Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 6


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 on good-will replacing theological investigation

  • We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church

It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment, continuing to think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society. In reality, not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied. Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people. We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: ‘Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life’ (Jn 6:27). (Benedict XVI. Apostolic letter ‘motu proprio data’ Porta fidei, no. 2-3, October 11.2011)

  • A type of dialogue totally foreign to the thinking of the Second Vatican Council: irenism and indifferentism

The coherence of the ecumenical endeavour with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and with the entire Tradition, has been one of the areas to which the Congregation has always paid attention, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Today we can note the many good fruit yielded by ecumenical dialogue. However, we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenism and of indifferentism totally foreign to the thinking of the Second Vatican Council demands our vigilance. This indifferentism is caused by the increasingly widespread opinion that truth is not accessible to man; hence it is necessary to limit oneself to finding rules for a praxis that can better the world. And like this, faith becomes substituted by a moralism without deep foundations. The centre of true ecumenism is, on the contrary, the faith in which the human being finds the truth which is revealed in the Word of God. Without faith the entire ecumenical movement would be reduced to a form of ‘social contract’ to which to adhere out of common interest, a ‘praxeology’, in order to create a better world. The logic of the Second Vatican Council is quite different: the sincere search for the full unity of all Christians is a dynamic inspired by the Word of God, by the divine Truth who speaks to us in this word. The crucial problem which marks ecumenical dialogue transversally is therefore the question of the structure of revelation the relationship between Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in Holy Church and the Ministry of the Successors of the Apostles as a witness of true faith. And in this case the problem of ecclesiology which is part of this problem is implicit: how God’s truth reaches us. Fundamental here is the discernment between Tradition with a capital ‘T’ and traditions. (Benedict XVI. Address to participants in the plenary meeting of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, January 27, 2012)

  • The principle of unity, the Holy Spirit, is manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety

It is the Holy Spirit, the principle of unity, which establishes the Church as a communion. He is the principle of the unity of the faithful in the teaching of the Apostles, in the breaking of the bread and in prayer. The Church, however, analogous to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, is not only an invisible spiritual communion, but is also visible; in fact, ‘the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complex reality formed from a two-fold element, human and divine’ (Lumen gentium, 8). The communion of the baptized in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety, of the celebration of all of the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, November 4, 2009)

…judges Francis’ idea on family

  • An institution of natural law based on the marriage between a man and woman

These rights are inalienable precisely because man possesses them by his very nature, and consequently, they are not at the service of other interests. Among them should be mentioned first of all the right to life at every stage of its development and in all circumstances. Mention should also be made of the right to form a family, based on bonds of love and faithfulness and established in marriage between a man and a woman, which must be given protection and assistance if it is to fulfil its incomparable task as a source of successful coexistence and as the basic cell of all society. Moreover, the primary right to educate children in accordance with the ideals with which their parents have desired to enrich them by joyfully welcoming them into their lives is implicit in the family as a natural institution. (Benedict XVI. Address to H.E. Mr. Pedro Pablo Cabrera Gaete, new Ambassador of Chile to the Holy See, no. 3, September 8, 2006)

  • Marriage has value as a natural institution and as a Sacrament

Your duty as Pastors consists in presenting in its full richness the extraordinary value of marriage, which as a natural institution is a ‘patrimony of humanity’. Moreover, its elevation to the loftiest dignity of a Sacrament must be seen with gratitude and wonder, as I recently said, affirming: ‘The Sacramental quality that marriage assumes in Christ therefore means that the gift of creation has been raised to the grace of redemption. Christ’s grace is not an external addition to human nature, it does not do violence to men and women but sets them free and restores them, precisely by raising them above their own limitations’ (Address to the Ecclesial Diocesan Convention of Rome, June 6, 2005; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, June 15, p. 6). (Benedict XVI. Address at a meeting on family and life issues in Latin America, no. 3, December 3, 2005)

  • Raised to the dignity of a Sacrament, marriage confers greater splendor and depth to the conjugal bond

