The Exhortation is out. My first observations.

I am still in the process of absorbing the document but I can make some observations.

First and foremost, if you were expecting Pope Benedict to "hammer" someone or let his inner Vader out, you were as naive as you are unfamiliar with Pope Benedict. 

Second, this document has a purpose, that is, the respond to and re-propose things which the 2005 Synod of Bishops offered to the Pope for whatever use he might decide to make of them.  Benedict was not obliged to write anything at all, much less anything innovative.

Third, while the Pope did not make sweeping changes, or legislate anything, or blacken any eyes, he did in fact offer some theological point which when considered in themselves are innovative.  I will get to those below.

Fourth, Pope Benedict has been reflecting on liturgy for a long time and he has said on more than one occasion that a) he wants a "new liturgical movement" to breath life into the Church’s worship and life, but he knows that this must be done through a hermeneutic of continuity, which phrase he uses in the Exhortation (hereafter SacCar).

Here are some comments, not necessarily in order of importance, but interesting to me.

The document is huge, covering a vast number of topics.  This reflects the work of the 2005 Synod, which discussed a wide range of topics and made offered many propositions to the Holy Father for his consideration.  The Pope glosses the Synod’s propositions in his own way and uses them, along with some of his own reflections, as starting points.  This is the value of the document. 

Since the Eucharistic is the "source and summit" of the Church’s life (and this was precisely the theme of that 2005 Synod of Bishops), there is not a single aspect of the Church’s life which the Eucharist does not impact.  This one reason why the document seems to cover so much ground.   Also, each Congregation was able to stick their nose in with suggestions as well.  Without providing specific legislation, Benedict expresses his desires concerning different matters. 

If those desires are taken at face value and read in a spirit of filial obedience, rather than the spirit of a bratty tantrum, what the Pope says is good.

The Pope explicitly links SacCar to his encyclical Deus caritas estSacCar is in three main parts.  The three parts reflect the Pope’s presentation of a paradigm.  This is the main structure of the document and it reveals where he mind is going.  There is a relationship (par. 5) between "the eucharistic mystery, the liturgical action, and the new spiritual worship which derives from the Eucharist as the sacrament of charity." 

My own observation is that years ago Joseph Ratzinger wrote in a book reprising the title of Romano Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy that he desires to respark a new liturgical movement.  Let’s call if a "reform of the reform" to use a common phrase.

There is an innovation in SacCar from the point of view of the direction of Benedict’s structure, which aims at "the new spiritual worship".  Keep in mind that Joseph Ratzinger openly desired to spark a new liturgical movement.  This hinge in the Exhortation seems to be a part of this program.  For Benedict the "new liturgical worship" is the "liturgical action" itself.  On the surface that might seem circular, but there is more going on here than meets first impressions.  Benedict is forcefully underscoring the importance of the liturgical action itself.  The action is the rite.  Thus the celebration of the Eucharist conforms Christian life.  It conforms the Christian through participation in a mystery which is to be lived.  So, there is a direct connection between the way the rite, the actio, is celebrated and living like a Christian. 

This logically leads to the necessary of a reform of the way the Church is celebrating the actio.  The idea is this: celebrate the liturgy well (I would add especially Holy Mass, the Eucharist) and it forms us to live better.  The impact of good liturgical celebration on Christian living requires, therefore, great vigilance and fidelity.  Thus, there is both a qualitative dimension to the effect of good liturgical celebration (actio) and even the quantitative dimension!  This is a wonderful thing to pick up from the Pope’s document.  It is something I have written about not a few times here and in print.  Remember the Save The Liturgy, Save The World argument?  This is precisely what the Pope is driving at!

Thus the ars celebrandi or "art of celebrating" has a direct influence on "active participation" in the actio.  Benedict argues for a direct dependence of actuosa participatio on the ars celebrandi.  This is not so new, if you think about it with common sense.  The Pope says that to go into the depths of the ars celebrandi (and thus create the proper impact on the Church through active "personal" participation, there must be close fidelity to the rite itself which is the the actio and which makes the actio happen.  The ars celebrandi flows from obedience to all liturgical norms!  (par 38)

The document then applies this principle to over dozens of questions.  Pay attention to this: The document appears to be a laundry list of topics.  However, when the Pope looks at all the elements, he is looking at them through the lens the "hermeneutic" I laid out above.  If you don’t get what his theological starting points are, the document just seems like spaghetti thrown against the wall.  (As a matter of fact, that was pretty much the reaction of the journalists in the press office.)

