The 14 March number of L’Osservatore Romano is on the stands. It comes out around 1700 in Rome the day before. In this issue, the former Vicar of Rome, His Eminence Camillo Card. Ruini, speaks his piece about the Holy Father’s Letter about the SSPX excommunications and what he has seen going on.
To my mind, few men in Rome are in closer harmony with the thought of Benedict XVI than Card. Ruini. Would that he were younger.
Here is the last part of Card. Ruini’s article in my translation and emphases:
Within the supreme priority of God one finds immediately placed the priority of love and of communion between ouselves: in concrete terms the prioty of unity of believers in Christ and the priority of peace among men.
From this the suffering Benedict XVI does not hide in the face of inclinations to "bite and devour one another" unfortunately today present among us as it was amongst the Galatians to whom St. Paul wrote.
We touch here a raw nerve of Catholicism of the last centuries, fraglie point of suffering of which we must become more and better aware. I refer to the weakening, and at times nearly extingushing of a sense of ecclesial belongning, thus of the joy and of gratitude of being part of the Catholic Church. This isn’t something secondary or minor, which should be rightly give way before out individual liberty and our personal relationship with God, or also before many other affiliations which seem more concrete and more gratifying.
It is necessary, instead, to rebuild within us that conviction of faith which characterized Christianity from its very beginning, according to which the sense of the Church is an essential element of our belonging to Christ. Here are the roots of the reception of the Magisterium of the Church and the exertion to conform our lives to its teachings, but also an attitude which embraces the sphere of feelings and which is translated spontaneously into a love for those who in the faith are fathers and brothers. ["padri e fratelli"] If these sentiments will be lived in us, we will remain far from the bitter taste of finding fault in our presumed adversary, who in reality is our brother, which alas emerge in many words, gestures or silences, as the Pope’s letter, with honesty and suffering, helps us to understand.
Both my spiritual director and my parish priest have been making similar points for the last several years about the necessity of corporate, ecclesial identity to living the Faith.
Thank you for posting this elegant observation by His Eminence.
This article really spoke to my heart. Holy Mother Church is a mother with many children and we are indeed children of this same mother. If we see each other this way, all the false dichtonomies, “progressive”, “conservative” and “traditionalist” cease to be important. We are Christian and Catholic.
Ubi caritas et amor.
As Fr. Peter Stravinskas would jokingly say in the 80’s to all the complainers in the Church, “If Ratzinger, Woytla, and the Holy Spirit were to solve all the problems in the church today, tomorrow you’d have to commit suicide because you wouldn’t know what to do with yourselves.” He also said, wisely, “Don’t make the fight [for orthodoxy] pre-emminent in your spirituality, because you can suffer irreparable damage.” IOW, don’t take joy in fighting battles, and don’t center your Catholic identity on the negative struggles in ecclesial matters that SHOULD have been handled by clerics doing their jobs. Focus on Christian charity, devout prayer, and sacramental grace. If you solve all the Church’s problems but don’t have sanctifying grace in your soul, you face eternal damnation.