Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 10


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 anticlericalism

  • The priest does something which no human being can do of his own power

The priest is not a mere office-holder, like those which every society needs in order to carry out certain functions. Instead, he does something which no human being can do of his own power: in Christ’s name he speaks the words which absolve us of our sins and in this way he changes, starting with God, our entire life. Over the offerings of bread and wine he speaks Christ’s words of thanksgiving, which are words of transubstantiation – words which make Christ himself present, the Risen One, his Body and Blood – words which thus transform the elements of the world, which open the world to God and unite it to him. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Conclusion of the Year for Priests, June 11, 2010)

  • God makes use of us poor men in order to be present to all men and women

The priesthood, then, is not simply “office” but sacrament: God makes use of us poor men in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on their behalf. This audacity of God who entrusts himself to human beings – who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in his stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word “priesthood”. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Conclusion of the Year for Priests, June 11, 2010)

  • The priest never acts in the name of someone who is absent, but in the very Person of the Risen Christ

The priest represents Christ. What is implied by ‘representing’ someone? In ordinary language it usually means being delegated by someone to be present in his place, to speak and act in his stead because the person he represents is absent from the practical action. Let us ask ourselves: does the priest represent the Lord in this way? The answer is no, because in the Church Christ is never absent, the Church is his living Body and he is the Head of the Church, present and active within her. Christ is never absent, on the contrary he is present in a way that is untrammelled by space and time through the event of the Resurrection that we contemplate in a special way in this Easter Season. Therefore the priest, who acts in persona Christi Capitis and representing the Lord, never acts in the name of someone who is absent but, rather, in the very Person of the Risen Christ, who makes himself present with his truly effective action. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, April 14, 2010)

  • The priest brings God himself to the world

Nne proclaims himself in the first person, but within and through his own humanity every priest must be well aware that he is bringing to the world Another, God himself. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Congregation for the Clergy on the occasion of their Plenary Assembly, March 16, 2009)

  • The priest is removed from worldly bonds and given over to God

The giving over of a person to God, his “sanctification”, is identified with priestly ordination, and this also defines the essence of the priesthood: it is a transfer of ownership, a being taken out of the world and given to God. […] But for this very reason it is not a segregation. Rather, being given over to God means being charged to represent others. The priest is removed from worldly bonds and given over to God, and precisely in this way, starting with God, he must be available for others, for everyone. When Jesus says: “I consecrate myself”, he makes himself both priest and victim. (Benedict XVI. Homily of the Chrism Mass, April 9, 2009)

  • The priest: a bridge that connects human beings to God

The priest needs divine authorization, institution, and only by belonging to both spheres the divine and the human can he be a mediator, can he be a ‘bridge’. This is the priest’s mission: to combine, to link these two realities that appear to be so separate, that is, the world of God far from us, often unknown to the human being and our human world. The priest’s mission is to be a mediator, a bridge that connects, and thereby to bring human beings to God, to his redemption, to his true light, to his true life. (Benedict XVI. Lectio Divina at the encounter with the Parish Priests of the diocese of Rome, February 18, 2010)

  • Irreplaceable mission

Nothing will ever substitute the ministry of priests in the life of the Church. (Benedict XVI. Greetings to the Portuguese speaking priests at the end of the Eucharist Celebration for the Conclusion of the Year for Priests, June 11, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on material charity

  • Care for the soul is more necessary than material support

The Church is one of those living forces: She is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Deut 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 28, December 25, 2005)

  • The true labor in God’s field is to set people free from the poverty of truth

It is the moment of mission: the Lord is sending you, dear friends, into his harvest. You must cooperate in this task of which the Prophet Isaiah speaks in the First Reading: ‘The Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted’ (Is 61:1). This is the labour for the harvest in the field of God, in the field of human history: to bring to men and women the light of truth, to set them free from the lack of truth, which is the true sorrow, the true impoverishment of man. It means bringing them the glad tidings that are not only words but an event: God himself has come among us. He takes us by the hand, he uplifts us toward himself and thus the broken heart is healed. Let us thank the Lord for sending out labourers into the harvest of the world’s history. (Benedict XVI. Homily in the Basilica of Saint Peter, February 5, 2011)

  • Without the light of truth, charity degenerates into sentimentalism

Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. (Benedict XVI. Caritas in veritate, no. 3, June 29, 2009)

  • The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures in the same way as she venerates the Body of the Lord

The Church does not live on herself but on the Gospel, and in the Gospel always and ever anew finds the directions for her journey. This is a point that every Christian must understand and apply to himself or herself: only those who first listen to the Word can become preachers of it. Indeed, they must not teach their own wisdom but the wisdom of God, which often appears to be foolishness in the eyes of the world (cf. 1Cor 1:23).The Church knows well that Christ lives in the Sacred Scriptures. For this very reason – as the Constitution stresses – she has always venerated the divine Scriptures in the same way as she venerates the Body of the Lord (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 21). (Benedict XVI. Address to the International Congress for the 40th anniversary of the Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, September 16, 2005)

