Friday, November 30, 2007

No 'hope' for the Progs

John Allen reports on some complaints from the "reform wing(nuts) of Catholicism" over the new encyclical Saved in Hope:
The deliberately wide appeal of Spe Salvi does not mean that early reaction has been uniformly positive. The “Wir Sind Kirche” [We Are Church] statement, for example, posed three critical questions about the encyclical:

• Why doesn’t it rely more on Gaudium et Spes, or “Joy and Hope,” the Pastoral Constitution on the Church and the Modern World from the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which has long been a sort of charter document for the reform wing of Catholicism?
• Why doesn’t the pope ask whether the current structures and disciplinary systems of the church actually promote an atmosphere of hope?
• Will this encyclical generate real hope for progress towards ecumenical reunion?
Forgive their childish petulance for a moment. But reading used to have something to do with entering into the mind and imagination of another - a true communicative act. Today reading is mostly about shoehorning texts into agendas like meat through a grinder.

P.S. I've noticed that a lot of sites are translating the title as "Saved By Hope." "In" seems more theologically evocative and correct, and ecumenically less distracting. The Vatican's English translation quotes Romans in the first line: "in [not 'by'] hope we were saved." The West, especially the Protestant side, is used to hearing that we are "saved by faith." Benedict makes a good point in the first paragraph on the essential equivalence between faith and hope. But why let a dubious preposition furrow the brow of every Protestant before he/she even gets to the first sentence? Better to call it "Saved In Hope."