Benedict XVI will issue a new encyclical on Faith.

It was easy to predict that Benedict XVI would, during the Year of Faith, issue an encyclical on Faith. It was the next in line after Charity (Deus caritas est and Caritas in veritate) and Hope (Spe salvi).

I wonder if my other prediction will come to pass.

I also predicted that the Holy Father would make some larger gesture at the end of the Year.

When Paul VI held his Year of Faith in 1967-68, all hell broke loose, and he issued an encyclical (Humanae vitae) in a critical time. At the end of the year Paul issued the Credo of the People of God.

Back then they were celebrating the centennial of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul. This year we are observing the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the 1700th anniversary of the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

So, I am wondering what Benedict might do.

I have a few suggestions.

I can imagine that he could issue, perhaps, something like a new Litany. We need to revive popular devotions. The use of Litanies should be revived.

I would like to see the Holy Father celebrate the Usus Antiquior or have it celebrated in his presence.

I suspect that His Holiness might have something in mind.

I hope His Holiness has something in mind.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. asperges says:

    I cannot think of anything more joyful than the Holy Father celebrating the rite he himself has liberated.

    It would both confirm the dignity of the Roman rite and the importance of liturgy, whilst undoing the false notion in the minds of some that those who love and desire the EF are ipso facto followers or members of SSPX. They are not.

    Meanwhile Tablet readers would be jumping off their concrete ‘worship space area’ roofs in droves.

  2. Dad of Six says:

    More Litanies would be nice. I would like to see the end of Ascension Thursday Sundays (and the like), communion in the hand and facing the people.

  3. anilwang says:

    As much as it would be nice if the Pope celebrated the EF, I think it’s separate from the encyclical on faith. “Cheap faith” is no faith at all. Faith in anything and anyone ultimately comes with a cost or at least a risk that you might be betrayed or abandoned.

    As such, I think that the best way to emphasize the need for faith would simply be to mandate that all bishops issue make the Oath of Fidelity ( ) a mandatory part of any institution that calls itself Catholic and all managers of said institution must also sign. If they don’t sign, they’ve lost their credentials.

    It will have costs (we’ll lose many colleges and hospitals and charitable organizations) but if one has faith, it will more than be made up for by the increased trust in the “Catholic stamp/imprimatur” and it will re-force the faith of all those under the management of said institutions.

    Yes, I know its been tried before, but never with any force of law (as was the case with the Oath Against Modernism).

  4. southern orders says:

    What about an EF order of Mass as an option for the 2012 Roman Missal in the vernacular but also to include the 1962 GIRM & rubrics?

  5. Matt R says:

    What exactly do you have in mind, Father?

  6. frjim4321 says:

    Seems like a reasonable prediction.

  7. acardnal says:

    I hope to see the Holy Father celebrate the TLM publicly. After all, HE did issue Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

    It would be interesting if he asked that all clergy – at a minimum bishops – to make the Oath of Fidelity or the Oath Against Modernism or some suitable substitute.

  8. Jim says:

    I hope, God willing, His Holiness will send us holy and strong Catholic Bishops.

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    A Rogation Days procession! With a dragon! The media would love it, because there’d be lots of stuff to show on video. (However, kinda unlikely, as the walls of the Vatican City are probably not going to be allowed to be filmed in their entirety.) And cap it all with Rogation Days EF Masses celebrated by the Pope, with that sister explaining in soothing tones how the prayers go along with love of nature and ecology. :)

    Seriously, though… I’m not going to guess. I think our little pope has plenty of his own ideas in his fertile brain.

  10. Jon says:

    A period to the year after an encyclical on Faith, a la 1968?

    How about another Mediator Dei?

  11. UncleBlobb says:

    How about a Motu Proprio requiring Mass to be said Ad Orientem in the Latin Rite, or how about one requiring the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling and on the tongue?

  12. UncleBlobb says:

    Or how about an Octave of Pentecost?

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