Category Archives: Theology

Ratzinger Prize given to 3

WOW! Imagine giving a prize in your own name! Well, if you are the Pope and an eminent theologian, you can (and will). This is cool, as “they” say. Vatican Radio announced today that the Pope has given the prize in theological studies in this thought. While 2 of the 3 are senior in age and wisdom, but don’t be fooled: all of them are top scholars and widely known; the youngest recipient has a lot more juice in him. Abbot Maximillian is the author of a brilliant book on Ratzinger’s theology, Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology (Ignatius Press 2007). 


The Rome Reports story is here. The Holy See’s story follows:


Thumbnail image for b16 at the Lateran.jpg

The first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were
announced on Tuesday in the Vatican Press Office. The prize was established
last year to promote theological studies on the writings of the Pope, and to
reward promising scholars. The prizes will be given out by Pope Benedict on
June 30th.


The Ratzinger Prize is a project of the Joseph
Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, which was funded by Pope Benedict
with the royalties he has received from his books.

The prizes and the
conferences the foundation sponsors focus on helping the truth, meaning and
beauty of Christianity in relation to today’s culture and society emerge.

On
Tuesday, the first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were announced.

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Creeping infallibility?

We face reductionisms of the Faith all the time as Catholics: liturgical expedient minimalism is one of the most noteworthy examples, then there’s the identifiable dictatorship of relativism and the denial that Scripture is divinely inspired (cf. Benedict’s address last week to the PBC). While not formal matters of heresy (technically defined) but they are reductions that are a gradual chipping away of the content and expression. Poor liturgical practice, banal sacred music and unprepared liturgical preaching will erode the content of faith. There are other examples but I think these three give good a sense of a problem.
I believe that Tarcisio Bertone and Joseph Ratzinger are correct: we believe, as Catholics, in revealed truth; that the faith is not debatable and we can’t reduce our faith to formally defined dogmas. And while the infallibility of the papal office is restricted to a clearly defined process so as not to allow arbitrariness, the exercise of infallibility has been exercised twice since 1870. BUT there are the secondary object of infallibility that have to be acknowledged and assented to, despite what Fathers Hans Kung, Roger Haight, Randy Sachs, John Coleman and Charles Curran say.

Here’s John Allen’s article: A long-simmering tension over creeping infallibility by John Allen.pdf

The Sacrament of Real Presence: THE center that holds together

William Butler Yeat’s “The Second Coming” contains what are,
perhaps, the most-quoted lines of twentieth century poetry. “Things fall apart;
the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” Written in
1920, the poem not only summed up the horror of the still young century, it
seemed prescient of horrors yet to come.

Postmodernity may be, to some degree,
a pretentious academic fad. But its soil is undoubtedly the collapse of an
authoritative, life-giving center and the ensuing fragmentation experienced
daily in culture, politics, and individual lives.

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Saint Martin I, pope

St Martin I, pope.jpgMerciful God, our Father, neither hardship, pain,nor the threat of death could weaken the faith of Saint Martin. Through our faith, give us courage to endure whatever sufferings the world may inflict upon us.

The Mass collect is appropriate today when prejudice and suffering is prevalent due to one’s adherence to the Church’s teaching.
Pope Saint Martin I was the 7th century pontiff who held firm to the orthodox teaching that Christ had a divine and a human natures and wills. Speaking of Christ’s nature is not commonly heard at the dinner table, never mind from the pulpit these days but at one point, there was significant dissent among the people of God. Every-now-and again you encounter monothelitism (a slightly different form of monophysitism which rejected the human nature of Christ) in university and parochial settings. Beware!

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Equipped for Ministry? Each person called by the Lord has work to do

Working in a great parish where it is difficult to get some of the simplest things done due to a labor shortage –that is, people giving their time for service– and getting other ministerial things accomplished for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, thinking about the ministry of the laity has given me pause to revisit some personal thinking. Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien wrote about lay ministry in the current edition of The Catholic Review where he acknowledges the great number of people who Christ and the Church in generous ways by living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Archbishop puts his finger on a process, formation. Pay attention to what Pope Benedict has said about parish work.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien

One of the great joys I have experienced in my visits to parishes and schools in our Archdiocese over the past three-plus years has been the witness of so many dedicated lay Catholics who serve the Church in many and diverse ways. 

Much of the work of these lay ministers is visible to us. They share their gifts and talents as music ministers at Mass, making “a joyful noise to the Lord,” and as lectors, ushers and Eucharistic ministers who, Sunday after Sunday, show great care for the liturgy. Catechists minister in our parishes, passing on the faith to Catholics of all ages – from converts to “cradle Catholics” – who are hungry for spiritual nourishment. And the youth ministers of our Archdiocese share their enthusiasm for being Catholic and the Gospel message of God’s love with young people “on fire” for their faith.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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