. “To Benedict XVI has fallen one of the most difficult periods that Christianity has ever faced in its more than two thousand year history. The secularization of society advances with great speed, especially in the West, the citadel of the Church until relatively few decades ago. This process has been aggravated by the great scandals of pedophilia in which hundreds of Catholic priests have been enmeshed”.

H 301


H 302


Joseph Ratzinger is elected Pope in less that 24 hours in the most numerous conclave of history – the Cardinals present were 115 – and he chooses the name of Benedict XVI.


The beginning of the solemn ministry of universal pastor of the Church.


Dispenses the terms prescribed for the inception of the beatification and canonization cause of John Paul II, who he personally beatifies thereafter, on May 1st, 2011.

MAY 14.

First beatifications with the reestablishment of the practice prior to 1971, according to which the Pope does not preside the beatification ceremonies – celebrated in general in the different dioceses – but only the ceremonies of canonization for the proclamation of new saints, that take place in Saint Peters on October 23, 2005, on October 15, 2006, on May 11, 2007 (exceptionally in Sao Paulo, Brazil) on June 3, 2007, on October 12, 2008, on April 26, 2009, on October 11, 2009, on October 17, 2010, on October 23, 2011, and on October 21, 2012.

MAY 29.

Visit to Bari, at the end of the 24th National Eucharistic Congress.

JUNE 24.

Official visit to the President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, at the Quirinal.

JUNE 28.

Motu Proprio for the approval and publication of the Compendium of the Cathecism of the Catholic Church.

AUGUST 28-21.

Travels to Cologne for the 20th World Youth Day.


Interview at the Polish State Television.


Meeting with the theologian Hans Küng.


Chairs the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The Eucharistic, source and epitome of the life and mission of the Church”, where, for the first time, the free debate is introduced on the basis of which the post-nodal apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum caritatis” is published (22nd February, 2007).

bleib bei uns


H 303


During Advent, first visit to a Roman parish. The others are held during the liturgical time of Lent and Advent, on the 26th of March and the 10th of December 2006, the 25 of March and the 16th of December 2007, the 24th of February and the 30th of November 2008, the 29th of March 2009, the 7th of March and 12th of December 2010, the 20th of March and the 11th of December 2011, the 4th of March and 16th of December, 2012.


Addresses the Roman Curia on the Vatican Council II.


Encyclical “Deus caritas est” on Christian love.

2006 MARCH 24.

First consistory for the creation of 15 Cardinals. Followed by other four consistories: on 24th November 2007 (creation of 23 Cardinals), the 20th of November 2010 (creates 24 Cardinals), on 18th February 2012 (creates 22 Cardinals) and the 24th of November 2012 (Creates 6 Cardinals). Visit to Bari, at the end of the 24th National Eucharistic Congress.

MAY 25-28.

Travels to Poland (Warsaw, Czestochowa, Cracow, Wadowice, Auschwitz, Birkenau)

JULY 8-9.

Travels to Valencia, Spain, for the Fifth World Meeting of Families.


Visit to Manoppello at Los Abruzos.


Travels to Baviera, (Munich, Altötting and Ratisbone, where the Pope gives a lectio magistralis at the University).


Visit to Verona for the Fourth National Assembly of the Italian Church.


H 304

Travels to Turkey (Ankara, Ephesus, Istanbul).

H 305

H 306


Publication of the first Volume of Jesus of Nazareth. The second Volume is published on March 10, 2011, and the third and last Volume, on November 21, 2012.

APRIL 21-22.

Visit to Vigevano and Pavia, where he prays before the relics of Saint Augustine.

MAY 9-14.

Travels to Brazil. On the 13 he opens the 5th General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate at Aparecida.

MAY 27.

Letter addressed to the Chinese Catholics.

JUNE 11.

Motu Proprio with which the traditional rule on the majority required for the election of the Pope is reestablished.

JUNE 17.

Visit to Assisi, Italy..

JULY 17.

Motu Proprio “Summorum pontificum” on the Roman liturgy previous to the 1970 reform.


Visit to Loreto.


Visits Austria (Wien, Mariazell, Heiligenkreuz)


Visit to Velletri.


Visit to Naples.


Encyclical “Spe salvi” on Christian hope.

bleib bei uns


2008 JANUARY 16.

Publication of the speech prepared for the visit to the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, which he finally had to give up due to the opposition of a small minority of teachers and students.


Publication of the new “Oremus et pro ludaeis” for the edition of the “Missale Romanum” of 1962.

APRIL 15-21.

Travels to the United States of America (Washington D.C. and New York, where he addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization).

MAY 17-18.

Visit to Savona and Genoa, Italy.

JUNE 14-15.

Visit to Saint Mary of Leuca and Brindis.

H 307

JUNE 28.

Opening of a “Paul Year”, closed on the 28th of June, 2009.

JULY 12-21.

Travels to Sydney, Australia, for the 23rd World Youth Day.


Visit to Cagliari.


Trip to France (Paris, where on the 12th he has to address the “College des Bernardins”, and Lourdes, on the 150th Anniversary of the Marian appearances).


Official visit to the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinal.


He presides the 12th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church”, based on which the post-synod apostolic exhortation “Verbum Domini” is published (30th September 2010).


Visit to Pompey.


H 308


Revocation of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by the Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without mandate of the Holy See, followed by a letter dated March 10 addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church.

MARCH 17-23.

Travels to Cameroun and Angola, Africa.


Visit to Los Abruzos scourged by a terrible earthquake.

MAY 8-15.

Visits the Holy Land (Jordan, Israel and Palestine).

MAY 24.

Visit to Cassino and Montecassino.

JUNE 19.

Opening of a “Priestly Year” closed on June 11, 2010.

JUNE 21.

Visit to San Giovanni Rotondo.

JUNE 29.

Encyclical “Caritas in veritate” on integral human development.


Motu Proprio “Ecclesiae unitatem” with which the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” is incorporated to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

Visit to Vitervo and Bagnoregio, where the relics of Saint Buenaventura are venerated.


Travels to the Czechoslovakian Republic.


He presides the second special assembly of the Synod of the Bishops for Africa, based on which the apostolic exhortation post-synod “Africae munus” is published (November 19, 2011) delivered to the African episcopates during the journey to Benin.


Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus” on the institution of individual ordinariates for Anglicans that enter in full communion with the Catholic Church


Visit to Brescia and Concesio, Italy.


Meeting with the artists in the Sistine Chapel.

bleib bei uns


H 309


H 310


Visit to the Jewish community in Rome


Meeting with the Irish Bishops on the question of sexual abuses, followed by a letter to the Catholics of Ireland published on March 19.


Visit to the Lutheran Parrish of Rome.

APRIL 17-18.

Journey to Malta.

MAY 1.

Communiqué on the apostolic visit of the Legionaries of Christ.

MAY 2.

Visit to Turin for the revelation (ostensión) of the Holy Shroud.

MAY 11-14.

Travels to Portugal (Lisbon, Fatima, Oporto)

JUNE 4-6.

Voyage to Cyprus.


Visit to Sulmona.

JULY 26-31.

Interview with the German Journalist Peter Seewald on the Pontificate, the Church, and the signs of the time for the volume “Licht der Welt” (“Light of the World”), published on November 22, 2010.


Travels to the United Kingdom. On the 7th he talks at Westminster Hall in London, and on the 19th he proclaims Cardinal John Henry Newman, blessed in Birmingham.


Motu Proprio “Ubicumque et Semper” with which the Pontifical Council is created for the promotion of the new evangelization.


Trip to Palermo.

OCTOBER 10-24.

He presides the special assembly of the Synod of the Bishops of the Middle East, of which the post synod apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” is published (on 14th September 2012) delivered to the episcopates of the region during his trip to Lebanon.


Letter to the Seminarists.


Trip to Spain (Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona), where on November 7th he presides he dedication of the temple of the Sacred Family.


Motu proprio for the prevention and fight against illegal activities in the financial and monetary fields.

bleib bei uns

2011 MARCH 17.

Message to the President of Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, on the 150th Anniversary of the unity of Italy.


Visit to the mausoleum of the Ardeantine Graves.

MARCH 7-8.

Visit to Aquileya and Venice.

JUNE 4-5.

Travels to Croatia

JUNE 19.

Visit to the dioceses of San Marino-Montefeltro.

JUNE 24.

Letter on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of “L’Osservatore Romano”.

JUNE 29.

Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of his Priestly Ordination.

AUGUST 18-21.

Journey to Spain for the 26th Youth World Day.


Visit to Ancona, at the closing of the 25th National Eucharistic Congress.


Trip to Germany (Berlin, Erfutt, Etzelsbach, Friburg). On the 22nd of September he addresses the Federal Parliament at the Reichstag of Berlin.


Visit to Lamezia Terme and Serra San Bruno.


With the Motu Proprio “Porta fidei” he calls for – during the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Vatican Council II (11th October 1962) – a “Year of Faith” from the 11of October 2012 until the 24th of November 2013.


Visit to Asissi for a day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the World, with representative of different Christian confessions, from other religions and the lay world on the 25th Anniversary of the Meeting called by John Paul II (27th October 1986).


Trip to Benin.


Visit to the Roman Jail of Rebibbia, where he answers the questions of some the prisoners.

H 311

H 312

bleib bei uns

2012 MARCH 23-29.

Travels to Mexico and Cuba (Leon, Guanajuato, Santiago de Cuba and Havana, where he meets with Fidel Castro on March 28).


Constitution of the Cardinal Commission in charge of inquiring on the dissemination of reserved documents and which he received subsequently in an audience on June 16, the 26th of July, the 17th of December, and the 25th of February, 2013, at the end of his mission.

MAY 10.

Equivalent canonization of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, subsequently proclaimed Doctor of the Church together with Saint John of Avila on the 7th of October.

MAY 13.

Visit to Arezzo and the Sansepolcro.

JUNE 1-3.

Visit to Milan for the closure of the 7th World Meeting of the Families.

JUNE 26.

Visit to the areas hit by the earthquake of Emilia Romaña.


Visit to the house of the Verbitas missionaries in Nemi.

JULY 15.

Visit to Frascati.


Trip to Lebanon (Beirut, Harissa, Baabda, Bzommar, Bkerké, Charfet)


Visit to Loreto on the fiftieth year of the peregrination made by John XXIII to invoke the protection of Mary over the Council Vatican II.


He presides over the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization.


In Saint Peter’s square he opens the “Year of Faith” in the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II.


Motu Proprio “Lingua Latina” for the establishment of the Pontifical Academy of Latinity.


Motu Proprio “Intima Ecclesiae natura” on the service of charity.


At the end of the general audience he casts his first twit in eight languages, to which Latin is added on January 20.

H 313


He visits his former butler in jail – arrested on 23rd May, after being judged and condemned to three years of prison on October 6 (reduced to one year and six months), for the taking away of reserved documents, and he announces the concession of pardon.


Prayer in Saint Peter’s square with the participants of the European Meeting of the Taizé Community.

2013 JANUARY 6.

Four prelates are ordained Bishop, among them his private Secretary Georg Gänswein, named prefect of the Pontifical House on December 7.


At the end of the ordinary public consistory he announces his determination to resign to the Pontificate.


Motu Proprio “Normas nonnullas” that replaces some rules regarding the election of the Pope and comes into force on February 25th.


At 8:00 p.m. his Pontificate comes to an end. L’Osservatore Romano 3.III.13

H 314

H 315

“A DECISION Of GREAT IMpORTANCE fOR THE LIfE Of THE CHURCH” A Pope’s resignation from the Petrine ministry is an act of great historical significance. The current Code of Canon Law makes provision for it with the following words: “Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is to be required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone” (can. 332 §2). The act is foreseen by the law and is envisaged as possible. Yet, the news caught everyone by surprise, and it surprised everyone. Cardinal Sodano said in his greetings to the Holy Father immediately following the announcement: It was like “a bolt from out of the blue.” The Pope, who was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Gänswein (Prefect of the Papal Household), Guido Pozzo (Almoner), Leonardo Sapienza (Regent of the Prefecture of the Papal Household), and Alfred Xuereb (the Pope’s private secretary), wished to communicate his decision personally to the Cardinals who had gathered for the Ordinary Public Consistory on Monday, February 11. He did so at the conclusion of midday prayer, and following the announcement that the three canonizations on the Consistory’s agenda would take place on May 12. The event has already received widespread analysis. Naturally, some of this analysis has proven true, while other analysis has been mistaken. Some commentators have referenced past cases, looking for similarities between popes who abdicated their papal ministry. Yet, all these attempts have been in vain, since everyone is referring to historical contexts that have nothing to do with the present case. Comments have come in from all over the world. “I believe that his act was extraordinarily courageous and comes from an extraordinary sense of responsibility,” stated the president of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, who met with the Pope just days before the announcement of his resignation. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, deemed the Pope’s act an “example of profound inner freedom.”

*** It will take time to understand and evaluate this act. The Pope states: “I have come to the certainty (ad cognitionem certam perveni) that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” He noted further that, in recent months, his strength had deteriorated “to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” These words should be seen in light of those we read in the book-length interview Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times (Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010). When asked by his interviewer, Peter Seewald, if he had ever considered resigning, Benedict XVI replied: “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” The Pope, probably also keeping in mind the experience of his predecessor, said to the Cardinals who were gathered for the Consistory that he was well aware that the Petrine ministry must be carried out “not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering” (non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando). Weakness is not the ultimate reason for his resignation. Benedict XVI is well aware that the Petrine ministry may be carried out even in a situation in which deeds and words lack outward vigor, as measured by human standards. And let us not forget that, in Light of the World, he also stated: “When the danger is great one must not run away.” Indeed, in moments of danger “one must stand fast and endure the situation.”


H 316

It would be mistaken to interpret the Pope’s act simply as a resignation due to physical weakness brought on by advanced age, weariness, or other similar causes. His decision is not tied to himself and to his own physical-psychological condition, but to the mission of the Church. Indeed, the Pope continued: “In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of soul and body are necessary” (etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est). The excerpt cited above, in our opinion, is the decisive and central passage; it is the heart of the Pope’s announcement regarding his decision. For these brief lines reveal the deeper reasons for his act. The Pope is renouncing the Petrine ministry not because he feels weak, but because he perceives that there are crucial challenges in play that require fresh energies. The Pope therefore also intends, by this act, to spur on the Church. He envisions her as “vigorous”; therefore, as courageous in confronting the challenges that arise as a result of rapid changes (quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei). The Holy Father’s act is not a resignation. Yet it is an act born of humility and freedom. He knows that he has carried out his ministry to the very end. Now he realizes that the situation that the world and the Church are living through has completely changed, even as compared to just a few years ago. In renouncing his Pontificate, Benedict XVI is therefore saying something to the Church: He is inviting her not to be afraid to spend her strength in order to open herself to the challenges and questions confronting her, and not to fear the rapidity and weight of these changes. The Pope knows that this requires great energy. Having examined his conscience before God, he realized that he did not have the needed strength. He is therefore leaving to others the task of bearing witness, by retiring to a life of prayer and silence – but not without telling us that what motivated his decision was not renunciation, but rather a vision opened to the world, and an inner certitude concerning the Church’s vocation. Benedict XVI confronted great challenges. Now he is handing on to others the responsibility of bearing witness, so that the Church’s mission may always stand at the center. Indeed, it is not difficult to place this act at the very heart of his teaching. In speaking to journalists, Fr. Federico Lombardi expressed “tremendous admiration” for the Pope and his decision, adding that “it involves great courage, and a great freedom of spirit, as well as a great awareness of his responsibility and of his desire that the ministry of governing the Church be exercised in the best possible manner, and I believe that, through it, he is offering us a tremendous witness of spiritual freedom.” Lombardi continued: “I have the greatest admiration for this act, which as all acts that are accomplished for the first time in centuries, clearly requires courage and great determination. At the same time, it is also clear that this was not a sudden decision.”

*** Beginning February 28 at 8:00 PM, until the election of the new Pope, the Chair of Peter will be vacant. Benedict XVI will first move to Castel Gandolfo and then, once needed renovations have been completed, to the house on the Vatican hill that formerly served as a monastery for cloistered n . In the days to come, let us meditate on the message of optimism that Benedict XVI delivered just three days prior to his resignation, during his visit to the Pontifical Major Roman Seminary for the Feast of Our Lady of Trust: “The Church is ever renewed, she is always reborn. The future belongs to us.” Editorial

CIVILTà CATTOLICA Translation by Diane Montagna

March 2013

H 317

H 318

ÂŤWorthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.Âť (Rev. 5) Apocalyse Tapestry. Angers, s. XIV.

By ANSelMo ÁlvArez NAvArreTe, oSB

“Its end is the kingdom of God, which has been begun by God Himself on earth, and which is to be further extended until it is brought to perfection by Him at the end of time, when Christ, our life, shall appear, and creation itself will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God.” (Lumen gentium, 9)

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

easter is adVent


od’s entrance on the human scene, in Word and flesh, is history’s central event. Motivated by love, God responded to man’s condition, which required an extraordinary intervention, in order to re-establish order in creation. Above all, God’s Word and the theology of history facilitate the analysis of this situation. In their light, it is possible to practice a kind of lectio divina of humanity’s actions and to understand these actions from God’s perspective, not only for our own enlightenment but also for the enlightenment history is both God’s of others. This practice is essential, for we must know how to guide word and man´s word. God’s people in interpreting the signs of the times, in the light of But the words or actions the Lord of time and history, who is history’s central figure and the of God are teachings source of all wisdom. that precede those of

The Loss

man, or responses to them; whereas man’s words or actions only may be in harmony or in disharmony with those of God. human history is always the history of salvation and of the kingdom that underlies the human stories that we weave each day.

History is both God’s word and man´s word. But the words or actions of God are teachings that precede those of man, or responses to them; whereas man’s words or actions only may be in harmony or in disharmony with those of God. Human history is always the history of salvation and of the kingdom that underlies the human stories that we weave each day. One of the characteristics of the history we are building is hastiness, which is due to an excessive acceleration and to a profound disorder. The world is spinning like a top out of control, “reeling from a wine” (cf. Ps. 60:5) that produces an unbridled haste. Meanwhile, this ‘time of the absurd,’ which places human actions outside the bounds and harmony of nature, breaks all moral norms and stifles any spiritual seeds of growth. This results in the ‘dead works’ of which the Scripture speaks (Heb. 6:1; James 2:17) and in a life that corresponds neither to the law nor to the meaning of life. For the warning has been forgotten, “in the day that you eat of [this tree] you shall die” (cf. Gen. 2:17).

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 318 - 325

H 319

we have erased the memory of the past or we have banished it as a time filled with shadows, but man’s turning his back on everything that has given life to past generations should create a great anguish, because today’s generation lives in a darkness far greater, despite all the glamour and scientific progress.

H 320

«Despite this, we cast our nets once again, each one of us, each generation, with similar results. And each time we are told once again, “Don’t do things that way; that was not the right way; throw your nets in this new direction; throw them in a new way, in the way that I have taught you from the beginning; in other words, in the direction of Truth, of Freedom, and of Peace, which I am.” In fact, every human endeavor results in failure until we discover God standing on the shore.» “The Miraculous Draught of Fishes,” Raphael’s Tapestry. Vatican Museum.

H 321

Indeed, we have disposed of that which is most proper to man: the awareness of being made in the image of God, the presence of grace, holiness, truth, wisdom, beauty, honor, and the love of Christ, the Son of God and image of the perfect man, the Head of humanity. Rescuing this is the necessary condition for rediscovering our true human condition. Within this context, we have erased the memory of the past or we have banished it as a time filled with shadows, but man’s turning his back on everything that has given life to past generations should create a great anguish, because today’s generation lives in a darkness far greater, despite all the glamour and scientific progress. It is not man who establishes the measure of his own perfection or the meaning of natural law; in other words, the manner in which his physical and rational existence is ordered. We cannot recreate ourselves or our projects on a daily basis. We cannot deconstruct what God has created without us. We cannot prevent the Other, who is greater than us, from working in us. We may ignore or even disturb our human identity, but we cannot create in ourselves a novel and distinct identity, according to an image and likeness that has been imagined by us. Truth is not a question of will. Reality stands on its own; it does not need anyone’s support. It belongs to every age and to every man, even when it is not accepted by anyone. However, man is seeking to establish a new law, for himself and for the world. It is the new utopia. Yet if man is God’s creation, this endeavor is futile. That is why we sometimes prefer to think of ourselves as a product of chance, for thus we may complete what has been left unfinished: forming man to realize his highest potential. We reach the point of believing that our word is worth more than God’s word, and that when all is said and done, we know more than He does. Thus, we allow ourselves to correct the divine works, words, and laws, and we substitute them with our own. We like our own ways better, and we believe that they are better suited to us. Indeed, we even fool ourselves into believing that God is not the measure of Truth, if He ever was. We have emptied the world of God’s presence and have filled it with all kinds of idols, and like in ancient times, we have said: These are your gods, O Israel! We have built dreams and hopes that have not been realized upon these very convictions. In our own day, the most enticing of these dreams became the most devastating deception to aim at the masses: communism. In speaking of it, Benedict XVI wrote: “The idea was that we could turn stones into bread; instead our ‘aid’ has only given stones in place of bread.” (Jesus of Nazareth, p. 33) Man loses the memory of himself when he loses the memory of God. Thus, he loses everything about himself. Despite that we may find in the present an unimaginable diversity of ideas about what man is, he cannot neither speak about himself nor identify himself in front of any reality: “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm” (2 Pet. 2:17).

H 322

God at the horizon

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

The age of enlightenment has given way to the age of darkness, and the struggle of the Titans against God has caused an eclipse of the gods, and of man who has pseudo- divinized himself, pretending to supplant God. Therefore, despite the fact that the Truth has already been given in the Word, we find ourselves lost, wandering amid the present and future history of mankind, increasingly unable to deal with our history and to solve the enigmas that have developed over time. Therefore, “we have become like those over whom thou hast never ruled, like those who are not called by thy Name” (Is. 63:19). As in the original chaos, so also today the land is “empty and void” (Gen, 1:2), a desert to God and man. Meanwhile, how do we justify the waste of time, of thought, and the squandering of energy that has occurred as a result of this work of destruction? Who will be responsible for the effects produced as a consequence of this confusion regarding the image of man and the moral ruin it has led to?

we may ignore or even disturb our human identity, but we cannot create in ourselves a novel and distinct identity, according to an image and likeness that has been imagined by us. truth is not a question of will.

We cannot get too far when we recklessly run away from God. It would seem evident that not only the spiritual and moral aspects of society, but also the global condition of humankind, demand a fundamental transformation. It seems clear that the order of things needs to be re-established, that the primacy of Truth must be restored, that the world must be renewed, and that man must return to his true nature. This being said, it is important to note that this transformation is neither man’s intention, nor is it within his reach under the present circumstances. The deposit of beliefs and of primordial values that nourished humanity throughout its history is below the minimum, and we have entered into a condition of quiet madness which consists of considering as a fact that humanity has finally reached the utopia towards which it has been journeying. In the light of God’s Word, we have to understand that what really matters is man’s realization in the Word in conformity with the divine will. For we know that God’s plan is to unite all things in Christ, the Head. (cf. Eph. 1:10). Consequently, God’s hour must come, not necessarily at the end of time, but now, in order to restore the reign of God’s will to this present hour, when the sin of paradise is being repeated: the decision to replace God’s design with man’s. At the end of this long journey in darkness, we, like the apostles after their failed fishing attempt, find ourselves tired and empty after an exhausting effort. Despite this, we cast our nets once again, each one of us, each generation, with similar results. And each time we are told once again, “Don’t do things that way; that was not the right way; throw your nets in this new direction; throw them in a new way, in the way that I have taught you from the beginning; in other words, in the direction of Truth, of Freedom, and of Peace, which I am.” In fact, every human endeavor results in failure until we discover God standing on the shore. To flee from God is to walk toward nothingness and the absurd. This is what

H 323

happens when the attitude denounced by the prophet Jeremiah is repeated, “But they did not listen to me, nor did they pay attention. They walked in the stubbornness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.” (Jer. 7:24). Man will be restless until he is reconciled with himself; that is, until he rediscovers his true image, with its original destiny, as he received it from the Creator. The Council warned us: “as deformed by sin, the shape of this world will pass away; (cf. 1 Cor. 7:31) but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide … we are warned that it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose himself (cf. Lk. 9:25)” (Gaudium et Spes 39 §1, §2). St. Peter tells us that “according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:13) Each day, God sets out to meet man in order to respond to that hope, but He may also reach out to man in order to journey again with him through the desert, as He did with the Israelites, in order to lead him to the freedom and the inheritance that awaits him. God will again tear to pieces the false images we have fashioned of Him and of ourselves. He will come again to fulfill what was once announced by Isaiah: “I will lead the blind in a way that they know not, in paths that they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground” (42:16). In fact, God is on his way: “Now I will arise,” says the Lord, “now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted” (Is 33:10). “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests” (Zeph. 1:7; 1:14). For now, once again, it is the hour of the Lord, an hour with its own rhythm and laws: the call to conversion, the offering of mercy, warning and punishment according to what each man deserves; the gift of the New Pact. This language, which speaks to us in such categorical terms about the renewal that stands on the horizon, and about the magnitude of the crisis, allows us to imagine that, in the face of man’s lack of control over life’s events, something new that goes beyond human intervention is still possible: “Listen to me, my people, and give

H 324

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

ear to me, my nation; for a law will go forth from me, and my justice as a light to the peoples. My deliverance draws near speedily…, and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope” (Is. 51:4-5). For “thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: ‘Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves…’” (Is. 49: 7ff.). “You are my son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession” (Ps. 2:7-8). Certainly it seems that the most significant event that has occurred in the present age is the silence of God, who is allowing man to speak his word, and allowing him to freely express his powers, his knowledge, and his liberty. Yet the Ancient of Days riding in the clouds is preparing the way. His footsteps can be heard, and His footprints can be seen, but we need ears that hear and eyes for now, once again, it is that see. We carry within ourselves the sometimes inconsistent expec- the hour of the lord, an tations of a new coming, of a new world, of a new creation. The hour with its own rhythm One who is coming tell us, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. and laws: the call to 21:5). However, before “building and planting” it is necessary “to conversion, the offering pluck, to destroy, and to smite” (cf. Sir. 49:7) much of what we have of mercy, warning and built, since these structures have not been built by the Father. “The punishment according to day of the Lord is close at hand” (Is. 13:22). Or as we read in He- what each man deserves; brews “For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and the gift of the new Pact. shall not tarry” (Heb. 10:37), in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. And again, elsewhere in Scripture it is written, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced” (Jn. 19:37). God will again reveal His face to humanity, since he is the Head of the new humanity, the “Everlasting Father,” (Is. 9:6); for it is necessary that Christ return to dwell among us as the Light and Law of the world. During Advent, the liturgy invites us to turn our gaze toward the One who comes, “Watching from afar I see the power of God advancing; let us go out to meet Him. Rise up, lift up your heads, your redemption is near at hand.” For behold, “I stand at the door and knock” (cf. Rev 3:20). To the “King who comes, to the Lord who draws near, come, let us adore Him.”

H 325

It is not rare today to hear about Christian faithful who deny the historic value of the inspired testimony that the Holy Scriptures give of the resurrection of Christ and make a mere mythical, spiritual, or moral interpretation of the texts. Pope Paul VI –who saw in those interpretations the revival of old expressions of Gnosticism– proclaimed the need of contemplating with admiration and amazement both the mystery of the resurrection of Christ and His Incarnation and virginal conception.

H 326

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013 eT reSUrrexIT TerTIA DIe SecUNDUM ScrIpTUrAS


tHe pHysicaL resurrection of cHrist Address of His Holiness Paul VI to the Organizers and Members of the International Symposium on the Resurrection of Christ Saturday, April 4, 1970

We are most touched by the affectionate and confident words that Rev. P. Dhanis speaks to Us in your name, and We thank the Lord for this meeting, which He allows us to have with specialists highly-qualified in exegesis, theology, and philosophy, who have come (to Rome) to share fraternally their research on the mystery of the Resurrection of Christ. Yes, We rejoice very much in this Symposium, which has been facilitated by the warm hospitality of the Institut SaintDominique on Via Cassia. We congratulate the organizers and all the members, whom We here receive most heartily, happy to express to them Our high esteem, Our particular good-will, and Our most lively encouragement. In response to your expectations, We wish to share with you, in all simplicity, HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 326 - 331

some thoughts that are suggested to Us by the central theme of the Resurrection of Jesus, which you have so happily chosen as the object of your work.

1) Is it necessary to begin by showing you the radical importance which, like all Our Christian sons and brothers, We attach to this study? And, We dare to say, the importance is still greater for Us, in the light of the position which the Lord has given Us in His Church – as privileged witness and guardian of the faith. Of this you are probably all well aware! Is not all the Gospel-history centered on the Resurrection? Without this, what would the Gospels themselves be, those Gospels which announce “the Good News of the Lord Jesus”? Do we not find

H 327

“The Incredulity of Thomas”, Bernardo Strozzi’s oil painting, 1620.

there the source of all Christian preaching? (cf. Acts 2:32). Does it not always remain the fulcrum of the whole epistemology of the faith, which, without it, would lose its consistency – as the Apostle Paul himself says: “If Christ be not risen... our faith is void” (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Is it not this same Resurrection that alone gives meaning to all the Liturgy, to our “Eucharists,” assuring us of the presence of the Risen Christ, Whom we celebrate amid thanksgiving: “We proclaim

H 328

your death, O Lord Jesus; we celebrate your Resurrection; we look forward to your return in glory” (Anamnesis). Yes, all Christian hope is based on the Resurrection of Christ, upon which is “anchored” our own resurrection along with Him. Indeed, even now we are risen with Him (cf. Col. 3:1) – the whole fabric of our Christian Life is woven through with this unfailing certainty and this hidden reality, along with the joy and dynamism which they produce.

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013 eT reSUrrexIT TerTIA DIe SecUNDUM ScrIpTUrAS

2) So it is not surprising that such a mystery, so fundamental to our faith, so prodigious for our intelligence, has always aroused during the march of history not only the passionate interest of exegetes, but also multitudinous contestation. This phenomenon was already evident even during the lifetime of the evangelist, St. John, who thought it necessary to point out that the unbelieving Thomas was actually invited to touch with his hands the mark “of the nails and the blessed side of the risen ‘Word of Life’” (cf. Jn. 20:24-29). Is not the same thing suggested later, in the efforts of a gnosis ever recurring under many forms, to penetrate this mystery by means of all the resources of the human spirit, and thus to reduce the mystery to the dimensions of merely human categories? These efforts are indeed understandable, and even inevitable, but they have a fearful penchant quietly to empty of all richness and significance that which is above all a fact: the resurrection of the Savior. Even today –and you have certainly no need to be reminded of this– we see this tendency reveal its ultimate dramatic consequences, going so far as to deny, even among people who profess themselves Christians, the historical value of the inspired witness, or (more recently) to interpret the physical resurrection of Jesus in a way that is purely mythical, spiritual, or moral. Of course We are profoundly aware of the disintegrating effect

that such harmful discussions have upon many of the faithful. But –and We say this with emphasis– We regard all this without fear, since, today just as in the past, the witness of “the eleven and their companions” is capable, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, of arousing the true faith: “It is indeed true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Peter” (Lk. 24:34-35).

3) It is in these sentiments that We regard with great respect the hermeneutical and exegetical work being done upon this fundamental theme, by qualified men of science like yourselves. Your attitude is conformed to the principles and norms which the Catholic Church has established for biblical studies. Let it suffice for Us to recall here the well-known encyclicals of Our predecessors: “Providentissimus Deus” of Leo XIII (1893) and “Divino Afflante Spiritu” of Pius XII (1943), as well as the recent Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum of Vatican II. Not only a healthy liberty of research is recognized, but also one finds recommended that effort which is needed in order to adapt the study of Sacred Scripture to the needs of today, and to “truly discover that which the sacred author willed to affirm” (Dei Verbum, 12). Such a perspective retains the attention of the world of culture, and is a source of new enrichment for biblical studies. We are happy that it should be so.

H 329

As always, the Church appears as the jealous guardian of the written Revelation, and she shows herself animated today by a realist preoccupation: to use with discernment all knowledge and thought, in the critical interpretation of the biblical text. Thus the Church, while providing the means to know the thoughts of others, seeks to verify its own thinking and to provide occasions for meetings that are loyal and comforting for so many upright minds seeking the truth. Furthermore, the Church herself meets with the difficulties inherent in the exegesis of difficult or doubtful texts, and she approves the utility of having diverse opinions. St. Augustine has noted: “It is useful that many opinions be found concerning the obscurities of the divine Scriptures, by which God has willed to exercise us; it is useful that some should think differently from others, so long as all are in harmony with sound faith and doctrine” (Ep. ad Paulinum, 149, n. 34, P.L. 33, 644). And the Church, still under the guidance of St. Augustine, exhorts her sons to seek for the solutions, by study joined with prayer: “Non solum admonendi sunt studiosi venerabilium Litterarum, ut in Scripturis sanctis genera locutionum sciant... verum etiam, quod est praecipuum et maxime necessarium, orent ut intelligant” (De Doctrina Christiana, III, 56: PL 34, 89).

4) But let Us return to the theme which is the object of your Symposium. It appears to Us, for Our part, that your various analyses and reflections tend to confirm, with the help of new research, with the doctrine which the Church holds and

H 330

professes as regards to the Resurrection. As Romano Guardini, of happy memory, once noted in a penetrating meditation of faith, the gospel accounts underline “often and forcefully, that the Risen Christ is very different from what He was before Easter, and from the rest of men. His nature, according to the accounts, has some strange character. His approach confuses, fills with fear. Whereas previously He ‘came’ and ‘went’, now it is said that He ‘appears,’ ‘suddenly’ alongside the pilgrims, that He ‘disappears’ (cf. Mk. 16:914; Lk. 24:31-36). No longer do corporeal barriers exist for Him. He is no longer bound by the frontiers of space and time; He moves with a new liberty, unknown upon the earth... But at the same time, it is strongly asserted that it is the same Jesus of Nazareth, in flesh and bone, just as He had lived formerly among his own, and not a mere phantom...” Yes, “the Lord is transformed. He lives differently than before. His present existence is incomprehensible to us. And yet, it is corporeal; it contains Jesus whole and entire, and even – by means of His wounds – all the life He has lived, the destiny He underwent, His Passion and His Death.” Thus, there is not simply a glorious survival of His “self.” We are in the presence of a profound and complex reality, of a new but fully human life: “The penetration and transformation of the whole life, including the body, by the presence of the Holy Spirit… We realize that change of perspective which is called faith, and which, instead of thinking of Christ in terms of the world, thinks of the world and of all things in terms of Christ... The Resurrection brings to flower a seed which He had always borne within Him.” Yes, we say again with Romano Guardini, “we need the Resurrection and the Transfiguration, in order to

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013 eT reSUrrexIT TerTIA DIe SecUNDUM ScrIpTUrAS

understand truly what the human body is... In reality, only Christianity has dared to place the body among the most hidden secrets of God” (R. Guardini, Le Seigneur, trad. R. P. Lorson, t. 2, Paris, Alsatia, 1945, p. 119-126). In front of this mystery, we remain penetrated with admiration and full of wonderment, just as we feel before the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth (cf. Gregory the Great, Hom. 26 in Ev., Breviary reading on Low Sunday). Let us then enter, with the Apostles, into that faith in the Risen Christ which alone can bring us salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). We are also full of confidence in the security of the tradition which the Church guarantees through her Magisterium –

she who encourages scientific work at the same time as she proclaims the faith of the Apostles. My dear Sirs, these few very simple words at the end of your scholarly labors, only wish to encourage you to persevere in the same faith, never losing sight of the service of the People of God, which is entirely “regenerated by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, towards a living hope” (1 Pt. 1:3). And We, in the name of Him: “Who was dead, and has returned to life,” of that “faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead” (Rev. 1:5; 2:8), We grant you, from a full heart and in pledge of abundant graces for the fruitfulness of your researches, Our Apostolic Blessing.

H 331

H 332

tHe mystery and Life of tHe cHurcH By cArDINAl GeorGeS coTTIer, o.p.


ast year 2012 was the fifth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II. Half a century later, what became a major event in the life of the Church still arouses debates –which will probably be intensified in the coming years– on what is the most adequate interpretation of that conciliar assembly. The disputes of hermeneutical character, however important, have the risk of being turned into controversies for the learned; though anyone can be interested in rediscovering the sources which inspired the revival of Vatican Council II, especially at the present moment. The most common answer admits that what motivated the event was the wish to renew the inner life of the Church, as well as to adapt its discipline to new needs in order to pronounce its mission to the present world with renewed vigor once again, mindful of the faith in “the signs of the times.” But in order to go further one must understand what was the Church’s most intimate aspect that the Council meant to confide and present to the world in its attempt to bring it up to date. The title and the first lines of the dogmatic conciliar constitution Lumen gentium concerning the Church are enlightening because of their clearness and simplicity: “Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church.” In the first words of its most important document, the last Council recognizes that the source of the Church is not the Church itself, but the living presence of Christ who personally builds up the Church. The light that is Christ reflects itself in the Church as in a mirror. The awareness of this elemental fact (the Church is the reflection in the world of the presence and action of Christ) illuminates all the words that the last Council stated about the Church. The Belgian Theologian Gérard Philips, who was the main editor of the constitution Lumen gentium, established precisely this fact at the beginning of his monumental commentary on the conciliar text. According to him, “the constitution on the Church adopts from the start the christocentric perspective, a perspective which grows stronger during the whole of the exposition. HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 332 - 335

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013



Illustration on page 332: “Deeds of the Apostles and epistles,” by Anastasia Crimca, 1610. Dragomirna monastery (Moldavia, Rumania).

H 333


H 334

The Church is profoundly convinced of it: the light of nations does not irradiate from itself but from its divine founder; the Church also knows very well that, the light reflecting itself off her own face, this irradiation reaches out to the whole of humanity” (La chiesa e il suo mistero nel Concilio Vaticano II: storia, testo e commento della constituzione Lumen gentium, Jaca Book, Milan 1975, vol. I, p-69): this perspective is held up to the last lines of the commentary, in which Philips repeats that “it is not for us to foretell the future of the Church, of its failures and development. The future of this Church, which God has willed to turn into a reflection of Christ, the Light of Nations, lies in his hands” (Ibid. vol. II, p. 314). The perception of the Church as a reflection of the Light of Christ links Vatican Council II to the Fathers of the Church who in the first centuries turned to the image of the mysterium lunae, the mystery of the moon, in order to suggest the nature of the Church and its activity. Like the moon, “the Church does not shine with its own light but with the Light of Christ” (fulget Ecclesia non suo sed Christi lumine), says St. Ambrose, whilst for Cyril of Alexandria “the Church is penetrated by Christ’s divine Light, which is the only Light in the realm of souls. There exists, therefore, only one Light: in this one Light also shines the Church which, however, is not Christ himself.” In this sense, it is necessary to pay attention to historian Enrico Morini’s recent analysis in the web recounted by Sandro Magíster. According to Morini –who is professor of History of Christianity and the Churches at the University of Bologna– Council Vatican II was held “in the perspective of the uttermost continuity of the tradition of the first millenium, according to a periodization which is not only mathematical but essential, the first millennium of the history of the Church being that of the seven Councils, yet undivided (…). By promoting the renewal of the Church the Council has not tried to introduce something new –as progressives and conservatives wish or fear– but to go back to what had been lost.” The remark may produce uncertainty if it is mistaken for the historiographical myth which sees the history of the Church as a progressive decline and falling away from Christ and the Gospel. Nor can one give credit artificial opposing views which claim that the dogmatic development of the second millennium is inconsistent with the Tradition shared by the undivided Church during the first millennium. As cardinal Charles Journet pronounced, also drawing from blessed John Henry Newman and his essay on the development of the dogma, the inherited depositum is not a dead deposit but a living one. And all that is alive stays alive as it unfolds. At the same time we must recognize as an objective fact the relation between the perception of the Church expressed in Lumen gentium and that already shared in the first centuries of Christianity. The Church does not presuppose itself as a pre-established subject in itself.

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

The Church takes for granted that its presence in the world flourishes and remains as the acknowledgement of Christ’s presence and action. Sometimes, including in our ecclesial present, this perception of the founding point of the Church seems to be confusing for many Christians, and seems to produce a form of upheaval: the Church being the reflection of the presence of Christ (who through the gift of the Holy Spirit builds the Church), we come to see her as merely material reality, dedicated ideally to bear witness and to accomplish on her own her presence in history. From this second model of perception of the nature of the Church, not acquiescent with faith, there follow concrete consequences. If, as it should be, the Church is seen in the world as the reflection of Christ’s presence, the proclaiming of the Gospel must only be made through dialogue and freedom, abandoning any means of coercion, either material or spiritual. It is the way determined by Paul VI in his first encyclical letter Ecclesisam Suam, published in 1964, which perfectly expresses the Council’s view on the proper Church of the Council. The Council’s observation on the divisions between Christians and later on that of the faithful of other religions also reflects the same perception of the Church. So even the request for pardon for the offences of the Christians which produced amazement as well as debates within the body of the Church when John Paul II presented it, is perfectly in keeping with the conscience of the Church so far described. The Church asks for forgiveness not in a mundane fashion but because it recognizes that the sins of its children dim the Light of Christ which she is called upon to reflect. All her children are sinners called to sanctity through the action of grace. A sanctity which is always a gift from God’s mercy, who wishes that no sinner –however terrible his sin may be–be led away by the malignant on the way to perdition. And this is how cardinal Journet’s formula can be understood: the Church is without sin, but not exempt from sinners. The reference to the true nature of the Church as a reflection of God`s Light also has immediate pastoral implications. Unfortunately, in the present context, we can verify the tendency of some bishops exercising their teachings through prescriptive declarations by which they provide rules and instructions on what a Christian must and must not do; as if the presence of Christians in the world were the result of strategies and directions and did not spring from faith, that is to say, from the knowledge of Christ’s presence and his message. Perhaps it would be more comforting in our present world for us to be able to listen to pastors who, without taking faith for granted, speak to everyone. As Benedict XVI admitted in his sermon in Lisbon on May 11, 2010, “we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking for granted that faith is present, which unfortunately is less and less realistic.”


Translated by Juana Subercaseaux.

H 335

for the success of the council, with its aim of aggiornamento (Pope John XXiii), it is especially important to examine the cultural and intellectual world of today, in the midst of which the council intends to place the Gospel not under bushel basket but on a lamp-stand, so that it may enlighten everyone living in the house of the present age.

Celebration of the Holy Mass during the Second Vatican Council.

H 336

second Vatican counciL and modern worLd AccorDING To joSepH frINGS AND joSepH rATzINGer

A few weeks before Vatican Council II, Cardinal Siri invited Cardinal Frings, Archbishop of Cologne, to Genoa for a conference on the Church in the modern world. The elderly German Cardinal asked for help from a young teacher and theologian whom he trusted: Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote the text for the conference. John XXIII was so impressed that during an audience he embraced Cardinal Joseph Frings and said to him: “Those where precisely my intentions for calling the Council.” On the occasion of the indiction of the Year of Faith and of the celebration of the anniversary of the Vatican Council II, the following pages present a summary of that enlightening text that exposed with surprising clarity the profound transformations that occurred after Vatican Council I (1869-1870) and that were the source for the need of calling the new Council. Resume of Frings’ presentation made by Jared Wicks; in “Six texts by Prof. Joseph Ratzinger as peritus before and during Vatican Council II”, Gregorianum 89, (2008) 233-311

Inaugural procession of the Council Fathers at Saint Peter’s Square. October 11, 1962.

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 336 - 347

H 337

Introduction The text of the following lecture, composed by J. Ratzinger but delivered by Cardinal Josef Frings, in Genoa, November 20, 1961, was published as “Kardinal Frings über das Konzil und die modern Gedankenwel”» [Cardinal Frings on the Council and the Modern World of Thought] in Herder-Korrespondenz 16 (1961/62) 168174. It also appeared in other venues in the original German and translated in French. The Italian translation for delivery in Genoa also appeared in a book containing this and other lectures in the series in which it was given.1

Catholic life was finding new vigor [in the 1920s], while two powerful movements filled voids left by discredited liberalism, namely, materialistic marxism in russia and romantic nationalism in italy and Germany, leading to the horrors of world war ii. with the evil abyss of these movements unmasked, liberalism is surging anew and making some aspects of our situation seem similar to that of Vatican i.

1 The German text also appeared in Geist und Leben 34 (1961) 448-460, and as a 36-page pamphlet (Cologne, 1962). The French version came out in Documentation catholique 59 (Feb. 18, 1962) 255-267. The Italian version was published in Concilio ecumenico II, Genoa, 1962

H 338

Two Preliminary Considerations 1. The Council and the Present Age Councils always express God’s word in a way influenced by contemporary circumstances which make it imperative to give Christian doctrine a new formulation. Councils use the thought of their own age with the aim of taking the self-willed minds of their contemporaries captive for Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 10:5) and to deal with the Church in her spiritual growth toward “the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). For the success of the coming Council, with its aim of aggiornamento (Pope John XXIII), it is especially important to examine the cultural and intellectual world of today, in the midst of which the Council intends to place the Gospel not under bushel basket but on a lamp-stand, so that it may enlighten everyone living in the house of the present age (cf. Mt 5:15). 2. Changes in the Cultural and Intellectual Situation since Vatican Council I Vatican I met [1869-70] when liberalism was dominating politics and economic life, while also making initial inroads into theology through historicism, which soon led to the Modernist crisis in Catholic theology as the 20th century began. Before Vatican I, after the seismic shocks of the Enlightenment, a theological rebirth had begun, along with the indispensable growth of sound philosophy. But a seething uncertainty, common to new beginnings, marked Catholic thought, as it swung between the extremes of rationalism and fideism in trying to ward off the attacks of liberalism. Also Feuerbach and Haeckel were making initial proposals of materialism. One might think our situation resembles that of Vatican I, but major changes have taken place in the Church’s relation to the world around it. In a now united Italy, the Church is a far different since

The Church and Modern Thinking: The Spiritual-Intellectual Condition of Humanity on the Eve of the Council 1. The experience of the Human Race as One Perhaps the most notable experience marking our present situation is how the world has shrunk and humanity senses its oneness. Radio and TV bring the whole world into every home and in large cities we meet persons from all over the world. Covering over the special aspects of particular cultures, a unified technical culture influences our lives and gives all people the common categories of the European-American technological civilization, a situation comparable to the common Hellenistic culture around the Mediterranean in Jesus’ time. This is a kairos for the church, a divine call to look to all human beings. “It has to become in a fuller sense than heretofore a world Church.”2 The process has begun in mission lands with the erection of indigenous hierarchies, but further steps must follow. When Christianity first spread, it did not hesitate to embrace the koinē Greek of the day and proclaim the Gospel in the terms, and even the Stoic immanentist categories, of that language. Today another koinē is at hand, namely, the terms and categories of a technological civilization. Regarding the missionary problem, we speak much of accommodation, by which the content of faith becomes assimilated to different national cultures […]. One can ask whether it is

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

the end of the Papal States. France has experienced the triumph of a laicizing secularism and the German monarchy collapsed [in 1918], while secularizing governments in Latin America have expelled the Church from influence on public life. The two World Wars set us at a distance from Vatican I. World War I brought the end of one type of liberalism with its proud confidence [in promoting human progress]. Catholic life was finding new vigor [in the 1920s], while two powerful movements filled voids left by discredited liberalism, namely, materialistic Marxism in Russia and romantic nationalism in Italy and Germany, leading to the horrors of World War II. With the evil abyss of these movements unmasked, liberalism is surging anew and making some aspects of our situation seem similar to that of Vatican I. But the past does not simply return, whatever may be the connections between the present and what was present in embryo in 1869-70. Our age is truly different, and so we will try to characterize the basic currents of present-day culture and thought which affect the task incumbent upon the teaching work of the coming Council.

the emergence of new worldwide perspectives has left westerners disillusioned and aware of the limited significance of their own culture and history. this takes away one of the most important external supports for faith in the absolute character of christianity and it exposes westerners to a relativism that is probably one of the most characteristic elements of today’s intellectual life, an outlook present in believers too. (...)

