In 1998, Pope John Paul II issued a document titled Ad Tuendam Fidem, which generated no small amount of discussion by underlining a second category of infallible teachings, i.e., doctrines not formally revealed but regarded as necessary to safeguard and defend revelation. In an accompanying commentary, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger cited the ban on women priests and the invalidity of Anglican ordinations as examples.
All Things Catholic
Last week, I presented a draft list of ten “mega-trends” which I believe are shaping the future of the Catholic church, and asked for reader reaction. I was stunned by the response. In addition to the public comments on the NCR site, I received scores of personal messages, most of them deeply thoughtful and well-informed. Though I can’t respond personally, please know that I am grateful, and I hope my forthcoming book is equal to the quality of your contributions.
Christmas is a season of giving, and in a rather self-serving application of that spirit, this week I'm asking readers to give me something. Specifically, I'm asking for reactions to my list of the 10 most important "mega-trends" in Catholicism today, which appears below.
When Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople met recently, the encounter was spun in a variety of ways: As an effort to reunite Eastern and Western Christianity; As an attempt to forge a united Christian front vis-à-vis Islam; Even as a bid to pool resources to combat runaway secularism in Europe.
Whatever one makes of Pope Benedict XVI’s shift from a “red light” to a “yellow light” on Turkey’s candidacy for the European Union, it was actually not the most jarring discontinuity between Joseph Ratzinger the cardinal and Benedict the pope during the Turkey trip.
Editor's Note: John Allen provided daily coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 visit to Turkey, which can be found under the Daily News and Updates section of this web page.
As Benedict XVI's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 trip to Turkey draws near, one concern both in the Vatican and at the Phanar, the headquarters of the Patriarch of Constantinople, is that the post-Regensburg emphasis on Christian/Muslim relations will overshadow the ecumenical thrust of the pope's visit, intended to cap several decades of rapprochement between Rome and the "first among equals" in the Orthodox world.
In a week in which the Vatican has offered us a hum-dinger instance of a public relations gaffe, this is probably an opportune moment for some reflections on church communications.
Though I detest ideological labels, especially in talking about ecclesiastical matters where they usually obscure more than they reveal, sometimes they're the only way to make a big-picture point quickly. One has to trust the conoscenti to understand that things are always more complex when the magnification is increased.
|All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.|
|Friday, Oct. 27, 2006 - Vol. 6, No. 9|
Of all the questions generated by the Regensburg crisis, perhaps the one of greatest long-term consequence for this pontificate, across a range of issues much wider than Catholic-Muslim relations, is the following.
Who will say no to Benedict XVI?
It's a question only now coming into view, as the immediate need for damage control with the Muslim world, and for finalizing the agenda for the pope's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 trip to Turkey, recedes.
I've just returned from two weeks in Rome, "taking the temperature," so to speak, of the post-Regensburg climate. Speaking on background, virtually every Vatican official I saw offered some version of the following analysis: