Monday, July 17, 2006

Interview with Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ

Keeping with the Fessio for Superior General theme, I found a sneak preview of an interview conducted during the ACSA conference with Fr. Fessio that will be published in Inside the Vatican next month. Thanks to The New Liturgical Movement.

- by Andrew Rabel

Fr Joseph Fessio SJ was a keynote speaker at the national conference of the Australian Catholic Students Association on the weekend of July 7-9 in Newman College at the University of Melbourne.

Fr Fessio is the founder and director of Ignatius Press, the largest Catholic publishing house in the US, and the Provost of Ave Maria College in Naples, Florida. A regular commentator on Catholic affairs, he did his doctoral thesis on Hans Urs Von Balthasar under then Professor Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, at the University of Regensburg, Bavaria in 1975.

In 1996, he founded Adoremus to push Cardinal Raztinger’s goal of the “reform of the reform”. As a close friend of the Holy Father, he has a unique perspective to comment on the affairs and controverises within the Church. At the conference, ITV was able to sit down with Fr Fessio and discuss some of these with him.

1. With the election of Pope Benedict, many of his supporters expected a tough crackdown on dissenters in the Church. But it seems that the Holy Father is moving at his own pace in those areas, to the impatience of some of his diehard following. Is the reaction of some columnists a fair one?

I don’t think it is fair. I think he has continued what he has done as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in responding to serious problems that have come to his attention. But he is someone who works slowly but very surely in a certain direction, and I have not seen any problem that he is aware of that he is not taken steps to address. That may not please some people, but he has a lot of things he has to do.


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