Ave Atque Vale

Ave Atque Vale: Hail and Farewell

edited by Michael Hedley Kelly
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: ATF (Australia) Ltd.
Pages: 104
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  • Book Info
    Ave Atque Vale
    Book Description:

    This volume of essays examines a short one month period in the life of the Catholic Church in 2013. From the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 11 February 2013 through the election of Pope Francis on 13 March, these essays come from a number of writers, theologians and poets. Ave Atque Vale - Hail and Farewell - is how the Roman poet Catullus ends his elegiac tribute to his deceased brother and has always been used to mark an end and a beginning. Whether it was 600 or 900 years since a pope resigned, the action is unprecedented in the modern papacy. This volume of essays is edited by Michael Kelly SJ and has contributions by Anne Elvey, Andrew Hamilton SJ, Joe Hodge, Anne Hunt, Rachael Kohn, Brian Lucas, James McEvoy, Andrew McGowan, Constant Mews, Michael Mullins, Desmond O'Grady, Neil Ormerod, and Philip Harvey, as well as poets Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and BA Green. Most of the pieces first appeared in Australia's Eureka Street magazine in February and March 2013.

    eISBN: 978-1-922239-29-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xii)
    Michael Kelly

    Ave Atque Vale—Hail and Farewell—is how the Roman poet Catullus ends his elegiac tribute to his deceased brother and these words have always been used to mark an end and a beginning. Whether it was 600 or 900 years since a pope resigned, the action is unprecedented in the modern papacy.

    The papacy as we have it today was most impacted by events in the nineteenth century. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the papacy suffered at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte who at one point imprisoned Pius VI and then humiliated Pius VII at his...

  4. The Legacy Of Benedict XVI
    • 1. Ratzinger and Rowan Williams Side By Side
      (pp. 1-4)
      Andrew McGowan

      When Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope as Benedict XVI in 2005, the western Christian world found itself in the remarkable position of having both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches led by men viewed by many as their leading theologians. Rowan Williams and Ratzinger, although a generation apart in age, had more in common than academic credentials when they came to office.

      Both are steeped in the theology of the early Christian writers known as the Church Fathers, and although Williams focused his Oxford doctoral studies on eastern Christianity, he also has a deep and sympathetic engagement with Augustine of...

    • 2. Resignation Of A Teacher-Pope
      (pp. 5-6)
      Andrew Hamilton

      Pope Benedict’s resignation may be the most significant act of his papacy. It draws attention away from the mystique of popes and bishops, and focuses it firmly on their call to serve the church.

      His resignation allows us to reflect on his time as pope. When the cardinals elected Joseph Ratzinger many Catholics were surprised, and some alarmed at the choice. They identified him with the stern disciplinary actions and doctrinal intransigence of the Congregation for the Defence of the Faith. They assumed he would bring the same narrow focus to his leadership of the Catholic Church.

      The reality has...

    • 3. Benedict’s Legacy of Faith and Reason
      (pp. 7-8)
      Joel Hodge

      Pope Benedict argued that the alliance of faith and reason must be at the heart of the healthy public life of any society. He emphasised that faith does not necessarily conflict with reason, but that faith and reason can work together to overcome separations caused by misunderstandings or prejudice.

      For Benedict, reason is not enslaved to faith, but is set free by it. But how is this so?

      Reason and the intellect form an integral part of the human person. The human person is not just a brain like a computer, but is a rational being with deep desires and...

    • 4. The Fable Of Benedict’s Red Shoes
      (pp. 9-10)
      Philip Harvey

      In 1948 the British masters Powell and Pressburger made a film calledThe Red Shoes. Moira Shearer played a ballerina whose dream is to perform on stage. She gets her wish, playing in a new production wearing special shoes. They take her places she has never been and always wanted to go.

      But she cannot take them off, and is trapped in an unending cycle of dance. Her one hope of escape from this growing nightmare is to take off the red shoes, but can she?

      It is a modern fable, based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen. In...

  5. The Challenges For The Pope Succeeding Benedict XVI
    • 5. Risks of Betting On The Papal Election
      (pp. 13-16)
      Andrew Hamilton

      Claud Cockburn, the perceptive British journalist, once remarked with characteristic assurance that Catholics could never run a book on the papal election. It would be blasphemy, he said, because Catholics believe that the pope is chosen by the Holy Spirit.

      I found the comment intriguing. It was factually counter-intuitive because Catholics I knew were prepared to bet on anything, even the chances of an echidna making it across a highway.

      Certainly most Catholics would have regarded betting on the papal election as in bad taste. This was family, so betting on the pope would be like running a book on...

    • 6. Pope For A Polarised Church
      (pp. 17-18)
      James McEvoy

      Backing candidates in a papal conclave is a notoriously unrewarding enterprise and in my case, with limited inside knowledge of the field, reasons for abstaining abound. I do, however, have a broad ‘person specification’ in mind. Both the church and the modern world need a pope with a deep spiritual life and uncommon wisdom.

