Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 13

AM+DG

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.

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • Respecting the environment means respecting the hierarchy within creation and not considering nature selfishly

We need to care for the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion. Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole. Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 41st World Day for Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • The idea of evolutionary determinism leads to considering nature an untouchable taboo or to abusing it. To view nature as something more important than the human person leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense

Today the subject of development is also closely related to the duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. When nature, including the human being, is viewed as the result of mere chance or evolutionary determinism, our sense of responsibility wanes. In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God’s creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs, material or otherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up either considering nature an untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it. Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God’s creation. Nature expresses a design of love and truth. It is prior to us, and it has been given to us by God as the setting for our life. Nature speaks to us of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:20) and his love for humanity. It is destined to be ‘recapitulated’ in Christ at the end of time (cf. Eph 1:9-10; Col 1:19-20). Thus it too is a ‘vocation’ (John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 6). Nature is at our disposal not as ‘a heap of scattered refuse’(Heraclitus of Ephesus, Fragment 22B124), but as a gift of the Creator who has given it an inbuilt order, enabling man to draw from it the principles needed in order ‘to till it and keep it’ (Gen 2:15). But it should also be stressed that it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person. This position leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense. This having been said, it is also necessary to reject the opposite position, which aims at total technical dominion over nature, because the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 48, June 29, 2009)

  • So-called integral ecology: egalitarian vision of the ‘dignity’ of living creatures that abolishes the superior role of human beings, opening the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism. Man must not abuse nature, but also may not abdicate his role of steward and administrator with responsibility over creation

There exists a certain reciprocity: as we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us. On the other hand, a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church’s magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the ‘dignity’ of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms. The Church, for her part, is concerned that the question be approached in a balanced way, with respect for the ‘grammar’ which the Creator has inscribed in his handiwork by giving man the role of a steward and administrator with responsibility over creation, a role which man must certainly not abuse, but also one which he may not abdicate. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 13, January 1, 2010)

  • Authentic human development must include not just material but also spiritual growth, as the saints accomplished, since the human person is a ‘unity of body and soul’, born of God’s creative love and destined for eternal life

One aspect of the contemporary technological mindset is the tendency to consider the problems and emotions of the interior life from a purely psychological point of view, even to the point of neurological reductionism. In this way man’s interiority is emptied of its meaning and gradually our awareness of the human soul’s ontological depths, as probed by the saints, is lost. The question of development is closely bound up with our understanding of the human soul, insofar as we often reduce the self to the psyche and confuse the soul’s health with emotional well-being. These over-simplifications stem from a profound failure to understand the spiritual life, and they obscure the fact that the development of individuals and peoples depends partly on the resolution of problems of a spiritual nature. Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth, since the human person is a ‘unity of body and soul’ (GS, 14), born of God’s creative love and destined for eternal life. The human being develops when he grows in the spirit, when his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator. When he is far away from God, man is unsettled and ill at ease. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 76, June 29, 2009)

  • Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law

Today much harm is done to development precisely as a result of these distorted notions. Reducing nature merely to a collection of contingent data ends up doing violence to the environment and even encouraging activity that fails to respect human nature itself. Our nature, constituted not only by matter but also by spirit, and as such, endowed with transcendent meaning and aspirations, is also normative for culture. Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law. Consequently, projects for integral human development cannot ignore coming generations, but need to be marked by solidarity and inter-generational justice, while taking into account a variety of contexts: ecological, juridical, economic, political and cultural. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 48, June 29, 2009)

  • Fragments of Caritas in Veritate omitted in the citations of Laudato Si’: The ecological system is based not only on a good relationship with nature, but also on respect for a plan that affects the health of society – the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. […] Just as human virtues are interrelated, such that the weakening of one places others at risk, so the ecological system is based on respect for a plan that affects both the health of society and its good relationship with nature. In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives or deterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, but the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 51, June 29, 2009)

  • If the relationship between human creatures and the Creator is forgotten, matter is reduced to a selfish possession; man becomes the ‘last word’

The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us bearings that guide us as stewards of his creation. Precisely from within this framework, the Church considers matters concerning the environment and its protection intimately linked to the theme of integral human development. In my recent Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, I referred more than once to such questions, recalling the ‘pressing moral need for renewed solidarity’ (n. 49) not only between countries but also between individuals, since the natural environment is given by God to everyone, and our use of it entails a personal responsibility towards humanity as a whole, and in particular towards the poor and towards future generations (cf. n. 48). Bearing in mind our common responsibility for creation (cf. n. 51), the Church is not only committed to promoting the protection of land, water and air as gifts of the Creator destined to everyone but above all she invites others and works herself to protect mankind from self-destruction. In fact, ‘when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits’ (ibid.). Is it not true that an irresponsible use of creation begins precisely where God is marginalized or even denied? If the relationship between human creatures and the Creator is forgotten, matter is reduced to a selfish possession, man becomes the ‘last word’, and the purpose of human existence is reduced to a scramble for the maximum number of possessions possible. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, August 26, 2009)

  • There is a need to safeguard the human patrimony of society that originates in and is part of the natural moral law, which is the foundation of respect for the human person and creation

The Church has a responsibility towards creation, and she considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life, in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone, and above all to save mankind from the danger of self-destruction. The degradation of nature is closely linked to the cultural models shaping human coexistence: consequently, ‘when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits’ (Caritas in Veritate, 51). Young people cannot be asked to respect the environment if they are not helped, within families and society as a whole, to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible; it includes not only the environment but also individual, family and social ethics (cf. ibid., 15, 51). Our duties towards the environment flow from our duties towards the person, considered both individually and in relation to others. Hence I readily encourage efforts to promote a greater sense of ecological responsibility which, as I indicated in my Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, would safeguard an authentic ‘human ecology’ and thus forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one is trained in love of neighbour and respect for nature (cf. ibid., 28, 51, 61; John Paul II. Centesimus Annus, 38,- 39). There is a need to safeguard the human patrimony of society. This patrimony of values originates in and is part of the natural moral law, which is the foundation of respect for the human person and creation. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 12, January 1, 2010)

  • Prerequisite for saving the ecology: saving our spiritual ozone layer and especially saving our spiritual rainforests – a real conversion, as faith understands it, toward the will of God

We have acknowledged the problem of environmental destruction. However, the fact that saving our spiritual ozone layer and especially saving our spiritual rainforests is the prerequisite for saving the ecology seems to penetrate our consciousness only very slowly. Shouldn’t we have asked long ago: What about the contamination of our thinking, the pollution of our souls? Many things that we permit in this media-and-commerce-driven society are basically the equivalent of a toxic load that almost inevitably must lead to a spiritual poisoning. There is no overlooking the fact that there is a poisoning of thought, which in advance leads us into false perspectives. To free ourselves again from it by means of a real conversion – to use that fundamental word of the Christian faith – is one of the challenges that by now are becoming obvious to everyone. In our modern world, which is so scientifically oriented, such concepts no longer had any meaning. A conversion, as faith understands it, toward the will of God who shows us a way was considered old-fashioned and outmoded. I believe, though, that gradually it is becoming evident that there is something to it when we say that we must reconsider all this. (Benedict XVI. Light of the World. The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 26)

  • Goodwill alone is not enough…Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. The strength to fight and suffer for the common good comes from the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’

Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. Paul VI recalled in Populorum Progressio that man cannot bring about his own progress unaided, because by himself he cannot establish an authentic humanism. Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God’s family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism (Populorum Progressio) that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life — structures, institutions, culture and ethos — without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God’s undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God’s love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish (Spe Salvi, 35). God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 78, June 29, 2009)

  • It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men. Both of these presuppose peace with God

By responding to this charge, entrusted to them by the Creator, men and women can join in bringing about a world of peace. Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a ‘human’ ecology, which in turn demands a ‘social’ ecology. All this means that humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology, or respect for nature, and human ecology. Experience shows that disregard for the environment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa. It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men. Both of these presuppose peace with God. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 40th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Without a transcendent foundation founded on moral values – which are Christian values – society is a mere aggregation of neighbors, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family

The social community, if it is to live in peace, is also called to draw inspiration from the values on which the family community is based. This is as true for local communities as it is for national communities; it is also true for the international community itself, for the human family which dwells in that common house which is the earth. Here, however, we cannot forget that the family comes into being from the responsible and definitive ‘yes’ of a man and a women, and it continues to live from the conscious ‘yes’ of the children who gradually join it. The family community, in order to prosper, needs the generous consent of all its members. This realization also needs to become a shared conviction on the part of all those called to form the common human family. We need to say our own ‘yes’ to this vocation which God has inscribed in our very nature. We do not live alongside one another purely by chance; all of us are progressing along a common path as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters. Consequently, it is essential that we should all be committed to living our lives in an attitude of responsibility before God, acknowledging him as the deepest source of our own existence and that of others. By going back to this supreme principle we are able to perceive the unconditional worth of each human being, and thus to lay the premises for building a humanity at peace. Without this transcendent foundation society is a mere aggregation of neighbours, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 41st World Day of Peace, January 1, 2008)

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • Man has an incomparable dignity: God did not hesitate to give his own Son for him

Man, created in the image of God, has an incomparable dignity; man, who is so worthy of love in the eyes of his Creator that God did not hesitate to give his own Son for him. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year Greetings, January 8, 2007)

  • More than defending the earth, water and air, the Church must above all protect mankind from self-destruction

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 51, June 29, 2009)

  • Social doctrine is built on the foundation handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers of the Church

The Church’s social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging. This safeguards the permanent and historical character of the doctrinal ‘patrimony’ (John Paul II. Laborem Exercens) which, with its specific characteristics, is part and parcel of the Church’s ever-living Tradition (John Paul II. Centesimus Annus). Social doctrine is built on the foundation handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers of the Church, and then received and further explored by the great Christian doctors. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 12, June 29, 2009)

  • Christians have their own contribution to make – in light of divine Revelation and in fidelity to Tradition

If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation. The quest for peace by people of good will surely would become easier if all acknowledge the indivisible relationship between God, human beings and the whole of creation. In the light of divine Revelation and in fidelity to the Church’s Tradition, Christians have their own contribution to make. They contemplate the cosmos and its marvels in light of the creative work of the Father and the redemptive work of Christ, who by his death and resurrection has reconciled with God ‘all things, whether on earth or in heaven’ (Col 1:20). (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 14, January 1, 2010)

  • Without the Tradition of the Apostolic Faith, social doctrine is reduced to merely sociological data

A fresh reading of Populorum Progressio, more than forty years after its publication, invites us to remain faithful to its message of charity and truth, viewed within the overall context of Paul VI’s specific magisterium and, more generally, within the tradition of the Church’s social doctrine. Moreover, an evaluation is needed of the different terms in which the problem of development is presented today, as compared with forty years ago. The correct viewpoint, then, is that of the Tradition of the Apostolic Faith [13], a patrimony both ancient and new, outside of which Populorum Progressio would be a document without roots — and issues concerning development would be reduced to merely sociological data. (Note 13: Cf. Benedict XVI. Address at the Inauguration of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007). (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 10, June 29, 2009)

  • We cannot work well for the earth unless we take into account the Last Judgement, Purgatory, Hell and Heaven

In the Encyclical Spe Salvi I wanted to speak precisely about the Last Judgement, judgement in general, and in this context also about Purgatory, Hell and Heaven. I think we have all been struck by the Marxist objection that Christians have only spoken of the afterlife and have ignored the earth. […] Now, although it is right to show that Christians work for the earth – and we are all called to work to make this earth really a city for God and of God – we must not forget the other dimension. Unless we take it into account, we cannot work well for the earth: to show this was one of my fundamental purposes in writing the Encyclical. When one does not know the judgement of God one does not know the possibility of Hell, of the radical and definitive failure of life, one does not know the possibility of and need for purification. Man then fails to work well for the earth because he ultimately loses his criteria, he no longer knows himself – through not knowing God – and destroys the earth. All the great ideologies have promised: we will take things in hand, we will no longer neglect the earth, we will create a new, just, correct and brotherly world. But they destroyed the world instead. We see it with Nazism, we also see it with Communism which promised to build the world as it was supposed to be and instead destroyed it. In the ad limina visits of Bishops from former Communist countries, I always see anew that in those lands, not only the planet and ecology, but above all and more seriously, souls have been destroyed. Rediscovering the truly human conscience illuminated by God’s presence is our first task for the re-edification of the earth. This is the common experience of those countries. The re-edification of the earth, while respecting this planet’s cry of suffering, can only be achieved by rediscovering God in the soul with the eyes open to God. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Parish Priests and the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, February 7, 2008)

  • The relationship between humans and the environment ultimately stems from their relationship with God

The relationship between individuals or communities and the environment ultimately stems from their relationship with God. When ‘man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order’ (Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 5). (Benedict XVI. Message to the participants of the Seventh Symposium of the Religion, Science and the Environment Movement, September 1, 2007)

  • Creation awaits God’s children, who treat it according to God’s perspective

Rather, wherever the Creator’s Word was properly understood, wherever life was lived with the redeeming Creator, people strove to save creation and not to destroy it. Chapter 8 of the Letter to the Romans also fits into this context. It says that the whole of Creation has been groaning in travail because of the bondage to which it has been subjected, awaiting the revelation of God’s sons: it will feel liberated when creatures, men and women who are children of God, treat it according to God’s perspective. I believe that we can establish exactly this as a reality today. Creation is groaning – we perceive it, we almost hear it – and awaits human beings who will preserve it in accordance with God. […] And the wasting of creation begins when we no longer recognize any need superior to our own, but see only ourselves. It begins when there is no longer any concept of life beyond death, where in this life we must grab hold of everything and possess life as intensely as possible, where we must possess all that is possible to possess. I think, therefore, that true and effective initiatives to prevent the waste and destruction of Creation can be implemented and developed, understood and lived only where creation is considered as beginning with God; where life is considered as beginning with God and has greater dimensions – in responsibility before God – and one day will be given to us by God in fullness and never taken away from us: in giving life we receive it. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone, August 6, 2008)

  • The mendicant orders were called to confont such heresies by their adhesion to the doctrine of the Church – In this context, Saint Francis’admiration for nature can be understood as a testimony of the goodness of creation

These two great saints [Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán] were able to read ‘the signs of the times’ intelligently, perceiving the challenges that the Church of their time would be obliged to face. A first challenge was the expansion of various groups and movements of the faithful who, in spite of being inspired by a legitimate desire for authentic Christian life often set themselves outside ecclesial communion. […] Furthermore, to justify their decisions, they disseminated doctrine incompatible with the Catholic faith. For example, the Cathars’ or Albigensians’ movement reproposed ancient heresies such as the debasement of and contempt for the material world the opposition to wealth soon became opposition to material reality as such, the denial of free will and, subsequently, dualism, the existence of a second principle of evil equivalent to God. […] This personal and community style of the Mendicant Orders, together with total adherence to the teaching and authority of the Church, was deeply appreciated by the Pontiffs of the time, such as Innocent III and Honorious III, who gave their full support to the new ecclesial experiences, recognizing in them the voice of the Spirit. And results were not lacking: the groups of paupers that had separated from the Church returned to ecclesial communion or were gradually reduced until they disappeared. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, January 13, 2010)

  • Saint Francis’ gazing at nature was a contemplation of the Creator; to understand it otherwise is to make Francis unrecognizable

Francis himself suffers a sort of mutilation when he is cast as a witness of albeit important values appreciated by contemporary culture, which overlooks the fact that his profound decision, we might say the heart of his life, was his choice for Christ. […] In Francis everything started from God and returned to God. His Praises of God Most High reveal his constantly enraptured heart in conversation with the Trinity. […] His gazing at nature was actually contemplation of the Creator in the beauty of his creatures. His actual hope of peace is thus modulated as a prayer, since the way in which he was to express it was revealed to him: ‘May the Lord give you peace’ (2 Testament 23). Francis was a man for others because he was a man of God through and through. To seek to separate the ‘horizontal’ dimension of his message from the ‘vertical’ would make Francis unrecognizable. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Clergy and men and women Religious, Cathedral of San Rufino, June 17, 2007)

  • The ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ before being an invitation to respect creation, is a prayer, praise addressed to the Creator – Francis’ canticle, of obvious biblical inspiration, aspires towards the Creator, not at environment protection  

In a word, Francis was truly in love with Jesus. He met him in the Word of God, in the brethren, in nature, but above all in the Eucharistic Presence. […] As with concentric circles, the love of Francis for Jesus extends not only to the Church but to all things seen in Christ and for Christ. Here the Canticle of the Creatures is born in which the eye rests on the splendour of creation: from brother sun to sister moon, from sister water to brother fire. His interior gaze became so pure and penetrating as to perceive the beauty of creation in the beauty of creatures. The Canticle of Brother Sun, before being a great work of poetry and an implicit invitation to respect creation, is a prayer, praise addressed to the Lord, Creator of all. (Benedict XVI. Address during the meeting with youth in the square in front of the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, June 17, 2007

 

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • Respecting the environment means respecting the hierarchy within creation and not considering nature selfishly

We need to care for the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion. Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole. Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 41st World Day for Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • The idea of evolutionary determinism leads to considering nature an untouchable taboo or to abusing it. To view nature as something more important than the human person leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense

Today the subject of development is also closely related to the duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. When nature, including the human being, is viewed as the result of mere chance or evolutionary determinism, our sense of responsibility wanes. In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God’s creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs, material or otherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up either considering nature an untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it. Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God’s creation. Nature expresses a design of love and truth. It is prior to us, and it has been given to us by God as the setting for our life. Nature speaks to us of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:20) and his love for humanity. It is destined to be ‘recapitulated’ in Christ at the end of time (cf. Eph 1:9-10; Col 1:19-20). Thus it too is a ‘vocation’ (John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 6). Nature is at our disposal not as ‘a heap of scattered refuse’(Heraclitus of Ephesus, Fragment 22B124), but as a gift of the Creator who has given it an inbuilt order, enabling man to draw from it the principles needed in order ‘to till it and keep it’ (Gen 2:15). But it should also be stressed that it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person. This position leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense. This having been said, it is also necessary to reject the opposite position, which aims at total technical dominion over nature, because the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 48, June 29, 2009)

  • So-called integral ecology: egalitarian vision of the ‘dignity’ of living creatures that abolishes the superior role of human beings, opening the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism. Man must not abuse nature, but also may not abdicate his role of steward and administrator with responsibility over creation

There exists a certain reciprocity: as we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us. On the other hand, a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church’s magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the ‘dignity’ of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms. The Church, for her part, is concerned that the question be approached in a balanced way, with respect for the ‘grammar’ which the Creator has inscribed in his handiwork by giving man the role of a steward and administrator with responsibility over creation, a role which man must certainly not abuse, but also one which he may not abdicate. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 13, January 1, 2010)

  • Authentic human development must include not just material but also spiritual growth, as the saints accomplished, since the human person is a ‘unity of body and soul’, born of God’s creative love and destined for eternal life

One aspect of the contemporary technological mindset is the tendency to consider the problems and emotions of the interior life from a purely psychological point of view, even to the point of neurological reductionism. In this way man’s interiority is emptied of its meaning and gradually our awareness of the human soul’s ontological depths, as probed by the saints, is lost. The question of development is closely bound up with our understanding of the human soul, insofar as we often reduce the self to the psyche and confuse the soul’s health with emotional well-being. These over-simplifications stem from a profound failure to understand the spiritual life, and they obscure the fact that the development of individuals and peoples depends partly on the resolution of problems of a spiritual nature. Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth, since the human person is a ‘unity of body and soul’ (GS, 14), born of God’s creative love and destined for eternal life. The human being develops when he grows in the spirit, when his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator. When he is far away from God, man is unsettled and ill at ease. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 76, June 29, 2009)

  • Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law

Today much harm is done to development precisely as a result of these distorted notions. Reducing nature merely to a collection of contingent data ends up doing violence to the environment and even encouraging activity that fails to respect human nature itself. Our nature, constituted not only by matter but also by spirit, and as such, endowed with transcendent meaning and aspirations, is also normative for culture. Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law. Consequently, projects for integral human development cannot ignore coming generations, but need to be marked by solidarity and inter-generational justice, while taking into account a variety of contexts: ecological, juridical, economic, political and cultural. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 48, June 29, 2009)

  • Fragments of Caritas in Veritate omitted in the citations of Laudato Si’: The ecological system is based not only on a good relationship with nature, but also on respect for a plan that affects the health of society – the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. […] Just as human virtues are interrelated, such that the weakening of one places others at risk, so the ecological system is based on respect for a plan that affects both the health of society and its good relationship with nature. In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives or deterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, but the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 51, June 29, 2009)

  • If the relationship between human creatures and the Creator is forgotten, matter is reduced to a selfish possession; man becomes the ‘last word’

The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us bearings that guide us as stewards of his creation. Precisely from within this framework, the Church considers matters concerning the environment and its protection intimately linked to the theme of integral human development. In my recent Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, I referred more than once to such questions, recalling the ‘pressing moral need for renewed solidarity’ (n. 49) not only between countries but also between individuals, since the natural environment is given by God to everyone, and our use of it entails a personal responsibility towards humanity as a whole, and in particular towards the poor and towards future generations (cf. n. 48). Bearing in mind our common responsibility for creation (cf. n. 51), the Church is not only committed to promoting the protection of land, water and air as gifts of the Creator destined to everyone but above all she invites others and works herself to protect mankind from self-destruction. In fact, ‘when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits’ (ibid.). Is it not true that an irresponsible use of creation begins precisely where God is marginalized or even denied? If the relationship between human creatures and the Creator is forgotten, matter is reduced to a selfish possession, man becomes the ‘last word’, and the purpose of human existence is reduced to a scramble for the maximum number of possessions possible. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, August 26, 2009)

  • There is a need to safeguard the human patrimony of society that originates in and is part of the natural moral law, which is the foundation of respect for the human person and creation

The Church has a responsibility towards creation, and she considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life, in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone, and above all to save mankind from the danger of self-destruction. The degradation of nature is closely linked to the cultural models shaping human coexistence: consequently, ‘when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits’ (Caritas in Veritate, 51). Young people cannot be asked to respect the environment if they are not helped, within families and society as a whole, to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible; it includes not only the environment but also individual, family and social ethics (cf. ibid., 15, 51). Our duties towards the environment flow from our duties towards the person, considered both individually and in relation to others. Hence I readily encourage efforts to promote a greater sense of ecological responsibility which, as I indicated in my Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, would safeguard an authentic ‘human ecology’ and thus forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one is trained in love of neighbour and respect for nature (cf. ibid., 28, 51, 61; John Paul II. Centesimus Annus, 38,- 39). There is a need to safeguard the human patrimony of society. This patrimony of values originates in and is part of the natural moral law, which is the foundation of respect for the human person and creation. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 12, January 1, 2010)