Moving along…

The heart of the text concerns the liturgical action itself.  This is the second large section of the text.  The third section gets into the living which is shaped by the ars celebrandi during the liturgical action.  Here is an interesting quote which illustrates what I wrote above:

71. … Christians, in all their actions, are called to offer true worship to God.  Here the intrinsically eucharistic nature of Christian life begins to take shape.  The Eucharist, since it embraces the concrete, everyday existence of the believer, makes possible, day by day, the progrressive transfiguration of all those called by grace to reflect the image of the Son of God (cf. Rom 8:29 ff.).  There is nothing authentically human – our thought and affections, our words and deeds – that does not find in the sacrament of the Eucharist the form it needs to be lived to the full.  … [T]the worship of God in our lives cannot be relegated to something private and individual, but tends by its nature to permeate every aspect of our existence.  Worship pleasing to God thus becomes a new way of living our whole life, each particular moment of which is lifted up, since it is lived as part of a relationship with Christ and as an offering to God.  The glory of God is the living man (cf. 1 Cor 10:31).  And the life of man is the vision of God.

This will have implications not only for the celebration of the Eucharist at Holy Mass, but also for Eucharistic Adoration.

Okay… how to get at all this.  Let’s do so by means of a little repetition of the point.

The Pope wants a deep liturgical reform and renewal of the way liturgy is celebrated.  While this is my interpretation, I think it is not beyond the pale to say that Benedict XVI means a "reform of the reform".  Thus, he focuses strongly on the ars celebrandi, in what I mention above has what might superficially be seen as a laundry list of topics.   For example, the ars celebrandi and its purpose has an impact on the ministers, that is the priest and those immediately (and properly) associated with him.  What they do influences "actuosa participatio" of all present.  

Benedict reminds us that "active participation" is far deeper a concept than mere exterior action. 

52.  … "We must not overlook the fact that so me misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning of [active] participation.  It should be made clear that the word "participation" does not refer to mere external activity during the celebration…  … it must be understood in more substantial terms."

 In footnote 150:

"Taking into account ancient and venerable customs and the wishes expressed by Synod Fathers, I have asked the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place, such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar.  To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord’s inisistance that we be reconciled with others before offering our gifts to God (cf. Mt 5:23 ff.); cf. Propositio 23.

To strength one’s "personal and conscious" participation, there is great need of not only a sound ars celebrandi but a strong mystagogical catechesis which must respect three elements (par. 64).  Mystagogical catechesis must a) interpret the rites in light of the events of our salvation b) present the meaning of the signs in the rites and c) must bring out the significance of the rites for Christian life. 

Okay… so I don’t get too long, I will move on to what some of you will want to focus on more than anything else.  Some concrete things.

Holy Father expresses himself about the abuse of general absolution.  This is always a problem at this time of year and also before Christmas.  In par. 21 the Pope asks pastors to be "vigilant" regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to limit the practice of general absolution exclusively to the cases permitted, since individual absolution is the only form intended for ordinary use."  The Pope also urges that there be a Penitentiary in each diocese.

Connected to the issue of the Sacrament of Penance, he speaks (21) warmly about indulgences.

In paragraph 23 Benedict writes about priests and how they say Mass. 

"Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity."  Thus the priest must use "obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality." 

While we might immediately think that ad orientem celebrations would aid this, the Holy Father makes no mention of this.

The sign of peace is of symbolic importance (par. 49).  The fathers of the Synod discussed:

…the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion.  It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as for example, when it is restricted to one’s immediate neighbours. 

During the press conference The journalist Marco Politi beat me to the topic of the derestriction of the older Missal in light of liturgy and communion.  (cf. par. 15).  Politi was interested to know how you can have a different rites in light of the desire to create unity.   The presenter Angelo Card. Scola responded that were liturgy to become a point of division would be a contraditio in terminis.   He thinks that Latin and Gregorian chant can already help  He made reference to the experience of his Patriarcate of Venice, where the indult was applied already by his predecessor and which has eliminated conflict, in his opinion.  Scola said that only about 30 people or so attend the older Mass. Card. Scola also said we cannot diminish either the importance of the rite of Paul VI or the rite of Pius V.   The were never a time in the past when changes of rites resulted in a total abolition of the preceding.  Concerning what he might know about a forthcoming derestriction of the older Mass, he was not forthcoming with anything new.  

