Exactly one year ago, the reigning Roman Pontiff made the most important (though not his most famous, after the "Regensburg affair"...) speech in his pontificate: his Christmas address to the Roman Curia.
We are quite glad that this blog was the very first English-language medium to report the speech, minutes after it was pronounced, an address which was at the time mostly ignored by the mainstream Catholic media for weeks. "Progressive" Catholic journalists and bloggers would ignore it for almost one month... Our first series of articles was dedicated to it, which we called the "Epoch-making Speech", a definition which we uphold.
Its main thrust: to establish the basis for a "hermeneutics of continuity", that is, of continuity between the bimillenial Tradition of the Church before 1962 and the complex content of the Vatican II documents themselves and their confusing aftermath. We still believe that a good foundation was laid with that speech, but nothing was conspicuously built on it in the past 12 months (maybe this year's address to the Curia, to be delivered in the Roman morning of this December 22, will give us some clue of what may happen).
The bitter fruits of the Council cannot be denied by an impartial observer based on their effects on the Church, and two interesting pieces of news published this Thursday confirm this fact once again.
In France, the pollsters of the CSA Institute have just announced that 23% of French Catholics believe that Our Lord was "a man like any other"...
And John Allen (one of those who ignored the December 22, 2005 speech for several weeks) mentions the not very well known conclusion by Philip Berryman (but self-evident to any superficial observer of Latin-American Catholicism) that one of the main causes of the Pentecostal explosion in Latin America in the past forty years was the "alienation from recent trends in Catholicism (such as the relaxation of tradition, for example Mass in the vernacular)".
May we never forget to pray for the Holy Father.
P.S. One correspondent reminds us that the Holy Father received the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Ranjith, in a previously unannounced audience this Thursday.