(Ireland) Martin's previous
THE YEAR OF FAITH
Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter on the Year of Faith was issued on
One of the few comments the Pope makes about the Council is:
I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic,
it can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”
Unfortunately this brings to mind the Church basically forbidding Catholics from reading the Bible until Vatican II rescinded this ban. Now it appears we are not to read the documents of Vatican II unless we use tunnel vision with the tunnel being a “right hermeneutic”.
can pray, read the documents of Vatican II, read various Church approved
commentaries and use such information to inform their consciences; that is the
“right hermeneutic” to “interpret and
implement” the Council.
the CCC is favoured over the documents of Vatican II because the Roman Curia had
much more control over the content of the CCC; the “right
hermeneutic” was used in the preparation of
It appears there will be no officially approved celebrations of the Second Vatican Council unless the “right hermeneutic” is applied.
On The Year of Faith the letter makes some excellent points. The Pope gives a beautiful description of faith:
Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples.
However, here is another excerpt:
By faith, Mary tasted the fruits of Jesus’ resurrection, and treasuring every memory in her heart (cf. Lk , 51), she passed them on to the Twelve assembled with her in the Upper Room to receive the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts ; 2:1-4).
I find this slightly misleading and may appear to promote the idea that only the Apostles were present in the Upper Room at Pentecost to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this is derived when the “right hermeneutic” is applied to the Bible. However, Benedict in his Pentecost homily in 2008 agreed with the Acts of the Apostles that there were about 120 people in the Upper Room, including many women; it is no wonder we rarely hear this mentioned:
(cf. Acts 1:12-14). It is a description rich in detail: the place "where they were staying" the Cenacle — was an "Upper Room"; the 11 Apostles are listed by name and the first three are Peter, John and James, the "pillars" of the community; mentioned with them are "the women" and "Mary the Mother of Jesus, and "his brethren", already an integral part of this new family, no longer based on blood ties but on faith in Christ. The total number of people which was "about a hundred and twenty", a multiple of the "Twelve" of the
It was good to see the Pope point out once again that "A Christian may never think of belief as a private act.” Too many of us fail to share our faith, evangelise, because we think belief is purely personal.
Excerpts from the Apostolic Letter can be read here