2 “Kardinal Frings über das Konzil und die moderne Gedankenwelt“ in Herder-Korrespondenz 16 (1961/62) 169.

H 339

(...) But it would be mistaken to believe that relativism is completely bad. if it leads us to recognize the relativity of all human cultural forms and so inculcates a humility which sets no human and historical heritage as absolute, then relativism can serve to promote a new understanding between human beings and open up frontiers previously closed. (…)

3 Ibid., 169. 4 Ibid., 170.

H 340

not at least just as urgent to look for a new form of proclamation which take captive for Jesus Christ the thinking of today´s unified technological culture and so transform humanity’s new koinē into a Christian dialect.3 One might see the dominance of this new civilization as a victory of European customs. But the experience of two world wars has revealed the dark and violent side of European culture, leaving other peoples skeptical about Christianity and its potential for changing the world. Asians take note of the Christian history bloodshed and persecution and ask themselves whether the patient genius of India or the abstaining and forgiving smile of the Buddha does not offer a more credible promise of peace than does Christianity. Paradoxically, the victory of technology has been accompanied by a limited rebirth of other cultural currents, as we see in revived study of the Qur’an among Arabs and the attraction of Westerners to Hinduism and Buddhism. This affects the self-understanding of Christians who were inclined to attribute a certain absolute value to the western heritage. The emergence of new worldwide perspectives has left Westerners disillusioned and aware of the limited significance of their own culture and history. This takes away one of the most important external supports for faith in the absolute character of Christianity and it exposes Westerners to a relativism that is probably one of the most characteristic elements of today’s intellectual life, an outlook present in believers too. But it would be mistaken to believe that relativism is completely bad. If it leads us to recognize the relativity of all human cultural forms and so inculcates a humility which sets no human and historical heritage as absolute, then relativism can serve to promote a new understanding between human beings and open up frontiers previously closed. If it helps us recognize the relativity and mutability of merely human forms and institutions, then it can contribute to setting free what is really absolute from its only apparently absolute casing and so let us see this really absolute more clearly in its true purity. Only when relativism denies all absolutes and admits only relativities, is it then a certain denial of faith.4 Amid this new concern for the special values of particular peoples outside Europe, the Church has the task of inculcating the unity of faith and worship as it carries out its vocation of creating peace across all frontiers. The situation calls the Council to an examination of conscience with a view to opening the Church more than before to the varieties of human culture, which is proper to the Catholica. As the

– Not all laws are valid in the same degree in every country. – While liturgical worship should be a sign of unity, it must also be an appropriate expression of given cultural specificity, if it is to be a peoples’ spiritual worship of God (Rom. 12:1). – Local Episcopal authority has to be naturally strengthened in order to meet the needs of particular churches, while keeping bishops together in unity with the whole episcopate around its stable center, the Chair of Peter. 2. The Impact of Technology The new technological culture affects human beings religiously in a manner different from that of previous cultures. Earlier human beings had many direct encounters with nature, but the world we now encounter bears the mark of human work and organization. Historically, direct encounters with the natural world were important starting points for religious experience, since God is to be known through the things he has made (Rom. 1:20). But now we lack this significant source of religious experience, as shown by the decline of faith among modern industrial workers. But we should not demonize technology, since God gave the earth over to human beings to till and subdue (Gen. 2:15, 1:28). In fact, every human situation has its own potential and dangers, and fallen human beings even worshiped God’s natural creatures. But technology can lead to the worship of the human itself. Now the world has become irreversibly profane and human beings appear worthy of homage in bringing about progress. In this new situation religion has to interpret and justify itself in new ways. To indicate the way ahead, we have to introduce a further consideration.

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

truly spiritual people born of the Spirit and water (Jn. 3:5), it has to remain open to the variety of humankind and “within the higher framework of unity it has to realize the law of diversity.”5 This has consequences, in order to make Catholicism more catholic:

(…) if it helps us recognize the relativity and mutability of merely human forms and institutions, then it can contribute to setting free what is really absolute from its only apparently absolute casing and so let us see this really absolute more clearly in its true purity. only when relativism denies all absolutes and admits only relativities, is it then a certain denial of faith.

3. The Credibility of Science Masses of people now have high expectations of science, even for solutions to deep human needs, e.g., for norms of practice from social research like the Kinsey-Report,6 or for healing from therapy based on psychological insights. Many hope to evade ethical struggles. But here is the point at which the meaning of faith can be shown to those of the technological era. The human person remains “the unknown” entity (A. Carrel)7 or

5 Ibid. 6 A. C. Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Philadelphia, 1948.

H 341

«Before Vatican I, after the seismic shocks of the Enlightenment, a theological rebirth had begun, along with the indispensable growth of sound philosophy. But a seething uncertainty, common to new beginnings, marked Catholic thought, as it swung between the extremes of rationalism and fideism in trying to ward off the attacks of liberalism. Also Feuerbach and Haeckel were making initial proposals of materialism.»

7 A. Carrel, Man, the Unknown, London, 1935. 8 “The power of memory is prodigious, my God. It is a vast, immeasurable sanctuary. Who can plumb its depths?” (Confessions, X, 8). A little later, on memory, “it is awe-inspiring in its profound and incalculable caverns and hollows are full beyond compute of countless things of all kinds” (X, 17 – citation from the translation of R.S. Pine-Coffin, London, 1961, 216, 223-224). 9 St. Teresa of Ávila, conclusion of her seven-line “bookmark” poem, found on a slip of paper in her prayer book after her death in 1582 10 “Kardinal Frings über das Konzil”, 171.

H 342

“the great abyss” (Augustine),8 about whom, to be sure, today’s scientific methods explain much, but in whom, an unexplained and inexplicable remainder always lies beyond sociology, psychology, pedagogical research, and whatever else. This remainder is basic, in fact decisive, for it is what is properly human. Love remains the great miracle outside all calculation. Guilt remains the dark possibility that statistics can never discuss away. In the depth of the human heart, a solitude remains which cries out for the infinite and finds ultimate satisfaction in nothing else. It remains true solo Dios basta [God alone suffices].9 Only the infinite suffices for the human being, whose true measure is nothing less than the infinite. Can it be impossible to make technological humans aware of this? While they no longer have nature to speak to them of God, they still have themselves and their hearts which cry out for God. This is the case even when they no longer understand the language that springs from solitude and need interpreters to lay open its meaning.10 In this technological age, religion will be more sparse in content, but perhaps deeper. To give persons the help they expect, the Church may well leave behind older outward forms, to allow what are properly matters of faith to appear more clearly as being of lasting value. The Church must show itself fearless before science, since she is secure in God´s truth, which no true progress can contradict. The Church’s certainty, underlying its freedom and composure, can well

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

point our contemporaries towards that unconquerable faith that the world cannot overcome because such faith contains the force that overcomes the word (1 Jn. 5:4). 4. Ideologies So far, no mention has been made of Marxism, existentialism, and neo-liberalism, the ideologies born from a world made profane to replace faith as an account of the world and source of the meaning of life, which they offer, but without referring to a transcendental Other. Ideology springs from the human person thrown back upon himself and hesitant to make the wager of faith, but still producing what religion once gave. Actually wide swaths of European, American, and Russian populations have been “un-ideologized” and live in a pragmatic but shrunken worldview no longer promising earthly paradise but only serving to support consumerism and comfort. But this is no lasting answer to the human quest. Here the Church has its positive task, namely, to show that that Christian faith is the true answer to the human quest for meaning. It has to make perceptible what appeals to individuals in ideologies, such as a hope that saves from despair. This rests on a promise made not only for the individual, but for humanity, the earth, and the whole world. Nineteenth century Christianity went too far in concentrating on individual salvation in eternity, while neglecting Christianity’s universal hope for the whole of creation destined for salvation, since Christ is Lord of all things. Christianity has the task of thinking through anew, and meeting modern people’s ardor for the earth, with a fresh interpretation on the world as creation giving witness to the glory of God and as a whole destined for salvation in Christ. He is not only head of his church, but Lord as well of creation (Eph. 1:22; Col. 2:10; Phil. 2:9f).11 Liberalism promotes true values, such as a tolerant respect for the spiritual freedom of others and an unconditional drive for honesty over and against slogans. Christians can well embrace these outlooks, which ground opposition to totalitarian claims. The Church, in the Council, should undertake a full and critical review of its own practice, like the Index of Forbidden Books, which resemble totalitarian restriction on the quest for truth. The Hole Father has spoken of the coming Council as especially a reform council dealing with practical matters. In re-examining old forms, the Council will find a series of tasks which may seem

we should not demonize technology, since God gave the earth over to human beings to till and subdue (Gen. 2:15, 1:28). in fact, every human situation has its own potential and dangers, and fallen human beings even worshiped God’s natural creatures. But technology can lead to the worship of the human itself.

11 Ibid., 172-173.

H 343

concerned with externals, even with small points. But if this is carried out, such action, more than many words, will make the Church more accessible for the people of today as the Father’s house in which they can dwell joyfully and secure.12 Concluding Thoughts

Only the infinite suffices for the human being, whose true measure is nothing less than the infinite. Can it be impossible to make technological humans aware of this? while they no longer have nature to speak to them of God, they still have themselves and their hearts which cry out for God. this is the case even when they no longer understand the language that springs from solitude and need interpreters to lay open its meaning.

12 Ibid., 174.

H 344

So far we have spoken of the world outside the Church, not taking account of the Church’s modern condition, to which the last half-century has brought benefits unthinkable at the time of Vatican I. Charismatic gifs of God’s Spirit abound for the vitality of the Church and they have taken their place alongside the order created by regular Church government. Two broad movements have arisen and been officially recognized as relevant for the whole Church, namely, the Marian movement spurred on by Lourdes and Fatima, and the liturgical movement beginning in French, Belgian, and German Benedictine monasteries. The latter has led many to discover the Bible afresh, along with the Church Fathers, and this has created conditions for dialogue with separated Christians and most recently led to the creation of the new Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. But the two movements, with their characteristic impulses, are strangely alien to each other. Liturgical piety can be called “objective and sacramental,” while Marian piety is “subjective and personal.” In liturgy one moves “through Christ to the Father,” while Marian devotion goes “to Jesus through Mary.” Although both are present everywhere, the Marian movement flourishes in Italy and lands where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken, while the liturgical movement is strong in France and Germany. This shows, first, that diversity enriches, as people bring their own gifts into the unity of the body of Christ. We cannot yet imagine the new riches to come when the charisms of Asia and Africa make their contributions to the whole Church. A glimmer of the unity of the two movements begins to emerge with the insight that Mary does not stand alone, but is the icon and image of mater ecclesia [Mother Church]. She shows that Christian devotion does not leave individuals alone before God, but takes them into the community of the saints, where Mary is central as our Lord’s mother. She shows that Christ will not remain alone, but intends to form believers into one Body with himself, to have “the whole Christ, head and members” (St. Augustine). This community comes together in liturgical prayer and the liturgical movement should in the coming decades seeks to integrate Marian piety, with its warmth, personal commitment, and readi-

ness to do penance, while promoting among Mary’s devotees a holy sobriety and the disciplined clarity of early Christian norms of prayer and worship.13 Finally, there is the witness of suffering and martyrdom, which has marked the past half-century even more widely than in the first three centuries of Roman persecution. This gives us good reason not to bewail our spiritual situation as tired and impoverished, for the power of the Holy Spirit is not absent amid such signs of victorious life. The Council must serve this vitality of the Church, promoting the witness of Christian life more than issuing doctrines. This will show the world what is truly central, namely, that Christ is not merely “«Christ yesterday,” but is the one Christ “yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

The Council must serve this vitality of the Church, promoting the witness of Christian life more than issuing doctrines. This will show the world what is truly central, namely, that Christ is not merely “«Christ yesterday,” but is the one Christ “yesterday, today, and forever”

13 This portion of the Ratzinger-Frings lecture prompted a reflection by É. Fouilloux, “’‘Mouvements’ théologicospirituels et concile (1959-1962)” in M. Lamberigs – Cl. Soetens (eds.), À la veille Concil Vatican II, Leuven, 1992, 185-199. The historian clarified the genealogy of the renewal movements and noted how on the eve of the Council (1) Catholic biblical scholarship was in fact threatened (Lateran University vs. Biblical Institute), while (2) liturgical renewal was endangered by unauthorized “experiments,” and (3) the Magisterium had in 1958 halted the drive for further Marian devotions (e.g., of universal mediation, co-redemption). (4) Catholic ecumenism, while meeting small impediments, was growing soundly, because of the prudence of leaders such as Jan Willebrands and Christophe Dumont, O.P. Fouilloux judges as unrealistic the Ratzinger-Frings dream of an integration of Marian piety, deriving significantly from the counter-reformation, with the biblical-liturgical renewal that aimed (successfully, it turned out) to replace the anti-Protestant and anti-modernist orientations of modern Catholicism.

H 345

BENEDICT XVI RECALLS THE ORIGIN Of fRINGS’ SpEECH DURING HIS LAST MEETING wITH THE pARISH pRIESTS AND THE CLERGy Of ROME (…) For today, given the conditions brought on by my age, I have not been able to prepare an extended discourse, as might have been expected; but rather what I have in mind are a few thoughts on the Second Vatican Council, as I saw it. I shall begin with an anecdote: in 1959 I was appointed a professor at the University of Bonn, where the students included the seminarians of the diocese of Cologne and the other dioceses in the area. Thus I came into contact with the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Frings. Cardinal Siri of Genoa, in 1961 if I remember rightly, had organized a series of talks on the Council given by various European Cardinals, and he had invited the Archbishop of Cologne to give one of them, entitled: the Council and the world of modern thought. The Cardinal asked me – the youngest of the professors – to write a draft for him. He liked the draft, and to the people in Genoa he delivered the text just as I had written it. Soon afterwards, Pope John invited him to come and see him, and the Cardinal was anxious that he might have said something incorrect, something false, and that he was being summoned for a rebuke, perhaps even to be deprived of the cardinalate. Indeed, when his secretary vested him for the audience, the Cardinal said: “Perhaps I am now wearing these robes for the last time”. Then he went in, Pope John came to meet him, embraced him, and said: “Thank you, Your Eminence, you said the very things I wanted to say myself, but I could not find the words”. So the Cardinal knew that he was on the right track and he invited me to go with him to the Council, firstly as his personal advisor; and then, during the first session – I think it was in November 1962 – I was also named an official peritus of the Council. So off we went to the Council not just with joy but with enthusiasm. There was an incredible sense of expectation. We were hoping that all would be renewed, that there would truly be a new Pentecost, a new era of the

H 346

Church, because the Church was still fairly robust at that time – Sunday Mass attendance was still good, vocations to the priesthood and to religious life were already slightly reduced, but still sufficient. However, there was a feeling that the Church was not moving forward, that it was declining, that it seemed more a thing of the past and not the herald of the future. And at that moment, we were hoping that this relation would be renewed, that it would change; that the Church might once again be a force for tomorrow and a force for today. And we knew that the relationship between the Church and the modern period, right from the outset, had been slightly fraught, beginning with the Church’s error in the case of Galileo Galilei; we were looking to correct this mistaken start and to rediscover the union between the Church and the best forces of the world, so as to open up humanity’s future, to open up true progress. Thus we were full of hope, full of enthusiasm, and also eager to play our own part in this process. I remember that the Roman Synod was thought of as a negative model. It was said – I don’t know whether this was true – that they had read out prepared texts in the Basilica of Saint John, and that the members of the Synod had acclaimed, approved with applause, and that the Synod had been conducted thus. The bishops said: no, let’s not do that. We are bishops, we ourselves are the subject of the Synod; we do not simply want to approve what has already been done, but we ourselves want to be the subject, the protagonists of the Council. So too Cardinal Frings, who was famous for his absolute fidelity – almost to the point of scrupulosity – to the Holy Father, said in this case: we are here in a different role. The Pope has called us together to be like Fathers, to be an Ecumenical Council, a subject that renews the Church. So we want to assume this new role of ours. (…) Paul VI Audience Hall Thursday, 14 February 2013

H 347


a deep, HoLy, and uncomfortabLe cHarism By KArl cArDINAl leHMANN


* Address given by Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz at the residence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See on the day Saint Hildegard of Bingen was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on October 6, 2012

1 Cf. K. Lehmann, Heiligkeit des Lebens und Tiefe der Lehre, in: W. Wilhelmy (Editor), Heilige Hildegard von Bingen, exhibition catalogue, Magonza 2012, 8-15, 104 s.; cf. contributions by H. Hinkel on the saint’s “afterlife,” and by A. Lempges / Cl. Sticher on the understanding of her visions, ibid., 40-54; 16-39.

H 348

A Doctor of the Church Today For almost 2000 years the doctors of the Church were invariably men. Until 1970, the title was conferred on only thirty theologians, and it was not until the twentieth century that seven new doctors were named.1 However, the period following the Second Vatican Council marked a significant turning point, for, between 1970 and 1997, three women were elevated to the rank of doctor of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila (on September 27, 1970) and St. Catherine of Siena (on October 4, 1970) were both named by Paul VI, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux was proclaimed a doctor ecclesiae on October 19, 1997 by John Paul II. We ought, then, to consider the rank and importance of these holy women. Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena are numbered among the great literary figures of Spain and Italy. Indeed, Catherine of Siena’s role may be likened to that of Dante and Petrarch. Catherine is the principal patroness of Italy, Teresa the first patroness of Spain. By contrast, the “little” Thérèse, who journeyed along a way of faith strewn with the most arduous trials became, in the great darkness of pure faith in God’s love, the model of an authentic “little way” of perfection. She is co-patroness of France and the Church’s principal patroness of Missions. In a particular way, the “great” Teresa [of Avila] and Catherine of Siena, through their extensive efforts to bring about a profound renewal in the Church, showed themselves to be what we might call “strong women.” They demonstrated great courage in their relations with the secular and ecclesiastical rulers of their day. By their letters and personal visits, they persuaded princes and clerics to change their minds, and they never hesitated to speak out boldly. On October 7, St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was added to their ranks. She too maintained an extensive correspondence with popes, kings, princes, bishops, religious, and laity. She too undertook various missionary journeys, especially along the banks of

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 348 - 363

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013 «“Life does not come from mortality, for life consists only in living. No tree blossoms without the verdant force, no stone lacks green moisture, no creature is deprived of this special force; indeed, living eternity itself is permeated by this verdant power.” Man must be ready at any moment to leave the narrow confines of his self-enclosed “I” in order to be led off into the distance; that is, from drought to the verdant life-giving power of God’s Spirit.» “The Wheel of Life Ilumination”, by Saint Hildegard.

H 349


2 Benedict XVI, Heilige und Selige. Große Frauengestalten des Mittelalters, Vatican / Illertissen 2011, 19, cf. also 24ff. 3 It is important to keep in mind that the ruins of the monastery of Rupertsberg blew up in 1857 during construction of the railway at Bingen.

H 350

the Rhine and into southern Germany, where she preached conversion to the faithful and the clergy alike. And she too was endowed with extraordinary poetic gifts. While the other three saints hail from Italy, Spain, and France, St. Hildegard of Bingen is the first female saint from central Europe, and the first of German tongue, to be so honored. I believe the significance of these four women saints being proclaimed doctors of the Church, by three Popes and within the span of only 40 years, has not yet been sufficiently recognized, despite the numerous requests put forward by feminist circles for a more thorough evaluation of the role and place of women in the Church. For although what is most striking about these female saints is the depth and greatness of their spirituality, we must not forget that they were also very cultured women, endowed with a great talent for organization. Their characteristically feminine sensibilities should also cause us to revisit and more broadly conceive (in the light of their spiritual witness) the meaning of the term “theology,” which, from the High Middle Ages until now, has been restricted in a one-sidedly rational way. Our task is to highlight how these four women contributed in their own specific way to theology, and how “by their intelligence and sensibilities” they were “able to speak about God and about the mysteries of the faith.”2

Life and Works I would like to outline briefly the most important stages in the life of St. Hildegard. She was born in 1098 at Bermersheim near Alzey in Rhine-Hesse, to a large family of noble lineage. From birth, she was dedicated by her parents to the service of God. She grew up in a hermitage, and eventually (probably from the year 1106) lived in a small cloistered monastery on the Disibodenberg near Bingen. At age sixteen, Hildegard professed perpetual vows, thus choosing the monastic life (ca. 1115). After the death of her teacher, Jutta of Sponheim, in 1136, she was chosen to succeed her as magistra. For more than thirty years Hildegard lived and worked in the seclusion of that small monastery. From there, despite many difficulties and much opposition, she succeeded in founding two other monasteries: one on the hill of Rupertsberg (1150), which was later completely destroyed by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War (1632),3 and the other at Eibingen (ca. 1165), which today is still considered to represent the greatest continuity with St. Hildegard, even if indirectly. Despite the pain and suffering

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

that marked the latter part of her life, St. Hildegard undertook four major journeys (1158-1170) to numerous cities on the Rhine and in southwest Germany. There she preached against decadence (particularly among the clergy) in convents and monasteries and even in the great city squares. Harsh too was her criticism of the era in which she lived, which she called an “effeminate age” (“tempus muliebre”). Further on we shall discuss her struggle against the Cathars. While she was yet a child, Hildegard displayed the gift of a highly original vision. “I do not hear these things – she wrote – with my outward ears, nor do I perceive them in the thoughts of my own heart … but in the intimacy of my soul alone, with my outward eyes open. So I have never fallen prey to ecstasy in visions, but I see them wide awake, day and night.”4 Much of what she says here reminds us of the prophets of the Old Testament. “The light that I see thus is not spatial, but it is far, far brighter than a cloud that carries the sun. I can measure neither height, nor length, nor breadth in it; and I call it ‘the reflection of the living Light.’ Sometimes – but not often – I see within this light another light, which I call ‘living Light.’ And I cannot describe when and how I see it, but while I see it all sorrow and anguish leave me, so that then I feel like a simple girl instead of an old woman.”5 Just after the age of 40 (1141), she experienced a particularly striking vision. Henceforth the silent visionary was transformed into a religious prophetess. With ever-growing clarity she heard within herself something like a command: “Say and write what you see and hear.”6 St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the most authoritative men of the Church at the time, its “uncrowned Ruler,” confirmed her prophetic gift. Thereafter, at the Synod of Trier (114748), Pope Eugene III read a selection of passages from Hildegard’s writings. He had a commission examine them and later asked Hildegard to share her visions with the world. This was the origin of her great work “Know the Ways [of the Lord]” (Scivias, 1141-1151). Hildegard’s wisdom and expressive abilities make her an enigma. Little is known about her academic formation. Early on she came to know the Rule of St. Benedict. Through the divine office she learned the Psalms and Sacred Scriptures, and she clearly had great familiarity with the Fathers of the Church. Her 390 letters also reveal a rich correspondence with the great scholars of her time. And yet she always considered herself to be an indocta, a “simple and unlearned woman.” And she never considered herself a scholar. The research carried out in recent decades has clearly shown that women in monasteries, and particularly women of noble birth such as those who belonged to the community of St. Hildegard, had more access to instruction in classical and contemporary culture than was previously thought.7 Still, in light of St. Hildegard’s wisdom, her


4 Hildegard von Bingen, Briefwechsel, edited by A. Führkötter, second edition, Salzburg 1990, 227. 5 Ibid. 6 Scivias (new translation edited by M. Heieck), second edition, Beuron 2012, 17.

H 351

«While she was yet a child, Hildegard displayed the gift of a highly original vision. “I do not hear these things –she wrote– with my outward ears, nor do I perceive them in the thoughts of my own heart … but in the intimacy of my soul alone, with my outward eyes open. So I have never fallen prey to ecstasy in visions, but I see them wide awake, day and night.”» “Man as Microcosm”, from

Liber Divinorum Operum by Saint Hildegard.

7 Cf. J. Fried, Das Mittelalter, second edition, Monaco 2009, 352ff. 8 Cf. the noteworthy contribution made by M. Böckeler, Der einfältige Mensch. – Hildegard von Bermersheim, in: Hildegard von Bingen, Wisse die Wege. Scivias. German translation of the original text and revisions, edited by M. Böckeler, Salzburg 1954, 361-387.

H 352

self-characterization as an indocta cannot but cause us to smile.8 Hildegard, in fact, not only knew the theology and philosophy of her day; she was also an expert in the Old Testament, the natural sciences, and medicine. She spoke eloquently of the beauty of precious gems. She was a doctor and an abbess. She composed hymns and created other musical compositions. She authored a foundational study on ethics and a great work on the world, a spiritually oriented cosmology containing rich doctrine on man and his salvation. This does not mean that the prophetissa teutonica – as she was already know during her own lifetime – was not savvy to the happenings of the world and the Church, or that she accepted them without raising an eye-brow. She wrote not only to Popes Eugene III,

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

Anastasius IV, Hadrian IV, and Alexander III, but also to the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, Cologne, and Salzburg. In a letter to the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Hildegard rebuked the emperor’s policy regarding the papacy. Emperors and kings, bishops and abbots, priests and laity all numbered among her correspondents.9 She was the “trumpet of God”, the “blazing light in the house of God,” and “God’s confidant.” “No voice was raised against such daring boldness. All were moved, thrilled, or struck at the root of their sinfulness, and awakened to a new and holy energy; sinners repented, unbelievers became believers, and those once divided were reunited.”10 She gained such great esteem that after reading her writings, abbot Rupert of Königstal concluded: “The most learned professors in the Frankish Empire will never follow suit. They lose themselves, with arid heart and swollen cheeks, in senseless dialectical diatribes and rhetorical sophistication, while this devout woman merely points to the only thing that matters, to the one thing necessary. She draws upon her inner wealth, and pours it out upon the world.”11 In sum, as Maura Böckeler writes: “Thus was Hildegard’s mission carried out in the Church of her day. In the final analysis, she is nothing other than the living echo of the reforms of Gregory VII, the former monk of Cluny. And this echo breaks forth from an ardent heart and from a soul touched by the Spirit. In times when love is cool, the Spirit of God awakens men and women, who like the wind of Pentecost, breathe forth upon the world the fire that has fallen on them from heaven.”12 So many aspects of Hildegard’s wisdom and spirituality are difficult to explain. Although the liturgy of the hours enabled her to come to know the fundamental terms and the key words of the Latin language, her Latin still remained quite rudimentary. In her “favorite nun” and secretary Richardis of Stade, as well as in her secretaries Volmar, then Gottfried and Guibert of Gembloux, Hildegard found able collaborators who distinguished themselves above all for having given shape to her visions. For several decades, particularly in the last century, renewed interest in Hildegard focused heavily on the more marginal aspects of her life and work: St. Hildegard’s theories on medicine and her healing remedies, her esotericism, her affinity with modern feminism, and even, in some quarters, with magic. Though all of these are undoubtedly extensions of the core ideas and fundamental experiences of the Sybil of the Rhine, yet without any critical reference to historical evidence and to her foundational writings, they are nothing more than digressions that ultimately hinder an authentic access to Hildegard. To understand the core of her teaching, we must return to Hildegard’s three major visionary works: the aforementioned Sci-


9 Cf. The complete edition: Im Feuer der Taube, edited by W. Storch, Augusta 1997. 10 M. Böckeler, Wisse die Wege, 387. 11 Cf. Hildegard von Bingen, Symphonia. Gedichte und Gesänge. Latin and German text edited by W. Berschin e H. Schipperges, Heidelberg 1995, Darmstadt 2004 (Lambert Schneider Editions), 222; H. Schipperges, Hildegard von Bingen, third edition, Monaco 1997, 33. 12 Wisse die Wege, 387.

H 353


13 For a complete biography: Hildegard von Bingen. Internationale wissenschaftliche Bibliografie, edited by M.-A. Aris e.a., Magonza 1998. 14 A. Borst, Das Buch der Naturgeschichte, Heidelberg 1994, 2. 15 Stoccarda 1986. 16 Stoccarda 2000, 277-281. 17 Cf. e.g. ibid., 278. 18 Cf. W. Schmidt-Biggemann, Philosophia perennis, Frankfurt 1998, 241ss.; L. Sturlese, Die deutsche Philosophie im Mittelalter, Monaco 1993, 204ff.; Th. Kobusch, Die Philosophie des Hoch- und Spätmittelalters, Monaco 2011, 359ff. 19 Cf. G. Wieland, Symbolische und rationale Vernunft, in: A. Haverkamp (a cura di), Friedrich Barbarossa = Vorträge und Forschungen XI, Sigmaringen 1992, 533-549, 543ff.; in greater detail: K. Bahlmann/M. Dreyer, Wissensarchitekturen oder der Aufstieg zur Weisheit, in: K. Bahlmann and others (editors), Gewusst wo? Wissen schafft Räume, Berlino 2008, 3-16. 20 Cf. R. Zimmermann (Editor), Bildersprache verstehen, Monaco 2000.

H 354

vias (1141-1151), the Liber vitae meritorum (Book of Life’s Merits, 1158-1163) and the Liber divinorum operum (1165-1174), i.e. the Book of Divine Works. The latter work, which chronicles Hildegard’s cosmological visions, is considered the masterpiece of her creative genius. Her writings on the natural sciences and medicine took shape between the years 1150 and 1160. Today they are thought to represent compilations of folkloric experience, classical lore, and Christian tradition. By the thirteenth century the original work had fallen out of existence. The Liber subtilitatum diversarum naturarum creaturarum (Book on the Subtleties of Different Kinds of Creatures), was subdivided into the Physica (Natural History) and Causae et curae (Causes and Cures). Additionally there are the 390 extant letters we previously discussed. There are also other shorter works, such as her commentaries of the Rule of St. Benedict, the Gospels, and the Creed; her responses to pressing theological questions of the day; biographies on the saints; and an extensive lyric-musical opus (Ordo virtutum, hymns, sequences). These poems, songs, and chants have been widely translated and partially published under the label Symphonia. The Cologne Ensemble for Medieval Music, Sequentia, has recorded the complete works of Hildegard under the title “Deutsche Harmonia Mundi” (5 CDs).134 Hildegard is regarded as a unique phenomenon in European intellectual history. She has been called the wisest woman of the Middle Ages.14 And of no other woman of medieval times have so many literary testimonies been handed down. In this regard, we can observe a significant shift in the assessment of St. Hildegard’s importance, e.g. in relation to philosophy and the history of philosophy. In the older meritorious works of E. Gilson, B. Geyer and M. de Wulf, for example, St. Hildegard is not so much as mentioned. The position taken by K. Flasch is insightful in this regard. In the first edition of his famous book Das Philosophische Denken im Mittelalter15 (Philosophical Thought in the Middle Ages) he does not cite her at all, while in the second edition he treats of her extensively,16 though certain somewhat stereotypical judgments still remain.17 Today, she receives a notable place in respected textbooks and summaries on philosophical grounds.18 Yet, within this perspective, Hildegard’s thought is limited to a “symbolism” of the 12th century that was replaced by a new, rational reflection, which belonged to the future.19 In an age that has discovered the importance that image, metaphor, symbol, and narrative play in philosophy (thus also broadening the meaning of the term ‘reason’) this sort of reduction is by no means acceptable.20 Nor does it correspond with modern hermeneutics. As I mentioned, over the centuries the appreciation and recep-

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

«Thus was Hildegard’s mission carried out in the Church of her day. In the final analysis, she is nothing other than the living echo of the reforms of Gregory VII, the former monk of Cluny. And this echo breaks forth from an ardent heart and from a soul touched by the Spirit. In times when love is cool, the Spirit of God awakens men and women, who like the wind of Pentecost, breathe forth upon the world the fire that has fallen on them from heaven.» Carved wood portrait of Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Dotmotion Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

tion given to the prophetissa teutonica have experienced an ebb and flow. If today we have a more in-depth understanding of St. Hildegard, it is due in large part to the immense success of the diligent scientific research carried out in the twentieth century. In addition to the Heidelberg medical historian Heinrich Schipperges, to whom we owe so many publications, we are especially indebted to the Abbey of Eibingen for having provided us with so many illuminating studies, and for the critical editions and translations they have prepared and made available. I will only mention the women religious Maura Böckeler, Angela Carlevaris, Adelgundis Führkötter, Marianne Schrader, Walburga Storch, Cäcilia Bonn – and then of course Sr. Maura Zátonyi21 and her able collaborators, the abbesses Sr. Edeltraud Forster and Sr. Clementia Killewald. Many researchers

21 Cf. Vidi et intellexi. Die Schrifthermeneutik in der Visionstrilogie Hildegards von Bingen, Münster 2012, Literatur: 325-356.

H 355


“The City as symbol of the human community”, Ilumination by Saint Hildegard.

and translators at home and abroad have also made important contributions. I wish to offer special thanks to Prof. P. Dr. Rainer Berndt, SJ of the Institute of Hugh of St. Victor in Frankfurt / St George, not only for the Congress held in 1997 and the one to be held in February / March 2013, but also for a great deal more.

H 356

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013


Importance for the Present Day If today good reason abounds for granting St. Hildegard the honor of being proclaimed a doctor of the Church, it is due in large part to this research. However, this honor carries with it an obligation, for we must not only look back with admiration and praise at this great historical figure. If this woman, by her holiness of life, her

H 357


22 Briefly cf. Symphonia, 225. 23 Cf. Buch der Lebensverdienste, III, 1-2: Der Mensch in der Verantwortung (Liber Vitae meritorum), Salzburg 1972, 133.

H 358

deep knowledge of divine things and her vast spirituality, has been put forth as a model for the whole Church, then we have the duty of translating the meaning of her life and teaching for our present day. This, I believe, is the most difficult part of the task entrusted to us by this celebration. The extraordinary spread of St. Hildegard’s popularity in recent decades should caution us, however, not to make the mistake of adapting her to the shortsighted needs of the present day. We have already experienced sufficiently how certain particular phenomena, such as Hildegard’s medicinal remedies, or many of the more esoteric elements in her writings, have often not remained marginal phenomena subject to a more limited evaluation, but have instead taken center stage. It is very helpful to know that, in recent decades, we have gained a deeper understanding of the great importance of the three foundational writings containing her visions and illustrations. When it comes to St. Hildegard, it is particularly difficult to isolate individual details from the whole, no matter how insightful they might be. However, this very universal interconnectedness of all things, rooted in a theological and spiritual center, makes transposing its meaning to the present day no easy task. We are accustomed today in theology to thinking and speaking in relatively abstract and rational categories. Naturally, this rationality is also found in Hildegard, but it is imbued with a close inner relation of all things to their cause (connaturalitas). Here the Platonic-Augustinian understanding of human knowledge comes into play: in personal encounters and in relationships of faith, it is particularly important to nourish a certain affection, a certain sympathy for a particular thing – and even more so for a particular person – if one truly desires to understand them. Today we call it empathy. Hildegard called it love.22 Creation lies at the center of Hildegard’s theological and spiritual vision. Creation, however, understood not in the modern sense but rather as pointing to its author, to God the Creator, who in his incomparable love for created existence, willed to place man at its center. God’s predilection is revealed especially in man’s rationality (rationalitas), which enables him to know God and to know all things in him, to praise him and to accomplish his purposes in the world. Thus, God honors man by giving him a share in his own love for creation. But man can fail and abuse creation. Hildegard provides us with a true and veritable “lament of the elements.”23 This does not mean, however, that God deprives man of the grandeur of his creation. Man is to explore the world in all sobriety; indeed, he must penetrate it completely (perpenetrare). He is to fulfill his vocation before God at the center of creation, but he is not to

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

place himself at the center of the world. For all creation is oriented toward God and was not fashioned to revolve around man. This vision of man may be foreign and unfamiliar to us. However, we must not understand it in the modern anthropocentric sense, which considers all things as subordinate to man’s goals and needs, but rather through an anthropological approach, which establishes a relationship between God, man, and the world that is both broad and balanced. This also has important implications for our understanding of created reality. Hildegard never sees man and the world, the body and the soul, nature and grace, as isolated phenomena. Anthropology is strongly linked to cosmology and, consequently, also to ecology. In the saint’s writings, creation appears time and again within the context of a living bond and interconnectedness between all of these phenomena. To describe this intimate connection intrinsic to all things created, and especially the “harmony” with which creatures relate to one another and thus attain completion, Hildegard often uses the word “symphony,” particularly in her poetry and songs.24 Thus “every element has a sound, an original sound from the order of God; all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”25 This harmonic symphony embraces the whole world “from the smallest things of life to the immensity of starry worlds, and at the center of it all we find man, who is the heart of the world. Perhaps the unparalleled spirituality of this vision of the world, which can only and always be rightly interpreted in light of salvation history, lies precisely in this: that the whole body becomes pure light and music, and that the whole cosmos becomes sound and harmony.”26 Color plays an important role in this context, particularly the viriditas or living greenness that served as one of the Sybil of the Rhine’s most beloved expressions. And here the physical dimension and the reality of the soul are one. For viriditas refers both to created life and to the renewal accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Creation’s lush and verdant energy was weakened by man’s violence; it risks withering and stands in need of constant care. And yet, it remains a force flowing from the goodness of God that is able to renew all things. “Life does not come from mortality, for life consists only in living. No tree blossoms without the verdant force, no stone lacks green moisture, no creature is deprived of this special force; indeed, living eternity itself is permeated by this verdant power.”27 Man must be ready at any moment to leave the narrow confines of his self-enclosed “I” in order to be led off into the distance; that is, from drought to the verdant life-giving power of God’s Spirit. At this point we need to show more specifically how creation


24 Cf. H. Schipperges op. cit. Symphonia, 3ff., 222ff., cf. 205. 25 Ibid., 12. 26 Ibid., 13. 27 D. Sölle, O Grün des Fingers Gottes. Die Meditationen der Hildegard von Bingen, Wuppertal 1989, 57f.

H 359

H 360

“The origins of Creation”.

Ilumination from Saint Hildegard’s Liber Divinorum Operum.

is intimately connected to Jesus Christ. At its core, creation tends toward the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is only by taking him as our starting point that all that has been said thus far concerning creation can be realized. But this also implies that creation itself is transitory and yet will be redeemed and saved through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and of mankind. The consummation of all things in Christ is something of which Hildegard never loses sight. “The coming of the end can do no harm to whoever cultivates the field of his body with discretion (“discrete”): for he shall be welcomed by the symphony of the Holy Spirit (symphonia Spiritus Sancti) and what shall await him will be a life of joy (vita laeta).”28 Here also, then, we see a “symphony” of the mysteries of faith closely interconnected. Within this context, St. Hildegard often uses the image of the circle. There are highly practical and ethical consequences that emerge from these deep foundations. St. Hildegard unhesitatingly affirms that God created our world good. She does not turn a blind eye to the evil and sin that brought so much destruction and disharmony to Creation. Therefore everything depends on man’s conversion. With this optimistic theology of creation, Hildegard battled against certain neo-platonic influences prevalent in the theology of her day, and especially against all Manichaean-dualistic tendencies that sought to devalue and diminish the importance of matter. Perhaps this stands out most clearly in Hildegard’s positive attitude toward the body, and in the surprising ease with which she considered human sexuality. This also has consequences for the way Hildegard saw the relationship between man and woman.29 While it is true that she looks upon this relationship in a conservative manner, in terms of woman being subordinate to man, yet within this basic structure she allows for certain corrective accents. Thus, for instance, she considers man and woman as fashioned equally in the divine image – something by no means taken for granted in her day. Her assessment also applies to the human body. Virginity and motherhood are not presented as being opposed to one another but rather as enjoying a kind of reciprocity. And for all of Augustine’s influence, marriage is described in positive terms. For Hildegard, woman is not merely the weaker sex. She is “mollioris roboris,” i.e. of “gentler strength.” So, too, the strength of men must also be tempered by “mansuetudo,” i.e. by mildness. This is the background that also explains why St. Hildegard, especially in her later years, fought so vehemently against the socalled Cathars, a sect-like movement that, while motivated by asceticism, nevertheless arrived at a fundamentally negative view of


28 Symphonia 12; Chr. Meier, Die Bedeutung der Farben im Werk Hildegards von Bingen, in: Frühmittelalterliche Studien 6 (1972), 245-355; A. Bäumer, Wisse die Wege, Frankfurt 1998, 332ff.; G. Lautenschläger, “Viriditas”, in: E. Forster (Editor), Hildegard von Bingen. Prophetin durch die Zeiten, Freiburg i. Br. 1997, 224-337. 29 Cf. E. Gössmann, Hildegard von Bingen. Versuche einer Annäherung, Monaco 1995; A. Bäumer, Wisse die Wege, 237; H. Schipperges, Hildegard von Bingen, 50ff.; B. Newman, Hildegard von Bingen, Freiburg i. Br. 1995, 153ff., 171ff.,292ff.

H 361


30 Cf. in this regard A. Borst, Die Katharer, Freiburg 1991; ibid, Barbaren, Ketzer und Artisten. Welten des Mittelalters, Monaco 1988; ibid., Lebensformen im Mittelalter, Franckfurt 1979 (Ullstein-Sachbuch); U. Bejick, Die Katharerinnen, Freiburg i.Br. 1993; cf. also: H. Grundmann, Ketzergeschichte des Mittelalters, in: Die Kirche in ihrer Geschichte. Ein Handbuch, vol. II, Göttingen 1963; ibid., Religiöse Bewegungen im Mittelalter, third edition, Darmstadt 1970.. 31 Vita Sanctae Hildegardis. Leben der Heiligen Hildegard von Bingen. Canonizatio Sanctae Hildegardis. Kanonisation der Heiligen Hildegard, translation and introduction by M. Klaes = Fontes Christiani 29, Freiburg i. Br. 1998, 90f. 32 Ibid., 231.

H 362

the body. The aforementioned journeys that led Hildegard along the banks of the Rhine and into southwest Germany were motivated by her rejection of this markedly dualistic movement. The Cathars were characterized by their sharp criticism of marriage and the status of women. It is very likely that most of the women in this movement were subjected to sexual and domestic violence: “Marriage is of no value,” “Women are demons.” Armed with a strong spirituality and theology, St. Hildegard became a tireless combatant against this heretical movement; and in her defense of the human body and of created reality, the fact that she was a female religious conferred on her a special credibility.30 I am confident that Hildegard’s significance for us today can be further explored and more deeply understood under a variety of aspects. Rarely, however, can these advances be made directly. For despite her relevance, some of Hildegard’s thought remains apparently inaccessible and requires careful interpretation. Only by such efforts shall truly enriching contributions be made. Now that all the meticulous work has been completed at the historical and editorial levels, this is the task to which we must now dedicate ourselves. And here systematic theology is called upon to serve in a special way. But we must arm ourselves with holy patience (cf. the conference on Hildegard scheduled for February/ March 2013 in Mainz). Perhaps we might conclude with what the chronicler tells us about the final years of St. Hildegard’s life: “In her heart abides a love so good, that she denies no one her embrace ... But since ‘the kiln tests the potter’s vessels’ (Sir 27:5) and ‘my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9) from her childhood she was afflicted by frequent, almost continual painful illnesses, such that only rarely was she able to use her feet to walk. And as her whole bodily constitution was unstable, her life was like an image of a precious death. But what strength she lacked exteriorly was added to her inner being through the spirit of wisdom and power, and while her body deteriorated, the marvelous breath of the flame of her spirit made itself felt.”31 The conclusion of this “Life” emphasizes that Hildegard, “after having rendered faithful service to the Lord through many hard battles [and finding herself beset by the tedium of life] prayed each day to be ‘freed from her body to be with Christ’ (Phil. 1:23). God granted her desire (just as she had prayed), and to her prophetic spirit He revealed her end, which she then announced to her sisters. Thus, after struggling for some time against her illness, on September 17, in the eighty-second year of her life, she happily returned to the home of her heavenly Bridegroom.”32

Many people deserve our thanks. However, we owe the deepest gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for the great courage he has shown in proclaiming St. Hildegard of Bingen a doctor of the Church. Perhaps his thought in doing so is best reflected in the greetings he addressed in 1994 to participants in an international symposium on Hildegard to which he had been invited. At the time, he stated: “I would have gladly accepted the invitation to your conference on Hildegard of Bingen, for she has fascinated me from my youth. My interest in her was awakened in the early forties, through reading the then very popular novel by Hünermann: Das lebendige Licht [The Living Light]. This first encounter encouraged me to pursue the source of this light more closely. Unfortunately, however, I never found time to devote to a proper study of Hildegard. “Today Hildegard stands before us in all her daring universality. We are attracted by the loving attention she pays to the healing powers of creation, and by her many artistic talents, but above all by the intensity with which she proclaimed the faith; she is close to us as a woman who loved Christ and His Church, without any naïveté and without fear. Indeed, it was her contact with the mystery of God that enabled her to speak the right words to her times, in all freedom and without fear. Hildegard still has many important things to say to us today amid the crisis of the human image we are now facing. And so I wish you fruitful discussions, in order that Hildegard’s message in its unchanging relevance may be heard and understood anew.”33

Translated by Diane Montagna.

Year of Faith 2012 - 2013

Gratitude to the Holy Father


33 M. Schmidt (Editor), Tiefe des Gotteswissens – Schönheit der Sprachgewalt bei Hildegard von Bingen, Stoccarda 1995, VII.

H 363


new york city receiVes Humanitas reView On January 2013, two conferences were held at the auditory of the American Bible Society (ABS), Broadway and 61th Street, right at the center of New York City, during a symposium organized by ABS on the occasion of the Year of Faith, in order to receive the editor of Humanitas, Dr. Jaime Ant煤nez, and the Chilean theologian and professor of the Faculty of Theology at Pontificia Universidad Cat贸lica, Father Rodrigo Polanco, member of the Editing Council of Humanitas. The reunion also had the purpose of introducing the Spanish and the English editions of Humanitas review to the public of New York City. The conferences were opened by the Director of the American Bible Society, Mario Paredes, and gathered a broad public. In the next pages we publish the words addressed by Father Polanco on this occasion.

H 364

faitH as a way of Life in foLLowing cHrist By roDrIGo polANco

The invitation of the Pope The Holy Father, in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, tells us that “the renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us… The Year of Faith, from this perspective, is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion we can assert that to the Lord, the one Savior of the world… Only through belie- without trust it is simply ving, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other not possible to live. possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart now it is clear that that from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands faith and trust cannot of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in be something purely God” (Nº 6-7). theoretical. it has to be This last sentence teaches us that faith is a road throughout a personal experience. life, a road which involves, indeed, every aspect of our life. In this it is a trust which lecture, I would like to reflect on this meaning of faith – as a way comes from having seen through life. the work of God in our The Holy Father’s statement underlines a very important per- life. in the light of this, spective and one which is not always adequately reflected on, for faith may be a response we often think that faith is only – or principally – an adherence of to an antecedent the mind to certain teachings which cannot be understood by the intervention of God. rational mind – as, for example, that Jesus becomes present in the Eucharist. However, faith in the content of religion is merely the consequence of an earlier and more fundamental attitude: the following or imitation of Jesus with the whole of our life. This is why the Holy Father tells us, in the text just quoted, that Christians express their faith “by their very existence in the world.”

