Saturday 7 January 2012

The Year of Faith

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith has published a Communique today with pastoral recommendations for the YEAR OF FAITH which is to begin on 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and will conclude on 24 November 2013, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King. The Holy Father's aim in promulgating this Year is to focus the attention of the Church on the theme which, since the beginning of his Pontificate, has been closest to his heart: the encounter with Jesus Christ and the beauty of having faith in Him.

Some things I noted about it - with my emphasis and comments.

The Committee for the Preparation of the Year of Faith is, by pontifical mandate, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and includes among its members: Cardinals William Levada, Francis Arinze, Angelo Bagnasco, Ivan Dias, Francis E. George, Zenon Grocholewski, Marc Ouellet, Mauro Piacenza, Jean-Pierre Ricard, Stanisław Ryłko and Christoph Schönborn; Archbishops Salvatore Fisichella and Luis F. Ladaria; and Bishops Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Raffaello Martinelli.
Interesting that the Committee running the Year is under this Congregation.

After the Council the Church – under the sure guidance of the Magisterium and in continuity with the whole Tradition – set about ensuring the reception and application of the teaching of the Council in all its richness.
Stress on being in continuity with the WHOLE Tradition.

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has worked decisively for a correct understanding of the Council, rejecting as erroneous the so-called "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" and promoting what he himself has termed "the 'hermeneutic of reform', of renewal in continuity".
Implying that there has been an INCORRECT understanding of the Council in some quarters.

The Year of Faith will be a propitious occasion to make Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church more widely and deeply known.
Implying that there has been something lacking in the depth and width of knowledge about the Council and the catechism.

On the level of Episcopal Conferences, attention will be given to the quality of catechesis, and efforts will be made to examine local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches … to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Presuming that some local catechisms and catechetical materials NEED re-examining and that some are NOT in conformity with with the catechism. Perhaps we can all think of one or two nominations!

At the diocesan level, the Year of Faith is considered, among other things... as a favourable time for «penitential celebrations … in which all can ask for God's forgiveness, especially for sins against faith».
Sins against THE FAITH! Not sins against one another, not sins against the world but sins against THE FAITH.
There is usually a lot packed into Vatican language - words are chosen carefully. This Communique doesn't sound like much until you read it carefully - and look at who is on the Committee.


Anonymous said...

An additional definite article appears to have crept in ; "faith" and "the faith" are subtly different notwithstanding the Roman Catholic Church's assertion of being the one true faith.

P said...

Let us see how many of the Catholic leadership follow The Holy Father's initiative.

My experience is that England is a law unto itself. The Good Shepherds of our Faith in England do not want to conform with Rome. The English bishops say one thing to Rome and do another thing back on terra firma.

Gobally, we speak of the One True Faith. The Bishops of England have not come to understand the meaning.

There has been 30 years of second rate Faith here. We have three generations to show for it.

The past is catching up. Can we put it back on the right track?

Its up to each and everyone of us to do this and follow Rome again.


Mick said...

I for one am looking forward to reading more on what is going to be proposed by way of concrete suggestions. I am a little concerned, however, that the Year of Faith may be ignored or played / watered down in some places. May I be proved wrong !