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This is a bit embarrassing as the "excellent summary" I am pointing to is featured at my own site ...

To explain, Charles Coulombe has written a brilliant e-book about the legacy of BXVI. I've reviewed and summarised that at my site with extensive quotes from Charles, breaking down his papacy into four areas:



1.The Hermeneutic of Continuity and the Restoration of Tradition (excellent material recapping SSPX story, Summorum Pontificum etc)

2. Cleansing the aberrations of the Post-Conciliar Church (e. g. sexual abuse, dissent)

3. Reunion with the Orthodox and other bodies closest to the Church

4. Responding to Secularism and Globalisation




Again many good quotes from Charles.


So through Charles' fine work, - not myself - there is a page at my site that gives a broad overview of just how much BXVI did.

It is quite stunning as Charles looks at the whole eight years.

Just one very interesting quote from Charles, I think:

Quote:Consciously or not, Benedict did something even more revolutionary further on in the talk. Both traditional and modernist commentators on the Council held that it had changed essential dogmas.

In response, conservatives and prelates declared that it had changed nothing, despite appearances – and that to say it had, proved one’s disloyalty to the Church.

But Benedict admitted that the Church’s teaching had been altered in certain very specific areas: the relationship between the Church and modern science; the relationship between the Church and the modern secular state (the American Revolution having shown, in this view, that there are such with which the Church can comfortably co-exist) and the relationship between the Church and other religions.

But he argued that these were not part of the essential deposit of Faith, which the Council retained; rather, the teachings which had been altered – ‘the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself.’

In other words, they could be changed because they were changeable.

But by the same token, one could thereby conclude that the changes made in these teachings at Vatican II are themselves open to alteration [Italics mine].


More can be found here: http://corjesusacratissimum.org/2013/10/...-overview/

Thank you so much for posting this. A very excellent and well researched summary. Benedict was not perfect, few of us are, but I am a big fan of his for at least making an attempt to do something about the massive problems we are facing. Even if ultimately he as the saying goes "gave the impression of being in office but not in power" it was his beautiful statements about preserving Western Civilization particularly his choice of Papal name that drew me to Catholicism. I dearly love Western civilization and I think it represents the greatest achievements of humanity and Pope Benedict whatever his failings was its champion. Perhaps someone else could have done a better job to clean up the messes JPII left but he I think did more than we could have hoped for even if it was less than we asked.

I decided to convert as I said because of his example and with all due respect to Francis, I am sad Benedict stepped down and I wish we had him back.
He was the only Pope I ever knew growing up.

His abdication was something that took me awhile to accept. I would rather have had him die on his feet than live on as an example for our enemies to use and exploit.

I'll miss that guy.  sad(
I miss our German Shephard.  sad(

He totally understood what's going wrong with Western Civilization. He also gave us the tools to start fixing the Church from the ground up.

Anyone who has more hope for bringing the Prots back before EO is loony. The prots will never come back as a group. The only thing they all agree on is that the Catholic Church is wrong. They will only come back individually. This post-VII buddying-up-to-prots thing is a complete waste of time.

Now the EO will only come back church by church if they ever come back. This could happen someday. Pope Francis doesn't seem to get this. Benedict did.
(10-16-2013, 10:00 AM)RedCaves Wrote: [ -> ]He was the only Pope I ever knew growing up.

His abdication was something that took me awhile to accept. I would rather have had him die on his feet than live on as an example for our enemies to use and exploit.

I'll miss that guy.  sad(

Me too JPII was comatose for most of my life and Benedict was the first Pope I saw do anything. Honestly whatever his sins were before becoming Pope I think the Trad's are too hard on him, sure he didn't give the conservative/traditional wing of the church everything they wanted, but he gave them something. He wasn't a leader in the David Cameron, Angela Merkel, John Boehner mode who do nothing vaguely conservative once they get into office. I kind of view him more like Ronald Regan, a talented figure with the best of intentions, but who failed in their ultimate goals due to a litany of mistakes made by their predecessors and inertia at basically every level.