Proper meaning of the word faith In the Old Testament the Word faith signifies, in the first place, trustworthiness. It claims that something is truly the case; that it leans on a reality that is solid, trustworthy. From this understanding comes the translation for ‘worthy of faith,’ credible. For the People of God, what was trustworthy was the Word of God and his promises. If God had promised something, he was certainly going to fulfill it,

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 368 - 457

H 365

despite the fact that in the actual historical circumstances it seemed impossible to see how he was going to do so. But one trusted in his Word. The actual difficulties and problems could not be stronger than God, or superior to his promises. Precisely for that reason, the whole history of the People of Israel is replete with moments in which the prophets confront the people with their lack of faith – that is to say, their lack of trust in the word and power of God. For instance, we read in Isaiah 7:9: “If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all.” Faced with invasion by their enemies, the people ought to trust more in God than in their own weapons. In the New Testament, the basis of our faith is now Jesus himself as Son of God who shows us the Father: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The Gospel expresses this trustworthiness in Jesus by saying that he taught with authority, an authority which arose from his divine nature, from being the Word of God. And that authority was manifested in his words and actions. It was not simply what he said, but rather the authority with which he spoke. The Gospel according to Matthew tells us: “the crowds were astounded at his faith is not something teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as external to us, like their scribes” (Matt. 7:28-9). Jesus makes God transparent, which something added on is why he says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one that we could easily comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). One can trust do without. Quite the in Jesus because he is the Son of God, sent by the Father to save us contrary, it is in fact and to lead us to the Father. He is God with us.

a free, personal, and irreplaceable act which no-one can do for us, but it is an act for which we were created and which brings us to that fullness which God has desired for each one of us.

Trust in God and in Jesus Christ

Trust in God and in Jesus Christ is what produces the response of faith in the believer. Obedience and allowing oneself to be led by his word and his grace is an act of love and trust. One who loves and trusts allows the beloved to act in one. Love implies trust. More than that, without trust there can be no love. We can assert that without trust it is simply not possible to live. Now it is clear that that faith and trust cannot be something purely theoretical. It has to be a personal experience. It is a trust which comes from having seen the work of God in our life. In the light of this, faith may be a response to an antecedent intervention of God. That experience can take multiple forms. For example: recognition of the providential action of God in the course of one’s life; experience of a special moment of enlightenment in some dark moment of one’s life; having received help when one needed it; and above all, having found in the revelation of God the deepest feeling of our life. We can sum up all these experiences in the words of Jesus in the Gospel according to John 15: 15-16: “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit.” It is the personal encounter with Jesus as our friend. It is an encounter of love, of mutual intimacy. It is the basic experience of faith. It is not a content

H 366

but rather a person. The Holy Father began his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, by stating: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” In fact, “the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life” (Nº 1) with the words of St. John :“ So we have known and believe the love that God has for us” (1 John 4:16).

Faith is friendship with Jesus In this context it is interesting to recall what the same Pope Benedict XVI, when he completed sixty years in the priestly life, quoted that text of Jesus that we have just mentioned as the summary of his experience of priestly life. In this way he was insisting that our life of faith is a story of friendship with Jesus. He said: “No longer servants, but friends… What is friendship? Idem velle, idem nolle – wanting the same things, rejecting the same things: this was how it was expressed in antiquity. Friendship is a communion of thinking and willing. hope is an extremely The Lord says the same thing to us most insistently: ‘I know my important virtue own and my own know me’ (John 10:14). The Shepherd calls his because it dignifies. own by name (cf. John 10:3). He knows me by name. I am not just there is nothing more some nameless being in the infinity of the universe. He knows me humiliating than that personally. Do I know him?” The Pope has given us an outstan- no-one has any hope in ding example of this friendship with Jesus in his own theology. us. that exists only in He had once said that when his term of office as Prefect of the Con- hell; and is thus such gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came to an end, he would a terrible thing. life is like to retire to write a book about Jesus, not only as a resumé of always a sign of hope. his [Benedict’s] entire life as a teacher, but amounting almost to a in that sense one could spiritual testament. And he has done it in spite of and in the midst say that God has faith, of his many occupations as Supreme Pontiff. He would thus be faith in us able to repeat with good reason the words of St. Paul: “For to me, living is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). His book “Jesus of Nazareth,” clearly shows his own friendship with Christ. It is an appreciation born of faith and he discovers in Christ the unique foundation of his life. Everything is based on friendship with the Lord. But as the Holy Father goes on to say on that memorable occasion of his anniversary: “The friendship that he bestows upon me can only mean that I too try to know him better; that in the Scriptures, in the Sacraments, in prayer, in the communion of saints, in the people who come to me, sent by him, I try to come to know the Lord himself more and more. Friendship is not just about knowing someone, it is above all a communion of the will. It means that my will grows into ever greater conformity with his will. For his will is not something external and foreign to me, something to which I more or less willingly submit or else refuse to submit. No, in friendship, my will grows together with his will, and his will becomes mine: this is how I become truly myself. Over and above communion of thinking and willing, the Lord mentions a third, new element: he gives his life for us (cf. John 15:13; 10:15). Lord, help me to come to know

H 367

you more and more. Help me to be ever more at one with your will. Help me to live my life not for myself, but in union with you to live it for others. Help me to become ever more your friend.” This is a wonderful meditation which reveals the heart of the Holy Father. They are words which each one of us ought to make our own: “in friendship, my will grows together with his will, and his will becomes mine: this is how I become truly myself.”

Faith is a free, personal and irreplaceable act which no-one can do for us But let us take one further step in our reflection. Faith is not something external to us, like something added on that we could easily do without. Quite the contrary, it is in fact a free, personal, and irreplaceable act which no-one can do for us, but it is an act for which we were created and which brings us to that fullness which God has desired for each one of us. The Letter to Ephesians says our deepest reality is it with great clarity: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord our vocation because Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual it is how God sees us blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ beand loves us. this does fore the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before not mean that God does him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through not take in what we Jesus Christ” (1:3-5). That is to say that from all eternity, before are like now, nor that creating us, God thought of us as his children in Christ, as forour sins doesn’t matter, ming part of the body of Christ and being temples of the Holy but rather, that for him Spirit. And for that he created us so that we might be his children that is not the most and rejoice with him for all eternity. For that same reason he calls important thing. the each one by our name, and for this too he became flesh. Not only most important thing is because of human sin but in order that through his incarnation not what we have not we might form part of his body and become sons in the Son. In succeeded in being, or in baptism, each one of us has been called to be a child of God, after what we have failed, but which, throughout one’s life, the call continues, because before what we can be, what he being created, we were already chosen and destined in Christ to wants us to be. be his children. It is a very great thing to think that God holds us in his heart even before our concrete existence. Hence, there is no such thing as ‘an unwanted child.’ Nowhere in the world is there a person who is not loved. No-one can say that their existence has no meaning. We are all desired in God and for God; we are all loved by God. We all have meaning in God. And it is our great mission as Christians to make this good news known to the modern world which finds so many ‘unwanted children’ and which even kills them. Now someone might possibly say “but I am so far from what God wants me to be.” Or someone can feel himself to be very different from what God asks of us. True, we are still far from the goal. But here it is good to recall a very profound teaching of a great Father of the Church, St. Irenaeus (see Adversus haereses IV,Praef.,4; 20,1; 39,2; V,1,3; 5,1; 6,1). He lived in Lyon in the second century. The story from the Book of Genesis in which “God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves’… God created man in the image of himself, in the image of

H 368

Father Rodrigo Polanco during his conference.

Dr. Jaime Antúnez and Mario Paredes, director of the ABS.

¿Habrá una foto más? The public also participated by asking questions.

Dr. Jaime Antúnez, Editor of Humanitas, addressing his conference at the American Bible Society see.

The audience during one of the conferences.

H 369

God he created him, male and female he created them,” Irenaeus and the Fathers of the Church explained this text in the following way. They said that God the Father had created the human being from mud, as stated in the same story from Genesis, and that he had formed him with his hands – as a man shapes a jug from clay. And his hands were the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this way, man and woman retained the image and likeness of God because God left his imprint on us. But with sin, St. Irenaeus went on to explain, the human being lost that image and likeness. So God sent into the world his Son and his Spirit, who are his hands, so that we might recover that image and likeness – in the same way that with the Incarnation of the Son, we have recovered the image of God, something which happens in a special way at baptism. And with the sending forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we recover that likeness today. But there is a difference, as our author pointed out, and this is very important for understanding what we are about. The image has already been recapitulated since the Incarnation itself. Thus, all humankind is the presence of Christ – “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these there is no reason for who are members of my family, you did it to me “(Matt. 25:40) – anyone to be ashamed and has an inalienable dignity. On the other hand – he said – the before God since they likeness is something which is acquired little by little, gradually, are enfolded in God’s because the Holy Spirit that we receive has to be welcomed in us mercy and trust. and it and we must allow ourselves to be assimilated by the Holy Spirit is precisely that divine all the days of our life.

trust which gives us the strength to go forward and to accomplish that image and likeness which is the idea that God has of us. God’s gaze is thus, at one and the same time, both objective and idealizing. (...)

We were created by the Hands of God

What does St. Irenaeus mean by this example? That our transformation is gradual, it needs time. We live inside time and nothing can be immediate. A child, for instance, can’t be educated in a single day. Really important things take time. In the same way, a good meal requires slow cooking. Hence, God himself is patient with us and awaits our conversion, our transformation, our setting out. As St. Peter says, “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And God is patient because he forces noone, he only persuades. This is very nice: God does not force, rather he persuades. He persuades because he loves and love must be entirely free. Only the freedom to hand oneself over is worthy of God and Man. Only the freedom of service and love is worthy of love itself. But this implies something else still that is very important. God puts his trust in us. If God awaits our conversion it is because he trusts that we can be converted. If he waits for a change in us it is because he believes and trusts that we can change. Hope is an extremely important virtue because it dignifies. There is nothing more humiliating than that no-one has any hope in us. That exists only in Hell; and is thus such a terrible thing. Life is always a sign of hope. In that sense one could say that God has faith, faith in us – not in the sense that he does not know something, but rather, in the deeper sense of the word: he trusts in us, he hopes for

H 370

HOpE, LOVE, AND fRIENDSHIp The conference addressed by Father Rodrigo Polanco at the American Bible Society in New York on January 29, was followed by the words of the Editor of Humanitas Dr. Jaime Antúnez Aldunate, who presented a brief commentary on his speech focusing on three subjects which enlighten the present ecclesial time which Benedict XVI called: The Year of Faith. In the first place, Dr. Antúnez underlined that the reflection of Father Polanco “dwell within an atmosphere of hope”. Hope is connected with the Year of Faith, in which we commemorate the opening of the Second Vatican Council, because Pope John XXIII entrusted the Counciliar Fathers “the task of deepening and presenting the perennial Christian doctrine in continuity with the millenarian tradition of the Church, in order to expand a horizon of peace and HOPE within a difficult context deeply marked by the postwar period.” In the second place, “there is a connection between Father Polanco’s words and the prophetic concern of Paul VI about the Civilization of Love,” which will be attained by “affecting and (…) upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria for judgment, determining values, (…) and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation” (Evangelii Nuntiandi nr. 19). The third subject is friendship. The discovering of our vocation requires a friendship with God. And the Council shows its concern about the friendship with God in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, because liturgy makes possible this friendship, which is –as Father Polanco says– a “communion of thinking and willing”. That is why liturgy has also “a central place in the human and cosmological order”. As Ratzinger writes in The Spirit of the Liturgy, “worship and law cannot be completely separated from each other. God has a right to a response from man, to man himself; and where that right of God totally disappears, the order of law among men is dissolved because there is no cornerstone to keep the whole structure together.” These last reflections remind George Washington´s Farwell Address, “where he states that religion and morality are indispensable supports for the disposition and virtues that lead to political prosperity. It was this conviction that established the inner friendship, patriotism, and the greatness of this nation.”

us, and he will never stop hoping. That is why we are alive, because God has not lost trust in us. Every child that is born is precisely a sign of that trust that God has in humanity. The parable of the merciful Father spells this out (cf. Luke 15:11-32). When the prodigal son, after having spent his entire fortune and lived an evil way of life, decides to return home, why does he have the strength to return? Because he knows that his Father has not lost hope in him; he knows that he can trust in him. And in fact, when the son “set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him” (15:20). Before his son could even speak, the father – who is God – had already demonstrated his love, and scarcely had he arrived back home, when the father restore everything he had, he displays all his trust.

H 371

God trust in us God created us for this: because he trusts us – otherwise he would not have created us. We may still ask where God’s trust in us stems from. A great theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar (see Theo-Drama, Vol. 5; Theo-Logic, Vol. 1), has a reflection on this which may provide some light for us here. He says that when God created us he had a very precise idea about how he wanted us to be. That is our calling. That vocation is the most profound thing about our personality because it is what God wants us to be. At bottom, it is our person raised to its full capacity by the grace of God. Two consequences arise from this. The first is that God always looks at us as he has planned us – as he wants us to be, as he hopes we may be. For him, we are already what we ought to be because he has created us with a calling and has given us the grace of the Holy Spirit to develop that vocation. Our deepest reality is our vocation because it is how God sees us and loves us. This does not mean that God does (...) this is the mystery not take in what we are like now, nor that our sins doesn’t matter, of the intimacy and but rather, that for him that is not the most important thing. The love of God. it is an most important thing is not what we have not succeeded in being, objective gaze relating or in what we have failed, but what we can be, what he wants us to to how one is, but at be. Thus, there is no reason for anyone to be ashamed before God the same time it is since they are enfolded in God’s mercy and trust. And it is preciabout how one ought sely that divine trust which gives us the strength to go forward to be and about he and to accomplish that image and likeness which is the idea that would like God has of us. God’s gaze is thus, at one and the same time, both to see us fulfilled. objective and idealizing. This is the mystery of the intimacy and love of God. It is an objective gaze relating to how one is, but at the same time it is about how one ought to be and about he would like to see us fulfilled, and so that gaze, which is one of trust, not only sees but also helps to bring that ideal to fulfillment, seeing it as already achieved in us and trusting that we can achieve it as he offers us his grace every day. And the second consequence is that our life of faith is the way that brings us to be what in God we already are. Hence, there is no opposition between God and Man. That which makes us truly free is precisely trust in God and in his teachings; trust in the vocation which God has made as a gift to us. Each one of us is autonomous in the sense that we receive from God the responsibility for our own life, but this does not mean that one can do without God, because as creatures we depend from our very depths on God. Our life, said Balthasar, is a meeting of two freedoms in Christ: the

H 372

freedom of God that is infinite and our freedom which is finite. In this way, our life shuttles between the decision to allow itself, or not allow itself, to be led by Christ in order to become what, in him, the Father contemplates for each one of us from all eternity. Hence, whatever happens to us is not all the same to God. In fact, he has thrown in his lot with us to the point of giving up his own life for us in the solitude of the Cross and of death. Thus, in him, we can place all our trust. For him, we are what he wants us to be and he has committed himself to what we might become. God is a God of the future, not of the past – because he is our future. Everything in God looks towards our future. A medieval author, John Tauler, expresses this in a striking way. He says that if God sends Man tribulation, it is because “he wants to bring him to a new birth.” Everything that God does with us is intended for our future. And the future has to be traveled. We see then that the concepts of “new birth,” or of “gradual journey of likeness to God,” or our life, said Balthasar, “idealizing gaze,” or “trust in our future,” or “constant persuasion,” is a meeting of two are all ways of expressing the life of faith from a dynamic perspective, freedoms in christ: the based on trust in God. It is the divine perspective. As the title of this freedom of God that is lecture puts it: “Faith as a Way of Life in following Christ. A journey in infinite and our freedom which is finite. In this Christ’s footsteps that begins at baptism lasting our whole life.”


way, our life shuttles between the decision to allow itself, or not allow itself, to be led by christ in order to become what, in him, the father contemplates for each one of us from all eternity.

Thus we arrive at the conclusion. Faith offers us a new insight into God, ourselves, all humanity, and the world. It is the insight of faith, in the most profound sense of the word. It is the attitude of trust in relation to God which impels us to move forward. But faith is also gazing at all mankind as God gazes at it – with the trust of the merciful Father. Faith implies faith in one’s neighbor. I look at him as God sees him. I look at him with the eyes of Jesus, from the Cross. Thus, no-one can be considered lacking in hope. No-one is unwanted. In God everyone is present and the good news of Christianity lies precisely in our divine sonship – that is to say, that God looks at us all and treats us all as his children. It is clear, then, that faith is also love. Faith and love coincide; you cannot give one without the other. And there too is hope. What remains is what the Holy Father has given us in his encyclicals: Deus caritas, love, Spe Salvi, hope, and now a year of faith. Love, hope, and faith are inseparable and are the way which the Lord has traced out for us. Hence “The one who is righteous will live by faith” (Rom. 1:17).

H 373


an anarcHic and totaLitarian fatHer for modern times By GIANfrANco MorrA



hree hundred candles for one of the fathers of modern Europe, born in Genève June 28, 1712. Three centuries in which his actions and ideas have been the subject of devoted exaltations and ruthless controversies. Jean-Jacques Rousseau has been dissected and studied in thousands of papers, no less than Dante and Goethe, which is an evident sign that his personality left a mark. Many of his intuitions prophetically preceded the destiny of Europe from the French Revolution onwards, and quite a few revolutionaries were imbued in his teachings. The romantic reaction opposed the Enlightenment but not Rousseau, his writings were a must not only for the Stürmer and for the Schwärmer, but also for the bourgeoisie, who appreciated the sentimental love described in the novel The New Eloise (50 editions). Some of his theories were put into practice almost literally during the triumphant modernity of the Nineteenth Century as well as in the post modern culture of the Twentieth Century. Precisely for this reason, examining his legacy allows us to understand in depth the signs that still prevail in the Twenty-first Century: not a “philological” interpretation of the Genevan philosopher through the kaleidoscope of the world, but a “genealogic” interpretation of the world from within the confusion of this thinker.

Society as Sin What inspires Rousseau’s Discourses is the certainty that the unity and authenticity of the person, in its natural state, has been destroyed. An enmity towards society and history, which continues into the modern Centuries, is characterized by the substitution of the Greek Eros and the Christian agape that produced friendship, with reality for resentment. The mood of the modern person is the same as Rousseau’s: I do not have to be what I am; I have to be what I am not. An unattainable utopia, since, for him, what is good is only that which does not exist. Already in the first Discourse the irreconcilability between “good” nature and “corrupt” civilization explodes: science and te-

H 374

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 374 - 399

«With an attitude between masochism and exhibitionism he set himself as the highest example of this alienation. “Of all the men I have known, none was better than I” (Letter to Malesherbes, l762).» Narcissus by Caravaggio.

chnology, which were considered by the illuminists as great gifts for humanity: “have added nothing to our true happiness and have corrupted our habits” (DS II in O16). So called “progress” is in reality a backlash that produces solitude and incommunicability. Rousseau gives original sin the lay character of “social sin,” which is not found at the beginnings of History, but in its development: “Everything that comes out of the hands of the Author is good; everything degenerates in the hands of men” (E I, O 350). He already stated that conviction in 1752, when he wrote the comedy “Narcissus, or The Lover of Himself” in which he was the ideal protagonist: “all these vices belong not so much to man in himself, as to man in a state of society ill-governed” (NA pref., in O 27). Hobbes’ “bellum omnium contra omnes” does not correspond to the “pure natural state” but comes from the corruption of society. This is a corruption that cultured men, erudite people, men of letters and artists hide and mystify as something positive. The means for the destruction of natural harmony is private property, which

H 375

according to the second Discourse – produces inequality, the division of work, selfishness, and submission. The only progress is to return to nature: “Nature made man happy and good, but society corrupts him and makes him miserable” (R III, in O 1284). This primitivism that interprets history as decadence, provoked the protests of illuminists, although the pessimism of the Discourses was not meant to be definitive, as the works that followed tried to enunciate recuperation projects in society (Social Contract), in education (Emile) and in the family (The New Eloise).

The Social Contract


H 376

The natural primitive state “does not exist anymore, maybe it has never existed and probably it will never exist” (DI pref., in O 39). It is not a reality, but an utopia. “Social evil” cannot be surmounted by reestablishing “nature’s purity,” but by incorporating its ideal into society. This may happen by replacing the “iniquitous pact” with a new and positive “social contract” capable of bringing about a rebirth of authentic man and a free society. Rousseau describes, ahead of his time, an “utopia of liberation,” meaning a project of the salvation of the world with all the characteristics of “secular theology”: he anticipates the Marxist idea of revolution, as shown by Galvano della Volpe (Rousseau e Marx, Editori reuniti, Roma, l957) and Lucio Colletti (Ideologia e utopia, Laterza, Bari, 1969). The most repeated word in the Social Contract is “freedom,” for which Rousseau has been considered one of the theoreticians of political democracy. And the purpose of the book expresses it: to build a society in which each member is free precisely for being the subject as well as the object of the law: “Subjected to the law, the people are the Author of the law” (SC II 6, in O 295). This coincidence of the will with the law is not the product of “everyone’s will,” like the sum of all partial interests of each “individual will,” but of the “general will.” It is an abstract category, a hallucination, something invented by him in order to find a convergence between freedom and the law: “an illuminated and just choice, which always tends towards public benefit” (SC II 3, in O 290). Rousseau is thinking in terms of a “direct” democracy, as in the Swiss Cantons, which takes place in the “assembly of the heads of the families.” He despises indirect democracy, which is the only one possible in republics of great dimensions, meaning representative democracies, in which the citizen transfers his freedom to those in government. From this follows a rejection of all the instruments considered necessary by democracy to deliberate and control decisions: individual rights, including those of “resistance,” the division

of power, social pluralism, the State of Law. There is in him a tendency towards absolute unanimity: “There should not exist partial societies and each citizen should not think for himself” (SC II 3, in O 291). Since the individual is nothing, society is the whole. Rousseau clearly sees the errors and degeneration of society and suffers because of them, but his utopian project only liberates us by means of totalitarianism, applying a worst evil than the previous ones. This is evident considering the role that the projected Social Contract attributes to religion.

The Civil Religion The religious metamorphosis of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, certainly not conversion by faith, but election of the practical, is formed within the conviction, never discarded, that Christianity is a harmful religion for society and thus for the individual in particular. What Rousseau denies is the distinction between God and Cesar, which “breaks social unity” (C IV 8, in O 341) and produces individualism. In the last pages of the Social Contract, Rousseau considers four religions: 1) of man, good but sterile: a sentimental deism, lacking in dogmas, rites, and cult; 2) of the citizen, partially good: the cult of the gods of the civitas; 3) of the priest, totally evil: opposes the believer with the citizen, as in “Roman Christianity.” For him the only valid religion is 4) that which he eloquently defines as “civil religion,” a profession of faith established by the sovereign to which the citizen must adhere: “If someone acts as if he does not believe in it, let him be punished with death” (SC IV 8, in O 344). Rousseau turns to Machiavelli (Discourses I 13: “The Romans used religion to reorder the city”) and to Hobbes (De cive XVII 28: “He who holds temporal power is head of the State and of the Church”), but he goes beyond them. For the two, the State uses religion as an instrument to reign; for Rousseau the State is the only source of religious dogmas and precepts, which are identical to the social ones. For the citizen, civil religion is the Bible and the code of law as it provides the criteria for what is just in social and individual life. Rousseau shows to modernity how to substitute religion with political ideology. This is achieved only within totalitarian regimes by persecuting all religions and imposing a civil religion. Within democratic regimes, especially those of Anglo Saxon tradition, one only adheres to a confessional religion together with a “civil religion.” Other democracies accentuate the religious role of the Nation and drawing from religious terminology, turn sacred the events of civil history: the “martyrs of the resistance,” the “tabernacle of the fallen,” the “altar of the Fatherland,” the “new calendar,” “national


H 377

ROUSSEAU ACCORDING TO MARITAIN A Religious Reformer Rousseau had a religious disposition. He always had great religious needs, and we may say that by nature there were more religious dispositions in him than in most of his contemporaries (but what are the finest religious dispositions without supernatural life?) It is by that strong religious quality that he had worked on the world. Although himself too busied with his single self, too fantastic and too lazy, ever to have assumed the responsibilities of such a part, yet hi is really a religious Reformer. That is why he could only take his full flight by passing through the Church, the better to purloin the words of life. It is the Gospel, it is Christianity, that he debases and uses. He perceived great Christians truths which his age had forgotten, and his strength lay in recalling them; but he perverted them. That is his mark, and that of true Rousseauists: corrupted of hallowed truths. They now how to loose them from their vows –they, too, were “blessed robbers,” as Luther said so boastfully. When he reacts against the philosophy of illumination; when he proclaims the existence of God, of the soul, of Providence, against the philosophers’ atheism; when he invokes against the critical nihilism of their vain reason the worth of Nature and her primordial tendencies; when he justifies virtue, candour, the family, the civic devotion; when he affirms the essential dignity of the conscience and human personality (an affirmation which was to have so lasting an echo in Kant’s mind), then Rousseau is displaying Christians truths to his contemporaries. But they are Christians truths emptied of substance, of which nothing is left but the glittering husk. They fall in fragments at the first blow, for they no longer derive their existence from the objectivity of reason and faith, they no longer subsist except as expansions of the subjectivity of the appetite. They are puffed out and driveling truths, declaring Nature absolutely good in every way, reason incapable of reaching truth an capable only of corrupting man, conscience infallible, the human person of such worth and so divine that it can validly obey nothing but himself. Subjectivism as Religious Ideal Finally, Jean-Jacques is already definitely immanentist, –this word I mean in its most general sense, and as expressing a fundamental tendency rather than any particular system. According to him, God can only manifest Himself to man by a spontaneous demand of nature, by a need of feeling, by an immediate experience. So too the objective revelation of a supernatural truth and dogmatic faith are nothing to him. “It is simple, it is natural,” he asks, “that God should have gone to look for Moses in order to speak to Jean-Jacques?” (letter to Mr. De Beaumont). This anti-rationalist, steeped (and onevitably, for he had nothing but feeling to set against them) in the sophisms of the false reason which he professes to despise, rejects the mysteries of the faith as being “not at all mysterious things,” but “clear and palpable absurdities, things evidently false” (letter to D’Alambert). “I even confess,” he writes in a letter in which he is defending the religious sense and the Christianity of nature, “that all formulas in matters of faith semm to me only so many chains of iniquity, falsehood and tyranny” (letter to M.X.…, of Bourgoin, 15 January, 1769). As to moral conduct, each man’s conscience is absolutely self-sufficing, and needs no help, nor any teaching human or divine to enlighten and correct it. All heteronomy is excluded. Conscience is not only the proximate rule of our free determinations against which it is never allowable to act; it is olso infallible, an immediate revelation

H 378

of the divine oracles, springing from the very ground of our heart. “I would rather trust to this inward and incorruptible judge who passes nothing bad and condemns nothing good and never deceives when consulted in good faith” (letter to Mr. Perdriau, vol. II, p. 134). It has been pointed out that this “divine instinct,” this “infallible judge of good and evil which make men like God,” had been very devoutly consulted by Jean-Jacques when he was abandoning his children. He had not failed to “scrutinize” the thing “by the laws of nature, justice, and reason, and by those of that pure holy religion, eternal as its author, which men have soiled, etc.” “That arrangement,” adds the man of Nature, “appeared to so good, so sensible, so legitimate…” “If I was wrong in my results, nothing is more amazing than the security of soul with which I gave myself up to it” (Confessions, book 8). “I well know,” Diderot said to him, “that whatever you do, you will always have the witness of your conscience.” Can Jean-Jacques’ piety need the help of a transcendent God? The Savoyard curate “talks” with God but “does not pray to Him.” “I do not ask of Him… the power to do right: why ask Him for what He has giving me?” Or else when Rousseau prays, it is “as the angels who praise God around His throne,” (3rd Lettre de la Montagne) it is to say: “Thy will be done,” unless it be to cry, as Mr. Masson, who sees in such a formula the characteristic prayer of Jean-Jacques, says: “O God, come to me, speak to me, console me, and deserv that I proclaim Thee.” Understand above all what is the last end of man in the Rousseauist religion. To become one with God, no doubt. But not by being raised by God to a participation in His life, rooted in Him by the vision of His essence. On the contrary, it is by absorbing, assimilating the divinity in ourselves. Self, self, divine self, always self, it is always in himself that Jean-Jacque would have beatitude: “supreme enjoyment is in satisfaction with oneself. It is to merit this satisfaction that we are set on the earth and endowed with liberty.” “Happiness on earth depends on the degree in which we withdraw from things and draw closer to ourselves: we are then sustained by our own substance, but it is never exhausted” (letter to Henriette de Mougin, 4 November, 1764). “No, God of my soul, I will never upbraid You for having made it in Your image to the end that I may be free, good, and happy, like You” (Émile, Book 4). Beatitude is, in fact, to be like God, enjoying “nothing save Himself and His own existence,” in a state in which one is sel-sufficient, like God” (Revéries, 5e). “In Jean-Jacques’ paradise,” Mr. Masson well writes (La Religion de Rousseau), “God Himself will discreetly vanish to leave room for Jean-Jacques. The paradise which he dreams is one which he will fill completely, one which will give him the highest pleasures in satisfaction with an enjoyment with himself, because he will feel that he is God Himself, free, good, and happy like Him. ‘I long,’ he says, ‘for the moment when, freed from the shackles of the body, I shall be myself without contradiction, without division, and shall need only myself to be happy.’” Here we are certainly at the centre of Jean-Jacques’s madness; but we are also at the heart of the Paradise of Immanence. Paragraphs taken from the book ˝Three reformers˝ by Jacques Maritain.

H 379

«An invitation that his disciple Robespierre certainly accepted, when at the Convention, he justified Terror with the known phrase: “If virtue is the basis of popular government during times of peace, in times of revolution it is virtue plus terror; terror without virtue is homicidal, virtue without terror is powerless.”»


feasts” and similar mixtures of the sacred with the profane. Even the Constitution becomes a kind of “second Bible” (a term used by a President of the Italian Republic). Undoubtedly this clearly Rousseaunian tendency towards a secular messianism prepares the way towards what Talmon called “totalitarian Democracy”: “Religious ethics was replaced with social and lay morality, leaving the State as the only source and guarantee of morality” (Le origine della democrazia totalitaria, II Mulino, Bolonia, 1967, p.11; see also L.G. Crocker, II “Contrato Sociale”di Rousseau, Sei, Turin, 1971). Jacques Maritain has expressed this movement clearly when talking about “mimetism of sainthood” (J.-J. Rousseau, o il santo de la natura, en Tre riformatori, Morcelliana, Brescia, 1967). We can also say along with Augusto del Noce that Rousseau, although he always talks about God and immortality, bases his pre-Marxist political utopia in the atheistic camp: “It is not the denial of sin that overflows from the denial of God, but the denial of sin, of the initial fall, is the beginning of a process that leads to atheism” (Il problema dell’ateismo, Il Mulino, Bolonia, 1964, p. 156).

Is Rousseau Totalitarian? This is clearly perceived in Rousseau’s condemnation of freedom of opinion. Rousseau was a victim of censorship, his writings were condemned and burned, yet paradoxically he defends this action as a valid instrument of the State to control the “crimes of opinion”: “Censorship maintains national habits, preventing the corruption of opinions, keeping its righteousness with wise applications, sometimes establishing them when still in doubt” (SC IV 7, in O 338). Furthermore, with acute foresight, Rousseau perceives a necessary characteristic of the new politics: it has to be applied as a rigid and omnipresent “moral conviction,” in entertainment as well, as was done by his great compatriot Calvino, and Plato in Greece, when he condemned Homer to ostracism for “immorality.” In the lengthy

H 380

letter “Letter to D’Alembert,” Rousseau not only proposes to prohibit what is “immoral and vain” but to replace such entertainment with socially acceptable shows: “Keep watch over the amusements of the citizens, in order to make them honest: it is the only way to encourage their work” (LS, in O 269). The “nationalization of the masses” studied by G. Mosse in the book of the same name (Il Mulino, Bolonia, 1971) will follow this trend through the Twentieth Century. Rousseau, ahead of Gentile, suggests an “ethical State” that does not obtain its strength from a natural law or from the election of its associates, but from “general consent” imposed by the Prince. According to the Discourse on Political Economics, that first was an article written for the Encyclopedie (V, 337-49), the task of the government is to form faithful citizens, transforming them from within: “If it is a good thing to know how to use men as they are, it is even better to make them as they should be. Absolute authority is the one that acts from within man, and it acts upon his will no less than upon his action” (DE in O 105). Man has to be obliged to be free. A free man is he who accepts what is imposed by the general will: “Every individual will fit with it. Virtue consists in the compliance of the individual will with the general will; albeit, let virtue reign” (DE in O 106). An invitation that his disciple Robespierre certainly accepted, when at the Convention, he justified Terror with the known phrase: “If virtue is the basis of popular government during times of peace, in times of revolution it is virtue plus terror; terror without virtue is homicidal, virtue without terror is powerless.”

Between Anarchy and Totalitarianism


The pedagogical novel Emilio, considered the starting point of the educational project for modernity, is interpreted to compliment the Social Contract. Rousseau is convinced that true education cannot be taught by religious congregations, but only by the State. And his model is the Greek “paideia” of the polis, specifically the Spartan. Rousseau understands the basic role the school plays in the formation of future obedient and virtuous citizens: it should “alter his nature in such a way that he will not think of himself as unique, but as part of a unit, only sensitive to the whole” (E I, in O 353). But he also knows that the political utopia has not been realized yet, and that alongside a society that is corrupt there is a corrupt school. So he proposes a domestic education in direct contact with nature. Emilio is educated in the country by a teacher. This is Rousseau’s paradox: he so loves the perfect society of the future that he excludes children from public school, which is as false as society is. For the time being,

H 381


H 382

school has to defend children from society with an education modeled after Emilio’s: accomplished in private, but transforming him into a citizen. Anticipating a prevalent tendency in late modernity, Rousseau considers morality, politics, and education as a single process. All education is politics as “everything depends on politics” (C IX, in O 977). And morality and politics – he says ahead of Marx – are one and the same. The teacher is the motor of education, acting towards his disciple as a legislator in politics, meaning that he acts with authoritarian methods. Rousseau speaks of the freedom of the boy, about the autonomy of the moral conscience, about negative education, about “conscience” (E IV, in O 558). He wishes for a free education that keeps Emilio away from all false superstructures and the lies of society by means of a natural education. However the narrative of this pedagogical novel is in contradiction with this premise. To educate a child away from society without relating to his peers is most unnatural. The pretense of starting a moral and religious education at the age of 15 seems an artificial and counter-productive project, as does the proposed religion, the religion of the “heart,” professed by the Saboyan Vicar (E IV, in O 537-578). Rousseau is in contradiction with his free education when he describes the educational practices of the teacher, who is always directing and conditioning the student, guiding him towards prefixed political aims in such a way that the so called “self-education” seems to be a resource and a fraud: “The student has to believe he is always the leader, while you have to be in command. You have to capture his will. No submission is as perfect as that which retains the appearance of freedom. He has to do only what he wishes, but he has to wish what you want him to. You have to anticipate all his movements” (E II, in O 419). Jesuits by comparison were only amateurs. Rousseau’s proposal of considering a youngster as such, and not potentially, as a man, can be accepted as expressed in the well known verse by the English romantic poet: “The child is father of the man” (W. Wordsworth, Intimation of Immortality); but such a proposal becomes pedagogical anarchism on the one hand and an educational authoritarianism with political purposes on the other. These are precisely the dominant tendencies of education today. Think of the de-schooling of Ivan Illich (Distruggere la Scuola, 1971) and Lorenzo Milani (Lettera a una professoressa, 1967) and the determinist structuralism of Skinner (Walden due, 1948).

«Rousseau considers four religions: 1) of man, good but sterile: a sentimental deism, lacking in dogmas, rites, and cult; 2) of the citizen, partially good: the cult of the gods of the civitas; 3) of the priest, totally evil: opposes the believer with the citizen, as in “Roman Christianity.” For him the only valid religion is 4) that which he eloquently defines as “civil religion,” a profession of faith established by the sovereign to which the citizen must adhere: “If someone acts as if he does not believe in it, let him be punished with death.”»

Primitivism, Wilderness Rousseau not only influenced political science and education but also social customs. His writings permeated literature and caused a change in taste and fashion. The tendency towards primitivism in the educated and less educated public is emphasized, and it is also a characteristic in art starting in the late Nineteenth Century (exoticism), and during our present time it is an undisputable sociocultural tendency. The interest in primitive societies had already started by the end of the Eighteenth Century (think of Paul et Virginie by Rousseau’s friend Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, l787, or Chateaubriand’s Atala, 1801), even more so due to the research in anthropology done during the second half of the Nineteenth Century, coinciding with the maximum development of the European colonial conquests. LeviStrauss stated that Rousseau was the father of anthropology (J. J. Rousseau, in Razza e Storia, Einaudi, Turin, 1967). The culture of the

H 383

Nineteenth Century favored the artistic expressions of African and Oceanic civilizations in painting, sculpture, and music. The triumph of primitivism is most relevant in fashion and together with post-modern theories the “savage” archetype is imposed, not to mention the barbaric primitive character of the body: tattoos, piercing, divesting of the flesh, rings, amulets and dyes that lead us once again to primitive magic. The media has revived the “tribal dream” and the “global village” (McLuhan). Ecological trends lead to an “uncontaminated” habitat, choosing “natural” foods and “alternative” medicine. Tourism shows preference for primitive and “savage” places, sometimes even inventing and imposing them. It is not difficult to perceive in all of this the Rousseaunian myth of the “bon savage.” ACCOrDINg TO SOME HE WAS AN ANArCHIST; TO OTHErS HE WAS A TOTALITArIAN. MAYBE HE BrOUgHT TOgETHEr BOTH ASPECTS AS A LEgACY TO TODAY’S WOrLD IN WHICH EvErYTHINg IS SOCIAL AND AT THE SAME TIME EvErYTHINg IS FrAgMENTED AND INCOMMUNICABLE.

H 384

Disturbance and Resentment Several of Rousseau’s interpreters have been bewildered when confronted with the facts of his life: the petty thefts, the boldness of his erotic relationships “a deux” also “a trois” with Mme. de Warens, the ménage with Therese Lavasseur, his five children abandoned by him in the hospice of the Enfants trouves (“Thus taught Plato” he said) deplorable acts, often the expression of a dual malaise: physical and psychological. His health was always fragile, and in the years leading to his death, disastrous: afflicted with the “stone disease” he had to adopt Turkish dress to hide the receptacle. Victim of a persecution mania, he would go from anguish to delirium. He was incapable of friendship and quarreled with everyone (from Hume to Voltaire and Diderot). He always lacked the means to support himself, having to ask for help and to even swindle in order to obtain money. By the end of the Nineteenth Century research was done describing his pathologies with a positive view (genius and madness), and during the Twentienth Century through psychoanalysis. However Rousseau never concealed his “imbalance.” With pleasure he made it the object of introspective analysis, not lacking in pseudo-mystical attitudes and morbid self complacency, as seen in his autobiography (C, PS, R). With an attitude between masochism and exhibitionism he set himself as the highest example of this alienation. “Of all the men I have known, none was better than I” (Letter to Malesherbes, l762). And he considered that the sincerity with which he confessed his faults eliminated them, because, he would add, the depth of his soul remained “uncontaminated.” In the same way he defends unlimited freedom, he praises sincerity, announcing a tendency present today, which considers it more important than morality (think of

Andre Gide). However Rousseau’s character is not merely a personal fact. He transforms it and highlights it to be a model of future society. And it certainly does incarnate our “narcissistic” society. (see Ch. Lasch, The culture of narcissism, Bompiani, Milan, 1981). We can say with Spaemann that he was “a stateless person” and was looking for a state in nature (Rousseau, cittadino senza patria, Ares, Milan, 2009, pp. 15 ss.). In this he also was ahead of today’s world, characterized – using Simon Weil’s words – by “deracinement” (La prima radice, SE, Milan, 1990). Undoubtedly Rousseau’s radicalism demystifies illuminism. He shows that its way out is the nihilism that his friend/enemy philosophers hid behind the myth of progress, quality of life, and philanthropy. At the end of his days, Rousseau proclaims the vanity of all social efforts and locks himself up in obscure solitude: “Here I am alone on this earth, without a brother, someone close or friend, apart from myself. (…) A poor and wretched mortal, I find myself here calm at the bottom of the abyss, yet unmoved like God” (SW I, in O 1321, 1323). Although he understood perfectly well the danger of man’s alienation in modern society, Rousseau did not in any way contribute to reduce it; on the contrary he accentuated it. According to some he was an anarchist; to others he was a totalitarian. Maybe he brought together both aspects as a legacy to today’s world in which everything is social and at the same time everything is fragmented and incommunicable. Rousseau wrote a work called the Confessions, which is sometimes compared to the work of the same name by St. Augustine. That is an error: St. Augustine “confesses” in as much as his conscience dialogues (cum-factor) with the foras, the indus, and the supra. Rousseau confesses nothing, exhibiting his life narcissistically: the world is a God-like idealized nature (totem bonus); man is a good being corrupted by society. Rousseau loves vanished man, and hates the present day man. In so far as he thinks about God, he is only a sentimental aspiration: “The more I think about it the more confused I become” (E IV, in O 546). Rousseau destroyed tradition in the name of a visionary utopia rejected by him. His legacy is still present in many tendencies of our narcissistic and nihilistic hour: “Rousseau was the father of almost all the radical ideologies of the last two centuries” (Spaemann, op. cit., p. 142).

Rousseau’s works quoted in this article


= Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1776, posthumous;

DE = Discourse on Political Economy, 1755; DI = Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men, 1755; DS = Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, 1750; E

= Émile: or, on Education, 1762;

LS = Letter to M. D’Alembert on Spectacles, 1761; NA = Narcissus, 1752; NH = Julie, or the New Heloise, 1761; O

= Opere, Sansoni, Florence, 1972;


= Dialogues: Rousseau Judge of Jean-Jacques, 1776.

SC = The Social Contract, 1762;

Translated by Carmen Bullemore and Luis Vargas Saavedra.

SW = Reveries of a Solitary Walker, 1776-78, posthumous;

H 385

H 386

«The sense of longing, of nostalgia for paradise, comes (he thought) from the best part of ourselves, the part that “remembers” its Origin, when we came from the hand of God and were first filled with the breath of life.» Tolkien’s drawing of Hobbiton.

toLkien and modernity: a key to tHe Lord of tHe rings By STrATforD cAlDecoTT

Was J.R.R. Tolkien a modern writer? The author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion is undoubtedly “modern” in the sense that he lived in our own historical period (he died in 1973). Furthermore, his writing is extraordinarily popular with modern readers. But critics often allege that he was not modern but rather pre-modern in his approach to literature, and certainly they are right in the sense that it was ancient storytelling traditions and AngloSaxon literature such as Beowulf that particularly inspired him. His book contained many archaic elements. It was not, however, archaic or pre-modern in itself. The Lord of the Rings is a novel with modern concerns. It could not have been written in an earlier age. It contains an implicit but very strong critique of modernity – of aspects and tendencies of the modern world – such as globalization, socialism, and reliance on technology. But is this regressive or progressive? Only time will tell.

Who Was Tolkien? But first, who was this man, this writer? Like every one of us, he was more than the sum of his parts. As a child he became an orphan – his father died when he was four, his mother (a Catholic convert reduced to poverty by the resulting exclusion from her family) when he was twelve. Later he became an Oxford don, a professor of Anglo-Saxon. He worked on the Oxford English Dictionary. He translated the Book of Job for the Jerusalem Bible. He cycled to Mass nearly every day. In the evening he made up stories for his four children. People say he dressed up like an ancient warrior with horns on his head wielding a big axe to chase tourists out of his garden. He was a bit like an overgrown hobbit, with his fancy waistcoats and his pipes of tobacco. (In fact he once described himself as a “Hobbit in all but size.”) And he was very like a wizard in his old age, casting a magic spell with his words over millions of readers. In his youth he was a soldier – an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, fighting in the trenches of the Somme in 1916, where 60,000 British soldiers died on the first day and more than a million lives

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 386 - 399


H 387

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

1 References to the published Letters of Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter in various editions retain the same numbering for the letters, arranged in chronological order. 2 “Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the real ‘soul-mate’ is the one you are actually married to.” (L. 43) In one of the Unfinished Tales, “Aldarion and Erednis”, he tells the sad story of the sixth king of Númenor, whose love of the sea and frequent voyaging on long adventures led to his becoming estranged from his wife. I sometimes wonder if this reflects the estrangement he may have felt at times from Edith as more and more of her husband’s time was spent in writing and rewriting the great saga (though this is the kind of speculation Tolkien himself would have disdained).

H 388

on both sides were lost altogether. The experience helped to make him a writer, as it did the war poets Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, and Siegfried Sassoon, and in the next war the fantasy writer T.H. White, author of The Once and Future King. In later years, looking back, Tolkien described how the early writings about Middle-earth and some of his made-up Elvish languages began as a distraction when he was supposed to be paying attention to being a good officer in the War: “in grimy canteens, at lectures in cold fogs, in huts full of blasphemy and smut, or by candle-light in bell-tents, even some down in dugouts under shell fire” (L. 66).1 He wrote fantasy, he said, in order to express his feelings about good and evil, fair and foul; to make sense of them, and prevent them “just festering.” Another aspect of Tolkien might surprise you: Tolkien as Romantic Lover. He fell in love in 1909 at the age of sixteen with a pretty girl called Edith Bratt who was three years older than him, also an orphan, but a Protestant. His guardian by that time, the rather strict Father Francis Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory, forbade him to see or speak to her until he came of age at twenty-one, and he obeyed fairly well – except for a couple of clandestine meetings early on, which got him into trouble, and some accidental encounters later – with the result that by the time he finally wrote to ask her to marry him, on the evening of his twenty-first birthday, she had become engaged to someone else, thinking Tolkien had forgotten her. Luckily she was still in love with him and willing to break off the engagement. In 1914 she reluctantly converted to Catholicism (in those days mixed marriages were not permitted in a Catholic church), and in 1916 they married in the Church of Mary Immaculate in Warwick. Despite occasional tensions2 it was a remarkable lifelong romance, and left its mark on Tolkien’s writing in several ways. If you have read The Lord of the Rings or seen the movie, you’ll remember the love story concerning Aragorn and Arwen. In Tolkien’s writing, this harks back to an earlier romance between Man and Elf, many thousands of years earlier – the story of Beren and Lúthien, the ancestors of both Aragorn and Arwen. Wandering in the summer in the woods of Neldoreth, he writes, the man Beren came upon Lúthien, the princess of the Elves, at a time of evening under moonrise, as she danced upon the unfading grass in the glades beside Esgalduin. Then all memory of his pain departed from him, and he fell into an enchantment; for Lúthien was the most beautiful of all the Children of Ilúvatar [the Elvish name for God]. Blue was her raiment as the unclouded heaven, but her eyes were as grey as

the starlit evening; her mantle was sewn with golden flowers, but her hair was as dark as the shadows of twilight. As the light upon the leaves of trees, as the voice of clear waters, as the stars above the mists of the world, such was her glory and her loveliness; and in her face was a shining light. Beren falls instantly in love, and asks for her hand in marriage. Her father sends him on a seemingly impossible quest, in which (though only with Luthien’s help) he succeeds. Eventually, however, he is killed and she descends into the underworld to rescue his soul. She sings so beautifully to the Lord of the Dead that both are restored to life for a brief time. It is a beautiful story, right at the heart of Tolkien’s writing, but the romance he was describing was in a way his own – a kind of mythological statement about what it felt like to fall in love at first sight, how love can reshape one’s entire life, and how husband and wife achieve the Quest together or not at all. Tolkien and Edith are buried together in Oxford, and on their tombstone he had the names engraved of Beren and Lúthien. Finally, of course, Tolkien was a master of languages. His friend C.S. Lewis, in an obituary, even wrote that Tolkien unlike other, more superficial linguists, had travelled “inside” language, like an explorer penetrating a barrier and finding a place no one else had been. He understood the music and the meaning of language, and the way it evolves through time, perhaps better than anyone else before or since. Already as a teenager he knew most of the main European languages, ancient and modern. In school debates he was happy to speak in Latin, Greek, Gothic, or Anglo-Saxon instead of English. Later he came to love Finnish and Welsh particularly. And of course he soon started to make up new languages of his own, although he began to think of them not so much as inventions but as reconstructions of old languages that might have existed before the ones we know, going back to a mythological time before history, a time when elves and dragons walked the earth. Middleearth, you could say, was constructed partly as a setting for these languages – to imagine a world in which it would make sense that people spoke Elvish not English.


Tolkien and Modernity Each of the elements I have been describing in Tolkien’s make-up – soldier, lover, linguist, and Catholic – specifically contributed to his critique of modernity, and I will say a brief word about each in turn.

H 389

«In his youth he was a soldier – an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, fighting in the trenches of the Somme in 1916, where 60,000 British soldiers died on the first day.»



H 390

First, through fighting in the War he became very aware of the sudden onset of the modern age, marked by the use of weapons of mass destruction and the increasing mechanization of warfare – but at the same time he learned to appreciate the moral virtues of the ordinary English soldier alongside he was fighting, the English “tommy,” as he was called. In fact the character of the lovable, unpretentious, and yet indomitable working-class Sam Gamgee is a portrait of the men he got to know in the trenches of the Somme – a ruined landscape, by the way, which bore a marked resemblance to the Dead Marshes through which Frodo and Sam are led by Gollum on their way to the Black Gate of Mordor. His account of the Fall of the hidden Elvish city of Gondolin was begun at this time, and describes an assault by Orcs and Balrogs, “dragons of fire” and “serpents of bronze and iron”, under great steams and smokes that must have been partly inspired by his experiences on the Front. Later, The Lord of the Rings was written during the Second World War, in which his son Christopher served, a war fought against a great dictator who was seeking to bring the whole world under his dominion – and yet a war that was eventually won by the use of tactics and technology that Tolkien abhorred, for example the fire-bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He calls it “the first War of the Machines”, which will leave everyone the poorer, millions dead, “and only one thing triumphant: the Machines” (L. 96). After the War, he prophesied, “the Machines are going to be enormously more powerful” – prompting him to ask: “What’s their next move?” (ibid.).

In his published Letters, Tolkien refers to the “tragedy and despair” of modern reliance on technology, when it alienates us from the natural world. In the novel, this tragedy is vividly illustrated in many ways, not least by the corrupted wizard Saruman, with his “mind of metal and wheels.” In the modern world, with its ecological disasters and its factory farms, we have seen the devastating and dehumanizing effects of Saruman’s purely pragmatic approach to nature. The English Romantic movement, from William Blake and Coleridge through to the Inklings, believed there must be an alternative. At the end of his wonderful essay The Abolition of Man, which everyone ought to read, Tolkien’s friend C.S. Lewis writes hopefully of a new kind of science, a “regenerate science” of the future that “would not do even to minerals and vegetables what modern science threatens to do to man himself. When it explained it would not explain away. When it spoke of the parts it would remember the whole.” For modern science, on the other hand, Lewis argued, as for the old black magic that never really worked, the goal is power over the forces of nature. That power is sought for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad. We may wish to satisfy our curiosity and increase our knowledge of how the world works. We may wish to do wonderful things with our new-found power over nature: end poverty, extend life, heal disease. We may simply want to win a Nobel Prize. But what Lewis calls the “magician’s bargain” tells us what the price of such power may be: namely, our own souls. In fact, he says, the conquest of nature turns out to be our conquest by nature, that is to say, by our own desires or those of others (those who end up controlling the machinery). Only those who are masters of their desires, and not driven by them, can really be called powerful or free. Tolkien explores two different types of technology, two different understandings of science, through the contrast in his story between the Elves and the Enemy: the science of the Elves (called “magic”) has not been separated from art as it is in our day; indeed, it could be called a form of art. If the goal of the Elves is Art, the aim of the Enemy is what he calls the “domination and tyrannous reforming of Creation.” The devices of the Elves, like the magic Ring worn by Galadriel to protect Lothlórien, are all more or less benign. They work “with the grain of nature,” not against it. The science of the Enemy, in Tolkien’s world, is very different. It reflects a desire to control. The will to power, he writes, “leads to the Machine”: by which he means the use of our talents or devices to bulldoze others into submission. The Ring of Power, the “One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,” is an example of this kind of technology. And he is realistic when he shows the biggest temptation to use the Ring is felt by those who persuade themselves they want


H 391

3 In 1943 Tolkien wrote: “My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy” (L. 52). The “half republic half aristocracy” of the Shire (L. 183) has an elected mayor but seems to function most of the time well enough without government (except a distant King representing the principle of natural justice), and its police force of “Shirriffs” has very little to do – that is, until the influence of the corrupted wizard Saruman is brought to bear. At that point Government with a capital G arrives with a vengeance. No political system as such is immune to corruption. “I am not a ‘democrat,’” Tolkien wrote in 1956, “only because ‘humility’ and equality are spiritual principles corrupted by the attempt to mechanize and formalize them, with the result that we get not universal smallness and humility, but universal greatness and pride, till some Orc gets hold of a ring of power – and then we get and are getting slavery” (L. 186). Tolkien was not optimistic about the prospects for a civilization that had taken the path of Saruman rather than that of Gandalf (see L. 53).

H 392

to do good rather than evil – to make the world a better place by bending it to their own will. Of course, when we get into the task of “locating” the Ring, or what is left of it, in the present world, I should mention that Tolkien always insisted that his fantasy was no mere allegory. Mordor was not a thinly disguised Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. He once wrote: “To ask if the orcs ‘are’ communists is to me as sensible as asking if communists are orcs.” But at the same time he did not deny that the story was “applicable” to contemporary affairs, indeed he affirmed this. It is applicable not merely in providing a parable to illustrate the danger of the Machine, but in showing the reasons for that danger: namely the ever-present vices of sloth and stupidity, pride, greed, folly and lust for power, all exemplified in the various races of Middle-earth. This important lesson that Tolkien drew from the War –that evil must not be done for the sake of the good– has many important implications. Even the Orcs, who appear utterly evil and who “must be fought with the utmost severity,” Tolkien writes in one of his notebooks, “must not be dealt with in their own terms of cruelty and treachery. Captives must not be tormented, not even to discover information for the defence of the homes of Elves and Men. If any Orcs surrendered and asked for mercy, they must be granted it, even at a cost.” In recent years and months we have seen the British and American secret services put on trial for allegedly flouting this principle and torturing prisoners. Tolkien’s parable remains instructive on many levels.3

Lover Earlier I said that Tolkien’s romance with Edith – his role as romantic lover – was itself a basis for his critique of modernity, and it is time to explain what I meant by that. Bear in mind that in writing these stories he was not constructing an “escape” from everyday reality, as critics allege by calling this kind of thing “escapist” literature. He was trying to show, albeit in an exaggerated and imaginary form, the way the world really works, both morally and spiritually. The actor who played Aragorn in the movie, Viggo Mortensen, when asked why the film and the book were so popular, replied that he thought it was because they tell a “true story.” He was right. There is truth in the story, and that is what makes it so interesting. But by building romance into the mythology the way he did – and this only becomes obvious when you read The Silmarillion as well as The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien was affirming that all of history is in the end a love story; that love is the most important thing in the world

– it is not just what shapes the world, but the thing for the sake of which everything happens. Not just the love of man and woman, of course, but also the love of friends and the love of beauty and the love of life that comes to a kind of crescendo in the fruitful love of marriage. Take The Lord of the Rings itself. Frodo’s Quest to destroy the Ring begins with his desire to save his beloved Shire from the Shadow that threatens to engulf it. It is the love of his friends that creates the Fellowship which achieves the Quest. Each member of the Fellowship plays a part. Through that adventure, the Hobbits grow up. They learn the virtues of courage and fidelity and wisdom that are needed to heal the Shire of the evil that infects it when they return. (Very unfortunately this part of the book was omitted in Peter Jackson’s film.) And Sam in particular – who is in a way the hero of the story, almost more than Frodo according to the author – acquires through these adventures the maturity and courage to propose to his beloved Rosie, and settles into Bag End as Frodo’s heir, before long with a big family. The Lord of the Rings ends with his return from the Grey Havens: And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. “Well, I’m back,” he said. With this ending, Tolkien was making the point that all the high epic adventures in Rohan and Gondor and Ithilien, all the battles and torments that the Hobbits had gone through at the hands of the Orcs and on the fields of the Pelennor, were for the sake of the Shire, to enable the Hobbits not only to defend and heal it, but in the case of Sam, to settle down into ordinary domestic life. The Shire, of course, represents the England that Tolkien loved, the villages and fields that he played in as a child, and the horrible slum ruled by Saruman that they find on their return is a vision of what modernity has done to that English idyll4. You could say that the lesson of the story is that ordinary life, and especially marriage and family today, needs to be protected and supported not just by external armies but from within, by a life of heroic virtue, or by virtues that would be recognized as heroic if projected onto the big screen of an adventure far from home, because there they can be seen for what they really are.


4 The Shire has been described by critics as an impossible paradise based on childhood memories, bathed in the rosy glow of sentimental nostalgia. This is not at all fair. Even before its infiltration and corruption by Saruman, the Shire has its flaws. The small-mindedness of its inhabitants, the unpleasantness of the SackvilleBagginses and Ted Sandyman, are not there merely for comic effect, but inject a genuine note of realism from the primary world.

H 393


5 By 1914 Tolkien had encountered a poem by Cynewulf called Crist (‘Christ’). Two lines of the poem struck him in a way he never forgot: Éalá Éarendel engla beorhtast/ ofer middangeard monnum sended! “Hail Earendel, brightest of angels,/ above the middle-earth sent unto men!” Tolkien describes the first impact of these words upon him in the voice of the character Lowdham in his “Notion Club Papers”: “When I came across that citation in the dictionary I felt a curious thrill, as if something had stirred in me, half wakened from sleep. There was something very remote and strange and beautiful behind those words, if I could grasp it, far beyond ancient English ... I don’t think it is any irreverence to say that it may derive its curiously moving quality from some older world.”

H 394

As for Tolkien’s love of language as a source for his anti-modernity, it is bound up with his love of tradition, of history, and of folklore. The evolution of languages cannot be separated from the evolution of civilizations, and the words we use today give us clues to things that happened, and the way people thought and acted in the distant past. Tolkien wanted to unravel language, and travel back through time to see a lost world, one that predated the histories known to us, so far back that it would appear mythological, enabling him to speak of mysteries such as creation itself, and the origin of good and evil, and the obscure longing that haunts us for a paradise we somehow feel once existed on the earth. “We all long for it,” he wrote (L. 96), “and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most humane, is still soaked with the sense of exile.” The sense of longing, of nostalgia for paradise, comes (he thought) from the best part of ourselves, the part that “remembers” its Origin, when we came from the hand of God and were first filled with the breath of life. He was “anti-modern” in the sense that modernity often stands against this kind of yearning with a kind of world-weary cynicism. Such things never were, we are told, and never could be because Man is just an animal like any other, except nastier and more dangerous. Tolkien’s stories say, No! We can look up at the stars, we can aspire to be greater than we are, and if we do this then divine grace will help us. Our very ability to imagine worlds like Middle-earth and the Blessed Lands of the West prove that we are more than these modern cynics choose to believe. In a poem called “Mythopoeia,” inspired by a conversation with C.S. Lewis that led to Lewis’s conversion to Christianity, he summed it up like this: The heart of Man is not compound of lies, but draws some wisdom from the only Wise, and still recalls him. Though now long estranged, Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed. Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned, and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned, his world-dominion by creative act: not his to worship the great Artefact, Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light through whom is splintered from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind. Though all the crannies of the world we filled

«In his published Letters, Tolkien refers to the “tragedy and despair” of modern reliance on technology, when it alienates us from the natural world. In the novel, this tragedy is vividly illustrated in many ways, not least by the corrupted wizard Saruman, with his “mind of metal and wheels.”» Tolkien’s drawing of the Tower of Isengard (Orthanc).

H 395

«He soon started to make up new languages of his own, although he began to think of them not so much as inventions but as reconstructions of old languages that might have existed before the ones we know, going back to a mythological time before history, a time when elves and dragons walked the earth.» Envelope with Tolkien´s elvish writing.


H 396

with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build Gods and their houses out of dark and light, and sowed the seed of dragons, ‘twas our right (used or misused). The right has not decayed. We make still by the law in which we’re made


Tolkien’s search for the Beginning of all things was expressed through the invention of mythology, but his desire for it was awoken by the love of language, or rather of the Word – the divine Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity – that he felt he could hear resounding like a kind of distant music in certain phrases in certain languages, such as Anglo-Saxon.5 It was this that in 1914 prompted him to start writing, and he never stopped until his death in 1973. His mythology expresses the very profound intuition that prose begins in poetry, and poetry in song, and song in music, and that music is equivalent to light, which is the primary vibration stirred by the voice of God in the deep waters of existence. So that all of history, like all of cosmology, is the unfolding story of Light and Music, in which God expresses his joy by giving freedom to creatures who sing and shine with him, and by bringing good out of the evil that seeks to engulf the light at every turn.

Catholic And so we come to the fourth and final point, Tolkien’s Catholicism. How much more anti-modern can you get, than to be a Roman Catholic? Or rather, to be a Catholic of Tolkien’s kind, traditional and orthodox and devout, in the end submissive to Rome even when it changed the liturgy he loved, faithfully upholding the supreme value of the Real Presence (L. 250), and even the unpopular teaching on marriage? Of course, The Lord of the Rings makes no reference to religion, and is even less obviously a Christian work than C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Nevertheless, in 1953 Tolkien admitted to a Jesuit friend, Robert Murray, that “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision” (L. 142). He goes on to say that he has nevertheless cut out “practically all references to anything like ‘religion,’ to cults or practices, in the imaginary world.” He has done this so that “the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.” But he did leave some clues. The calendar date he gives for the destruction of the Ring is March 25th, which in “the real world” is the Feast of the Annunciation, the day on which Catholics celebrate


6 March 25th is chosen to mark the beginning of the new year in Gondor, just as it marked the first day of the new year in England until 1751, which is why the tax year starts in April not January.

H 397


the beginning of the Incarnation in Mary’s womb.6 Mary was preserved from sin, and strengthened in her will to good, by the grace that flowed into the world (both backwards and forwards in time) from the Cross. Her Yes to the Holy Spirit was therefore the beginning of the final reply to Sauron, and the definitive rejection of the Ring. (In fact there is a longstanding tradition that the Crucifixion also took place on March 25th.) And clearly aspects of Christ and his mission are glimpsed at various points in The Lord of the Rings, for example when Aragorn walks the Paths of the Dead and returns to claim his throne, and when Gandalf gives his life to slay the Balrog in Moria and is “sent back” to Middle-earth in resurrected form as Gandalf the White, endowed with new authority. Frodo and Sam’s journey across Mordor and up the side of Mount Doom carrying the Ring is very reminiscent of Christ’s stumbling walk to Calvary carrying his Cross. In these and other ways, one can tell that Tolkien believes in Christ and also believes that the mission of Christ is bound to send out echoes and reflections throughout human history and mythology. But these references to Christianity are buried very deep, and one does not have to notice them in order to enjoy the book for its own sake (it is, after all, set in a pre-Christian time). What is more important, and more obvious, is the moral universe that Tolkien portrays, a world of virtues, vices, and temptations. The vices are vividly portrayed in the Orcs and Saruman – greed, envy, pride, hatred, and so on – and in the case of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, despair. Against these vices he sets the virtues of courage and courtesy, kindness and humility, generosity and wisdom, in the hearts of the Fellowship. And he shows how the human heart is often balanced between the two, as in the case of Boromir or Frodo, where the Ring serves to represent the ultimate temptation, the temptation to wield power over others.

The “Spark of Fire” I hope I have said enough to suggest some of the ways in which Tolkien can be called anti-modern. He was in many ways a part of the great Romantic movement in European literature. The Romantic poet William Blake also composed great mythological epics, as well as poetry, and criticized the scientific and industrial revolution for its dehumanizing effects on society. The Romantics believed less in Reason and Science than in Feeling and Imagination. Tolkien retained this belief in the importance of the Imagination, but unlike some of the Romantics he also believed in objective Truth, and as a Catholic he tried to integrate emotion and imagination together with rational thought into one comprehensive vision of reality. But this very fact makes him as much post-modern as anti-modern

H 398

«He felt that the four members of the TCBS, with their refined sense of honor and poetry and beauty, “had been granted some spark of fire… that was destined to kindle a new light, or, what is the same thing, rekindle an old light in the world”.» Cover designs for the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

– or rather, if the term postmodern is associated with the last gasp of modernism and the “failure” of the Enlightenment, we might call people like Tolkien post-postmodern, because they are looking backwards in order to move forwards. As a schoolboy at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, Tolkien formed a close friendship with three other boys who together called themselves the TCBS (Tea Club and Barrovian Society). After they left school and went on to Oxford and Cambridge, and then into the Army to fight in the War, they remained friends. It was through them on the eve of the War that Tolkien found in 1914 his sense of his vocation as a writer. He believed that the TCBS “was destined to testify to God and Truth in a more direct way even than by laying down its several lives in this war” – in a work that may be done “by three or two or one survivor,” always inspired in part by the others. Tolkien, of course, was one of the survivors. He felt that the four members of the TCBS, with their refined sense of honor and poetry and beauty, “had been granted some spark of fire… that was destined to kindle a new light, or, what is the same thing, rekindle an old light in the world” (L. 5). Do you see what I mean? The “old light” that they wanted to bring back into the world is the light of beauty and of truth grasped by the Romantic imagination, a beauty of poetry and art and a love of nature that was fast being eliminated by consumerism and mass media, by the noise and pollution and technology that is spreading everywhere. But this is the same as a “new light,” because in a very real sense it is timeless, and by perceiving it we begin to create a new civilization based on a different set of values. I believe, and I think Tolkien secretly believed, that by writing his stories he had constructed a literary vehicle in which to transmit the vision of the TCBS to the wider world. He had given millions a glimpse of the “old light” of beauty and truth, and for those who allow this light to get into their souls, nothing is ever quite the same again.


H 399

H 400

pHiLosopHicaL insufficiency By rAfAel AlvIrA

Psychology with soul

wHat is boredom? or sociaL deatH because of


here is a remarkable fact. The great misfortunes of history such as wars, famines, and epidemics, do not leave a place for boredom. In any danger one may be, in any affliction one may suffer, all energies are mobilized to overcome adversity. Without having to deliberate, everyone clearly knows the goal of their action and the reason for their effort. The future besieges the present. In that terrible urgency of living so vividly, one almost forgets to live. Thus, it appears that living does not become a problem unless it is no longer a problem to live. Only when one is free from life’s needs does one find out what it means to be dominated by life’s contingencies: then boredom appears. What is there to be done with life when living only depends on oneself?”

Nicholas Grimaldi helps us frame the following reflections that I wish to present. In his work entitled Ennui et modernité (Cahiers de la société ligérienne de Philosophie, Tours, 1978, pp. 42-43), he tells us that “in his Histoire de France, Michelet presents the first attack on boredom towards the end of the fifteenth century, and also mentions that, recounted in all of their biographies, the dukes of Burgundy would unexpectedly interrupt their pleasures and meetings to shut themselves away strangely in melancholy.” He adds that, hundreds of years later, already in the nineteenth century, “despite the enticing encouragement by Mr. Guizot (Prime Minister) to increase in wealth, there arose from everywhere an insistent and incisive voice that would finally dethrone (the king) Louis-Philippe (of Orleans): Sire, la France s’ennuie (“Sir, France is getting bored”) (p. 45). These brushstrokes draw, incipient but clearly and profoundly, some of the characteristic features of a disease which is more serious than it seems: boredom.

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 400 - 407


Left page: “Pierrot,” painting by Antoine Watteau.

H 401


When there are no more problems in life, it is life itself that becomes a problem: What is there to be done today? We have life at our disposal; it demands something decisive with the time that we do not want or know how to use. However, as time goes by, not using it becomes an extravagance, a sort of existential “excess.” That is why boredom is traditionally considered a disease of the rich. It is Montesquieu who tells us: “All princes get bored: proof of that, is that they go hunting.” And Rousseau, in Emile, apostrophizes: “The common people do not get bored: they lead an active life.” On the contrary, “the great scourge of the rich is boredom. Amid so many amusements, surrounded by so many people in charge of making their life pleasant, they get bored to death” (Emile, ou de l’éducation, IV libre, p. 438, ed. Richard). But it is not only the growth of wealth that is the cause of the problem. The ancient Greeks knew “anía” well, and the Latin people “taedium”; and the medieval people developed a careful and profound theory about it. However, as Grimaldi shows us well, boredom is a phenomenon that has been exacerbated in the last centuries. And, in my opinion, the explanation is that, not only has wealth increased, but with its growth along with information, the options, and possible and imaginary worlds, multiply. But at the same time, they do not develop the supreme and simple art of the spirit; the most difficult of the arts, namely, the dialogue. Nietzsche saw that precisely the most cultured people, while not educated, are the most capable of feeling bored: “Only the most acute and active animals are capable of boredom,” he declares. That is because they are more awake to throw themselves into the many possible worlds which we seek to possess, but once we reach them, they disappoint us. A. Schopenhauer once said, in his Parerga and Paralipomena, the old Roman aphorism: “Give to people bread and circus”: The bread symbolizes the object of the desires of the people. Once their desires are achieved, they must be given the circus so that they do not get bored. Are television or nightclubs the circus? In any case, what Nietzsche suggests is that popular boredom is trivial, and therefore, as Kierkegaard would have said, more serious and difficult to cure. Something similar happens with youthful boredom: it is not acute, and sometimes is well hidden by entertainment and instant activities. But it is much more critical when not taken seriously. And now it is time to state the thesis which I will briefly defend concerning the issue expressed in the title of this article: boredom is a social death; and its cause a philosophical insufficiency.

H 402

Psychology with soul “Therefore, it is clear that what unites the romantic with the bored, in their different ways of being, is the worrisome inner presence of negation, void, nothingness. This is a narrowness, restriction, or anguish, characteristic of the lack of resources.”

It is usually said that this problem is about a certain personal death, a sadness or boredom. But I hope to show that, precisely in this personal death, the truth behind the idea that man is a social being is revealed. In a way, man’s death as a person (and not physically) is identical with the death of society. And the person, as a person, dies exactly for the same reason that society dies: because of the disappearance of dialogue. Dialogue, as M. Heidegger has well expressed, is not the same as chatter or verbosity. As I already mentioned, dialogue is a very difficult art, because of its simplicity: its execution is the vey exercise of philosophy. So, what I want to say here can also be expressed in the following way: someone feels bored because his philosophy is insufficient.


At this point, many may respond that it is rather because of philosophy that we get bored. But no, here philosophy might as well say, as in the old song “I am not who you imagine,” I am not who you have been told I am. The person who feels bored is someone who rejects, that is to say, a critic in some sense of the word. To be bored means to not accept: abhorrere, to abhor, or in-odiare, annoyance (in other languages:

H 403

ennui, noia). Thus, to be bored is to not be interested, not practicing the inter-esse, not being involved in something. Therefore, originally in the classic sense, boredom was directed outwardly to objects and people. The problem is, that the more we reject, the more we remain alone with ourselves, alone with our own life. But there are two types of solitudes: the active and the passive. The first is only an apparent one: I momentarily separate in order to ponder and contemplate that in which I am interested: what I like. The second is the very isolation of the bored and reveals a very characteristic though unapparent feature; namely, weakness. Boredom is a form of weakness akin to romantic melancholy, and only differs from it in that the latter puts into play the imagination. The imagination of a nostalgic past or future that is not drawing on a practical project is an example of an attempted escape from the harshness of reality. But, where to escape when all attempts are exhausted? Only one place remains: towards myself. Thus the particular self appears in romanticism as an inner tragedy, and in boredom, as a pure perception of time. A bored person is one who perceives the passing of time as a void. It is the pure experience of time, a time which lacks quality, color, sound, and flavor. Therefore, it is clear that what unites the romantic with the bored, in their different ways of being, is the worrisome inner presence of negation, void, nothingness. This is a narrowness, restriction, or anguish, characteristic of the lack of resources. As is known, Pascal was one of the first to treat of the topic in modern Europe. Pascal defines boredom as “the experience of the nothingness of being,” and says, in my opinion, not so well, that it belongs to “la condition de l’homme.” After him, and perhaps more thoroughly than Pascal, Kierkegaard is the author that has most brilliantly studied this idea. He says in The Concept of Irony “Boredom is the only continuity the ironist has. Boredom, this eternity devoid of content, this salvation devoid of joy, this superficial profundity, this hungry glut…” If by rejecting the other I do not find myself, but find a void, that should means that, in order to find myself, I have to precisely do the opposite: accept the other, take an interest, take the other seriously.

H 404

Only when you empty yourself inwardly does the other stands out in its being, in its existence before you. Here we come to the most difficult point. Why do we get bored? Because we desire something that can fulfill our aspirations, that can give us peace, joy, the perpetual and happy adventure, and all that in fullness and without effort. But we know beforehand, deep down in our hearts, that this is not possible. Then we let ourselves fall, we get depressed, we become melancholy, we get bored. In light of this problem, and because of all the times that desire has shown us its deception or futility, many have thought that desire is precisely the cause of boredom, and that therefore we should suppress it: thus, Zen Buddhism or Schopenhauer. But this does not seem right to me. It is another form of cowardice. Bravery lies in learning to desire correctly, to want what we can desire and to desire what we can want. In order to know what and how we should desire, we must not suppress the desire, but momentarily suspend it. This is a task which requires effort and courage, because at the beginning I am my desires, my self is apparently identified with them. (“I want this or the other.”) But I must forget that self so that the other may stand out before me, not as I imagine it, but as it is. In our day, perhaps Robert Spaemann (in Glück und Wohlwollen) says it best: only if we think that the other is an absolute truth, a true existential reality, can we take the relation with him seriously.

Psychology with soul

But to do so I have to carry out a task, a real task, a very simple one, or rather very difficult: change the place of negation. If before I negated and rejected the outside, I placed the emphasis of the negation on the outside (“everything makes me weary”), then, exercising the critical spirit in its most common way, now I should place the negation inside; I should negate myself, because that is the essential condition to accept the other. To the extent that this negation is usually called humility, it also causes maturity. As it is well known, the perpetual critic is perpetually immature.


That is to say, we can and must be ironic about events of this world, and also about our desires, but we cannot be ironic about the person, not mine or that of the other. However, what does it mean to accept other as absolute, and therefore relate with him? It means to have a dialogue. Thus, we see that the dialogue has its origin in self-denial and in letting oneself marvel over the reality of the other being. It is true that “in variety is pleasure,” but that is only a part of the truth, the

H 405

accidental part. The greatest pleasure is obtained with perseverance and repetition, by the fruit that it brings. In a text that Viennese author, Christoph Kuffner, wrote for Beethoven, and which he placed in his marvelous Choral Fantasy (op. 80), reads: “Wenn sich Lieb’ und Kraft vermählen, lohnt dem Menschen Götter-Gunst,” that is, “When love and strength join together, the favor of God rewards man.”


Love and strength give rise to the word in the dialogue: I have something to say, because I have overcome myself, the strength of negating myself, and I have filled myself with the other or otherness that gets me excited. Thus, I can answer. That answer is an active form giving birth in the truth. It is a novelty, an occurrence, not capricious, but instead originated by the encounter with the real, with the being of the other. As far as philosophy is concerned, it is the exercise of the spirit which trains me to see being, the real; philosophy is the basic universal instrument for dialogue; that is to say, for the existence of society; that is, of the person. The computer is the basic universal instrument for information; that is to say, for power, since information is power. But philosophy is the instrument for society; that is to say, for humanity, so that man can be man. Therefore, we see that there is no real inner world without the discovery of the real exterior world and its acceptance. The melancholic and the bored take only an appearance, they do not dare against the weight of reality; they have too much sentiment, but they lack love. According to the famous saying of Saint John the Apostle, “love has no room for fear.” There is also no room for loneliness. Although it is true that complete union is not possible in this world, dialogue and hope are what convert gift, talent, into something real, and though they cannot get rid of all accidental enclosure, they can banish all essential loneliness. Thus, and to finish, we see that leaving aside boredom means to abandon all those sequels so typically and masterfully described by Thomas Aquinas: evagatio mentis, verbositas, curiositas (immoderate eagerness for news), importunitas (scattering), inquietudo, instabilitas loci vel propositi; in addition to torpor or dull indifference to greatness, pusillanimitas or small spirit, evil or desperation. In fact, boredom is a covert desperation. In short, to avoid boredom one must follow three appropriate steps in all life, whether professional, sports, familial, religious, etc. First of all, there is an initial desire which arouses our attention. But

H 406

But if after the first desire we persevere, then we fulfill the second moment: the studiositas. The effort of study, which as the Latin origin of the word indicates, means to look at something with love. The person who has desire and adds study, possesses a good disposition, and with effort acquires schooling and a profession, he is in a condition to receive the divine favor of reaching the third moment: he discovers infinite novelties in what was first only the fleeting sparkle of an initial desire, through passing the self-negation involved in study. Thus, thanks to a true philosophy; that is to say, that which is demonstrated in life and which is therefore also practical, a practical philosophy; one obtains a dialogue which leads to permanent happiness. We do not really overcome boredom by the excitement of war, which is a false revelry, or by frenzy, with which we only obtain oblivion, but with the real revelry of the spirit: being with God, people, and with the entire creation.

Psychology with soul

then we realize that what we wanted did not fulfill us, that its appearance was in part deceitful. If because of weakness, due to excessive youth or carelessness, which makes us forsake the discipline that strengthens us, we abandon the interest for what we desired in frustration, we fall first into boredom, and then maybe into desperation.


Translated by David Billikopf.

H 407


proUST IN THe GUlAG By Antonio Spadaro


These men only had left the memory and 940: Fifteen thousand polish soldiers are imprisoned by the Russians, first in the Sta- richness of culture, which they bore in their robilsk camp and later in those of Pawliszc- hearts like an impregnable fortress of huze and Griasovietz. Among them is Joseph manity: science, art, architecture, literature, history. Thus many of them Czapski. He was born in decided to fight in a singular 1896 in Prague, son of a Poway against the spiritual deTHE EXPErIENCE OF lish aristocratic family, he gradation and physical deIMPrISONMENT WAS was a painter, an art critic, a cline: they would hold conDrAMATIC: “I STILL SEE great reader, and a brilliant ferences on their respective —CzAPSkI WrITES— MY conversationalist, a vigorous cultural passions in order to COMPANIONS PILED UNDEr enfant terrible. After the inmake the force of life succeTHE POrTrAITS OF MArX, vasion of Poland by German ed. What would that frozen ENgELS, AND LENIN, troops, he was imprisoned dining hall of a former conEXHAUSTED AFTEr A DAY by the Russians on Septemvent transformed into a conOF WOrk IN THE COLD, ber 29, 1939, and then releacentration camp where priWITH TEMPErATUrES sed in 1941. Together with soners ate and debated over THAT rEACHED FOrTY-FIvE other 450 officers, he escaped topics distant to the misery DEgrEES BELOW zErO.” by chance from the horrible they lived in have been like? and gigantic Katin massa“And thus –Czapski rememcre, perpetrated by the soviet police. The experience of imprisonment was bers– Doctor Ehrlich from Lvov, a passionate dramatic: “I still see –Czapski writes– my lover of books, told us, with a rare evocaticompanions piled under the portraits of ve sense, the history of the book; Reverend Marx, Engels, and Lenin, exhausted after a Kamil Kantak from Pinsk, a former editor day of work in the cold, with temperatures of journal of Gdansk and a great admirer of that reached forty-five degrees below zero.”1 Mallarmé, held conferences about the history 1 J. CZAPSKI, La morte indifferente. Proust nel gulag Naples, L’Àncora del Mediterraneo, 2005, 17.

H 408

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 408 - 413

«In 1940 fifteen thousand polish officers were deported to the soviet Gulags; among them was Joseph Czapski. In order to fight the moral degradation, they held conferences on their respective cultural passions. Czapski revived for his companions in prison his personal reading of In Search of Lost Time of Marcel Proust.»

Notes written by Joseph Czapski inside the camp in order to expose Marcel Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time to his prison companions.

of England and the history of migrations; Professor Siennicki from Warsaw’s polytechnic school told us about the history of architecture, whereas Lieutenant Ostrowski, who was the author of an excellent book about alpinism and had led many climbs to the Tatra mountains, to the Caucasus, and mountain ranges, told us about South America” (p. 16).2 Gustave Herling, one of the greatest contemporary polish writers, saw in this initiative the secret of the inner strength of

the polish people: “The conversations accurately related by Czapski, the debates, lectures, prayers sung in chorus, celebrations of feasts, everything gives testimony of the polish resistance. How many times I saw the guard of my soviet prison aiming a furious look through the spy-hole at the miserable group of prisoners that smiled happily, hungry and yet unshakable, captured, but still keeping the strength and taste for freedom” (p. 84).3

2 By reading the words of Czapski, many images of great literature comes to mind, even influencing the writer Ray Bradbury in his book The Fireman. 3 G. HERLING, “Nota su Joseph Czapski,” in J. CZAPSKI, La morte indifferente…, op. cit., 84.

H 409

The book and the wings of freedom

Edith de la Héronnière writes in her brief but intense introduction: “Imagine what could In particular, Czapski revived his personal represent and recall the refined world of the reading of In Search of Lost Time –the torrential halls of Fauburg Sain-Germain as they were at masterpiece of Marcel Proust– for his compa- the end of the 19th century in the context of a nions in prison.4 The body of his speech was concentration camp.” It is possible to imagidictated and put into writing, since it needed ne the spirit and the ability of these men, as to be submitted to the censorship of the camp. well as “the long and thin figure of Czapski The author took it with him when he left Rus- (he measured two meters), his instinctive and sia. For this reason we can also read it now.5 impulsive way of talking, making broad gesThis immense work emerged from Czapski’s tures and shaking his huge hands in the air” memory and he offered it to (p. 8). The interpretation of his companion enriched by the polish officer enters the his own personal re-reading. veins of the text; it knocks CzAPSkI rEvIvED HIS He could only count on his down any vain appearance, PErSONAL rEADINg OF in own personal memories, as applying a deep psychologisearch of lost time —THE he lacked any chance to recal and spiritual penetration TOrrENTIAL MASTErPIECE sort to the text. Czapski knew into the turns of Proustian OF MArCEL PrOUST— FOr the work of Proust because he mood, asking himself what HIS COMPANIONS IN PrISON.* had been forced by typhoid could have been the essenTHE BODY OF HIS SPEECH fever to stay in bed for an ce of Proust’s creation: “The WAS DICTATED AND PUT INTO entire summer, which was a slow and painful transforWrITINg, SINCE IT NEEDED favorable condition for discomation of the passionate and TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE vering the literary work that absolutely selfish individual CENSOrSHIP OF THE CAMP. provoked such wonder that into a man that gives himself THE AUTHOr TOOk IT WITH it never abandoned him duover to a work that consuHIM WHEN HE LEFT rUSSIA. ring his life. Certainly, what mes him, that destroys him, FOr THIS rEASON WE CAN for Proust was a Marquise, living in his own blood, this ALSO rEAD IT NOW. may now become a Duchess, is a process that every creaan Earl may become a Baron, tor must face. ‘If the grain of and a lunch may become a dinner; but, be- wheat does not die’…” (p. 31). yond such paltry details, the substance has an Czapski discovers an artist willing to immense value. perceive associations and metaphors anywheThe books of Proust –as Czapski himself re. It is not plain and simple fact that obsesses admits– immediately seem to be books from Proust, but it is “the secret laws that rule it, another world, with pompous and extreme is the desire to clarify the secret and undefibourgeois art, and with a rancid snobbery (p. ned cogwheels of the being” (p. 45). Reading 26). The polish officer recalls that atmosphere: Proust means to fuse ones look with his, to the writer’s room upholstered with cork, the assume his vision which is able to grasp meauniverse of aristocratic halls… Thus, in fact, nings, images, richness of harmonies, so as to * Cf. “«Marcel Proust e la sapiente bellezza della lettura”, in Civ. Catt. 1998 II 480-485 and “Proust e la Bibbia. La ‘Recherche’ come pellegrinaggio,” 1999 IV 154-157. 4 Cf. “«Marcel Proust e la sapiente bellezza della lettura”, in Civ. Catt. 1998 II 480-485 and “Proust e la Bibbia. La ‘Recherche’ come pellegrinaggio,” 1999 IV 154-157 5 J. CZAPSKI, La morte indifferente…, op. cit. The pages quoted in the text refer to this volume.

H 410

stress all the dramatic and cosmic details of an event, even in the most tragic moments of life. This is the secret of Proust: the “wish to know and understand the most different moods, the ability to discover in the vilest man those noble actions that reach the limit of what is sublime, and the paltriest reactions in the purest spirits.” Thus, his literary work acts in us “like the sifted and illuminated life of an aware mind whose accuracy is infinitely larger than ours” (p. 62). Proust’s writings are the place where the knowledge of reality and life cisely because of this, that such an apotheoassumes a rare power and keen discernment. sis of all life’s fleeting joys leaves in our And thus, in Czapski’s genius, we do not mouth a ‘Pascalian’ ashy like taste” (p. 64). The scent of vanitas impregnates each find any real discontinuity between the Recherche and the gulag, so that the most beauti- apparent joy: the vanity of worldly relationful pages of his speeches are dedicated to the ships, that are so devoid of integrity; the vaprofound correspondences that intuitively nity of the aristocracy, that does not discern true refinement from vulgar perceived between Proust snobbery; the vanity of youth and Pascal. Czapski is aware and beauty, that is repreof the fact that this approach THIS IMMENSE WOrk sented by Odette, a sensual would astonish many reaEMErgED FrOM CzAPSkI’S femme fatale that at old age apders of Proust, who may feel MEMOrY AND HE OFFErED IT pears like an idiot laid aside it a paradox. It is well known TO HIS COMPANION ENrICHED in her daughter’s parlor while that Pascal has both a deep BY HIS OWN PErSONAL rEshe, astonished and dismareligious outlook on life and rEADINg. HE COULD ONLY yed, watches the fierce world; an ascetic character: for this COUNT ON HIS OWN PErSONAL the vanity and vacuity of ceman, who was consumed by MEMOrIES, AS HE LACkED lebrities, and even the vanity the yearning for the absoANY CHANCE TO rESOrT TO of love. The focal love of the lute, any sexual concession THE TEXT. Recherche’s protagonist is Alwas inacceptable. On the bertine, and though, when contrary, according to many, Proust seems to be the prototype of sensua- he learns —during a trip in Venice— of the lity, he who knew how to enjoy everything sudden death of his lover, he scarcely pays with passion and refinement. They are then attention because he has been touched for a apparently two opposite characters. Nonethe- moment by another woman. Vanity of vaniless, Czapski proves that their spirits are clo- ties, all is vanity. Proust, according to Czapski’s reading, se to each other in many ways. First of all it to be one who knows how to sing proseems is true that the word “God” never appears, and that in all the thousands of pages of foundly and insightfully about the seduction the Recherche anything but the search of the of vanity. Nonetheless, precisely by portraabsolute can be found, favoring instead all ying all the shining aspects of vanity, he has that is ephemeral. However, in spite of this managed to make us see clearly its interior –Czapski writes– or rather “maybe it is pre- nothingness.

H 411

«It is possible to imagine the spirit and the ability of these men, as well as “the long and thin figure of Czapski (he measured two meters), his instinctive and impulsive way of talking, making broad gestures and shaking his huge hands in the air” (p. 8). The interpretation of the polish officer enters the veins of the text; it knocks down any vain appearance, applying a deep psychological and spiritual penetration into the turns of Proustian mood, asking himself what could have been the essence of Proust’s creation.» Self portrait of Joseph Czapski as a prisioner.

The last two pages about the death of Proust are deeply touching and beautiful: “Considering his health condition, he could not be unaware that the huge and anxious effort that was demanded to finish his work had hastened his death; but he had made his mind, he did not worry about that, and he had become indifferent to death” (p. 74). He wanted to be until his death at the service of what for him was the absolute, that is, his artistic creation: “And also the two last volumes (Time regained) are interweaved with tears of joy, they are the triumph hymn of the man who has sold all his goods in order to acquire just one precious pearl and who has weighed all that is ephemeral, all sorrow and vanity of the worldly pleasures, of youth, of fame, of eroticism, in comparison with the joy of the

H 412

creator, who is the being that –by constructing each sentence, by piecing together the pages– searches the absolute which it never reaches completely and which, on the other side, is impossible to reach” (p. 64). The Proust’s tension towards the absolute is not explicitly religious. But many expressions of his, though, reveal the quiet happiness of finding writing that may be “safe” from sin, which is the heaviness of a bond with the earth perceived as something opposed to human nature. It is an esthetic salvation achieved by means of artistic sublimation, which allows the eyes of the soul to concentrate on beauty and truth. Czapski —immersed in the darkness of the gulag, and so close to the possibility of suffering a horrible death— seems to be quite sensible of any call to transcendence. He does not find in Proust the transcendence of faith, only that of art; but this transcendence is enough to understand that any worldly idol is vanity.

The literary work lives in the reader What is then the meaning of this little book? It guards a profound meaning: art helps us to live, and, in particular, it makes it possible to safe humanity and the taste for inner freedom, even under the cruelest tyranny. This is the lesson that great literature bestows. The author comments: “The happiness of taking part in an intellectual enterprise that might demonstrate to us that we were still able to think and to react before those spiritual facts that did not have anything in common with our conditions at that time, transformed in front of our eyes the hours we spent in that big dining hall of the former convent, this was a strange school where we re-lived a world we thought was lost forever.” Actually, in these pages there is at stake something even more subtle: the meaning of reading and of the literary critic. The critic is substantially a reader whose “profession” is reading. He “practices” reading. Czapski provide us a model. Let us remember that he discusses a book that he does not have at his disposal. He can neither quote perfectly nor indicate its pages and volumes. He must trust in memory, precisely that involuntary me-

mory that was, according to Proust, the only source of artistic creation. He digs then into the depth of himself in order to recover images, situations, and facts, relying on his own relation to the text. The literary work lives in him, and its meaning can even be embodied within a dehumanized context. It is because of this “inhabitancy” of the literary work that critical activity emerges. If the literary work does not lives in the consciousness of him who reads it, then the critic’s remarks turn out to be something external or simply superfluous and trivial. By reading the Recherche, Czapski reads himself, he places the literary work within a singular relation and he actualizes it in the absurd context of a concentration camp.6 Czapski make us understand that if literature does not live in the territory of life and its meaning, then it is sentenced to disappear. The critic that lets himself be guided by his intuitions and by his own approach to the text, will be interested in a literature that has the same quality as life. Ones he was liberated –after the pact between the Russian and Polish governments in 1941– Czapski moves to Paris, the Proust’s city, and there he devote himself to art, painting, and writing: this will be a condition of life able of disclosing the “vanity of the world in relation with the infinite effort of finding the right word which has behind itself what is ineffable” (p. 11).

6 In order to understand this vision of critical art, it is useful to read La coscienza critica, which is a compilation of essays by Georges Puoulet (Genoa, Marietti, 1991). Poulet writes: it is as if “from the moment I am possessed by my reading I begin to share the use of my consciousness with that being I was trying to define, and who is the conscious subject hidden in the center of the literary work. He and I begin to have a common consciousness. […] I am the consciousness that is surprised by an existence which is not my own, and that I experience, though, as if it was my own. This surprised consciousness is the critical consciousness: is the consciousness of the reader, the consciousness of a being to whom is given to understand as if it was his own, something that happens in the consciousness of another being” (p. 241).

Translated by Nicolás Olivares.

H 413


“IN My lAND I WAS cAlleD jeANNeTTe” By régine pernoud


omrémy, the village where Joan of Arc mother Isabellette, in life both farm-workers was born, is located “at the frontiers” of Lo- of Domrémy. (…) They were good and devout rraine, that is, on the limit between Barrois Catholics and good workers, with a good reand the province of Lorraine which was al- putation and honest conversation (…) I myself most independent in those days. This inspi- was one of Joan’s godfathers.” The people of Domrémy were also interred the writer Francois Villon to nickname her “Joan the good Lorrainaise” in his fa- rogated in the month of January 1456 regardmous poem. Actually the dates on which Joan ing the heroine by then famous throughout the entire known world. They was born are still somewhat saw her live, and dwelled uncertain, that is, perhaps it ACTUALLY THE DATES ON close to her for sixteen to sevwas in the year 1411 or maybe WHICH JOAN WAS BOrN ArE enteen years, that is, most of in 1412, and, according to the STILL SOMEWHAT UNCErTAIN, “Jeannette’s” existence, as she Spanish tradition, on January THAT IS, PErHAPS IT WAS IN had died when she was nine6, the night of Epiphany. THE YEAr 1411 Or MAYBE teen years old. One would During her interrogation in IN 1412, AND ACCOrDINg TO expect to hear these people Rouen, after declaring that THE SPANISH TrADITION, ON remember some traits fortelunder oath she would hapJANUArY 6, THE NIgHT OF ling her prodigious vocation. pily reveal everything about EPIPHANY. Was she a fighter? Was she them, Joan gave the names of a “tomboy”? Was she excesher father and of her mother: sively lively? “My father’s name is Jacques What a misconception. For the people in d’Arc and my mother’s Isabelle.” Thereafter, during the process –always called “of reha- Domrémy, Jeannette was “like everybody bilitation”– several witnesses questioned in else.” “She worked happily, she fed the aniDomrémy talked about her origins, her birth, mals, she gladly tended the animals of her and her baptism. Among them, her godfather, parents’ home, she spun, and did the houseJean Moreau, a farm worker from Greux –a vi- hold chores,” declared one of her childhood llage very close to Domrémy where the main friends, Colin, son of Joan Colin. “Up to the Church is situated that includes the two paris- day that she left her parents’ home, she tilled hes– says: “Jeannette (…) was baptized in the the land, and occasionally she watched the Church of Saint-Remy, the parish of the town. animals in the field and did some women’s Her father was called Jacques d’Arc, and her work such as spinning and all the rest,” said

H 414

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 414 - 419

“The last legitimate descendant of the Plantagenet line wished to achieve his own victories in France to consolidate his throne, profiting from the confusion of a country whose sovereign, Charles VI, had gone crazy, and which stirred all sorts of ambitions around him.”

her godfather already named above. “My father’s home was almost next to Jeannette’s –said her friend Marguerite, nicknamed Mengette. I knew “Jeannette, the Maid” because I often spun with her and we did the other household chores together, day and night.” Hauviette, another friend, well known due to Péguy’s poems, said: “Joan was a good girl, simple and mild. She often went to Church and to the sacred places. (…) Like the rest of the young people she did household chores and spun, and sometimes, as I have seen, she watched over her father’s herd.” A trait repeated by all was: “Joan loved to go to the Church and often visited the sacred places.”

One of her companions, Michel Lebuin, also says this and as all the rest he confirms her piety: “Joan behaved well, she was devoted, patient, she went happily to Church, she confessed herself and gave alms to the poor whenever she could.” During these testamonials, a word is constantly repeated over and over again: that is “happily”… “She worked happily, she tended the animals happily, she often went to Church happily and to the sacred places, she happily gave away all that she had and for the love of God… “Happily,” “Happily.” This reflects the dynamism and the joy that certainly seems to have characterized Joan during all her life.

