feb 282010
 

Domine, et misericordiae tuæ, quæ a saeculo sunt: ne unquam dominentur nobis inimici nostri: libera nos, Deus Israel, ex omnibus augustiis nostris.
Kom i hu din barmhjertighet, Herre, og din miskunn, som er fra evighet. La aldri våre fiender få makt over oss. Forløs oss, Israels Gud, fra alle våre trengsler! (Messens inngangsvers fra Salme 25 (24), 6.2.22)

Andre søndag i fasten har i uminnelige tider hatt fortellinga om forklarelsen på fjellet som evangelietekst – i år fra Lukasevangeliet. Første lesning i år er om Abraham som ofra til Herren da den gamle pakt ble oppretta, og jeg syns parallellen mellom de to ofrene er slående, for Jesus forbereder seg nemlig til sitt eget offer her på forklarelsens fjell.

I min preken i dag tok bl.a. jeg opp dette Abrahams offer, sammen med Jesu offer av selv selv, og messens hellige offer. Dessuten nevnte jeg at det er gjennom sin fornedrelse at Kristus blir opphøya og herliggjort, slik disiplene opplevde han på fjellet.

Jeg tar med første lesning og evangeliet under. Alle messens tekster kan leses her, og bønner og antifoner her. Den tradisjonelle latinske messens tekster og bønner fins her.

Første lesning: 1 Mos 15,5-12.17-18 Continue reading »

feb 282010
 

Hør gjerne dette interessante intervjuet med to medlemmer av FSSP, som forteller hvordan dette prestebroderskapet ble stifta i 1988: Etter bruddet mellom Kirken og SSPX, gikk flere tidligere medlemmer av SSPX til Vatikanet om ba om hjelp til å fortsette sitt arbeid i full enhet med Kirken, og de fikk hjelp ganske fort, først og fremst av kardinal Ratzinger. Intervjuet handler også mye om hvordan man egentlig skal forstå den gamle messen.

feb 262010
 

Jeg gleder meg over nyheten jeg mottok i dag; at Efrem forlag nå gir ut ei bok på norsk om pave Benedikts teologi. Og det er heller ikke ei bok oversatt fra engelsk e.l., det er ei bok skrevet av norske bidragsytere; redaktører er Ståle Johannes Kristiansen og Olav Hovdelien. Så langt vet jeg ikke hvem som har skrevet artiklene i boka, og helt konkret hva de handler om, men jeg håper å få lest den ganske snart. Forlaget skriver selv om boka: «På en klar og lettfattelig måte formidler Benedikt XVI – troens & tankens forsvarer sentrale perspektiver på Joseph Ratzingers omfattende teologiske verk. De ulike bidragene er skrevet av fagpersoner som har arbeidet inngående med tematikken.»

De skriver videre om kardinal Ratzinger/ pave Benedikt XVI:
«Ratzinger var sentral i det forrige århundrets fornyelse av katolsk tenkning, ikke minst gjennom sitt arbeid som peritus – teologisk spesialist – for biskopene ved Det annet Vatikankonsil. Her fikk han særlig innflytelse på konstitusjonen om åpenbaringen, Dei Verbum. Mange av dem som så konsilet mer som et oppbrudd enn som kontinuitet med den kirkelige tradisjonen, har i ettertid blitt skuffet over den progressive Ratzinger da han kom i kirkelig posisjon. Men hans hensikt har hele tiden vært å ajourføre troen for verden nettopp ved å fremstille den i hele dens fylde, gjennom en kreativ anknytning til kirkefedrenes og middelalderteologenes kristosentriske skrifttolkning og liturgiske teologi – stadig sammenholdt med en åpenhet for nyere filosofi. Dette knytter seg til hans blikk for den naturlige og gudgitte sammenhengen mellom tro og fornuft.»

—–OPPDATERING—–

Jeg er nå blitt informert om at boka har følgende artikler og forfattere:

Dom Elias Carr, Can.Reg. er tilknyttet Stift Klosterneuburg i Østerrike, og arbeider med en doktoravhandling om teologisk antropologi ved Pontificia Università Gregoriana i Roma. Artikkel i boken: Tre sentrale tekster fra Benedikt XVIs pontifikat. Oversatt av Ole Martin Stamnestrø

Gösta Hallonsten er professor i systematisk teologi ved Lunds Universitet i Sverige. Han var medlem av Den katolske kirkes internasjonale teologkommisjon fra 1992-2002. Artikkel i boken: Paven, Jesus og eksegesen. Oversatt av Gunnar Wicklund-Hansen

Olav Hovdelien (red.) er førstelektor ved Høgskolen i Oslo, Avdeling for lærerutdanning og internasjonale studier. Artikkel i boken: Postsekularistisk konsensus? Om München-dialogen mellom Joseph Ratzinger og Jürgen Habermas

Ståle Johannes Kristiansen (red.) arbeider med en doktoravhandling om Dionysius Areopagitens symbolske teologi, ved Universitetet i Bergen.
Artikkel i boken: Mottakelsens mysterium Integrert mariologi hos Joseph Ratzinger og Hans Urs von Balthasar

Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P. er tilknyttet dominikanerordenens hus i Cambridge, England: Blackfriars Cambridge. Han er medlem av det teologiske fakultet ved Cambridge University. Artikkel i boken: Joseph Ratzingers plassering innen katolsk teologi. Oversatt av Ståle Johannes Kristiansen

Maria Junttila Sammut er stipendiat ved Det teologiske Menighetsfakultet i Oslo, hvor hun arbeider med en doktoravhandling om Joseph Ratzingers historieteologi. Artikkel i boken: Kristen teologi mellom det Absolutte og historiske prosesser

feb 262010
 

I artikkelen av Mary Eberstadt, om lettversjonene av kristendommen, som jeg nevnte tidligere i dag, skriver hun at det faktisk er først og fremst seksualmoral som skiller den ‘lette’ formen for kristendom fra den mer ‘solide’:

… … As of now—and as has been true for some time—those churches have increasingly defined themselves as dissenting on one issue above all others: They have jettisoned one or another or all of the teachings of traditional Christian sexual morality.

