12/09/2009, 00.00
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Pope: The Eucharist is not a "rite of socialization," in it Jesus is truly present

Recalling the figure of Rupert of Deutz, the twelfth century Benedictine monk, in the general audience, Benedict XVI stresses that "when disputes arise in the Church, reference to the Petrine ministry gives guarantee of fidelity to the teaching and gives serenity and inner freedom."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Today there is "danger" of seeing the Eucharist as a "rite of communion, of socialization", forgetting that Jesus is truly present in it: a mystery that we must continue to love. This is the reminder that Benedict XVI gave today to nearly six thousand people present in the Paul VI hall for the general audience.  

The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is one of the themes to which Rupert of Deutz, a Benedictine monk of the twelfth century, devoted himself, whose figure was outlined today by Benedict XVI. Remembering his life, the Pope also emphasized his loyalty to the pope. Rupert said it "teaches us that when disputes arise in the Church, reference to the Petrine ministry gives a guarantee of fidelity to doctrine and gifts serenity and inner freedom."

The future abbot of Deutz was born in Liege in 1075 and, according to a tradition of the time as a child was entrusted to the monastery of Saint Laurence in his city. "Rupert always loved the monastic life, he learned Latin, and was distinguished for his moral uprightness and strong attachment to the See of Peter”.   It was the period of the Investiture Controversy, the Pope recalled:  "the papacy wanted to stop Episcopal appointments and jurisdiction from depending on civil authorities, who were not moved by pastoral reasons". The first period of exile of Rupert should be considered in the context of conflict between the bishop Otberto who "resisted the directives of the pope" and Berengar, abbot of the monastery of Saint Laurence in Liege, loyal to the pope, who was also exiled. Rupert "did not hesitate to follow his abbot into exile and only returned to Liege when the bishop returned to communion with Rome and then agreed to become a priest, given that before he did not want to be ordained by a bishop not in communion with the pope." But because the controversy against him did not cease, Rupert again left Liege to take refuge in Siegburg. In 1120 he became abbot of Deutz, where he remained until 1129, when he died, he left only for a pilgrimage to Rome in 1124”.

Rupert was "a theologian of great depth" and "active in major theological debates such as the Eucharistic controversy, which in 1077 had led to the condemnation of Berengar of Tours, who supported only a symbolic presence of Christ in the Eucharist." Although the doctrine of transubstantiation was not yet spelled out, Rupert advance as in his De officiis divinis "supported the" continuity between the Incarnate Word and that present in the Eucharist".  "Even today - continued Benedict XVI – there is a danger of reducing Eucharistic realism to almost only rite of communion, socialization and of forgetting too easily that the Eucharist is truly the risen Christ in his resurrected body," as, he recalled, the catechism teaches us, for which Jesus is present in a unique and incomparable way, in a true, real and substantial way".    

Among the many topics covered by monk in his writings, the pope also recalled that of "reconciling the goodness of God's omnipotence and the existence of evil, in other words, how do you explain the reality of evil." It was a theme that the theologians of the time tended to resolve with philosophical artifice and that "in God's will they distinguished between approval and allowance, for which God allows, but does not approve of evil. Rupert remains faithful to the biblical narrative, God is supremely good and can only desire good. The origin of evil is in man himself, and his wrong use of human freedom. "  

The last aspect of the theology of Rupert highlighted by Benedict XVI was a Marian aspect. The abbot of Deutz is the first to identify the woman in the Song of Songs with Mary. He presents her "privileges and virtues," calls her "beloved among the beloved." He "sees in Mary the most holy part of the whole Church." And "Paul VI  in proclaiming Mary as Mother of the Church quotes a proposition from his work, when he calls her Parte maxima, Parte Optima, the most exalted, best part of the Church."

 

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