Cardinal Runi calls for a rally in support of Pope Benedict

The Cardinal Newman Society
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2008

Cardinal Calls for Faithful to Rally
in Rome in Support of Pope Benedict

CNS Urges Americans to Support Pope with Prayers on Sunday

MANASSAS, VA – The Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization that works to strengthen and renew Catholic higher education, is urging American Catholics to pray Sunday in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI following offensive protests that forced him to cancel an address at Rome’s La Sapienza University.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, has urged Catholics to rally in St. Peter’s Square during Sunday’s recitation of the Angelus as a powerful display of support for the Holy Father, whose visit to La Sapienza was canceled because of anti-Catholic protests and false accusations that the Pope is not supportive of scientific discovery.

“For American Catholics who cannot be in Rome, we urge special prayers on Sunday to demonstrate both our love for Pope Benedict and our steadfast confidence in the unity of faith and reason,” said CNS president Patrick J. Reilly.  “We hope that pastors will join us by including special prayers in Sunday’s petitions and by teaching Catholics the truth about the Church’s centuries-old dedication to science and higher education.”

Pope Benedict will make a rare visit to the United States in April 2008 and has summoned all presidents of U.S. Catholic colleges to meet with him in Washington.  For nearly 20 years the Vatican has been working to strengthen the Catholic identity of Catholic colleges, and the intensity of those efforts has increased in recent years.  CNS has been supporting and promoting these Vatican initiatives in the United States for the past 15 years.

“In advance of the Holy Father’s historic visit to the United States in April, we can draw upon this unfortunate incident as a valuable teaching moment for the Church and the secular world, which would seek truth without recognizing the Father and Creator, the fount of all truth,” said Reilly.

The unity of faith and reason has been a lifetime interest of Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II, both of whom had been university scholars with great appreciation for higher education.  The noted philosopher Ralph McInerny has said, “It sometimes seems that the only voice insisting on the power of human reason is that of the Holy Father.”

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34 Responses to Cardinal Runi calls for a rally in support of Pope Benedict

  1. Theodorus says:

    Love live Pope Benedict XVI!

  2. danphunter1 says:

    God Bless Pope Benedict the Great!

  3. Little Gal says:

    I just finished listening to Fr. Barron’s, Word on Fire, Podcast #365. Even though this homily was for Epiphany, it and particularly his reference to Galileo, is very timely considering the recent situation at La Sapienza. At the end, he quotes JPII who said that faith & reason are wings that soar towards the truth…Perhaps it should be translated into Italian and broadcast from loudspeakers over campus.

  4. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    All a bit poetic, Little Gal.

    Faith doesn’t soar towards the truth; it is the truth, God given, with the accompanying sanctifying grace. Faith merely turns to vision at the beatific vision.

    Reason works with the truth, whatever the source, scientific or divine revelation.

    Faith purifies the usage of reason, not interfering with reason, but making the person much less apt to skip over a premise he must include or to add a premise which does not belong, for reasons of, say, wanting to come up with a conclusion that merely affirms fallen human nature.

    I’d cut the power to the loudspeakers if that podcast was played (if that is what he actually said). I think I’ll stick to PODCAzTs.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    Count me in! I cannot be in Rome, but I will definitely join myself in prayer on Sunday… and perhaps even watch the Angelus online at 3am! :-)

    Does anyone recommend or have any special prayers in mind? A Rosary? Something else?

  6. Little Gal says:

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo:

    “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

    FIDES ET RATIO
    OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
    JOHN PAUL II
    TO THE BISHOPS
    OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
    ON THE RELATIONSHIP
    BETWEEN FAITH AND REASON

  7. Londiniensis says:

    God Bless Cardinal Camillo Ruini. What a shame that there has been such manoeuvering (reported by Sandro Magister and Rocco Palmo) to ensure that his soon to be announced successor will not be able to carry the same prestige and exert the same influence, even if he is a man of doughty character, for which we must pray.