Certainly ordinary parishioners see things this way. Ask any contemporary Mainline Protestant what most distinguishes his or her version of Christianity from that of Roman Catholicism, and you will likely get some version of this response: Catholics are still hung up on sex, and we’re not. They prohibit things like divorce and birth control and abortion and homosexuality, and we don’t. Moreover, this rendition of the facts would be essentially correct. At this particular moment in Christian history, it is sex—not Mary or the saints or predestination or purgatory or papal infallibility or good works—that is the Rubicon no one can really imagine these particular Protestants crossing again.

Problemene med seksualmoralen begynte, skriver hun, først med synet på skilsmisse, dernest med synet på kunstig prevensjon. Spørsmålet om prevensjon har tradisjonelt sett ikke blitt diskutert mye i Norge; blant lutheranere (og andre protestanter) ble det bare gradvis godtatt i mellomkrigsåra, uten at jeg kjenner til noen diskusjon rundt det. Også blant katolikker i Norge forblir dette spørsmålet oftest forbigått i stillhet. Derfor er det ganske nytt (og sjokkerende) når Eberstadt argumenter svært så sterkt for at; å tillate kunstig prevensjon var det første steget som førte til en rasering av hele den kristne seksualmoralet, og oftest førte til at man fornektet også sentrale kristne dogmer. Jeg tar med en del av hennes argumenter her:

… another example of the historical attempt to disentangle a thread of moral teaching out of the whole: the dissent about artificial contraception. Here, too, Anglicans took the historical lead. Throughout most of its history, all of Christianity—even divided Christianity—upheld the teaching that artificial contraception was wrong. Not until the Lambeth Conference of 1930 was that unity shattered by the subsequently famous Resolution 15, in which the Anglicans called for exceptions to the rule in certain difficult, carefully delineated marital (and only marital) circumstances.

Exactly as had happened with divorce, the Anglican okaying of contraception was born largely of compassion for human frailty and dedicated to the idea that such cases would be mere exceptions to the theological rule. Thus Resolution 15 itself—for all that it was a radical break with two millennia of Christian teaching—abounded with careful language about the limited character of its reform, including “strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.”

And also as had happened with divorce, the effort to hold the line at such carefully drawn borders soon proved futile. Continue reading »

feb 262010
 

Dette skriver Mary Eberstadt om i februar-nummeret av First Things, i en artikkel hun kaller Christianity Light. Hun åpner artikkelen med å neskrive hvordan pave benedikt på en svært generøs måte ønsker konservative/ tradisjonelle anglikanere velkommen til Den katolske Kirke, og fortsetetr med å beskrive hvordan anglikanerne (de mest liberale, i alle) har mer og mer problemer, både med sin tro, og med antallet medlemmer. Hun er svært usikker på hva som vil skje med disse anglikanske/ episkopale kirkesamfunnene, men ikke bare med disse, også med andre protestanter av den liberale/ ‘lette’ typen:

… … we may well begin to wonder something else. That is, whether what we are witnessing now is not only the beginning of the end of the Anglican Communion but indeed the end of something even larger: the phenomenon of Christianity Lite itself.

By this I mean the multifaceted institutional experiment, beginning but not ending with the Anglican Communion, of attempting to preserve Christianity while simultaneously jettisoning certain of its traditional teachings—specifically, those regarding sexual morality. Surveying the record to date of what has happened to the churches dedicated to this long-running modern religious experiment, a large historical question now appears: whether the various exercises in this specific kind of dissent from traditional teaching turn out to contain the seeds of their own destruction. The evidence—preliminary but already abundant—suggests that the answer is yes.

If this is so, then the implications for the future of Christianity itself are likely to be profound. If it is Christianity Lite, rather than Christianity proper, that is fatally flawed and ultimately unable to sustain itself, then a rewriting of much of contemporary thought, religious and secular, appears in order. It means that secularization itself may be fundamentally misunderstood. It means that the most unwanted and unfashionable traditional teaching of Christianity, its sexual moral code, demands of the modern mind a new and respectful look. As a strategic matter, it also means that the current battle within the Catholic Church between traditionalists and dissenters must go to the traditionalists, lest the dissenters or cafeteria Catholics take the same path that the churches of Christianity Lite have followed: down, down, down.

feb 252010
 


Benedict XVI and the Sacred Liturgy er tittelen på ei bok som kommer ut i mai i år; en samling artikler om vår paves syn på liturgiske spørsmål. Boka er redigert av Neil J. Roy & Janet E. Rutherford og av innholdet finner vi bl.a.:

D. Vincent Twomey (St Patrick’s College, Maynooth), Benedict XVI, Pope and leigourgos

Jorge Maria Cardinal Mejía (Secretary of the College of Cardinals), The problem of translation

Manfred Hauke (U Lugano, Switzerland), Klaus Gamber: father of the new liturgical movement

Helen Hull Hitchcock, Benedict XVI and the ‘reform of the reform’

James Hitchcock (St Louis U), Continuity and disruption in the liturgy

Uwe Michael Lang (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments), The crisis of sacred art and the sources for its renewal in the thought of Benedict XVI

Dennis McManus (Georgetown U), Translation theory in Liturgiam authenticam

Joseph Murphy (Secretariat of State, Vatican City), Joseph Ratzinger and the liturgy: a theological approach

Alcuin Reid, The liturgical reform of Benedict XVI

Neil J. Roy, The Roman Canon: deësis in euchology.

