Spirited Preaching

Incorrect interpretations of the Second Vatican Council are rooted in a denial or a misunderstanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church, said Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin priest who is the preacher of the papal household. His reflection on Dec. 14 for Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials offered a look at how to interpret the council. “The insufficient attention paid to the role of the Holy Spirit explains many of the difficulties that arose in the reception of the Second Vatican Council,” Father Cantalamessa said. There have been two opposing interpretations, he said, while the position of Pope Benedict—that of “renewal in continuity”—has stood between the two extremes. Traditionalist groups that reject the council represent “a tradition wherein the Holy Spirit played no role at all. It was a collection of beliefs and practices fixed once and for all,” he said. “To freeze the tradition by making it begin, or end, at a certain fixed moment means making it a dead tradition.” The other extreme willingly speaks of “the ‘spirit of the council,’ but unfortunately it was not the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017