Rorate Caeli

The Church: communion of all places and times.
Communion and collegiality must first and foremost
link bishops to Christ through the Apostles

The Pastor should not be like chaff driven by the wind, a servant of the spirit of the time. Being intrepid, having the courage to oppose the trends of the time, is essential to the task of the Pastor. He must not be chaff, but ... he must be like a tree that has deep roots, upon which it is solid and well grounded. This has nothing to do with the rigidity or inflexibility. Only where there is stability there is also growth. Cardinal Newman, whose path was marked by three conversions, says that living means transforming oneself. But his three conversions and the transformations that took place in them are, however, one consistent journey: the journey of obedience to the truth, to God, the true journey of continuity which in this way brings about progress. ...

"[The second pillar of the life of the Church is called communion by Saint Luke.] ...

Our communion is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Jn 1:1-4). God made himself visible and tangible for us and so has created a real communion with himself. We enter into communion through this belief and live together with those whom have been touched by Him. With them and through them, we too, in a certain way, see and touch the God who became close to us. Thus the horizontal and vertical are here inextricably intertwined with each other. By being in communion with the Apostles, by standing with them in faith, we ourselves are in contact with the living God. Dear friends, the purpose of the ministry of Bishops is that this chain of communion be not interrupted. This is the essence of apostolic succession: to preserve communion with those who have met the Lord in a visible and tangible way, and so keep Heaven open, God's presence among us. Only through communion with the Successors of the Apostles are we also in contact with the incarnate God. But the reverse is also true: only through communion with God, only through communion with Jesus Christ this chain of witnesses, stays together. One is never a Bishops on his own, says Vatican II, but always only in the College of Bishops. Therefore he cannot lock himself up in the time of his generation. The intertwining of all generations, the living Church of every age belongs to collegiality. You, dear Brothers, have the mission of preserving this Catholic communion. You know that the Lord appointed Saint Peter and his successors to be the centre of that community, the guarantors of being in the totality of apostolic communion and His faith. Offer your help so the joy of the great unity of the Church, the communion of all the places and times, so the community of faith that embraces the heavens and the earth will remain alive".
Benedict XVI
February 5, 2011
Translation of this excerpt provided by Asianews (corrected).


  1. Tom the Milkman8:06 PM

    I recall that my heart leapt when I heard that Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope. I deeply remember that. A kind of joyous jolt. I'd not had enough faith that it could happen in the conclave.

    I love him, he is the Pope. Naturally one can never vouch for an absolute translation of his words, and though he seems unable to stay clear of certain terms that might be called 'tempermental' in our time - collegiality, tangible, journey, and the like - still I will myself to believe him, to trust him. I will myself to do that much, trusting in Our Lord Jesus Christ to remedy in me whatever lets that trust fail.

    Last night I was again reading certain favorite passages in 'They Have Uncrowned Him' by Archbishop Lefebvre, the bishop who confirmed me. Reading this post this morning, I'm struck with what seems lost, pale, careful, ambiguous in these times. I just believe we must always pray for the Holy Father, and for the triumph of the Church.

  2. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Let it never be said (as, sadly, I have heard it said) that this Pope does not understand that the primary mission of the Church is the salvation of souls:

    "Duc in altum" (Luke 5:4) -- Set out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. Jesus said this to Peter and his companions when he called them to become "fishers of men." "Duc in altum" -- Pope John Paul II, in his last years, took up these words again in a powerful way and proclaimed them in a loud voice to the Lord's disciples today. "Duc in altum" -- the Lord says to you in this hour, Dear Friends. You are called to posts that are related to the universal Church. You are called to cast the net into the troubled sea of our time to bring men to follow Christ; to draw them out, so to speak, of the salty waters of death and darkness into which the light of heaven does not penetrate. You must bring them to the shore of life, into communion with Jesus Christ.

  3. Collegiality...........hmmm!

    Professor Romano Amerio is very clear on the effects of the new collegial definition: post-conciliar-type. With the growth of the subsequent episcopal conferences bishops have lost their authority to so-called lay "experts". Individual bishops have lost their own traditional authority to boards of bishops. Alarmingly, this is supposed to be the basis upon which papal-episcopal relationships are now based which, ultimately, weakens the bond of unity between each bishop and the pope because the foundational principle of equality presupposed is undermined in the first place by the consequent loss of individual episcopal authority. The fact that we have witnessed disagreements by episcopal conferences and the papacy. As a result individual bishops are no longer directly accountable to the papacy but to the intangible notion of collegiality which,therefore is disperesed throuhout the entire episcopal body.

    In conclusio, as this subjective concept of episcopal "unity" has primordial place bishops have assumed they can do as they please because they have equal power with the "supreme" pontiff. Hence, Motu Propriu and other papal documents become mere "white papers" for discussion and opinionating.

    Personally, among all the changes wrought by the post-conciliar revolution. none has been more subversive than that of collegiality. It strikes at the very heart of papal governance and the imperative necessity Our Blessed Lord integrated into the ecclesiastical hierarchical system of government and administration of His Church.

  4. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Collegiality in practice has sadly played out as LeonG describes. However, that is not the concept of collegiality that the Pope expresses in this homily.

    If the Pope said to these new bishops, "Keep in mind, you are directly accountable to me!", would it really make a difference to those who are not inclined toward obedience? Those who are so inclined will understand what the Pope means when he says:

    Bishops are never alone, Vatican II says, but are always only in the college of bishops. This cannot shut itself up in its own generation. The interweaving of all generations, the living Church of all times belongs to collegiality. You, Dear Brothers, have a mission to conserve this Catholic communion. You know that the Lord has charged St. Peter and his successors with being the center of such a communion, the guarantors of being in the totality of the apostolic communion and its faith. Offer your help on behalf of maintaining that joy of the great unity of the Church, on behalf of the communion of all places and times, of the communion of faith that embraces heaven and earth. Live communion, and with your heart live, day by day, in the deepest center of that sacred moment in which the Lord gives himself in Holy Communion.

  5. "“the vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic"

    This does not say very much then for "the average catholic"!

  6. The truth is liberal modernists are scared to Hell by the notion of hierarchy.


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