Now that I think of it Benedict's Legacy might be the same as Ronald Regan's, a brief light in the long darkness, a brief halt and movement back, establishing a foundation for his successors to build on. But unfortunately Pope Francis is looking more and more like the George H.W. Bush to Benedict's Regan although I haven't given up total hope yet.
I miss Pope Benedict. I really felt like he had us moving in the right direction.  sad(
It is warming to see this appreciation of Benedict XVI, even how his concern for Western Civilisation led to conversion ...

Some more quotes from Charles that I think very helpful ...

On Restoring Tradition:

Quote: From the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI made a point of showing continuity with past Popes …

He revived many items of the papal wardrobe his post-Vatican II predecessors had dropped by the wayside; the fanon, camauro, mozzetta and papal shoes.

More importantly, perhaps, he resolved to make of Papal liturgies an example for all others to follow.

So he replaced the crucifix at the center of the high altar at St. Peter’s; gave out Communion on the tongue to kneeling recipients; made room for periods of silence at every Papal Mass; expanded the use of Latin and in general fostered beauty at every liturgical function – in marked contrast to what perhaps the vast majority of Catholics encounter in their parish churches.

Benedict also gave the lead for the parishes when he restored his private chapel – ironically called the ‘Pauline chapel’ (after Pope Paul III who founded it) – to its pre-Paul VI state, restoring the marble altar to its former place against the wall so that the Pope could offer the Mass facing eastwards.

It must not be thought, however, that he intended to lead in this area by example alone.

A number of important documents had been issued prior to Bl. John Paul II’s death by the Congregation for Divine Worship intended to rein in the flood of liturgical abuses: among these were Liturgiam Authenticam in 2001, which addressed the unhappy fact that many vernacular translations of the Mass (and especially the English one) were very poor – more paraphrases and called for accurate versions conveying the meaning of the Latin.

This set in motion a process whereby ten years later an accurate English translation hit the altars of the Anglosphere. Benedict had been keen on this project every step of the way – although the bishops’ conferences of some other language-bloc countries are still resistant.

On reunion with Orthodox, Anglican Ordinariates in the face of secular hatred


Quote: The new Pontiff seemed to ‘get’ a lot of other things, too. That without internal reunion of the strands of Catholicism and restoration of discipline with the Church, there could be no external unity that would mean anything. That said external unity was best pursued first with those who had substantial existing commonality with the Church [leading into discussion on Orthodox, Anglicans etc]

and that it is essential in facing the tidal wave of secularism that is not merely overwhelming society, but slowly destroying it.

That the fact that most secular governments have come to hate the Church would have to be faced, and also that globalization is a reality the Church cannot ignore ...

What has characterised all of Benedict’s dealings with the powerful of this Earth has been his willingness to tell them uncomfortable truths, regardless of their reaction.

Their family and population policies have generated demographic collapse, reduced sex from the sacred to the trivial, and produced several generations of individuals cut off from any strong attachment to anything but themselves.

Their attempts to remove religion and particularly Christianity from public life have cheapened life immensely in every sense of that term and cut their subjects off from both their cultural roots and their own spirits.

Their economic and social policies have been disastrous – viewing their citizens as mere income producing units has created a shambles of both the world and national economies.


For those who haven't seen it, much more of this at link: http://corjesusacratissimum.org/2013/10/...-overview/
I am not personally against Ecumenicism so long as we remain faithful to core teachings and its honest and frank. The Orthodox and more traditional minded Anglican's share a lot more with us then not and while obviously we shouldn't sacrifice core teachings as I said, but I think talking to them is a good idea and looking into the possibility of reuniting the Church. They aren't Calvinists after all or Muslims, their core doctrine is not 100% opposed to ours so why not? Its refreshing to see actual ecumenicism instead of the nonsensical feel good interfaith stuff, where we ignore differences and hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

To explain the western civilization quote a bit more because its probably a weird reason to say I converted. What I mean is I was brought up in the traditional secular educational environment that taught me the Catholic Church was the single biggest enemy of "Science, Philosophy, Logic, Reason, Individual Rights, Human Dignity, The Concept of Free Will and Learning." Pretty much that it was the antitheses of everything good that has been achieved in the west from Plato on.