  • Prerequisite for saving the ecology: saving our spiritual ozone layer and especially saving our spiritual rainforests – a real conversion, as faith understands it, toward the will of God

We have acknowledged the problem of environmental destruction. However, the fact that saving our spiritual ozone layer and especially saving our spiritual rainforests is the prerequisite for saving the ecology seems to penetrate our consciousness only very slowly. Shouldn’t we have asked long ago: What about the contamination of our thinking, the pollution of our souls? Many things that we permit in this media-and-commerce-driven society are basically the equivalent of a toxic load that almost inevitably must lead to a spiritual poisoning. There is no overlooking the fact that there is a poisoning of thought, which in advance leads us into false perspectives. To free ourselves again from it by means of a real conversion – to use that fundamental word of the Christian faith – is one of the challenges that by now are becoming obvious to everyone. In our modern world, which is so scientifically oriented, such concepts no longer had any meaning. A conversion, as faith understands it, toward the will of God who shows us a way was considered old-fashioned and outmoded. I believe, though, that gradually it is becoming evident that there is something to it when we say that we must reconsider all this. (Benedict XVI. Light of the World. The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 26)

  • Goodwill alone is not enough…Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. The strength to fight and suffer for the common good comes from the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’

Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. Paul VI recalled in Populorum Progressio that man cannot bring about his own progress unaided, because by himself he cannot establish an authentic humanism. Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God’s family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism (Populorum Progressio) that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life — structures, institutions, culture and ethos — without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God’s undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God’s love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish (Spe Salvi, 35). God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 78, June 29, 2009)

  • It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men. Both of these presuppose peace with God

By responding to this charge, entrusted to them by the Creator, men and women can join in bringing about a world of peace. Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a ‘human’ ecology, which in turn demands a ‘social’ ecology. All this means that humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology, or respect for nature, and human ecology. Experience shows that disregard for the environment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa. It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men. Both of these presuppose peace with God. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 40th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Without a transcendent foundation founded on moral values – which are Christian values – society is a mere aggregation of neighbors, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family

The social community, if it is to live in peace, is also called to draw inspiration from the values on which the family community is based. This is as true for local communities as it is for national communities; it is also true for the international community itself, for the human family which dwells in that common house which is the earth. Here, however, we cannot forget that the family comes into being from the responsible and definitive ‘yes’ of a man and a women, and it continues to live from the conscious ‘yes’ of the children who gradually join it. The family community, in order to prosper, needs the generous consent of all its members. This realization also needs to become a shared conviction on the part of all those called to form the common human family. We need to say our own ‘yes’ to this vocation which God has inscribed in our very nature. We do not live alongside one another purely by chance; all of us are progressing along a common path as men and women, and thus as brothers and sisters. Consequently, it is essential that we should all be committed to living our lives in an attitude of responsibility before God, acknowledging him as the deepest source of our own existence and that of others. By going back to this supreme principle we are able to perceive the unconditional worth of each human being, and thus to lay the premises for building a humanity at peace. Without this transcendent foundation society is a mere aggregation of neighbours, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family. (Benedict XVI. Message for the 41st World Day of Peace, January 1, 2008)

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • Man has an incomparable dignity: God did not hesitate to give his own Son for him

Man, created in the image of God, has an incomparable dignity; man, who is so worthy of love in the eyes of his Creator that God did not hesitate to give his own Son for him. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year Greetings, January 8, 2007)

  • More than defending the earth, water and air, the Church must above all protect mankind from self-destruction

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology, correctly understood. The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 51, June 29, 2009)

  • Social doctrine is built on the foundation handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers of the Church

The Church’s social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging. This safeguards the permanent and historical character of the doctrinal ‘patrimony’ (John Paul II. Laborem Exercens) which, with its specific characteristics, is part and parcel of the Church’s ever-living Tradition (John Paul II. Centesimus Annus). Social doctrine is built on the foundation handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers of the Church, and then received and further explored by the great Christian doctors. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 12, June 29, 2009)

  • Christians have their own contribution to make – in light of divine Revelation and in fidelity to Tradition

If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation. The quest for peace by people of good will surely would become easier if all acknowledge the indivisible relationship between God, human beings and the whole of creation. In the light of divine Revelation and in fidelity to the Church’s Tradition, Christians have their own contribution to make. They contemplate the cosmos and its marvels in light of the creative work of the Father and the redemptive work of Christ, who by his death and resurrection has reconciled with God ‘all things, whether on earth or in heaven’ (Col 1:20). (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the 43rd World Day of Peace, no. 14, January 1, 2010)

  • Without the Tradition of the Apostolic Faith, social doctrine is reduced to merely sociological data

A fresh reading of Populorum Progressio, more than forty years after its publication, invites us to remain faithful to its message of charity and truth, viewed within the overall context of Paul VI’s specific magisterium and, more generally, within the tradition of the Church’s social doctrine. Moreover, an evaluation is needed of the different terms in which the problem of development is presented today, as compared with forty years ago. The correct viewpoint, then, is that of the Tradition of the Apostolic Faith [13], a patrimony both ancient and new, outside of which Populorum Progressio would be a document without roots — and issues concerning development would be reduced to merely sociological data. (Note 13: Cf. Benedict XVI. Address at the Inauguration of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007). (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in veritate, no. 10, June 29, 2009)

  • We cannot work well for the earth unless we take into account the Last Judgement, Purgatory, Hell and Heaven

In the Encyclical Spe Salvi I wanted to speak precisely about the Last Judgement, judgement in general, and in this context also about Purgatory, Hell and Heaven. I think we have all been struck by the Marxist objection that Christians have only spoken of the afterlife and have ignored the earth. […] Now, although it is right to show that Christians work for the earth – and we are all called to work to make this earth really a city for God and of God – we must not forget the other dimension. Unless we take it into account, we cannot work well for the earth: to show this was one of my fundamental purposes in writing the Encyclical. When one does not know the judgement of God one does not know the possibility of Hell, of the radical and definitive failure of life, one does not know the possibility of and need for purification. Man then fails to work well for the earth because he ultimately loses his criteria, he no longer knows himself – through not knowing God – and destroys the earth. All the great ideologies have promised: we will take things in hand, we will no longer neglect the earth, we will create a new, just, correct and brotherly world. But they destroyed the world instead. We see it with Nazism, we also see it with Communism which promised to build the world as it was supposed to be and instead destroyed it. In the ad limina visits of Bishops from former Communist countries, I always see anew that in those lands, not only the planet and ecology, but above all and more seriously, souls have been destroyed. Rediscovering the truly human conscience illuminated by God’s presence is our first task for the re-edification of the earth. This is the common experience of those countries. The re-edification of the earth, while respecting this planet’s cry of suffering, can only be achieved by rediscovering God in the soul with the eyes open to God. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Parish Priests and the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, February 7, 2008)

  • The relationship between humans and the environment ultimately stems from their relationship with God

The relationship between individuals or communities and the environment ultimately stems from their relationship with God. When ‘man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order’ (Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 5). (Benedict XVI. Message to the participants of the Seventh Symposium of the Religion, Science and the Environment Movement, September 1, 2007)

  • Creation awaits God’s children, who treat it according to God’s perspective

Rather, wherever the Creator’s Word was properly understood, wherever life was lived with the redeeming Creator, people strove to save creation and not to destroy it. Chapter 8 of the Letter to the Romans also fits into this context. It says that the whole of Creation has been groaning in travail because of the bondage to which it has been subjected, awaiting the revelation of God’s sons: it will feel liberated when creatures, men and women who are children of God, treat it according to God’s perspective. I believe that we can establish exactly this as a reality today. Creation is groaning – we perceive it, we almost hear it – and awaits human beings who will preserve it in accordance with God. […] And the wasting of creation begins when we no longer recognize any need superior to our own, but see only ourselves. It begins when there is no longer any concept of life beyond death, where in this life we must grab hold of everything and possess life as intensely as possible, where we must possess all that is possible to possess. I think, therefore, that true and effective initiatives to prevent the waste and destruction of Creation can be implemented and developed, understood and lived only where creation is considered as beginning with God; where life is considered as beginning with God and has greater dimensions – in responsibility before God – and one day will be given to us by God in fullness and never taken away from us: in giving life we receive it. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone, August 6, 2008)

  • The mendicant orders were called to confont such heresies by their adhesion to the doctrine of the Church – In this context, Saint Francis’admiration for nature can be understood as a testimony of the goodness of creation

These two great saints [Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán] were able to read ‘the signs of the times’ intelligently, perceiving the challenges that the Church of their time would be obliged to face. A first challenge was the expansion of various groups and movements of the faithful who, in spite of being inspired by a legitimate desire for authentic Christian life often set themselves outside ecclesial communion. […] Furthermore, to justify their decisions, they disseminated doctrine incompatible with the Catholic faith. For example, the Cathars’ or Albigensians’ movement reproposed ancient heresies such as the debasement of and contempt for the material world the opposition to wealth soon became opposition to material reality as such, the denial of free will and, subsequently, dualism, the existence of a second principle of evil equivalent to God. […] This personal and community style of the Mendicant Orders, together with total adherence to the teaching and authority of the Church, was deeply appreciated by the Pontiffs of the time, such as Innocent III and Honorious III, who gave their full support to the new ecclesial experiences, recognizing in them the voice of the Spirit. And results were not lacking: the groups of paupers that had separated from the Church returned to ecclesial communion or were gradually reduced until they disappeared. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, January 13, 2010)

  • Saint Francis’ gazing at nature was a contemplation of the Creator; to understand it otherwise is to make Francis unrecognizable

Francis himself suffers a sort of mutilation when he is cast as a witness of albeit important values appreciated by contemporary culture, which overlooks the fact that his profound decision, we might say the heart of his life, was his choice for Christ. […] In Francis everything started from God and returned to God. His Praises of God Most High reveal his constantly enraptured heart in conversation with the Trinity. […] His gazing at nature was actually contemplation of the Creator in the beauty of his creatures. His actual hope of peace is thus modulated as a prayer, since the way in which he was to express it was revealed to him: ‘May the Lord give you peace’ (2 Testament 23). Francis was a man for others because he was a man of God through and through. To seek to separate the ‘horizontal’ dimension of his message from the ‘vertical’ would make Francis unrecognizable. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Clergy and men and women Religious, Cathedral of San Rufino, June 17, 2007)

  • The ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ before being an invitation to respect creation, is a prayer, praise addressed to the Creator – Francis’ canticle, of obvious biblical inspiration, aspires towards the Creator, not at environment protection  

In a word, Francis was truly in love with Jesus. He met him in the Word of God, in the brethren, in nature, but above all in the Eucharistic Presence. […] As with concentric circles, the love of Francis for Jesus extends not only to the Church but to all things seen in Christ and for Christ. Here the Canticle of the Creatures is born in which the eye rests on the splendour of creation: from brother sun to sister moon, from sister water to brother fire. His interior gaze became so pure and penetrating as to perceive the beauty of creation in the beauty of creatures. The Canticle of Brother Sun, before being a great work of poetry and an implicit invitation to respect creation, is a prayer, praise addressed to the Lord, Creator of all. (Benedict XVI. Address during the meeting with youth in the square in front of the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, June 17, 2007

 

 

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 12

AM+DG

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.