LNM-bloggen skriver om boka HER og HER.

feb 252010
 

Aller sist fra kardinal Ratzingers foredrag i Fontgombault tar jeg med det han sier helt mot slutten, om messen hellige offer, der de troende forener seg med Kristus i hans offer, og altså bærer seg selv og alt sitt fram for Herren, og slik vokser i tro og fellesskap.

This true sacrifice, which transforms us all into sacrifice, that is to say unites us to God, makes of us beings conformed to God, is indeed fixed and founded on an historical event, but is not situated as a thing in the past behind us, on the contrary, it becomes contemporary and accessible to us in the community of the believing and praying Church, in its sacrament: that is what is meant by the «sacrifice of the Mass.”

The error of Luther lay, I am convinced, in a false idea of historicity, in a poor understanding of unicity. The sacrifice of Christ is not situated behind us as something past. It touches all times and is present to us. The Eucharist is not merely the distribution of what comes from the past, but rather the presence of the Paschal Mystery of Christ, Who transcends and unites all times. … …

Which brings me to the conclusion. Theology of the liturgy means that God acts through Christ in the liturgy and that we cannot act but through Him and with Him. Of ourselves, we cannot construct the way to God. This way does not open up unless God Himself becomes the way. And again, the ways of man which do not lead to God are non-ways. Theology of the liturgy means furthermore that in the liturgy, the Logos Himself speaks to us; and not only does He speak, He comes with His Body, and His Soul, His Flesh and His Blood, His Divinity and His Humanity, in order to unite us to Himself, to make of us one single «body.» In the Christian liturgy, the whole history of salvation, even more, the whole history of human searching for God is present, assumed and brought to its goal. The Christian liturgy is a cosmic liturgy – it embraces the whole of creation which «awaits with impatience the revelation of the sons of God» (Rom. 8; 9).

Trent did not make a mistake, it leant for support on the solid foundation of the Tradition of the Church. It remains a trustworthy standard. But we can and should understand it in a more profound way in drawing from the riches of biblical witness and from the faith of the Church of all the ages. There are true signs of hope that this renewed and deepened understanding of Trent can, in particular through the intermediary of the Eastern Churches, be made accessible to protestant Christians. …

feb 252010
 

Forsonig, soning for synd, er blitt fremmed for det moderne menensket, vi kan ikke se at vår synd virkelig sårer Gud, sier Ratzinger videre i sitt foredrag i Fontgombault. Og banaliseringen av liturgien kommer fra denne banaliseringen av vårt syn på Gud. Les selv:

All this has become very foreign to contemporary thought. Reparation («expiation») can perhaps mean something within the limits of human conflicts and the settling of guilt which holds sway among human beings, but its transposition to the relationship between God and man can not work. This, surely, is largely the result of the fact that our image of God has grown dim, has come close to deism. One can no longer imagine that human offences can wound God, and even less that they could necessitate an expiation such as that which constitutes the Cross of Christ. The same applies to vicarious substitution: we can hardly still imagine anything in that category – our image of man has become too individualistic for that.

Thus the crisis of the liturgy has its basis in central ideas about man. In order to overcome it, it does not suffice to banalise the liturgy and transform it into a simple gathering at a fraternal meal. But how can we escape from these disorientations? How can we recover the meaning of this immense thing which is at the heart of the message of the Cross and of the Resurrection? In the final analysis, not through theories and scholarly reflections, but only through conversion, by a radical change of life. It is, however, possible to single out some things which open the way to this change of heart, and I would like to put forward some suggestions in that direction, in three stages.

The first stage should be a preliminary question on the essential meaning of the word «sacrifice.» People commonly consider sacrifice as the destruction of something precious in the eyes of man; in destroying it, man wants to consecrate this reality to God, to recognise His sovereignty. In fact, however, a destruction does not honour God. … … What then does sacrifice consist of? Not in destruction, not in this or that thing, but in the transformation of man. In the fact that he becomes himself conformed to God. He becomes conformed to God when he becomes love. «That is why true sacrifice is every work which allows us to unite ourselves to God in a holy fellowship,» as Augustine puts it.

With this key from the New Testament, Augustine interprets the Old Testament sacrifices as symbols pointing to this sacrifice properly so called, and that is why, he says, worship had to be transformed, the symbol had to disappear in favour of the reality. «All the divine prescriptions of Scripture which concern the sacrifices of the tabernacle or of the temple, are figures which refer to the love of God and neighbour» (City of God X, 5). But Augustine also knows that love only becomes true when it leads a man to God, and thus directs him to his true end; it alone can likewise bring about unity of men among themselves. Therefore the concept of sacrifice refers to community, and the first definition which Augustine attempted, is broadened by the following statement: «The whole redeemed human community, that is to say the assembly and the community of the saints, is offered to God in sacrifice by the High Priest Who offered Himself» (Ibid X,6). And even more simply: «This sacrifice is ourselves,» or again: «Such is the Christian sacrifice: the multitude – a single body in Christ» (Ibid X, 6).Sacrifice consists then, we shall say it once more, in a process of transformation, in the conformity of man to God, in His theiosis, as the Fathers would say. It consists, to express it in modern phraseology, in the abolition of difference – in the union between God and man, between God and creation: «God all in all» (1 Cor. 15; 28).

