Saturday, 9 June 2012

Things that are passing me by

At this time, there are a number of ecclesial events which, though signficant, are somewhat passing me by.

The first of these events was the Seventh World Meeting of Families in Milan from 1st-3rd June, which took place with the participation of Pope Benedict XVI. This is essentially World Youth Day for families, and the numbers presented at the final press conference give some idea of the scale of the event. It even made the travel advice section for Italy of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office because of the expected impact on life in Milan. The website of the Holy See contains the addresses of the Holy Father. Particularly moving are the answers given by the Holy Father to the questions he was asked during the Evening of Witness, an event watched by more than 3 million people via RaiUno's television coverage. Read particularly his observations about the "for ever" of the commitment of marriage, which have an interesting historical texture as well as a moral character. This meeting could not have taken place at a more culturally and politically significant time for the future of the family, and deserves a much wider coverage than it has so far had in the UK media.

The second is the Spirit in the City event in the West End of London. I took part in this annual event three years ago, but have missed out again this year. I really will make more effort next year, as this really does represent the idea of the "new evangelisation" at a place very near to home. Today, for example, the events take place in Leicester Square, one of London's key landmarks for visitors. The Eucharistic and Marian processions are particularly powerful.

And the third event is the International Eucharistic Congress, taking place in Dublin this coming week. One way or another, I am not going to be there (this time). See here for my posts about the last Congress in Quebec. Of interest so far, and worthy of a detailed study, is the talk given by Cardinal Marc Ouellet to the theological symposium on the theology of the Church as Communion, which he presents as a key hermeneutic for the authentic understanding of the Second Vatican Council. I have been particularly struck by the style of the Marian dimension of life in the Church expressed in this talk (which exactly matches my own sense) and by the long discussion of the relation between the universal Church and the local Church of the individual dioceses. In the light of some reporting of he state of discussions between Bishop Fellay of the Society of St Pius X and the Holy See, this orientation is very important. Cardinal Ouellet hosted the last international Congress when he was Archbishop of Quebec, and he is the Papal Legate to the Dublin Congress.

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