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ words that it was not an offense accepting the Cross in the form of a communist symbol

  • Marxism’s great deception: change becomes destruction

God’s glory and peace on earth are inseparable. Where God is excluded, there is a breakdown of peace in the world; without God, no orthopraxis can save us. In fact, there does not exist an orthopraxis which is simply just, detached from a knowledge of what is good. The will without knowledge is blind and so action, orthopraxis, without knowledge is blind and leads to the abyss. Marxism’s great deception was to tell us that we had reflected on the world long enough, that now it was at last time to change it. But if we do not know in what direction to change it, if we do not understand its meaning and its inner purpose, then change alone becomes destruction – as we have seen and continue to see. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Lecture at the Bishops’ Conference in Benevento (Italy) on the topic: “Eucharist, Communion and Solidarity”, June 2, 2002)

  • Marx and communism: a road towards all-encompassing change

The nineteenth century held fast to its faith in progress as the new form of human hope, and it continued to consider reason and freedom as the guiding stars to be followed along the path of hope. Nevertheless, the increasingly rapid advance of technical development and the industrialization connected with it soon gave rise to an entirely new social situation: there emerged a class of industrial workers and the so-called “industrial proletariat”, whose dreadful living conditions Friedrich Engels described alarmingly in 1845. For his readers, the conclusion is clear: this cannot continue; a change is necessary. Yet the change would shake up and overturn the entire structure of bourgeois society. After the bourgeois revolution of 1789, the time had come for a new, proletarian revolution: progress could not simply continue in small, linear steps. A revolutionary leap was needed. Karl Marx took up the rallying call, and applied his incisive language and intellect to the task of launching this major new and, as he thought, definitive step in history towards salvation—towards what Kant had described as the “Kingdom of God”. Once the truth of the hereafter had been rejected, it would then be a question of establishing the truth of the here and now. The critique of Heaven is transformed into the critique of earth, the critique of theology into the critique of politics. Progress towards the better, towards the definitively good world, no longer comes simply from science but from politics—from a scientifically conceived politics that recognizes the structure of history and society and thus points out the road towards revolution, towards all-encompassing change. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe salvi, no. 20, November 30, 2007)

  • Marx’s real error is materialism

With great precision, albeit with a certain onesided bias, Marx described the situation of his time, and with great analytical skill he spelled out the paths leading to revolution—and not only theoretically: by means of the Communist Party that came into being from the Communist Manifesto of 1848, he set it in motion. His promise, owing to the acuteness of his analysis and his clear indication of the means for radical change, was and still remains an endless source of fascination. Real revolution followed, in the most radical way in Russia. Together with the victory of the revolution, though, Marx’s fundamental error also became evident. He showed precisely how to overthrow the existing order, but he did not say how matters should proceed thereafter. He simply presumed that with the expropriation of the ruling class, with the fall of political power and the socialization of means of production, the new Jerusalem would be realized. Then, indeed, all contradictions would be resolved, man and the world would finally sort themselves out. Then everything would be able to proceed by itself along the right path, because everything would belong to everyone and all would desire the best for one another. Thus, having accomplished the revolution, Lenin must have realized that the writings of the master gave no indication as to how to proceed. True, Marx had spoken of the interim phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessity which in time would automatically become redundant. This ‘intermediate phase’ we know all too well, and we also know how it then developed, not ushering in a perfect world, but leaving behind a trail of appalling destruction. Marx not only omitted to work out how this new world would be organized—which should, of course, have been unnecessary. His silence on this matter follows logically from his chosen approach. His error lay deeper. He forgot that man always remains man. He forgot man and he forgot man’s freedom. He forgot that freedom always remains also freedom for evil. He thought that once the economy had been put right, everything would automatically be put right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, is not merely the product of economic conditions, and it is not possible to redeem him purely from the outside by creating a favourable economic environment. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe salvi, no. 20-21, November 30, 2007)

  • Marxism: illusory panacea that promised the remedy for all social problems

Marxism had seen world revolution and its preliminaries as the panacea for the social problem: revolution and the subsequent collectivization of the means of production, so it was claimed, would immediately change things for the better. This illusion has vanished. In today’s complex situation, not least because of the growth of a globalized economy, the Church’s social doctrine has become a set of fundamental guidelines offering approaches that are valid even beyond the confines of the Church: in the face of ongoing development these guidelines need to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 27, December 25, 2005)

  • John Paul II reclaimed for Christianity the impulse of hope which had faltered before Marxism

When Karol Wojtyła ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man. With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its “helmsman”, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call “the threshold of hope”. Throughout the long journey of preparation for the great Jubilee he directed Christianity once again to the future, the future of God, which transcends history while nonetheless directly affecting it. He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an ‘Advent’ spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the Beatification of the Servant of God John Paul II, May 1, 2011)

  • Liberation Theology: an experience of facile millenarianisms

[Journalist]: As regards my colleague’s question, there are still many exponents of liberation theology in various parts of Brazil. What is the specific message to these exponents of liberation theology?
[Benedict XVI]: I would say that with the changes in the political situation, the situation of liberation theology is also profoundly different. It is now obvious that these facile millenarianisms – which as a consequence of the revolution promised the full conditions for a just life immediately – were mistaken. Everyone knows this today. The question now concerns how the Church must be present in the fight for the necessary reforms, in the fight for fairer living conditions. Theologians are divided on this, especially the exponents of political theology. With the Instruction published at that time by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, we sought to carry out a task of discernment. In other words, we tried to rid ourselves of false millenarianisms and of an erroneous combination of Church and politics, of faith and politics; and to show that the Church’s specific mission is precisely to come up with a response to the thirst for God and therefore also to teach the personal and social virtues that are the necessary conditions for the development of a sense of lawfulness. (Benedict XVI. Interview during the flight to Brazil, for the occasion of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, May 9, 2007)

…judges Francis’ pro-communist ideas expressed in the Meetings with Popular Movements

  • Marxists reject true charity since they consider it a means of preserving the status quo and slowing down a potential revolution

Christian charitable activity must be independent of parties and ideologies. It is not a means of changing the world ideologically, and it is not at the service of worldly stratagems, but it is a way of making present here and now the love which man always needs. The modern age, particularly from the nineteenth century on, has been dominated by various versions of a philosophy of progress whose most radical form is Marxism. Part of Marxist strategy is the theory of impoverishment: in a situation of unjust power, it is claimed, anyone who engages in charitable initiatives is actually serving that unjust system, making it appear at least to some extent tolerable. This in turn slows down a potential revolution and thus blocks the struggle for a better world. Seen in this way, charity is rejected and attacked as a means of preserving the status quo. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus Caritas est, December 25, 2005)

  • Marxist panacea: collectivization of the means of production as the remedy for all social problems

Marxism had seen world revolution and its preliminaries as the panacea for the social problem: revolution and the subsequent collectivization of the means of production, so it was claimed, would immediately change things for the better. This illusion has vanished. In today’s complex situation, not least because of the growth of a globalized economy, the Church’s social doctrine has become a set of fundamental guidelines offering approaches that are valid even beyond the confines of the Church: in the face of ongoing development these guidelines need to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 27, December 25, 2005)

  • Marx’s real error is materialism – it was and still remains an endless source of fascination. But it is not possible to redeem man only through the economy

With great precision, albeit with a certain onesided bias, Marx described the situation of his time, and with great analytical skill he spelled out the paths leading to revolution—and not only theoretically: by means of the Communist Party that came into being from the Communist Manifesto of 1848, he set it in motion. His promise, owing to the acuteness of his analysis and his clear indication of the means for radical change, was and still remains an endless source of fascination. Real revolution followed, in the most radical way in Russia. Together with the victory of the revolution, though, Marx’s fundamental error also became evident. He showed precisely how to overthrow the existing order, but he did not say how matters should proceed thereafter. He simply presumed that with the expropriation of the ruling class, with the fall of political power and the socialization of means of production, the new Jerusalem would be realized. Then, indeed, all contradictions would be resolved, man and the world would finally sort themselves out. Then everything would be able to proceed by itself along the right path, because everything would belong to everyone and all would desire the best for one another. Thus, having accomplished the revolution, Lenin must have realized that the writings of the master gave no indication as to how to proceed. True, Marx had spoken of the interim phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessity which in time would automatically become redundant. This ‘intermediate phase’ we know all too well, and we also know how it then developed, not ushering in a perfect world, but leaving behind a trail of appalling destruction. Marx not only omitted to work out how this new world would be organized—which should, of course, have been unnecessary. His silence on this matter follows logically from his chosen approach. His error lay deeper. He forgot that man always remains man. He forgot man and he forgot man’s freedom. He forgot that freedom always remains also freedom for evil. He thought that once the economy had been put right, everything would automatically be put right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, is not merely the product of economic conditions, and it is not possible to redeem him purely from the outside by creating a favourable economic environment. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spes salve, no. 20-21, November 30, 2007)

…judges Francis’ ideas on faith being revolutionary

  • Christians should deepen their knowledge of the faith and live consistently with it

For the future of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean it is important that Christians have a deeper knowledge and adopt an appropriate lifestyle as Jesus’ disciples, simple and joyful with a firm faith rooted in the depths of their heart and nourished by prayer and the sacraments. In fact, the Christian faith is nourished above all by the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, in which is brought about a unique and special community encounter with Christ, his life and his Word. […] In a special way, the frequently recurring phenomena of exploitation and injustice, corruption and violence, are a pressing appeal to Christians to live their faith consistently and to strive to receive a firm doctrinal and spiritual formation, thereby helping to build a more just, more human and more Christian society. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission For Latin America, January 20, 2007)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Church closed and ailing

  • You cannot be a good servant to others if you neglect your soul

‘Take heed to yourselves’ (Acts 20:28): this too is a word to the priests of all times. A well-intentioned activism exists but in which a person forgets his own soul, his own spiritual life, his own being with Christ. In the Breviary Reading for his liturgical Memorial, St Charles Borromeo tells us every year anew: you cannot be a good servant to others if you neglect your soul. ‘Watch over yourselves.’ Let us also be attentive to our spiritual life, to our being with Christ. As I have often said, prayer and meditation on the Word of God is not time wasted for the care of souls, but is the condition for us to be able to be really in touch with the Lord, and thus to speak of the Lord to others from experience. ‘Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the Church of the Lord’ (Acts 20:28). (Benedict XVI. Lectio Divina, meeting with the Parish Priests of the Rome Diocese, March 10, 2011)

  • Missionary zeal is proof of a radical experience of ever renewed fidelity

I therefore say to you, dear friends of the Movements: act so as to ensure that they are always schools of communion, groups journeying on in which one learns to live in the truth and love that Christ revealed and communicated to us through the witness of the Apostles, in the heart of the great family of his disciples. May Jesus’ exhortation ceaselessly re-echo in your hearts: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 5: 16). Bring Christ’s light to all the social and cultural milieus in which you live. Missionary zeal is proof of a radical experience of ever renewed fidelity to one’s charism that surpasses any kind of weary or selfish withdrawal. Dispel the darkness of a world overwhelmed by the contradictory messages of ideologies! There is no valid beauty if there is not a truth to recognize and follow, if love gives way to transitory sentiment, if happiness becomes an elusive mirage or if freedom degenerates into instinct. (Benedict XVI. Message to the participants of the Second World Congress on Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, May 22, 2006)

  • A Pastor supervises not as a bureaucrat but as one who sees from God’s viewpoint