  8. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Now, Little Gal, isn’t that different! What you say and what JPII says are two different things.

    You said: “faith & reason are wings that soar towards the truth”. Wrong, for the reasons I’ve given above, namely:

    Faith doesn’t soar towards the truth; it is the truth, God given, with the accompanying sanctifying grace. Faith merely turns to vision at the beatific vision.

    Reason works with the truth, whatever the source, scientific or divine revelation.

    Faith purifies the usage of reason, not interfering with reason, but making the person much less apt to skip over a premise he must include or to add a premise which does not belong, for reasons of, say, wanting to come up with a conclusion that merely affirms fallen human nature.

    John Paul II said: “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” Right, for the reason that the two coming together in the human spirit permit the human spirit to contemplate the truth (faith and reason working together, as I’ve described above). Neither faith nor reason change, but rather, they, working together, have the human spirit do some contemplating. Wonderful!

    So happy that your starting to cite better sources, like John Paul II.

  9. David Andrew says:

    “Pope Benedict will make a rare visit to the United States in April 2008 and has summoned all presidents of U.S. Catholic colleges to meet with him in Washington.”

    Fr. Z:

    Do you think the President of St. Thomas Catholic U in St. Paul will attend?

    Maybe he should take the artist renderings of what the new “chapel” will look like when it’s renovated. Or, or maybe his list of new ideas for who should and shouldn’t sit on the Board for St. Thomas.

  10. Tom L says:

    Catholic faith might be best explained by what John Paul II said in a general audience catechesis (very short article)

    What Does It Mean to Believe? — March 13, 1985
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19850313en.html

    We know definitely and accurately divine revelation from the Catholic Church, which Christ has established and sent the Holy Spirit to guide over, and that is why it is important to belong to the true church, otherwise we will have wrong notions of the supernatural. Just look at the protestant churches that have human committees decide on church doctrine. It is the blind leading the blind.

    Thomas Liang

  11. TNCath says:

    This is wonderful news! Bring on more good news!

  12. Little Gal says:

    “So happy that your starting to cite better sources, like John Paul II.”

    My brief paraphrase was adequate and JP II was sited as the source of the quote. But since it came from the podcast of another priest and you preferred to put my post down, you rejected it out of hand. After I provide the original quote,you post a backhanded comment like the one above. You really are unconscionable and not a very nice priest.

  13. danphunter1 says:

    Little Gal,
    How is Father di Lorenzo being shockingly unjust or unscrupulous?
    I find his responses very erudite and quite charitable in all truth.
    God Love you.

  14. Robert says:

    Hear, hear! Long Live Pope Benedict XVI!

  15. Ager Flandriae says:

    As an Angelicum student currently out of Rome, I stand in full solidarity with those in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday.

    God bless our beloved Pontiff for proclaiming the power of truth to combat corrupt and harmful ideologies which are (futilely) attempting to drown out the message of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. May all Catholics rally behind his beautiful and clear magisterium – proclaiming the power of the theological virtues, infused by the Holy Spirit.

    Long live Pope Benedict the Great!

  16. Woody Jones says:

    At the time of the election of our Holy Father, Regnum Christi posted this prayer for him (which commonly is prayed during the thanksgiving after Holy Communion) , and which seems appropriate to recall now:

    We offer here a prayer written by Fr. Marcial Maciel himself, which all Legionaries and members of the Regnum Christi Movement pray daily. We hope that it can be of help, and we invite all to pray it fervently and to spread it among your friends:

    “Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

    Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.”

  17. aalex1 says:

    Viva Il Papa!!

    Our Holy Father will be considered Pope Benedict the Great by future generations. He has launched a faith and cultural effort that will be long remembered as the key pontificate that reversed the decline of the West.

  18. Geoffrey says:

    Woody Jones: Thank you for that prayer! I have heard about it but never seen it. I will be saying it daily from now on.

