Thursday, March 11, 2010

Benedict XVI: There will be novelties and renewal in all the periods of history

Here's some excerpts from a recent from a recent Zenit article. Indeed, I agree with Ratzinger, there will be periods of renewal. I can think of a particular period of church history in which the church was unshackled from grave errors, unfortunately, the Roman sect chose to anathematize the Gospel, and thus cut herself off from the church.

I found the word "novelties" quite interesting as well. Romanistas argue sola fide was a novelty. Here, Ratzinger explains that there will indeed be positive novelties in church history. Why is sola fide not such? Because Rome says so.

The Holy Father centered on Bonaventure's teaching regarding history, which arose in response to a misunderstanding spreading among the Franciscans of his time.

Bonaventure's assertion, which the Pope explained, was that the works of Christ do not go backward or fail, but progress.

The Church is not immobile, Benedict XVI said, fixed in the past such that novelties can not arise in her.

"St. Bonaventure formulates explicitly the idea of progress, and this is a novelty in comparison with the Fathers of the Church and a great part of his contemporaries," the Pope explained. "For St. Bonaventure, Christ is no longer, as he was for the Fathers of the Church, the end, but the center of history; history does not end with Christ, but a new period begins."

One consequence of this regards the understanding of the Fathers of the Church.

"Prevailing up to that moment was the idea that the Fathers of the Church were at the absolute summit of theology, all the following generations could only be their disciples," the Holy Father noted. "Even St. Bonaventure recognizes the Fathers as teachers for ever, but the phenomenon of St. Francis gave him the certainty that the richness of the word of Christ is inexhaustible and that also new lights can appear in the new generations.

"The uniqueness of Christ also guarantees novelties and renewal in all the periods of history."


See also, this link:

"For St. Bonaventure, Christ is no longer, as he was for the Fathers of the Church, the end, but the center of history; history does not end with Christ, but a new period begins. Another consequence is the following: prevailing up to that moment was the idea that the Fathers of the Church were at the absolute summit of theology, all the following generations could only be their disciples. Even St. Bonaventure recognizes the Fathers as teachers for ever, but the phenomenon of St. Francis gave him the certainty that the richness of the word of Christ is inexhaustible and that also new lights can appear in the new generations. The uniqueness of Christ also guarantees novelties and renewal in all the periods of history."

"At this point perhaps it is useful to say that also today there are views according to which the whole history of the Church in the second millennium is a permanent decline; some see the decline already immediately after the New Testament. In reality, "opera Christi non deficiunt, sed proficiunt," the works of Christ do not go backward, but progress. What would the Church be without the new spirituality of the Cistercians, of the Franciscans and Dominicans, of the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, and so on? This affirmation is also valid today: "Opera Christi non deficiunt, sed proficiunt," they go forward."

2 comments:

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

Perhaps you could help your friend, Mr. Tfan, understand what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger meant when he reportedly wrote:

"We are fairly certain today that, while the Fathers were not Roman Catholic as the thirteenth or nineteenth century would have understood the term, they were, nonetheless, "Catholic", and their Catholicism extended to the very canon of the New Testament itself".

But, here is another version of the same speech that should be of interest to heretical groups outside of the Church.

VATICAN CITY, 10 MAR 2010 (VIS) - During today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope turned his attention to the written works and doctrine of St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio.
St. Bonaventure "authentically and faithfully interpreted the figure of St. Francis of Assisi", said the Holy Father. He reacted against the "Spirituals" in the Franciscan Order who, drawing on the ideas of Joachim of Fiore, held that "with St. Francis the final phase of history had begun", and looked to the creation of a new Church of the Holy Spirit, "no longer tied to the structures of old".

St. Bonaventure dealt with this question in his last work, "Hexaemeron", in which he explained that "God is one throughout history. ... HISTORY IS ONE, EVEN IF IT IS A JOURNEY, A JOURNEY OF PROGRESSION. ... JESUS IS THE LAST WORD OF GOD" AND "THERE IS NO OTHER GOSPEL, NO OTHER CHURCH TO BE AWAITED. THUS THE ORDER OF ST. FRANCIS MUST ALSO INSERT ITSELF INTO THIS CHURCH, INTO HER FAITH AND HER HIERARCHICAL ORDER".

"This does not mean", Benedict XVI added, "that the Church is immobile, fixed in the past, that there is no room in her for novelty". With his famous expression "the works of Christ are not lacking but prospering", St. Bonaventure "explicitly formulated the idea of progress", certain "that the richness of the word of Christ is never ending and that it can also being new light to new generations. The uniqueness of Chris is also a guarantee of novelty and renewal in the future".

The Holy Father noted how "today too opinions exist according to which the entire history of the Church in the second millennium is one of constant decline. Some people see this decline as having begun immediately after the New Testament". Yet, the Pope asked, "what would the Church be without the new spirituality of the Cistercians, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross? ... St. Bonaventure teaches us ... how to open ourselves to the new charisms given by Christ, in the Holy Spirit, to His Church".

"Following Vatican Council II some people were convinced that all was new, that a new Church existed, that the pre-conciliar Church had come to an end and that there would be another, completely different Church, an anarchic utopia. Yet thanks to God the wise helmsmen of the ship of Christ, Paul VI and John Paul II, defended on the one hand the novelty of the Church and, at the same time, the uniqueness and continuity of the Church, which is always a Church of sinners, and always a place of grace".

Going on then to comment of some of the saint's mystical and theological writings, "which were the core of his governance" of the Franciscan Order, the Pope identified the most important work as "Itinerarium mentis in Deum" (The Journey of the Mind to God). In that book St. Bonaventure explained that knowledge of God is a six-stage journey, culminating "in the full union with the Trinity through Jesus Christ, in imitation of St. Francis of Assisi".