Francis Against the Dictatorship of Relativism

Pope Francis has spoken again of his reason for taking the name of the Saint of Assisi: poverty and peace.  In his address to the diplomatic corps this morning, he drew a link between a certain kind of poverty and a lack of peace.  Taking up the sword of Benedict XVI, he railed against he dictatorship of relativism by which individuals make themselves the measure of all things and thus subordinate the good of others to their own whims:

But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism”, which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.

In this Pope Francis shows his particular bent of mind as a protector of the poor, but in so doing he shows himself the true successor of Pope Benedict.  The safeguarding of the dogmatic truth of the Church, the deposit of faith, must engage an orthopraxy that extends itself especially to the protection of the weakest and most in need.

This is precisely the kind of evangelization that is bound to propagate the faith in the world we live in today.

Pray for the ministry of Pope Francis.

The Spirit of Summorum Pontificum

In this essay I continue to register my thoughts on traditionalism and liturgy, specifically with a discussion of the expressed motives for Pope Benedict’s promulgation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.  After this post I plan to take up where I left off with my “Traditionalist Sleight of Hand” essay.

The current biformity of the Roman rite, established formally by the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, is a reality that has existed and has been spoken about as such by Joseph Ratzinger for many years.  He has said numerous times that the old form, that is, the Extraordinary Form, was never abrogated.  However, the Motu Proprio establishes by way of “universal law” this biformal liturgical discipline, presumably, attempting to stabilize, at least for now, this condition as the liturgical status quo:  two forms, one ordinary, the other extraordinary.  The motives for this have been variously interpreted, and it seems to me that something parallel but antithetical to what happened in regard to the interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council has happened in respect to the text of Summorum Pontifcum.   I hope to make this clear as well as suggest a sound alternative. Continue reading