The National Catholic Review
Andrea Tornielli
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America is pleased to announce our formal partnership with Mirada Global, a multilingual Web site that brings together articles from Jesuit publications in North and South America. With the publication of each issue of America we will link to one article from Mirada Global.

Here is our latest offering, an examination of the "uncomfortable message" of Pope Benedict XVI:

It looks like one of the destinies that Benedict XVI, the theologian turned Pope at the age of 78, is similar to that of his predecessor Paul VI, who appointed him Archbishop of Munich, creating him cardinal in 1977- is that of being criticized by right and left alike even by those who profess themselves “Ratzingerians” and should therefore help him spread his message.

When he was elected Pope seven years ago, the media cliché that hung over Joseph Ratzinger —who had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for over twenty years— was that he was a conservative “panzerkardinal”, a rigid custodian of Orthodoxy who had allegedly “hindered” John Paul II’s push for innovation, hung over him, while in fact, remained and extremely loyal and compliant collaborator.

The imminent reconciliation with Lefebvrian traditionalists, preceded by the decision to liberalize the old Mass, cost Benedict XVI widespread dissent, even among some bishops: the Pope had intended favoring the possibility that the old pre-conciliar rite and the new post-conciliar rite could mutually enrich one another, by helping recuperate the sense of sacredness and the encounter with divine mystery in the Old Mass —at times too readjusted by slovenliness and by liturgic abuses— and the wealth of the Holy Scriptures introduced into the New Mass, into the post-conciliar mass. The attempt has only been partially successful because of certain reactions that didn’t always understand the Pope’s will but also because of the development of certain forms of aestheticism that bear no relevance to the essential elements of the liturgy.

But Benedict XVI has also been accused by those who expected him to be tough and implement “doctrinal rectifications”. He was also expected to reaffirm Europe’s Christian identity against Islam. While the left believe him to be stuck in the past and unable to read the signs of the times, the right considers him as too weak.

Also available in Spanish.

Other recent articles from Mirada Global:

Christianity and eco-religion

The political relationship between Argentina and Chile:

Colombia, The Future of FARC

Pierre Emonet, S.J., on "The Jesuit Style":

A look at China's rise

Nicaragua, A Letter to the Left

The case against the privatization of water supplies:

Peru, Christianity and Andean culture

Cuba, Between Deterioration and Hope

Brazil, Is it time for another ecumenical council?

Guatemala, An apology for torture:

Argentina, A tribute to the late writer Ernesto Sabato

President Obama in Latin America

Peru, Runoff for president

France, Banning the burka

Panama, Open mining 'hell'

Chile, Overcoming the Crises in the Church

An appreciation of two Latin American poets

A look at rising food prices

Haiti, We should stop folling around in Haiti

Brazil, The floods of Rio de Janeiro

Brazil, For Brazil to Succeed

Argentina: A Country with Millions of “Superfluous” People?

Chile: Latin America According to WikiLeaks

Nicaragua: A Biological Cup D'etat

 

Like America, Mirada Global is for the general reader, not academics, and covers a variety of subjects, from religion and politics to culture and ecology. Criterio (Argentina), Mensaje (Chile) and Accion (Paraguay) are among the magazines that contribute content. (See the full list here.) Mirada Global is edited by Antonio Delfau, S.J., and features content in English, Spanish and Portugese. You can subscribe to their weekly email newsletter here.

Comments

Chris Chatteris | 5/23/2012 - 3:15am
In 'Uncomfortable Message':

'Liberalize' = 'legalize'
'Recuperate' = 'recover'
'liturgic' = 'liturgical'

if I'm not mistaken.
5436984 | 3/27/2012 - 10:53am
In reference to "A reflection on society's changng attitudes toward death":

Although I found the contents of the reflection very well stated, I came away feeling that it was only one-sided.  Society is now embracing physician assisted suicide to a greater degree than ever before.   As people of faith, we must somehow get the message out that suicide is not a "quality" option.  We cannot continue proferring the "sacred card" without challenging the depression and pain part of the dying person's situation.  We must demonstrate that we all need positive emotional and physical support as well as the belief of embracing the Cross of Christ in following Jesus from our earthly life to everlasting union with God.
Christopher Rushlau | 2/28/2012 - 5:44pm
Reading this one about China reminds us how little "free press" we have in the US.  There is a party line for every little issue, and the main feature of the party line is aversion to reality.  We have taken Reaganism's love affair with fantasy and made it the national religion.  This indicates a role for religion:  to vindicate itself by struggling against the idolatry of wishful thinking (backed up, as it is, by lethal force).
Christopher Mulcahy | 2/7/2012 - 12:21pm

Regarding the Tobin tax.  Simply transferring financial assets to the Third World will not solve any problem at all.  In fact it will foment corruption and violence.  How do we know this?  Come on . . . we have been conducting these social experiments with taxpayer funds for decades and the results are in.  The primary beneficiaries of foreign aid are Hart Shafner and Marx (suits), Steelcase (office furniture), and Smith & Wesson. Also UN and World Bank employees.  The losers are the poor everywhere.


