The Roamin' Roman

Benvenuto! You have happened upon the blog of a wandering Catholic American college student studying for a year in Rome, the Eternal City. You will find here my pontifications, ruminations, reflections, images, and ponderings on my life in Rome. Ciao!

Monday, January 16

Dr. Moynihan - guest professor!

Well, we got a surprise this morning for our Early Christian Worship class... we didn't talk much about early Christian worship, because somehow our professor had been able to arrange for Dr. Robert Moynihan, editor and founder of "Inside the Vatican" magazine, to come and speak with us!

Needless to say we didn't mind too much that we weren't going to be discussing the differences between Ambrose and Cyril of Jerusalem's writings on baptism after all.

Dr. Moynihan talked to us at length about his personal history here in Rome, and his experiences here and in the States throughout the past 20+ years. Very interesting! One story that was very intersting was his overview of the events surrounding his doctoral dissertation research in 1984. He did his doctorate on the influence of Joachim of Fiore on the Franciscan order - apparently a "cardinal in Rome" had written a book in which aspects of this was discussed, and so Moynihan read it as part of his research. Well, one day he met the cardinal, and told him that he had read his book, and the cardinal responded, "you are the only one in Rome who has!" That cardinal was none other than our current pontiff, then Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith!

Dr. Moynihan also mentioned briefly something about the spiritual life of Benedict XVI, that he said "no one has written on yet." He said that before being elected pope, Ratzinger was not in the habit of praying the Rosary every day. That changed following his election as Peter's successor - he said to his secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, that they needed to begin. So, regularly now the two of them say the Rosary together! I sure hope that Dr. Moynihan does speak about this more himself in a future issue of Inside the Vatican - it may seem like a small observation, but I think it is a beautiful sign that points to the far broader and deeper spiritual picture of this pontificate. May Our Lady of the Rosary continue to lead our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, and in turn the flock that he has been charged to shepherd, ever closer to her Son!

And many thanks to Dr. Moynihan for taking time out of his (I am sure) incredibly busy schedule to come and speak to a bunch of eager Catholic undergraduate students!! I encourage everyone to read Inside the Vatican for insightful commentary, theological reflection, and news updates from the heart of the Church in Rome!

11 Comments:

  • At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry, sweetie, but Rome is certainly NOT the "heart of the Church." The sooner you get that nonsense out of your head, the better.

     
  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yah toots didnt you know that Rome is the liver and kidneys of the Church, Constantinople is the heart, duh everyone knows that.

     
  • At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ymmmm liver

     
  • At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    mmmmm kidney beans

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The heart of a body is that through which all of the blood flows and which essentially keeps the body alive; Rome is that through which all of the doctrinal and dogmatic teachings of the Church flow, and where all Catholics find their spiritual home regardless of parish location, and where the Vicar of Christ (who is the Head of the Church) resides. Perhaps you know where the bowels are?

     
  • At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah - Rome isn't the heart of the Church. Its the head of the Church

     
  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger mgibson said…

    Well, strictly speaking... it is the case that Rome is neither the heart nor the head of the Church - since Jesus Christ is the only Heart and the only Head.

    However, as humans created by God and asked by God to cooperate with Him in our journey to salvation, in particular though the earthly leadership of the Vicar of Christ in the person of the Holy Father, who is identified as the Bishop of Rome - it can therefore be said that "Rome" shares in Christ's reality as the heart, and head, of the Church. It's that whole "both/and" thing about Catholicism, ya' know. For example: Christ is the only Priest, and yet men who are ordained priests share in that priesthood in a certain respect, while in another respect all baptized Christians also share in that priesthood. Only Christ has the fullness of the Priesthood, the members of His Body the Church share in the priesthood in varying ways.

    Anyway. Back (maybe) to the originally scheduled program...

     
  • At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Veritas you have no clue what you are talking about, like I said Rome is the kidneys and the liver of the Church. I wish your actions would match your name Veritas.

    Veritas psh whateve foo

     
  • At 5:58 PM, Blogger Banshee said…

    I'm glad to see that so many other people share my vocation of being the ass end of the Body of Christ.

    That said, I'm at a loss as to why this particular point has been so seized upon. The whole Joachim of Fiore thing is much more interesting, and the Rosary thing makes me feel a lot better about my own devotional shortcomings. (Not to mention the Pope's seriousness about his new job.)

     
  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    This is something that Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned in one of those Ignatius interview books (not praying the rosary), interesting that being Pope has made him feel the need to change this habit.

     
  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    Michael is alluding to "God and the World", I think. But there, Cardinal Ratzinger says that he frequently prays the Rosary, though not always complete due to the time pressures on him. He also said elsewhere that as he had gotten older he has come to appreciate and agree with the old sentiment, "De Maria nunquam satis!"; "About Mary never enough." He has had quite a Marian devotion for some time.

    But I think it's true that good men entering the Papacy suddenly realize that they have to become men of profoundly deep prayer or they will simply be destroyed. This is the "sine qua non" of being a good Pope. Nowhere to hide anymore from God. No wonder the best men are scared to death of it and do everything in their power to avoid it.

     

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