When asked by my friend Greg Burke of Fox News about U.S. politicians who receive communion though they are publicly out of step with the Church in some important issues, Card. Scola replied that a politician doesn’t fulfill his duty if they do not clearly things which are nonnegotiable.  Scola would not directly indicate if bishops must deny Communion to  politicians who are out of step with the Church on non-negotiable issues.  But that is what was implied.

The Holy Father spoke about having more Latin, and that the language of celebration should be Latin (except for readings) especially in international celebrations.  He said that proper song of the Church is Gregorian Chant and that seminarians should be prepared in Latin and chant.  He said that the tabernacle should be on the main altar if there is one, or close to the altar there is but, no matter where, it should be made visible and obvious.  There should be no confusion of liturgical ministries so that the hierarchical distinctions are blurred. 

Etc. 

You see… these things flow from the theological starting point, not the other way around.  If you get this mixed up, you will merely shrug and say there is nothing new here.

I will perhaps write more later, but you can chew on this for now.  And remember:

 

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41 Responses to The Exhortation is out. My first observations.

  1. Fr. Bartoloma says:

    Thank you for your insights, Father.

  2. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I can’t find it now, but doesn’t the Holy Father say somewhere that he is going to issue a modest little book as a worship aid to supplement the AE? If so, he may feel more free to make specific recommendations in such a work. I am still very concerned about the suggestion that there could be explanatory comments prior to the readings at Mass. That is a loophole that the left can drive a truck through.

  3. TJM says:

    Dear Father Z: Likewise, thanks for your insights.
    Unless Cardinal Mahony is a spinmeister extraordinaire,
    I can’t imagine he will be happy with this document.
    It will be very telling what his response is. Tom

  4. Diane says:

    TJM: Not to worry. Cardinal Mahony will not only acknowledge the exhortation, but he will likely boast about how his diocese is already living the Sacramentum Caritatis dream.

    Sigh

  5. Diane says:

    Father Z (or anyone else reading who can explain)….

    Can you please distinguish (for dummies, and the rest of us), the difference between an exhortation and an encyclical, and perhaps other documents. What is their respective scale of influence or power?

  6. RBrown says:

    Apostolic Constitution is the highest. Apostolic Exhortations encourage people to take some practical action.

  7. Fr Paul says:

    Diane:This is my notes from the canon law class dealing with papal docuemnts (sorry its quite long):
    · Adhortatio Apostolica (EXHORTATION): exhortations of a doctrinal, disciplinary, or pastoral character.
    · Breve (sub annulo piscatoris) and Bulla: nowadays a rare form.
    · Chirographum: acts with which a juridical institute are erected.
    · Constitutio Apostolica: on doctrinal or disciplinary matters for all of the Church or for particular groups.
    · Conventio: a pact between the Holy See and civil governments.
    · Declaratio Communis: of the Roman Pontiff and a certain personality.
    · Epistula Apostolica: expressing the thought of the Roman Pontiff on the occasion of a feast or event.
    · Epistula Encyclica: sent to pastors to seek for prayers.
    · Littera Apostolica: regarding administrative affairs, in general conceding the title of basilica or a patron, to proclaim a Doctor of the Church, etc.
    · Litterae Apostolicae Sub Plumbo Datae: acts of a solemn character for the whole Church.
    · Litterae Apostolicae Motu Proprio Datae: acts regarding disciplinary questions on the initiative of the Roman Pontiff.
    · Littera Decretalis: regarding the honour of the Saints.
    · Littera Encyclica: sent to the whole Church on doctrinal questions of greater importance than that contained in an Epistula Apostolica. Today this is perhaps the most common form of papal document.
    · Nuntius Scripto Datus: addressed to persons or to the whole faithful, on a special occasion, of a doctrinal or exhortatory character.
    · Nuntius Gratulatorius: addressed on the occasion of an anniversary.
    · Nuntius Telegraphicus: addressed for a special circumstance.

  8. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    I have read the document through at a rapid clip; as Father correctly notes, there is a huge mass of material here to absorb.

    My main “concern”, if that’s the appropriate word, is that on certain points (Latin, chant), there truly is “nothing new” here.

    Blessed John XXIII spoke about Latin far more emphatically in 1962 (we know how intensely his words were followed).

    Latin, in fact, is spoken of in this document largely in the context of great papal Masses.

    I wasn’t expecting anything more out of this document than what appears to be in it; I will make a prediction, though. The average Catholic in, say, America hasn’t been exposed to much Latin or chant for the last 35-odd years. I don’t see that situation changing much over the next 35.

