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.

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

I thought I had the perfect Catholic fairy tale: Meet and a date a former seminarian. Seven months after I got married, my world was utterly shattered.
Patty Breen July 27, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Controversial decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), Roe v. Wade (abortion) and, most recently, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), often are challenged for decades by opponents seeking their reversal or limitation.
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 27, 2017
Oscar Isaacs as Hamlet (photo: The Public Theatre)
In a bewildering new staging at The Public Theater, Oscar Isaac is giving a rich, riveting lead turn as the dubious Danish prince.
Rob Weinert-KendtJuly 27, 2017
Usain Bolt has become a living legend in a track event that is known for creating superstars. His pre- and post-race rituals are purely Catholic, and yet the faith of one of the world’s most talked-about athletes is an open secret.
Nick Ripatrazone July 27, 2017