Benedict XVI on the Council

Benedict XVI on the Council November 25, 2014

He is his typical insightful self:

“There was the Council of the Fathers — the real Council — but there was also the Council of the media,” said Benedict in his valedictory to his priests. “It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers was conducted within the faith — it was a Council of faith seeking intellectus, seeking to understand itself and seeking to understand the signs of God at that time, seeking to respond to the challenge of God at that time and to find in the word of God a word for today and tomorrow … the Council of the journalists, naturally, was not conducted within the faith, but within the categories of today’s media, namely apart from faith, with a different hermeneutic. It was a political hermeneutic: for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world.”

“We know that this Council of the media was accessible to everyone. Therefore, this was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy,” Benedict continued, reminding those present that the great hopes of the Council met bitter disappointment in the immediate aftermath.

“The real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force.”

The difference between Benedict and the people freaking out about Francis and the synod is that Benedict thinks with and trusts that the Spirit is guiding the Church while the people freaking out think with the media and do not trust the Spirit is guiding the Church.  Both the media and the Francis-haters agree completely the narrative of the Council and the Synod is conservatives and liberals locked in mortal combat to destroy the pre-conciliar Church and establish a new Church.  The only thing they disagree about is whether that’s good or bad.

Meanwhile, the post-conciliar popes (and anybody else who believes in the indefectibility of the Church) insist that there is just one Church, not two.

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