Sandro Magister makes defense of Benedict XVI’s lifting of the excommunication of four bishops ordained illicitly (but validly) by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He refers to the address of Benedict to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005 in which he speaks of the hermeneutic of continuity that has existed always in the Tradition of the Church, through the Second Vatican Council and afterwards to this present moment. Magister wrote: “This key text is the final part of the memorable speech… on the interpretation of Vaticna Council II.
“In explaining how to interpret the Council correctly, Benedict XVI shows how it did in fact introduce new developments with respect to the past, but always in continuity with ‘the deepest patrimony of the Church.’
“And as an example of this interplay between newness and continuity, the Pope illustrates precisely the conciliar ideas on freedom of religion: the main point of division between the Church and the Lefebvrists.
From this speech, it becomes clear that for Benedict XVI, the Lefebvrists can reconcile with the Church if they accept Dignitatis Humanae according to the interpretation of the Pope, and not according to another more restrictive, or ‘Platonist-Augustinian,’ interpretation.”
The core of Benedict’s meaning of continuity is to be found in my recent postings on the knowledge of the Person of Christ. That knowledge is continuous by the inner experience of our selves with His Self in any act of self-transcendence that is agape. The experience grows, the consciousness deepens, the concepts change. This is the key to all ecumenism as faith-experience. It has already happened with the Russian Orthodox Church in May. More to come on that.