Rod Dreher writes:-
"Hello from Rome, where there was something of an earthquake this morning.
The De Gasperi Foundation held an invitation-only conference in Rome’s House of Deputies this morning, to discuss The Benedict Option. I gave a talk, and then gave the floor to Archbishop Georg Gänswein. He is the prefect of the papal household, but more importantly, is the longtime personal secretary to Benedict XVI. I was extremely curious to know what he would have to say about my book, as I have not hidden the fact that Benedict XVI is “the second Benedict of The Benedict Option.”
What Monsignor Gänswein said was nothing short of astounding. An Italian journalist just texted me to say
I assure you that a lot of people in Rome and all over the Catholic world are stunned by those remarks. Exactly because it clearly means approval [of The Benedict Option] by BXVI …https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
I will post an official translation of the entire text when it becomes available in English. Here are highlights from the Italian original, translated with Google and with the help of Italian-speaking friends:
1. It is “an act of Divine Providence” that we are having this conference today, on September 11, because the sex abuse scandal is the Catholic Church’s own 9/11.
2. No churches have been destroyed (so far) by terrorists, but symbolically, US churches (“all the churches of Pennsylvania, along with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington”) have “collapsed” because of the “mortal wounds” delivered to souls by “priests of the Catholic Church.” [The basilica cite might be a reference to Cardinal Wuerl]
3. “I remember as if it were yesterday when on April 16, 2008, accompanying Pope Benedict XVI right in that National Shrine of the Catholic Church in the United States of America, he touchingly tried to shake the bishops convened from all the United States: he spoke bent over the ‘profound shame’ caused by ‘the sexual abuse of minors by priests’ and ‘the immense sorrow your communities have suffered when men of the Church have betrayed their priestly duties and duties with such grossly unethical behavior.’ But evidently in vain, as we see today. The lament of the Holy Father was not able to contain the evil, nor the formal assurances and the commitments in words of a large part of the hierarchy.”
4. Mons. Gänswein said that reading The Benedict Option, he thought a lot about the following words that Benedict XVI said on the flight back to Rome from Fatima on May 11, 2010:
“The Lord told us that the Church would always be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world. […] As for the news that we can discover today (in this third secret of the Fatima message), there is also the fact that not only are the Pope and the Church attacked from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come from interior of the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a truly terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside enemies, but arises from sin in the Church. “5. Talking about the collapse of churchgoing in his home country, Germany, Mons. Gänswein contrasted that to the picture BXVI gave in these 2005 remarks to a meeting in Bari. The pope talked about the arrest in the year 304 of a group of Christians as they prayed in church. The Emperor Diocletian had forbidden them from gathering on Sundays to celebrate the Eucharist, and to build churches. In the North African town of Abitene, 49 Christians were arrested during Sunday worship. They told their captors that they could not live without the Eucharist — and they were all martyred for their faith. Today, though, very few Catholics in Germany can bother to get out of bed on Sunday to go to mass.
6. Speaking in a frankly apocalyptic vein, BXVI’s secretary — think of that! — said these days make him think of the Bible’s warnings that in the Last Days, believers will see “the abomination of desolation in the holy place.” He said that he wonders, along with Cardinal Eijk of the Netherlands, if the Church is facing its final trial before the Second Coming.
7. Mons. Gänswein praised my coverage of the Catholic abuse scandal, saying that I am “a man who completely corresponds to the desires and tastes of Pope Francis, because no one else in Rome knows better than he that the crisis of the Church, in its core, is a crisis of the clergy. And so the time has come for the strong and determined laymen, especially in the new independent Catholic media, as embodied by Rod Dreher.”
8. He said that since his retirement, BXVI has considered himself to be an “old monk” spending all his time praying for the Church and the world. Mons. Gänswein offers as BXVI’s response the Pope Emeritus’s 2008 lecture to the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. The entire point of the Benedicine mission, the pope said, was “quarere Deum” — to search for God. Everything else followed from that.
Along those lines, the archbishop highlights The Benedict Option‘s claim that this general crisis of disbelief roiling the Christian world — not just the Catholic one — may actually save our souls by forcing us to draw nearer to God. Mons. Gänswein said, of the book:
…it does not contain a ready answer. In it you will not find an infallible recipe or a master key to reopen all those doors that until now were accessible to us but that are now slamming shut again. Between the first and the last cover you will find, however, an authentic example of what Pope Benedict said ten years ago about the Benedictine spirit of the beginnings. It is a real “Quaerere Deum”. It is that search for the true God of Isaac and of Jacob who, in Jesus Christ, has shown his human face.9. Many people are saying today that the Church is finished, that she cannot recover, said Gänswein. However:
And this is the hour when Rod Dreher from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, presents his book near the tombs of the Apostles; and, in the midst of the eclipse of God who is terrifying all over the world, he comes among us and says: “The Church is not dead, but only sleeps and rests”.10. His concluding lines:
And not only this: the Church “is young” also seems to tell us, and with that joy and freedom with which Benedict XVI said it in the Mass for the beginning of the Petrine ministry on April 24, 2005. Recalling once again the suffering and the death of Saint John Paul II of which he had been a collaborator for so many years, addressing each one of us in St Peter’s Square, said:
“It was precisely in the sad days of the Pope’s illness and death that this manifested itself in a marvelous way in our eyes: that the Church is alive. And the Church is young. It carries within itself the future of the world and therefore also shows each of us the path to the future. The Church is alive and we see it: we experience the joy that the Risen One has promised to his own. The Church is alive – she is alive, because Christ is alive, because he has truly risen. In pain, present on the face of the Holy Father on Easter days, we contemplated the mystery of the passion of Christ and together touched his wounds. But in all these days we have also been able, in a profound sense, to touch the Risen One. We have been given the opportunity to experience the joy that he promised, after a short period of darkness, as the fruit of his resurrection “.
For the whole story see:-https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/benedict-xvi-ganswein-benedict-option/ .Therefore I have to confess sincerely that I perceive this time of great crisis, one that is evident to everyone, mostly as a time of grace. In the end, we will be “set free” not by a specific effort, but by the “truth”, as the Lord assured us. Within this hope, I look at the recent accounts made by Rod Dreher for the “purification of the memory” requested by John Paul II; and hence, with gratitude, I read his “Benedict Option”, as a marvelous source of inspiration. In these last few weeks, nothing else has provided me as much consolation."