Rorate Caeli

Poor Portugal

In his address to the Bishops of Portugal last month, Pope Benedict was severe in his criticisms of the many problems caused in that nation by a wrongheaded reading of the Council:

This ecclesiology of communion is a path opened by the Council to which the Portuguese Church has particularly felt called in the wake of the Great Jubilee. It is, my beloved Brothers, the sure route to follow, without losing sight of possible pitfalls, such as horizontalism at its source, democratic attribution of sacramental ministries, the balance between the Orders conferred and future service, the debate concerning which members of the community are first (a futile debate since the Lord Jesus has already decided it is the last). ...

The growing sea of non-practicing Christians in your Dioceses perhaps merits examining: "the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation,..."
Naturally, what is considered the worst episcopate in Western Europe - due to its intellectual indigence and to the unanimous unfriendliness of its Bishops to any measures of restoration by Rome (while Bishops who support Benedict's measures are found even in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Britain) - would not be moved by such words. The president of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference and Archbishop of the ancient and once-glorious See of Braga said this regarding the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in an interview to Portuguese weekly Expresso:

[Expresso] The return of the Latin masses has generated contradictory reactions. Portugal seems indifferent relatively to this decision of the Pope.

[Archbishop Jorge Ortiga]
The document of Benedict XVI authorizes the Latin Masses, but with many restrictions. [sic] There is a difficulty from the start, because priests currently have scarce knowledge of Latin. [sic] It is a possibility which seems very remote among us, though it may make more sense in other countries. [sic] The Latin Mass may be understood, for example, in areas where there are linguistic divisions, but as long as this practice is not seen as a means of affirmation of pre-Vatican II Council mentalities. [sic]
Tip: A Casa de Sarto