  9. Augustine says:

    Brilliant analysis!

    Many are disappointed, but I think this is only a starting point.

  10. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I wasn’t really expecting a wholesale housecleaning of liberal abuses. However, I was expecting some hints that certain traditonal practices are “laudable.” For example, where the Holy Father mentions that the priest should not make his personality central to the Mass, he could have added “traditionally this problem was obviated by the practice of celebrating ad orientem, a practice that is by no means proscribed in the present Rite.” When speaking of reverence for the Eucharist, he could likewise have said that while, for reasons of practicality,communion in the hand while standing is permitted, that is not to say that piety might not be improved by receiving on the tongue, while kneeling, where practicable.

  11. Garrett says:

    Sadly, I think that anything short of actual enforcement and regulation, not just suggestions, will fall on deaf ears. It’s simply too easy to ignore.

    Do you think our Holy Father truly doesn’t grasp that concept? He must! Right? Maybe he just doesn’t care?

    Regardless, if it took a year and a half to get to this “starting point,” then I’m worried. Benedict isn’t 65; he’s 80. I don’t have faith he’ll be alive in five years, much less ten. There is WORK to be done and NOT much time to do it in.

  12. Dan Hunter says:

    Does anyone know how this exhortation will be taken to heart by pastors who hate Tradition,tradition and being told what to do, by anyone?There are myriad pastors
    like this.
    God bless you.

  13. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I still say let’s wait and see what’s in this book that they are working on as a worship aid. I was, however, most disheartened by the suggestion that there could be a short introduction to the readings at Mass (read “lay sermon”) and the composition of new texts for the dismissal. If there is one thing we do not need, it is more new texts, especially those that emphasize “mission.”

  14. I think that the Pope blew THE opportunity to initiate a reform.He could have simple praised the old liturgical movement and then called for a new one.When he was cardinal and wrote and spoke incisively of the liturgy people would say ‘thats his opinion,what does the Pope say’.Now we have Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Ranjith saying powerful things (obviously with the knowledge of Benedict)but when youquote them people will say’thats their opinion,what does the Pope say’.The mountains roared and brought forth a mouse.

  15. Al says:

    Thank you FrZ. I don’t know what others expected, but I can appreciate this exhortation and nothing written has or will take away from the experience I receive in the Eucharist. I place my hope and trust in the Lord that his spirit will CONTINUE to guide OUR church. After all, the gates of hell will NEVER prevail against it..

  16. gravitas says:

    Fr. McAfee, you hit it right on the head. A golden opportunity was missed here and this will be forgotten about
    within days. I’m not saying it won’t spark something in the future, but in and of itself, these are small things
    followed with promises to study them. For example, why are we just going to study where to have the sign of
    peace, and not study ELIMINATING the sign of peace? I cannot see how anyone can spin this in a good light
    for tradition. At this point, give me the motu proprio, allow traditionalists to have their own churches and
    not have to mix and mingle, and see what rite survives. But if we keep waiting for what we all know is right
    to happen, we’ll all be long gone. All i want is my Faith — and i keep getting breadcrumbs.

  17. Pes says:

    fr. mcafee,

    He could have simple praised the old liturgical movement and then called for a new one.

    With the current NPM/OCP/GIA infrastructure in place? They would have been delighted to oblige [sic], steamrolling rivals into oblivion. It has happened before. I think Fr. Z is right. This document helps re-orient the ground of discussion. If this document is used to exhort pastors and bishops, its stature could increase and become the deep intake of breath — just before the roar we all wish for.

  18. David says:

    I think when it comes down to it most of us in the laity (in this Age of the Laityâ„¢!) feel helpless when it comes to the liturgy as it is not something that is done by us, it is something that is done to us. This kind of helplessness in face of so much that contradicts the teachings and wise traditions of the Church breeds anger and resentment.

    I think we need to be able to channel our frustration in positive directions: make the effort to sing Gregorian chant, congratulate priests who offer the Mass reverently, make your opinions known to your Bishop, etc.

    What is the alternative? Work ourselves into a fever every time a forthcoming document is announced and then subside into despair when it is obvious it won’t stop the priest in our local parish from trying to turn the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a (Baptist) Sunday school picnic? Wait hungrily for every crumb that falls from a Bishop’s table and then complain that it doesn’t fill us?

    We lay people really need to stop expecting that everything that we starving for will come from the hand of the Holy Father. We need to be active on the grassroots level to meet him halfway.

