Rorate Caeli

The speech that wasn't

Many news agencies and weblogs reported with great joy the words pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI to the Swiss bishops today.

Except that they were not pronounced by him. Or by anyone else.

The speech which was made public today was the one which had been written for John Paul II, and which he would have probably delivered in February 2005, had he not been too ill to do so.

So, this afternoon, the Holy See Press Office stated: "The speech by the Holy Father published today in the Bollettino della Sala Stampa n. 556 regarding the meeting with the bishops of Switzerland was not pronounced. It reflected the content of a draft previously prepared for the ad limina visit of the Swiss bishops which took place in 2005." The speech has disappeared from the Bollettino and the actual papal words to the Swiss bishops will be published tomorrow.

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Well, those speechwriters are pretty good. One could just sense the professoral tone filled with German clarity! [Irony Alert: This is for those who like to read too much into the "style", rather than the content, of most contemporary papal writings.]

The tragedy of it all is this: the condition of the church (in Switzerland and elsewhere) has not improved one bit since February 2005 -- and that is why the draft seemed so up-to-date.

1 comment:

MacK said...

Symptomatically, the speech that was not sounds like the so-called "reform" that isn't.

The post-conciliar era has brought nothing but shame, ridicule & incompetence to the body which was once a highly respected, truly Holy, Apostolic & Catholic Church. If the church were a business company its leadership would have been forced to resign long ago and it would be forced to return to the Catholic "plan" that brought it vigourous and assured growth up to 1965. The consequence is rampant homosexuality among its dwindling clerical ranks; a leadership trying to cover up where it can and who are at a total loss to reverse the trends; emptying churches with remaining supporters who are mostly ignorant of their faith; a doctrinally bankrupted liturgy & an abysmal decline in musical liturgy. Couple this disaster with closing seminaries, monasteries and convents and there it is - the sum of the alleged reform.

How symbolic that this speech was destined to be read by the supreme pontiff who presided for so long over such a debacle without facing up to the truth about it. They can use the same speech next year too and the year after as there will be precious little difference in outcome. Further decline is on the agenda and several frozen "good" intentions with the customary "wise" words.