Because of CL and BXVI

To follow up on my post about Mass with Cardinal Seán O’Malley at the Cathedral in Boston last Monday— The Cardinal ran a piece about the Mass in his blog post for February 26. In it, our archbishop confirmed something I had only heard—and converts are the last to hear, you know, but like elephants, we never forget! In his post, Cardinal O’Malley lays out a close connection between Pope Benedict and the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation (CL). It’s inspiring to know that when our School of Community is discussing Fr. Giussani on charity at our weekly School of Community, so is BXVI.

Here’s the Cardinal’s report:

On Monday, I celebrated Mass for Communion and Liberation at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It was a memorial Mass marking the anniversary of the death of their founder, Father Luigi Giussani. We celebrated it actually on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

Father Giussani was a high school religion teacher in Italy who began a youth movement that has grown into a very important reality in the life of the Church. CL now not only has lay people but priests in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo who are in the archdiocese now, as well as consecrated members — men and women who make vows, live in the community, and pursue their secular professions.

In fact, last Saturday I had a nice visit with a community of the Memores Domini — the consecrated members — who are living in the North End. They came to tell me they are expecting more members to come to be part of their community, so their presence will be permanent here in Boston. I was very pleased to hear that news.

They happen to be Italians, so it’s a great blessing to have them in the Italian neighborhood there where there are many other immigrants.

The Holy Father has a group of Memores Domini who run the papal household. Traditionally, that was a task that was performed by religious women, but Pope Benedict has invited women from Communion and Liberation to be the ones who run his household for him. And, he participates in their weekly meeting, which is called the “School of Community.”

So we had the Mass at the Cathedral, and afterwards there was a dinner. There were testimonies and singing.

  • El Bolillo Tejano

    Having a pope like Benedict XVI is such a blessing!!!

  • Anonymous

    well, not to our Protestant brothers and sisters. I have friends who were really offended when the current pope said they don't worship in churches. How do you respond to that?

  • Webster Bull

    @Anonymous, I might know better "how to respond" if you would share with us an accurate quotation from Pope Benedict. "Protestants don't worship in churches" is not something I can imagine him saying. From my experience, he is one of the most balanced and thoughtful people on the planet. Please share your quote and source.

  • Anonymous

    msnbc.com news servicesupdated 9:52 a.m. ET, Tues., July 10, 2007LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.Benedict approved a document from his old offices at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that restates church teaching on relations with other Christians. It was the second time in a week the pope has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the church.

  • Webster Bull

    @Anonymous, Thank you for passing along this news report. As you know, I am a convert and there are many things about Catholic history and culture I do not know. So in response to your point, I have consulted with someone whose opinion I hold in high regard, and this is what he said, with what authority you may be the judge:"The Second Vatican Council when referring to the Orthodox always refers to them as Churches. But, in referring to Protestant denominations, it refers to them as ecclesial communities. "A Church properly speaking is an ecclesial body that maintains apostolic succession. Properly speaking, this includes only the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. None of the Protestant communities have maintained apostolic succession (though some might argue the Anglican do so). In fact, some Protestant denominations would even deny the notion of apostolic succession." I see nothing to argue with here. Thanks for reading.

  • EPG

    To anonymous — (sigh) There sure are a lot of people running around getting offended, both in this blog and out in the rest of the world. It has, I fear, become the default response in our culture to any statement which challenges our preconceptions or our sensibilities.What the Pope said was more to the effect that Protestant denominations are not Churches (the capital letter is important) — meaning that they are not the full, true Church, bearing the fullness of the faith. He went on to specifically say that they were Christian communities, and that they were not totally out to lunch. But he was very clear that they were not the Church, or even branches of the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in the manner that the Eastern Orthodox Churches are. In other words, they're missing something.Now I'm not a Catholic. But what Benedict said was exactly what I would expect (and hope) that the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church _would_ say. If he didn't, he wouldn't have any business being Pope. I don't necessarily accept certain claims and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church (which is YIM not (yet) Catholic. But I do respect the fact that the Roman Catholic Church makes those claims, and that it thereby asserts that joining the Catholic Church is not merely a matter of taste (the way one might choose between the Methodists and the Congregationalists). Benedict asserted that the Roman Catholic Church is THE CHURCH. And whether he is right or wrong, it is an assertion with more integrity than the vague pablum offered by, for example, the Presiding Bishop of the Espicopal Church in the United States.Benedict has exhibited a great deal of charity and kindness to other Christian denominations (as well as non-Christian traditions). But he does not prevent that from consistently proclaiming what he sees as the Truth. Anyone who doubts that should read his book "Truth and Tolerance" (written before he became Bishop of Rome). He is an admirable man, and you Catholics are lucky to have him.(Cue the Jack Nicholson moment: "Truth? You can't handle the Truth!").

