From the National Catholic Register: (the NCR that hasn’t been condemned as heretical by its Ordinary)
Pope Benedict XVI granted a rare interview to the creators of a documentary in which he said that he is “convinced” that “there will also be a new springtime for Christianity” in Europe.
The bishops, experts and observers at the Synod on the New Evangelization were treated to a screening of the new documentary at the Oct. 15 afternoon session.
“[T]he desire for God … is profoundly inscribed into each human soul and cannot disappear. Certainly we can forget God for a time … but God never disappears,” Pope Benedict said on screen, though he was not in the audience. “This restlessness … is an expression of the hope that man may, ever and anew … start to journey towards this God.”
For those who may not have that long a memory, he gave an interview to Raymond Arroyo back in 2003, where he addressed the subject of a “new springtime”:
Raymond: … in such a powerful way, when they interact. Talk for a moment about the New Springtime. The Pope has talked a great deal about the New Springtime and you, yourself have laid out your own ideas. Your vision is a little different from some. Some see the numbers growing and everybody believing and dancing hand-in-hand (the Cardinal chuckles) into the millennium. You see a different picture. Tell us what that picture involves. How do you see this Springtime evolving?
Cardinal: As I do not exclude even this dancing hand-in-hand, but this is only one moment. And my idea is that really the springtime of the Church will not say that we will have in a near time buses of conversions, that all peoples of the world will be converted to Catholicism. This is not the way of God. The essential things in history begin always with the small, more convinced communities. So, the Church begins with the 12 Apostles. And even the Church of St. Paul diffused in the Mediterranean are little communities, but this community in itself is the future of the world, because we have the truth and the force of conviction. So, I think also today it should be an error to think now or in 10 years with the new springtime, all people will be Catholic. This is not our future, nor our expectation. But we will have really convinced communities with élan of the faith, no? This is springtime — a new life in very convinced persons with joy of the faith.
Raymond: But, smaller numbers? In the macro?
Cardinal: Smaller numbers, I think. But from these small numbers we will have a radiation of joy in the world. And so, it’s an attraction, as it was in the old Church. Even when Constantine made Christianity the public religion, there were a small number of percentage at this time; but it was clear, this is the future. So we can live in the future, just give us a way in a different future. And so, I would say, if we have young people really with the joy of the faith and this radiation of this joy of the faith, this will show to the world, “Even if I cannot share it, even if I cannot convert it at this moment, here is the way to live for tomorrow.”
I don’t think one can understand the talk today without considering his 2003 comments.