Friday, October 11, 2013

High hopes, they’ve got high hopes

Ratzinger’s discussion of the [Vatican II] Council’s second session explores at some length the procedural problems faced by the Council fathers. These began to change with the election of Cardinal Montini as Pope Paul VI. Calling for a reform of the curia, the pope subsequently took a number of important steps. He revised the Council’s statutes to improve its workings; created a new governing body, which consisted of four moderators, who were generally more progressive cardinals; strengthened the conciliar commissions by expanding their membership, with new members ...

(Ratzinger, “Theological Highlights of Vatican II”, first published by Paulist Press, 1966, by special arrangement with Verlag J.P Bachem in Köln. English translation ©1966 by The Missionary Society of St Paul the Apostle in the State of New York; Introduction Copyright ©2009 by Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, pgs 6, from the Introduction)

I thought this statement was ironic in light of the Pope Francis appointment of eight cardinals whose job was to effect “a reform of the curia”. The first meeting of the “gang of eight” has come and gone with little news except that “A first fruit from the Oct. 1-3 meeting of the pope's new Council of Cardinals is already clear, with announcement of the theme for the next Synod of Bishops and plans for significant changes in the process designed to make it more participatory, substantive and efficient.”

That seems like real progress. Significant changes in the process of holding a Synod of Bishops in order to make it more participatory.

This is in light of Bergogilo’s intense desire to “do something”:

Vatican II, inspired by Pope Paul VI and John (XXIII), decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to be open to modern culture. The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.

Seems like the curia, at least, is ignoring him.

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes ...

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