Les mer her (avsnitt 4 i foredraget).

feb 242010
 

I sitt foredrag i Fontgombault i 2001 tar kardinal Ratzinger opp sammen med diskusjonen om messen som et offer, også opp begrepet «påskemysteriet«, som er blitt mye brukt siden 2. Vatikankonsil – og, ifølge Ratzinger, ofte misforstått. Først skriver han om forståelsen av hva et offer er:

What emerges from it is that, in its course through the history of religions and biblical history, the idea of sacrifice has connotations which go well beyond the area of discussion which we habitually associate with the idea of sacrifice. In fact, it opens the doorway to a global understanding of worship and of the liturgy: these are the great perspectives which I would like to try to point out here. …

Så skriver han om forholdet mellom påske og offeret, der noen (helt feilaktig) ser en motsetning mellom påskemysteriet og offeret, mens Ratzinger mener det er en dyp sammenheng mellom disse to begrepene:
In the bibliographic review mentioned, Stefan Orth says that the fact of having avoided after Vatican II, the idea of sacrifice, has «led people to think of divine worship in terms of the feast of the Passover related in the accounts of the Last Supper.» At first sight this wording appears ambiguous: is one to think of divine worship in terms of the Last Supper narratives, or in terms of the Passover, to which those narratives refer in giving a chronological framework, but which they do not otherwise describe. It would be right to say that the Jewish Passover, the institution of which is related in Exodus 12, acquires a new meaning in the New Testament. It is there that is manifested a great historical movement which goes from the beginnings right up to the Last Supper, the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus. But what is astonishing above all in Orth’s presentation is the opposition posited between the idea of sacrifice and the Passover.

The Jewish Old Testament deprives Orth’s thesis of meaning, because from the law of Deuteronomy on, the slaughtering of lambs is linked to the temple; and even in the earliest period, when the Passover was still a family feast, the slaughtering of lambs already had a sacrificial character. Thus, precisely through the tradition of the Passover, the idea of sacrifice is carried right up to the words and gestures of the Last Supper, where it is present also on the basis of a second Old Testament passage, Exodus 24, which relates the conclusion of the Covenant at Sinai. There, it is related that the people were sprinkled with the blood of the victims previously brought, and that Moses said on this occasion: «This is the blood of the Covenant which Yahweh makes with you in accordance with all these provisions.» (Ex. 24:8) The new Christian Passover is thus expressly interpreted in the accounts of the Last Supper as a sacrificial event, and on the basis of the words of the Last Supper, the nascent Church knew that the Cross was a sacrifice, because the Last Supper would be an empty gesture without the reality of the Cross and of the Resurrection, which is anticipated in it and made accessible for all time in its interior content.

Ratzinger går så videre og bemerker at også SSPX opplever at det er en motsetning mellom begrepene påskemysteriet og (messnes) offer, noe han mener er misforstått: (På samme måte som vi ser at SSPX (og noen andre tradisjonalister) ser på Vatikankonsilet som et brudd med Kirkens tradisjon, mens Ratzinger alltid presiserer at konsilet må forstås som en fortsettelsen av Tradisjonen.)
I mention this strange opposition between the Passover and sacrifice, because it represents the architectonic principle of a book recently published by the Society of St. Pius X, claiming that a dogmatic rupture exists between the new liturgy of Paul VI and the preceding catholic liturgical tradition. This rupture is seen precisely in the fact that everything is interpreted henceforth on the basis of the «paschal mystery,» instead of the redeeming sacrifice of expiation of Christ; the category of the paschal mystery is said to be the heart of the liturgical reform, and it is precisely that which appears to be the proof of the rupture with the classical doctrine of the Church. It is clear that there are authors who lay themselves open to such a misunderstanding; but that it is a misunderstanding is completely evident for those who look more closely. … … The paschal theology of the New Testament, upon which we have cast a quick glance, gives us to understand precisely this: the seemingly profane episode of the Crucifixion of Christ is a sacrifice of expiation, a saving act of the reconciling love of God made man. The theology of the Passover is a theology of the redemption, a liturgy of expiatory sacrifice. The Shepherd has become a Lamb.

feb 242010
 

P. Arnfinn skriv interessant at han har vore i Helsinki og halde foredrag om kardinal Newman, og sist sundag var han med på den heilage (ortodkse) liturgien.

I dag gjekk fr Antoine og eg til Liturgien (messa /evkaristien) i ei finsk-ortodoks soknekyrkje like ved; Treieningskyrkja, eit sokn for russisk-talande ortodokse. Vanlegvis er det Johannes Krysostomos-liturgien som blir feira; i dag var det Basilios-liturgien, kanskje fordi det er fyrste sundagen i fastetida (som i år fell på same tid som den vestlege/katolske). Lesinga, som blir sungen/resitert, var frå Hebrearbrevet 11 og evangeliet, også resitert, var forteljinga om Natanael og Filip. “Kom og sjå!”, seier Fiilip då Natanel tvila på om Filip verkeleg hadde funne Messias. “Kom og sjå!”, Gud har gjort seg synleg i Jesus Messias; han har verkeleg teke på seg menneskeleg natur! Presten som preika, med stor iver, knytte dette til den ortodokse ikontradisjonen; Kyrkja feirar ‘Ortodoksiens siger’ til minne om at ikonoklastane (dei som i oldkyrkja ville forby ikonar) vart overvunne. Kristen, ortodoks (rett) tru er trua på at at “Ordet vart kjøt”; at Jesus er sann Gud og sant menneske. Heile frelsa avheng av det.