      The challenges facing the church extend far beyond the Vatican into local communities in which countless saints live simple lives of self-giving love, foster the faith of their children, provide hospitality to refugees, and face suffering and death in the hope of resurrection. Their faith moves...

    • 7. Lay Catholics Can Be Cardinals Too
      (pp. 19-20)
      Constant Mews

      The decision of Benedict XVI to follow the precedent of Celestine V, who was pope for less than eighteern months (13 December 1292 – 19 May 1294), raises the fascinating possibility that the papacy could revisit other ancient traditions that have since fallen into neglect.

      One of these is the major constitutional reform introduced into the Church in 1059 by another pope, Nicholas II, who established the principle that to be canonically elected, a pope needed to be chosen with the assent not just of the cardinal bishops and other cardinal clergy, but of the whole of the Church: ‘and then...

    • 8. We Need A Pope Who Can Handle The Truth
      (pp. 21-22)
      Brian Lucas

      Much of the pre-conclave discussion by media commentators, commenting on the comments allegedly made by various cardinals and other commentators, focuses on the qualities of the prospective pontiff and expectations about his agenda, especially a reform agenda for the Vatican bureaucracy.

      Everyone has a point of view and the more a particular perspective is recycled and repeated by various media outlets the more ‘authority’ it has. There is an almost insatiable thirst to find something to satisfy media demands. Sydney’s Cardinal Pell’s comment about a governance agenda for the new pontificate was quickly, and unfairly, exaggerated into a purported criticism...

    • 9. Vatican Secrecy Ensures Trivial Media Coverage
      (pp. 23-24)
      Michael Mullins

      A morning program on one Australia’s free-to-air television stations, Channel 7’sWeekend Sunrise, mocked the Catholic Church during its papal conclave preview a week ago. Giggling presenters Samantha Armytage and Andrew O’Keefe mused on a theological text that had caught the attention of reporter Chris Reason in St Peter’s Square. It was Hans Urs Von Balthasar’sTheological Aesthetics: A Model for Post-critical Biblical Interpretation, an exposition of the ideas of one of the greatest theological minds of the twentieth century.

      ‘The papal version ofFifty Shades of Grey?’ asked Armytage. ‘More like 3,000 shades of grey’, replied O’Keefe. It got...

    • 10. Seven days of Papal Creation: From Conclave to Installation
      (pp. 25-30)
      Richard Leonard

      It was only by good luck and blessing that I found myself in Rome during the days leading up to the papal election. I had been booked to be a visiting professor to the Gregorian University twelve months ago.

      I finished teaching at 7pm on the day of the election. The first clue that something was on were the bells. As the white smoke went up, the bells at St Peter’s started ringing and, through a centuries-old tradition, the tolling cascaded from one belfry to the next. It took two minutes for the churches around the Trevi Fountain, where the...

    • 11. Francis: Getting to the Heart of the Gospel
      (pp. 31-34)
      Anne Hunt

      It was Thursday morning 14 March 2013 in Melbourne (and Wednesday evening 13 March in Rome). I had woken at about 6am and had turned on the television to see if there was news from the conclave. Finding that the smoke from that most famous of chimneys had signaled that the announcement was imminent, I waited with a great sense of eagerness and expectation for the name of the cardinal who had been elected to the papacy. Then it came: Bergoglio, and his chosen name, Francis. What a surprise, as none of the pundits had paid much attention to him!...

  6. Observations of What Differences Pope Francis Made After His Election
    • 12. A Wild New Pope
      (pp. 37-40)
      Barry Grittins, Brian Doyle and BA Breen
    • 13. The Vatican’s Tragic Farce
      (pp. 41-44)
      Desmond O’Grady

      Governance has emerged as a key issue in the pre-conclave debate largely because of press reports about shenanigans in the Catholic Church’s central administration, the Roman Curia. It is said that the only on who could solve the problem would be JC with an MBA.

      Whether the cardinals choose a charismatic leader like John Paul II or someone keen to turn attention away from himself like Benedict XVI, if the new pope is non-Italian he will probably choose an Italian secretary of state. Both John Paul and Benedict did this, as seems wise when the bishop of Rome is Pope,...

    • 14. Pope For A New Reformation
      (pp. 45-48)
      Andrew Hamilton

      In the media hugger-mugger before the papal conclave began, most cardinals spoke of the need for reform.

      But they had in mind different kinds of reform: an evangelical reform that would focus on renewing the faith of all Catholics; a disciplinary reform that would tightly define Catholic identity, act against dissent and unify the church against the ‘secularist threat’; a structural reform that would address those aspects of governance and culture that contributed to the sexual abuse crisis and to alienation among Catholics.

