Catholicism: July 2006 Archives

Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Zenit has a brief interview with French Cardinal Albert Vanhoye on the Sacred Heart and Humility. Cardinal Vanhoye is a Jesuit who was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in this year's conclave.

A snip:

Q: Benedict XVI's message to Father Kolvenbach, general director of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pius XII's encyclical Haurietis Acquas on the Sacred Heart, has re-launched this subject.

Cardinal Vanhoye: The Pope wished to underline the anniversary forcefully precisely with a message because the Society of Jesus was always active in promoting this fundamental devotion, above all thanks to the Apostleship of Prayer and to its proposal of spirituality not at all sentimental but which involves the whole of human existence.

Now in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI speaks several times of the pierced side and of the Heart of Jesus, true source of love. It is clear also in the Pope's words that the devotion to the Sacred Heart cannot stay only with the humanity of Jesus, precisely because the latter is expression of the love of God for the world that can be experienced and therefore witnessed only by looking at that pierced side.

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The Mind of Europe

Between 1994 and 2004, various European institutions have condemned the Holy See on 29 occasions for supposed violations of human rights, while Cuba has been condemned only 25 times and China just 15.
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What's wrong with this sentence?

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via CWN's Off theRecord.

Practices effective immediately include priests using only chalices and bowls made of precious metals for the distribution of holy communion. "Research has shown that metal chalices are less likely to contribute to the spread of diseases," church bird flu epidemic protocols state.

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The Salesians


This week, John Allen uses the occasion of a Salesian becoming the new Vatican Secretary of State to devote half of his column to taking a look at that order, one of the Church's largest and most prominent, especially in the poorest areas of the world.

Some snips:

It's hardly an accident that the job went to a Salesian. In an era in which many of the great orders of the church have been rocked by internal ideological divisions, the Salesians are seen as robustly reliable -- not theological innovators, but down-to-earth pastors and educators, and generally with a good sense of humor.

"We're not complicated people," Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, another Salesian in a high place, told NCR June 25. "Our spirit is family, especially with the young and the poor."

Side note: Cardinal Maradiaga was on many commentators' papabile lists last year and at age 64 is on the younger side of the College of Cardinals. I don't know how credible that is, but the fact that he's a Salesian gives that possibility an added appealing dimension.

Back to Allen:

The great orders have usually been born in response to some crisis -- the Franciscans, for example, to urbanization and the need to evangelize the cities; the Jesuits to the Reformation, and the need for a Catholic counter-offensive.

For the Salesians, it was the Industrial Revolution, especially the zones of despair, turmoil and revolution on the outskirts of the great industrial cities.

St. John Bosco (1815-1888), known affectionately as "Don Bosco," was shocked by the plight of the poor in Turin, especially the young -- the peddlers, shoe polishers, stable-boys, factory workers, vendors, and errand boys who formed the lowest cogs in the wheels of the new industrial machine.

Bosco became a tireless catechist among the young, hearing confessions, saying Masses, and organizing "oratories" where his boys could play, study and worship. He was also something of a labor organizer, negotiating contracts for young apprentices insisting that employers use them only in their acknowledged trade, that corporal punishment be abandoned, that proper wages be paid, rest periods be honored, and that decent sanitary conditions be maintained.

Thus the Salesian pastoral model was forged: solid, orthodox Catholic piety; an "in-the-trenches" commitment to the young, the poor, and to education; and a smiling closeness to the people, as opposed to the rather foreboding and aloof profile of the typical Italian monsignore. (In this sense, Bertone's penchant for hanging out with young people in Genoa's discos, and offering color commentary for soccer matches, is considered classic Salesian behavior).

"Don Bosco wanted us to be religious with our sleeves rolled up, not afraid of hard work," [Fr. James Heuser, superior of the Eastern province of the Salesians in the United States,] said, "whether it's in the confessional, in the classroom, or on the soccer field."

Later in the column, Allen visits the scene of yesterday's Vatican celebration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul and notes the presence of the Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas:

As Benedict XVI processed into the basilica, he made a special point of spotting Zizioulas and smiling at him. Later, the two men exchanged the Sign of Peace. At the end of the Mass, Benedict and Zizioulas went down the stairs under the main altar together and prayed before what are believed to be the bones of St. Peter. The two prelates stood shoulder-to-shoulder, with no distinction in "rank."

Zizioulas pioneered the concept of "communion ecclesiology," the idea that the church is constituted by the celebration of the Eucharist around the bishop, which has had great influence also in Roman Catholicism in the period after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). In his own theological work, Joseph Ratzinger has written that the "ecclesiology of communion" is a useful point of departure, though he's warned that it must not exalt the local church at the expense of the universal. For his part, Zizioulas has argued that Orthodoxy can accept the universal primacy of the pope, if it is "fundamentally qualified," meaning that it respects the autonomy of local churches and acts through a synodal structure.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Catholicism category from July 2006.

Catholicism: June 2006 is the previous archive.

Catholicism: November 2006 is the next archive.

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