  • cathyf

    In fact, the notion that Catholics and Protestants are both members of the same church — The Church — is pretty mainstream Protestant theology, too. Of course each side thinks the others are doing it wrong (hence "defective") but we all pretty much agree that we are in one church, while Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are not in The Church. And Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. also believe that they are not Christians and not in The Church.It really shouldn't come as any surprise that the people on the other side of the dispute of the Great Schism or the Reformation think that they are right and you are wrong, and that you think that you are right and they are wrong. That's pretty much the definition of "dispute" after all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Anon 6:44,MSNBC, of course, can't encapsulate over 2000 years of Church history in a soundbite or press release. You may find this, from the primary source, complete with Biblical references, of interest.The Gift of Authority.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Anon 6:44,Again, sticking to primary sources, complete with Biblical references and written by Pope B16 when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. here is a quote from the conclusion: The intention of the present Declaration, in reiterating and clarifying certain truths of the faith, has been to follow the example of the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the faithful of Corinth: “I handed on to you as of first importance what I myself received” (1 Cor 15:3). Faced with certain problematic and even erroneous propositions, theological reflection is called to reconfirm the Church's faith and to give reasons for her hope in a way that is convincing and effective. In treating the question of the true religion, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: “We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all people. Thus, he said to the Apostles: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you' (Mt 28: 19-20). Especially in those things that concern God and his Church, all persons are required to seek the truth, and when they come to know it, to embrace it and hold fast to it”.Here is the full document entitled Dominus Iesus.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Oop, this got cut-off. Sorry ;^)The revelation of Christ will continue to be “the true lodestar” 100 in history for all humanity: “The truth, which is Christ, imposes itself as an all-embracing authority”. 101 The Christian mystery, in fact, overcomes all barriers of time and space, and accomplishes the unity of the human family: “From their different locations and traditions all are called in Christ to share in the unity of the family of God's children… Jesus destroys the walls of division and creates unity in a new and unsurpassed way through our sharing in his mystery. This unity is so deep that the Church can say with Saint Paul: ‘You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are saints and members of the household of God' (Eph 2:19)”.

  • Allison Salerno

    Part of the issue with our current Pope is, as our moms used to say "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." He does not have the communication skills JP2 had. He does not come across as someone reaching out to the world, to embrace all cultures etc. Most people, including most Protestants, are not going to take the time to read all thense documents. They're going to get a summary of what he said from the mainstream media. They are going to get a general sense of the man from how he projects himself in the world.Most of my non-Catholic friends see our curent pontiff as a reactionary traditionalist who has managed to anger Jews, Protestants and Muslims in a short time span.

  • Webster Bull

    @Allison, Which is a pity, because he's actually a simple, humble, loving man whose words are very carefully chosen, especially his writings. It just goes to show how superficial most people's judgments are. That can't be helped.

  • Allison Salerno

    @Webster. I agree. A dear friend who is Catholic lives in Germany and told me one of the raps on the man, one of the reasons folks in Germany found him to be reactionary was his insistence children do First Penance before First Communion. Folks were saying that would traumatize children. In contrast, I found it a great exercise to have our boys start to reflect on their behavior, how it affected God, their friends etc. If that makes me a traditionalist, oh well.JP2 was an almost impossible act to follow. The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and that just as JP2 had a role to play, so does B16. He has different gifts than JP2 and being telegenic and a good mass communicator ain't among them.In the fullness of time, we will all see what why he was chosen for this particular moment in history and how he advanced the Church.


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