Thursday, 14 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI on Franciscans and Dominicans

I truly hope that with prayer and work, a lay community (I understand we parishioners already are a lay community, especially at Mass and at TLM) will emerge at St Mary Magdalen's. There is certainly a need in Brighton for Franciscans, Dominicans...and Oratorians! The Franciscans could clean the brass and then go out and beg for the Church, the Dominicans can study, be generally wordy and cerebral and the Oratorians can go out singing madrigals with a mangy dog in hand in the streets like eccentric holy St Philip Neri encouraged his chaps to do. Then we could have one holy hermit/ess living off dead pigeons in the bell tower. Who knows? Perhaps this will be the year of the Brighton Oratory.

Courtesy of Catholic Culture (good website!)

At his weekly public audience on January 13, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the influence of the mendicant religious orders that arose in the 13th century, particularly the Franciscans and Dominicans. Their founders, St. Francis and St. Dominic, initiated a “stable and profound ecclesial renewal,” the Pope told his audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium.

Sts. Francis and Dominic “were able to read the signs of the times,” the Pope said. The Church needed true reform, because the heretical movements of that age—the Albigensians and Cathars—were capitalizing on the “disorder that really did exist in the Church,” he added. The mendicant orders demonstrated that Catholics could renounce material possessions—as these sects did—“without separating oneself from the Church.” On the contrary, the religious orders made a special point of being “united in their complete adherence to Church teaching and authority.”

The modern world should profit from the example of these religious reformers, the Pope told his audience. He explained: “Today too, although we live in a society in which ‘having’ often prevails over ‘being,’ we are still receptive to examples of poverty and solidarity.” Just as the Franciscans and Dominicans helped to bring Christian renewal to the societies of the 13th century, Christian apostleship can do the same today.

All round a busy day for the Holy Father yesterday, as he also met the lady in the red jacket who pulled him to the ground en route to the Altar at Midnightt Mass in order to forgive her and show concern for her welfare. The Holy Father conducts himself with great dignity and affords it to his brothers and sisters. May God bless his Pontificate!

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