Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pope Benedict 2011 Year in Review Address to Roman Curia (Christmas Address) Full Text and Observations

Well today was the big day when the Pope sort of gives his "year in review" to the Roman Curia at the Vatican vai his Christmas address and greetings.. Here is the full English translation at ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI ON THE OCCASION OF CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO THE ROMAN CURIA.

Many years there are things that "make news" in the secular press in this address but looking it I suspect the secular press will not any GOTCHA headlines. Which is ok. Though I am sure various groups will complain that there concerns are not mentioned. I expect SNAP to issue a statement that he did not mention the sex abuse crisis though he has in the past. Other groups might weight in too. I really like the address and needless to say the Pope has Europe on his mind. He makes this important point as to "solutions" to Church problems:

The Year of Faith, commemorating the beginning of the Council fifty years ago, also belongs in this context. Each of these events had its own particular characteristics. In Germany, where the Reformation began, the ecumenical question, with all its trials and hopes, naturally assumed particular importance. Intimately linked to this, at the focal point of the debate, the question that arises repeatedly is this: what is reform of the Church? How does it take place? What are its paths and its goals? Not only faithful believers but also outside observers are noticing with concern that regular churchgoers are growing older all the time and that their number is constantly diminishing; that recruitment of priests is stagnating; that scepticism and unbelief are growing. What, then, are we to do? There are endless debates over what must be done in order to reverse the trend. There is no doubt that a variety of things need to be done. But action alone fails to resolve the matter. The essence of the crisis of the Church in Europe is the crisis of faith. If we find no answer to this, if faith does not take on new life, deep conviction and real strength from the encounter with Jesus Christ, then all other reforms will remain ineffective.

Well Amen to that and something we all need to recall no matter what Catholic faction advocating x reform we are in.

As to this state of affairs the Pope says LOOK TO AFRICA that seems to have had quite a impact on the Pontiff:

...On this point, the encounter with Africa’s joyful passion for faith brought great encouragement. None of the faith fatigue that is so prevalent here, none of the oft-encountered sense of having had enough of Christianity was detectable there. Amid all the problems, sufferings and trials that Africa clearly experiences, one could still sense the people’s joy in being Christian, buoyed up by inner happiness at knowing Christ and belonging to his Church. From this joy comes also the strength to serve Christ in hard-pressed situations of human suffering, the strength to put oneself at his disposal, without looking round for one’s own advantage. Encountering this faith that is so ready to sacrifice and so full of happiness is a powerful remedy against fatigue with Christianity such as we are experiencing in Europe today...

An interesting dynamic there. As the world focused on the possible physical fatigue of the Pope on this quick trip , as is usual with Papal trips, it seems he was quite uplifted.

The Year on review hits on other issues and events ,but his WORLD YOUTH DAY and his observations about it as to giving solutions to the Christian's world Faith fatigue are quite extensive . A good and easy read. Hope many read it.


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