Les meir om dette her.

feb 242010
 

I sitt foredrag i Fontgombault er Kardinal Ratzinger ganske skarp mot det man må kunne kalle liberal teologi; som ikke studerer Skriften og Tradisjonen med troens øye, men som føler seg fri til å finne på stadig nye ting. Han skriver: Not only is the authority of the ecclesiastical magisterium downgraded in the eyes of many, but Scripture too; in its place are put changing pseudo-historical hypotheses, which are immediately replaced by any arbitrary idea, and place the liturgy at the mercy of fashion. Where, on the basis of such ideas, the liturgy is manipulated ever more freely, the faithful feel that, in reality, nothing is celebrated, and it is understandable that they desert the liturgy, and with it the Church.

Deretter sier han mer om tre kriterier som gjelder for teologien: 1) at vi har tillit til Skriften, 2) at Skriften leses ut fra Kirkens forståelse og 3) at vår forforståelse av sentrale begreper (her: offer) får stor betydning for vår konklusjon:

Let us return to the fundamental question: is it correct to describe the liturgy as a divine sacrifice, or is it a damnable impiety? In this discussion, one must first of all establish the principle presuppositions which, in any event, determine the reading of Scripture, and thus the conclusions which one draws from it. For the catholic Christian, two lines of essential hermeneutic orientation assert themselves here.

The first: we trust Scripture and we base ourselves on Scripture, not on hypothetical reconstructions which go behind it and, according to their own taste, reconstruct a history in which the presumptious idea of our knowing what can or can not be attributed to Jesus plays a key role; which, of course, means attributing to him only what a modern scholar is happy to attribute to a man belonging to a time which the scholar himself has reconstructed.

The second is that we read Scripture in the living community of the Church, and therefore on the basis of the fundamental decisions thanks to which it has become historically efficacious, namely, those which laid the foundations of the Church. One must not separate the text from this living context. In this sense, Scripture and Tradition form an inseparable whole, and it is this that Luther, at the dawn of the awakening of historical awareness, could not see. He believed that a text could only have one meaning, but such univocity does not exist, and modern historiography has long since abandoned the idea. That in the nascent Church, the Eucharist was, from the beginning, understood as a sacrifice, even in a text such as the Didache, which is so difficult and marginal vis-à-vis the great Tradition, is an interpretative key of primary importance.

But there is another fundamental hermeneutical aspect in the reading and the interpretation of biblical testimony. The fact that I can, or cannot, recognize a sacrifice in the Eucharist as our Lord instituted it, depends most essentially on the question of knowing what I understand by sacrifice, therefore on what is called precomprehension. The pre-comprehension of Luther, for example, in particular his conception of the relation between the Old and the New Testaments, his conception of the event and of the historic presence of the Church, was such that the category of sacrifice, as he saw it, could not appear other than as an impiety when applied to the Eucharist and the Church. … …

For the believing theologian, it is clear that it is Scripture itself which must teach him the essential definition of sacrifice, and that will come from a «canonical» reading of the Bible, in which the Scripture is read in its unity and its dynamic movement, the different stages of which receive their final meaning from Christ, to Whom this whole movement leads. By this same standard the hermeneutic here presupposed is a hermeneutic of faith, founded on faith’s internal logic. Ought not the fact to be obvious? Without faith, Scripture itself is not Scripture, but rather an ill-assorted ensemble of bits of literature which cannot claim any normative significance today.

feb 232010
 

Hvem snakker i dag om messen som «eukaristiens guddommelige offer»?

Slik spissformulerer kardinal Ratzinger seg i sitt foredrag på liturgikonferansen i Fontgombault, som jeg skrev om kort her – og skal skrive mer om. Jeg har i løpet av de siste to-tre dagene lest kardinalens (pave Benedikts) foredrag under denne konferansen, og vil først stoppe ved (den manglende) forståelsen i dag av at messen er et offer. Han starter med å si at slik definerer 2. Vatikonsil messen, men fortsetter med å si at siden den tid har mange katolske teologer angrepet denne forståelsen – og en del prester og lekfolk har også begynt å snakke om messen på andre måter, siden de ikke vil være umoderne. Faktisk sier han at det ser som at Luther (som hadde som et av sine hovedpoeng at messen ikke kunne eller måtte være et offer til Gud) har klart å overbevise mange katolske teologer om at han hadde rett! Les selv:

If we go back to Vatican II, we find the following description of this relationship: «In the liturgy, through which, especially in the divine Sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our Redemption is carried on’, the faithful are most fully led to express and show to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.”