Humans have lived in poverty for centuries.  Only democratic capitalism has provided an escape from a dismal, primitive world into one with refrigerators, central heat and a/c, clean water, universal education, and a  spectacularly diverse food supply.  Problem: to take advantage of democratic capitalism, the individual must embrace personal responsibility, accept a diligent work schedule, and eschew personal vices like Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth. And drugs.


Another problem:  a large proportion of the practitioners of democratic capitalism are not aware of the economic system that has made them rich.   In their ignorance, and in search of intellectual superiority over their fellow citizens, they have advocated socialism.  Socialism has been tried often.  As it turns out, one of its principal characteristics in the real world  is a requirement for a violent secret police force.  By the time this fact is discovered by its erstwhile advocates it is generally too late to avoid pogroms.  So sad. 


It would appear that Christian charity is most appropriate for individual acts of kindness, and that seems to be what Jesus intended.  Charity compelled by government just doesn’t work.

German Otalora | 8/29/2011 - 3:14pm

I´m in full agreement with Antonio Celso de Queirós article. I read both in english and Spanish and there is no substantial difference or ambiguity.


I did abandon the Catholic Church and try to go back to Jesus facts and deeds and the beginigs of our faith. They are the foundation of my faith.


I do not believe any longer in Roman dicsasteria, starting with the Pope´s infallibility.


Decadence is the consequence of retrogression instead of aggiornamiento della Chiesa.


Unfortunately John Paul II and Ratzinger were guiding the Church with the rear view, mirror, dressing it with mediatic events, children´s petting, etc. as modern politicians do.


That´s why so many, as myself, have quited practices and beliefs accumulated trough centuries of powe exertion and protection, of missionary work suported and imposed by the sword, as it was in Latin America, of full support of dictators in Spain and South America (Franco, Peron, Evita...)


Either we come back to basics and throw away all the vacuous theologizing, both dogmatic and moral, and face the incarnationn of Christ in todays and tomorrow´s´world, or the remains of the Church will be sterile though esthetic buildings, useless libraries and outdated old priests and bishops, with no followers.


 

RICH DELMONTE | 4/28/2011 - 5:28pm
In your latest issue you refer in "On the Web" to Rev. Daniel Coughlin's talks about his years as Chaplain of the House of Representatives.  Where/how do I find it?


Richard F. Delmonte 
Mike Evans | 4/12/2011 - 1:26pm
The modern times are really no different than they ever were at any time in the past. The challenges are not so daunting, compared to say, the Protestant Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, the settling of America and Latin America, the post WWII phase and many, many more, including Vatican II. The church's problem is to maintain relevance and its position of spiritual authenticity as it affects the everyday lives of people everywhere. In Jesus' time there was particular stress among villagers trying to survive under Roman rule and unjust taxation. There was conflict over religious fundamentalism even then. Later the church grew and grew as it expanded and was unjustly persecuted throughout the Roman Empire and Asia Minor. This 'blaming of the times' is a poor excuse for not addressing the essential character and mission of the church today. If we have too few clergy, are closing parishes everywhere, are losing Sunday Mass attendance, and have no empathy for the poor and suffering, we must correct the course of the barque of Peter and re-engage. Never was there greater need for a Vatican III. Perhaps under the next pope...
KEN CHAISON | 3/15/2011 - 2:21pm

Earthquakes and Tsunamis are nature's weapons of mass destruction. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, where there were no such weapons, and where foreign presence is questionable, the world needs to respond to mass destruction (natural disasters) whenever and where ever it occurs.


Perhaps Blue Berets with guns (if they carry guns) are no longer needed in Haiti. The kind of help that is needed changes over time, after a disaster. Maybe, now, the world should ask Haiti what it needs... food, building materials, heavy equipment, advisors, etc..... give it to them and simply get out of their way.


If there is a need for the UN presence, however, to maintain security, then they should stay, until Haiti is stable. A significant part of the UN mission should be training of Haiti's own governmental agencies, to help Haiti get to the point where the Blue Berets are no longer needed.

Robert Asselin | 2/23/2011 - 3:16pm
The translation is not so poor. The article is. The author needs to read Pope John Paul II's encyclical on the hundred year anniversary of Centorum Laborem (? - Pope Leo XIII's) that addresses the capitalistic system. It always needs adjusting.  True, maybe Argentina should not produce so much soy if international market conditions are not fair.  Change them. Instead, the article reverts to blaming local conditions on outside world powers.  The main problem in Argentina has always been political: the lack of democratic institutions and practices that would allow adjustments to inevitable world conditions, as in Japan, and more justice.
WALTER PACKARD REV | 12/6/2010 - 12:07pm

America magazine must surely have better translators.  This article was hard to read.  Unless I misread the article, the inevitable assumption coming from Catholic moralists is that we can't change the rules.  We have done it in with other moral issues, e.g., with usury and slavery.  If science continues to conclude that homosexuality is determined rather than chosen, ought we not to pursue a relational/personal morality to shift the discussion away from the physical acts of sex?  This would end the hellish world created by our Aristotelian and so-called biblical morality regarding same sex issues. 

Katherine Lawrence | 12/6/2010 - 11:42am
i would be so proud of the Catholic Church if it would quit the intellectually circular thinking (e.g., the Mirada article), and change two  things: allow women to become priests and honor same sex marriage.