Sunday Angelus: Aquinas and reason

In the Sunday Angelus address today, His Holiness lauded St. Thomas Aquinas and spoke of the necessity of reason for the sake of modern society.

He mentioned his speech in Regensburg. Benedict spoke of the way St. Thomas was able to harmonize "Arab and Hebrew thought of his day" with Christianity. Thus he can be considered a good model for modern times of dialogue between cultures and religions.

I am sure you will be reading the translation of the address when it is released. However, when Benedict mentioned his controversial speech at Regensburg I thought of something I posted in another entry, about Fr. Foster’s negative view of an eventual Motu Proprio to derestrict the older form of Mass. 

Fr. Foster thought the problems caused in Regensburg with Arabs were part of a weight of difficulties making such an indult impossible. Foster said that Benedict wants to avoid negative reactions.

If Benedict was really afraid of negative reactions why would be mention his Regensburg Address and Arabs so often in public?

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  1. New Catholic says:

    It was exactly my thought as I heard the Angelus words for this Sunday.

    I actually have a hard time thinking of the Regensburg address as anything other than a smashing success, certainly the most relevant academic lecture in recent memory. And I still canot understand how the speech and the Wielgus affair are so often put on the same level (apples and oranges…), by men such as Tincq (ideologist), Ingrao, and the Telegraph’s interviewee.

  2. Given the down that the Holy Father has had on scholasticism (see Allen’s book – there are also direct quotes to the effect that he found the rigours of scholasticism to be dry theology), the praise for St Thomas is indeed news. However, I rather suspect it will be news to St Thomas that he was in the business of “harmonization” .

  3. Dcn John says:

    Here’s a story about a former papal Latinist who says that Pope Benedict XVI will NOT allow the Traditional Latin Mass because of the controversy of Regenburg and Warsaw:

    Hope he’s wrong . . .
    Dcn John

  4. Brian says:

    I don’t think ‘harmonization’ would surrise Aquinas at all. He is famous for citing ‘the commentator’ i.e. Avicenna, in his writings. Certainly Aquinas was not interested in capitulating to Aristotle and his commentator, but as his confrontation with them (As well as Latin Averrorism) shows, he was interested in using reason to show them wrong and correct them. In this way, he was able to construct a harmonious philosphical synthesis out of widely diveregent source material: the neoplatonism of Augustine and the psuedo-Dionysius on the one hand, the science of Aristotle and the Arabs on the other.

    However, in all this, we have to remember that Aquinas’ scholasticism is not the same thing as neoscholasticism. But that is a longer post

  5. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    I don’t understand what the Regensburg speech, the Wielgus disaster, and the Moto Proprio for the Tridentine Latin Mass have in common.
    However, I did read a post soemwhere, of someone expressing their opinion that they believe that the Wielgus affair was a deliberate attempt by members in the Roman Curia (Cardinal Re and others) to discredit this Pope, whom they do not like and whom Re did not vote for.
    It is well known that the old guard liberal camp of the Woytyla Papacy does not like the new men of the more hard-line Ratzinger papacy. If there has been any huge blunders, it is the fact that Pope Benedict XVI has not cleaned house of all the old guard men, sacked them all and replaced them with His own people. Until He does this, these deliberate little attempts to discredit the Pope will continue.
    By the way, I think Fr. Foster is a lunatic to carry on like He does about Latin, and then trash the Tridentine Latin Mass using very rude language. By doing so, he proves himself to be just a pompous prfessor who is too “full of himself” and His own talents for language, but has no respect nor love for the traditions of the Church (the Traditional Mass).
    Regardless of what this priest thinks, I believe that Pope Benedict XVI will issue His “Moto Proprio” allowing complete freedom for the Tridentine Latin Mass…..and other surprises too which will have the liberal anti-Pian Rite clan in the Curia throwing collective hissy-fits.

  6. Jeff says:

    Isn’t the Holy Father afraid that praising St. Thomas makes the Vatican look mideeevil? Sheesh, haven’t we learned that it doesn’t matter how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? How stoopid. Duh! You’d think we were living, like, trapped in the PAST or something. Next thing you know, they’ll be bringing back Latten or another language no one can understand or allowing priests celebrating Liturgy to wear shiny stuff instead of the felt that the children made. And, well, Jesus said suffer the little children and stuff and he healed a little girl named Tabitha I think. Humph! Betcha THOSE kids weren’t wearing silk and stuff or speaking old languages.

    Apparently Aquinas is part of the Church of What’s Happening Now. But I’m still worried we’re going backwards…

  7. Kenjiro: Ad hominem comments about people you don’t know are not really either fair or welcome.

  8. animadversor says:

    Kenjiro: Ad hominem comments about people you don’t know are not really either fair or welcome.

    I like to think such attacks would be unwelcome even if the attacker knew Father Foster or even if they were true.

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