H 415

all sorts of ambitions and rivalries. Those that made the Dukes of Bourgogne and the Princes of Orleans confront each other and had already provoked the assassination of the Prince Louis d’Orleans, the brother of the King, fallen under the dagger of paid murderers hired by his cousin John the Fearless on November 23, 1407. With the invasion, the latter had declared himself in favor of the Englishman, while the partisans of the House of France regrouped under the emblem of the Armagnacs, the last name of Charles’ father in law, the son of Louis d’Orleans. The name “Armagnacs” highlights the faithfulness and the constant support of southern France to oppose the invaders, re«Régine Pernoud, an illustrious French novelist, maining true to the legitimate dynasty. member of the Council of Humanitas since the founding While in Domrémy nobody could imagof the magazine until her death in the year 1998. In the photograph together with the Director of Humanitas in ine that such bloody fights would some day front of the Cathedral of Chartres in 1996.» be represented and promoted by “Jeannette,” even in those remote regions one could feel As regards to her participation in the the conflicts of the war: the people of Domevents that afflicted the entire country in rémy in general had declared themselves in those days, we also hear an echo of that hap- favor of the King of France, while in the nearpiness. The division between the Armagnacs by village of Maxey the peasants felt themand the Burgundians was felt, selves to be “Burgundians,” in fact, even in those frontier which proves the deep diviregions. After making him sion existing in France even AFTEr MAkINg HIM THEIr their Duke, the Burgundians in the smallest villages. Thus DUkE, THE BUrgUNDIANS declared themselves in favor the disputes were born from DECLArED THEMSELvES IN of the occupier, since, at that which people “often came FAvOr OF THE OCCUPIEr, moment, France was a conback very hurt and bleeding.”. SINCE, AT THAT MOMENT, quered country from NorFurthermore, there were FrANCE WAS A CONqUErED mandy to the Loire after the many episodes of war, and COUNTrY FrOM NOrMANDY disaster of Agincourt, in 1415 Joan herself—at fourteen TO THE LOIrE AFTEr THE (in that year Joan was only or fifteen years of age, since DISASTEr OF AgINCOUrT, IN three years old). Henry V, the this occurred in the year 1415 (IN THAT YEAr JOAN WAS King of England, following 1428—would be taken durONLY THrEE YEArS OLD). his father’s politics—who had ing the exodus of the people dethroned Richard II and had of Domrémy and the nearby him killed—the last legitimate descendent of village of Greux, to Neufchâteau, the nearest the Plantagenet line, wanted to achieve his fortified city. There everyone hurried—both own victories in France to consolidate his thro- animals and people —since they had heard ne. He hoped to profit off of the uncertainty of that the powerful fortress of Vaucouleurs, a country whose King, Charles VI, had beco- whose Captain, Robert de Baudricourt, supme insane, which at the same time stirred up ported the King of France, was to be besieged

H 416


Paragraphs taken from the Catechesis of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI dedicated to the person of Joan of Arc, co-patron saint of France with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, pronounced during the Wednesday General Audience, January 26, 2011. *** One of the most original aspects of this young woman’s holiness was precisely this link between mystical experience and political mission. The years of her hidden life and her interior development were followed by the brief but intense two years of her public life: a year of action and a year of passion. *** Unlike the holy theologians who had illuminated the University of Paris, such as St Bonaventure, St Thomas Aquinas, and Bl. Duns Scotus, (…) these judges were theologians who lacked charity and the humility to see God’s action in this young woman. The words of Jesus, who said that God’s mysteries are revealed to those who have a child’s heart while they remain hidden to the learned and the wise who have no humility (cf. Lk 10:21), spring to mind. Thus, Joan’s judges were radically incapable of understanding her or of perceiving the beauty of her soul. They did not know that they were condemning a Saint. *** The liberation of her people was a work of human justice which Joan carried out in charity, for love of Jesus. Her holiness is a beautiful example for lay people engaged in politics, especially in the most difficult situations. Faith is the light that guides every decision, as a century later another great Saint, the Englishman Thomas More, was to testify. *** In Jesus, Joan contemplated the whole reality of the Church, the “Church triumphant” of Heaven, as well as the “Church militant” on earth. According to her words, “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing” (ibid., p. 166). This affirmation, cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 795), has a truly heroic character in the context of the Trial of Condemnation, before her judges, men of the Church who were persecuting and condemning her. *** This Trial is a distressing page in the history of holiness and also an illuminating page on the mystery of the Church which, according to the words of the Second Vatican Council, is “at once holy and always in need of purification” (Lumen Gentium, n. 8). The Trial was the dramatic encounter between this Saint and her judges, who were clerics.

H 417

Jeannes´s house Domrémy.

by the Governor of Champagne, paid by the water brought health, they said. It was a traDuke of Bourgogne, Antoine de Vergy. “All ditional party, the origins of which go back to the inhabitants of Domrémy fled—says a a remote folklore. witness, the Priest of a neighboring Parish, Apparently, and in spite of such personal called Dominique Jacob—armed men arrived enthusiasm that motivated her to do everyin Neufchâteau and among them also came thing “happily,” Jeannette participated little Jeannette, with her father and in these innocent distracher mother, and always in tions. “There I sang more their company.” than I danced,” she said after WHILE IN DOMréMY NOBODY This happened in the recreation full of the freshCOULD IMAgINE THAT SUCH quiet landscape of the river ness and poetry of the spring BLOODY FIgHTS WOULD SOME Meuse, whose peaceful flow distractions in her country. DAY BE rEPrESENTED AND was only broken by the games In fact, during her childPrOMOTED BY “JEANNETTE,” of the youth of the region, in hood, where she was “like EvEN IN THOSE rEMOTE spring, when the snow ceased all,” something happened rEgIONS ONE COULD FEEL THE to fall and the trees began to that she herself recalls with CONFLICTS OF THE WAr flourish again. Thus, during great simplicity: “When I the fourth Sunday of Lent, was about thirteen years old, when the people sang “Laetare Jerusalem” at I heard a voice from God guiding me on my the approach of the Easter celebrations, the behavior. The first time I was very scared. And young people danced and sang by the beau- that voice came during the summer, in my tiful tree called “the Tree of the Maidens” or father’s garden, around midday (…) I heard “Tree of the Fairies.” They took breads and the voice coming from the right, towards the nuts to eat under the tree, and went to drink church. And very rarely do I hear it without in a fountain, the fountain of Rains, whose clearness. This clearness comes from the same

H 418

made to God, the only one that they knew side that I hear the voice. Normally there is a had called them. great clearness. (…) After hearing the voice In Joan’s environment, only one person three times, I understood it was the voice of an had the premonition of her singular destiangel. (…) It taught me to behave well, and to ny: that was her father. “My mother told me go to church often. It told me that I, Joan, had several times—she declares—that my father to come to France…” She immediately answers had dreamt that I, Joan, his daughter, would the questions made: “The first time I doubted leave with armed people. (…) And I heard my very much if it was Saint Michael that came to mother say that my father said to my brothers: me, and that first time I was very scared. After“In fact, if I knew that what I fear must hapwards I saw him several times before knowing pen in relation to my daughter I would preit was Saint Michael.… Above all he told to be a fer that you drown her. And good girl and that God would if you did not do it, I would help me, and among other “I SAW HIM SEvErAL TIMES do it myself.” This was a prethings he asked me to come BEFOrE kNOWINg THAT IT monitory dream that Jacques to help the king of France.… WAS SAINT MICHAEL… BEFOrE d’Arc could only interpret in And the angel talked to me ALL HE SAID TO ME THAT I the worst sense: his daughof the sadness existing in the SHOULD BE A gOOD gIrL AND ter Joan was going to be one kingdom of France.” THAT gOD WOULD HELP ME, of those young people who “About thirteen years,” AND AMONg OTHEr THINgS HE followed the armies. Furthershe said she had been when ASkED ME TO COME TO HELP more, her father and mother she remembered that call. THE kINg OF FrANCE… AND must have experienced much Thus, the first vision must THE ANgEL TALkED TO ME OF satisfaction when they dishave appeared in 1424 or 1425. THE SADNESS THErE WAS IN covered that their daughter She kept it a secret, without THE kINgDOM OF FrANCE.” Jeannette had been asked talking to anybody about it, for in matrimony. The suitor until 1428, when she couldn’t became furious, soon after, keep it any longer, and went however, because he had been rejected, and to meet Captain Robert Baudricourt in Vauhad been called by the officer of Toul, as he couleurs, who was obstinately defending his had pretended that she had promised to marfortress in the name of the King of France. ry him, which in those days was considered a And Joan adds that as soon as she heard true commitment. This was a very transient the voice “she promised to keep her virginity episode that left no trace in Joan’s spirit: “He as long as God wished it so.” It was a sponhad me summoned, and there I promised in taneous answer to God’s call: she remained front of the Judge to say the truth. And finally virgin, autonomously, not depending on her he confessed, he clearly said, that I had not own self but on God himself. This is the anpromised anything to this man”. swer, throughout time, of the consecrated virJoan was certainly a maiden like all the gin, since the primitive Church, when Agnes, rest, capable, like others, of inspiring love, but Cecilia and Anastasia preferred to expose she had determined not to give herself to anythemselves to the fire of the executioner or body. The call that she had heard consecrated the teeth of beasts in the amphitheater than her only to God’s service. betray the complete donation of their person Translated by Marlene Hyslop.

H 419

«The death of Saint Joseph was the first paschal death, with anticipatory character, a holy death in the spirit of the same paschal mystery of that Word, the Son of God made man, who was entrusted to him as his own son.» (“The Virgin, St. Joseph and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John,” by Raphael Sanzio).

H 420

THe pAScHAl DeATH of SAINT joSepH By Giuseppi Brioschi


es! There is a way of “Christian death” risks condemnation. The death of Jesus was a which soars higher than what is normally “holy death;” the death of one of the criminals understood by the invocation of Saint Jose- was a “good death,” the one of the other was ph, patron of a “good death.” It is possible to an “awful death.” A fourth way of dying is clearly grasp that way by being carried off not possible; it consists in dying with “indiffeto Mount Calvary and contemplating Jesus rence,” that is to say, without “eschatological” emotions relating to the Beon the cross with the two yond. And if before death soevildoers that were crucified meone pretends to be “stoic” along with Him, one at his THErE, IN CALvArY, ArE or impassive; besides thereby right and one at his left. CAPTUrED THE ONLY risking his eternal fate, he deThere, in Calvary, are THrEE POSSIBLE WAYS OF serves to be “spewed out” by captured the only three posCONCLUDINg OUr LIFE God (cf. Rev. 3:15-16). sible ways of ending our life HErE ON EArTH: THE FIrST To which death must the here on earth: the first is the IS THE WAY OF JESUS, WHO Christian aspire? The “good way of Jesus, who abandons ABANDONS HIMSELF INTO death,” understood as hunhimself into the hands of the THE HANDS OF THE FATHEr; ting for the heavenly prize, Father; the second is that of THE SECOND IS THAT OF THE suggests that of the “good the “good thief,” who repents “gOOD THIEF,” WHO rEPENTS thief,” who steals paradise of his own sin; and finally, OF HIS OWN SIN; AND FINALLY, at the last moment; but this the third is the way of the THE THIrD IS THE WAY OF death does not attain the “evil wrongdoer,” who curTHE “EvIL WrONgDOEr,” WHO heights of the worthy death ses his miserable fate. CUrSES HIS MISErABLE FATE. of the disciple of Christ. In Jesus dies as a “divine the final moment of life, it is man,” drawing exclamations of amazement from the mouth of the centu- not possible to only limit ourselves to prairion (cf. Mat 27:54 and parallel passages); one seworthily calling a priest to make us be of the wrongdoers dies as a “repented man,” at peace with God and to bring us the holy that is, “in a state of grace,” and consequently viaticum, that is, Jesus in the Eucharistic, so he is saved; the other dies as a “unrepentant that He will accompany us in the transit from man,” let us say, in a state of sin, and therefore death to life, from this world to the Father.

HUMANITAS Nº 4 pp. 420 - 425

H 421

Oblation ratification

that is to say, offering oneself to God; a sacrificing way, a way of sacrifice for God; a fiduciary The moment of death is the most “mystical” way, a way of devoted abandonment into the moment we can experience, that is to say, fu- hands of the Father. Death is the moment of llest of mystery, since it must crown a lifetime ratification, of confirming the signing of this of oblation, of offerings our own self to God. pact of oblation initiated with Baptism. It is the And through Baptism the disciple of Christ moment of our annunciation, the moment to is enabled to receive that death, as Saint Paul present ourselves to God and say: “Lord, here says: “Are you not aware that we who were is your servant!” (cf. Lk. 1:38). The known “consecration acts” to the Sabaptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Rom. 6:3). Naturally, Baptism cred Heart of Jesus, the immaculate heart does not unite us with the death of Christ in of Mary, and the chaste heart of Joseph, are not but “manifestations of a passive way, but in an acticonfidence” in those Sacred ve and dynamic way; in other Hearts so as to help us fulfill words, in an existential way. THE MOMENT OF JESUS’ our existence as an offering, Therefore, Baptism commits DEATH WAS THE MOMENT OF following the way of Jesus, us to live a life, an existence, THE rATIFICATION OF THAT Mary, and Joseph, who were entirely similar to Christ’s life OBLATION BY WHICH HE the first to live with the most (“exemplum dedi vobis,” “What LIvED AND SACrIFICED ALL intense fervor. I just did was to give you an HIS LIFE FOr THE CAUSE OF In short, the death of a example,” Jn. 13:15), in order THE FATHEr. THUS, JESUS WAS Christian, more than a good to reach its end with a death THE OBLATE Par eXcellence, death, must rather be a paschal similar to Christ’s. Now, the FrOM HIS CONCEPTION (CF. death, as the Church expresmoment of Jesus’ death was HEB. 10:5-7) UNTIL HIS LAST ses it in the Ritual of assistance the moment of the ratification BrEATH: “JESUS UTTErED to the dying. Now, the paschal of that oblation by which He A LOUD CrY AND SAID, mystery of Christ was a myslived and sacrificed all his life ‘FATHEr, INTO YOUr HANDS I tery of Death and Resurrecfor the cause of the Father. COMMEND MY SPIrIT.’ AFTEr tion. Jesus never announced Thus, Jesus was the oblate par HE SAID THIS, HE EXPIrED” his Passion and Death without excellence, from his conception (Lk. 23:46). announcing at the same time (cf. Heb. 10:5-7) until his last his own Resurrection. breath: “Jesus uttered a loud In the same way, the disciple of Christ, at cry and said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ After he said this, he expi- the moment of saying good bye to this world, must express all his filial abandonment to red” (Lk. 23:46). For the disciple, the conformation to this God, and all his faith in the resurrection of type of Christ’s death will not be easy at all if it the flesh at the end of time. Saint Paul says: has not been prepared through a conformation “For if we have grown into union with him to His life in the course of his or her existence; through a death like his, we shall also be unias Jesus himself warns us: “Whoever would ted with him in the resurrection (Rom. 6:5).” preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses Therefore, for the disciple of Christ, the pashis life for my sake and the gospel’s will pre- chal death will signify the last act of offering serve it” (Mark 8, 35). Thus, the distinctive way one’s life in God’s hands, accompanied by the of a Christian’s existence is an offering way; firm hope in resurrection after death. Is there

H 422

«It is to Calvary where we should direct our gaze to possess a complete frame of all the possible modalities of “our dying,” and thus, prepare ourselves on time for the way we want to experience the moment of death, that is to say, a paschal way!» Detail of “Madonna of the Rose,” by Raphael Sanzio.

a paschal way! While we beg God to save us from a death IN SHOrT, THE DEATH OF akin to that of the “bad thief,” A CHrISTIAN, MOrE THAN let us not content ourselves A gOOD DEATH, MUST BE just with the “good death” of rATHEr A PASCHAL DEATH, AS the thief crucified at Jesus’s THE CHUrCH EXPrESSES IT IN right, and let us aim instead THE rITUAL OF ASSISTANCE to the model of death that the TO THE DYINg. NOW, THE Master left us. PASCHAL MYSTErY OF CHrIST In light of these consideWAS A MYSTErY OF DEATH rations, it is possible to say AND rESUrrECTION. JESUS with absolute conviction that NEvEr ANNOUNCED HIS if Mary’s birth was the first Is Saint Joseph in PASSION AND DEATH WITHOUT paschal birth, an immaculate heaven with his body? ANNOUNCINg AT THE SAME birth, in foresight of the meTIME HIS OWN rESUrrECTION. rits of Jesus’ paschal death, the Consequently, it is to Calvary death of Saint Joseph was the where we should direct our gaze to possess a complete frame of all the pos- first paschal death, with anticipatory character, sible modalities of “our dying,” and thus, pre- a holy death in the spirit of the same paschal pare ourselves on time for the way we want to mystery of that Word, the Son of God made experience the moment of death, that is to say, man, who was entrusted to him as his own son. an impression that circulates among Christian people that this gospel teaches us how to embrace our death, the death of our beloved ones, the death of our friends and relatives? It is a teaching that should accompany us along our entire life, since it cannot arise miraculously at the time of death.

H 423

«Saint Joseph’s coronation,»

oil painting by Zurbaran.

Having lived with Jesus for many years, Saint Joseph certainly received, together with Mary, a sufficient knowledge of the mystery of Salvation which Christ must have announced between the domestic walls before doing so with the crowds of Palestine. Certainly, in that message, the announcement of the sacrificial mission of Jesus and his resurrection must have been included. Saint Joseph, sacrificing to Him, to this Son of the Highest, offered all of his own existence. At the moment of his death, he certainly did not worry about his eternal destiny, but rather turned his kind gaze to

H 424

Jesus and Mary, who were with him, and in still silence, made his last offering of himself to God, abandoning himself full of conviction into His hands, with the certainty of meeting Jesus and Mary, who would soon be in heaven also in body and soul. Prominent saints such as Saint Jerome, Saint Bernard, and Saint Francis de Sales, affirm the resurrection and assumption of Mary’s virginal husband into heaven. Saint Francis de Sales says: “There is no doubt that Saint Joseph is in heaven in body and soul” (see don Tarcisio Ravina (1932). Vita di san Giuseppe, Ed. Paoline. Alba-Roma).

else, this “fashionable” prayer can also serve Therefore, in the prayer we address to to bring a happy end to our existence on earth. Saint Joseph, we must not ask the Holy Patriarch only for a death “in a state of grace,” but a death “in paschal tension,” that is to say, A grace of Saint John Bosco of abandonment in God, with the certainty of deserving at the end of time a glorious resuIn the life of Don Bosco, an interesting episorrection and glorification in heaven, analode is narrated. A poor youth from the city of gous to that of Jesus and Mary. Turin found in a paper used to wrap tobacco If devotion to Saint Joseph served purely in a store, a prayer to Saint Joseph to obtain a to bring “into fashion” the good death. This aroused the eschatological doctrine of curiosity of the young man, the Church, or rather, the who learned the prayer by IN THE PrAYEr WE ADDrESS doctrine of the Last Things – heart and recited it mechaniTO SAINT JOSEPH, WE which is quite diminished in cally every day without any MUST NOT ASk THE HOLY our days – the words of Pope formal intention of obtaining PATrIArCH ONLY FOr A John Paul II would be fully a grace. But he obtained a DEATH “IN A STATE OF grace, which was an encounrealized. In his apostolic exgrACE,” BUT A DEATH “IN ter with Don Bosco, who led hortation on Saint Joseph, he PASCHAL TENSION,” THAT IS him to God. Shortly after, he affirmed that “[O]ur prayers TO SAY, OF ABANDONMENT IN had a serious disease which and the very person of Joseph gOD, WITH THE CErTAINTY caused his death. He died have renewed significance OF DESErvINg AT THE END for the Church in our day in invoking and praising the OF THE TIME A gLOrIOUS name of Saint Joseph. light of the Third Christian rESUrrECTION AND The devotion to Saint JoMillennium” (Redemptoris gLOrIFICATION IN HEAvEN, seph is hardly unknown, Custos, n. 32). In that way, it ANALOgOUS TO THAT OF reinforces our conviction, since there are more than JESUS AND MArY. constituted in another See, seventy cathedrals –I say that the millennium which cathedrals, and not parish began a few years ago will be the millenchurches or chapels–dedicated to Mary’s nium of the family, inspired and molded by virginal husband in the world. Therefore, we the Holy Family of Nazareth, in which Saint cannot deny the invitation of Saint Teresa of Joseph was placed at the head. Avila: “Would that I could persuade all men In conclusion, Saint Joseph is model and to be devoted to this glorious Saint Joseph, for patron of something more important and speI know by long experience what blessings he cific than what is usually thought and writcan obtain for us from God.” ten when evoking him as “patron of a good May this invitation be received with pasdeath.” However, in the absence of anything sion; it will surely not disappoint anyone.

Translated by David Billikopf.

H 425

The PoPes in Their own words on The second VaTican council

H 426

The council in John XXiii’s MagisTeriuM

Gaudete Mater Ecclesia Address of Pope John XXIII at the Opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Thursday, October 11, 1962


other Church rejoices that, by the singular gift of Divine Providence, the longedfor day has finally dawned when – under the auspices of the virgin Mother of God, whose maternal dignity is commemorated on this feast – the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is being solemnly opened here beside St. Peter’s tomb.

The Ecumenical Councils of the Church The Councils–both the twenty ecumenical ones and numberless others, also important, of a provincial or regional character which have been held down through the years–all prove clearly the vigor of the Catholic Church and are recorded as shining lights in her history. In calling this vast assembly of bishops, the latest and humble successor to the Prince of the Apostles who is addressing you intends to assert once again the Magisterium, which is unfailing and endures until the end of time, huManiTas nº 4 pp. 426 - 455

The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a Council was not necessary. in order that this Magisterium, taking into account the errors, the requirements, and the opportunities of our time, might be presented in exceptional form to all men throughout the world. It is but natural that in opening this Universal Council we should like to look to the

H 427

past and to listen to its voice whose echo we like to hear in the memories and the merits of the more recent and ancient Pontiffs, our predecessors. These are solemn and venerable voices, throughout the East and the West, from the fourth century to the Middle Ages, and from there to modern times, which have handed down their witness to those Councils. They are voices which proclaim in perennial fervor the triumph of that divine and human institution, the Church of Christ, which from Jesus takes its name, its grace, and its whole dynamic force. Side by side with these motives for spiritual joy, however, there has also been for more than nineteen centuries a cloud of sorrows and of trials. Not without reason did the ancient Simeon announce to Mary, the mother of Jesus, that prophecy which has been, and still is, true: “Behold this child is set for the fall and the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted” (Lk. 2:34). And Jesus Himself, when He grew up, clearly outlined the manner in which the world would treat His person down through the succeeding centuries with the mysterious words: “He who hears you, hears me” (Lk. 10:6), and with those others that the same Evangelist relates: “He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Lk. 11:23). The great problem confronting the world after almost two thousand years remains unchanged. Christ is ever resplendent as the center of history and of life. Men are either with Him and His Church, and then they enjoy light, goodness, order, and peace. Or else they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars. Ecumenical Councils, whenever they are assembled, are a solemn celebration of the union of Christ and His Church, and hence lead to the universal radiation of truth, to the

H 428

In order, however, that this doctrine may influence the numerous fields of human activity, with reference to individuals, to families, and to social life, it is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers. But at the same time she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate. proper guidance of individuals in domestic and social life, to the strengthening of spiritual energies for a perennial uplift toward real and everlasting goodness. […] Illuminated by the light of this Council, the Church – we confidently trust – will become greater in spiritual riches and gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear. In fact, by bringing herself up to date where required, and by the wise organization of mutual co-operation, the Church will make men, families, and peoples really turn their minds to heavenly things. And thus the holding of the Council becomes a motive for wholehearted thanksgiving to the Giver of every good gift, in order to celebrate with joyous canticles the glory of Christ our Lord, the glorious and immortal King of ages and of peoples. […]

Principle Duty of the Council: The Defense and Advancement of Truth The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously. That doctrine embraces the whole of man, composed as he is of body and soul. And, since he is a pilgrim on this earth, it commands him to tend always toward heaven. This demonstrates how our mortal life is to be ordered in such a way as to fulfill our duties as citizens of earth and of heaven, and thus to attain the aim of life as established by God. That is, all men, whether taken singly or as united in society, today have the duty of tending ceaselessly during their lifetime toward the attainment of heavenly things and to use, for this purpose only, earthly goods, the employment of which must not prejudice their eternal happiness.

The Lord has said: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice” (Mt. 6:33). The word “first” expresses the direction in which our thoughts and energies must move. We must not, however, neglect the other words of this exhortation of our Lord, namely: “And all these things shall be given you besides” (ibid.). In reality, there always have been in the Church, and there are still today, those who, while seeking the practice of evangelical perfection with all their might, do not fail to make themselves useful to society. Indeed, it is from their constant example of life and their charitable undertakings that all that is highest and noblest in human society takes its strength and growth. In order, however, that this doctrine may influence the numerous fields of human activity, with reference to individuals, to families, and to social life, it is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the

H 429

Fathers. But at the same time she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate. For this reason, the Church has not watched inertly the marvelous progress of the discoveries of human genius, and has not been backward in evaluating them rightly. But, while following these developments, she does not neglect to admonish men so that, over and above sense – perceived things – they may raise their eyes to God, the Source of all wisdom and all beauty. And may they never forget the most serious command: “The Lord thy God shall thou worship, and Him only shall thou serve” (Mt. 4:10; Lk. 4:8), so that it may never happen that the fleeting fascination of visible things should impede true progress.

The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread This having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and controversies, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will. Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries. The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one

H 430

For this reason, the Church has not watched inertly the marvelous progress of the discoveries of human genius, and has not been backward in evaluating them rightly. But, while following these developments, she does not neglect to admonish men so that, over and above sense – perceived things – they may raise their eyes to God, the Source of all wisdom and all beauty. article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.

How to Repress Errors At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations. Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against and dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits, that by now

The Church does not offer to the men of today riches that pass, nor does she promise them merely earthly happiness. But she distributes to them the goods of divine grace which, raising men to the dignity of sons of God, are the most efficacious safeguards and aids toward a more human life. She opens the fountain of her lifegiving doctrine which allows men, enlightened by the light of Christ, to understand well what they really are, what their lofty dignity and their purpose are.

it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life. They are ever more deeply convinced of the paramount dignity of the human person and of his perfection as well as of the duties which that implies. Even more important, experience has taught men that violence inflicted on others, the might of arms, and political domination, are of no help at all in finding a happy solution to the grave problems which afflict them. That being so, the Catholic Church, raising the torch of religious truth by means of this Ecumenical Council, desires to show herself to be the loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness toward the brethren who are separated from her. To mankind, oppressed by so many difficulties, the Church says, as Peter said to the poor who begged alms from him: “I have neither gold nor silver, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk� (Acts 3:6). In other words, the Church does not offer to the men of today riches that pass, nor does she promise them merely earthly happiness. But she distributes to them the goods of divine grace which, raising men to the dignity of sons of God, are the most efficacious safeguards and aids toward a more human life. She opens the fountain of her lifegiving doctrine which allows men, enlightened by the light of Christ, to understand well what they really are, what their lofty dignity and their purpose are, and, finally, through her children, she spreads everywhere the fullness of Christian charity, of which nothing is more effective in eradicating the seeds of discord, nothing more efficacious in promoting concord, just peace, and the brotherly unity of all.

H 431

The Unity of the Christian and Human Family Must Be Promoted The Church’s solicitude to promote and defend truth derives from the fact that, according to the plan of God, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (l Tim. 2:4), men without the assistance of the whole of revealed doctrine cannot reach a complete and firm unity of mind, with which are associated true peace and eternal salvation. Unfortunately, the entire Christian family has not yet fully attained this visible unity in truth. The Catholic Church, therefore, considers it her duty to work actively so that there may be fulfilled the great mystery of that unity, which Jesus Christ invoked with fervent prayer from His heavenly Father on the eve of His sacrifice. She rejoices in peace, knowing well that she is intimately associated with that prayer, and then exults greatly at seeing that invocation extend its efficacy with salutary fruit, even among those who are outside her fold. Indeed, if one considers well this same unity which Christ implored for His Church, it seems to shine, as it were, with a triple ray of beneficent supernal light: namely, the unity of Catholics among themselves, which must always be kept exemplary and most firm; the unity of prayers and ardent desires with which those Christians separated from this Apostolic See aspire to be united with us; and the unity in esteem and respect for the Catho-

lic Church which animates those who follow non-Christian religions. In this regard, it is a source of considerable sorrow to see that the greater part of the human race–although all men who are born were redeemed by the blood of Christ–does not yet participate in those sources of divine grace which exist in the Catholic Church. Hence the Church, whose light illumines all, whose strength of supernatural unity redounds to the advantage of all humanity, is rightly described in these beautiful words of St. Cyprian: “The Church, surrounded by divine light, spreads her rays over the entire earth. This light, however, is one and unique and shines everywhere without causing any separation in the unity of the body. She extends her branches over the whole world. By her fruitfulness she sends ever farther afield her rivulets. Nevertheless, the head is always one, the origin one, for she is the one mother, abundantly fruitful. We are born of her, are nourished by her milk, we live of her spirit” (De Catholicae Eccles. Unitate, 5). Venerable brothers, such is the aim of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which, while bringing together the Church’s best energies and striving to have men welcome more favorably the good tidings of salvation, prepares, as it were, and consolidates the path toward that unity of mankind which is required as a necessary foundation, in order that the earthly city may be brought to the resemblance of that heavenly city where truth reigns, charity is the law, and whose extent is eternity (cf. St. Augustine, Epistle 138, 3). (Vatican, 11-X-1962)

H 432

The council in Paul Vi’s MagisTeriuM

The religious value of the Council Address of Pope John VI during the last General Meeting of the Second Vatican Council. December 7, 1965


o appreciate it properly it is necessary to remember the time in which it [the Council] was realized: a time which everyone admits is orientated toward the conquest of the kingdom of earth rather than that of heaven; a time in which forgetfulness of God has become habitual, and seems, quite wrongly, to be prompted by the progress of science; a time in which the fundamental act of the human person, more conscious now of himself and of his liberty, tends to pronounce in favor of his own absolute autonomy, in emancipation from every transcendent law; a time in which secularism seems the legitimate consequence of modern thought and the highest wisdom in the temporal ordering of society; a time, moreover, in which the soul of man has plumbed the depths of irrationality and desolation; a time, finally, which is characterized by upheavals and a hitherto unknown decline even in the great world religions. It was at such a time as this that our council was held to the honor of God, in the name of Christ and under the impulse of the Spirit: who “searcheth all things,” “making us understand

God’s gifts to us” (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10-12), and who is now quickening the Church, giving her a vision at once profound and all-embracing of the life of the world. The theocentric and theological concept of man and the universe, almost in defiance of the charge of anachronism and irrelevance, has been given a new prominence by the council, through claims which the world will at first judge to be foolish, but which, we hope, it will later come to recognize as being truly human, wise and salutary: namely, God is –and more, He is real, He lives, a personal, provident God, infinitely good; and not only good in Himself, but also immeasurably good to us. He will be recognized as Our Creator, our truth, our happiness; so much so that the effort to look on Him, and to center our heart in Him – which we call contemplation – is the highest, the most perfect act of the spirit, the act which even today can and must be at the apex of all human activity.[…] Never before perhaps, so much as on this occasion, has the Church felt the need to know, to draw near to, to understand, to penetrate,

H 433

serve, and evangelize the society in which she lives; and to get to grips with it, almost to run after it, in its rapid and continuous change. This attitude, a response to the distances and divisions we have witnessed over recent centuries, in the last century and in our own especially, between the Church and secular society – this attitude has been strongly and unceasingly at work in the council; so much so that some have been inclined to suspect that an easy-going and excessive responsiveness to the outside world, to passing events, cultural fashions, temporary needs, an alien way of thinking…may have swayed persons and acts of the ecumenical synod, at the expense of the fidelity which is due to tradition, and this to the detriment of the religious orientation of the council itself. We do not believe that this shortcoming should be imputed to it, to its real and deep intentions, to its authentic manifestations. We prefer to point out how charity has been the principal religious feature of this council. Now, no one can reprove as want of religion or infidelity to the Gospel such a basic orientation, when we recall that it is Christ Himself who taught us that love for our brothers is the distinctive mark of His disciples (cf. John 13:35); when we listen to the words of the apostle: “If

The Church of the council has been concerned, not just with herself and with her relationship of union with God, but with man – man as he really is today: living man, man all wrapped up in himself, man who makes himself not only the center of his every interest but dares to claim that he is the principle and explanation of all reality.

H 434

Secular humanism, revealing itself in its horrible anticlerical reality has, in a certain sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God. he is to offer service pure and unblemished in the sight of God, who is our Father, he must take care of orphans and widows in their need, and keep himself untainted by the world” (James 1:27) and again: “He has seen his brother, and has no love for him; what love can he have for the God he has never seen?” (1 John 4:20). Yes, the Church of the council has been concerned, not just with herself and with her relationship of union with God, but with man – man as he really is today: living man, man all wrapped up in himself, man who makes himself not only the center of his every interest but dares to claim that he is the principle and explanation of all reality. Every perceptible element in man, every one of the countless guises in which he appears, has, in a sense, been displayed in full view of the council Fathers, who, in their turn, are mere men, and yet all of them are pastors and brothers whose position accordingly fills them with solicitude and love. Among these guises we may cite man as the tragic actor of his own plays; man as the superman of yesterday and today, ever frail, unreal, selfish, and savage; man unhappy with himself as he laughs and cries; man the versatile actor ready to perform any part; man the narrow devotee of nothing but scientific reality; man as he is, a creature who thinks and loves and toils and is always waiting for something, the “growing son” (Gen. 49:22); man sacred because of the innocence of his childhood, because of the mystery of his poverty,

H 435

because of the dedication of his suffering; man as an individual and man in society; man who lives in the glories of the past and dreams of those of the future; man the sinner and man the saint, and so on. Secular humanism, revealing itself in its horrible anti-clerical reality has, in a certain sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God. And what happened? Was there a clash, a battle, a condemnation? There could have been, but there was none. The old story of the Samaritan

has been the model of the spirituality of the council. A feeling of boundless sympathy has permeated the whole of it. The attention of our council has been absorbed by the discovery of human needs (and these needs grow in proportion to the greatness which the son of the earth claims for himself). But we call upon those who term themselves modern humanists, and who have renounced the transcendent value of the highest realities, to give the council credit at least for one quality and to recognize our own new type of humanism: we, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind. (Vatican, 7-XII-1965)

Be strong in the faith in order to stand against the power of darkness Address of Pope John VI during the last holy Mass on the feast of San Peter and Paul. June 29, 1972 From some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God. There is doubt, incertitude, problems disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. There is no longer trust in the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life.

H 436


[ eferring to the situation of the Church today, the Holy Father affirms that he has a sense that] from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God. There is doubt, incertitude, problems disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. There is no longer trust in the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we are not alert to the fact that we are already the owners and masters of the formula of true life. Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by windows that should have been open to the light. Science exists to give us truths that do not separate us from God, but make us seek him all the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science gives us criticism and doubt. Scientists are those who more thoughtfully and more painfully exert their

minds. But they end up teaching us: “I don’t know, we don’t know, we cannot know.” The school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes of absurd contradictions. Progress is celebrated, only so that it can then be demolished with revolutions that are more radical and more strange, so as to negate everything that has been achieved, and to come away as primitives after having so exalted the advances of the modern world. This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church. There was the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. Instead, it is the arrival of a day of clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty. We preach ecumenism but we constantly separate ourselves from others. We seek to dig abysses instead of filling them in.

Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by windows that should have been open to the light. Science exists to give us truths that do not separate us from God, but make us seek him all the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science gives us criticism and doubt. How has this come about? […] We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of our brothers. We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him

This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church. There was the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. Instead, it is the arrival of a day of clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty. We preach ecumenism but we constantly separate ourselves from others. We seek to dig abysses instead of filling them in. who represents him though unworthily on this earth. Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our very own human spirit. Whoever believes with simplicity, with humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth. The Lord shows himself to be light and truth for him who accepts him in his Word, and his Word becomes no longer an obstacle to the truth and the path to well-being, but rather a stepping stone upon which we can climb and truly be conquerors in the Lord who reveals himself through the path of faith – this faith that is the anticipation and guarantee of the definitive vision. […] And we should wish that this strength of faith, this sureness, this peace should triumph over all obstacles. […] Lord, I believe in Your word, I believe in Your revelation, I believe in the one You have given me as witness and guarantor of Your revelation to sense and to prove, with the strength of faith, the anticipation of the blessedness of the life that is promised us with faith. (Vatican, 29-VI-1972)

H 437

H 438

The council in John Paul ii’s MagisTeriuM

The Council as a milestone that must be brought to effect


irst of all, we wish to point out the unceasing importance of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and we accept the definite duty of assiduously bringing it into effect. Indeed, is not that universal Council a kind of milestone as it were, an event of the utmost importance in the almost two thousand year history of the Church, and consequently in the religious and cultural history of the world?

However, as the Council is not limited to its documents alone, neither is it completed by the applications which were devised in these post-conciliar years. Therefore we rightly consider that we are bound by the primary duty of most diligently furthering the implementation of the decrees and directive norms of that same Universal Synod. (First address Urbi et Orbi of His Holiness John Paul II, 17-X-1978)

To guard and present better the precious deposit of Christian doctrine With the help of God, the Council Fathers in four years of work were able to produce a considerable collection of doctrinal statements and pastoral norms which were presented to the whole Church. There the Pastors and Christian faithful find directives for that “renewal of thought, action, practices and moral virtue, of joy and hope, which was the very

purpose of the Council” (Paul VI, Closing Address to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, December 8, 1965). After its conclusion the Council did not cease to inspire the Church’s life. In 1985 I was able to assert: “For me, then – who had the special grace of participating in it and actively collaborating in its development – Vati-

H 439

can II has always been, and especially during these years of my Pontificate, the constant reference point of my every pastoral action, in the conscious commitment to implement

its directives concretely and faithfully at the level of each Church and the whole Church” (John Paul II, Address of January 25, 1985). (Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, 11-X-1992)

Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished With the Second Vatican Council, the Comforter recently gave the Church, which according to the Fathers is the place “where the Spirit flourishes” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 749), a renewed Pentecost, instilling a new and unforeseen dynamism. Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished. He

brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history. This was the unforgettable experience of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council during which, under the guidance of the same Spirit, the Church rediscovered the charismatic dimension as one of her constitutive elements. (Speech of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II during the meeting with the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, 27-V-1998)

The eternal Pastor As I stand on the threshold of the Third Millennium “in medio Ecclesiae,” I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of the Second Vatican Council, to which, together with the whole Church – and especially with the whole Episcopate – I feel indebted. I am convinced that it will long be granted to the new generations to draw from the treasures that this 20th-century Council

H 440

has lavished upon us. As a Bishop who took part in the Council from the first to the last day, I desire to entrust this great patrimony to all who are and will be called in the future to put it into practice. For my part, I thank the eternal Pastor who has enabled me to serve this very great cause in the course of all the years of my Pontificate. (Testament of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II, 18-III- 2000)

If contemporary man wants to understand himself, he needs Jesus Christ and his Church The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has been a gift of the Spirit to his Church. For this reason it remains a fundamental event not only for understanding the Church’s history at this end of the century, but first and foremost for exploring the abiding presence of the risen Christ beside his Bride in the course of world events. Through the Council Assembly, which saw Bishops come to the See of Peter from all over the world, it was possible to note how the patrimony of 2,000 years of faith has been preserved in its original authenticity. With the Council, the Church first had an experience of faith, as she abandoned herself to God without reserve, as one who trusts and is certain of being loved. It is precisely this act of abandonment to God which stands out from an objective examination of the Acts. Anyone who wished to approach the Council without considering this interpretive key would be unable to penetrate its depths. Only from a faith perspective can we see the Council event as a gift whose still hidden wealth we must know how to mine.

In order to mark the first 20 years of the Second Vatican Council, I convoked an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985. Its goal was to celebrate, examine, and further the Council’s teaching. In their analysis, the Bishops spoke of the “lights and shadows” that had marked the post-conciliar period. For this reason, I wrote in the Letter Tertio millennio adveniente that “an examination of conscience must also consider the reception given to the Council” (n. 36). […] The work you have undertaken in these days has shown how present and effective the Council’s teaching is in the life of the Church. Certainly, it requires ever deeper understanding. However, within this dynamic the genuine intention of the Council Fathers must not be lost: indeed, it must be recovered by overcoming biased and partial interpretations which have prevented the newness of the Council’s Magisterium from being expressed as well as possible. The Church has always known the rules for a correct hermeneutic of the contents of dogma. These rules are set within the fa-

[…] The Council Fathers were faced with a real challenge. It involved the effort to understand more deeply, at a time of rapid changes, the nature of the Church and her relationship to the world, in order to provide a suitable “aggiornamento”. We accepted this challenge - I too was a Council Father - and responded to it by seeking a more coherent understanding of the faith. What we achieved at the Council was to show that if contemporary man wants to understand himself completely, he too needs Jesus Christ and his Church, which continues in the world as a sign of unity and communion. […]

The Church has always known the rules for a correct hermeneutic of the contents of dogma. These rules are set within the fabric of faith and not outside it. To interpret the Council on the supposition that it marks a break with the past, when in reality it stands in continuity with the faith of all times, is a definite mistake.

H 441

The Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium explained the premises of a liturgical life that would give God the true worship owed him by the people called to exercise the priesthood of the New Covenant. The liturgy must allow every member of the faithful to enter deeply into the mystery to grasp the beauty of praising the Triune God. The liturgy, in fact, is an anticipation on earth of the praise that the hosts of the blessed give God in heaven. bric of faith and not outside it. To interpret the Council on the supposition that it marks a break with the past, when in reality it stands in continuity with the faith of all times, is a definite mistake. […] The Council was an act of love: “A great, threefold act of love” –as Pope Paul VI said in his opening address at the Council’s fourth session– an act of love “for God, for the Church, for humanity” (Insegnamenti, vol. III [1965], p. 475). The effectiveness of that act has not been exhausted at all: it continues to work through the rich dynamic of its teachings. The Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum puts the Word of God at the heart of the Church’s life with renewed awareness. This centrality stems from a more vivid perception of the unity of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Word of God, which is kept alive by the faith of the holy people of believers under the guidance of the Magisterium, also asks each of us to accept our own responsibi-

H 442

lity for preserving intact the process of transmission. So that the primacy of the Father’s Revelation to humanity may endure with all the force of its radical newness, theology must first become a coherent tool for understanding it. In the Encyclical Fides et ratio I wrote: “As an understanding of Revelation, theology has always had to respond in different historical moments to the demands of different cultures, in order then to mediate the content of faith to those cultures in a coherent and conceptually clear way. Today, too, theology faces a dual task. On the one hand, it must be increasingly committed to the task entrusted to it by the Second Vatican Council, the task of renewing its specific methods in order to serve evangelization more effectively… On the other hand, theology must look to the ultimate truth which Revelation entrusts to it, never content to stop short of that goal” (n. 92). What the Church believes is what she makes the object of her prayer. The Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium explained the premises of a liturgical life that would give God the true worship owed him by the people called to exercise the priesthood of the New Covenant. The liturgy must allow every member of the faithful to enter deeply into the mystery to grasp the beauty of praising the Triune God. The liturgy, in fact, is an anticipation on earth of the praise that the hosts of the blessed give God in heaven. At every liturgical celebration, therefore, the participants should be given the possibility of a foretaste, albeit under the veil of faith, of some of the sweetness that will flow from contemplating God in paradise. For this reason, every minister, conscious of the responsibility he has to all the people entrusted to him, must faithfully maintain respect for the sacredness of the rite and grow in his understanding of what he celebrates. “The time has come when the truth about the Church of Christ must be explored, set in

order and expressed,” Pope Paul VI said in his message at the opening of the Council’s second session (Insegnamenti, vol. I [1963], pp. 173-174). With these words the unforgettable Pontiff identified the Council’s principal task. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium was a true hymn of praise to the beauty of Christ’s Bride. In those pages we brought to completion the doctrine expressed by the First Vatican Council and we sealed it for a renewed study of the Church’s mystery.

Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear” (n. 22). These words are especially dear to me and I wanted to propose them again in the fundamental passages of my Magisterium. Here we find the true synthesis to which the Church must always look in her dialogue with the people of today as with those of every other age: she knows that her message is a fruitful synthesis of the human being’s expectation and of God’s response to him.

Communio is the foundation on which the Church’s reality is based. It is a koinonia that has its source in the very mystery of the Triune God and extends to all the baptized, who are therefore called to full unity in Christ. This communion becomes evident in the various institutional forms in which the ecclesial ministry is carried out and in the role of the Successor of Peter as the visible sign of the unity of all believers. Everyone knows that the Second Vatican Council enthusiastically made the “ecumenical” yearning its own. The movement of encounter and clarification, which has been carried out with all the baptized brethren, is irreversible. It is the power of the Spirit who calls all believers to obedience, so that unity may be an effective source of evangelization. The communion that the Church lives with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a sign of how brothers and sisters are called to live together.

In the Incarnation of the Son of God, which this Jubilee is meant to celebrate on the 2,000th anniversary of the event, man’s call becomes obvious. He never loses his dignity when he abandons himself in faith to Christ, because his humanity is then raised to participation in the divine life. Christ is the truth that never fades: in him God reaches out to every human being, and every human being can see God in him (cf. Jn 14:9-10). No encounter with the world will be fruitful, if the believer ceases to fix his gaze on the mystery of the Incarnation of God’s Son. The emptiness

“The Council, which has given us a rich ecclesiological doctrine, has organically linked its teaching about the Church with its teaching about man’s vocation in Christ”: I said this in my homily for the opening of the Synod of Bishops on November 24, 1985 (Insegnamenti, vol. VIII, 2, p. 1371). The Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, which dealt with the fundamental questions which every person is called to answer, repeats to us today words which have lost none of their timeliness: “It is only in the mystery of the

At every liturgical celebration, therefore, the participants should be given the possibility of a foretaste, albeit under the veil of faith, of some of the sweetness that will flow from contemplating God in paradise. For this reason, every minister, conscious of the responsibility he has to all the people entrusted to him, must faithfully maintain respect for the sacredness of the rite and grow in his understanding of what he celebrates.

H 443

that many people feel as they face the question about the reason for life and death, about human destiny and the meaning of suffering, can only be filled by the message of the truth that is Jesus Christ. The human heart will always be “restless” until it can rest in him, the true refreshment for all who “labor and are heavy laden” (Mt. 11:28).

neyard of the Lord. It has already produced many fruits in its 35 years of life, and it will produce many more in the years to come. A new season is dawning before our eyes: it is time for deep reflection on the Council’s teaching, time to harvest all that the Council Fathers sowed and the generation of recent years has tended and awaited.

The “little seed” which John XXIII planted “with anxious mind and hand” (Apostolic Constitution Humanae salutis, December 25 , 1961) in the Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-theWalls on January 25, 1959, when he announced his intention to convoke the 21st Ecumenical Council in the Church’s history, has grown and become a tree which now spreads its majestic and mighty branches in the Vi-

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council was truly a prophetic message for the Church’s life; it will continue to be so for many years in the third millennium which has just begun. The Church, rich in the eternal truths entrusted to her, will still speak to the world, proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the one true Savior of the world: yesterday, today, and forever! (Address of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II to the Conference Studying the Implementation of the Second Vatican Council, 27-II-2000)

H 444

The council in BenedicT XVi’s MagisTeriuM

Hermeneutic of renewal within continuity From the address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia. December 2005.


