Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 5


The English Denzinger site (which was run by (20) priests, and which (strangely??) has not been active for a few years, was invaluable and priceless in terms of comparing everything Francis claimed to what authentic Church Teaching says.

The following is an example of one article I had saved. It is very long, so I will post just a few bits every day. The following continues from yesterday’s post.


Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea that Jesus came into the world to learn how to be a man


  • From the splendor of divinity, Christ chose to descend to the humiliation of ‘death on a cross’ to then manifest Himself in the splendor of his divine majesty

Already in the past we have underlined that this text contains a two-way movement: descent and ascent. In the first, Christ Jesus, from the splendour of divinity which by nature belongs to him, chooses to descend to the humiliation of ‘death on a cross’. In this way he shows himself to be truly man and our Redeemer, with an authentic and full participation in our human reality of suffering and death. The second movement, upwards, reveals the paschal glory of Christ, who manifests himself once more after death in the splendour of his divine majesty. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, no. 1-2, October 26, 2005)

  • Jesus’ death stems from his free choice of obedience to the Father’s plan of salvation

This radical and true sharing in the human condition, with the exception of sin (cf. Heb 4:15), leads Jesus to the boundary that is a sign of our finite condition and transience: death. However, it is not the product of an obscure mechanism or a blind fatalism. It stems from his free choice of obedience to the Father’s plan of salvation (cf. Phil 2: 8). (Benedict XVI. General Audience, no. 3, June 1, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea that spiritual direction is a charism of the laity

  • Priests have the munus docendi, the task of teaching – they must answer the fundamental questions about what we must do in order to do good

The first duty of which I wish to speak today is the munus docendi, that is, the task of teaching. Today, in the midst of the educational emergency, the munus docendi of the Church, exercised concretely through the ministry of each priest, is particularly important. We are very confused about the fundamental choices in our life and question what the world is, where it comes from, where we are going, what we must do in order to do good, how we should live and what the truly pertinent values are. Regarding all this, there are numerous contrasting philosophies that come into being and disappear, creating confusion about the fundamental decisions on how to live; because collectively we no longer know from what and for what we have been made and where we are going. […] This is the function in persona Christi of the priest: making present, in the confusion and bewilderment of our times, the light of God’s Word, the light that is Christ himself in this our world. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, April 14, 2010)

  • An essential part of the priest’s grace is the task of putting others in touch with God

No man on his own, relying on his own power, can put another in touch with God. An essential part of the priest’s grace is the gift, the task of creating this contact. This is achieved in the proclamation of God’s word in which his light comes to meet us. It is achieved in a particularly concentrated manner in the Sacraments. Immersion in the Paschal Mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ takes place in Baptism, is reinforced in Confirmation and Reconciliation and is nourished by the Eucharist, a sacrament that builds the Church as the People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. John Paul II, Pastores Gregis, no. 32). Thus it is Christ himself who makes us holy, that is, who draws us into God’s sphere. However, as an act of his infinite mercy, he calls some ‘to be’ with him (cf. Mk 3:14) and to become, through the Sacrament of Orders, despite their human poverty, sharers in his own priesthood, ministers of this sanctification. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, May 5, 2010)

  • Christ tends his flock through the Pastors of the Church

Christ tends his flock through the Pastor of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter and the priests, their most precious collaborators, to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, May 26, 2010)

  • Every priest is called to help the penitent to walk on the demanding path of holiness

‘Spiritual direction’ also contributes to forming consciences. Today there is a greater need than in the past for wise and holy ‘spiritual teachers’: an important ecclesial service. This of course requires an inner vitality which must be implored as a gift from the Holy Spirit in intense and prolonged prayer and with a special training that must be acquired with care. Every priest moreover is called to administer divine mercy in the sacrament of Penance, through which he forgives sins in the name of Christ and helps the penitent to walk on the demanding path of holiness with an upright and informed conscience. To be able to carry out this indispensable ministry, every priest must tend to his own spiritual life and take care to keep himself pastorally and theologically up to date. (Benedict XVI. Message to participants in the course organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, March 12, 2009)

  • Listening to the confessor’s advice is important for the spiritual journey of the penitent

