What Pope Benedict really said about Eucharistic adoration
#1
Another thread started to turn into a discussion of words attributed to Joseph Ratzinger, which appear on a number of sedevacantist websites. I thought it might be worth starting a new thread. The quotation, as usually posted, and as it was presented on the thread, runs thus:

Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God who is present there is a senseless act which modern man rightfully rejects.

I've now managed to track down a published English translation of the German in a book from a reputable academic publisher. This is taken from The Ratzinger Reader: Mapping a Theological Journey (London: T&T Clark International, 2010), p.78. I've bolded the points at which there is a significant difference in translation which seems to result from more than just the usual differences you get when different people translate the same text:

With regard to meaningfulness, Eucharistic adoration, or silent visits ot the Eucharist in Church, cannot just be a conversation with the God thought to be present in a locally circumscribed way. Statements like 'God lives here', and conversations with the God thought to be locally present on the basis of such statements, express a disregard, for both the Christological mystery and the concept of God, that is off-putting to thinking people who know about God's omnipresence. If one were to justify going to church by arguing that one ought to visit the God who is present only there, then this would indeed be an argument that made no sense and that would be rightly rejected by modern man.

I guess it's possible it's an accident that the sedevacantist version casts Ratzinger in a heretical light, while the T&T Clark version doesn't, but I doubt it. In the rest of the text, the young Ratzinger goes on to explain how the practise of Eucharistic adoration must be related to the mystery of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, and God's relationship with humanity. To attempt to paint this piece of writing as an attack on Eucharistic adoration is slanderous.

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There is another aspect of prayer which we need to remember: silent contemplation. Saint John, for example, tells us that to embrace God’s revelation we must first listen, then respond by proclaiming what we have heard and seen. Have we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness? Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness, listen to God, adore him in the Eucharist. Let his word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness.

-- Pope Benedict XVI, <i>Meeting with young people and seminarians in New York, 19th April 2008</i>

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EDITED TO ADD - for those who can read it:

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What Pope Benedict really said about Eucharistic adoration - by archdiocesan - 09-22-2011, 05:23 PM



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