Thursday’s New York Times ran a story on page A6 (and online) about the statement Benedict XVI made at Wednesday’s papal audience. He attempted to explain his decision to reach out to the SSPX and reiterated the Church’s condemnation of the Shoah. The last line of that article — a quote from the pope’s address — struck a few of us in the office as slightly odd:
He added that he hoped that his gesture would be met “by a commitment on their part to fulfill the further steps necessary to realize full communion with the church,” including “recognizing the majesty and authority of the pope and of the Second Vatican Council.”
The “majesty” of the pope? Doesn’t that seem rather…preconciliar?
I trust that following from this gesture of mine will be the prompt effort on their part to complete final necessary steps to arrive to full communion with the Church, thus giving testimony of true fidelity and true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council.
You couldn’t call that fluid prose, but the part about the “magisterium” sounds a lot more likely, doesn’t it?
Since the pope was speaking Italian at the time, let’s check the original text:
Auspico che a questo mio gesto faccia seguito il sollecito impegno da parte loro di compiere gli ulteriori passi necessari per realizzare la piena comunione con la Chiesa, testimoniando così vera fedeltà e vero riconoscimento del magistero e dell’autorità del Papa e del Concilio Vaticano II.
I’m no expert, but I think that rules out “majesty” as an option. (That would be, I think, “maesta”?) Just one more amusing bit of evidence that a little Catholic knowledge would go a long way in the newsroom.