Perhaps these are the two central concepts for this office of ‘shepherd’: to nourish by making the Word of God known, not only with words but by testifying to it for God’s will and to protect it with prayer, with the full commitment of one’s life. Pastors, the other meaning which the Fathers saw in the Christian word ‘episkopoi’ is: someone who supervises not as a bureaucrat but as one who sees from God’s viewpoint, who walks towards the heights of God and in the light of God sees this small community of the Church. This is also important for a pastor of the Church, for a priest, an ‘episkopos’ who sees from the viewpoint of God, who tries to see from on high with God’s criterion, not according to his own preferences, but rather as God judges; to see from God’s heights and thus loving with God and through God. (Benedict XVI. Lectio Divina, meeting with the parish priests of the Rome Diocese, March 10, 2011)

  • Pastors must make themselves examples to the flock, knowing how to resist enemies

It is the shepherd’s task to feed and tend his flock and take it to the right pastures. Grazing the flock means taking care that the sheep find the right nourishment, that their hunger is satisfied and their thirst quenched. The metaphor apart, this means: the word of God is the nourishment that the human being needs. Making God’s word ever present and new and thereby giving nourishment to people is the task of the righteous Pastor. And he must also know how to resist the enemies, the wolves. He must go first, point out the way, preserve the unity of the flock. Peter, in his discourse to priests, highlights another very important thing. It is not enough to speak. Pastors must make themselves ‘examples to the flock’ (5: 3). When it is lived, the word of God is brought from the past into the present. It is marvellous to see how in saints the word of God becomes a word addressed to our time. […] This is what being a Pastor means a model for the flock: living the word now, in the great community of holy Church. (Benedict XVI. Homily, June 29, 2009)

 …judges Francis’ words in his first appearance

  • The indissoluble bond between romanum and petrinum implies and requires universal concern

Thus, humbly attached to Christ, our One Lord, together we can and must encourage that ‘exemplarity’ of the Church of Rome which is genuine service to our Sister Churches across the world. The indissoluble bond between romanum and petrinum implies and indeed requires the Church of Rome’s participation in the universal concern of her Bishops. […] Rome is a very large Diocese and truly a very special one, because of the universal concern that the Lord has entrusted to his Bishop. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Clergy of Rome, May 13, 2005)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the norms of the Church

  • The Code of Canon Law contains the norms for the good of the person and of the communities of the whole Mystical Body

The Congress that is being celebrated on this important anniversary treats a theme of great interest because it highlights the close link that exists between canon law and Church life in accordance with the desire of Jesus Christ. On this occasion I am therefore anxious to reaffirm a fundamental concept that imbues canon law. The ius ecclesiae is not only a body of norms formulated by the Ecclesial Legislator for this special people who form the Church of Christ. It is, in the first place, the authoritative declaration on the part of the Ecclesial Legislator of the duties and rights that are based in the sacraments and are therefore born from the institution by Christ himself. This series of juridical realties treated by the Code forms a wonderful mosaic in which are portrayed the faces of all the faithful, lay people and Pastors and all the communities, from the universal Church to the particular Churches. […] Moreover, the Code of Canon Law contains the norms formulated by the Ecclesial Legislator for the good of the person and of the communities of the whole Mystical Body which is the Holy Church. […] The Church thus recognizes in her laws the nature as well as the means and pastoral function for pursuing her own end, which – as is well known – is the achievement of the ‘salus animarum’. (Benedict XVI. Address on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, January 25, 2008)

  • The laws of the Church set us free to adhere to Jesus

Since canon law outlines the rules necessary for the People of God to orient themselves effectively to their own end, one understands how important it is that this law be loved and observed by all the faithful. Church law is first and foremost lex libertatis: a law that sets us free to adhere to Jesus. It is therefore necessary to be able to present to the People of God, to the new generations and to all who are called to make canon law respected, its concrete bond with the life of the Church, in order to safeguard the delicate interests of the things of God and to protect the rights of the weakest, of those who have no other means by which to make their presence felt, and also in defence of those delicate ‘goods’ which every member of the faithful has freely received – the gift of faith, of God’s grace, first of all -, which the Church cannot allow to be deprived of adequate protection on the part of the Law. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the Study Congress on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, January 25, 2008)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 11

AM+DG

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.

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea that Christians should always humble themselves

  • Before the Crucified Christ every knee should bow

Saint Paul follows this through. Christ came down from Heaven to the Cross, the ultimate obedience. And at this moment what the Prophet said is brought about: before the Crucified Christ every knee should bow: the entire cosmos, in Heaven, on earth and under the earth (cf. Phil 2:10-11). He is really the expression of the true grandeur of God. The humility of God and his love unto the Cross show us that he is God. Let us kneel before him in adoration. (Benedict XVI. Address to the parish priests of Rome, March 10, 2011)

  • Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father with every adversary at his feet

‘The Lord says to my lord ‘Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool’’ (v. 1). […] With regard to the Messiah Jesus himself mentioned this verse in order to show that the Messiah, was greater than David, that he was David’s Lord (cf. Mt 22:41-45; Mk 12:35-37; Lk 20:41-44). And Peter returned to it in his discourse at Pentecost, proclaiming that this enthronement of the king was brought about in the resurrection of Christ and that Christ was henceforth seated at the right hand of the Father, sharing in God’s kingship over the world (cf. Acts 2:29-35). Indeed, Christ is the enthroned Lord, the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven, as Jesus described himself during the trial before the Synedrion (cf. Mt 26:63-64; Mk 14:61-62; cf. also Lk 22:66-69). He is the true King who, with the Resurrection, entered into glory at the right hand of the Father (Rom 8:34; Edh 2:5; Col 3:1; Hob 8:1; 12:2), was made superior to angels, and seated in heaven above every power with every adversary at his feet, until the time when the last enemy, death, to be defeated by him once and for all (cf. 1 Cur 15:24-26; Edh 1:20-23; Hob 1:3-4; 2:5-8; 10:12-13; 1 Pet 3:22)’. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, November 16, 2011)

  • We should learn the correct humility from Christ

Of course there exist caricatures of a misguided humility and a mistaken submissiveness, which we do not want to imitate. But there also exists a destructive pride and a presumption which tear every community apart and result in violence. Can we learn from Christ the correct humility which corresponds to the truth of our being, and the obedience which submits to truth, to the will of God? (Benedict XVI. Homily, Chrism Mass, April 9, 2009)

  • Humility does not mean false modesty

‘I have served the Lord with all humility’. […] Humility does not mean false modesty — we are grateful for the gifts the Lord has given us — yet it indicates our awareness that anything we can do is a gift of God, it is given for the Kingdom of God. We work with this ‘humility’, with this desire not to be noticed. We do seek praise, we do not want to attract attention, it does not matter to us what may be said of us in the newspapers or elsewhere; what matters is what God says. This is true humility, not to appear before men and women but to be in God’s presence, to work humbly for God and thus really to serve humanity and men and women. (Benedict XVI. Meeting With the Parish Priests of the Diocese of Rome, Lectio Divina, March 10, 2011)

  • Humility is not the way of renunciation but that of courage

Dear young people, I seem to perceive in these words of God about humility an important message which is especially current for you who want to follow Christ and belong to his Church. This is the message: do not follow the way of pride but rather that of humility. Go against the tide. […] Those who seem more distant from the mindset and values of the Gospel, are crying out to see someone who dares to live according to the fullness of humanity revealed by Jesus Christ. Therefore, dear friends, the way of humility is not the way of renunciation but that of courage. It is not the result of a defeat but the result of a victory of love over selfishness and of grace over sin. In following Christ and imitating Mary, we must have the courage of humility; we must entrust ourselves humbly to the Lord, because only in this way will we be able to become docile instruments in his hands and allow him to do great things in us. […] As you see, dear young people, the humility the Lord has taught us and to which the Saints have borne witness, each according to the originality of his or her own vocation, is quite different from a renunciatory way of life. It is true, the challenges you must face are many and important. The first however, is always that of following Christ to the very end without reservations and compromises. (Benedict XVI. Homily in the pastoral visit to Loreto, on the occasion of the Agorà of Italian Youth, September 2, 2007)

  • The joy of belonging to the Church is not triumphalism but humility, being grateful for the gift of the Lord

The Church is not an organization that was formed gradually; the Church was born from the Cross. The Son acquired the Church on the Cross and not only the Church of that moment, but the Church of all the epochs. He acquired with his Blood this portion of the people, of the world, for God. And this, it seems to me, should make us think. Christ, God, created the Church, the new Eve, with his Blood. Thus he loves us and loved us and this is true at every moment. And this must also enable us to understand that the Church is a gift; being happy that we are called to the Church of God; feeling joy in belonging to the Church. Of course, there are also always negative and difficult aspects, but basically this must remain: it is a very beautiful gift that I can live out in the Church of God, in the Church that the Lord purchased with his Blood. Being called to know truly the face of God, to know his will, to know his Grace, to know this supreme love, this Grace that guides us and takes us by the hand. Happiness in being Church, joy in being Church. I think we must relearn this. The fear of triumphalism has perhaps caused us to forget a little that it is beautiful to be in the Church and that this is not triumphalism but humility, being grateful for the gift of the Lord. (Benedict XVI. Meeting With the Parish Priests of the Diocese of Rome, March 10, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on a horizontal Church

  • The Church is not a place of confusion and anarchy; it is an organism, with an articulated structure that is derived ultimately from God himself

The Church, in fact, is not a place of confusion and anarchy where one can do what one likes all the time: each one in this organism, with an articulated structure, exercises his ministry in accordance with the vocation he has received. […] The norms that regulate it derive ultimately from God himself. The Father sent Jesus Christ, who in turn sent the Apostles. They then sent the first heads of communities and established that they would be succeeded by other worthy men. Everything, therefore, was made ‘in an orderly way, according to the will of God.’ (St. Clement of Rome, 42). (Benedict XVI. General Audience, March 7, 2007)

…judges Francis’ vision on the divorced who re-marry

  • Today more than ever the witness of the family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman is necessary

Today more than ever the witness and public commitment of all the baptized is necessary to reaffirm the dignity and the unique, irreplaceable value of the family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman open to life, and also of human life in all of its stages. Legal and administrative measures must be promoted that support families with their inalienable rights, necessary if they are to continue to carry out their extraordinary mission. The witnesses given at yesterday’s celebration show that today too the family can stand firm in the love of God and renew humanity in the new millennium. I wish to express my closeness and to assure my prayers for all the families that bear witness to fidelity in especially difficult circumstances. I encourage the many families who, at times living in the midst of setbacks and misunderstandings, set an example of generosity and trust in God, in the hope that they will not lack the assistance they need. I am also thinking of the families who are suffering because of poverty, sickness, marginalization or emigration and, most especially, of Christian families that are being persecuted for their faith. The Pope is very close to all of you and accompanies you in your daily efforts. (Benedict XVI. Address at the Closing Mass of the Sixth World Day of Families held in Mexico City, January 18, 2009)

  • The sinner must be made to perceive that he has cut himself off from the communion of the Church