All that has become foreign to modern thinking and, only thirty years after the Council, has been brought into question even among catholic liturgists. Who still talks today about «the divine Sacrifice of the Eucharist»? Discussions about the idea of sacrifice have again become astonishingly lively, as much on the catholic side as on the protestant. People realise that an idea which has always preoccupied, under various forms, not only the history of the Church, but the entire history of humanity, must be the expression of something basic which concerns us as well. But, at the same time, the old Enlightenment positions still live on everywhere: accusations of magic and paganism, contrasts drawn between worship and the service of the Word, between rite and ethos, the idea of a Christianity which disengages itself from worship and enters into the profane world, catholic theologians who have no desire to see themselves accused of anti-modernity. Even if people want, in one way or another, to rediscover the concept of sacrifice, embarrassment and criticism are the end result. Thus, Stefan Orth, in the vast panorama of a bibliography of recent works devoted to the theme of sacrifice, believed he could make the following statement as a summary of his research: «In fact, many Catholics themselves today ratify the verdict and the conclusions of Martin Luther, who says that to speak of sacrifice is «the greatest and most appalling horror» and a «damnable impiety»: this is why we want to refrain from all that smacks of sacrifice, including the whole canon, and retain only that which is pure and holy.» Then Orth adds: «This maxim was also followed in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, or at least tended to be, and led people to think of divine worship chiefly in terms of the feast of the Passover related in the accounts of the Last Supper.» Appealing to a work on sacrifice, edited by two modern catholic liturgists, he then said, in slightly more moderate terms, that it clearly seemed that the notion of the sacrifice of the Mass – even more than that of the sacrifice of the Cross – was at best an idea very open to misunderstanding.

I certainly don’t need to say that I am not one of the «numerous Catholics» who consider it the most appalling horror and a damnable impiety to speak of the sacrifice of the Mass. It goes without saying that the writer did not mention my book on the spirit of the liturgy, which analyses the idea of sacrifice in detail. His diagnosis remains dismaying. Is it true? I do not know these numerous Catholics who consider it a damnable impiety to understand the Eucharist as a sacrifice. The second, more circumspect, diagnosis according to which the sacrifice of the Mass is open to misunderstandings is, on the other hand, easily shown to be correct. Even if one leaves to one side the first affirmation of the writer as a rhetorical exaggeration, there remains a troubling problem, which we should face up to. A sizable party of catholic liturgists seems to have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate; one can detect much the same position in the post conciliar discussions on the Priesthood. … …

Hele Ratzingers foredrag i Fontgombault kan leses her.

feb 232010
 

«Kristus, ikke menigheten, er liturgiens subjekt«, var temaet for en viktig liturgikonferanse i Benediktinerklosteret Notre Dame, i Fontgombault i Frankrike. Det har vært arrangert flere liturgikonferanser der, men konferansen fra 2001 er spesielt kjent, fordi daværende kardinal Ratzinger deltok, og holdt et viktig foredrag om «Liturgiens teologi». (Jeg hadde nok så vidt hørt om denne konferansen før, men må nok jobbe syetmatisk i nokså lang tid framover for å få en noenlunde solid oversikt over hva som har skjedd luturgisk de siste 50 til 150 år.) På denne siden kan bl.a. lese følgende om konferansen (som jeg snart kommer tilbake til):

The congress proved important for the way in which the chief guest speaker, Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dealt in passing with the question of the so-called «reform of the reform». …

Oddly, neither the International Federation of Una Voce not the German organization Pro Missa Tridentina were invited to send a delegate. However, one of the guest speakers, was Professor Robert Spaemann, a former President of Pro Missa Tridentina and another, was Professor Roberto de Mattei from Italy, a member of Una Voce.

The purpose of the conference was to promote, in the words of one participant, «a sort of ecumenism within the Church»: to bring together Catholics from different liturgical orientations to discuss basic questions about the liturgy.

Despite much off-stage, and extravagant, controversy among people who were not represented at the congress about its purpose, the conference was never intended to be an exclusively ‘traditionalist’ affair. Nor was the meeting about how to effect a so-called «Reform of the Reform» or about how to manoeuvre communities which use the classical liturgy into changes to the traditional books and the manner of using them. Rather, the conference was about the liturgy in general and the problems confronting it today: «an attempt», as our observer put it, «to return to the good beginnings of the [pre-conciliar] liturgical movement».

Jeg legger merke til at man ønsker å gripe tilbake til det positive i den litugiske bevegelsen fra første halvdel av 1900-tallet, at man ikke har hatt som prioritett å løfte fram den tradisjonelle latinske messen, men heller (ser det ut til) ønsker å arbeide for en reform av liturgureformen.

feb 222010
 

Fra min bunke med liturgibøker ser jeg nå på «BEYOND THE PROSAIC – Renewing the Liturgical movement». Boka er redigert av Stratford Caldecott, og gjenspeiler det som skjedde på konferansen ‘Beyond the Prosaic i Oxford i 1996. På denne konferansen ble denne interessante uttalesen om liturgien vedtatt, og jeg gjengir den i sin helhet (med egne uthevelser):

Issued by the Liturgy Forum of the Centre for Faith & Culture at Westminster College, Oxford, at the conlusion of the 1996 Conference of the Centre, ‘ Beyond the Prosaic’.

1. Reflecting on the history of liturgical renewal and reform since the Second Vatican Council, the Liturgy Forum agreed that there have been many positive results. Among these might be mentioned the introduction of the vernacular, the opening up of the treasury of the Sacred Scriptures, increased participation in the liturgy and the enrichment of the process of Christian initiation. However, the Forum concluded that the preconciliar liturgical movement as well as the manifest intentions of Sacrosanctum Concilium have in large part been frustrated by powerful contrary forces, which could be described as bureaucratic, philistine and secularist.

2. The effect has been to deprive the Catholic people of much of their liturgical heritage. Certainly, many ancient traditions of sacred music, art and architecture have been all but destroyed. Sacrosanctum Concilium gave pride of place to Gregorian chant [Section 116], yet in many places this «sung theology» of the Roman liturgy has disappeared without trace. Our liturgical heritage is not a superficial embellishment of worship but should properly be regarded as intrinsic to it, as it is also to the process of transmitting the Catholic faith in education and evangelization. Liturgy cannot be separated from culture; it is the living font of a Christian civilization and hence has profound ecumenical significance.

