In coverage of Pope Benedict's Chrism Mass homily on Holy Thursday (See below), most of the media have focused on his addressing the Austrian Pfarrer (Priest) movement which has called for priestly disobedience in the name of church reform, particularly on issues of ordination.
While much of the media treatment was of the standard "pope denounces dissenters" variety, Vatican Insider, a website of the Italian journal La Stampa, offered a very careful analysis with thoughtful responses by leaders of the movement. The burden of the pope's message, however, was that reform and change in the church will come from conformity to Christ and openness to the Spirit.
What was more remarkable perhaps was his admission that the change initiated by the Second Vatican Council is still not done and that open criticism may have a role to play in its advance. "Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions that threatened to stifle the word and the will of God. Indeed he did, so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word."
He continues, "Anyone who considers the history of the postconciliar era can recognize the process of true renewal, which often took unexpected forms in living movements and made almost tangible the inexhaustible vitality of holy church, the presence and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. And if we look at the people from whom these fresh currents of life burst forth and continue to burst forth, then we see that this new fruitfulness requires being filled with the joy of faith, the radicalism of obedience, the dynamic of hope and the power of love."