Rorate Caeli

Spe Salvi: the Anti-Gaudium et Spes

Spe Salvi is, first and foremost, a theological meditation on the Last Things.

It is, also, a strong response to one of the most influential and problematic documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, "Gaudium et Spes". Antonio Socci explores the matter in the introduction to his article on the new papal encyclical, published today on Libero:

by Antonio SOCCI

A bomb. It is the new encyclical of Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, in which there is not a single quotation from the Council (a choice of huge significance); in which at last Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory are spoken of again (and even the Anti-Christ, even though in an excerpt of Kant); in which horrors are called by their name (for instance, "Communism", a word which, at the Council, it was forbidden to pronounce and condemn); in which, instead of greeting the powerful of this world, the powerful witness of Christian martyrs, the victims, is mentioned; in which the rhetoric of the "religions" is wiped out, by affirming that the Savior is only one; in which Mary is shown as the "star of hope"; and in which it is shown that blind faith in progress (alone) and in science (alone) leads to disaster and despair.

Benedict XVI does not quote, from the Council, even "Gaudium et spes", which nonetheless had in its title the word "hope", but wipes out the very mistake disastrously introduced in the Catholic world by that which was the main Conciliar constitution, "On the Church in the Modern World". The Pope invites, in fact, at n. 22, to a "a self-critique of modern Christianity". Particularly on the concept of "progress".