Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Legacy of Pope Benedict: Governing

Continuing our celebration of Pope Benedict's fifth anniversary as Supreme Pontiff, we conclude our three-part reflection with some thoughts on Pope Benedict's exercise of the munus regendi. The task of the Bishop of Rome is to "confirm the brethren" in the Faith, building up the unity of the Body of Christ through fraternal and paternal charity. In this regard, the quest for ecclesial unity is of primary importance. Pope Benedict has made ecumenism a top priority of his pontificate, reaching out to the Lefebvrists with Summorum Pontificum and reaching out to the Anglicans with Anglicanorum coetibus. In these immense gestures of fraternal generosity, the Holy Father has made it very easy for these separated brethren to receive the gift of Catholic unity. Pope Benedict has also distinguished himself in his efforts to clean up the "filth" in the Church (as he put it) with regards to the clerical sexual-abuse scandals in Europe. His Letter to the Church in Ireland is particularly poignant in this regard, as is his disciplinary action towards the Legionaries of Christ. Despite attempts to besmirch his name, Pope Benedict remains above reproach in the fight against this contemporary scourge. These and all the efforts of the Holy Father in his governance of the Church are animated primarily by his personal holiness and love for the Church. In this, he is also a Pope who leads more by example than by fiat. It will be important going forward for Catholics, attuned to his governance of the Church, to pay close attention to that example, especially as regards the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.


Anonymous said...

I think Summorum Pontificum was not just for the Lefebvrists but for the whole Church. There are religious orders who have always celebrated the ancient rite but were never ex-communicated from the Church (ex. ICRSS). These orders are now free to celebrate the ancient rite anywhere. Summorum Pontificum also extends to these orders who never left the Church. The whole point of Summorum Pontificum is to make the Ancient Rite available in every parish regardless if the Lefebvrists ever come back into full communion. It's all part of bringing back an organic continuity to the liturgy. One effect of Summorum Pontificum, among many, is the possible full communion of the Lefebvrists. The are a lot of issues, besides the liturgy, that have to be adressed between the Lefebvrists and the Holy Office.

Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

Thank you Iosephus!

Post a Comment

When commenting, please leave a name or pseudonym at the end of your comment so as to facilitate communication and responses.

Comments must be approved by the moderator before being published.