3. The impoverishment of our liturgy after the Council is a fact not yet sufficiently admitted or understood, to which the necessary response must be a revival of the liturgical movement and the initiation of a new cycle of reflection and reform. Continue reading »

feb 222010
 

Før gårsdagens Angelus-bønn på Petersplassen tok pave Benedikt naturlig nok utgangspunkt i fastetida generelt og i teksten om Jesu faste og fristelse i ørkenen spesielt. Og han sa bl.a.:
It is evident that there is an insistence on the fact that the temptations were no accident but the consequence of Jesus’ choice to carry out the mission entrusted to him by the Father, to embrace completely his reality as beloved Son, who hands himself over entirely to the Father. Christ came into the world to free us from sin and the dangerous fascination of planning our lives without God. He did it not with high-sounding proclamations, but by personally struggling against the Tempter, right to the cross. This is an example for all: The world improves beginning with ourselves, changing what is not right in our lives with the grace of God.

Of the three temptations that Satan proposes to Jesus, the first has to do with hunger, that is, material need .. (the next one) is the deception of power, and Jesus unmasks this temptation and rejects it … Power is not to be worshiped but God alone, truth and love.

Finally, the Tempter proposes that Jesus perform a spectacular miracle … We must never try an experiment in which God is supposed to respond and show himself to be God: we must believe in him! We must not make God “material” for our “experiment”! Referring again to sacred Scripture, Jesus opposes to human criterion the only authentic criterion: obedience, conformity with God’s will, which is the foundation of our being. This too is a basic teaching for us: If we carry the Word of God in our heart and in our mind, if it enters into our lives, if we have confidence in God, we can reject any sort of deception of the Tempter.

Moreover, from the whole story there clearly emerges the image of Christ as the new Adam, Son of God, humble and obedient to the Father, unlike Adam and Eve, who in the Garden of Eden gave in to the seductions of the spirit of evil to become immortal without God.

Les alt pave Benedikt sa her.

feb 212010
 


Jeg gjengir her disposisjonen til (de tre) prekenene jeg holdt i dag:

Vi tar utgangspunkt i evangeliet i dagens messe – om Jesu egen faste i ørkenen, og hvordan denne fasten har gitt oss vår egen fasteforberedelse før påsken. Jeg vil også påpeke at prefasjonen i messen poengterer enkelte viktige aspekter av fasten, nå den sier:
– Ved sin førti dagers faste vigslet han denne botens tid,
– og ved å motstå djevelens angrep lærte han oss å beseire det onde i våre hjerter,
– så vi med renset sinn kan feire påskemysteriet
– og engang nå frem til den evige påske.

I messens bønner og kommunionsvers kan man også se at kanskje det mest sentrale temaet er; at mennesket ikke lever av brød alene, men av hvert ord som går ut av Guds munn.

Jeg vil også ta med noeen få elementer (nokså fritt gjengitt) fra pave Benedikts brev til alle katolikker før årets faste. Han knytter sine fastetanker til Den hellige Paulus’ ord: «Guds rettferdighet har blitt åpenbart gjennom troen på Jesus Kristus» (jf. Rom 3, 21-22). Og paven tar også opp følgende ord fra Jesus, fra datidens strid om hva som er rent og urent: «Ikke noe av det som kommer inn i mennesket utenfra, kan gjøre det urent. Nei, det er det som går ut fra mennesket, som gjør mennesket urent. […] For innenfra, fra menneskehjertet, kommer de onde tankene» (Mark 7, 14-15, 20-21).

Her kan vi ane i fariseernes reaksjon en vedvarende fristelse for mennesket: å søke etter roten til det onde utenfor seg selv. Det er helt tydelig at mange moderne ideologier har dette som sin forutsetning: Ettersom urett kommer «utenfra», er det tilstrekkelig for å virkeliggjøre rettferdighet, at en forandrer ytre omstendigheter som står i veien for den. En slik tankegang, advarer Jesus, er naiv og kortsiktig. Continue reading »

feb 202010
 

Zenit.org skriver om dette besøket her, og bakgrunnen er at Romas lutherske menigheten hadde invitert pave Benedikt i 2008, for å komme og markere at det da var 25 år siden pave Johannes paul IIs første besøk i menigheten i 1983.

Den lutherske menigheten er glade for besøket, og according to the Lutheran community, Benedict XVI’s homily will be on the biblical passage from John: «Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.»

For his part, Pastor Jens-Martin Kruse will analyze the first chapter of the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, which speaks about Christ’s consolation in moments of tribulation.

Den katolske bloggen Rorate cæli skriver om besøk i to artikler. Først er det en ren nyhetsmelding, som har ført til en hel del SVÆRT NEGATIVE KOMMENTARER OG STERK KRITIKK AV PAVE BENEDIKT. Dernest er det en artikkel som ser på den lutherske menigheten i Roma på en forholdsvis objektiv måte; sier at den stort sett består av tyskspråklige, men at det også er noen inngiftede (og sannsynligvis tidligere katolske) italienere der. Som eksempel nevner de en italiensk kvinne som var døpt katolsk, ble agnostiker, og under noen studieår i Tyskland kom tilbake til kristen tro og ble lutheraner. Denne andre artikkelen har så langt ikke fått særlig mange kommentarer.