The Gospel text […] tells us that brotherly love also involves a sense of mutual responsibility. For this reason if my brother commits a sin against me I must treat him charitably and first of all, speak to him privately, pointing out that what he has said or done is wrong. This approach is known as ‘fraternal correction’: it is not a reaction to the offence suffered but is motivated by love for one’s brethren. St Augustine comments: ‘Whoever has offended you, in offending you, has inflicted a serious injury upon himself; and would you not care for a brother’s injury?…You must forget the offence you have received but not the injury of one of your brethren (Discourse 82, 7). And what if my brother does not listen to me? In today’s Gospel Jesus points to a gradual approach: first, speak to him again with two or three others, the better to help him realize what he has done; if, in spite of this, he still refuses to listen, it is necessary to tell the community; and if he refuses to listen even to the community, he must be made to perceive that he has cut himself off by separating himself from the communion of the Church. All this demonstrates that we are responsible for each other in the journey of Christian life; each person, aware of his own limitations and shortcomings, is called to accept fraternal correction and to help others with this specific service. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, September 4, 2011)

  • The Church’s tradition has included ‘admonishing sinners’ among the spiritual works of mercy; we must not remain silent before evil

The Scriptures tell us: ‘Rebuke the wise and he will love you for it. Be open with the wise, he grows wiser still, teach the upright, he will gain yet more’ (Prov 9:8ff). Christ himself commands us to admonish a brother who is committing a sin (cf. Mt 18:15). The verb used to express fraternal correction – elenchein – is the same used to indicate the prophetic mission of Christians to speak out against a generation indulging in evil (cf. Eph 5:11). The Church’s tradition has included ‘admonishing sinners’ among the spiritual works of mercy. It is important to recover this dimension of Christian charity. We must not remain silent before evil. I am thinking of all those Christians who, out of human regard or purely personal convenience, adapt to the prevailing mentality, rather than warning their brothers and sisters against ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to the truth and that do not follow the path of goodness. Christian admonishment, for its part, is never motivated by a spirit of accusation or recrimination. It is always moved by love and mercy, and springs from genuine concern for the good of the other. As the Apostle Paul says: ‘If one of you is caught doing something wrong, those of you who are spiritual should set that person right in a spirit of gentleness; and watch yourselves that you are not put to the test in the same way’ (Gal 6:1). In a world pervaded by individualism, it is essential to rediscover the importance of fraternal correction, so that together we may journey towards holiness. […]The Apostle Paul encourages us to seek ‘the ways which lead to peace and the ways in which we can support one another’ (Rom 14:19) for our neighbour’s good, ‘so that we support one another’ (15:2), seeking not personal gain but rather ‘the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved’ (1 Cor 10:33). This mutual correction and encouragement in a spirit of humility and charity must be part of the life of the Christian community. (Benedict XVI. Message for Lent 2012, no. 1-3, November 3, 2011)

  • For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil

To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that Jesus’ mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses. For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil. Mercy does not change the connotations of sin but consumes it in a fire of love. This purifying and healing effect is achieved if within the person there is a corresponding love which implies recognition of God’s law, sincere repentance and the resolution to start a new life. The sinful woman in the Gospel was pardoned greatly because she loved greatly. In Jesus, God comes to give love to us and to ask love of us. (Benedict XVI. Homily during the Pastoral Visit to Assisi on the Eighth Centenary of the Conversion of Saint Francis, June 17, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on the indissolubility of marriage

  • The trial’s aim with respect to matrimonial nullity is to declare the truth about the validity or invalidity of an actual marriage

At this point the second observation spontaneously arises: no trial is against the other party, as though it were a question of inflicting unjust damage. The purpose is not to take a good away from anyone but rather to establish and protect the possession of goods by people and institutions. In addition to this point, valid in every trial, there is another, more specific point in the hypothesis of matrimonial nullity. Here, the parties are not contending for some possession that must be attributed to one or the other. The trial’s aim is rather to declare the truth about the validity or invalidity of an actual marriage, in other words, about a reality that establishes the institution of the family and deeply concerns the Church and civil society. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 28, 2006)

  • Avoid pseudo-pastoral claims aimed at satisfying subjective requests to arrive at a declaration of nullity

Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit, because charity itself requires that objectivity which is typical of justice and which must not be confused with inhuman coldness. In this regard, as my Predecessor, Venerable Pope John Paul II, said in his Address on the relationship between pastoral care and the law: “The judge… must always guard against the risk of misplaced compassion, which could degenerate into sentimentality, itself pastoral only in appearance” (18 Jan 1990). One must avoid pseudo-pastoral claims that would situate questions on a purely horizontal plane, in which what matters is to satisfy subjective requests to arrive at a declaration of nullity at any cost, so that the parties may be able to overcome, among other things, obstacles to receiving the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. The supreme good of readmission to Eucharistic Communion after sacramental Reconciliation demands, instead, that due consideration be given to the authentic good of the individuals, inseparable from the truth of their canonical situation. It would be a false “good” and a grave lack of justice and love to pave the way for them to receive the sacraments nevertheless, and would risk causing them to live in objective contradiction to the truth of their own personal condition. (Benedict XVI. Address on the Occasion of the Inauguration of the Judicial Year of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 29, 2010)

  • The Roman Pontiff’s discourses to the Roman Rota authoritatively teach the essential aspects of the reality of marriage

Thanks to this work, the concrete reality in causes of matrimonial nullity is objectively judged in light of criteria that constantly reaffirm the reality of matrimonial indissolubility, open to every man and woman in accordance with the plan of God, Creator and Saviour. Constant effort is needed to attain that unity of the criteria of justice which essentially characterizes the notion of jurisprudence itself and is a fundamental presupposition for its activity. In the Church, precisely because of her universality and the diversity of the juridical cultures in which she is called to operate, there is always a risk that “local forms of jurisprudence” develop, sensim sine sensu, ever more distant from the common interpretation of positive law and also from the Church’s teaching on matrimony. I hope that appropriate means may be studied to make rotal jurisprudence more and more manifestly unitive as well as effectively accessible to all who exercise justice, in order to ensure its uniform application in all Church tribunals. The value of interventions of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium on matrimonial and juridical issues, including the Roman Pontiff’s Discourses to the Roman Rota, should also be seen in this realistic perspective. They are a ready guide for the work of all Church tribunals, since they authoritatively teach the essential aspects of the reality of marriage. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, January 26, 2008)

…judges Francis’ idea on divorcees as Godparents

  • The renunciation of sin by the godfathers and godmothers constitutes the necessary premises for the Church to confer Baptism

Already at the outset the rite of Baptism recalls insistently the theme of faith when the Celebrant reminds parents that in requesting Baptism for their children, they assume the commitment to ‘training them in the practice of the faith’. The parents and godparents are reminded more forcefully of this task in the third part of the celebration that begins with the words addressed to them: ‘on your part, you must make it your constant care to bring them up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts. If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility… […] These words of the Rite suggest that, in a certain way, the profession of faith and the renunciation of sin by the parents, godfathers and godmothers constitute the necessary premises for the Church to confer Baptism upon their children. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 10, 2010)

  • Helped by the example of their godparents, the baptized must walk in this light of faith

It is the role of Baptism to illumine those being baptized with the light of Christ, to open their eyes to Christ’s splendour and to introduce them to the mystery of God through the divine light of faith. The children who are about to be baptized must walk in this light throughout their lives, helped by the words and example of their parents and their godparents. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 10, 2010)

  • A demanding mission that requires drawing from the good springs

The parents’ task, helped by the godfather and godmother, is to raise their son or daughter. Raising children is very demanding and at times taxes our human capability, which is always limited. However, educating becomes a marvelous mission if it is carried out in collaboration with God who is the first and true educator of every human being. […] As adults, we have striven to draw from the good springs for our own good and for the good of those entrusted to our responsibility, and you in particular, dear parents and godparents, for the good of these children. And what are ‘the springs of salvation’? They are the Word of God and the sacraments. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 8, 2012)

  • Godparents must offer good example openly and without compromises

Dear godparents, it is your important duty to sustain and help the parents in their educational task […] May you always be able to offer them your good example, through the practice of the Christian virtues. It is not easy to express what one believes in openly and without compromises. This is especially true in the context in which we live, in the face of a society that all too often considers those who live by faith in Jesus as out of fashion and out of time. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 13, 2013)

  • To carry a baby to the baptismal font is a gift and a joy, but also a responsibility

Dear friends, how great is the gift of Baptism! If we were to take this fully into account our lives would become a continual ‘thank you’. What a joy for Christian parents, who have seen a new creature come into being from their love, to carry the baby to the baptismal font and see him or her reborn from the womb of the Church, for a life without end! It is a gift, a joy, but also a responsibility! Parents, in fact, together with godparents, must educate their children in accordance with the Gospel. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, January 11, 2009)

  • The so-called ‘extended’ 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 Bishops of Brazil on their ad limina visit, September 25, 2009)

…judges Francis’ idea on offering rosaries

  • God thirsts for our prayer – It is necessary to remember God more often than one breathes

Gregory [Saint Gregory Nazianzus] teaches us first and foremost the importance and necessity of prayer. He says: ‘It is necessary to remember God more often than one breathes’ (Orationes 27, 4), because prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with our thirst. God is thirsting for us to thirst for him (cf. Orationes 40, 27). In prayer, we must turn our hearts to God, to consign ourselves to him as an offering to be purified and transformed. In prayer we see all things in the light of Christ, we let our masks fall and immerse ourselves in the truth and in listening to God, feeding the fire of love. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, August 22, 2007)

  • The Holy Rosary, a prayer of meditation: in repeating the Hail Mary we reflect on the Mystery

In our time we are taken up with so many activities and duties, worries and problems: we often tend to fill all of the spaces of the day, without leaving a moment to pause and reflect and to nourish our spiritual life, contact with God.
Mary teaches us how necessary it is to find in our busy day, moments for silent recollection, to meditate on what the Lord wants to teach us. […] To meditate, therefore, means to create within us a situation of recollection, of inner silence, in order to reflect upon and assimilate the mysteries of our faith and what God is working within us; and not merely on the things that come and go. We may undertake this “rumination” in various ways: for example, by taking a brief passage of Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles or the Letters of the Apostles. […] The Holy Rosary is also a prayer of meditation: in repeating the Hail Mary we are asked to think about and reflect on the Mystery which we have just proclaimed. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, August 17, 2011)

  • This cadent repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb inner silence, but indeed both demands and nourishes it

The Rosary is a school of contemplation and silence. At first glance, it could seem a prayer that accumulates words, therefore difficult to reconcile with the silence that is rightly recommended for meditation and contemplation. In fact, this cadent repetition of the Hail Mary does not disturb inner silence but indeed both demands and nourishes it. (Benedict XVI. Meditation, Pontifical Shrine of Pompeii, October 19, 2008)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 10

AM+DG

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.

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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)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 9

AM+DG

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.