    This is the only way that we can step off this particular emotional rollcoaster…

  19. “You see… these things flow from the theological starting point, not the other way around. If you get this mixed up, you will merely shrug and say there is nothing new here.”

    I understand that these prescriptions flow from the theological starting point of the document. But I’m still shrugging. There will be no significant changes on the ground – not where I live, anyway. At best, the AE indicates that the Pope wants the pace of liturgical experimentation to slow down a bit. I guess that’s better than nothing.

  20. Jordan Potter says:

    I found it especially interesting that the Pope is now looking at moving the Rite of Peace to a more appropriate part of the Mass. Again, that is something he wrote about in The Spirit of the Liturgy. It looks like Pope Benedict XVI is methodically enacting his idea of what “the reform of the reform” should be.

    Good things are coming, everyone. Good things!

  21. Leguleius Magnus says:

    I suppose one can hope that this bodes well for the motu proprio. He has not messed with the new Mass that the left likes, so maybe he will feel free to give the right what they want.

  22. Sean says:

    Well my grassroots reaction is at all future new masses to either follow the old mass responses/postures ome what may or laugh loudly every time nonsense such as a highly-emoted ‘The Lord be with YOUUUUU’ is foisted on the mass.

  23. “I suppose one can hope that this bodes well for the motu proprio. He has not messed with the new Mass that the left likes, so maybe he will feel free to give the right what they want.”

    That’s precisely what is so deplorable about this situation: politics. I’ll take the TLM any way I can get it, but how tragic that the restoration of the liturgy must hinge on a grudging political concession to “traditionalists” as a special interest group! I can’t stand thinking of the Church in these terms.

  24. Sean says:

    Many of us have been waiting many years for effective change in the Church and an end to abundant abuses. Fr. Z asks us to understand the theological beauty of this document. Fine. Will the priests and laity who currently ignore the exhortations and other documents coming from Rome interpret it in this light. Unlikely. So as we have for many years we will go on praying , doing penance, making sacrifices, driving distances to a reverent liturgy, Tridentine or Novus Ordo. Why, because God asks us to and we can only ask to do the Will of God. So let us not be happy or sad but merely thank God for the opportunity to obey His Will.

  25. Brian says:

    Leguleius: Probaly the language of left and right is best eschewed, but I am sure you menat it innocently enought

    But more generally, I think there are two basic readings of the document, one in terms of theoriea and the other in terms of praxis. In terms of theoria: brilliant and wonderful. In terms of praxis: whatever. So, one might easily read the document and say: Great, now I have a better understanding of what they are NOT doing at my parish. From there is would be easy to slide inso cyncisim and despair.
    However, if one was looking for direct practical effects from the AE, they were looking in the wrong place. I think it is impossible for anything a pope write s to have practical effects unlesss the local Bishop affirms and enforces it. The place to look for change in practice is less in documents from the Vatican than it is in episcopal appointments.

  26. Sean says:

    The last comment by Sean is from a different one than the previous one. I do like his idea though.

  27. Leguleius Magnus says:

    Jeff, Unfortunately the Church is very political, but that’s what you get with a bunch of human beings, I suppose. Interestingly, Shawn Tribe over at The New Litugical Movement also thinks this is a move to calm the liberals before B16 drops the motu proprio bombshell.

  28. Sean: I am suggesting that people read and assess the document for what it is, not what it isn’t.

  29. Leguleius Magnus says:

    Brian, I am just using shorthand. Actually, the problem is not so much liberalism at this point as simple inertia.

  30. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Brian’s 6:46pm post nails it.

  31. PMcGrath says:

    We’re all going to have to read this again but — yes, Father Z, I’m deeply disappointed.

    We NEEDED that “inner Vader” to come out!

    All it seems to be is pretty words that will become Mahony’s birdcage liner.

    You know and I know and everyone knows that, on this side of the ocean, it will be ignored.

    Where was the Schedule of Music Perpetually Suppressed for Liturgical Use?

    Theories mean nothing at this point. The heremenutic of continuity already is a perfectly useful theoretical base. What was desperately needed was a marketplace whipping, and it didn’t happen.

  32. (angry) Sean says:

    Father, if legislation and enforcement is to follow upon the heels of this document then I take it all back. To be quite honest I wish I were back in my comfortable Spirit of Vatican 2 reverie rather than caring about these things.