    Little Gal: I for one could tell that you were paraphrasing!

    All: The following brought tears to my eyes…

    “Students from La Sapienza university display banner reading ‘If Benedict doesn’t come to La Sapienza, La Sapienza goes to Benedict’ and ‘Students with the Pope’ during Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican January 16, 2008″ (http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=26482).

  19. Malta says:

    “Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, has urged Catholics to rally in St. Peter’s Square during Sunday’s recitation of the Angelus as a powerful display of support for the Holy Father, whose visit to La Sapienza was canceled because of anti-Catholic protests and false accusations that the Pope is not supportive of scientific discovery.”

    Re: some of the students at La Sapienza: They are tolerant for anything but Tradition. Indifferentism and relativism, for them, is almost a religion. Inculteration and inclusivism has them swooning. The scary thing is, they really believe the “ultimate good,” the real reason for life, is liberalism and the idea that, “anything goes,” as long as you don’t hurt another person. That attitude is wrong for this reason: liberality DOES hurt humanity. Think of all the pederast priests in America, I’m sure they thought they were just groovin’ in the relatavistic 60′s and 70′s.

    “The noted philosopher Ralph McInerny has said, “It sometimes seems that the only voice insisting on the power of human reason is that of the Holy Father.””

    I’m really thankful to God for our current Holy Father.

  20. Little Gal: You really are unconscionable and not a very nice priest.

    Bye!

  21. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Little Gal, anyone who comments here, including me, should be open to being corrected, which is, hopefully, one of our desires when we participate in such communication. I’ve been corrected many times, and I’m grateful for this great service that is rendered to me by others.

    And really, that is what is under discussion in this post, namely, La Sapienza saying something, and, now, the Pope responding (see the links in the other posts). We are called to be in solidarity with the Pope, who was in solidarity with those at La Sapienza inasmuch as he was willing to make a correction.

    Correction is not condemnation. Instead, it is a sign of Christian charity. Understanding at the risk of being misunderstood is, in fact, risky. If the risk is taken, that means that there is respect for the other person.

    It must be said, then, that it is not good to reduce the faith to reason, which is what your paraphrase does, however inadvertantly. JPII, instead, makes room for the assent that is to be given by the human spirit to the theological understanding that is to be had when faith and reason meet with complimentary roles to play. It is the difference between the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, which is appropriate to recall for this post.

    I suppose it is shocking, these days, to see a priest taking up the role of father so as to discipline his children, which he does out of love. Any father who does not discipline his children hates his children. There’s something about that in the book of Proverbs, but one need only go as far as the Gospels to see this kind of thing in action.

    Any priest who does not neglect the role of father he has been given fulfils his solidarity with the Holy Father, who himself takes this role very seriously. The risk for the simple priest is not only that he will be open to being called a not-nice priest by those who do not want to see him fulfil his role as a father, but also that he will be accused of drawing an analogy between himself and the Pope, who alone is infallible.

    But, actually, there is that analogy as based on another analogy between any priest (including the Holy Father) and Christ, who is the One who chooses this kind of familial hierarchy. This doesn’t mean that simple priests like me may be correct because we are priests! It simply means that we priests, as fathers, are to take the risk inherent in correcting our children (with the family aspect here not being condescending). It behooves us to study and pray to this end.

    As far as me being really “unconscionable and not a very nice priest”, well, that’s true. Thanks for that reminder. I go to confession frequently. Please, pray for all priests, especially for the Holy Father. In saying that, however, I’m not saying that the role of priests is to affirm everyone in whatever silliness they happen to be going through. We must not demand, with the tyranny of relativism, that priests not fulfil their role as father.

    Sometimes anticlericalism has nothing to do with those who are being anticlerical, but is a reaction to the not-niceness, to put it mildly, of priests. Sometimes, such as the case with La Sapienza, it has to do with those who are anticlerical themselves.