  • In order to offer love to our brothers and sisters, we must be afire with it from the furnace of divine charity

In Sacred Scripture, the summons to love of neighbour is tied to the commandment to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength (cf. Mk 12:29-31). Thus, love of neighbour – if based on a true love for God – corresponds to the commandment and the example of Christ. It is possible, then, for the Christian, through his or her dedication, to bring others to experience the bountiful tenderness of our heavenly Father, through an ever deeper conformation to Christ. In order to offer love to our brothers and sisters, we must be afire with it from the furnace of divine charity: through prayer, constant listening to the word of God, and a life centred on the Eucharist. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, February 9, 2013)

  • We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God

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). (Benedict XVI. Motu Proprio Porta fidei no. 2-3, October 11, 2011)

  • It is important for the People of God to be properly taught and trained to approach the Sacred Scriptures

We see clearly, then, how important it is for the People of God to be properly taught and trained to approach the sacred Scriptures in relation to the Church’s living Tradition, and to recognize in them the very word of God. Fostering such an approach in the faithful is very important from the standpoint of the spiritual life. Here it might be helpful to recall the analogy drawn by the Fathers of the Church between the word of God which became ‘flesh’ and the word which became a ‘book’. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, no. 18, September 30, 2010)

  • The necessity of intellectual charity: as the great mendicant saints and theologians

New issues enlivened the discussion in the universities that came into being at the end of the 12th century. Minors and Preachers did not hesitate to take on this commitment. As students and professors they entered the most famous universities of the time, set up study centres, produced texts of great value, gave life to true and proper schools of thought, were protagonists of scholastic theology in its best period and had an important effect on the development of thought. The greatest thinkers, St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure, were Mendicants who worked precisely with this dynamism of the new evangelization which also renewed the courage of thought, of the dialogue between reason and faith. Today too a ‘charity of and in the truth’ exists, an ‘intellectual charity’ that must be exercised to enlighten minds and to combine faith with culture. The dedication of the Franciscans and Dominicans in the medieval universities is an invitation, dear faithful, how important it is for the People of God to be properly taught and trained to approach the sacred Scriptures, with respect and conviction, on the fundamental questions that concern Man, his dignity and his eternal destiny. Thinking of the role of the Franciscans and the Dominicans in the Middle Ages, of the spiritual renewal they inspired and of the breath of new life they communicated in the world, a monk said: ‘At that time the world was ageing. Two Orders were born in the Church whose youth they renewed like that of an eagle’ (Burchard of Ursperg, Chronicon). (Benedict XVI. General audience, January 13, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on the words of Jesus Christ upon the Cross

  • Jesus identifies himself with the suffering of the just of every age

We sang the second part of the Psalm of the Passion as the Responsorial Psalm. It is the Psalm of the righteous sufferer, in the first place suffering Israel who, before the mute God who abandoned it, cries: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me?… Now I am almost spent… you do not act… you do not answer… why have you forsaken me? (cf. 22). Jesus identifies himself with the suffering Israel, with the suffering just ones of every age abandoned by God, and he cries out at God`s abandonment; the pain of being forgotten he carries to the Heart of God himself, and in this way transforms the world. (Benedict XVI. Homily, Holy Mass with the members of the Bishops’ Conference of Switzerland, November 7, 2006)

  • Christ’s passion is our consolation

It was the Father’s love that permitted the Son to confidently face his last ‘baptism’, which he himself defines as the apex of his mission (cf. Lk 12: 50). Jesus received that baptism of sorrow and love for us, for all of humanity. He has suffered for truth and justice, bringing the Gospel of suffering to human history, which is the other aspect of the Gospel of love. God cannot suffer, but he can and wants to be com-passionate. Through Christ’s passion he can bring his con-solatio to every human suffering, ‘the consolation of God’s compassionate love – and so the star of hope rises’ (Spe Salvi, n. 39). (Benedict XVI. Homily, Basilica of Saint Sabina, Ash Wednesday, February 6, 2008)

  • Prayer requires faith in God’s goodness

If one does not believe in God’s goodness, one cannot pray in a truly appropriate manner. (Benedict XVI. Homily, Papal Mass for the canonization of new Saints, October 17, 2010)

  • We must ask what is worthy of God

When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well. In prayer we must learn what we can truly ask of God—what is worthy of God. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, November 30, 2007)

  • Prayer does not exempt us from suffering, but permits us to face it with the confidence of Jesus