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea on sects forming part of the Church

  • If the Movements are really gifts of the Holy Spirit, they must be inserted into the one Church

Since the Church is one, if the Movements are really gifts of the Holy Spirit, they must, naturally, be inserted into the Ecclesial Community and serve it so that, in patient dialogue with the Pastors, they can be elements in the construction of the Church of today and tomorrow. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of Communion and Liberation Movement on the 25th anniversary of its Pontifical Recognition, March 24, 2007)

  • Sects are not stable

And we know that these sects are not very stable: at any given time, it may be all very well to proclaim prosperity, miraculous healings, etc., but after a while, it becomes clear that life is difficult, that a human God, a God who suffers with us is more convincing, more real, and offers greater help for life. It is also important that we have the structure of the Catholic Church. We do not proclaim a small group that after a certain time becomes isolated and lost, but we enter into this great universal network of catholicity, which is not only trans-temporal, but above all, it is present as a great network of friendship that unites us and also helps us to overcome individualism so as to arrive at this unity in diversity, which is the true promise. (Benedict XVI. Interview during the flight to Africa, March 17, 2009)

  • The sects have the upper hand because they appear with a few simple certainties and say: ‘This suffices’

In this atmosphere of a rationalism closing in on itself and that regards the model of the sciences as the only model of knowledge, everything else is subjective. Christian life too, of course, becomes a choice that is subjective, hence, arbitrary and no longer the path of life. It therefore naturally becomes difficult to believe, and if it is difficult to believe it is even more difficult to offer one’s life to the Lord to be his servant. […] On the other hand, the sects that present themselves with the certainty of a minimum of faith are growing, and the human being seeks certainty. Thus, the great Churches, especially the great traditional Protestant Churches, are truly finding themselves in a very deep crisis. The sects have the upper hand because they appear with a few simple certainties and say: ‘This suffices’. (Benedict XVI. Address to diocesan clergy of Aosta in the Parish Church at Introd, July 25, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • Christ, innocent, took upon himself the wounds of injured humanity – Only a God who loves us to the extent of taking upon himself our pain is worthy of faith

Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test? Paradoxically the disbelief of Thomas is most valuable to us in these cases because it helps to purify all false concepts of God and leads us to discover his true face: the face of a God who, in Christ, has taken upon himself the wounds of injured humanity. Thomas has received from the Lord, and has in turn transmitted to the Church, the gift of a faith put to the test by the passion and death of Jesus and confirmed by meeting him risen. His faith was almost dead but was born again thanks to his touching the wounds of Christ, those wounds that the Risen One did not hide but showed, and continues to point out to us in the trials and sufferings of every human being. […] These wounds that Christ has received for love of us help us to understand who God is and to repeat: ‘My Lord and my God!’ Only a God who loves us to the extent of taking upon himself our wounds and our pain, especially innocent suffering, is worthy of faith. (Benedict XVI. Urbi et Orbi Message, April 8, 2007)

  • Why does the suffering of innocents exist? In the mysterious designs of Providence, God draws a greater good even from evil

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, December 1, 2010)

  • Through the wounds of Christ, we are able to see the evils that afflict humanity with eyes of hope

Dear sick and suffering, it is precisely through the wounds of Christ that we are able to see, with eyes of hope, all the evils that afflict humanity. In rising again, the Lord did not remove suffering and evil from the world, but he defeated them at their root. […] St. Bernard observed: ‘God cannot suffer but He can suffer with’. God, who is Truth and Love in person, wanted to suffer for us and with us; He became man so that He could suffer with man, in a real way, in flesh and blood. (Benedict XVI. Message for the Nineteenth World Day of the Sick, November 21, 2010)

  • We can try to limit suffering but we cannot eliminate it

Like action, suffering is a part of our human existence. Suffering stems partly from our finitude, and partly from the mass of sin which has accumulated over the course of history, and continues to grow unabated today. […] Indeed, we must do all we can to overcome suffering, but to banish it from the world altogether is not in our power. This is simply because we are unable to shake off our finitude and because none of us is capable of eliminating the power of evil, of sin which, as we plainly see, is a constant source of suffering. Only God is able to do this: only a God who personally enters history by making himself man and suffering within history. We know that this God exists, and hence that this power to “take away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29) is present in the world. […] We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe salvi, no. 36, November 30, 2007)

  • What heals us is not fleeing from suffering, but our capacity for accepting it

It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe salvi, no. 37, November 30, 2007)

  • Mary’s self-restraint prevents us from plumbing the depths of her grief

At the foot of the Cross, the prophecy of Simeon is fulfilled: her mother’s heart is pierced through (cf. Lk 2:35) by the torment inflicted on the Innocent One born of her flesh. Just as Jesus cried (cf. Jn 11:35), so too Mary certainly cried over the tortured body of her Son. Her self-restraint, however, prevents us from plumbing the depths of her grief; the full extent of her suffering is merely suggested by the traditional symbol of the seven swords. (Benedict XVI. Homily on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes, September 15, 2008)

…judges Francis’ idea that man is the center of christian life

  • The Popes of the XX century proclaimed Jesus as the centre of the cosmos, of history, of the Christian faith

The Year of Faith which we launch today is linked harmoniously with the Church’s whole path over the last fifty years: from the Council, through the Magisterium of the Servant of God Paul VI, who proclaimed a Year of Faith in 1967, up to the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, with which Blessed John Paul II re-proposed to all humanity Jesus Christ as the one Saviour, yesterday, today and forever. Between these two Popes, Paul VI and John Paul II, there was a deep and complete convergence, precisely upon Christ as the centre of the cosmos and of history, and upon the apostolic eagerness to announce him to the world. Jesus is the centre of the Christian faith. The Christian believes in God whose face was revealed by Jesus Christ. He is the fulfilment of the Scriptures and their definitive interpreter. Jesus Christ is not only the object of the faith but, as it says in the Letter to the Hebrews, he is ‘the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith’ (Heb 12:2). (Benedict XVI. Homily during the Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith, October 11, 2012)

  • In pierced side of Christ, we deposit our faith

In my first Encyclical on the theme of love, the point of departure was exactly ‘contemplating the pierced side of Christ’, which John speaks of in his Gospel (cf. 19: 37; Deus Caritas Est, n. 12). And this centre of faith is also the font of hope in which we have been saved, the hope that I made the object of my second Encyclical. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, June 1, 2008)

  • To live the faith implies daily sacrifice, implies suffering

The theology of the Cross is not a theory it is the reality of Christian life. To live in the belief in Jesus Christ, to live in truth and love implies daily sacrifice, implies suffering. Christianity is not the easy road, it is, rather, a difficult climb, but one illuminated by the light of Christ and by the great hope that is born of him. St Augustine says: Christians are not spared suffering, indeed they must suffer a little more, because to live the faith expresses the courage to face in greater depth the problems that life and history present. But only in this way, through the experience of suffering, can we know life in its profundity, in its beauty, in the great hope born from Christ crucified and risen again. (Benedict XVI. General audience, November 5, 2008)

  • All the ways of holiness are important in God’s eyes

Hence there is a fundamental will of God for us all, which is identical for us all. However its application is different in every life, for God has a specific project for each person. Saint Francis de Sales once said: perfection, that is, being good, living faith and love, is substantially one but comes in many different forms. The holiness of a Carthusian and of a politician, of a scientist or of a peasant, and so forth, is very different. Thus God has a plan for every person and I must find, in my own circumstances, my way of living this one and, at the same time, common will of God whose great rules are indicated in these explanations of love. […] Thus each person will find different possibilities in his life: he may devote himself to volunteer work in a community of prayer, in a movement or in the activity of his parish, in his own profession. Finding my vocation and living it everywhere is important and fundamental, whether I am a great scientist or a farmer. Everything is important in God’s eyes: life is beautiful if it is lived to the full with that love which really redeems the world. (Benedict XVI. Address during the meeting with the youth in preparation for World Youth Day, March 25, 2010)

  • The Saints’ lives are hymns to God, despite their thousand different tones

In the Encyclical published last Wednesday, by referring to the primacy of charity in the life of Christians and of the Church, I wanted to recall that the privileged witnesses of this primacy are the Saints, who made their lives a hymn to God-Love despite their thousands of different tones. We celebrate them every day of the year in the liturgy. I am thinking, for example, of those whom we are commemorating in these days: the Apostle Paul with his disciples Timothy and Titus, Saint Angela Merici, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint John Bosco. These saints are very different: the first belong to the beginnings of the Church and were missionaries of the first evangelization; in the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas is the model of a Catholic theologian who found in Christ the supreme synthesis of truth and love; in the Renaissance, Angela Merici presented a path of holiness also to those who were living in a secular environment; in the modern epoch, Don Bosco, inflamed with love for Jesus the Good Shepherd, cared for the most underprivileged children and became their father and teacher. In truth, the Church’s entire history is a history of holiness, animated by the one Love whose source is God. Indeed, only supernatural love, like the love that flows ever new from Christ’s heart, can explain the miraculous flourishing down the centuries of Orders, male and female religious Institutes and other forms of consecrated life. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, January 29, 2006)

  • Each one receives at baptism a personal vocation in accordance with the Father’s particular plan of love

Today, through the sacrament of Baptism, he consecrates them and calls them to follow Jesus, through the realization of their personal vocation in accordance with that particular plan of love that the Father has in mind for each one of them; the destination of this earthly pilgrimage will be full communion with him in eternal happiness. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 9, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • There are many forms of poverty other than material poverty

Fighting poverty requires attentive consideration of the complex phenomenon of globalization […] Yet the reference to globalization should also alert us to the spiritual and moral implications of the question, urging us, in our dealings with the poor, to set out from the clear recognition that we all share in a single divine plan […] This perspective requires an understanding of poverty that is wide-ranging and well articulated. If it were a question of material poverty alone, then the social sciences, which enable us to measure phenomena on the basis of mainly quantitative data, would be sufficient to illustrate its principal characteristics. Yet we know that other, non-material forms of poverty exist which are not the direct and automatic consequence of material deprivation. For example, in advanced wealthy societies, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritual poverty, seen in people whose interior lives are disoriented and who experience various forms of malaise despite their economic prosperity. On the one hand, I have in mind what is known as “moral underdevelopment”, and on the other hand the negative consequences of “superdevelopment”. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the 42nd World Day of Peace, no. 2, January 1, 2009)

  • The witness of charity must go together with the proclamation of the truth of the Gospel

The witness of charity, practiced here in a special way, is part of the Church’s mission, together with the proclamation of the truth of the Gospel. Human beings do not only need to be physically nourished or helped through moments of difficulty; they also need to know who they are and to understand the truth about themselves and their dignity. […] With her service for the poor the Church is committed to proclaiming to all the truth about man who is loved by God, created in his image, redeemed by Christ and called to eternal communion with him. A great many people have thus been able to rediscover and are still rediscovering their dignity, lost at times because of tragic events; they rediscover trust in themselves and hope in the future. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Hostel of the Diocesan Caritas of Rome, February 14, 2010)

  • To change unjust structures we must focus attention on eternal salvation

Yet changing unjust structures is not of itself sufficient to guarantee the happiness of the human person. Moreover, as I affirmed recently to the Bishops gathered in Aparecida, Brazil, the task of politics ‘is not the immediate competence of the Church’ (Address to the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, 13 May 2007). Rather, her mission is to promote the integral development of the human person. For this reason, the great challenges facing the world at the present time, such as globalization, human rights abuses, unjust social structures, cannot be confronted and overcome unless attention is focused on the deepest needs of the human person: the promotion of human dignity, well-being and, in the final analysis, eternal salvation. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants of the 18th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, June 8, 2007)

  • When the so-called paupers’ movement rose up against a rich and beautiful Church, the Mendicant Orders opposed them

