3 Responses to Munus and Ministry Are Not the Same Thing

  1. Blogs | Sep. 24, 2015

    Cardinal Danneels Admits to Being Part of ‘Mafia’ Club Opposed to Benedict XVI
    New authorised biography also reveals papal delegate at upcoming synod wrote letter to Belgium government supporting same-sex “marriage” legislation because it ended discrimination against LGBT groups

    by Edward Pentin

    Further serious concerns are being raised about Cardinal Godfried Danneels, one of the papal delegates chosen to attend the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family, after the archbishop emeritus of Brussels confessed this week to being part of a radical “mafia” reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI.

    It was also revealed this week that he once wrote a letter to the Belgium government favoring same-sex “marriage” legislation because it ended discrimination against LGBT groups.

    The cardinal is already known for having once advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990, for telling a victim of clerical sex abuse to keep quiet, and for refusing to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools.

    He also once said same-sex “marriage” was a “positive development,” although he has sought to distinguish such a union from the Church’s understanding of marriage.

    According to a forthcoming authorized biography on the cardinal co-written by Jürgen Mettepenningen, a former spokesman for Cardinal Danneels’ successor, Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard, and Karim Schelkens, a Church historian and theologian, the cardinal expressed satisfaction over the disappearance of “discrimination” against LGBT couples after legislation was passed approving same-sex “marriage” in 2003.

    The authors of the biography, to be published Sept. 29, reveal that the cardinal wrote a letter on May 28, 2003, to then-Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who at that time was putting together his second government.

    In the letter, the cardinal wrote favorably about “one of the last achievements of Verhofstadt’s first governments, the approval of a legal statute for a stable relationship between partners of the same sex.” Verhofstadt’s government introduced same sex-‘marriage’ into Belgium in 2003.

    “He wanted to stop discrimination between married heterosexuals and homosexuals who had a long-term relationship,” write the two authors of the biography. “But there should be no confusion between the use of the term ‘marriage’.”

    Asked about the letter, Verhofstadt said he did not recall it, but added: “I never had any problem with the cardinal. Our relationship was good.”

    Under Verhofstadt’s leadership, from 1999 to 2007, the Belgian government not only introduced same sex “marriage”, but also laws on euthanasia, experiments on human embryos, and IVF.

    Despite the poor record of the Belgian Church in resisting these laws, and the country being far smaller than many African countries that have one delegate representing them, Cardinal Danneels, 82, will be one of three Belgian prelates to attend the synod in October.

    The Vatican listed him second in importance out of 45 delegates personally chosen by Pope Francis to participate in the upcoming meeting. He also took part in last year’s Extraordinary Synod as a papal delegate.

    At the launch of the book in Brussels this week, the cardinal said he was part of a secret club of cardinals opposed to Pope Benedict XVI.

    He called it a “mafia” club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it “much more modern”, and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it. The group, which also comprised Cardinal Walter Kasper and the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has been documented in Austen Ivereigh’s biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer.

  2. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/archbishop-gaenswein-recalls-dramatic-struggle-of-2005-conclave

    Blogs | May. 23, 2016

    Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry
    Prefect of Pontifical Household also recalls “dramatic struggle” of 2005 Conclave.

    by Edward Pentin

    In a speech reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Gänswein has confirmed the existence of a group who fought against Benedict’s election in 2005, but stressed that “Vatileaks” or other issues had “little or nothing” to do with his resignation in 2013.

    Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome May 20, Archbishop Gänswein also said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

    Archbishop Gänswein, who doubles as the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus and prefect of the Pontifical Household, said Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

    “Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”

    Reflecting on Benedict’s time as Pope, Archbishop Gänswein said that although he was “a classic ‘homo historicus’, a Western man par excellence who embodied the richness of the Catholic tradition like no other,” at the same time he was “so bold as to open the door to a new phase, for that historic turning point that five years ago no one could have imagined.”

    Gänswein drew attention to “brilliant and illuminating” and “well documented and thorough” passages of the book, written by Father Roberto Regoli and entitled Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI — “Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI.”

    The German prelate especially highlighted Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Conclave between the “so-called ‘Salt of the Earth Party’” (named after the book interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) comprising “Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medina” and their adversaries: “the so-called St. Gallen group” that included “Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor” — a group Cardinal Danneels referred jokingly to as “a kind of mafia-club,” Archbishop Gänswein recalled. (His reference to that struggle backs up an interview German journalist Paul Badde gave the Register last November and EWTN Germany, during which Badde also mentioned German Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann as being part of the St. Gallen group).

    “The election was certainly the outcome of a battle,” Gänswein went on, adding that the “key” to the Conclave was Cardinal Ratzinger’s “dictatorship of relativism” homily that he gave on the first day of the election when he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

    Benedict’s personal secretary then referred to how Regoli highlights the “fascinating and moving” years of Benedict’s pontificate, and his “skill and confidence” in exercising the Petrine ministry. He recalled, in particular, the “black year” of 2010, when Manuela Camagni, one of the four Memores Domini consecrated women who assisted Benedict, was tragically killed in a road accident in Rome.

    The year, which he attests was a dark one, was further blackened by “malicious attacks against the Pope” and the fallout from Benedict’s lifting of the excommunication on Bishop Richard Williamson who denied the extent of the Holocaust.

    But nothing affected Benedict’s “heart as much as the death of Manuela”, whom he considered part of the “papal family” of helpers. “Benedict wasn’t an ‘actor pope’, and even less an insensitive ‘automaton Pope’,” Gänswein said. ”Even on the throne of Peter, he was and remained a man… ‘a man with his contradictions’.”

    Then, after having been so affected by the death of Camagni, Benedict suffered the “betrayal of Paolo Gabriele”, his “poor and misguided” former valet who was found guilty of leaking confidential papal documents in what became known as the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. That episode was “false money” traded on the world stage as “authentic gold bullion” he said, but stressed that “no traitor, ‘mole’, or any journalist” would have caused Benedict to resign. “The scandal was too small” for the “greater, well considered step Benedict made of millennial historical significance.”

    Such assumptions that they did have something to do with it, he said, “have little or nothing to do with reality”, adding that Benedict resigned because it was “fitting” and “reasonable”, and quoted John Duns Scotus’ words to justify the decree for the Immaculate Conception: “Decuit, potuit, fecit” — “He could do it, it was fitting that He do it.”

    Various reports have suggested that pressure was exerted on Benedict to step down. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”

    But in his speech, Gänswein insisted “it was fitting” for Benedict to resign because he “was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

    Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

    “He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“

    Instead, he said, “he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

    Archbishop Gänswein pointed out that the motto is not in the singular but in the plural, and taken from the Third Letter of John, in which it is written in verse 8: “We must welcome these people to become co-workers for the truth”.

    He therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.”

    “Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

    Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope
    Celestine V.

    “So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel, while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

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