Skip to comments.Pope Francis said: "300 People Could Live Here!"
Posted on 03/23/2013 6:59:14 AM PDT by NYer
In a posting entitled "A smaller but purer Church?", dated October 21, 2010, Joseph A. Komonchak writes:
The phrase above is often attributed to Pope Benedict XVI. I have just googled it but not found it as his own expression, although many people attribute the idea to him. For example, in a story at the time of his election, I find this reference to our own David Gibson: “He has said himself that he wanted a smaller but purer church, Gibson said, referring to Ratzingers suggestion that Christianity may need to become smaller, in terms of its cultural significance, to remain true to itself.” In Davids book, The Rule of Benedict, there is a reference to the phrase in the context of a discussion of Ratzingers criticism of the German hierarchy during the Second World War for having allowed concern for institutional security to dull its awareness of what was going on under the Nazis. David writes:
Ratzinger says there was a German core that did remain faithful to Catholicism, but as cardinal and pope he would return to the theme of the dangers of privileging institutional ties, emphasizing that the church would do better to shed bricks and mortaruniversities, hospitals, parochial schools, and the likerather than have them animated by anything less than a purely orthodox faith. This is an element of his oft-cited preference for a “smaller but purer” church of the holy remnant. This preference for the minimum, the creed of the classical conservative he remains, would manifest itself in many ways, notably in an ingrained suspicion of national bishops conferences, which he saw in wartime Germany and later as acting in national-self-interest rather than in the interests of worldwide Catholicism.
This reference could suggest an argument along these lines: If the Catholic Church in Germany under the Nazis had been smaller but purer (e.g., if there had been more people like Franz Jägerstätter and fewer like his bishop), it would have provided a greater Christian witness against Hitlers totalitarian regime than it did. I would agree with such an argument. Similarly, the massive institutional structure and apparatus of the Church can seriously compromise the freedom and eagerness of the Church to follow Christ as much as his possessions led the rich young man to depart saddened from his encounter with Christ because he had demanded that he sell all that he have, give it to the poor, and follow him along a path that would end at Calvary.
But I would like to be able to consult the place or places in which Ratzinger/Benedict speak of this “smaller but purer church”? Can anyone help?
Link, there are some interesting observations.
In his farewell greeting to the cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI said: "I desire to tell you that I will continue to remain close to you with prayer, especially in these next days, that you may be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new Pope. That the Lord will show you what he wants from you, ref.
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I take it his holiness has not read Dr. Zhivago.
What stuck me when reading was the tension of self preservation (during the Nazi reign) and being faithful to Christ. Which today is more a tension between spreading the faith and staying ‘relevant,’’ yet staying true to Christ and His teachings. I am for the latter. THe smaller, purer church and from that the throne will rise against evil continually with clear, pure vision and faithfulness.
Three hundred rich people.
but as cardinal and pope he would return to the theme of the dangers of privileging institutional ties, emphasizing that the church would do better to shed bricks and mortaruniversities, hospitals, parochial schools, and the likerather than have them animated by anything less than a purely orthodox faith.
Considering how Cardinal Bergoglio lived by example, we know that he chose to reside in a small apartment, rather than in the elegant bishop's residence in the suburb of Olivos. Since his election, several freepers have stated they are drawn to this man's humility and simple lifestyle. After being away from the church, they now feel called by him to come home. Oftentimes, reverts and converts are the ones who ignite the faith in others.
That would be, IMHO, the main result of Pope Francis moving from the Apostolic Palace. There are people who, right or wrong, are turned off by the riches of the Catholic church and the lifestyle of the bishops. They will look at the example of Pope Francis and say "maybe the Church is right, after all". I am not a Catholic, but I can relate to him as a fellow Christian and an example of humility. I had never wished I could meet a Pope until now!
He has made himself accessible to the multitudes. Even his security force are reluctant to admonish him for stepping out of the safety net. The Patriarch of Constantinople has invited Pope Francis to join him on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands next year. Would that not be an amazing sight!
If the Pope indeed wants to “cure” the Curia problem, then he needs to wade right into the middle of it, that is to reside where the Curia operates - inside the Vatican. It he thinks living at a Cathedral on the other side of Rome is going to help him in this regard, he is very naive.
Then there is the matter of the millions of Catholics who pilgrimage to Rome and look to attending the Pope’s general audiences in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesdays and his appearance at the window of his living quarters.
Right now, all of this is speculation on the part of the media who just loves to stir the pot.
I think he needs to live within Vatican City because it is a sovereign country apart from Italy. For the sake of maintaining independence from pressure of secular goverment and for personal security, he needs to be in his own country. Otherwise he is a resident of a country which allows a lot of stuff that the church doesn’t. And he is a security risk and headache for a country and city that will have his safety as a distraction from their normal security concerns.
I think occupying a smaller place in the palace, and inviting “roomates” to take up the additional space would be good. Maybe there are a group of third world seminarians who would need a place to stay while in Rome, or something like that.
I agree with your Curia comment. He needs to be there.
When we look at the cultures of South America/Africa/Asia, this does not surprise comment does not surprise me. However, I do think he needs to remain there for the Angelus greeting each week.
I admire Francis’ desire to live a simpler life, but I am concerned with security.
His personal security is easily as important as any head of state, and his need for it is just as compelling.
I imagine there are plenty of nuts out there who would be motivated by such a world renowned target.
A little different than being an Archbishop or the Bishop of Rome. Pope Francis is also the head of State of the Vatican, and thus needs that room when entertaining/hosting guests and priests from other countries.
I hope he reconsiders.
It’s the “head of state” thing that requires this space.
First thing that immediately came to my mind when I saw the title.
Room and board? OK, where do I sign up?
I’m thinking Timeshares. 300 x 52 weeks...
Lots of cash to pay for the Lawyers.
"The riches of the Church," such as the cathedrals, the art, the vestments and liturgical furnishings, are part of the world's artistic patrimony and are largely accessible to anyone who can get to where they're located. Many portable items even go on travelling museum exhibits.
The lifestyles and residences of the heirarchy are a different issue, and should, in my opinion, be critically examined by the principals themselves, with the questions, "Is this apostolic? Is this evangelical? Is this the best use of resources to win souls?"
I think this is what Pope Francis is doing now, and has done as Archbishop and Bishop. To paraphrase George Weigel, it seems clear that the Pope sees himself, not as the CEO of an international corporation (who deserves a luxe corner office and fancy car, of course!), but as a shepherd of souls.
I think you’re 100% right!