We understand that with prayer we are not liberated from trials and suffering, but we can live through them in union with Christ, with his suffering, in the hope of also participating in his glory (cf. Rom 8:17). Many times, in our prayer, we ask God to be freed from physical and spiritual evil, and we do it with great trust. However, often we have the impression of not being heard and we may well feel discouraged and fail to persevere. In reality, there is no human cry that is not heard by God and it is precisely in constant and faithful prayer that we comprehend with St Paul that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us’ (Rom 8:18). Prayer does not exempt us from trial and suffering, indeed — St Paul says — we ‘groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies’ (Rom 8:23). Prayer does not exempt us from trial and suffering, indeed — St Paul says — we ‘groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies’ (Rom 8:23). He says that prayer does not exempt us from suffering but prayer does permit us to live through it and face it with a new strength, with the confidence of Jesus, who — according to the Letter to the Hebrews — ‘In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him [God] who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear’ (Heb 5:7). The answer of God the Father to the Son, to his loud cries and tears, was not freedom from suffering, from the cross, from death, but a much greater fulfillment, an answer much more profound; through the cross and death God responded with the Resurrection of the Son, with new life. Prayer animated by the Holy Spirit leads us too to live every day a journey of life with its trials and sufferings, with the fullness of hope, with trust in God who answers us as he answered the Son. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, May 16, 2012)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • Candidates for the episcopate should be models of life in the faith

Finally, as to the choice of candidates for the episcopate, while knowing your difficulties in this regard, I would like to remind you that they should be worthy priests, respected and loved by the faithful, models of life in the faith, and that they should possess a certain experience in the pastoral ministry, so that they are equipped to address the burdensome responsibility of a Pastor of the Church. (Benedict XVI. Letter to members of the Catholic Church in the People’s Republic of China, no. 9, May 27, 2007)

  • The ministry of the Bishop is not human, administrative or sociological

This is a profound perspective of faith and not merely human, administrative or sociological, into which fits the ministry of the Bishop who is not a mere ruler or a bureaucrat or a simple moderator and organizer of diocesan life. It is fatherhood and brotherhood in Christ which give the person in charge the ability to create an atmosphere of trust, of welcome and of affection but also of frankness and justice. (Benedict XVI. Address to recently appointed bishops who took part in the meeting organized by the Congregation for Bishops, September 13, 2010)

  • People listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers

To you, Pastors of God’s flock, is entrusted the mandate of safeguarding and transmitting faith in Christ, passed on to us through the living tradition of the Church and for which so many have given their lives. To carry out this task, it is essential that first of all you show you are ‘in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity and sound speech that cannot be censured’ (Tit 2: 7-8). ‘Modern man’, wrote my Predecessor of venerable memory, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, ‘listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses’ (Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 41). For this reason, it is only right that you give priority in your episcopal ministry to prayer and to the constant aspiration to holiness. (Benedict XVI. Address to the bishops taking part in the formation update meeting organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, September 23, 2006)

…judges Francis’ prayer in the ecumenical and interreligious Meeting in Sarajevo

  • The Lord said to his disciples: ‘Believe in God, believe also in Me’

The Gospel of this Sunday, the Fifth of Easter, proposes a twofold commandment of faith: to believe in God and to believe in Jesus. In fact, the Lord said to his disciples: ‘Believe in God, believe also in me’ (Jn 14:1). They are not two separate acts but one single act of faith, full adherence to salvation wrought by God the Father through his Only-begotten Son.

The New Testament puts an end to the Father’s invisibility. God has shown his face, as Jesus’ answer to the Apostle Philip confirms: ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (Jn 14:9). With his Incarnation, death and Resurrection, the Son of God has freed us from the slavery of sin to give us the freedom of the children of God and he has shown us the face of God, which is love: God can be seen, he is visible in Christ. […] Therefore, only by believing in Christ, by remaining united to him, may the disciples, among whom we too are, continue their permanent action in history: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you,” says the Lord, “he who believes in me will also do the works that I do’ (Jn 14:12). (Benedict XVI. Regina Coeli, May 22, 2011)

  • Believing in God entails joyful obedience to His revelation…

The opening words of the ‘Creed’ are: ‘I believe in God’. It is a fundamental affirmation, seemingly simple in its essence, but it opens on to the infinite world of the relationship with the Lord and with his mystery. Believing in God entails adherence to him, the acceptance of his word and joyful obedience to his revelation. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, January 23, 2013)

  • …and accepting the actual face in which He revealed himself: Jesus of Nazareth

Believing in God means giving up our own prejudices and accepting the actual face in which he revealed himself: Jesus of Nazareth the man. And this process also leads to recognizing him and to serving him in others. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, February 3, 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.