  33. Sid Cundiff says:

    You have given, Father, the most optimistic take on today’s news out of Rome. I’d say the same, were I in your shoes. In your shoes I am not, so, sorry, my take is less peachy. Benedict is all talk. And his talk, like the safety instructions before takeoff, we’ve all heard before. What will Benedict actually _do_ about bad translations, bad bishops, bad celebrants showboating, music so bad that a ice skating rink would find it tasteless, innumerable liturgical abuses, taking the Jesuits to the woodshed, bringing back the Mass of Gregory the Great, &c. &c.? In a word, _nothing_.

    So let me count those options available to me here in North Carolina, out in the Catholic Boonedocks (no Opus Dei, no FSSP, no Anglican Use):

    1. go to the Pius X Society church, 90 miles away in Charlotte. The price at the pump and my fidelity to the Vatican Council (the First, thank you) obstruct this.

    2. attend the local Greek Orthodox Church. The same fidelity and the fact that Turks aren’t on my hate list prohibit this.

    3. attend a Whiskey-Palian service (if you’d pardon some Baptist lingo). The same fidelity and the fact that the Irish aren’t on my hate list prevent this. And finding the use the 1549 Prayer Book is even more hopeless than finding the Mass of Gregory the Great. There’s a better chance of finding any Burma Shave signs left on the highways.

    4. cheer on the inevitable take-over of folk named Mohammed and Fatìma. However much Islam increasingly looks like the Scourge of God against our Brave New World, _caritas_ forbids this.

    5. move to Italy. No money. So I’m left …

    5. …with the Kafka of _Die kaiserliche Botschaft_: to sit at my window, as the shadows lengthen, and wait for the night to fall.

    – Sid Cundiff

  34. Sean says:

    Fr. Z,
    However beautiful this document is, when the rubber meets the road it is important to understand this key phrase.

    The location of the tabernacle

    69. In considering the importance of eucharistic reservation and adoration, and reverence for the sacrament of Christ’s sacrifice, the Synod of Bishops also discussed the question of the proper placement of the tabernacle in our churches. (196) The correct positioning of the tabernacle contributes to the recognition of Christ’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament.
    Obviously it is necessary to follow the provisions of theGeneral Instruction of the Roman Missal in this regard. (197) In any event, final judgment on these matters belongs to the Diocesan Bishop.

    Final judgement remains to the Diocesan Bishop. That is great if you are blessed with a good Bishop, some of us are. But in too many places that is not the case.

  35. Leguleius Magnus says:

    OMG, Sid, such articulate nihilism!

  36. “In any event, final judgment on these matters belongs to the Diocesan Bishop.”

    I think we may safely assume that – apart from what is already codified – this applies to the entire document.

  37. Don Juan says:

    Father, what do you (or any other theologically-astute Latinists reading this) think about the Translation of “Caritas” as “Love” rather than “Charity”? It kinda makes me cringe, but then I’m not a terrific Latinist and I’m even less of a theologian. Any thoughts?

  38. Leguleius Magnus says:

    After V2, anything with a meaning in hailing distance of “love” is translated “love.” Also, for an excellent discussion of the various Greek words, see Deus Caritas Est, or “God is Charity.”

  39. don: I had an e-mail from a priest friend already about the Latin/English issue. Frankly this is a HUGE and thorny problem. I am lately not impressed by the translations into English. But remember, they are not making translations from the LATIN, nor are they composing documents in Latin. So, there is a disconnect already.

    But remember: only the LATIN is the official text and, moreover, the Latin which WILL BE published in the Acta. That is to say that the official text is NOT YET PUBLISHED.

  40. Father Z said: “The three parts reflect the Pope’s presentation of a paradigm”

    The Pope, in all the writings of his that I have read, appears to be
    doing just that.

    The present Holy Father in his writings and speeches is always making
    connections, bringing parts together to create a whole, teaching.

    I have not read the document yet, but based solely upon Father Z’s observations,
    this Exhortation is exactly what I expected.

    A Bugatti for Fr. Z! LOL!

  41. Woody Jones says:

    Ad orientem was not even mentioned that I could see on a quick look. Just reference to the current liturgical books, which means that the progressives can just keep on keepin’ on. So if changing the sign of peace is the start of the reform, at this pace, how long do you think the Holy Father will have to be with us to complete it? I don’t think one can count on a successor. And I second (perhaps a little more strongly) the thoughts above, that without changes in praxis, the exhortations and theology are DOA, as far as acceptance in practice goes.