Back to the Twelfth Century: Peter the Venerable and Pope Benedict XVI

November 1, 2009

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In his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on October 14th, Pope Benedict gave an address in which he held up the twelfth-century monk and abbot of Cluny, Peter the Venerable, as a model for contemporary Christians, lay and monastic, praising him for his ability to balance both contemplative spirituality and the demands and pressures of the world. 

Lucy K. Pick from the Divinity School, University of Chicago offers an interesting reflection on the audience address, click here for more. Just to give you a flavour:

“This is a discourse that uses the form of dialogue as a means to define non-Christians and distance them from the community of the faithful.  It may be exactly what the pope wants, especially if Ross Douthat’s New York Times opinion column of October 25th is correct that the pope’s recent gesture towards disaffected Anglicans was motivated by his desire to present a united Christian front against the Islamic world.  But it is a radical departure from the way the Roman Catholic Church has approached inter-religious dialogue for decades, and a return to a mode of Catholic self-understanding with a very unhappy past.”

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