Saturday, August 04, 2007

The end of triumphalism

I thought this extract from the Pope`s recent answers to the local clergy when he was on holiday was useful. His response was about the fruits of Vatican II. He said:

The Council had said that triumphalism must be renounced – thinking of the Baroque, of all these great cultures of the Church. It was said: Let’s begin in a new, modern way. But another triumphalism had grown, that of thinking: We will do things now, we have found the way, and on it we find the new world.

But the humility of the Cross, of the Crucified One, excludes precisely this triumphalism as well. We must renounce the triumphalism according to which the great Church of the future is truly being born now. The Church of Christ is always humble, and for this very reason it is great and joyful.

I have lost count of the number of times I have come across this kind of triumphalism in Church life. There are plenty around who think that now we have at last got things right. As the Holy Father points out, what has such an attitude got to do with humility? The full text of his response which also contains interesting reflections on the chaos after the Second Vatican Council can be read here.


Anonymous said...

But, the Church should be Triumphant, as Christ is, and the Church being his body… get the idea. As long as we know we are not triumphant because of anything we did. As one of the Psalms say (paraphrase), : Not to us, oh Lord, not to us, but to thy name be Glory. Easter=Truimph.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Well yes triumphant in the right sense but not arrogant.