The titles of articles at Catholic Herald seem to be getting longer and longer – sometimes it looks like they just cut and paste the first paragraph of the article!
Here is William Oddie on a story causing much excitement on the web lately: “Is Pope Francis thinking of appointing as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship a disciple of Annibale Bugnini deeply hostile to Benedict XVI’s reforms?”
Here’s my take on things: the distinction between “hermeneutic of continuity” and “hermeneutic of rupture” isn’t very helpful and has probably outlived its usefulness. Whatever truth there is to it, it tends to cause more confusion than it’s worth.
To be sure, Benedict XVI had a nuanced view of things and could even speak of legitimate ruptures within larger continuities. But for some many of Benedict’s would-be disciples – Oddie is a prime example – the things becomes an excuse to paint in black and white, increase divisions, escalate tensions, and label others inaccurately. To tie Piero Marini to a “hermeneutic of rupture” is an example of such rather simplistic thinking. It would be more accurate to explore how much Marini affirms a rich mix of continuities and ruptures, and how much this reflects the rich mix of continuities and ruptures found within Vatican II itself. But then the whole interpretative model starts to break down – which is why I think the distinction may have outlived its usefulness.
Going forward – whether Piero Marini is appointed to the CDW or not – it seems best to keep mining Sacrosanctum Concilium for its riches, to keep asking what can better be implemented in it, and to be open to the contributions made by many people from many perspectives. Benedict XVI among them.
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Are you keeping track of Marini-1 and Marini-2? Back in 2008 someone made this playful video about the coming reign of Marini-2:
Note, this was about Marini-1 being replaced by Marini-2 as papal MC. Now the rumors are about Marini-1 heading up another department, the CDW.
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For his part, Piero Marini is strongly supportive of our new pope:
It’s a breath of fresh air, it’s opening a window onto springtime and onto hope. We had been breathing the waters of a swamp, and it had a bad smell. We’d been in a church afraid of everything… With Francis we’re talking about positive things; he puts the emphasis on the positive and talks about offering hope… In these first days of his pontificate there’s a different air of freedom, a church that’s closer to the poor and less problematic. He doesn’t like living surrounded by great paintings and gold.
While we all wait with great expectation for the CDW appointment, here are some punchy blog posts that have appeared ever since the Marini rumors began. Damian Thompson wrote a while ago, “Please, Pope Francis, do not hurt Benedict XVI with this move.” Fr. Tim Finigan over at The Hermeneutic of Continuity is praying fervently for the protection of the church. And my favorite: over at Patheos, Katrina Fernandez wrote, “Is your bar stocked? It’s gonna be a long papacy. … I’ll just be staying drunk till the next conclave, m’kay.”
Oh, here’s where you can buy Piero Marini’s book from LitPress.