[…] he last event of this year on which I wish to reflect here is the celebration of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council 40 years ago. This memory prompts the question: What has been the result of the Council? Was it well received? What, in the acceptance of the Council, was good and what was inadequate or mistaken? What still remains to be done? No one can deny that in vast areas of the Church the implementation of the Council has been somewhat difficult, even without wishing to apply to what occurred in these years the description that St Basil, the great Doctor of the Church, made of the Church’s situation after the Council of Nicea: he compares her situation to a naval battle in the darkness of the storm, saying among other things: “The raucous shouting of those who through disagreement rise up against one another, the incomprehensible chatter, the confused din of uninterrupted clamouring, has now filled almost the whole of the Church, falsifying through excess or failure the right doctrine of

the faith...” (De Spiritu Sancto, XXX, 77; PG 32, 213 A; SCh 17 ff., p. 524). We do not want to apply precisely this dramatic description to the situation of the post-conciliar period, yet something from all that occurred is nevertheless reflected in it. The question arises: Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult? Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or –as we would say today– on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarrelled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit. On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On

H 445

H 446

the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subjectChurch which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God. The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts. These innovations alone were supposed to represent the true spirit of the Council, and starting from and in conformity with them, it would be possible to move ahead. Precisely be-

Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult? Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or - as we would say today - on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarrelled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subjectChurch which the Lord has given to us. cause the texts would only imperfectly reflect the true spirit of the Council and its newness, it would be necessary to go courageously beyond the texts and make room for the newness in which the Council’s deepest intention would be expressed, even if it were still vague. In a word: it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit. In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim. The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one. However, the Constituent Assembly needs a mandator and then confirmation by the mandator, in other words, the people the constitution must serve. The Fathers had no such mandate and no one had ever given them one; nor could anyone have given them one because the essential constitution of the Church comes from the Lord and was given to us so that we might attain eternal life and, starting from this perspective, be able to illuminate life in time and time itself.

H 447

The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the preconciliar Church and the postconciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. Through the Sacrament they have received, Bishops are stewards of the Lord’s gift. They are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (I Cor 4: 1); as such, they must be found to be “faithful” and “wise” (cf. Lk 12: 41-48). This requires them to administer the Lord’s gift in the right way, so that it is not left concealed in some hiding place but bears fruit, and the Lord may end by saying to the administrator: “Since you were dependable in a small matter I will put you in charge of larger affairs” (cf. Mt 25: 1430; Lk 19: 11-27). These Gospel parables express the dynamic of fidelity required in the Lord’s service; and through them it becomes clear that, as in a Council, the dynamic and fidelity must converge. The hermeneutic of discontinuity is countered by the hermeneutic of reform, as it was presented first by Pope John XXIII in his Speech inaugurating the Council on 11 October 1962 and later by Pope Paul VI in his Discourse for the Council’s conclusion on 7 December 1965. Here I shall cite only John XXIII’s well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes

H 448

“to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion”. And he continues: “Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us (…).” It is necessary that “adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness...” be presented in “faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...”, retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715). It is clear that this commitment to expressing a specific truth in a new way demands new thinking on this truth and a new and vital relationship with it; it is also clear that new words can only develop if they come from an informed understanding of the truth expressed, and on the other hand, that a reflection on faith also requires that this faith be lived. In this regard, the programme that Pope John XXIII proposed was extremely demanding, indeed, just as the synthesis of fidelity and dynamic is demanding. However, wherever this interpretation guided the implementation of the Council, new life developed and new fruit ripened. Forty years after the Council, we can show that the positive is far greater and livelier than it appeared to be in the turbulent years around 1968. Today, we see that although the good seed developed slowly, it is nonetheless growing; and our deep gratitude for the work done by the Council is likewise growing. In his Discourse closing the Council, Paul VI pointed out a further specific reason why a hermeneutic of discontinuity can seem convincing. In the great dispute about man which

marks the modern epoch, the Council had to focus in particular on the theme of anthropology. It had to question the relationship between the Church and her faith on the one hand, and man and the contemporary world on the other (cf. ibid.). The question becomes even clearer if, instead of the generic term “contemporary world”, we opt for another that is more precise: the Council had to determine in a new way the relationship between the Church and the modern era. This relationship had a somewhat stormy beginning with the Galileo case. It was then totally interrupted when Kant described “religion within pure reason” and when, in the radical phase of the French Revolution, an image of the State and the human being that practically no longer wanted to allow the Church any room was disseminated. In the 19th century under Pius IX, the clash between the Church’s faith and a radical liberalism and the natural sciences, which also claimed to embrace with their knowledge the whole of reality to its limit, stubbornly proposing to make the

It is clear that this commitment to expressing a specific truth in a new way demands new thinking on this truth and a new and vital relationship with it […]. In this regard, the programme that Pope John XXIII proposed was extremely demanding, indeed, just as the synthesis of fidelity and dynamic is demanding. However, wherever this interpretation guided the implementation of the Council, new life developed and new fruit ripened.

Forty years after the Council, we can show that the positive is far greater and livelier than it appeared to be in the turbulent years around 1968. Today, we see that although the good seed developed slowly, it is nonetheless growing; and our deep gratitude for the work done by the Council is likewise growing. “hypothesis of God” superfluous, had elicited from the Church a bitter and radical condemnation of this spirit of the modern age. Thus, it seemed that there was no longer any milieu open to a positive and fruitful understanding, and the rejection by those who felt they were the representatives of the modern era was also drastic. In the meantime, however, the modern age had also experienced developments. People came to realize that the American Revolution was offering a model of a modern State that differed from the theoretical model with radical tendencies that had emerged during the second phase of the French Revolution. The natural sciences were beginning to reflect more and more clearly their own limitations imposed by their own method, which, despite achieving great things, was nevertheless unable to grasp the global nature of reality. So it was that both parties were gradually beginning to open up to each other. In the period between the two World Wars and especially after the Second World War, Catholic statesmen demonstrated that a modern secular State could exist that was not neutral regarding values but alive, drawing from the great ethical sources opened by Christianity. Catholic social doctrine, as it gradually developed, became an important model between

H 449

The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity. The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time. radical liberalism and the Marxist theory of the State. The natural sciences, which without reservation professed a method of their own to which God was barred access, realized ever more clearly that this method did not include the whole of reality. Hence, they once again opened their doors to God, knowing that reality is greater than the naturalistic method and all that it can encompass. It might be said that three circles of questions had formed which then, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, were expecting an answer. First of all, the relationship between faith and modern science had to be redefined. Furthermore, this did not only concern the natural sciences but also historical science for, in a certain school, the historical-critical method claimed to have the last word on the interpretation of the Bible and, demanding total exclusivity for its interpretation of Sacred Scripture, was opposed to important points in the inter-

H 450

pretation elaborated by the faith of the Church. Secondly, it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion. Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance - a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel. These are all subjects of great importance they were the great themes of the second part of the Council - on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance. It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is

only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within. On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change. Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge. It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction. The Second Vatican Council, recognizing and making its own an essential principle of the modern State with the Decree on Religious Freedom, has recovered the deepest patrimony of the Church. By so doing she can be conscious of being in full harmony with the teaching of Jesus himself (cf. Mt 22: 21), as well as with the Church of the martyrs of all time. The ancient Church naturally prayed for the emperors and political leaders out of duty (cf. I Tm 2: 2); but while she prayed for the emperors, she refused to worship them and thereby clearly rejected the religion of the State. The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one’s own faith - a profession that no

Those who expected that with this fundamental “yes” to the modern era all tensions would be dispelled and that the “openness towards the world” accordingly achieved would transform everything into pure harmony, had underestimated the inner tensions as well as the contradictions inherent in the modern epoch. They had underestimated the perilous frailty of human nature which has been a threat to human progress in all the periods of history and in every historical constellation. State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God’s grace in freedom of conscience. A missionary Church known for proclaiming her message to all peoples must necessarily work for the freedom of the faith. She desires to transmit the gift of the truth that exists for one and all. At the same time, she assures peoples and their Governments that she does not wish to destroy their identity and culture by doing so, but to give them, on the contrary, a response which, in their innermost depths, they are waiting for - a response with which the multiplicity of cultures is not lost but instead unity between men and women increases and thus also peace between peoples. The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this

H 451

apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity. The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time; she continues “her pilgrimage amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God”, proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 8). Those who expected that with this fundamental “yes” to the modern era all tensions would be dispelled and that the “openness towards the world” accordingly achieved would transform everything into pure harmony, had underestimated the inner tensions as well as the contradictions inherent in the modern epoch. They had underestimated the perilous frailty of human nature which has been a threat to human progress in all the periods of history and in every historical constellation. These dangers, with the new possibilities and new power of man over matter and over himself, did not disappear but instead acquired new dimensions: a look at the history of the present day shows this clearly. In our time too, the Church remains a “sign that will be opposed” (Lk 2: 34) - not without reason did Pope John Paul II, then still a Cardinal, give this title to the theme for the Spiritual Exercises he preached in 1976 to Pope Paul VI and the Roman Curia. The Council could not have intended to abolish the Gospel’s opposition to human dangers and errors. On the contrary, it was certainly the Council’s intention to overcome erroneous or superfluous contradictions in order to present to our world the requirement of the Gospel in its full greatness and purity. The steps the Council took towards the modern era which had rather vaguely been presented as “openness to the world”, belong in short to the perennial problem of the relationship between faith and reason that is re-emerging in ever new forms.

The situation that the Council had to face can certainly be compared to events of previous epochs. In his First Letter, St Peter urged Christians always to be ready to give an answer (apologia) to anyone who asked them for the logos, the reason for their faith (cf. 3: 15). This meant that biblical faith had to be discussed and come into contact with Greek culture and learn to recognize through interpretation the separating line but also the convergence and the affinity between them in the one reason, given by God. When, in the 13th century through the Jewish and Arab philosophers, Aristotelian thought came into contact with Medieval Christianity formed in the Platonic tradition and faith and reason risked entering an irreconcilable contradiction, it was above all St Thomas Aquinas who mediated the new encounter between faith and Aristotelian philosophy, thereby setting faith in a positive relationship with the form of reason prevalent in his time. There is no doubt that the wearing dispute between modern reason and the Christian faith, which had begun negatively with the Galileo case, went through many phases, but with the Second Vatican Council the time came when broad new thinking was required. Its content was certainly only roughly traced in the conciliar texts, but this determined its essential direction, so that the dialogue between reason and faith, particularly important today, found its bearings on the basis of the Second Vatican Council. This dialogue must now be developed with great openmindedness but also with that clear discernment that the world rightly expects of us in this very moment. Thus, today we can look with gratitude at the Second Vatican Council: if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church (Vatican, 22-XII-2005)

H 452

The True Legacy of Vatican II is to be found in its Texts Homily of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the Mass for the Opening of the Year of Faith celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square, October 11, 2012

[…] The Second Vatican Council did not wish to deal with the theme of faith in one specific document. It was, however, animated by a desire, as it were, to immerse itself anew in the Christian mystery so as to re-propose it fruitfully to contemporary man. The Servant of God Paul VI, two years after the end of the Council session, expressed it in this way: “Even if the Council does not deal expressly with the faith, it talks about it on every page, it recognizes its vital and supernatural character, it assumes it to be whole and strong, and it builds upon its teachings. We need only recall some of the Council’s statements in order to realize the essential importance that the Council, consistent with the doctrinal tradition of the Church, attributes to the faith, the true faith, which has Christ for its source and the Church’s Magisterium for its channel” (General Audience, March 8, 1967). Thus said Paul VI in 1967. We now turn to the one who convoked the Second Vatican Council and inaugurated it: Blessed John XXIII. In his opening speech, he presented the principal purpose of the Council in this way: “What above all concerns the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be safeguarded and taught more effectively […] Therefore, the principal purpose of this Council is not the discussion of this or that doctrinal theme… a Council is not required for that… [but] this certain and immutable doctrine, which is to be faithfully respected, needs to be explored and presented in a way which responds to the needs of our time.”

So that this interior thrust towards the new evangelization neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, it needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basis is the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the place where it found expression. This is why I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the “letter” of the Council– that is to its texts– also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them. […] so that this interior thrust towards the new evangelization neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, it needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basis is the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the place where it found expression. This is why I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the “letter” of the Council – that is to its texts – also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them. Reference to the documents saves us

H 453

from extremes of anachronistic nostalgia and running too far ahead, and allows what is new to be welcomed in a context of continuity. The Council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient. Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change. If we place ourselves in harmony with the authentic approach which Blessed John XXIII wished to give to Vatican II, we will be able to realize it during this Year of Faith, following the same path of the Church as she continuously endeavors to deepen the deposit of faith entrusted to her by Christ. The Council Fathers wished to present the faith in a meaningful way; and if they opened themselves trustingly to dialogue with the modern world it is because they were certain of their faith, of the solid rock on which they stood. In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths. If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honor an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago! And the reply to be given to this need is the one desired by the Popes, by

H 454

Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual “desertification.” In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women.

the Council Fathers and contained in its documents. Even the initiative to create a Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, which I thank for its special effort for the Year of Faith, is to be understood in this context. Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual “desertification.” In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the ex-

perience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive. Living faith opens the heart to the grace of God which frees us from pessimism. Today, more than ever, evangelizing means witnessing to the new life, transformed by God, and thus showing the path. The first reading spoke to us of the wisdom of the wayfarer (cf. Sir. 34:913): the journey is a metaphor for life, and the wise wayfarer is one who has learned the art of living, and can share it with his brethren – as happens to pilgrims along the Way of Saint James or similar routes which, not by chance, have again become popular in recent years. How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys? Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world? This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith, a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, nor two tunics – as the Lord said to those he was sen-

This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith, a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, nor two tunics – as the Lord said to those he was sending out on mission. ding out on mission (cf. Lk. 9:3), but the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published twenty years ago. Venerable and dear Brothers, October 11, 1962 was the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. Let us entrust to her the Year of Faith, as I did last week when I went on pilgrimage to Loreto. May the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelization. May she help us to put into practice the Apostle Paul’s exhortation, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom […] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:16-17). Amen. (Vatican, 11-X-2012)

H 455


“We need shepherds that smell like sheep” Statements made by Cardinal Bergoglio a few days before traveling to Rome to participate in the Conclave.

Father Angel Strada, on the program Alianza de Amor (Love Alliance) on the radio of the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt, spoke of the encounter he had had with Cardinal Bergoglio at the annual meeting of priests belonging to this same movement in Argentina and Paraguay, a few days before the beginning of the conclave. Father Strada admits the enormous surprise that he felt over the news that Cardinal Bergoglio had been elected Pope, since the media had not named him as a possible “candidate” due to his age, although Father Strada admits that those who knew him thought he was a great candidate due to his qualities. “The name that he has chosen is already a program, Francis was a living Gospel,” he said in the interview. Subsequently, Father Strada told how the priests that work in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay meet every year, and how they always worry about inviting to that meeting, which lasts a couple of days, a prominent person that will enrich discuss, and make the community of Schoenstatt known. Six months earlier they had

H 456

already thought of Cardinal Bergoglio because of the esteem they held for him, and because they thought that, owing to his age, he was probably going to submit his resignation. However, the Cardinal himself called the community to announce to them that he was travelling to the Conclave, but that the meeting was not cancelled and that he would be waiting for them on Saturday, February 23rd, at the Curia of Buenos Aires. “He said he was not going to deliver conference presentation, but that he would like us to put together the questions we liked, and that he wished to have a discussion with us,” he told us.

One of the questions they asked him was what profile he thought the new Pope should have. Cardinal Bergoglio answered: “I am probably going to say evident things, but they are the things I believe in. First of all, he has to be a man of prayer, a man deeply linked with God. Second, he must be a person that strongly believes that the owner of the Church huManiTas nº 4 pp. 456 - 485

is Jesus Christ, and not himself, and that Jesus Christ is the Master of history. Third, he must be a good Bishop. He should be a man that knows how to take care of the people, to welcome them, to be kind, and who knows how to create communion. And fourth, he must be a man that must help reform the Curia now.” Without realizing it, Father Angel Strada continues, he was describing himself. It is “a great present from heaven that the Conclave chose him,” he added.

Conclave with a walking stick, and then the Cardinals would think, we will never choose this little old man.” “A fixed idea that he has – continued Father Strada – is expressed with these words: we must look for a Church that is in the street. He thinks that the Church must not close itself within because it gets sick. It must go out to look for men. He says we are mistaken when we think that in the flock we have 99 sheep, and there is only one bad sheep outside. It is exactly the contrary, in the flock we have one sheep and there are 99 outside, and the mistake is that we worry and take care of the one little sheep we have inside.” Father

Speaking at a more personal level, Father Strada told us what he felt when he said good-bye to him. “He asked me how the cause of the canonization of Father Kentenich (the founder of the movement) was going, and when we departed I thought what a pity that this man will not be elected Pope, thinking of the hindrance of his advanced age, but I thought, let’s hope it will be someone like him.” He also relates how Cardinal Bergoglio joked about the possibility of being chosen, “we asked him about his health due to a small problem he had had with his legs, and he answered that they were alright now, and a clergyman said that he must be careful, since the Cardinals in good health might be chosen Pope, and he answered that we shouldn’t have that idea and that he had already thought of going to the

Strada tells us that he said to them “today we don’t require clergymen, we don’t require clerical officers, what we need are shepherds that smell like sheep, shepherds that are with the sheep, that never hit them but take care of them with much love.” He ended the interview talking about the Marian aspect of the Holy Father, who proved this by his first gesture as Pontiff in his visit to Saint Mary Major to make an offering with flowers to the Virgin, like a child that takes flowers to his mother. And he also highlighted his pastoral work and his closeness with men when he says that the Church has to be meek and go out to look for the people.

Conclave Instant unity of the Bishops

In an interview held with Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima, and primate of Peru, with the newspaper El Comercio of Lima, on March 17 of this year, he made a comment on the atmosphere existing during the voting of the Conclave, in the following question. —Yes, Can you tell us what the atmosphere in the Conclave was like when during the fifth ballot the electors saw that the 77 votes would be reached… Cardinal Cipriani: “Obviously, each one had his own account of the votes, so when we saw the numbers we already knew that we had a Pope, even if the ballot had not ended yet. At that moment applause broke out, just like in 2005 when Benedict XVI was elected. I wasn’t too near Cardinal Bergoglio, but I imagine that he must have felt a deep emotion within him. It is very

lovely to see how after the action of the Holy Spirit, of which we are all conscious, a respect and love arises, an instant unity, there are no strange reactions. When we all realize that we have a Pope, it is something so important that we sincerely become happy to see that Christ is with us.”

H 457


Below we publish a chronology, lent by Vatican Radio, of the Conclaves of the last centuries with certain curious facts that occurred during their development. The longest conclave of modern history was in the year 1740 for the election of Benedict XIV, it lasted from the 18th of February until 17th August, 181 days; there were 51 electors and 4 of them died during the conclave. In 1758 the conclave for the election of Clement XIII lasted from 15th May until the 6th of July (53 days). 45 Cardinal electors entered, but in the final voting only 44 were present. The election of Clement XIV in the conclave of 1769 lasted 94 days, from the 15th of February until the 19th of May, and the electors were 46. Pope Pius VI was elected in a conclave that spanned from the 5th of October 1774 to the 15th of February 1775 (133 days). The Cardinal electors were 44, but two of them died during the conclave. The election of Pius VII was held in Venice, since Rome was occupied by the troops of Napoleon. The conclave lasted from the 1st of December 1799 to the 14th of March 1800 (105 days). It was the last Conclave to be held outside of Rome, and 34 electors participated in it. In 1823, Pope Leo XII was elected after 27 days (from the 2nd of September to the 28th of September), and the Cardinal electors were 49. In 1829 the conclave for the election of Pius VIII lasted 36 days, from February 24th until March 31, and 50 electors participated.

H 458

Gregory XVI was the last Cardinal who was not Bishop to be elected Pope. The conclave for his election lasted 51 days, from December 14th 1830 to February 2nd 1831 (51 days) and the Cardinal electors were 45. The “short” conclaves began in 1846 with the election of Blessed Pius IX. 50 electors chose him as Pope in a conclave that lasted 3 days, from the 14th to the 16th of June. In 1878 Leo XIII ascended the papal chair after a conclave that lasted 3 days, from 18th to 20th February, and in which 61 electors took part. The Cardinal John McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, the first nonEuropean Cardinal who should have participated in the conclave, arrived in Rome too late to take part. In 1903 Saint Pius X is elected Pope. During the conclave that chose him, the “lus Exclusivae” (the right to exclusion that gave several Catholic kings of Europe the right to veto a candidate for Pope) was practiced for the last time. On this occasion it was the Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria who exercised the veto over the Italian Cardinal Mariano Rampolla. The conclave lasted 5 days from the 31st of July to the 4th of August. 64 electors participated and there were 7 ballots. After his election Saint Pius X abolished the right to veto. In 1914 the conclave that elected Benedict XV lasted 4 days, from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September. The Cardinal electors were 57 and the ballots 10. Two North American cardinals and a Canadian cardinal were left out of the Sistine Chapel for arriving late. However, for the first time a Cardinal from Latin America took part. In 1922 during the conclave that elected Pius XI two North American and one Canadian cardinal were left out once more. The rule was then established that from the beginning of the Vacant Siege the cardinals would have a term of 15 days to arrive in Rome. The electors are 53 this time. The conclave lasted 5 days, from the 2nd to the 6th of February, and there were 7 ballots. In the conclave that elected Pius XII in 1939, the first Patriarch of the eastern rite took part. The conclave, the shortest of all, lasted two days from March 1st to March 2nd. The electors were 62, and the ballots 3. The blessed John XXIII was elected in 1958. For the first time Chinese, Indian, and African Cardinals took part in the conclave. The electors were 51. The conclave lasted 4 days, from October 25th to October 28th, and the ballots 11. In 1963 a conclave that lasted 3 days – from 19th to 21st June – and in which 80 electors participated, elected Paul VI as Pope after 6 ballots. In 1978 the conclave that elected John Paul I was the first one where Cardinals that were over 80 years old took part. The conclave lasted 2 days, from 25th to 26th August, the ballots were 4 and the electors 111. In the second conclave celebrated that year – from 14th to 16th October (three days) – 111 electors chose blessed John Paul II after eight ballots. In 2005 Benedict XVI was chosen Pope on the fourth ballot of a conclave that lasted two days, through 18th and 19th April, and that included 115 Cardinal electors. The last conclave of 2013 began on 12th March and after the fifth ballot, at 19:05 hours of 13th March, the 115 members of the Cardinal College chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope number 266 of the Catholic Church as Francis I. He is the first Latin American and Jesuit Pope.

H 459

Alfred Xuereb The New Secretary of Pope Francis

Alfred Xuereb, a Priest from Malta, has been appointed the new personal secretary of Pope Francis. As a matter of fact, Priest Xuareb was until now the Personal Assistant of Benedict XVI, his Second Secretary, and member of his closest team together with Georg Gänswein. This shows the trust that Bergoglio

Francis to the Biblical Commission: “The center of our faith is not only a book but a history of salvation”

The members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission – chaired by the Archbishop Gerhad Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith – were received by the Holy Father on April 12th, at the end of the annual plenary meeting that dealt with “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible.” In the speech he delivered, the Pope emphasized that the argument “not only involves the believer but the entire Church, because the life and the mission of the Church is founded on the Word of God that is the soul of theology and, at the same time, the inspiration of the Christian existence.” “The Holy Scriptures – he reaffirmed – are the written testimony of the divine Word, the canonical memorial that attests to the event of Revelation. Therefore, the Word of God precedes the Bible and exceeds it. This is why the center of our faith is not only a book, but a history of salvation and above all a person, Jesus Christ, the Word of God that became flesh. Precisely, because the horizon of the Holy Word embraces the Scriptures and extends beyond them, the constant presence of the Holy Spirit that “guides all to truth” is required. One must place oneself in the great Tradition that, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the guidance

H 460

has in the closest people around the Pope Emeritus. The Maltese priest, who is 54 years old, has a long trajectory within the Vatican. He arrived very young in Italy, worked in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and in the Prefecture of the Pontifical House, until he was called to replace the historical personal Secretary of John Paul II, Stanislaw Dziwisz, current Cardinal of Cracovia. Georg Gänswein for the time being continues to be the first personal secretary of Benedict XVI, but is also responsible for the Pontifical House, therefore he works as a link between Francis and the Pope Emeritus, dividing his time between Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican. He helps the new Pope in his new installations and to learn about the services and its structures.

of the Magisterium, has recognized all the canonical writings as the Word addressed by God to his people, and has never ceased to meditate them and discover their inexhaustible richness.” The Pontiff recalled that the Second Vatican Council has clearly reaffirmed it in the dogmatic constitution “Dei Verbum”. “Because everything that refers to the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, is submitted in the last instance to the Church that has the mandate and the divine ministry to preserve and interpret the word of God.” “In fact – he explained – the Holy Scriptures is the Word of God which has been given a written form under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; whereas the sacred Tradition completely transmits the Word of God, given by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the apostles, to their successors, so these, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, through their preaching, must protect it with fidelity, explain it, and disseminate it. “The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures cannot only be an individual scientific work, it must always be confronted, inserted, and authenticated with the living tradition of the Church. This rule is decisive in order to state with precision the correct and reciprocal relationship between the exegesis and the Magisterium of the Church. The texts inspired by God have been trusted to the Community of believers, to the Church of Christ to feed faith and guide to the life of charity.”

Vatican Monastery “Mater Ecclesiae” Future Home of Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI will retire to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, that used to be occupied by cloister nuns. The monastery is, located within the Vatican, and Benedict XVI will move into it after the restoration works of this modern building are finished. The monastery was erected in 1992 by wish of Benedict XVI’s predecessor, John Paul II, and it is located in a very quiet area of the Vatican Gardens. The building has four floors, and between the second and the third floor there are twelve monastic cells, while the refectory, the kitchen, the infirmary, and other premises are in the lower part of the building. The part in the new construction has two levels with a surface of 450 square meters that lodges the Chapel and the Choir, as well as a Library in the upper floor. The

only decorations of the building are the artistic glass windows and sacred decorations with contemplative inspirational subjects. With the construction of this building, a wish of John Paul II was achieved. He wanted to have a space to receive an international convent for contemplative life, where the nuns could pray for the Pope and the Church. During the last twenty years different orders of monastic nuns have lived alternatively in this convent, first the nuns of the Order of Saint Clare, then the Benedictine nuns, and the Visitadine nuns, who had to leave the monastery in November 2012 due to the renovation works. In the gardens of the monastery one can find lemon trees from which the nuns make marmalades and liquors. The spokesman of the Vatican, Federico Lombardi, has said that he will not live with the nuns, without adding anything else regarding the future life of the previous residents of the building that seems reserved for Joseph Ratzinger and the people closest to him. Specifically, Lombardi has said that “all the pontifical family” – as the small group of people that take care of the Pope is known – will live with him. Concretely, he has confirmed that in the monastery four consecrates of the religious family of Memores Domini that have taken care of Benedict XVI these last years, as well as his private secretary Georg Gänswein, who will keep the title of Prefect of the Pontifical House will continue there. The other Secretary of Benedict XVI, Alfred Xuereb, is also a part of the “pontifical family.”

The Art of Prayer In the Clementine room of the Apostolic Palace a medieval crucifix was exposed. In front of it the participants of the spiritual exercises of 2013 gathered to meditate as Benedict XVI did. It is a work made between 1335 and 1345 (attributed to a painter known as the Master of the crucifix of St. Pantaleon) and it is inspired in the tradition initiated in Toscana by Giotto and by Cimabue. At the end of the Second World War the crucifix was stolen from the St. Pantaleon Church in Venice. After many transfers, it came to the hands of a German collector who sold it to the Lempertz auction house. After its history was reconstructed and the importance of the piece was understood, Lempertz house decided to return the work to the Venetian church from where it had been taken. The ceremony of delivery to the patriarch of Venice, Monsignor Moraglia, was held last November 17th in Cologne, in the presence of the Metropolitan Archbishop, Cardinal Meisner.

H 461

An Unusual View in Two Thousand Years of History of the Church

The images of the two Popes embracing each other, praying together (almost shoulder to shoulder), talking kindly and exchanging presents, are meant to remain sculpted in history. It has never happened before that a Pontiff has resigned due to old age and remained close to his successor (and additionally was still dressed as Pope). It has never happened that the Bishop of Rome stood beside the Pope Emeritus, to have him as reference and to request his advice. The images of the two Popes dressed in the same way reflects something absolutely unusual. And at the same time, thanks to the sensibility and humility of both of them it was a reality that from now on we may consider “normal.” In these days, many commentators have highlighted the new elements in Pope Francis’ style, and a sort of discontinuance compared with the previous Pope. There are some who worry over the fact that the new Pope attracts too much sympathy from the faithful (and also among the non-believers), as if the only really Catholic attitude was to provoke bad humors, polemics, and unfriendliness.

H 462

There are others who insist that Francis is not “pauperist” and expose political-doctrinal obstacles every time the new Pope refers to the poor, as if Jesus had not spoken of them. Others, however, underline that the new Pope is against abortion. But there is still another source, one where all those who highlight these novelties do so not so much as to describe Bergoglio, but to compare him with his predecessor. Immediately after the election, many metropolitan myths began to circulate. According to these myths, Francis rejected the red embroidered velvet cape saying to the master of pontifical ceremonies, Guido Marini: “You put this one on! The carnival is over!” A rather rude remark addressed to the master of ceremony. But, as has been proven by Vatican Insider, these words were never pronounced by Bergoglio. Francis simply said that he preferred not to use it, without making any joke about a carnival, and without humiliating the obedient master of ceremonies. This “nasty drink” about the continuity or lack of continuity based only on the use of ornaments, red shoes, or skullcaps risks making the true continuity

between Benedict XVI and Francis take second place. The true continuity between Benedict XVI and Francis is based on many aspects and many allusions and instances we have heard during these first days of the new Pontificate: humility, the consciousness that the Church is guided by the Lord, the lack of the pope’s prominence. After his election, Pope Benedict XVI, said; “The Pope must make the light of Christ shine, not one’s own light.” Francis when meeting with the press said that the “protagonist” is Christ and not the Pope. Also the sensibility over the care of creation (the center of which is man) and the defense of the environment is a common element of both Popes. Not to mention the subject of “careerism” [the yearning for achieving higher professional positions in a hierarchical institution] and “mundanity” in the Church: only those who have forgotten the profound homilies of Pope Ratzinger on these arguments may believe that there is no essential continuity. Only those who do not know the documents on the liturgy may think that the most important elements are the fabrics and the ornaments. As regards the “discontinuity” between Ratzinger and Bergolglio, one should ask oneself how much help did Benedict XVI receive from his collaborators to transmit the soul of his messages. Thus Paul VI may be saved from certain “montineans” that consider themselves

the only custodians of his memory. Benedict XVI must be saved in the same way from some “ratzingerians” who in more than one instance have intended to teach him even how to become a Pope. Those who have seen the exceptional video of the encounter of the Pope Emeritus with his successor in Castel Gandolfo, kneeling to pray shoulder to shoulder because “we are brothers” will understand the reciprocal appreciation and deep communion between both of them very well. Those who have listened to the words of Pope Francis presenting an icon of the Virgin of Humility to Benedict XVI (“I thought of you, because during your Pontificate you have given us many examples of humility and kindness”) have no doubt in recognizing precisely in humility one of the strongest features that they both share. The images of Castel Gandolfo refute those who sing praises over discontinuity, those who speak ironically of the Pope Emeritus, and those who intend to exalt Benedict XVI to discredit both his predecessor, Wojtyla, as well as his successor Bergoglio. In the humility of that embrace, both seem to show that they are not the protagonists and that the task of the Church (as in so many instances that both have reminded us) is to reflect a light that is not its own, but that comes from above. ANDREA TORNIELLI This article was originally published by “Religión en Libertad”

H 463

The hope for Europe

“Europe seems to have embarked on a road that could say good-bye to history”: this severe warning was pronounced by Benedict XVI in a speech addressed to the participants in the Congress organized by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) for the Fiftieth Anniversary of

the Treaties of Rome (24th March 2007).

The Pope’s statement directly referred to the demographic crisis of the old Continent, but the speech, given at this emblematic event, involved the many different aspects of Europe’s situation. These words are proof of the existing concern over the crisis of civilization in our continent: Europe. With the weakening of its cultural and religious identity it risks reducing the individual to a single dimension: the horizontal dimension. As if the history of Europe during the last century has not taught anything to the Europeans of today, as if the tragic experiences were not a testimony that man loses his

H 464

orientation and takes inhuman steps when he is closes into himself and suppresses God from his horizon.

Despite the concern for the destiny of a Europe where the trend to banish God to the private sphere and consider him irrelevant and superfluous is growing, Benedict XVI’s trust in Europe has always emerged. Moreover, “he has renewed hope in a Europe in crisis,” asserted Julia Kristeva, a French Psychoanalyst, in “Avveniere” on February 13. “With Pope Benedict XVI, a new phase of good omen for the future of Europe and world peace has begun. In these hours of media polarization I believe that everyone is sensible to the fact that this philosopher and humanist has also been a great politician.” These are not superficial words, but brave and demanding words, expressed by an authorized representative of the European lay movement.

There are several European intellectuals who appreciate the significant effort made by Benedict XVI in favor of Europe. But one must recognize that other scholars have not appreciated his teaching. Moreover, precisely from the cultural European leadership environment there has been more or less caustic derision. Although one must bear in mind mentalities and conceptions that seek to diminish any ideal and religious proposal, one cannot but be surprised by the arrogance and “smiling nihilism” that sucks everything into the flow of immanence. Some scholars have often admitted, or even favored and accentuated, the attacks by the media, ready to create an incident for polemics and mockery, with partial references and arbitrary titles. Benedict XVI’s interventions have been submitted to an authentic manipulation, with an almost instinctive hostility before his teachings. With many – unfortunately one must recall this – anti-Catholic and anti-Papal prejudice has frequently prevailed, particularly in Northern Europe. Perhaps with time, Benedict XVI’ s legacy for Europe, for European scholars, for all the Christians of this Continent, will be recognized as fundamental. When the attacks leave a space for reflection, there will then be the possibility for understanding the scope of Joseph Ratzinger’s thought more deeply, as that of a European scholar who has loved and loves the old Continent. As theologian and Pontiff he has offered Europe a great horizon where the latter can stop thinking on itself and determine its identity to develop its mission today and tomorrow. Europe, loved and put on guard, has been invited and stimulated to receive the cultural challenge of this historical moment. In spite of the many difficulties, the hope for a different road in Europe – also as part of the intellectual leadership – is always present in Benedict XVI. The reason for this hope is based on the longing for God that

is present in man’s heart. The search for God is inscribed in the human soul and does not disappear. It may occur that in the personal life God may be forgotten, he may be left in a corner, as it occurs in the collective life. But God does not disappear. Saint Augustine,

the great master to whom Benedict XVI has often referred, asserted that the human heart is restless until it finds God. For Benedict XVI this uneasiness is alive and very present, even today, in the people of the old Continent. This can be the beginning of a road to God, because man does not have enough with the finite, with the small: man, and therefore the European man, does not want to fall into the void, but wants to give meaning to his own effort, exhaustion, and pain. The Christian soul of Europe remains in its roots and also in its fruits, because Europe has been built on strong values and on the deep intuitions of Christianity. The Church that walks in pilgrimage in Europe is called to give testimony that the truth of Jesus Christ’s Gospel does not grow old and does not wear down, but answers, in its always surprising novelty, the hopes of man, his reason, and his humanity. Europe

can go from a secularization that debases the human to an open-minded laity, capable of dialogue with all cultural expressions, ready to recognize that faith in God does not limit life, but makes it fully human. In this open horizon and with the hope that Benedict XVI has given to a Europe in severe crisis, the European road may find the light it needs for its destiny and its vocation in the world. GIANNI AMBROSIO Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio (Italy), Vicepresident of the COMECE L’Osservatore Romano

H 465

YEAR OF FAITH 2012-2013

H 466


According to a decree made public and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Pope will grant faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013. “The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II”, the text reads, “the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of - or better still the pious meditation upon - the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church”. “Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them”. “During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. “(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location. “(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb,

a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints. “(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, ... in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form. “(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form. “Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, ... may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence”. The document concludes by recalling how faithful who, due to illness or other legitimate cause, are unable to leave their place of adobe, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence “if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite ... the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives”.

H 467

Pope John XXIII’s Prayer for the Council

Pope John XXIII composed a prayer shortly after announcing his intention to call an ecumenical council, so that every faithful around the word could pray for it.

O Divine Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus, Who dost infallibly assist and guide the Church, pour forth the fullness of thy gifts upon the Ecumenical Council. Kind teacher and Comforter, enlighten the minds of our bishops, who, responding to the invitation of the Sovereign Roman Pontiff, will gather in solemn assembly. Grant that from this Council there may come forth abundant fruits: that the light and strength of the Gospel may ever more widely influence human society: that new vigour may infuse the Catholic religion and its missionary task; that the Church’s teaching may be better known and Christian morality more widely practiced. Sweet Guest of our souls, confirm our minds in truth, and dispose our hearts to obedience, so that the decisions of the council may find in us generous acceptance and prompt fulfillment. We beseech Thee, too, on behalf of those sheep, who no longer belong to the one fold of Jesus Christ, that they also, glorifying as they do in the name of Christian, may finally regain unity under one Shepherd. Renew in our time Thy wondrous works, as in a new Pentecost, and grant that Holy Church, gathered together in unanimous, more intense prayer, around Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and guided by Peter, may spread the kingdom of the Divine Saviour, which is the kingdom of truth, of justice, of love, and of peace. Amen.

H 468

To ways of facing up to genetic research Cloning or induced pluripotent stem-cells

Two important scientists were awa rd e d t h e 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The British scientist John B. Gurdon has based his research on embryonic stem cells experimentation, but the Japanese doctor Shinya Yamanaka has developed instead a new promising kind of research that does not destroy human embryos. Yamanaka is considered to be the father of the so called induced pluripotent stem-cells (iPS), which are capable of becoming any of the cell types in the body. In 2006 Yamanaka – who is specialized in orthopedic surgery – was able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells which possessed the same properties that, as scientists believed until then, belonged only to embryonic stem-cells. He attained his first results using adult cells taken from mice skin, and in 2007 generated iPS from human skin adult cells. This revolutionary discovery makes ob-

solete the use of embryonic stem cells, because it avoids an ethically reprehensible way of generating stem cells, and also because it avoids the risk of immune rejection when embryonic stem cells are transplanted into a patient’s body. At the present, Shinya Yamanaka serves as the director for the Center for iPS Research and Application at Kyoto University, and his work is developed for regenerative medicine. In 2011, while visiting Spain in order to receive the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, doctor Yamanaka said that he had decided to find a way to avoid the use of embryos in research because, after observing an embryo through a microscope, he thought of his daughters, and realized that any fertilized oocyte is capable of developing, and becoming a human being. Yamanaka recognizes that iPS research is just beginning, and that it must develop in order to make its clinical application safe. In many occasions, the Japanese scientist has criticized high patent royalties that restricts the use of new medical technologies, and he has said that those technologies must also be available for those who have fewer resources.

Latina Lingua Benedict XVI founds the Pontifical Academy for Latin

Latin has always been very highly valued by the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiffs, who have consistently promoted its education and transmission, making it the official language of the Church. It thus became a language capable of universally communicating the message of the Gospel, a fact already stated in the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia by Blessed Pope John XXIII. The Church has actually spoken and prayed in all of the tongues of men since Pentecost. The Christian

communities of the first centuries, however, widely spoke Greek and Latin, which were the languages of universal communication at the time, and thanks to which the Word of Christ transformed the heritage of the HellenisticRoman culture. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Church of Rome not only continued using the Latin tongue, but also became its guardian and promoter in the areas of theology and the liturgy as well as in those of education and the transmission of knowledge.

H 469

850th Anniversary Notre Dame de Paris

On December 12th, 2012, the emblematic Cathedral of Notre Dame (“Our Lady”) in Paris, France, celebrated the 850th anniversary of its construction and the 150th anniversary of its restoration by the French architect Viollet-le-Duc. Notre Dame was built on the Île de la Cité, a small island in central Paris surrounded by the waters of the Seine River. It was built over the course of 180 years, construction beginning in 1163 and ending in 1345. For the 850th anniversary, the lighting of the Cathedral was improved, the organ was renovated, a platform was built for visitors to see the Gothic facade more easily, and it will soon have new bells as well. Between December of 2012 and November of 2013, Notre Dame is expected to receive more than 20 million pilgrims and tourists; considerably above average given that it usually receives approximately 14 million visitors annually. In connection with the Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI, a series of religious and cultural

H 470

concerts and talks have been planned to celebrate the Cathedral’s anniversary. On the site of the current Gothic cathedral, there was once a Romanesque cathedral. This is where the first Christian church in Paris was built, the Basilica of Saint-Etienne, around the year 528 AD. The Cathedral was restored by Eugène Viollet- le - Duc and Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus in 1846; Viollet continuing with the work after Lassus’ death. The modifications carried out included, among other things, building gables into the windows, inserting the South rose window created by Viollet, changing the stone used in the flying buttresses, reconstructing all of the interior chapels and altars, and adding a series of gargoyles that are more easily seen by visitors. The Cathedral was built as a kind of “Catechism in stone” to help the faithful learn about the truths of God, considering that the majority of them did not know how to read or write at that time.


T he Catholic Church upholds the principle of reciprocity before its frustration when realizing, that in Western countries, Muslims can freely practice their religion, while in such places where the only religion admitted or promoted is Islam, Christians are banned from their cult and other aspects of religious freedom. The just claim for reciprocity is not a petition or the justification for retaliation; it is a call for “the responsibility to protect” the defenseless against acts of discrimination. In accordance with the United States of America and the European Union, Vatican diplomacy fights on a further front, that is, that there should be more suitable juridical protection against the defamation of religions. As stated by the Holy See, this also occurs “when religion is manipulated and transformed into a discriminatory ideology against individuals and specific communities of people.” Once more, in 2010, the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations adopted a Resolution against the defamation of religion that, in fact, is related to Islam, and the General Assembly of the United Nations was asked to proceed with a proper Resolution. However, this Resolution shows a confusion between the notions of race and religion, it is not very clear in the use of the term “defamation,” and it is not coherent with Article 18 of the Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ref. Note 4) nor with the Declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination founded on religion or convictions (adopted by the United Nations General Assembly of 1981). Religious freedom does not include immunity in front of public criticism from believers themselves, other beliefs, or of non-religious people and institutions. The tutelage of the transcendent dimension of the human or of a religion in particular

cannot deny in fact, with a certain degree of intentionality, other fundamental human rights, such as “freedom of thought and of expression, including freedom of criticism exercised within the limits of precision, correction, respect, morality, and public order, and may be considered as an advance of civilization which is worthy of being protected as a juridical and political heritage common to humanity, and not only as a prerogative of a social context or of a cultural tradition in particular”. If a religious leader is injured in his personal reputation, whose respect is established under Article 19 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such behavior is persecuted, but with duly balanced laws whose effects do not provoke violence or intimidation, nor do they efface the exercise of other fundamental human rights. If “Muslim public order,” in which religion and public life are indivisible, is ensured with inappropriate laws against defamation, the fundamental rights of individuals and of minority communities are restricted. The collective benefits of religious pluralism – which is usually a matter of secular concern –, are also lost at the international level. The inter-religious dialogue is discredited with regards to the assurance of peaceful coexistence among peoples. In the international community, what is required is a Resolution of the General Assembly or a declaration by it, or a new treaty, that without ambiguity, enumerates the contents of the right to religious freedom and defined directions, criteria, and good practices for the protection against religious intolerance, as well as strengthening the judicial systems in such a way that they may offer quick and just processes to those accused of religious violence. LUCIANO LARIVERA S.J. La Civilta Cattolica

H 471


I n the Uni ted States of America, Peter Singer, a philosopher at the University of Princ eton, and influential scientist in the field of bioethics (famous as the father of animal rights), when defending an abortionist thesis, wrote in the “Scotsman” on 15th August, that “belonging to the homo sapiens species is not enough to be conferred a right to life.” That same day he was echoed in the from the rabbi Bonnie Margulis, one of the leaders of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choices of Wisconsin, arguing that eliminating the right to abortion would violate the “essence of the human being.” Meanwhile, new cellular lines from human embryos continue to be created in laboratories, some of which are done as samplings in vitro to reduce the use of animals in experimentation. A coalition of major sponsors of biomedical research and groups of patients submitted a few months ago a joint document requesting the European Parliament to continue financing research on human embryonic cells. In many parts of the world, clinical experiments using cells obtained from human embryos to verify both their tolerance and efficiency are now very frequent. Experiments with embryo-fetal cells are also carried out in Italy, where it is underlined that the embryos came from spontaneous abortions. But to expect that this constitutes an ethical road is a mere illusion. A scientific study recently published in “BioResearch Open Access” (I, n.4 August 2012) has shown that, even after having been frozen for 18 years, the human embryo cells still maintain their pluri-power and could be used in cell therapies. This is why the practice of freezing and banking of human embryos is suggested as an efficient

H 472

biomedical strategy for large scale cell therapies. In this scene characterized by an industrious search for results and success, there is another voice coming from Italy, where the “Meeting for the Friendship Among the Peoples” was opened in Rimini, proposing as a subject a phrase spoken by don Giussani: “The nature of man is a relationship with the infinite.” The simplicity of the proposal is impressive: to look thoroughly into our nature to realize that our life aspires to something “more.” Because as Benedict XVI repeated in Mexico and Cuba, “man has a need for infinite.” In order to experience this need, the simplicity of heart in our daily life is just enough, and it is discovered above all where our own weakness is revealed. As Romano Guardini wrote: “The eternal is not related with biological life but with the person. The consciousness of this perenniality grows in keeping with the sincere acceptance of expiry. Whoever tries to avoid it, hide it, or deny it, will never be conscious of it. The contingent allows the absolute to be seen.” Thus, the challenge does not consist in exceeding the limit of one’s own forces, but in accepting it as a necessary condition to discover that there is an “ultimate and mysterious” relationship that defines us. This relationship, which no scientific, medical, biological, or neurological investigation will ever be able to disregard, makes it so that one cannot reduce or manipulate or dispose of the human being (including his biological structure). This was also the testimony of Jérome Lejeune, the diocesan phase of whose beatification concluded a few months ago in Paris, and to whom the “Meeting” itself dedicated an exhibition. He was the founder of clinical genetics, discoverer of the causes of several genetic syndromes (among them Down syndrome), and who was denied the Nobel Prize due to his positions. In fact, he used to say that every man is “unique and irreplaceable” precisely due to his relationship with the infinite. AUGUSTO PESSINA L’Osservatore Romano

Catholics for the Right to Decide 13 Million Dollars Have Been Spent on Abortion in Latin America

The pro-abortion organization Catholics for the Right to Decide (CDD) [Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir] invested more than 13 million dollars during the last decade to promote the legalization of abortion in Latin American. According to the legal documents to which ACI Prensa had access, which belong to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States (IRS), who knows the organization as a “Catholic Lobby for the Right to Abortion,” the CDD spent $13,716,679 on its program in Latin America, between the years 2002 and 2010, the last year available in its report. Only in 2004, Catholics for the Right to Decide sent $5,562,275 to Latin American, and more than 2 million dollars were allotted for abortions in Mexico. Catholics for the Right to Decide, founded in 1973, has an annual budget of 3 million that it receives through organizations that openly finance abortion, such as the Ford Foundation who granted them $300,000 in 2011; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, that granted them $600,000 in November 2011 for a period of 24 months, and the MacArthur Foundation that granted them $275,000 between 2009 and 2012.

