oktober 2023

Biskop Erik Vardens bok blir lagt merke til

Biskop Erik Vardens nye bok «Chastity – Reconciliation of the senses» omtales av den kjente Sandro Magister; omtalen begynner slik:

At the Vatican the synod is heading into its final phase, which then again is not final, given that it will be reconvened in a year and only afterward will the pope, on his own, decide what conclusions to draw from it, at the tail end of a debate about which little or nothing is known, protected as it is by secrecy.

But meanwhile there is also a synod “outside the walls,” of which the book above is a voice, on a topic, chastity, that has almost become a taboo for those in the Church who are calling for a “paradigm shift” in the Catholic doctrine on sexuality, led by that cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich whom Francis has put at the helm of the synod.

The author of “Chastity. Reconciliation of the Senses,” released on October 12 by Bloomsbury and soon to be in bookstores in Spanish as well, published by Encuentro, with the title “Castidad. La reconciliación de los sentidos,” is Erik Varden, 49, Norwegian, a Cistercian monk of the strict observance, Trappist, the former abbot in England of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, and since 2020 the bishop of Trondheim.

Varden, who is not at the synod, was among the signatories, together with all the bishops of Scandinavia including Stockholm cardinal Anders Arborelius, of that “Pastoral letter on human sexuality,” released last Lent, which Settimo Cielo published back then in full, due to its extraordinary originality of language and content, capable of speaking to modern man of all the richness of the Christian vision of sexuality in unbroken fidelity to the age-old magisterium of the Church and at the same time in clear opposition to “gender” ideology.

There is a kinship of style between that pastoral letter and Varden’s book. But there is also an important difference. “Chastity” does not get mixed up in the disputes, the “dubia,” over the blessing of homosexual couples or communion for the divorced and remarried. On these questions the author states that he does not sway one iota from what the 1992 Catechism of Catholic doctrine teaches, and refers to it as “a great treasure.”

But precisely as a bishop, Varden wants to do something else with his book. He wants to “build bridges,” to span the gap that has been created between the thinking of modern secular society and the immense richness of the Christian tradition, let spill today by a widespread amnesia.

That is, he writes, he wants to present again to the world the Christian faith in its entirety, without compromise. But at the same time to express it in forms that are understandable even for those to whom it is entirely foreign: “by appealing to universal experience, then trying to read such experience in the light of the revelation.” …

Boka kan kjøpes på Nordli.

Mer fra Xavier Rynne II

Rapporteringen fra bispesynoden fortsetter på FIRST THINGS:

LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD – 2023: #9 (20/10)

Dette brevet innledes slik:
Domus Australia,” a pilgrim guest house and hotel near the Porta Pia in the Castro Pretorio neighborhood of Rome, is a living memorial to its founder, Cardinal George Pell, who died unexpectedly this past January. Cardinal Pell’s absence at Synod-2023 is keenly felt, although in different ways. Those who took inspiration from his courageous truth-telling and boundless good cheer miss him terribly. Those who were frightened and chastened by that truth-telling are relieved that he’s not on the scene to make a big difference, as he did at the Synods of 2014 and 2015. Yet his disciples are here, and in men and women like Archbishop Anthony Fisher, O.P. (Pell’s successor as archbishop of Sydney) and Dr. Renée Köhler-Ryan (who informed a Synod press conference earlier this week that “as a woman, I’m not focused at all on not being a priest”) the Pell spirit lives on. … …


Dette er en prestasjon av en tekst av biskop Erik Varden:
Erik Varden is bishop-prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Trondheim, Norway. A native of South Norway, he grew up in the village of Degernes. Varden was educated at Cambridge University and the Pontifical Oriental Institute before becoming a Cistercian monk of Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, making his solemn profession in 2007. Ordained priest in 2011, he became the eleventh abbot of Mount St. Bernard in 2015. In 2019, Pope Francis appointed him territorial prelate of Trondheim, and he received episcopal ordination in Nidaros Cathedral the following year – the first native Norwegian to be bishop in Trondheim in modern times. He is the author of several books, most recently Chastity: Reconciliation of the Senses, published by Bloomsbury Continuum. His online blog, Coram Fratribus, is read throughout the world. The lecture below, which is apt spiritual reading for Synod-2023’s third Sunday, is published here by kind permission of Bishop Varden.

LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD – 2023: #10 (23/10)

Der leser vi bl.a.:
… That the “process” of “discernment” through “dialogue” is the important thing at Synod-2023 has been repeated ad infinitum (and occasionally ad nauseam) for three weeks. One is reminded of the tortures of “sensitivity training” in the 1960s and 1970s. In fairness, though, there is a truth here that should be acknowledged. Two distinguished synodal participants have told me that the small-group discussions, however aggravating for being micro-managed and often emotionally driven, have been useful in tempering some of the loopier ideas being promoted under the rubric of a “Conversation in the Spirit.” …

LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD – 2023: #11 (25/10)

Hvem ser til stede ved denne synoden spørres det her:
There are some 1,378,000,000 Catholics on Planet Earth today. They live in almost every imaginable cultural, social, economic, and political circumstance. They manifest their Catholicism in distinctive ways. The vast majority of them are the lay faithful. Given those numbers and that extraordinary diversity, the claim that the “whole Church is gathered in Synod,” so often heard these past three weeks here in Rome, is obviously an exaggeration (to put it gently).

Perhaps 1 percent of the world Church participated in some form or other in the preparatory phases leading up to this synodal assembly, and the assembly itself is hardly “representative” of the biblical coat of many colors that is the Catholic Church today. The roster of Synod participants, carefully crafted by the Synod general secretariat, is dominated by what might be called Church professionals: not only clergy and consecrated religious, but lay men and women who work in Church ministries, services, and offices. To suggest that their concerns accurately mirror those of almost 1.4 billion their fellow Catholics is more than a stretch. …

LETTERS FROM THE SYNOD – 2023: #12 (27/10)

Dette brevet begynner med en oppsummering av synoden som ikke er særlig positiv:
The Letter of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God is a treacly Hallmark card that would give Karine Jean-Pierre and the White House Press Office a run for their money in the spin-control sweepstakes. Taking the Letter at face value, one might think that Synod-2023 has been a profound spiritual experience, almost a new Pentecost, for everyone involved. In fact, many—including some of the Catholic Church’s finest minds and most evangelically effective bishops—have experienced it as an exercise in manipulation and infantilization (their terms, not mine). When the Te Deum is sung tomorrow afternoon at the end of the formal proceedings, many will feel a sense of relief that it’s all over—and a sense of dread about going through a similar exercise next October, when the second assembly of this Synod on Synodality convenes. … …

Xavier Rynne II skriver igjen fra (bispe)synoden

For nesten 25 år siden leste jeg bøkene «Xavier Rynne» skrev fra Vatikankonsilet. Den amerikanske presten som skrev under dette navnet var godt informert, men også den som fikk pressen til å skrive om kampen mellom de konservative og de liberale. Slik skriver Wikipedia om ham:

Fr Francis Xavier Murphy attended the Second Vatican Council which met at the Vatican from 1962-1965 as a journalist. Under the pseudonym Xavier Rynne, combining his middle name and his mother’s maiden name, he revealed the inner workings of Vatican II to The New Yorker. He is credited with setting the tone for the popular view of the council, depicting it as «conservative» versus «liberal».

Tidsskriftet First Things opprettet til bispesynoden i 2015 en Xavier Rynne II, og lot ham skrive anonymt fra bispesynoden i Roma (og jeg skrev om det på denne bloggen). Det samme gjør de dette året, og han har allerede levert flere «epistler»:


Special edition, 5 October



Special edition 2, 18 October

Første epistel i år begynner slik:

During Synod-2014, the first of two such international meetings to discuss the Catholic Church’s response to the crisis of the 21st-century family, Cardinal George Pell expressed grave concern about the performance of the Vatican Press Office and suggested that alternatives to the official spin would be important when the second Synod on the family met a year later. Thus these Letters from the Synod were born at Synod-2015 and have continued at subsequent Synods. Their aim is to offer to a global readership an example of what our predecessor, the original “Xavier Rynne,” writing during Vatican II, described as theological journalism.

The goal has been to inform, not titillate. So, over the next four weeks, Letters from the Synod-2023 will explore the deeper issues involved in the Catholic Church’s current experiment in “synodality.” Concurrently, Letters will provide a forum in which Catholics from different states of life in the Church an opportunity to address those gathered here in Rome under the rubric, “What I Would Say to the Synod”—an opportunity that will also be afforded to some who, while not Catholic, understand the Catholic Church’s importance at this moment in history.

We hope, in this way, to provide a service to a Church of “communion, participation, and mission,” always keeping in mind that this is Christ’s Church, not ours, and that it is the Risen Lord Jesus who must always be at the center of the Church’s proclamation and witness. …

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