Dr. Jeff Mirus over at Catholic culture puts the pieces together, arguing that the Church is “on the prowl.” Rather than sitting back and waiting until the next scandal hits, or focusing on maintaining the Status Quo, we see the Vatican reaching out actively in a number of areas:
- Vatican diplomats at the UN have denounced the “population bomb” myth, and turned the tables on the sex abuse scandal (arguing that much of the problem is, in fact, homosexuality within the priesthood, and that the organizations criticizing the Catholic Church have beams in their own eyes on this very issue);
- The appointment of Cañizares and Burke to the Congregation for Bishops, with Phil Lawler accurately assessing the importance of that move here;
- The Apostolic Visitation of American women religious;
- And of course, the pope’s new outreach to hundreds of thousands of Anglicans on the verge of the Tiber.
Add to this list the Vatican’s willingness to sit down and debate (in private) the leaders of the Society of St. Pius X on the subject of Vatican II, with talks beginning October 26th. Apparently, three qualified (and orthodox) experts affiliated with the CDF (including Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, vicar general of Opus Dei) will address their grievances head-on, instead of giving them the runaround.
Taken as a whole, the Vatican is showing willingness to preach the Gospel in season and out, to those within the Church (and even within the Roman Curia) as well as to those outside the Church (whether schismatic or, like the UN, secular) – and it’s being done by people who are seemingly unconcerned with their own image as enlightened, diplomatic clerics. It seems that Benedict has really found his style. All of this is shaping up to a be a very exciting time for the Church!