In the Christian vision, moreover, marriage, which Christ raised to the most exalted dignity of a Sacrament, confers greater splendour and depth on the conjugal bond and more powerfully binds the spouses who, blessed by the Lord of the Covenant, promise each other faithfulness until death in love that is open to life. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, May 13, 2006)

  • The Lord is the centre and heart of the family

For them, the Lord is the centre and heart of the family. He accompanies them in their union and sustains them in their mission to raise children to maturity. In this way the Christian family not only cooperates with God in generating natural life, but also in cultivating the seeds of divine life given in Baptism. These are the well-known principles of the Christian view of marriage and the family. I recalled them once again last Thursday, when I spoke to the members of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, May 13, 2006)

  • The family is a necessary good, fruit of the love and total self-giving within marriage

The family is a necessary good for peoples, an indispensable foundation for society and a great and lifelong treasure for couples. It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of their parents. To proclaim the whole truth about the family, based on marriage as a domestic Church and a sanctuary of life, is a great responsibility incumbent upon all. Father and mother have said a complete ‘yes’ in the sight of God, which constitutes the basis of the Sacrament which joins them together. Likewise, for the inner relationship of the family to be complete, they also need to say a ‘yes’ of acceptance to the children whom they have given birth to or adopted, and each of which has his or her own personality and character. In this way, children will grow up in a climate of acceptance and love, and upon reaching sufficient maturity, will then want to say ‘yes’ in turn to those who gave them life. (Benedict XVI. Address for the Fifth World Meeting of Families, Valencia (Spain), July 8, 2006)

  • Today the essential characteristics of Sacramental marriage are misunderstood

The family, a divine institution founded on marriage as willed by the Creator himself (cf. Gen 2:18-24; Mt 19:5), is nowadays exposed to a number of threats. The Christian family in particular is faced more than ever before with the issue of its deepest identity. The essential properties of Sacramental marriage – unity and indissolubility (cf. Mt 19:6) – and the Christian model of family, sexuality and love, are in our day, if not called into question, at least misunderstood by some of the faithful. There is a temptation to adopt models contrary to the Gospel, under the influence of a certain contemporary culture that has spread throughout the world. Conjugal love is part of the definitive covenant between God and his people, fully sealed in the sacrifice of the cross. Its character as mutual self-giving, even to the point of martyrdom, is clearly expressed in some of the Eastern Churches, where each spouse receives the other as a ‘crown’ during the marriage ceremony, which is rightly called a ‘liturgy of coronation’. Conjugal love is not a fleeting event, but the patient project of a lifetime. Called to live a Christ-like love each day, the Christian family is a privileged expression of the Church’s presence and mission in the world. As such, it needs to be accompanied pastorally and supported in its problems and difficulties, especially in places where social, familial and religious bearings tend to grow weak or to be lost. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, no. 58, September 14, 2012)

  • Today the crisis of the family impresses upon children an erroneous typology of the family

The Church cannot be indifferent to the separation of spouses and to divorce, facing the break-up of homes and the consequences for the children that divorce causes. If they are to be instructed and educated, children need extremely precise and concrete reference points, in other words parents who are determined and reliable who contribute in quite another way to their upbringing. Nor, it is this principle that the practice of divorce is undermining and jeopardizing with the so-called ‘extended’ family that multiplies ‘father’ and ‘mother’ figures and explains why today the majority of those who feel ‘orphans’ are not children without parents but children who have too many. This situation, with the inevitable interference and the intersection of relationships, cannot but give rise to inner conflict and confusion, contributing to creating and impressing upon children an erroneous typology of the family, which in a certain sense can be compared to cohabitation, because of its precariousness. (Benedict XVI. Address to the third group of Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil (North East Regions I and IV) on their ad limina visit, September 25, 2009)

  • The natural structure of marriage is the union of a man and a woman – this principle comes from human nature itself and not only from faith

There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity. The Church’s efforts to promote them are not therefore confessional in character, but addressed to all people, whatever their religious affiliation. Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XVLI World Day of Peace, no. 4, January 1, 2013)

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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.