zondag, januari 13, 2019

Pope's preacher goes back to basics in talks to bishops

Tom Roberts


Texts of the 11 talks delivered to the U.S. bishops who gathered for a week's retreat at Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago show a heavy emphasis on traditional themes, a robust defense of celibacy, a severe criticism of attachment to money and an endorsement of new lay movements as a replacement for declining numbers of clerics.

NCR obtained the texts, 84 single-spaced pages, and they can be seen in their entirety here. They were delivered during the Jan. 2-8 retreat by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household.
The talks contain only passing reference to the sex abuse scandal that was the reason behind the unusual retreat, suggested by Pope Francis, and the omission was intentional.
"I am not going to talk about pedophilia or give advice about eventual solutions," Cantalamessa said at the outset. "That is not my task and I would not have the competence to do it. This is a time for taking a break, as the psalmist says 'away from the strife of tongues' (Ps 31:21), and to listen to the voice of the Lord of the Church. I am convinced that this approach is the only way to get to the root issues that the Church is facing, which are both different and deeper than the issues that usually come to mind." In fact, in one brief mention of the scandal, the preacher sees a positive result in the humbling of the church.

Cantalamessa begins with a fairly basic presentation on the need for a personal relationship with Jesus and prayer "as the indispensable means .....
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Editor's note: The texts of the talks delivered by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, to the U.S. bishops during their Jan. 2-8 retreat at Mundelein Seminary, outside of Chicago, are available at this link.

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