    It’s pretty horrific in Italy if the Cardinal Vicar has to ask for support for one who, unlike me, has shown himself always to be the perfect gentleman, even though he is not perceived to be so nice by some. Let’s pray.

    God bless!

  22. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Paraphrasing doesn’t permit misrepresentation, even if the source is cited, which is then misleading.

  23. What a wonderful opportunity!

  24. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Thanks, Malta.

    It would be a frightful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, only to have Him express His ignorance, so to speak, about us (God does not fail to be ironic), saying: “I never knew you” (Mt 7,23). What a way for one to be put in one’s place!

    I will go right now to the chapel here (what a priviledge to have Him under the same roof!) and beg him for the love that casts out all fear (which comes together with, paradoxically, with the fear that is the beginning of wisdom).

    I can fool some people some of the time (and that is a confession of sin, not bragging), but God will not be mocked. Again, thanks. Your comments, those of Little Gal and some others are very opportune for me at this time. This is God’s providence. I am shaken. I only hope that I can benefit from this. I know that I’ve said that before. But, I still hope.

    God bless the Holy Father for his great example.

  25. William says:

    The so-called paraphrase “faith & reason are wings that soar towards the truth” clearly implies that divine revelation, which is the object of faith, falls short of the truth.

    The correction was required. Thank you Fr. di Lorenzo.

  26. R says:

    When one looks at the more recent history of Italy, it is so sad to see the strong effects of anticlericalism and communism on the country. How often we forget the attacks perpetrated against priests on the streets. It should not surprise us that such things are still present, particularly in the academic arenas where the forces of atheism have had a strong influence.

    What is surprising, however, is that this incident is important enough that Cardinal Ruini has called for the show of support at St. Peters. Are there are any Italian readers that can shed light on how big of a story this is in Italy? It must quite an issue there in the public eye for such a call of support otherwise the Italians would just *discuss* this. Am I correct to believe that the Cardinal’s call underlies a greater sense of concern of reactions against the Pope… perhaps taken in light of the homosexual threats against other priests and bishops?

  27. Tangerine says:

    “The so-called paraphrase “faith & reason are wings that soar towards the truth” clearly implies that divine revelation, which is the object of faith, falls short of the truth.”

    Not necessarily. It we take “faith” in terms of its objective content, then it WOULD, in fact, claim that faith, “as the substance of things hoped for,” falls short of truth itself. The things we believe, the things we hope for, are true, and in that sense faith is truth itself.

    However, if we take “faith” in terms of the HABIT or VITUE of faith, as the “act of believing,” which the context suggests by paralleling it to “reason” which is a faculty of th soul, then by the statement is certainly true: by means of the faculty of reason and the virtue of believing, we come to the truth.

    On a side note, conservative Catholics increasingly seem to suffer from a peculiar type of rhetorical harshness. “so-called paraphrase”? No, it was a paraphrase–even if it was an incorrect paraphrase, it was a paraphrase that was incorrect. Small word choices matter, and increasely I see word-choices that would be appropriate for 19th century popes engaged in epic struggle, perhaps, but seem rather mean-spirited when whipped out by (hopefuly) humble bloggers, such as ourselves. “Honey attracts more bees than vinegar,” – St. Francis de Sales

  28. Roberto Rossi says:

    Ciao – yes I live in Italy.

    I think it is important for everyone to reflect on what has happened here in an honest way. I know this is what our lord would want and expect.

    Papa was invited to speak at La Sappienza University in Rome by the Rector, a number of academics and students didn’t feel comfortable with the invitation based on past actions by the then cardinal Rattzinger. Although we might not feel comfortable with negative reactions to our father I think we do need to respect that Italy is a free nation and democracy and so free speech is allowed and is a right of the academics and students.

    Papa decided not to attend and let’s be clear here the invitation was never retracted by the Rector of La Sappienza. It was his choice and his right to decide not to go.

    My concern is that to feign that he was stopped from the right to speak, as many people have claimed is somewhat dishonest and could be rightfully seen as manipulation of the event. I do not like seeing us Catholics behave this way as it reflects on our credibility.

  29. Tangerine says:

    Certainly not a personal offense, but aren’t the standards of a people which are fed on the Holy Sacrifice of the Beloved called to more than being in-offensive? At any rate, acting in an unambiguously and contagiously loving way is a more effective way of proclaiming that God, who is Love, became Man in Jesus Christ so that, through his Church, we can be united with Him for eternity.

  30. techno_aesthete says:

    Roberto,

    to feign that he was stopped from the right to speak, as many people have claimed

    I have not seen anyone at this Web site say such a thing. The end result, though, was that he was prevented from speaking at the university. Perhaps not directly through physical violence to him, but by threat of violent protests by political activists who were going to be bussed in from other cities. He, being a truly humble man, chose to diffuse the situation by canceling his appearance. However, he did send along the speech he was going to give.

    free speech is allowed and is a right of the academics and students

    It seems a bit hypocritical to then protest the Pope’s address to the university at its opening ceremonies, no? Or is free speech only for the students and faculty and not for those with whom they disagree (or think they disagree)? Do you not see the irony? Have you read the speech he was going to give? It makes the protesters and physics faculty look like close-minded idiots. Quite embarrassing for members of a university community, or at least it should be.

  31. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Not everybody has the capactity to understand the sayings of the Holy Father.

    How does that Latin saying about capacity and receiving go?

  32. Tomas Lopez says:

    Father Di:

    Quidquid recipitur recipitur ad modum recipientis?

  33. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey Tomas Lopez,

    Yes.

    But, I’m not sure if I’m worthy of the abbreviation of my name to “Di”. I think that belongs to a certain uncle on another somewhat off the record blog!

    I’m thinking about the crowd over at Sapienza with that phrase… it’s got me thinking…

  34. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Ah yes, here it is, what epitomizes Benedict XVI and his speech for the Sapienza crowd…

    To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for [...] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. [...] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. [...] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power. [...] The mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. [...] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.

    Hilaire Belloc, Selected Essays (2/6), ed. J.B. Morton; Penguin Books (1325): Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958. See the essay “On Irony” on pages 124-127.

    ===========

    Reading through Benedict’s speech, some things, perhaps especially appropriate to this thread, shine through. The ever so human assent given to the ever so supernatural faith is wrought by way of the practical judgement of the conscience that something (such as the divine reasonableness of the love manifested on the cross) is consonant with the supernaturally provided content of the supernaturally provided virtue (which are both supernatural).

    Hopefully, the assent is also a virtue, steadfast, but not supernatural even if aided by grace. But that assent is another thing apart from the faith.

    The human spirit contemplates the truth by way of reason applied to the object of this assent, that is, the theological, merely human understanding that should, however, be consonant with the supernaturally given content of the faith. Supernatural faith cannot be contemplated directly by the reason. Otherwise, it would not be supernatural.

    Supernatural faith purifies the ever so human assent from its horrific egoism. This is what the Sapienza crowd hates. They want a faith they can manipulate, pulling it down to the level of reason. But, in doing this, they show they do not want reason, but merely their own tyrrany of relativism.

    I hope I’ve said these things in a spirit of love. In that spirit, I add something about the masterful irony of the Holy Father. He knows his words are as sweet as honey, and knows that his words will attract many bees, as well as many flies, the latter of which will get stuck and drown in the ever acidic (however sweet) honey.

    He also knows that cleaning up the mess will make everyone pay attention, with the effect that many more bees will come, and the flies will be start to pay attention as well, being more careful about how they go about understanding this honey thing.

    The more all pay attention, the more they see the ferocious irony, Belloc style, in the whole affair. Some will curse the Holy Father as being an old meanie, so to speak, while others will rejoice in the just triumphalism of it all.

    God bless you Holy Father!