United States Denounces false balance of the media with the Catholic Church

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), asserts that there is a “false balance” in the coverage of information regarding the Catholic Church in this country. The religious said that “the sources consulted by the press are, frequently, contrary to the faith, not informed on the life of the Church, and cannot speak in the name of the Church, since the Catholic Church has the right to determine who can speak in its name and express its official opinion.” “When some reporters cover a story with a Catholic aspect, they presume that the mere use of the term “Catholic” in name means knowledge,” explained the Sister. “Some activist groups that oppose one or more doctrines of the Church, for instance, use the name “Catholic,” even though there is little evidence that they

Other well-known organization that finances Catholic Women for the Right to Decide is the Playboy Foundation, created by the magazine with the same name, famous for its pornographic content. At international level, CDD seeks – with special force in countries with an important Catholic presence and Latin America – to introduce confusion to the faithful and encourage abortion, birth control, sterilization, homosexuality, radical feminism, and New Age doctrines. In the United States, the spokeswoman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Mary Ann Walsh, assured The Washington Times newspaper in October 2012, that CDD is not a Catholic organization. It has never been, and it was created to oppose the Catholic position on abortion.” When ACI Press consulted the Comisión de Laicos de la Conferencia Episcopal Peruana (CEP), this commission assured us that they did not know of any participation of CDD whatsoever in any type of association or lay movement belonging to any Catholic parish. The seat for Catholics for the Right to Decide is in Washington D.C. However it has opened offices in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Spain. Its average annual budget for its abortionist projects in Latin America is an estimated $1,002,000.

have Catholics in their posts, and there is no evidence that they represent Catholic teaching.” As an example of this type of organizations the Director of Media Relations put forward the example of the organization, “Catholics for the Right to Decide” – which between 2002 and 2010 has spent $13 million to promote abortion in Latin America, and that in Peru defends a terrorist group. “These women,” she said, “are very interested in talking to the media on abortion or any other scandal against the Church.” “Apparently this satisfies the effort of a lazy editor who seeks balance. However, to appeal to “Catholics for the Right to Decide” for a so called Catholic point of view would be like asking “Atheist Catholics” (if they existed) their opinion on the meaning of God,” denounced the religious. Sister Walsh claimed the right that the Catholic Church has over its identity, “which includes deciding who can validly use its name.” The religious reaffirmed that the “Catholic women for the right to decide,” com-

H 473

pletely related with pro-abortion activism, “cannot be qualified as a legitimate Catholic group.” However, not only the title “Catholic” is manipulated by the media. Its symbols and vestments are also used to cause confusion with the teachings of the Church. “For a photograph, any religious women with a veil serves the purpose,” stated Sister Walsh. As an example, she quoted the recent case of a religious woman, who after having abandoned the use of the veil many years before, put it on again for an interview with the press to attack the natural definition of matrimony. Once more the press quoted her as a “Catholic” source. In her post in the Office of Media Relations for the USCCB, Sister Walsh is able to witness how the

Slovakia Victory over christianophobia

The European Commission is the body responsible for implementing the politics of the European Union. The Commission operates as a supra-national executive power, which includes almost 40 thousand civil servants directed by the College of Commissioners. Recently the Commission tried to impose on Slovakia – an EU member state that belonged once to the Holy Roman Empire – an anti-Catholic persecuting measure that was bravely and successfully rejected by that nation. What happened? In 2013 Slovakia will commemorate the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of the saint brothers Cyril and Methodius, who evangelized the Slavic world, and were declared co-patrons of Europe by Pope John Paul II in 1980. These two popular saints assisted with the union between the Eastern and the Western Church. They also developed the Glagolitic alphabet – which has 41 characters that include both Greek and Slavic letters – in order to translate the Bible and use it as a means of evangelization. The alphabet they created – named Cyrillic after one of the brothers – is still in use as the alphabet for Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic languages.

H 474

superficiality of journalists makes them victims to such manipulations. On one occasion she was questioned by a reporter who was looking for the opinion of a priest. As there wasn’t one available at that moment, the Sister suggested that he to speak with a expert layman on that subject. The journalist rejected this possibility, because he wanted to show a soutane (cassock) or an ecclesiastical collar on the screen. “Clearly he was looking for an image not for an informed opinion.” Finally the religious asks the press to carry out their journalistic work with integrity, so that it would be a just reflection of reality, which she considers “a great objective” that must be sought with determination in all the media.

In order to join in this jubilee, the Slovakia’s Central Bank (NBS) announced in May 2012 a public competition for the design of a commemorative 2 euro coin. A total of twenty-two designs made by thirteen artists entered into the competition. In June, the design by Miroslav Hric won first prize and was approved for the coin. The design represents the two saints with a halo surrounding their heads; one of them is holding the double cross, which is the symbol of Slovakia that belonged at that time to the Great Moravia, and became the first Catholic nation of Central Europe. Saint Cyril is represented bearing a Bible, which symbolizes faith, and Saint Methodius is shown alongside a church that symbolizes institutional Christianity. The European Commission – possessed by laicist fanaticism – decided to veto the religious symbols – the halos and the cross – on the coin, and requested Slovakia to remove them to comply with “the principle of religious neutrality.” The Episcopal Conference of Slovakia – as soon as it learned of the censorship – made a statement in which they did not hesitate in using the word “disgrace.” “The resignation of the key attributes associated conceptually with Saints Cyril and Methodius demonstrate the lack of respect for the Christian tradition in Europe,” remarked Rev. Jozef Kovaczik, the Slovakian Church’s spokesman. “In 1988, before the Velvet Revolution [that peacefully ended the communist regime in the country],

Slovakian faithful risked their lives preaching the doctrine of the two saints. Do we really live in state of law, or in a totalitarian system that dictates which attributes we may use?” asked Rev. Kovaczik, pointing out that Slovakia has been a Catholic nation since its conception.

Finally, the NBS, which had at the beginning given in to the pressure of the European Commission, repented and decided to maintain the original design of the commemorative coin. Extracted from an article published by

Mons. Gerhard Müller


Today’s neo-atheism, which is formulated on a pseudoscientific basis – using some of the discoveries of the natural sciences, such as biology and astrophysics – is destined to become, for the reason that it is grounded on absolutist ideological basis, a neo-totalitarian political project. Such is what Monsignor Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated to L’Osservatore Romano last November. “Why are books like The Selfish Gene or The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens’ God is not Great bestsellers?” asks the archbishop. “Because those books justify in an apparently scientific way the dechristianization of the European and American civilizations that began in the 16th century, and promote a hedonist life style, in which utility and advantage are the principles that measure philanthropic and humanitarian morality.” “The so-called new atheism,” affirmed Monsignor Müller, “does not offer any kind of new formulation that has not been expressed already by David Hume, and by all of those since then who belong to the ranks of empiricism and materialism.” “They simply try to extend – from the outlook of the theory of evolution and of neurophysiology – the characteristic point of view of the natural sciences, so that astrophysics, biology, and research on the brain may determine a scientific and –supposedly – objective vision of the world, in which there is no place for man as a person, that is to say, responsible of his actions, nor for his relationship with God.” “The pseudo-scientific vision of the world that the new atheism spreads is exalted in our time as an opinion program that must be imposed on humanity; that is why one must not grant to those who believe in the existence of a personal God the right to existence, neither mentally, nor physically; on the contrary, they are to be considered as parasites, as they have been infected by a ‘divine virus’ that must be isolated.”

“The inhumanity and intolerance of the new atheism becomes clearer when we look back to the political atheism that was cultivated by the Nazi regime in Germany, or by Stalin through the program for the extinction of the Church performed in the Soviet Union. It is evident then that it is difficult for scientific atheism – that has its own global vision of the world – to resist its transformation into an inhumane totalitarian political program.” On the contrary, affirms the archbishop, “in order to assure the modern project concerning individual freedom, community, conscience with reference to positive laws, and the inalienable dignity of man in relation to his instrumental submission to group interests, it is absolutely necessary to have a real metaphysic, as well as an anthropology of man’s transcendence toward the source of creation.” “The relation between man’s created free will and that spiritual self-movement, which is the exercise of his freedom, might be expressed as it follows: God does not execute any quantifiable physical influence on created freedom, but He meets man as the motive of his actions. When God freely encounters me through the divine word that expresses Him, then He becomes present as my own freedom’s realization: God and His freedom let the dynamic movement of creatures achieve full accomplishment beyond their natural limits. The man who is aware that God is the cause of his actions and his self-projection in the world knows that he is – using biblical language – a kind of clay in the hands of the creator that molds him.” Nevertheless, at the same time, man does not consider himself “deprived of his own liberty and personality. On the contrary, he rather considers himself having more abilities to accomplish his own freedom. While he is acting freely, he is aware that only because God’s self-donation, he may act aiming to fulfill his end.”

H 475

WYD Rio 2013 Five patron saints and thirteen intercessors named for World Youth Day 2013

The World Youth Day that will take place in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013 will be under the protection of five patron saints and thirteen intercessors. The first patron saint is Our Lady of Aparecida, who is also the patroness of Brazil. A basilica is named after her and every year roughly 10 million pilgrims visit the site. Back in 2007, Benedict XVI made a visit during his first trip to Latin America. Then, there’s also St. Sebastian. He was a soldier who served under the Roman Empire. But he left the army because it persecuted Christians. He died in the year 288 as a martyr. The third patron is Friar Galvao. In 2007, Benedict XVI made this Franciscan Brazil’s first saint. St. Therese of Lisieux is also on the list. Since 1927, this French nun has been known as the patroness of missions. Last, but not least, Blessed John Paul II is the fifth. In 1984 he founded World Youth Day. During his pontificate, he was considered ‘the Pope of the youth.’ In addition, World Youth Day will also have 13 so called intercessors. They are St. Rose of Lima, who is known as the first female saint of Latin America; blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a young Italian who dedicated his life to helping the poor; Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, who suffered from cancer and offered her pain for the salvation of others; and Frederic Ozanam, a French blessed who left his mark by living a fully Catholic life. There’s also the Brazilian Adilio Daronch, who was murdered at the age of 16 for being Christian; St. Teresa of the Andes, a Carmelite sister from Chile; Blessed Jose de Anchieta, who preached throughout Brazil in the 16th century; Blessed Isidore Bakanja, who was killed in the Congo for being Christian; and Blessed Irmã Dulce, a Brazilian nun who dedicated her life to helping the sick and the poor in the Brazilian city of Salvador de Bahia. Other intercessors include St. George, a soldier from the Roman Empire who converted to Christianity

H 476

and was beheaded because of it. Blessed Laura Vicuña is also on the list, she offered the pain of her disease for the conversion of her mother. St. Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest who was martyred in 1846, and Blessed Albertina Berkenbrock, a Brazilian girl who was murdered at the age of 12 for refusing to engage in a sexual relationship.

WYD’s Official Prayer

Oh, Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world and chose men and women, through Him, with Him and in Him, to proclaim the Good News to all nations. Grant us the graces necessary so that joy may shine in the faces of all young people, the joy of being, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the evangelists the Church needs in the Third Millennium. Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You brought us by the Holy Spirit to an encounter of sonship with the Father. Young people, who are fed by Eucharist, hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to run the paths of the world missionary-disciples of the New Evangelization. Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, send Your Light to all young people so that, driven by their experience of World Youth Day, they may bring to the four corners of the world faith, hope and charity, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world. Amen !

Fides News Agency (Agenzia Fides) 85 Years Informing on the Mission in the World

The work of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Agenzia Fides (Fides News Agency), celebrated 85 years “diffusing the missions to the people of God via the press, with the intention of arousing missionary cooperation through vocations, spiritual communion, and material resources.” As stated by the agency, this was the reason that stimulated the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, during the Assembly of its Supreme Council (April 1927), to establish Agenzia Fides. “Fides began its activity that same year, immediately after the celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, Patron of Missions, one of the major protagonists of missionary information,” recalled a note it published recently. The agency remembered that “after the first editions printed in English, French, and Polish (the latter

Kiko Argüello The Kerygma: In the Slums with the Poor “I tried to live as if God didn’t exist. At that moment, I shut out Heaven. Formed above me was a heaven of cement and life became very difficult.” This is how Kiko Argüello, initiator of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, talks about the existential crisis that led to his encounter with Christ and hence, to a turnabout in his life, in his first autobiography El Kerigma: En las Chabolas Con Los Pobres (The Kerygma: In the Slums with the Poor). “I was dead inside and was literally amazed by the fact that people were able to live when I was absolutely unable to do so,” writes Argüello in the book published by ‘Buenas Letras,’ released in Spain in November 2012. “People were enthusiastic about soccer, the cinema,” continues Argüello. “For me, those things no longer had any meaning. I wondered: ‘But how do people live? How are they able to live?’ I looked at ordinary people and I thought: ‘but they don’t ask themselves: Who am I? Who created me? What is life? Why don’t people pose these problems to themselves? Perhaps I’m a bit mad, a narcissist, strange?’”

for a short period), followed by those in Italian (1929), Spanish (1930), and German (1932). With the advent of the internet, that has replaced the written press, the online editions in Chinese (1998), Portuguese (2002), and Arabic (2008) were introduced. In its note, it recalled the words of the General Narrator of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, when in his “Report after the Discussion,” he asserted that “many fathers had discussed the importance of the social media, particularly of the new electronic media, when the Church commits itself in its ministry to proclaim the Good News.” This comment, he said, “reaffirms the validity and the commitment of the Agenzia Fides in the Missio ad Gentes and the new evangelization in the third millennium.”

All this, he continues “also arose because I felt as if had on me a wet blanket that made me constantly seek truth: ‘Who we are and what do we do in the world?’ For me it made no difference whether God existed or did not exist, but was a matter of life or death.” “Hence, in a tragic moment of my life,” continues Argüello, “I went to my room, closed the door and cried out to God: ‘If you exist, come to help me, because death is before me!’” Argüello wished to publish his personal account of how he found Christ in the midst of a strong existential crisis and from there, the change he experienced in his life which resulted in the beginning of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The book also contains a Kerygma that, the author says, “can help overall, due to its content and anthropology, the Synod on the New Evangelization

H 477

recently held in the Vatican.” Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, stated in the book’s prologue that “the Neo-Catechumenal Way is a gift that the Holy Spirit has given to the Church following the Council, as a way or itinerary of Christian initiation or re-initiation, and as an instrument to promote a new and vigorous evangelization.” “We thank God for the great wonders He does in favor of the Church and of humanity through this Way, for the great blessings and for the fruits that through this Way are poured out on his people: fruits of conversion, of Christian life, of vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, of missionary activity of the Church, as well as fruits of charity, of life in keeping with the Beatitudes, of generosity, and of renewed families open to life.” Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, contributed to the book as well with a commentary on Argüello’s catechesis entitled “Three Angels.” The Austrian cardinal wrote that “this Way, so many times confirmed and encouraged by Popes Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II, and our Holy Father Benedict XVI through the proclamation of the Good News, of the Kerygma, has opened the door of Faith to many people.” “Kiko’s catechesis published here” – continues Cardinal Schönborn – “is a strong ‘instruction’ for disciples. It is an invitation to personal conversion. This catechesis impresses me because it shows clearly, to me personally, that without a personal conversion it is impossible to evangelize. He who evangelizes must

first be evangelized.” One of the key points of Argüello’s book is that “it is necessary, in a parish, to move from a pastoral work of sacramentalization to evangelization.” “If the parish has, for example, a territory with about 15,000 people, of whom only a tenth, or about 5% go to Mass on Sunday, there is still a group of persons who marry in Church, baptize their children, and so on. At the same time, there is another enormous quantity of people who don’t go to Church at all,” he writes. “Therefore, the question is: ‘How did so many people ever become secularized?’” Argüello gives several answers, “or brush strokes” as he himself describes them. One of these is: “In the Acts of the Apostles it says how: through miracles. In the Acts, every Kerygma is, in fact, preceded by a miracle that creates wonder, surprise, opens people’s ears to make them ready to listen. Faith in fact comes from listening. (…) These miracles prepare people to hear the proclamation of the Good News, the great news that saves the world.” “There is no greater thing in the world to proclaim the Gospel,” stresses Argüello. “God wanted to save the world through the foolishness of the Kerygma. It is not a sermon or a meditation. It is the announcement of a news that takes place every time it is proclaimed. And what does it bring? Salvation.” “The word Gospel means good news,” he explains. “The Gospel and Kerygma are the same. Proclaiming the Gospel means to proclaim the Kerygma. It is important to listen to the Kerygma.” Published by

The Newly Baptized Church of England and Wales

More than three thousand non-Anglican British adults were incorporated into the Catholic Church in this recent Easter celebration. During the weeks of Lent, the adults were prepared for baptism as Catholics, as along with those baptized in other Christian denominations who wished to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. This number is 12% lower than in 2012, when 415 more adults entered than this year into the Catholic faith. In 2011, the year of the Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom, 3,943 English and Welsh adults became Catholics.

H 478

All these numbers do not include people of the Anglican tradition that joined the Catholic Church through the Ordinariat of Our Lady of Walsingham, presided by the Ordinary Keith Newton, former Anglican Bishop who preserves elements of the Anglican liturgy and heritage within the Catholic Church. In 2012 the Ordinariat grew with the incorporation of 200 adults, and in 2011, seven hundred and ninety six (796) adults joined. Up to this point the numbers for the new incorporations into the Ordinariat for this Easter are unknown.

wiThin The Field oF

Presentation of HUMANITAS Magazine in New York

At the auditorium of the American Bible Society, in the middle of downtown New York, at the end of last January there were two presentations organized by the Society on the occasion of the Year of Faith. The conferences were delivered by the Director of the magazine HUMANITAS, Mr. Jaime Antúnez, and the former Vice-Dean and current Professor of the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Chile, Father Rodrigo Polanco, member of the Council of Humanitas. With these conferences the editions in Spanish and in English of the Anthropological and Christian Culture Magazine were presented to the public of New York. The conferences were introduced by the Director of the American Bible Society, Mr. Mario Paredes, and they were attended by an important number of people,

Symposium in New York Newman and the University

On the past February 4, a symposium was held at the Catholic Center of the University of New York (NYU) on Blessed John Henry Newman’s thoughts on the University. The Catholic Center is directed by the Dominican Brothers that meet at The Thomistic Institute. While both the speakers and the commentators where not only Catholics, but also Anglicans and Evangelicals, the participation of the Rabbi Shalom Carmy, from Yeshiva

among which were personalities such as the Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Octavio Errázuriz. Radio Maria broadcasted both events directly to the New York region. The first presentation, in English, was given by Father Rodrigo Polanco. He delved deeply into the meaning of the Act of Faith showing how this is not a simple intellectual act but that, profounder still, implies all the existence of the believer. The presentation by the Director of the Humanitas magazine, Mr. Jaime Antúnez, reviewed and analyzed the different significant moments that have occurred since the calling of the Council by Blessed Pope John XXIII and the current Year of Faith. In pages 364-373 one may read more about this event, as well as the text of the presentation delivered by Father Rodrigo Polanco. Dr. Antúnez’s presentation will be entirely reproduced in the Spanish edition of Humanitas 70. During these conferences in New York, Humanitas presented a translation of the VADEMECUM to its English-speaking readers, with definitions extracted from the anthropological encyclicals of John Paul II (Evangelium vitae, Veritatis splendor and Fides et ratio), prefaced by the current Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Spanish version of which may be downloaded free in (www.humanitas. cl) and has had a vast circulation. The same VADEMECUM may also be downloaded now free in English, from the sub-domain

University, should be highlighted. The main lecture on the role of the “University and the Unity of Newman’s Knowledge” that will soon be published by HUMANITAS, was in the charge of Professor Reinhard Huetter, of Duke Divinity School. The Rector of NYU, Professor John Sexton, the Editor of First Things, R.R. Reno, and John Garvey, Chairman of the Catholic University of America, also took part in the discussion. HUMANITAS was represented in this symposium by its Director.

H 479

Religious women leave Anglicanism and join the Catholic Church

Eleven religious women from the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin, one of the first Anglican orders created after its separation from the Catholic Church in the 16th Century, joined the Ordinariat created by Pope Benedict XVI to receive former Anglicans. The tensions within the Anglican Church have become harder due to the intention to approve the ordination of female bishops, a disposition that was approved by the Bishops but rejected by the laity in November 2012. The Holy See announced in January 2011, the

Margaret Thatcher Her public service was based on Christian values and the promotion of global freedom

Telegram from the Pope Francis on the death of Margaret Thatcher. Pope Francis, through the Secretary of the State, Cardinal Tarcsio Bertone, sent a telegram of condolence to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, due to the death of Margaret Thatcher, Baroness, that occurred on April 8th. The text of the telegram was: “His Holiness Pope Francis was very sad to receive the news of the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. He remembers with appreciation the Christian values that supported her efforts in the public service and the promotion of freedom in the family of nations. Entrusting her soul to the mercy of God, and assuring her family and the British people that she will be remembered in our prayers, the Holy Father invokes over all of those in whose lives she had an influence the abundant benedictions of God.”

H 480

official creation of Personal Ordinariat of Our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales, as “a canonical structure that allows a corporative gathering in such a way that former Anglicans may join the full communion of the Catholic Church preserving elements of its Anglican heritage.” The former Anglican religious women, whose ages were between 45 and 83 years of age, were received into the Catholic Church on the 1st of January, and shall be known hereafter as the Sisters of the Holy Virgin Mary. In his homily, Father Daniel Seward, Priest at the Oxford Oratory (England) welcomed the religious women to the Catholic Church, and assured them that “what you are joining is nothing strange nor foreign, but your own heritage.” “The spiritual genius of Saint Benedict, under whose rules you live, the study and practice of the sacred liturgy, and the veneration and love of the Mother of God, Our Lay of Walsingham, all these things are part of the ancient glory of this country, that was once an island of saints and of Mary.

Cardinal of the United States of America The visit of Pope Francis may revolutionize Latin America

The emeritus Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, considered that the first visit of Pope Francis to Latin America may cause a revolution in the Continent. In a debate held at the Center for Analysis of Inter-American Dialogue of that city, the 82 year old Cardinal considered that Francis “may cause a revolution in the Argentine and in Latin America. I can see this man exploding in love, in truth, in kindness throughout Latin America.” In the same way that Poland was never the same after the visit of John Paul II, Latin America will not be the same after the visit of (the first) Latin American Pope, added the Cardinal. Lovely manuscripts of the Vatican Library

Lovely codices, manuscripts, and letters that until this day were accessible only to experts accredited by the Apostolic Library of the Vatican, can now be consulted by anyone who wishes to do so with a click from any part of the world. The first 256 documents of the enormous treasure of the “library of the Popes” are already on-line, and to access them one must only register on the web page of the Apostolic Library. The Vatican Apostolic Library (Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana in Latin) is the Library of the Holy See, located in the City of the Vatican. It is called “apostolic” because it is an institution that since its foundation is considered the “Library of the Pope,” since it indirectly belongs to him. It is one of the oldest libraries of the world and is custodian of a fabulous collection of historical texts. The digitalization project of the documents is more ambitious, said the Prefect of the Vatican Library, Mons. Cesare Pasini, that is all of the texts kept in the Library, that is 80 thousand, reported the Ansa news agency. Among the historical manuscripts there are musical scores, cuneiform texts, Greek and also Jewish manuscripts. The texts include works by Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Hippocrates, the oldest Jewish manuscripts preserved, and some of the first Italian books printed during the Renaissance. Among its jewels there is the “Codex Vaticanus” one of the oldest manuscripts of the Greek Bible known. Pope Nicholas V founded the Library in 1448 gathering approximately 350 Greek, Latin, and Hebrew codices

inherited from his predecessors with his own acquisitions, among which are several manuscripts of the imperial library of Constantinople. A network of Catholic networks

The network is oriented toward sharing subjects and dialogues on matters of faith, life, and society, addressed to all those “searchers of the truth.” Jesus Colina, founder of Aleteia, said that when one looks for answers about God, Jesus, etc. on the internet, the first websites that the search engines point out, such as Google, are usually the nonCatholic Christian creeds. Aleteia is promoted by the Foundation for the Evangelization through the media, created to unite efforts and to give an answer to the call of Benedict XVI for a new Evangelization. Aleteia is not an institutional organization but a network. It is not a Catholic Facebook or Twitter, but in Aleteia one shares the contents of faith matters published on the web, that evidently may also be in social networks. There are four formats: questions and answers, videos, on-line library, and news produced by similar networks. “We want to be a megaphone, we don’t want something closed but open, a site where the people are,” said Colina. First anniversary of Nazaret Tv.

wish to contribute their bit to the New Evangelization. We wish that the only protagonists of this television are Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. That is why it is called and for the same reason it was launched on 25th of March, the day of the Incarnation of the Word, the major event in history that occurred in the little town of Nazareth in Galilee. Historical archives of the Holy Land

A website that enables the discovery of the recent history of the Holy Land through historical text, drawings, and even photographs. The Israel Antiquities Authority launched this website at the beginning of the year. They are historical documents of the Holy Land belonging to the period of the British Mandate of Palestine 1920-1948, before the Independence of Israel. When visiting the page one can choose by the location where the documents were found or where they were written, for example Acre in the North of Israel, or Jerusalem. The texts are varied, from a request of the Government to carry out excavations, to maps of the Holy Land. It also has administrative documents of the Council of the city of Jerusalem. The original documents are in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. The Antiquities Authority of Israel digitalized these archives using a special scanning method that has enabled the publication of the documents without damaging them. is an initiative of the Catholic faithful who intend to follow the programming of the doctrine of the Church as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and that are encouraged by the

H 481

World Youth Day 2013 (WYD) Pope Francis: In July, to Rio!

When the Palm Sunday Mass ended, and after praying the Angelus from the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis assured everyone of his presence at World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio 2013, crying out “In July, to Rio!” The Holy Father also asked the young people to prepare “their hearts spiritually.” “I commend you to Mary, particularly you, dear young ones, and your journey towards Rio de Janeiro.” Francis asked to invoke “the intercession of the Virgin Mary so she will accompany us during Easter

Week. For her, who followed her Son with faith to Calvary, to help us walk behind him, taking his cross with peacefulness and love, to arrive at the joy of Easter.” The Pope also commended “that the Suffering Virgin may also protect particularly those who are living very difficult situations, specially remembering those suffering from tuberculosis.” “A good journey for all,” he concluded.

Paris 1,4 million people march to defend marriage and the family

Approximately a million and a half French people participated in the Manif pour Tous (The March for All) through the main street of Paris, demanding the Socialist Government of Francois Hollande to withdraw the harmful bill that promotes so-called homosexual “marriage” and adoption by gay couples. The spokespeople of the organizations that took part in the march accused that the bill of the Socialist regime called “marriage for all” is against the historical reality of humanity and denies the anthropological foundation of human relations. “To create a false affiliation is to turn a child into

H 482

an object,” they denounced, as quoted by the Spanish platform HazteOir that joined the March with a delegation in Paris. The March for All denounces any form of discrimination towards homosexual individuals, but reminds with similar strength that the father-mother relationship is a universal law. “Civil marriage, as an institution, exists precisely to guarantee this reality. Civil Law cannot invent new bonds of affiliation, that uphold our society and protect the child,” they affirmed. For the participants, “the right of the child (and not “the right to the child”) is a superior

fact that goes beyond the ideological tenor to which they want us to get accustomed.” “We are all born from a man and a woman!” cried the people from the main platform of the mass meeting. The March for All seeks to defend the civil wedding between a man and a woman, that has been threatened by the law “Taubira,” that includes “medically assisted procreation” (MAP) and the “gestation for another” (GPA). The demonstrators, many of them young, wore scarves with the colors of the French flag, as well as banners and balloons that claimed the right of children, family, and the matrimony between a man and a woman. On January 13, of this year, in a previous edition of

La Manif pour Tous, 800 thousand people marched in Paris with signs in which one could read “the fathers and the mothers come down to the street and marriage we defend”. “Father plus Mother. There is nothing better for a child.” “We are all born from a man and a woman. Not progenitor A, nor progenitor B: Father and Mother.” Nathalie de Williencourt, founder of the gay organization Homovox, took part in this demonstration, one of the largest of France, and she proclaimed “I am French, I am homosexual, the majority of us homosexuals do not want marriage, nor adoption of children, above all we want to be treated just like the heterosexuals because we are different, we don’t want equality, but we do want justice”.

The prohibition to carry out research on the human embryo is maintained in France

to this day, and that the other countries turn to reprogrammed mother cells or Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS). As an example, the North American corporation Geron had announced a clinical experiment based on embryonic stem cells in 2009, had put an end to their research in 2011 for lack of proven results; in conrast, Japan has just announced a clinical research based on iPS cells regarding an eye illness, with would be a promising world première.”

The French organization Alliance VITA is proud of the maintenance by the National Assembly of the principle of prohibiting research with human embryos. Last March 28, the Assembly examined the proposal of the law that intended to authorize, without prior debate, research that destroys the human embryo. For Alliance VITA this text would have undermined the conditions of research with embryos and embryonic stem cells, putting an end to the first prohibition to substitute it by a wider and more ambiguous frame. This discussion was held without the French people being previously consulted by Congress, as foreseen by the bioethical law dated July 7, 2011. Doctor Xavier Mirabel, President of Alliance VITA is very happy with the commitment of the Deputies. The organization had warned of a text that “would have provoked an absurd ethical and scientific regression, because there is no scientific reason to treat a human embryo as a laboratory mouse. The Nobel Prize in Medicine has just been given to the Japanese Shinya Yamanaka and the British John Gurdon for their discoveries on nuclear reprogramming, which is an ethical technique. Authorizing explicitly the research with embryos addressed to their destruction, the proposed law undermines a higher bioethical principle that gives the human embryo symbolic protection. I remember that research with embryos has given no proved results

English Bishops Gay “marriage” has serious consequences for society The Catholic Bishops of England warned that the law that allows so-called gay “marriage” which had its first steps approved recently by the House of Commons has profound negative effects in society. On February 5, the lower Chamber of the British Parliament, in a debate that lasted approximately six hours, approved with 400 votes in favor and 175 against the bill that allow marriage among couples of the same sex, and was supported by the Prime Minister David Cameron. That same day the Vice-Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Peter D. Smith said that “although the supporters of the law affirm that the project is centered on equality, the

H 483

proposal actually seeks to redefine marriage and this will have severe consequences for society in general.” Bishop Smith, who is also Archbishop of Southwark, said that “the Catholic Church continues to uphold marriage understood by society for centuries as the significant and single commitment for life between a man and a woman for their mutual benefit and is open to procreation and the education of children.” “Marriage is based on the complementarities between a man and a woman. For these reasons, the Church opposes the Government bill,” added the Archbishop. At the time of voting, the subject divided the Conservative Party (the Tories) when 127 voted in favor, 136 were opposed to the bill, and 35 abstained, compared to the other parties such as the Labor Party and the Liberal Democrats who voted more regularly in favor of the bill. Bishop Smith said that the ballot showed that “the Government has not thought about the problems that this bill entails,” and expressed his concern that the project should be treated with full and careful consideration during its following stage. In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the House of Lords and go through a third ballot in the House of Commons. In statements for Radio Vatican, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Monsignor Philip A. Egan, said that “he was very disappointed with the wishes of Parliament to redefine the concept of marriage.” “The change proposed will have catastrophic consequences not only for marriage as an institution, but also for family life in Great Britain, and all human relationships, particularly among our youth,” said Monsignor Egan. He also mentioned that “a possible consequence is that the Church will be forced to withdraw from the civil registry of marriages, because as it has happened in certain European countries, couples must visit the municipality to comply with the civil requirements before going to the Church to get married.” The project, allowing that Churches carry out marriages of same sex couples, produces concern for different creeds because it endangers religious freedom. The Anglican Church, British Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs, have joined the Catholic Church in defending authentic marriage between a man and a woman.

H 484

Was it only Herod? A Chapel for the Innocent Saints in Russia When last July, in a forest not far from Ekaterinburg, 251 human fetuses – 22-26 weeks of age – were discovered in several cans, the people reacted furiously and with terror. The local health institutions talked about them as “medical-biological residues not of just one hospital, but of at least three clinics of Ekaterinburg,” capital of the province of Sverdlovk in Russia. “Residues” abandoned there probably by a company in charge of collecting and eliminating hospital waste. This is the context in which, with a special consensus, the benediction of a chapel dedicated to the Innocent Saints of Bethlehem has been received, as if it were an act of reparation after a sacrilegious event. The ceremony, as reported by Orthodoxie. com quoting, was presided over by the Orthodox Metropolitan Kiril, from Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye. “We are accustomed – he said during the liturgy – to accuse only King Herod of the murder of innocent saints in Bethlehem, but there also are those who obeyed with zeal this inhuman order. Today men do not observe the divine laws and the human laws are corrupt, because the violation of the divine laws causes contempt for the most elemental standards of morality and ethics. The chapel has been erected in the land of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The funds assigned to its construction have been collected, in two years, by “the defenders of life” who wanted to erect a monument for the children who were killed in the womb of their mother; but when the Metropolitan Kiril knew of the initiative, he suggested that they erect a vast chapel. The site of its construction was not chosen at random. In the church of the Transfiguration the rites of intercession for the innocent saints are celebrated each Tuesday by those who repent for having aborted or having contributed to a voluntary interruption of the pregnancy; additionally there is a social service that helps not only the poor people who do not have a roof over their heads, but also the large families, single mothers, and pregnant women. It has been established that, hereafter, the collaborators of the center for the defense of children, called “kolybel” (the cradle), will gather permanently by the chapel to support and give assistance to pregnant women who hesitate whether to bring a child to this world or not. In this center they can all have assistance from

a psychologist, a lawyer, a social worker, speak to a priest, and receive material help. Official statistics talk of 500 thousand to one million illegal abortions per year in Russia. Whereas for Elena Mizulina – quoted by “Avvenire” – President of the Committee of the Duma for family, women, and infancy affairs, the number is much higher: from five to six million. Mizulina has also denounced that in the country there is an actual industry capable of delivering abortive material to pharmacies and cosmetic shops. The blessing of the chapel in Ekaterinburg was celebrated a few days after the intervention of the

Patriarch of Moscow, Kiril, who on the day of the Orthodox Christmas, the 7th of January, when visiting the clinic of the capital, declared that the moral state of a society is also judged by the number of abortions. “It is a crime against man, against the person,” stressed the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. “If in each clinic one could persuade women to let the child be born, if the doctors did everything possible for the little child to come to this world and helped the mother to take care of her child, even in cases of difficult health, then I believe that the moral climate of our society would also change.” L’Osservatore Romano

United States of America North Dakota shields life against abortion The legislators of North Dakota (USA) approved the first national amendment that recognizes the right to life in all the stages of human development. This amendment in favor of life might be included in the Constitution of the State. With 57 votes in favor and 35 against, the House of Representatives of North Dakota approved, on March 22, measure SCR 4009 that states “the inalienable right to life for each human being in any of its stages of development, must be protected and defended.” Since this amendment has been approved by the House, it will now be sent for voting in the general elections of the State in the year 2014. If the voters approve the resolution, the text will be added to the State Constitution. That same day four amendments in favor of life were submitted to the House, of which three of them were approved, the SCR 4009, another one that prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, and one that requests doctors that practice abortion, to be graduated in the State and have privileges for admission to nearby hospitals.

The Bishop of Bismarck and Apostolic Administrator of Fargo, Monsignor David Kagan, expressed “I wish to applaud the legislators of North Dakota for approving one of the most restrictive laws against abortion in the nation, making an effort to heighten the sanctity of all human life.” In declarations for ACI Press, on March 25, the Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of North Dakota, Christopher Dodson, said that the resolution is not “an amendment of the person’s identity itself,” it is a definition used to identify a person as subject of the right to laws as the wrongly called homosexual “marriage,” among others. Therefore, he pointed out that those who are against the amendment in favor of life try to distort it “because they are trying to present it as extreme.” On March 15 of this year, the Senate of the State passed a norm forbidding abortion in cases of selection of sex and genetic defects such as Down syndrome among others, and after the baby’s heart beat has been detected, which is generally 5 or 6 weeks after conception.

H 485

MUSIC Saint Hildegard’S muSic By Fernando MarTinez guzMán


t appears that Hildegard von Bingen’s musical production begins between 1140-1150 AD. As director Marcel Përès points out, her music “is conceived to add to liturgy a higher degree of contemplation.” Though always monophonic, its melody does not stem from plain chant (with which it bears similarities in its form and in the premise that the melody must serve the text) and stands out by displaying a very personal concept. The melodic line covers an ample range, comprising even two octaves (whilst plain chant moves around one octave). When it comes to interpreting von Bingen’s music, the tendency is to perform a slow and solemn declamation so that listeners may grasp every word of the text and thus form in their minds the image suggested by their sonorous as well as visual contemplation. The other novelty in von Bingen lies in her distinct detachment from the music of her time, both from Gregorian Chant (though some authors consider it a variation of late Gregorian Chant) and from Cistercian music, whose rules had been established 30 years earlier. On the other hand, given that a great part of von Bingen’s works belong to the divine office they are less “canonic” than those used in the celebration of Mass as well as more innovative in their content, as can be appreciated in those works which honor saints, martyrs, or apostles. In general, the compositions are set on a basis of melodic “formulas,” that is to say, fragments or patterns that are repeated on different

H 486

occasions and under different conditions and modes, in some of its many variations, combined and enriched. Von Bingen’s most peculiar and innovative characteristic lies in the use and employment of these “formulas” which represent melodic “structures” that follow and echo each other in their various forms. As for the genre of Hildegard’s compositions, the “antiphons” are the most numerous. On the other hand, the “responsories” are probably her most complex pieces, in which elaborate turns can be detected – these were interpreted in the stations or stops of a procession before the relics of a saint – structured in verse or refrains. Her “hymns” and “sequences” which follow a certain poetic and melodic parallelism, are, on the contrary, her less elaborate compositions. Hildegard’s musical oeuvre comprises 159 works, each one monophonic in character and essentially liturgical. Her main work is “Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum,” a work which comprises of 77 poems or spiritual songs intended for her community at Rupertsberg: 44 antiphons, 17 responses in prose, 8 hymns, 1 Kyrie (an exception to the rule given that most of Hildegard’s texts are taken from her own literary work), and 7 sequences for Mass. “Symphonia” is made up of a liturgical cycle in which many of her pieces are appointed to established religious feasts: sequences dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, St. Eucarius, and St. Maximin. Most of the feasts are provided with two compositions, (antiphon-response) or huManiTas nº 4 pp. 486 - 489

Illumination from the Liber Scivias.

more, as is the case in the feasts of some local saints: St. Rupert has three antiphons and one sequence; St. Disibode two antiphons, two responses, and a sequence; St. Ursula, two responses, hymn, and sequence.

The drama of virtues But Hildegard is also the author of both words and music of an exceptional theatrical sacred play known as the “Drama of Virtues” – Ordo Virtutum – one of the oldest morality plays and one of the few Latin medieval plays whose author’s name is known. Finished in 1151, it is written in blank verse. Its movements and rhythms are autonomous. The work is made up of 82 melodies carefully notated. Its great merit lies in the excellent moral framework or “dramatization” of its characters; and in a brilliant poetry rich in images. Another of its virtues is the play’s extremely mystical language drawn from an almost apocalyptic vocabulary based on visionary writings. Both

of these characteristics are unique for its age. This morality play, intended for the nuns’ moral benefit, depicts the fight which takes place between sixteen virtues and a villain represented by the Devil (Diabolus), and by the play’s heroine: the Soul (Anima). A second reading leads to the identification of the Virtues with the nuns of the Benedictine family, the Devil with evil or sin, and the Soul with the inner life in Christ. According to scholars, the vocabulary used by Hildegard is one of the most surprising and unexpected in the medieval genre (mainly due to its strange and violent effects, though subtle and suggestive) and leads us unfailingly to the texts used in certain passages of the Old Testament, such as the Song of Songs, the book of the Prophet Isaiah, or the Apocalypse. After the opening of the “Drama of Virtues” with the words “Incipit Ordo Virtutum” from which the work takes its name, the action begins with a choir of patriarchs and prophets which evokes the building of the celestial Jerusalem, while the

H 487


Hildegard expresses in the following way her idea of a means for recuperating the paradise lost and through it, the utterance for the praise of God. (…) So that instead of remembering their desert, men can remember that divine sweetness and praise which rejoiced Adam before his fall with the Lord’s angels, and so as to draw them towards that divine sweetness and paise – the holy prophets instructed by the same Spirit which they had received – did not only compose the psalms and chants they sang in order to uplift their listeners’ devotion, but also created musical instruments of different sorts with which they produced various sounds. And they did so, so that, both due to their outer aspect and their peculiarities as well as to the meaning of the words which they recited accompanied by them, their listeners – as has been said – forewarned and well- disposed by these exterior elements, may be enlightened to their inner reality. These holy prophets were copied by scholars and wise men, and with their art they invented a certain kind of instrument with which to sing according to the wishes of the soul. They adapted what they sang to the joints of flexed fingers, remembering that Adam was made by God’s finger – which is the Holy Spirit – and that, before his fall, the sense of all harmony and the sweetness of all musical art resided in Adam’s voice. (…) But he who had fooled him – the devil – upon hearing that man had begun to sing through God’s inspiration and that because of it he would be drawn towards the recollection of the sweetness of the chants of the celestial home, and seeing that his cunning machinations would crumble, he became so frightened that he suffered great torment, and with the multiple ruses of his unceasing cunning, he set out to plan and find a way to upset or relentlessly hinder the proclamation, the beauty and the sweetness of divine praise and spiritual hymns, not only in men’s hearts – through perverse insinuations, impure thoughts, or distractions – but also in the heart of the Church and wherever he could manage it – through discord, scandals, or unfair oppressions. Think that, as Jesus Christ’s body was born of the Virgin Mary’s pure integrity through (the work of) the Holy Spirit, so also the song of praises consistent with celestial harmony are rooted in the Church by the Holy Spirit. The body is the clothing of the soul which has a live voice, and therefore it is fit that the body coupled with the soul sing God’s praises with that voice. (…) And given that on hearing some chant man often sighs and laments because he remembers the nature of celestial harmony, considering subtly the profound nature of the spirit and knowing that the soul is symphonic, in the psalm the prophet exhorts us to proclaim God with the cittern and sing to Him with the ten string psaltery (Psalm 32: 2 and 91: 4) wanting to connect the cittern, whose sound is lower, with the body’s discipline, and the psaltery which reproduces a higher sound, with the effort of the spirit; the ten strings, with the fulfillment of the law. song “Qui sunt is qui ut nubes volant?” emerges with a text from Isaiah 60:8 (What are these that fly along like clouds?). Von Bingen’s originality, her lyrical force, and poetic density make this work an exceptional medieval play. There are doubts and even controversies among critics as regards to whether this work could originally have been intended to be read and not staged (E. Simon) or, on the contrary, whether it was acted from the start (P. Dronke).

H 488

Simon argues that despite the fact that “Ordo Virtutum” could be the first morality play, at that period, theater was considered to be “men’s ground.” For this reason he supports the assertion of the musical ensemble “Sequentia” (specialists in Von Bingen´s music) when it declared that Hildegard and her nuns “would have staged – Ordo Virtutum – in the cloisters of the abbey.” On the contrary, Dronke affirms that the work was originally planned for an audience, suggesting that it could have premiered on

Saint Hildegard´s awakening. Self portrait.

the occasion of the solemn consecration of the Abbey of Rupertsberg on May 1, 1152. A ceremony which was attended by various canons from Mainz cathedral and presided by its archbishop. Finally, what can only be maintained is that the proof put forward by Dronke is circumstantial and not evident, although there exist multiple coincidences and signs in its favor. Firstly, the text contains instructions such as felix, penitens, gravata, strepitus, which seem to be thought for performers – singers and actors – rather than just for readers. Secondly, in the drama there are twenty characters, the same number of nuns who accompanied Hildegard at the founding of Rupertsberg. Thirdly, the only masculine character, Diabolus, could well have been acted by Volmar, the only man present on the setting. Finally, the characters’

clothes could have been similar to that of the Virtues which appear in detail in the “Scivias”’s illustrations. Having had no literary or specific art studies, Hildegard wrote hymns and liturgical poems which she set to music and illustrated with miniatures she painted on her manuscripts. These miniatures embody a kind of audiovisual catechism rich in a symbolism that represent the theological meaning of her visions. Medieval man envisaged music as a means of uplifting the spirit. For Hildegard, music was subordinated to the spiritual mission God had entrusted man and was a means by which to evangelize and communicate the Creator’s work. For her, Cosmos and the world represented the sonorous manifestation of God’s Glory.

Translated by Juana Subercaseaux

H 489


converSationS witH Jorge Bergoglio A pleasant book, Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words* shows the rich personality of the first successor of the Apostle Peter born in the Americas. The tour that starts with the history of his immigrant family continues with the spring of the protagonist’s faith, the joys and sufferings of his youth, which led him to conform to Christ, his Master. It also brings to light all the hidden aspects of his public life; it even refutes some accusations divulged with obscure intentions, which attempt to involve him in accusations of human rights violations, notwithstanding the fact that they have been belied many times by unsuspected witnesses.


he original title of this book, recently translated to English language by Penguin, “The Jesuit” stated bluntly, could well be the title of one of those many films that figure in movie billboards around the globalized world, which are clearly not meant to speak well of the Church, or of the order founded by St. Ignatius. In this case, however, we are concerned with a great editorial decision, in which two very important things come together: on one hand, the opportune and excellent journalistic work by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti, who interviewed the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, three years ago; on the other, the editorial promptness of Javier Vergara to release a book, which,

besides being pleasant, is of immense relevance today given Bergoglio’s election as the first Latin American successor of Peter. The conversation with the interviewers, which was very well prepared by them, always flows in a colloquial and pleasant manner, spattered with personal anecdotes, also showing expressions and familiar examples typical of Argentinean culture. Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words opens with a remarkable prologue by Rabbi Abraham Skorka, and with an introduction by the two author-interviewers. Rabbi Skorka exhibits a great knowledge of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and even a deep admiration for

* AMBROGETTI, Francesca and RUBÍN, Sergio, Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words, Penguin (USA), New York 2013, 304 pp.