Dear priests, do not neglect to allow enough room for the exercise of the ministry of Penance in the confessional: to be welcomed and heard is also a human sign of God’s welcoming kindness to his children. Moreover the integral confession of sins teaches the penitent humility, recognition of his or her own frailty and, at the same time, an awareness of the need for God’s forgiveness and the trust that divine Grace can transform his life. Likewise, listening to the confessor’s recommendations and advice is important for judging actions, for the spiritual journey and for the inner healing of the penitent. (Benedict XVI. Address to participants in the course on the internal forum organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, March 25, 2011)

  • In the saintly priest, the Christian People recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd

May Saint John Mary Vianney be an example to all priests. He was a man of great wisdom and heroic fortitude in resisting the cultural and social pressures of his time in order to lead souls to God: simplicity, fidelity and immediacy were the essential features of his preaching, the transparency of his faith and of his holiness. The Christian People was edified by him and as happens for genuine teachers in every epoch recognized in him the light of the Truth. In him it recognized, ultimately, what should always be recognizable in a priest: the voice of the Good Shepherd. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, April 14, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on adulterine unions

  • The trials of Christians are indeed numerous, but they must be faithful to God in their marriage

Overcoming the temptation to subject God to oneself and one’s own interests, or to put him in a corner and be converted to the correct order of priorities, giving God first place, is a journey that each and every Christian must make over and over again. […] The trials to which society today subjects Christians are indeed numerous and affect their personal and social life. It is far from easy to be faithful to Christian marriage, to practice mercy in daily life, to make room for prayer and inner silence; it is far from easy to oppose publicly the decisions that many take for granted, such as abortion in the case of unwanted pregnancy, euthanasia in the case of serious illness and embryo selection in order to prevent hereditary diseases. The temptation to set faith aside is always present and conversion becomes a response to God that must be strengthened several times in life. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, February 13, 2013)

  • Materialistic ideologies tell us it is absurd to observe God’s commandments

Today too, the dragon exists in new and different ways. It exists in the form of materialistic ideologies that tell us it is absurd to think of God; it is absurd to observe God’s commandments: they are a leftover from a time past. Life is only worth living for its own sake. Take everything we can get in this brief moment of life. Consumerism, selfishness and entertainment alone are worthwhile. This is life. This is how we must live. And once again, it seems absurd, impossible, to oppose this dominant mindset with all its media and propagandist power. Today too, it seems impossible to imagine a God who created man and made himself a Child and who was to be the true ruler of the world. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 2007)

  • The only joy that fills the human heart comes from God: the cross of Christ

Can true happiness exist when God is left out of consideration? Experience shows that we are not happy because our material expectations and needs are satisfied. In fact, the only joy that fills the human heart is that which comes from God: indeed, we stand in need of infinite joy. Neither daily concerns nor life’s difficulties succeed in extinguishing the joy that is born from friendship with God. Jesus’ invitation to take up one’s cross and follow him may at first sight seem harsh and contrary to what we hope for, mortifying our desire for personal fulfilment. At a closer look, however, we discover that it is not like this: the witness of the saints shows that in the Cross of Christ, in the love that is given, in renouncing the possession of oneself, one finds that deep serenity which is the source of generous dedication to our brethren, especially to the poor and the needy, and this also gives us joy. The Lenten journey of conversion on which we are setting out today together with the entire Church thus becomes a favourable opportunity, ‘the acceptable time’ (2Cor 6:2) for renewing our filial abandonment in the hands of God and for putting into practice what Jesus continues to repeat to us: ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Mk 8: 34) and this is how one ventures forth on the path of love and true happiness. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, February 6, 2008)

  • The Church has received from its Founder the mission of showing people the way to true happiness: fidelity to the words of Christ

My dear young friends […] Love and follow the Church, for it has received from its Founder the mission of showing people the way to true happiness. It is not easy to recognise and find authentic happiness in this world in which we live, where people are often held captive by the current ways of thinking. They may think they are ; ‘free’, but they are being led astray and become lost amid the errors or illusions of aberrant ideologies. ‘Freedom itself needs to be set free’ (cf. Veritatis Splendor, 86), and the darkness in which humankind is groping needs to be illuminated. Jesus taught us how this can be done: ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ (Jn 8:31-32). The incarnate Word, Word of Truth, makes us free and directs our freedom towards the good. (Benedict XVI. Message to the youth of the 21st World Youth Day, April 9, 2006

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Remnant Disciple

Traditional Catholic; member of Jesus' Remnant Army; leader of a Jesus to Mankind Prayer group since 2010. Prayer group leader for about 25 years.

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