      Pope Francis will address these proposals not simply as sociological challenges, but within a Catholic framework that...

    • 15. Pope Francis and the Jews
      (pp. 49-52)
      Rachael Kohn

      A recent report that Pope Francis has accepted President Shimon Perez’s invitation to visit Israel ‘with willingness and joy’ is of great significance to Jewish people around the world. The pope’s response indicates that he both recognizes the importance of Israel to the Jewish people and is willing to defy the boycott mentality that has gripped other churches in the Christian world and undermined their relationships with the Jews.

      Pope Francis knows too well what price Jews face for their connection to and support of Israel, their ancient home and their modern day refuge. As the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio...

    • 16. A Jesuit Learns To Live With A Jesuit Pope
      (pp. 53-54)
      Andrew Hamilton

      ‘What’s it like to get a Jesuit pope?’ A hard question to wake up to, but I have got used to it during the day.

      I must say that I had not thought of the new pope in Jesuit terms. I was glad we had a new pope, felt the sense of hope and possibility that seems to accompany any such changes, and felt sympathy and benevolence for Cardinal Bergoglio in the demanding responsibilities he had assumed.

      But of course then I began to recognise in myself the quirky responses that had quickly to be censored. The partisan reaction, for...

    • 17. How Pope Francis Will Mend a Broken Church
      (pp. 55-56)
      Michael Mullins

      The election of a new pope is always an exciting moment for the church and the world. After weeks of uncertainty, it seems there is good reason to celebrate the election of Pope Francis, and to congratulate and offer support to him in the immense task ahead.

      The excitement of the election of a new pope always brings with it the expectation that he is a new Messiah and has the ability to fix what is broken with the church. But a more realistic, and indeed preferable, aspiration is for him to acknowledge before all else the ways in which...

    • 18. Caucusing Cardinals Trump Greedy Media
      (pp. 57-60)
      Ray Cassin

      ‘Wish I knew who to credit with this: ‘What the cardinals are looking for is Jesus with an MBA’.’ So tweeted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (Australia’s national radio and television national broadcaster) Lisa Millar, waiting in the 5000-strong media pack outside the conclave that has just ended.

      Whether Jorge Mario Bergoglio quite fits that description may be doubted. A newly elected pope who chooses Francis as his reign name does not exactly evoke images of slick corporate CEOs and Harvard Business School-inspired modern managerialism. And who would want a pope who conformed to those images anyway?

      But for all its...

    • 19. Pope Francis’ Unfinished Business With The Poor
      (pp. 61-64)
      Andrew Hamilton

      Pope Francis’ desire that the church should be a church of the poor and for the poor has struck a chord. As did his simple way of living and his evocation of Francis of Assisi when choosing to be called Pope Francis. But his emphasis on the service of the poor will put on the agenda unfinished business from the 1960s – 80s.

      The relationship between the Catholic Church and the poor was explored most seriously in Latin America. I caught its dimensions most vividly in a dawn trip on a clapped out US school bus to a small regional town...

    • 20. The Difference One Pope Can Make
      (pp. 65-66)
      Neil Ormerod

      Amid the general sense of relief and even euphoria over the election of Pope Francis, a Pentecostal friend of mine wondered, what difference can one man make? Given the vast size of the Catholic Church, the diversity of its structures and personnel, what can this one man, already in his mid-70s, do to make real and significant changes? It is a good question.

      The first thing to appreciate is the shift in style, some of it symbolic, but not without impact. As the counting of the papal votes was concluded, and the Master of Ceremonies approached Francis with the traditional...

    • 21. Culture, Symbol, Justice and Recent Popes
      (pp. 67-70)
      Anne Elvey

      Pope John XXIII died when I was around seven and a half years old. His death and the wait for the election of his successor are my first memories concerning the papacy. Thin trails of black and white smoke became in my imagination part of the symbolic culture that marked my family and classmates, our priests and our teachers, as Catholic. It remained a time of tribal loyalty, and we were part of the Catholic tribe. It would be some years before we became aware of theaggiorniomentothat was the Second Vatican Council, but as I reflect on the...

  7. Pope Francis:: Jesuit Pastor
    • 22. Changing The Things That Need To Be Changed: Pope Francis And His Ignatian Heritage
      (pp. 73-88)
      Michael Kelly

      There is little doubt that Ignatius Loyola was a religious genius almost without peer except perhaps for Teresa of Avila. Ignatius combines two things—a high mystical prayer life that he is able to introduce us to through the Spiritual Exercises and an organizational wizardry embodied in the Constitutions he wrote for his order and whose appreciation of how to organize an activity and a group of people retains its vigor even today.

      What is most compelling about Ignatian spirituality is the way its essence can not be grasped unless it is meshed with the experience of life. It is...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 89-91)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 92-92)