H 490

huManiTas nº 4 pp. 490 - 505

his person and mission. He says, for example, that he thinks the title of the book should be “The Pastor,” which is what really defines Bergoglio. He is impressed by the protagonist’s connatural humility (and the recognition of his condition as sinner that flows from him), which he refers to as, in quite a colloquial expression, “not buying into his own hype.” All this accords with his first interventions as Pope, and also with some of his earlier declarations; for example, how he eloquently urges priests to be “shepherds living with the smell of sheep,” which indicates that the Pope sees the pastor’s humility as essential to the preaching of the Gospel. In a similar vein to the spiritual analysis of Cardinal Bergoglio by Rabbi Skorka, a certain religiosity runs through the entire book, which reveals a source of interior life, characterized by great self-exigency and a profound mercy towards others, whose tone is not devoid of tenderness. This is the trademark of the holy priest and missionary educated in the good school of St. Ignatius. He is highly austere, with a spirituality centered on the crucified Christ, anxious to go outside promptly to evangelize. His detachment from “worldliness,” as servility and idolatry, identifies him with the Iñigo of the speech of the two flags (viz. that of Christ and that of the World). This clearly sends a message that the reform he is prepared to carry out is as distant from the sociological and structural categories proclaimed by powers foreign, and even inimical to the Church, as is close to that

which inspired the Counter-Reformation led by the founder of the Society of Jesus. In line with the Ignatian spirituality of the Exercises, the reflexions on repentance and forgiveness developed are particularly noteworthy. Bergoglio begins with his characteristic enunciation of principles in the form of a trilogy, which in this case he also uses as three indispensable premises for a good Christian life: permission (respect and charity towards our neighbors), gratitude (the recognition of our creatureliness, with a view to God, as ack nowledgement of what has been given us), forgiveness (repentance for our offenses to God and to others). Forgiveness, in order to be just and received, requires a blessing of the past (gratitude) and true repentance regarding the offense. Being prepared to receive forgiveness is equivalent to being prepared to receive love, the rejection of which is what condemns man. In light of God’s saving love, forgiveness requires repentance and reparation on the part of the one who asks for it. The one who bestows forgiveness may be in pain, or suffer, but he should never hold resentment, for that amounts to a profound denial of forgiveness and to banishing the other from love. His memories always start with and have as a referent the family life with his parents and grandparents. His tight relationship with the latter relates him very closely to the world of Piedmont, the land of his ancestors. He even has command of the regional language. His family is one of effort and laboriousness,

H 491

one which suffered poverty as an effect of the economic crisis of 1929; yet past and current prosperity didn’t result in a change of their austere lifestyle. As a 13 year-old boy, Jorge Mario was invited to work with his father, and he obediently took on the assignments given to him. In these pages, the frequently quoted passage appears where he acknowledges with gratitude, in subsequent labors, the demanding and corrective hand that teaches him to do every job well till it’s finished. Within the family, the figure of his grandmother stands out. Bergoglio, revealing something that says a lot about him, tells that he carries some of her letters and other messages inside his Breviary. She gave a particularly significant piece of advice to her grandchildren, which Cardinal Bergoglio tells to his interlocutors (p. 124). Here we can see the noble familiar origin of his devotion to the Tabernacle, which, according to his grandmother, is the place “where the greatest and august martyr is,” and to the Virgin Mary at the Cross. Thus, one discovers a spiritual root strongly anchored in his family – something that makes him similar to his papal predecessors, along with his devotion to St. Joseph and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. While the interviewee doesn’t hide his strong reserve and preoccupation regarding the phenomenon he identifies as “spray religiosity,” he shows himself a defender of popular religiosity. He discerns the former phenomenon in New Age proposals with a pantheistic sense. Popular religiosity, on the other hand, is not only the antidote to “spray religiosity,” he says, but also the authentic basis of a “real hermeneutic, brought forth by the people itself,” which cauterizes the ideologist. The danger of degrading the religious, however, lies not only in this. There is also the widespread incoherence between principles and conduct that affects many Catholics, especially in the ruling classes, in view of which the Pope’s statements

H 492

with regard to witnessing or the kerygmatic announcement become highly relevant today. Of the whole book, the fifth chapter is the most important, entitled Educating in the midst of Conflict. Here the Pope descends into the real difficulties posed by the current educational situation, and proposes to make progress by using what he calls the castaway culture: “the castaway faces the challenge of surviving with creativity; he either waits to be rescued or he starts his own rescue himself.” In the background of this conception we see the outline of Newman’s well-known formulation: know how to change in order to stay the same. In face of the educational difficulty as a result of authorities in crisis (parents, educators, etc.), which is the offspring of a society that questions everything, Cardinal Bergoglio calls for a new starting point, namely the great existential certainties, which, if coherently lived, make it possible for us to resume the path and move forward. The Greek roots of the term “crisis” give him the opportunity to explain the concept of crisis as “shaking” (p. 111), on one hand; and the weakening of authority this produces, on the other. Along the same explanatory line, he vindicates the “augere” (authority) as a necessary condition for “making grow” (p. 65). His view of the Church’s current situation is well reflected in chapter seven, The Challenge of Going to the Encounter of People. The way forward does not consist in removing some prescriptions, but in abandoning the “administrative” spirit and replacing it with that of the “missionary.” This requires, as he explained a few pages earlier, a painful delivery, a “patient travel,” thus deflating a bit the mysticism of efficiency at all costs. It is also a travelling towards the future carrying the memory of our roots, their deep pedagogy. This is well reflected in the following statement, where he resorts to classic literature: “Beware, Christian patience is not quietistic or passive. It is St.

Paul’s patience, which involves carrying, or bearing, history on one’s shoulders. It is represented by the archetypical image of Aeneas who, when Troy is in flames, carries his father on his shoulders – Et sublato patrem montem petivi –; he carries his history on his shoulders and walks to the mount in search of the future.” His knowledge of literature is a true leitmotiv in Bergoglio’s language, which is not something we should be surprised at, given that his first duty as teacher in the Society of Jesus consisted in teaching literature (not chemistry, that is, his previous studies). The last pages of this book, dedicated to a meditation on Martín Fierro, a poem about a gaucho, are a very clear expression of his literary culture, and of a subtle talent to interpret works in the context of real life. He brings to light the rich dialectic – also typical of Sacred Scripture – of the Argentinean national poem, where the narrative sets the end at the beginning, that is to say, at the very start it points to the ideal path one should travel in life and where hope will shine. In this case, the ideal path refers to that of the social bond that will constitute the fatherland. The concept of fatherland is repeated many times in his conversation: it stresses the anthropological and social importance of identity. “I like speaking of fatherland, not of country, or nation. Countries are an ultimately geographical fact; and nations, a legal, constitutional fact. The fatherland, on the contrary, is that which bestows identity (...) The term “fatherland” stems from “father,” so the fatherland is the one that receives the tradition of the fathers, carries it forth, and makes it progress.

Those who speak of a fatherland torn off from a heritage are wrong, just as those who want to reduce it to its heritage and won’t let it grow.” His commentaries on civilisation and its opposite follow the same line of reflection; apropos of which he exhibits a sharp and vast knowledge of the cultural confrontations that affect the different regions of the world in our time. As the child of an Italian family, surrounded by its atmosphere and tastes, and later as a student formed in the Society of Jesus, the Pope impresses his conversation with great humanistic culture, enriched by the command of several languages. Regarding music, there are intimate stories, many times reproduced, of the nona gathering his children to listen to the opera broadcasted by the Argentinean State Radio. His frequent examples taken from the lyrics of popular music and tangos also call for attention. A pleasant book, Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words shows the rich personality of the first successor of the Apostle Peter born in the Americas. The tour that starts with the history of his immigrant family continues with the spring of the protagonist’s faith, the joys and sufferings of his youth, which led him to conform to Christ, his Master. It also brings to light all the hidden aspects of his public life; it even refutes some accusations divulged with obscure intentions, which attempt to involve him in accusations of human rights violations, notwithstanding the fact that they have been belied many times by unsuspected witnesses.

JAIME ANTÚNEZ Purchase by the internet on

H 493

Books By Jorge Mario Bergoglio - PoPe Francis PuBlished uPTo This daTe Open mind, believing heart Mente abierta, corazón creyente Jorge Mario Bergoglio Editorial Claretiana Buenos Aires, 2012 240 pp.

On Heaven and Earth Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka Image New York, 2013 256 pp.

On Self-Accusation Sobre la acusación de sí mismo Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos Aires, 2007 48 pp.

Corruption and Sin Corrupción y pecado Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos Aires, 2006 46 pp.

Sobre el Cielo y la tierra Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka Editorial Sudamericana Buenos Aires, 2010 220 pp.

The Nation to Be Built: Utopia, Thought, and Commitment La nación por construir Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos Aires, 2005 78 pp.

H 494

Putting the Motherland on One’s Shoulders: Memoir and Path of Hope Ponerse la patria al hombro

True Power Is Service El verdadero poder es el servicio Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos Aires, 2007 368 pp.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos Aires, 2004 80 pp.

To Educate: Exactingness and Passion Educar: exigencia y pasión Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Claretianas Buenos aires, 2003 190 pp.

Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro Diálogos entre Juan Pablo II y Fidel Castro Jorge Mario Bergoglio (editor) Editorial Ciencia y Cultura Buenos Aires, 1998 144 pp.

Reflections of Hope Reflexiones en esperanza Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Universidad del Salvador Buenos Aires, 1992 351 pp.

Spiritual Reflections about the Apostolic Life Reflexiones espirituales sobre la vida apostólica Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Diego Torres Buenos Aires, 1986 321 pp.

Meditations for Religious Meditaciones para religiosos Jorge Mario Bergoglio Ediciones Diego Torres Buenos Aires, 1982

H 495

loving in tHe difference The title of the book we have in our hands seems particularly intelligent: Amare nella differenza*. It is immediately understood that this title refers to the love that exists between a man and a woman, two beings that are by nature different. It is politically correct to highlight the difference, the embracing of otherness, and the real or alleged merits of the social crucible. But for the sake of an egalitarian, or rather uniform and monistic view of reality, this same society denounces differences almost always as discriminations. By considering difference in this way, we are introduced to the heart of the problem.


he title of the book that we have in our hands seemed particularly intelligent to me: Amare nella differenza (Loving in the Difference). It is immediately understood that this title refers to the love that exists between a man and a woman, two beings that are by nature different. Yet the title has a sort of subliminal dimension: Amare la differenza (Loving the Difference). This dimension made such an impact on me that for a long time I thought it was the real title. Actually the real title kills two birds with one stone: to begin with, it presents in a positive way the Christian approach to sexuality, but it also highlights a contradiction of our time. In fact, it is politically correct to highlight the difference, the embracing of otherness, and the real or alleged merits of the social crucible. But for the sake of an egalitarian, or rather uniform and monistic view of reality, this same

society denounces differences almost always as discriminations. By considering difference in this way we are introduced to the heart of the problem. Yet all, or almost all, authors in this book have refrained from writing polemically. Reading this well elaborated, inter-disciplinarily rich work has aroused three simple, almost naïve questions in me. I don’t want to suggest that these questions summarize the entire book in any way: • Has the Church really said what it is commonly believed to have said regarding homosexuality? • Speaking of the homosexuality of the king’s brother, a great French writer of the XVII century used this concise and witty expression: “The gentleman had ill-explained pleasures.” Do we have more clarity of vision to understand homosexuality after four centuries? • For twenty years, I taught fundamental moral

* MELINA, Livio y BELIDARNELLI, Sergio editores, Amare nella differenza, Librería Editrice Vaticana, Roma 2012, 568 pp.

H 496

theology, and especially the Catholic moral teaching on family and sex. If I had to teach the same course to current students, would I do it in the exact same way? In other words, what has become of the key concepts that I employed in my courses for such a long time? 1. Has the Church really said what it is commonly believed to have said regarding homosexuality? This book has a thoroughly classical presentation: thus, when speaking of homosexuality, the third part, dedicated to La testimonianza della Tradizione, reviews what is said about it in the Bible, by the Church Fathers, by medieval and modern authors, and lastly by the recent magisterium. However – and here resides its originality –, each author has made an effort to show how contemporary problems oblige us to revisit what seemed to have been established a long time ago. For example, Francis Martin offers a complete and excellent exposition of the biblical texts that deal with human sexuality; and the author that follows him, Jean-Baptiste Edart, explains to us why and how the traditional reading is questioned today: “In the last ten years, the literal sense is not a problem; rather, the problem lies in contemporizing it” (p. 256). Condemnations against homosexual acts, especially in Rm. 1, 25-27, were valid in the past, but they have lost relevance with the introduction of modern approaches to homosexuality. Here we find a strong argument: the ancients approached the problem of homosexuality in a way that has been emptied of all sense and significance by modern studies (see the works by Winterer). When the ancients spoke of homosexuality, and when the moderns refer to it, they are not really speaking of the same thing. And to point to the importance that “gay” associations have within the Christian milieu is not a fact that allows us to explain an evolution, but a turn. It spontaneously calls to mind

the name of John Boswell, who in a famous work (which won the National Book Award and the Stonewall Book Award in 1981) tried to prove that, along with official rigor, there always existed in the Church a true practical tolerance towards homosexuals. This thesis is questioned in the book we are commenting on by Maurizio Faggioni (pp. 289f.). 2. Do we have today a clearer view of the matter? I think we can answer this question positively on the basis of the following assertions: a) Homosexuality is a universal phenomenon, since we find it in all cultures, including Africa, to which this book doesn’t refer. Yet it presents such particularities that it is preferable to employ the plural, and thus rather speak of homosexualities. • Eastern cultures and religions comprise all homosexualities, but in such diversified cultural forms that it is possible to raise the question: what is their common denominator? It is not enough to point to the homosexual act itself, for this alone cannot explain all the different, properly cultural values. The homosexuality practised by the samurais, for example, has little if anything to do with the one practised in Buddhist monasteries (on this, see the article by JaeSuk-Lee). • Feminine homosexuality differs from masculine homosexuality, as it is shown by Gintautas Vaitoska (pp. 157f.). b) Origins: the hazards regarding the construction of personality. The article by Tony Anatrella seemed to me one of the most illuminating. He proposes distinctions that will also resound in some people’s ears as provocations: • The distinction between sexual identity and sexual orientation (pp. 65f.), and also between orientation and desire;

H 497

• The distinction between homosexuality and homoerotism, which allows us not to parallel homosexuality with heterosexuality; • The distinction between love and feeling. I quote a sentence: “Love, which is a relational order based on the sexual otherness of man and woman, is not a feeling” (p. 69). We imagine him without all the cries of horror of the Romantics, who attribute to feeling the same consistency of love. • The distinction between the very small number of structural homosexuals (around 4% of the global population) and the immense social impact of gay culture. It all happens (but this is a personal interpretation) as if after centuries of massive reprobation of homosexuals, contemporary society, haunted by remorse, tried to compensate yesterday’s contempt by today’s overvaluation: in sum, an excess of tolerance after an excess of mockery. • Finally, the distinction between the hazards of narcissistic construction and homosexuality-related psychological problems (one would have to say pathologies). c) When we thought we were actually beginning to see the origin of sexuality more clearly, gender theory makes its appearance. Ultimately, this theory is but the most recent phase of philosophical idealism, or rather voluntarism, which turns everything on its head by making us believe that sexual identity is not the product of nature but of the subject’s will. This theory (see Giuseppe Angelini) represents a true cultural revolution, stronger than that of May 68, insofar as it produces a complete reform of family legislation. Thus, in many countries the terms “father” and “mother” are no longer used, but “parent 1” and “parent 2” (see the sixth part, especially: Francesco D’Agostino and Gabriella Gambino). In this way, the door is opened to same-sex marriages and to the adoption of children by such couples.

H 498

3. If I had to teach sexual morality again... a) could I refer to the concept of human nature, with everything it presupposes as stable and permanent (some would say stereotyped, that is, reactionary), when the family and couples’ relations of the past are now yielding their place in social life to “everyday social experimentations” that characterize not only today’s family life, but the whole of society (Sergio Belardinelli)? b) ...would I speak again of personal identity in the same way? If, as I used to repeat following Rabbi Hillel, identity is the path to otherness, and not the contrary: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” And: “If I don’t live for myself, who will live for me?” And when social factors come to live like parasites upon the structuring of sexual identity (Maria Luisa Di Pietro). c) could I explain that “divided souls are disgraced,” a well-regarded dictum among the Stoics, when homosexuality is no longer perceived as a pathology, not even as a problem; but, on the contrary, as a paradigm of sexual behaviour, a form of sexuality like any other, parallel to heterosexuality? How could one speak of what is true regarding man and human love? d) ...what would I advise the pastors with whom I used to talk in Toulouse and then in Fribourg? ...what form of sexual education would I recommend to the parents and educators of Catholic schools, when children are so early immersed in a society in which the attempt exists to put all sexual practices on the same level? I would say, as a conclusion, that the concept of difference, chosen as the leading thread of this book, is a good choice. It would be a mistake, however, to believe that its transparency is immediate and accessible to all. MONS. JEAN-LOUIS BRUGUÈS

“I Have Never Felt Alone”

A Book including the Last Speeches of Benedict XVI has been published Under the title “I Have Never Felt Alone”, Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) released a book* in honour of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI including his latest interventions since he announced his resignation on February 11. The title was taken from the speech Benedict XVI pronounced in his last audience on February 27. In the front cover, the Holy Father appears greeting the faithful gathered in St Pater’s Square. In the back cover, there is a quote of what he said in Castel Gandolfo on February 28: “I am simply a pilgrim that commences the last part of his pilgrimage on this earth”. The editors said the book is a “little homage” as a “sign of fidelity of the LEV to the Holy Father”, whom “we have accompanied from the beginning until the end of his pontificate”. It is a book of plain binding that purports to be “a sign of gratitude and recognition”, they said. The first text is the Declaration whereby he announced, on February 11, his resignation to the ministry as Bishop of Rome. The editors have also included the catechesis at the

general audience of February 13; Ash Wednesday’s homily; and the greeting the Pope received that day from Cardinal Secretary of State Tarciso Bertone. Furthermore, the book includes the address at a meeting with all of Rome’s clergy on February 14; the daily angelus from February 17 until the 24; his reflection at the end of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia during the Saturday morning on February 23; his last general audience; the greeting to the cardinals gathered on Thursday 28; and his words to the faithful of the diocese of Albano that awaited him that day in front of the balcony of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo. The book also makes public the text of his Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio, entitled “Normas nonnullas”, which introduces certain modifications to the norms governing the election of the Roman Pontiff. Finally, the book concludes with a biographical profile of Benedict XVI. Aciprensa Purchase via Internet on

* Joseph Ratzinger/Benedicto XVI, Non mi sono mai sentito solo. Gli ultimi discorsi di Benedetto XVI, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Roma 2013.

Artistic Edition by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana of the last catecheses of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Catecheses in the Year of Faith Sculptures; the mosaics of Istanbul, Ravenna, and Montreal; a Russian icon; altarpieces; photographs of the author; stained glasses; paintings and frescoes of different periods: numerous artistic expressions have been selected to accompany the last volume of Benedict XVI’s catecheses in the “Year of Faith”,* which the LEV now releases in an artistic edition. The book – whose cover presents the Four Articles of the Creed completed by Vecchietta for the Baptistery of San Giovanni at Siena Cathedral; and whose opening pages show the Triumph of Faith by Tiepolo, painted for the Chiesa della Pietà in Venice – collects 19 catecheses by the Pontiff, delivered at the general audiences each Wed-

nesday, between October 10, 2012, viz. the opening vigil of the Year of Faith, and February 27, 2013, which is the penultimate day of his pontificate. In his different catecheses, the Pontiff answers such fundamental questions as: “What is faith? Does faith still make sense in a world in which science and technology have unfolded horizons unthinkable until a short time ago? What does believing mean today?” He then reflects on topics such as the communitarian profession of the one and only faith of the Church; and on the “desire for God” that dwells in the depths of every human being, and which still appears today, in many ways, in their heart. Zenit Purchase via Internet on

* Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, Nell’Anno della Fede, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Rome 2013.

H 499

Who is the Church? An Anthropological and Sacramental Key for Ecclesiology Angelo Scola Editrice Queriniana Brescia, 2007 336 pp.

Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, has written innumerable theological books and articles, many of them on the mystery of the Church. This book, as he explains, is not a treatise on ecclesiology, but a methodological proposal for a treatise on the Church. It is inspired by the Church’s self-consciousness as it is expressed in the four Constitutions of Vatican Council II; above all, in the Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium. The title: “Who is the Church?” already insinuates the method. The question is not: What is the Church? As if it was about an object, even if the object is a mystery. It does not attempt to define what it is to be a member of the Church; otherwise, the question would have been: Who are the Church? By asking: Who is the Church? He is inquiring about a living personal subject. According to the author, the Church, as a community held together by the power of the Spirit, just as any of its members, must be treated as a person: Christ’s spouse. That is why the author suggests an ecclesiology with an anthropological key: what can be said regarding each particular believer can be said of the Church. This is the method already suggested by St. Paul, who coined the term “ecclesia” to designate the Christian community. The Apostle makes two parallel assertions that give support to the method proposed by Scola: “the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2, 20); and “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5, 25). On the other hand, the Church is the presence of Christ’s mystery. It bestows upon men of all times a real participation in Christ’s death, resurrection, and glorious life; and in the hope of his final coming. If this is so, then we must explain how to bridge

H 500

the distance between the facts of Calvary and today, a distance ever growing with the passing of time. To answer this question, the author resorts to the sacramental key. The application of the term “sacrament” to the Church as such was given pre-eminence by the Second Vatican Council. The Church is sacrament of the Christian fact insofar as it makes the fact of Calvary present with its salvific power for the current community of people that form the Church, on one hand; and for each person in particular, on the other. This the Church achieves only through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church-sacrament is realized, above all, in the Eucharist, the ultimate effect of which is the Church itself as the body of Christ. As such, the Church is a place to which the Father sends his Son and through Him donates the Holy Spirit, in order to communicate his intra-trinitarian life. Following this anthropological and sacramental key, Cardinal Scola analyses each ecclesiological subject: the Marian dimension; the Petrine dimension; the ecumenical dimension; interreligious dialogue; communion; the mission; the parish; movements; catechesis; etc. To name only one aspect, it is interesting to review the author’s application of his method to catechesis. He affirms that the subject that educates in the faith is the Church itself, the Christian community as such. For the purpose of catechesis is that the catechumen, having radically changed his life through encountering Christ, lives his life from then on in ecclesial communion, received as a gift of the Holy Spirit. That is why the catechist must be well-rooted in that communion, and be capable of communicating to others, by means of his own testimony, the integral life of the Christian community. To achieve this, catechetical action must avoid a threefold hazard, which often endangers it. The first one is that of intellectualism, that is, concentrating solely on content without regard for the life of the community. Against this hazard, it should verified that the catechist be a witness of communitarian life, and be convinced that in the Church everyone should be “taught by God” (cf. John 6, 45). The second hazard is sociologism, that is, concentrating on current social topics such as ecology, peace, nonviolence, justice, etc. The third hazard is that of sentimentalism, that is, appealing to the emotions in order to produce a reaction on the part of the catechumen, yet without obtaining an integral response that involves the whole person. Furthermore, this reaction is transitory, given that it is not rooted in an encounter with Christ. A good catechesis should propel the catechumen to follow Christ, and awaken in him a sense of belonging to the Church. According to Scola, the unequivocal test that reveals whether this has been achieved is the capacity of generating a mission. Anegelo Scola’s work is not one intended for the layman. It is rather difficult to understand, and it requires the reader to have already acquired an advanced theological understanding, and to

be familiarized with ecclesiological subjects. It is nevertheless pleasant to read a work of great depth, which is in accordance with the Church’s magisterium and its pastoral aim. The book thus fulfills the authentic mission of theology, and the service that the Church expects from it. Mons. Felipe Bacarreza Purchase via the internet on

For the Love of the Invisible: The Crossing Routes of John Henry Newman and Henri de Lubac Olivier de Berranger Ad Solem Paris, 2010 254 pp.

The author of this book is a member of the Institute del Prado. For 17 years, he has been a missionary in Seoul, Korea. He studied Newman when preparing a theological dissertation under the direction of father de Lubac. He was ordained priest in 1964, and is currently Bishop Emeritus of Saint-Denis, a diocese in the vicinity of Paris. This book collects different articles and conferences, the majority of which were published in the last 30 years. They are the results of the research and teaching of someone who has devoted himself to the pastoral ministry. The texts have appeared in the Nouvelle revue théologique and in the Revue de sciences philosophiques et théologiques. The original publications have been slightly modified for the present edition. The book consists of a short introduction (pp. 7-9) and 18 chapters. The first 8 are exclusively dedicated to Newman’s thought, as developed in his own works, which describe his reflection on his outline of faith, that is, the Cardinal’s attempt to decipher the grammar of religious assent. In chapters 9-13 appears the core of Berranger’s work: the intertwined relations between the works of both theologians, who were appointed Cardinals at the end of their lives. Chapter 9 serves as a brief introduction to this section of the book, where four paradoxes are studied: the visible and the invisible; conscience and dogma; the Church and the universality of salvation; and philosophy and its relation to theology. Finally, in chapters 14-18 the author presents, in the form of

monographs, some very important aspects of the work of de Lubac, namely: his position regarding Dei Verbum; the desire for God; the historical context of his book Meditation on the Church (Méditation sur l’Église); the relation between Christ and the Church; and the Catholic basis for missions. In the introduction, both Newman and de Lubac are characterized as being men of the Church, who in diverse intellectual and vital contexts, had the same passion: that Christian Revelation be loved by their contemporaries. Friends of the invisible, they have attempted to find in our history its hints so that Christ may be sought, believed, and loved. At the end of the book there is a “Biographical Note” about Henri de Lubac (pp. 241-246), which, rather than presenting chronological facts, puts forward his spiritual and intellectual journey. There is also an “Index of Works Cited,” with its corresponding abbreviations (pp. 247-249). A section entitled “Sources of the Chapters” is also included (p. 251), which provides information regarding the original publications. Finally, it concludes with a “Table of Contents.” In summation, the book is a good introduction to the great work of both Cardinals. It is, furthermore, an excellent commentary and in-depth study for anyone already familiarized with Newman and de Lubac. Mons. Andrés Arteaga Manieu Purchase via the internet on

Educational Emergency: The Catholic School in Debate Mons. Dominique Rey Éditions Salvator Paris, 2010 220 pp.

In a very uncertain context of socio-cultural evolution, the Catholic school is called upon to question itself regarding its identity and raison d’être. It should do this for the sake of its own self-consciousness and action. This is the aim that moves Mons. Dominique Rey to write this book. The author is the Bishop of the diocese Fréjus-Toulon in France, and the author of other works; Peut-on être chrétien et franc-mason? and Laïcs dans l’Eglise aujourd’hui, among others.

H 501

This book consists of 3 parts, comprising 17 chapters in little more than 200 pages. The first part, which is the most important, is an anthropological reflection that covers essential topics, from what relates to “learning to think, to reason” down to the relation between “imagination and the internet.” He also addresses topics such as “authority” and the knowledge involved in “inhabiting the body,” which concerns “education regarding love and affectivity.” The second and third parts deal more specifically with topics relating to the Catholic school and its pastoral task. There are some very suggestive sections: how to promote a “Pastoral of the Arts and Culture”; and “On the Need to Renovate the Christian Language.” The book concludes with a suggestive section entitled “Educational Emergency,” thus alluding to the words of Pope Benedict XVI when addressing the same problem. The main topic of the book relates to the real preoccupation of Catholic schools regarding the method for combining efficacy with the formation of people. In the case of this book, the focus is French Catholic schools. The author inquires, from different perspectives, on how to assume the threefold function of “teaching, educating, evangelising.” The Catholic school vindicates – and so it should – an original educational stance, from which it faces the development of school and university structures mainly centered on the acquisition of learning techniques, and of skills to reductively respond to the requirements of the working place. In this sense, the Catholic school distinguishes itself – and it should do it even more so – by offering an integral and integrating educational project. More specifically, the project should integrate scientific, technical, and artistic knowledge, on one hand; and Christian anthropology, its proposition of faith, and its view of culture, on the other. French bishops recognize a “dynamic tension” due to the fact that Catholic schools are both civil structures in the service of the nation, and Christian institutions. They cite the “Christian Teaching Statute,” which refers to an education in liberty by means of a project that “harmonically articulates faith, culture, and life.” The book includes some very motivating chapters. For example, there is one entitled, “Learning about Intimacy and Silence,” which clearly alludes to Pascal. There is another with a clear Aristotelian resonance: it puts forward the “doctrine of the mean.” In this same chapter there is a reference to Plato, who pictures education as a journey in a carriage that represents the body and its habits. Passion is represented by the horses that draw the carriage; intelligence, by the coachman; the meaning of life, by the direction in which the carriage travels. Deep down, the theme is harmony, balance, in a word, virtue, as essential to education. The conclusion of the book refers to the passion of educating as the raison d’être of the Church. Christianity is “in its essence educational” because it carries a gift. The author says the Church is “missionary by nature.” Yet its passion for education currently

H 502

faces the challenge of a socio-cultural context marked by a “crisis of transmission” within a “crisis of civilisation.” The idea of crisis appears repeatedly in the form of a “crisis of the transmission of life,” of “transmission of rationality,” of “transmission of culture,” of “transmission of knowledge.” In this context, the Catholic Church is asked to take on this reality with a courageux renouvellement, a renovated courage. This is a call for the Church to assume with greater strength its own mission, its rich tradition, originality, and proven efficacy. It is also a call to face the dominant educational projects with new fidelity; to show that those projects often dwell in the periphery of the real problem, and that they do not address what properly constitutes the “educational fact.” Today, education requires a clear anthropology, like the one advocated by the Catholic Church. This book contributes with an enlightening proposal, made with the rigor and synthesis characteristic of French culture. Aníbal Vial Echeverría Purchase via the internet on

Elizabeth of Russia: Religious, Martyr, and Saint Documents et témoignages sur la vie, la pensée, le martyre de la grande-duchesse Elisabeth Feodorovna de Russie, née princesse de HesseDarmstadt Anne KhoudokormoffKotschoubey and soeur Elizabeth (eds.) Editions Lessius Brussels, 2010 251 pp.

This book presents a brief biography of Elizabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt, her letters to Nicholas II, and a series of spiritual and historical documents regarding her best known apostolate: the Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy. Who is this German princess? The tragedy of the Russian imperial family, the recognition of their remains, and their canonization by the Moscow Patriarchate have overshadowed the figure of many witnesses of the faith in those territories during the first decades of the twentieth century. One of them is the German princess Elizabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt (1864-1918), sister of Tsarina Alexandra. Having been raised in

Lutheran orthodoxy, she embraced Russian orthodoxy because of her marriage with the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Romanov, brother of Tsar Alexander III. She always led a discrete and spiritual life. Her conversion was sincere and profound. The example of her husband, her attendance to religious services, and the reading of religious books resulted in her desire to incorporate fully into the Orthodox Church. On April 13, 1891 she was welcomed into Orthodoxy. A souvenir of that moment was a medallion with the holy Face, a gift from the Tsar himself, which she wore her entire life. Both she and her husband performed multiple works of charity during the famine of the years 1891-2. They took care of the education of the children of the Grand Duke Sergei, who had lost his wife. Moreover, the example and words of St. John of Cronstadt gave cause to visits to hospitals and donations of all kinds. Both spouses took part in the consecration of the Russian Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalene on the Mount of Olives, dedicated to the memory of Mary, the Tsarina. After the ceremony, she manifested her desire to be buried there. This was done once WWI was over and after much turmoil. During the Russian-Japanese war, she showed a vivid interest for those who became orphans or widows as a result of that conflict. This notwithstanding, the political upheaval of those years turned against her. Her husband, who was the Governor of Moscow at the time, was assassinated by a bomb on February 17, 1905. The Grand Duchess, exhibiting great courage and serenity, collected her husband’s remains and deposited them in the Chudov Monastery next to the tomb of St. Alexius. Later she visited the perpetrator, Ivan Kalyayev, a member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party’s Combat detachment. She gave him an icon and the Gospels. Widowhood transformed the Grand Duchess’ life. She retired from social life, gave away her possessions, and turned her room into a monastic cell. The reading of Luke 10, 38-42, moved her interiorly to found an institution without precedent in Russia: the Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy. This would not only be a work of charity, but a religious community united by faith and love for one’s neighbor. Her project was subjected to the Holy Synod, which after much incredulity approves it. Then building began for the place that would house such a noble idea, but the church would not be consecrated until 1912. The third part of the book is dedicated to the organisation, both material and spiritual, of this new religious charisma. Its statutes, activities, and spiritual foundations witnessed to the strength Divine Providence bestowed on them in so short a time. Its members are popularly called the new deaconesses. WWI turns Elizabeth and her fellows into nurses. But the Revolution will alter everything. She is accused of being a German spy. During Easter of 1918 she is arrested. She will finally be led into martyrdom by

being thrown into a mine along with others. They will die singing psalms and hymns. The Orthodox Church celebrates her feast Day on July 18. Bernardo Álvarez O.S.B. Purchase via the internet on

Cluny: 910-2010. Eleven Centuries of Splendor Cluny: 910-2010. Onze siècles de rayyonnement Edited under the direction of Neil Stratford Editions du Patrimoine Centre de Monuments Nationaux 487 pp.

Eleven centuries have passed since the foundation of this great abbey – Cluny – in French Burgundy. In this delicate and beautiful edition, forty specialists, under the direction of Neil Stratford, develop this renowned abbey’s history and influence on the whole of Europe. The thick volume, garnished with high-quality photographs, reproductions of drawings and documents that mark the history and expansion of Cluny on the old continent, is divided into five parts (each one with chapters written by different specialists): The History of Cluny; the Roman Period; Cluny outside France (the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, and England) during the Roman Period; the Gothic Period; and After the Middle Ages. The reform underwent by Cluny in the tenth and eleventh centuries is one of the landmarks of medieval history, given its theological and social repercussions upon the world of that time. However, Cluniac monasticism is quite a flexible movement, for it could mean either of two things: a direct belonging to the cloister

H 503

of Cluny Abbey and obedience to the corresponding abbot, or the mere following of the customs of the abbey without any legal bond or real contact with it. This meant that Cluny could not be designated an order until the twelfth century (in fact, until the foundation of the Cistercian order there were no orders in the late medieval sense). Finally, the movement based at Cluny has been called an Ecclesia Cluniacensis, a network of monasteries linked together in different, more or less institutionalized, ways with Cluny Abbey. The abbey was founded in 909 or 910 by the Duke of Aquitaine, William the Pious, with one fundamental characteristic: it was a cloister free from any external, lay or ecclesiastical, intervention, since it was directly under the authority and protection of the Papacy. This quality had the effect of making the relation between Reform and the Papacy fundamental to the history of Cluniac monasticism. The abbey is built as another Rome, and the abbot has absolute authority over the territories of Cluny, just like the Pope has over those of Rome. The exemptions bestowed upon Cluny are the factors that allowed it to consolidate its liberties when it was turning into an experimental territory for the Gregorian Reform, strongly influenced by monastic religiosity. Moreover, its independence gave it the opportunity to possess influence over the reforms underwent by other monasteries, which entered the network of the Ecclesia Cluniacensis. This went beyond the association of monasteries that was formed around the great abbots that rose to prominence due to their authority. Among the latter, three stand out because of their longevity. The first abbot of Cluny was Berno (c. 850 – 927), who was appointed because he was an eminent personality within the monastic world. In assuming the title of abbot, he held the same position in three institutions (his successors would inherit these responsibilities). His immediate successor, from 927 till 942, was Odo, a student of Remigius of Auxerre (one of the last great Carolingian savants) and the intellectual and ideological founder of Cluny. Odo was the author of hundreds of manuscripts. Furthermore, he continually defended Papal authority by exalting St. Peter, patron saint of the abbey. He was also insistent on centering the monastic life on the liturgy, one of the most prominent aspects of the Reform, which turned the monk into an orator. Odo’s successor was Aymer, abbot of Cluny between the years 942 and 964, although he delegated his duties to Maiolus in 948. The latter’s importance grew so large that, in the year 983, Otto II offered him the Papacy (he rejected the proposition); and Hugh Capet summoned him to take part in the reform of Saint Denis. The main achievements of his administration were the support for the community’s growth; the reconstruction of the abbey church in order to enlarge it; and the expansion of reform through central and southern France by welcoming previously existing monasteries. It also spread Cluny’s customs out into Italy. Maiolus was canonized by Gregory V on

H 504

May 11, 994, and was the last abbot to practice the multi-abbacy that started with Berno. Maiolus’ administration opened the path for his successors, Odilo and Hugh, to lead Cluny to its greatest development. Odilo would also be in charge of Cluny for a long period, from 994 till 1049. Cluny was an abbey that would come to control territories, population, and resources. The abbot was also the supreme distributor of justice. Cluny was sovereign, since there was no authority above it regarding its territories, except for the Papacy, which benefited from the geographical expansion of Cluny’s authority through the expansion of the latter’s customs. This unique characteristic led Odilo to reflect on the peculiarity of the institution, and thus to form a real Cluniac ideology, centered on the idea that Cluny was a privileged instrument for salvation. This idea has remained present in the writings of the abbey’s history, in documents that have been compiled, and in the hagiographies of the abbots. Alongside the preservation of the memory of its superiors, Cluny specialized in preserving the memory of the deceased. The institution of All Saints’ Day is a sign of this. Finally, Hugh of Semur led Cluny for 60 years, till 1109, and it was under his administration that Cluny III was built. This would be the largest Christian church until the construction of the new St. Peter’s, built in the Renaissance period. Hugh, of aristocratic origin and canonized in 1120, had the habit of keeping good relations simultaneously with both the Papacy and the Sacred Empire. This would bring him trouble when the Conflict of the Investitures took place. Although he extended his influence to England and northern France, difficulties emerged, which were in part due to a lack of acknowledgment of a new monasticism – marked by the appearance of the Cistercian order – within the traditional Benedictine movement. Nevertheless, Cluny grew thanks to the impact of Gregorian Reform. The reason is that an outcome of the Reform was that lay people, the churches, and religious institutions would rather associate with Cluny than subject themselves directly to the episcopate. The last great figure of Cluniac monasticism would be Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny until 1156. He had to face numerous situations that put the institution in danger. From the twelfth century onwards, Cluny would start to shrink, finally becoming an exclusively French phenomenon. Cluny disappeared at the time of the French Revolution, alongside one of its most emblematic buildings: the third abbey church of Cluny, which was completely demolished. Bernardita M. Cubillos Purchase via the internet on

History of the Order of Malta Histoire de l’ordre de Malte Bertrand Gallimard Libraire Académique Perrin France, 2010 448 pp.

This is a heroic story of 900 years of fidelity to our Lord, his Church, and those in need. It is an epopee that has managed to overcome the most diverse difficulties: the loss of the Holy Land, of Rhodes, and of Malta; the attacks by armies and pirates; and currently the strike of earthquakes, inundations, typhoons, pests, civil wars; always aiming at the strengthening of faith, and helping the poor and the sick. The story begins with its foundation in Jerusalem, in front of the Holy Sepulcher and of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, by Blessed Gérard, with the purpose of helping pilgrims and inhabitants of the place. A religious brotherhood was formed in order to attend them, which was recognized by Pope Paschal II by means of a bull in the year 1113. At the same time, a network of hospitals was founded in the East and in Europe to help “our lords, the poor,” which incorporated the best medical practices. The main hospital was the one in Jerusalem; it attended 2,000 people, and included a separate section for women and children, run by the religious sisters of St. John. There were also good hospitals in St. John of Acre, in Rhodes, and in Malta; the Maternity of the Holy Family, located in Bethlehem, still exists. In Europe there were many hospitals that were settled within commanderies, that is, little convents with a piece of land for agriculture (which made economical sustainability possible). After losing Rhodes (in spite of a strong defence), the Order settled in the isle of Malta, a crag located to the South of Italy. It developed agriculture and an incipient industry; it was concerned

with reorganising the cities and towns, endowing them with good churches, schools, “holy nurseries,” and defensive walls – constructed with very fine stone architecture. In 1565, the great assault by the Turks against the isle of Malta took place. The Turks brought 160 galleys and an army of 30,000 Janissaries, 10 times bigger than that of the Order. After extremely violent combat and the loss of many lives, the Turks were repelled. The following year started the construction of the new capital, Valletta, an example of urbanism. The location was a 60 meter-high long rocky peninsula. The unfortunate loss of the isle of Malta, due to Napoleon, gave the Order the opportunity to locate its headquarters in Rome, near the Holy Father, and also to expand all over the world in order to pursue its medical work, thus returning to its original mission. The Malteser International is widely recognized for the swiftness and efficacy of its action, carried out with exemplary Christian spirit, and open to everyone. It has operated in Biafra, Angola, Cambodia, Haiti, Peru, and Chile, among other countries. Today the Order has about 12,000 members, and 80,000 volunteers. It sustains 20 hospitals, 40 clinics, 50 dispensaries, and 44 residences for the elderly. Besides being medical and military, the Order is also sovereign. As such it has a right to territoriality in both of its headquarters, and it holds diplomatic relations with 100 nations, which is of great help to its medical work. It has observers in international organisations, and its diplomacy looks after Pax Christiana in the whole world. The patron saint of this religious family is the Virgin Mary, venerated as Our Lady of Philerme, represented in an ancient icon found in a rural chapel in the isle of Rhodes. It is believed that it could have been painted by Luke, and then brought to the isle from Jerusalem. The second patron saint of the Order is St. John the Baptist, the precursor of the Light, the one with no equal among those born of women. The crown of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem is its collection of saints and blessed, which today ascend to 21, being the most different people from the most diverse countries. The first one is Blessed Gérard, of whom it is said that he gave bread to the sick in the site of Jerusalem, and that, upon being discovered by his enemies, they were miraculously turned to stone. The latest is Blessed Charles of Austria, an example as a husband, family father, soldier, and chief of state. The Order’s initial aspiration is nobility of spirit; then the nobility of virtue; and finally, the nobility of holiness, which is its main purpose. Raúl Irarrázabal Covarrubias Purchase via the internet on

H 505

H 506

about the authors AnSELMo ÁLVAREz nAVARRETE o.S.B. Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Cross in the Valley of the Fallen.

RAFAEL ALVIRA. Professor of History of Philosophy at ICS University of Navarra.

CARDInAL GEoRGES CoTTIER o.P. Theologian emeritus of the Pontifical Household.

of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

CARDInAL KARL LEHMAnn. Bishop of Mainz, Germany. He is member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, of the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity, and for Social Communications; he is also member of the Special Council for Europe of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. RoDRIGo PoLAnCo. Theologian and professor of Theology at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. GIAnFRAnCo MoRRA. Italian Sociologist. Professor emeritus of Cultural Sociology at the Università di Bologna. STRATTFoRD CALDECoTT. Editor of the international journal Second Spring, co-director of Second Spring Oxford Ltd., co-editor of the UK and Ireland edition of Magnificat, and editor of the online book review journal of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington,

AnTonIo SPADARo, S.J. Editor of Civiltà Cattolica, and member

RÉGInE PERnoUD. French historian and medievalist. GIUSEPPE BRIoSCHI. Colaborator of the italian journal Studi Cattolici. FERnAnDo MARTínEz. Director of Music in Humanitas review. AUTHORS IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD: AnDREA ToRnIELLI. Journalist. GIAnnI AMBRoSIo. Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy, Vicepresident of the COMECE.

DC, at

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Jaime Antúnez. Director of Humanitas review. PhD in Philosophy. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Hernán Corral. PhD in Law. Former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Law, University of Los Andes. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Samuel Fernández. PhD in Theology. Former Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Director of the Padre Alberto Hurtado Study Center. Gabriel Guarda o.S.B. Abott Emeritus of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Trinity of Las Condes. National Prize for History, l984. Member of the History Academy of the Institute of Chile. René Millar. PhD in History. Former Dean of the Faculty of History, Geography and Political Sciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Full Professor of the History Institute. Member of the History Academy of the Institute of Chile. Ricardo Riesco. PhD in Geography. Rector of the University de San Sebastián. Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Francisco Rosende. Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Master of Arts in Economics, Chicago. Juan de Dios Vial Correa. Former Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Chile. Arturo Yrarrazával. PhD in Law. Former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

H 507

Council of Consultants and Collaborators Héctor Aguer: Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina. Anselmo Álvarez O.S.B: Abbot of Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos. Carl Anderson: Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Andrés Arteaga: Assistant Bishop of Santiago, professor at the Faculty for Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC). Francisca Alessandri: Professor, Faculty for Journalism, PUC. Antonio Amado: Professor of Metaphysics, University of Los Andes. Felipe Bacarreza: Bishop of Los Ángeles, Chile. Remi Brague: Ratzinger Prize 2012. «Romano Guardini» chair at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. Jean-Louis Bruguès O.P: Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Bishop Emeritus of Angers, France. Massimo Borghesi: Italian philosopher, senior professor of the University of Perugia, Italy. Rocco Buttiglione: Italian political philosopher. Carlos Francisco Cáceres: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra: Archbishop of Bolonia, Italy. Stratford Caldecott: Director of The Centre for Faith and Culture, Oxford. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares: Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Cult and the Discipline of Sacraments. Jorge Cauas Lama: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Guzmán Carriquiry: Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. William E. Carroll: Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, Blackfriars. Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. Alberto Caturelli: Argentine philosopher. Cesare Cavalleri: Director of Studi Cattolici, Milan, Italy. Fernando Chomalí: Archbishop of Concepción. Member of the Pontifical Academia Pro Vita, PUC. Francisco Claro: Dean of the Faculty for Education, PUC. Jesús Colina: Director of Aleteia. Ricardo Couyoumdjian: Professor History Institute, PUC. Member of the History Academy, Institute of Chile. Mario Correa Bascuñán: Secretary General PUC, professor at the Law Faculty, PUC. Francesco D’Agostino: Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University Tor Vergata of Rome, former President of the National Bioethic Committee of Italy. Adriano Dell’Asta: Professor, Catholic University, Milan, Italy. Vittorio di Girólamo: Professor, University Gabriela Mistral. Carmen Domínguez: Lawyer, Director of the PUC Centre for the Family. Carlos José Errázuriz: Consultant of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, professor at Pontifical Università della Santa Croce. Luis Fernando Figari: Founder of “Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana”, Lima, Peru. Alfredo García Quesada: Pontifical Consultant for the Cultural Council, professor of the Pontifical and Civil Faculty of Theology, Lima, Peru. Juan Ignacio González: Bishop of San Bernardo, Chile. Stanislaw Grygiel: Polish philosopher, tenured lecturer of the John Paul II Chair, Lateranense University, Rome. Raúl Hasbun: Priest of the Schöenstatt Congregation, professor at the Pontifical Senior Seminary of Santiago. Henri Hude: French philosopher, former Rector of the Stanislas College, Paris. Lydia Jiménez: Director of the Secular Institute Cruzadas de Santa María. Gonzalo Ibáñez Santa-María: Professor and former Rector of University Adolfo Ibáñez. José Miguel Ibáñez Langlois: Theologian and poet. Raúl Irarrázabal Covarrubias: Architect, President of the Chilean Association of the Order of Malta. Paul Johnson: British historian. Jean Laffitte: Bishop of Entrevaux. Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Nikolaus Lobkowicz: Director of the Eastern and Central European Studies Institute, University of Eichstätt, Germany.

Alfonso López Quintás: Spanish philosopher. Regular member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Alejandro Llano: Spanish philosopher, former Rector of the University of Navarra, Spain. Raúl Madrid: Professor, Law Faculty, PUC. Patricia Matte Larraín: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Mauro Matthei O.S.B: Benedictine monk and priest. Historian. Cardinal Jorge Medina: Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Javier Martínez Fernández: Archbishop of Granada, Spain. Carlos Ignacio Massini Correas: Professor at the National University of Cuyo, Argentina. Livio Melina: President of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family. Augusto Merino: Political Scientist, professor at University Adolfo Ibáñez. Dominic Milroy O.S.B: Monk at Ampleforth, former Rector of the Ampleforth College, York (G.B.). Antonio Moreno: Archbishop Emeritus of Concepción, Chile. Fernando Moreno: Philosopher, Director of the Political Science Program, University Gabriela Mistral. Rodrigo Moreno Jeria: Member of the Chilean Academy of History. Máximo Pacheco Gómez: Former Minister of State, Ambassador to the Holy See, member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. José Miguel Oriol: President of Editorial Encuentro, Madrid, Spain. Mario J. Paredes: Director of Catholic Ministries at American Bible Society. Francesco Petrillo O.M.D: General Superior of the Orden de la Madre de Dios. Bernardino Piñera: Archbishop Emeritus of La Serena, Chile. Aquilino Polaino-Lorente: Spanish psychiatrist. Cardinal Paul Poupard: President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Javier Prades: Dean of the Faculty for Theology at San Dámaso, Madrid, Spain. Member of the International Theological Commission. Dominique Rey: Bishop of Tréjus-Toulon, France. Héctor Riesle: Former Ambassador to the Holy See and the UNESCO. Florián Rodero L.C: Professor of Theology, Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome. Alejandro San Francisco: Professor at the Institute of History, PUC. Romano Scalfi: Director of the Christian Russia Center, Milan, Italy. Cardinal Angelo Scola: Archbishop of Milan. David L. Schindler: Director of the John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and the Family, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Josef Seifert: President of the Liechtenstein International Academy of Philosophy, Granada, Spain. Gisela Silva Encina: Writer. Robert Spaemann: German philosopher. Paulina Taboada: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. William Thayer Arteaga: Member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences, Institute of Chile. Olga Uliánova: Ph. D. in History, University of Lomonosov, Moscow. Researcher at the University of Santiago. Luis Vargas Saavedra: Professor, Faculty of Literature, PUC. Miguel Ángel Velasco: Director of Alfa y Omega, Madrid, Spain. Juan Velarde Fuertes: Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Príncipe de Asturias Prize in Social Sciences (1992). Aníbal Vial: Former Rector of University Santo Tomás. Pilar Vigil: Medical doctor, member of the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita. Richard Yeo O.S.B: Abbot and President of the Benedictine Congregation, England. Diego Yuuki S.J: Former Director of the Museum of the 26 Martyrs of Japan, Nagasaki.

H 219


LooK For tHe road toWards tHe Future, taKing WitH you tHe memory oF your roots Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Cardinal Joseph Frings-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger tHe second Vatican counciL and tHe modern WorLd Humanitas reVieW’s presentation in neW yorK city