Jeg reagerte spesielt på kommentarene til den første artikkelen, fordi disse katolikkene ikke ser ut til å ville forstå at når vi katolikker samarbeider med ‘alle menensker av god vilje’, med protestanter etc., så betyr det ikke at vi (dvs. paven og den offisielle Kirken) har blitt relativister, at vi ikke mener sannheten er viktig, eller at vi tviler på at den katolske tro er den rette tro. Men vi kan samarbeide med alle slags mennesker (dvs. uavhengig av deres religiøse tro) om aktuelle praktiske og ideologiske spørsmål der vi er enige. Det samme kan vi gjøre med protestantiske kristne, men med disse kan vi også samarbeide om det vi har felles som kristne (som er ganske mye, men langt fra alt, i vår tro). Men når pave Benedikt og den lutherske pastoren i Roma møtes til felles bibellesning og bønn, og reflekterer over henholdsvis Johannesevangeliet og Paulus’ brev til korinterne, klarer jeg ikke å forstå opphisselsen.

feb 192010
 

Fra Polen er det skrevet et spørsmål til Vatikanets kommisjon «Ecclesia Dei» om sognepresten på eget initiativ kan velge å feire den tradisjonelle latinske messen i sin menighet (uten at han direkte har fått en forespørsel fra ei gruppe troende), og om det vil være mulig å bytte ut en søndagsmesse i messens nye form med en TLM. Svaret er ja på begge disse spørsmålene:

…. ….
2. Can the holy Mass in the extraordinary form be scheduled for the hour when until now holy Mass was celebrated in the ordinary form? …

3. Can a pastor or another priest celebrate publicly of his own accord the extraordinary form – apart from the usual regular use of the new form – «so that all faithful – both young and old – become familiar with the older rite and can benefit from its appreciable beauty and transcendence»? … ..

Answer from «Ecclesia Dei»:
ad 2 and ad 3: The question is left to the prudent judgment of the parish priest [pastor, parochus] it being understood that the stable group of faithful have the right to assist at the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Les gjerne mer om dette her og her.

Men husk at pave Benedikts motu proprio om den gamle messen også sier at det bare kan feires én søndagsmesse i den ekstraordinære form i en menighet hver søndag, mens i messens ordinære form feires man så mange søndagsmesser som nødvendig. TLM er messens ekstraordinære form – og den må gjerne brukes – den skal på ingen måte erstatte den nye messen.

feb 192010
 

«Livets Evangelium er hjertet i Jesu budskap som Kirken kjærlig tar imot og forkynner trofast og frimodig som «det glade budskap» til mennesker i enhver tidsalder og i alle kulturer. …Ved frelsens frembrudd proklameres den glade nyhet om et barns fødsel: «For jeg har en stor glede å forkynne dere, og den skal bli hele folket til del: I dag er deres frelser født, her i Davids by; det er Messias, Herren!» (Luk. 2,10-11). Kilden til denne «store glede» er Frelserens fødsel; men julen åpenbarer også den fulle mening med hvert menneskes fødsel, og den gleden som ledsager Messias’ fødsel, gir opphav til glede ved hvert menneskes komme til verden (kfr. Joh. 16,21). … …

Mennesket er kalt til et liv i overflod som langt overgår menneskets jordiske eksistens, fordi det dreier seg om å ha del i Guds eget liv. … … Kirken vet at Livets Evangelium, mottatt fra Vår Herre, finner gjenklang i menneskenes hjerter hvor Guds lov er skrevet inn (kfr. Rom 2,14-15) – hos troende såvel som ikke-troende – fordi det på underfullt vis både oppfyller alle hjertets forventninger og langt overgår dem. … …

Mennesker som bekjenner seg til Kristus, må i særlig grad forsvare og fremme denne rettighet, oppmerksomme som de er på denne veldige sannhet som Det annet Vatikankonsil minner oss om: «Han, Guds Sønn, forenet seg på et vis med hvert menneske ved sin inkarnasjon.» Denne frelsende hendelse viser oss ikke bare Guds grenseløse kjærlighet, han som «så høyt elsket verden, at han gav sin enbårne sønn til pris» (Joh 3,16), den viser oss også hver persons uforlignelige verdi.

Mens Kirken trofast betrakter Frelsens mysterium, anerkjenner den stadig på ny dette under. Kirken føler seg kallet til å forkynne dette budskap som er kilde til uovervinnelig håp og sann glede i enhver tidsalder. Det glade budskap om Guds kjærlighet til mennesket, det glade budskap om menneskets verdighet, og det glade budskap om livet er ett og det samme budskap.»

Hele encyklikaen kan leses her på norsk. Jeg skriver om dette nå, fordi jeg leste at en messe skal feires (i New York) for å markere årsdagen for den viktige encyklikaen om livets ukrenkelighet, og biskop emeritus av New York, kardinal Egan, da skal feire den tradisjonelle latinske messen.

Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, will celebrate a Pontifical Mass to mark the 15th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”), the pro-life encyclical by Pope John Paul II. … Edward Cardinal Egan will celebrate the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962, the form of the Catholic Church’s Mass before the Second Vatican Council.

According to Richard Janniello, past Grand Knight of the Agnus Dei Council, this is the second year the Knights have sponsored a special Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation. “It was no coincidence that John Paul II issued his great pro-life encyclical on the Feast of the Annunciation and Incarnation. It’s the preeminent pro-life Feast in our Catholic calendar,” he said, “because it reminds us every year that Our Lord’s human life was sacred from the very moment of His conception in the womb, already nine months before His birth.”

Evangelium Vitae explicitly recognizes this link in its opening words: “Mary’s consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity. Through her acceptance and loving care for the life of the Incarnate Word, human life has been rescued from condemnation to final and eternal death.”

Les mer om det her.