At that time in my life I was a Philosophical Theist and something of a Platonist, who believed very strongly in natural law and a rational world. I saw western civilization as being by far the closest of all the worlds imperfect civilizations with regards to the moral and rational laws of nature. Islamic Civilization rejects the idea of a rational or moral universe and sees the world as subject to the arbitrary and incomprehensible dictates of a distant God. Hindu civilization was indifferent to and often hated the individual and individuality, praising nihilism and ultimate self-destruction. Chinese civilization and the others in the East were better but even they viewed a person as an ant to be used for the greater god and cast aside.

I had viewed the Catholic Church as I had been taught as the enemy to all those positive things, as the embodiment of the Barbarian horde that destroyed Rome, as a great totalitarian oppressor. Partially due to a liberal Protestant upbringing which had neglected to explain Jesus was God I also though it was irrational and rejected reason.

That all changed when I read I think it was After America where Mark Steyn quoted Pope Benedict as saying "Pruned it grows again" in reference to western civilization and explained how his Papal name was a reference to the great man who preserved classical learning throughout the fall of Rome and helped to restore it and make it stronger then ever by merging it with Christianity.

The statement had shocked me because I had always been duped by the Enlightenment thinkers into seeing Christianity as a barbarian religion that was against the core of western civilization, but that quote made me reconsider and it made me give the religion I had written off another chance. Just to be clear I am sincere in my Christian beliefs its not a cultural thing for me if anything given where I live its anti-cultural but its nice to have a religion that compliments so well and is indeed integral to my great love of western civilization.
(10-17-2013, 08:43 AM)Strategos7771 Wrote: [ -> ]To explain the western civilization quote a bit more because its probably a weird reason to say I converted. What I mean is I was brought up in the traditional secular educational environment that taught me the Catholic Church was the single biggest enemy of "Science, Philosophy, Logic, Reason, Individual Rights, Human Dignity, The Concept of Free Will and Learning." Pretty much that it was the antitheses of everything good that has been achieved in the west from Plato on.

At that time in my life I was a Philosophical Theist and something of a Platonist, who believed very strongly in natural law and a rational world. I saw western civilization as being by far the closest of all the worlds imperfect civilizations with regards to the moral and rational laws of nature. Islamic Civilization rejects the idea of a rational or moral universe and sees the world as subject to the arbitrary and incomprehensible dictates of a distant God. Hindu civilization was indifferent to and often hated the individual and individuality, praising nihilism and ultimate self-destruction. Chinese civilization and the others in the East were better but even they viewed a person as an ant to be used for the greater god and cast aside.

I had viewed the Catholic Church as I had been taught as the enemy to all those positive things, as the embodiment of the Barbarian horde that destroyed Rome, as a great totalitarian oppressor. Partially due to a liberal Protestant upbringing which had neglected to explain Jesus was God I also though it was irrational and rejected reason.

That all changed when I read I think it was After America where Mark Steyn quoted Pope Benedict as saying "Pruned it grows again" in reference to western civilization and explained how his Papal name was a reference to the great man who preserved classical learning throughout the fall of Rome and helped to restore it and make it stronger then ever by merging it with Christianity.

The statement had shocked me because I had always been duped by the Enlightenment thinkers into seeing Christianity as a barbarian religion that was against the core of western civilization, but that quote made me reconsider and it made me give the religion I had written off another chance. Just to be clear I am sincere in my Christian beliefs its not a cultural thing for me if anything given where I live its anti-cultural but its nice to have a religion that compliments so well and is indeed integral to my great love of western civilization.

You seem to have had a very sophisticated level of anti-Catholic prejudices explicitly thrown at you in your youth. Unless you simply mean that all the above belongs to the implicit background of Anglo-Protestant culture - which of course it does. I guess most Anglophones  suffer this more or less consciously - but it seems very conscious/explicit in your case.

No idea who Mark Steyn is, but I shall look the book up at Amazon. And other things you write unfamiliar as well, but I am moved that your love of the West would bring you, via Benedict, to the Church.



UPDATE from last -

Well, I just went to Amazon and looked up Mark Steyn. My first impression is that we would probably be in significant disagreement there. My own thrust is trying to find a way beyond unbridled American capitalism or European experiments with monolithic socialism a la the distributism of Hilaire Belloc, whom I love very, very dearly.

However, I remain very moved by your love of the West and your reasons for conversion (as I am sure Belloc would be if he were alive today!)
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