Francis of Assisi and Dominic of Guzmán […] were able to read ‘the signs of the times’ intelligently, perceiving the challenges that the Church of their time would be obliged to face. A first challenge was the expansion of various groups and movements of the faithful who, in spite of being inspired by a legitimate desire for authentic Christian life often set themselves outside ecclesial communion. They were profoundly adverse to the rich and beautiful Church which had developed precisely with the flourishing of monasticism. In recent Catecheses I have reflected on the monastic community of Cluny, which had always attracted young people, therefore vital forces, as well as property and riches. Thus, at the first stage, logically, a Church developed whose wealth was in property and also in buildings. The idea that Christ came down to earth poor and that the true Church must be the very Church of the poor clashed with this Church. The desire for true Christian authenticity was thus in contrast to the reality of the empirical Church. These were the so-called paupers’ movements of the Middle Ages. They fiercely contested the way of life of the priests and monks of the time, accused of betraying the Gospel and of not practising poverty like the early Christians, and these movements countered the Bishops’ ministry with their own ‘parallel hierarchy’. Furthermore, to justify their decisions, they disseminated doctrine incompatible with the Catholic faith. For example, the Cathars’ or Albigensians’ movement re-proposed ancient heresies such as the debasement of and contempt for the material world the opposition to wealth soon became opposition to material reality as such, […] Both Franciscans and Dominicans, following in their Founders’ footsteps, showed on the contrary that it was possible to live evangelical poverty, the truth of the Gospel as such, without being separated from the Church. They showed that the Church remains the true, authentic home of the Gospel and of Scripture. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, January 13, 2010)

  • Love does not calculate; Judas’ calculation is a disguise for egoistic lack of dedication

Mary of Bethany ‘took 300 grams [a pound] of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair’ (cf. 12: 3). Mary’s gesture is the expression of great faith and love for the Lord; it is not enough for her to wash the Teacher’s feet with water; she sprinkles on them a great quantity of the precious perfume which as Judas protested it would have been possible to sell for 300 denarii. She did not anoint his head, as was the custom, but his feet: Mary offers Jesus the most precious thing she has and with a gesture of deep devotion. Love does not calculate, does not measure, does not worry about expense, does not set up barriers but can give joyfully; it seeks only the good of the other, surmounts meanness, pettiness, resentment and the narrow-mindedness that human beings sometimes harbour in their hearts. […] Mary’s action is in contrast to the attitude and words of Judas who, under the pretext of the aid to be given to the poor, conceals the selfishness and falsehood of a person closed into himself, shackled by the greed for possession and who does not let the good fragrance of divine love envelop him. Judas calculates what one cannot calculate, he enters with a mean mindset the space which is one of love, of giving, of total dedication. And Jesus, who had remained silent until that moment, intervenes defending Mary’s gesture: ‘Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial’ (Jn 12: 7). (Benedict XVI. Homily, for the Fifth anniversary of the death of John Paul II, March 29, 2010)

  • Evangelization is the proclamation of Jesus as the one Saviour – without a reductive sociological understanding

The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize the goal of all mission: to bring Christ to others. Not just a theory or a way of life inspired by Christ, but the gift of his very person. Anyone who has not shared the truth of love with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough. The Eucharist, as the sacrament of our salvation, inevitably reminds us of the unicity of Christ and the salvation that he won for us by his blood. The mystery of the Eucharist, believed in and celebrated, demands a constant catechesis on the need for all to engage in a missionary effort centred on the proclamation of Jesus as the one Saviour. This will help to avoid a reductive and purely sociological understanding of the vital work of human promotion present in every authentic process of evangelization. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, no. 86, February 22, 2007)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 8

AM+DG

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 human suffering

  • For God, justice and charity are not two different realities – they coincide in him

Justice and mercy, justice and charity on which the Church’s charity is hinged, are two different realities only for the human person. For we distinguish carefully between a just act and an act of love. For us ‘just’ means ‘what is due to the other’, while ‘merciful’ is what is given out of kindness. One seems to exclude the other. Yet for God it is not like this: justice and charity coincide in him; there is no just action that is not also an act of mercy and pardon, and at the same time, there is no merciful action that is not perfectly just. How far God’s logic is from our own! And how different is his way of acting from ours! (Benedict XVI. Address in the Rebiddia District Prison, December 18, 2011)

  • Jesus showed how justice and mercy come together perfectly

In God, justice and mercy come together perfectly, as Jesus showed us through the testimony of his life. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 45th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2012)

…judges Francis’ idea on the social doctrine of the Church

  • Charity, which is the synthesis of the entire Law, is at the heart of the Church’s Social Doctrine

Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36-40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 2, June 29, 2009)

  • The Social Doctrine of the Church is the proclamation of Christ’s love in society

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity’s power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 5, June 29, 2009)

  • The Social Doctrine of the Church argues on the basis of reason and natural law: it aims to purify reason and to attain what is just

Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just. The Church’s social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church’s responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 28, December 25, 2005)

  • The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helps to perceive the rich wisdom that comes from the experience with God, with Christ and from sincere acceptance of the Gospel

The commitment to build the city needs consciences that are led to God by love and for this reason are naturally oriented to the goal of a good life, structured on the primacy of transcendence. ‘Caritas in veritate in re sociali’: I thus felt it appropriate to describe the social doctrine of the Church (cf. ibid., n. 5), in accordance with its most authentic root — in Jesus Christ, the Trinitarian life that he gives us — and, with its full force, it can transfigure reality. We are in need of this social teaching, to help our civilizations and our own human reason to grasp all the complexity of reality and the grandeur of the dignity of every person. Precisely in this regard, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a help in perceiving the richness of the wisdom that comes from the experience of communion with the Spirit of God and of Christ and from sincere acceptance of the Gospel. (Benedict XVI. Message to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, November 3, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on studying theology

  • Theology is essentially the interpretation of Scripture

In a word, ‘where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology, and conversely, where theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Church’s Scripture, such a theology no longer has a foundation’ (Benedict XVI, Intervention at the Fourteenth General Congregation of the Synod – 14 October 2008). (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, September 30, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

  • It is absurd to think that we can truly live by removing God, the source of life, from the picture!

Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. […]So we can see how absurd it is to think that we can truly live by removing God from the picture! God is the source of life. To set God aside is to separate ourselves from that source and, inevitably, to deprive ourselves of fulfilment and joy: ‘without the Creator, the creature fades into nothingness’ (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 36). In some parts of the world, particularly in the West, today’s culture tends to exclude God, and to consider faith a purely private issue with no relevance for the life of society. Even though the set of values underpinning society comes from the Gospel – values like the sense of the dignity of the person, of solidarity, of work and of the family –, we see a certain ‘eclipse of God’ taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity. (Benedict XVI. Message for the Twenty-Sixth World Youth Day, August 6, 2010)

  • The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work: to help people establish and nurture a living relationship with Christ

People today need to be reminded of the ultimate purpose of their lives. They need to recognize that implanted within them is a deep thirst for God. They need to be given opportunities to drink from the wells of his infinite love. It is easy to be entranced by the almost unlimited possibilities that science and technology place before us; it is easy to make the mistake of thinking we can obtain by our own efforts the fulfillment of our deepest needs. This is an illusion. Without God, who alone bestows upon us what we by ourselves cannot attain (cf. Spe Salvi, 31), our lives are ultimately empty. People need to be constantly reminded to cultivate a relationship with him who came that we might have life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10). The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry should be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with ‘Christ Jesus, our hope’ (1Tim 1:1). (Benedict XVI. Address for the celebration of Vespers and meeting with the Bishops of the United States of America, April 16, 2008)

  • Without discipline, youth cannot be prepared to face the trials of the future

Suffering is also part of the truth of our life. So, by seeking to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk raising brittle and ungenerous people, despite our good intentions: indeed, the capacity for loving corresponds to the capacity for suffering and for suffering together. We thus arrive, dear friends of Rome, at what is perhaps the most delicate point in the task of education: finding the right balance between freedom and discipline. If no standard of behaviour and rule of life is applied even in small daily matters, the character is not formed and the person will not be ready to face the trials that will come in the future. The educational relationship, however, is first of all the encounter of two kinds of freedom, and successful education means teaching the correct use of freedom. As the child gradually grows up, he becomes an adolescent and then a young person; we must therefore accept the risk of freedom and be constantly attentive in order to help him to correct wrong ideas and choices. However, what we must never do is to support him when he errs, to pretend we do not see the errors or worse, that we share them as if they were the new boundaries of human progress. (Benedict XVI. Letter to the faithful of the diocese of Rome on the urgent task of educating young people, January 21, 2008)

  • What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy

I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness. Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be? When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts. (Benedict XVI. Address to pupils for the Celebration of Catholic Education, September 17, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea that catholics and muslims adore the same God

  • To believe in God and to believe in Jesus are not two separate acts but one single act of faith

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). (Benedict XVI. Regina Caeli, May 22, 2001)

  • Believing in God means accepting 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)

  • Acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature

Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: ‘In the beginning was the λόγος’. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, σὺν λόγω, with logos. Logos means both reason and word – a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. […] A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act ‘with logos’ is contrary to God’s nature. (Benedict XVI. Address at the University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah’s will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. […] The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. (Benedict XVI. Address at the University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • This extreme voluntarism leads to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness

There arose a voluntarism which […] led to the claim that we can only know God’s voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God’s freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God’s transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which – as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated – unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism. (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah can contradict himself, as he does with regard to ‘holy war’

In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις – controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels’, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah is not bound even by his own word. He can even order sin. Were it his will, he could even command us to practice idolatry…

Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God [Allah] is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry. (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • In face of the ways that God’s image can be destroyed, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe

The second section of the Creed tells us more. This creative Reason is Goodness, it is Love. It has a face. God does not leave us groping in the dark. He has shown himself to us as a man. In his greatness he has let himself become small. ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’, Jesus says (Jn 14:9). God has taken on a human face. He has loved us even to the point of letting himself be nailed to the Cross for our sake, in order to bring the sufferings of mankind to the very heart of God. Today, when we have learned to recognize the pathologies and the life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason, and the ways that God’s image can be destroyed by hatred and fanaticism, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe, and to proclaim confidently that this God has a human face. (Benedict XVI. Homily, Islinger Feld, Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • The true God is He who acts in harmony with reason

The truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, ‘transcends’ knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul – ‘λογικη λατρεία’, worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1). (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • The Lord was prepared to forgive, but the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were locked into a totalizing and paralyzing evil

The first text on which we shall reflect is in chapter 18 of the Book of Genesis. It is recounted that the evil of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the height of depravity so as to require an intervention of God, an act of justice, that would prevent the evil from destroying those cities. […] Abraham confronts God with the need to avoid a perfunctory form of justice: if the city is guilty it is right to condemn its crime and to inflict punishment, but — the great Patriarch affirms — it would be unjust to punish all the inhabitants indiscriminately. If there are innocent people in the city, they must not be treated as the guilty. God, who is a just judge, cannot act in this way, Abraham says rightly to God. […] Abraham — as we remember — gradually decreases the number of innocent people necessary for salvation: if 50 would not be enough, 45 might suffice, and so on down to 10. […] However, not even 10 just people were to be found in Sodom and Gomorrah so the cities were destroyed; a destruction paradoxically deemed necessary by the prayer of Abraham’s intercession itself. Because that very prayer revealed the saving will of God: the Lord was prepared to forgive, he wanted to forgive but the cities were locked into a totalizing and paralyzing evil, without even a few innocents from whom to start in order to turn evil into good. (Benedict XVI. General audience, May 18, 2011)

Pope Benedicts Vs. Francis: Part 7

AM+DG

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 human suffering

  • For God, justice and charity are not two different realities – they coincide in him

Justice and mercy, justice and charity on which the Church’s charity is hinged, are two different realities only for the human person. For we distinguish carefully between a just act and an act of love. For us ‘just’ means ‘what is due to the other’, while ‘merciful’ is what is given out of kindness. One seems to exclude the other. Yet for God it is not like this: justice and charity coincide in him; there is no just action that is not also an act of mercy and pardon, and at the same time, there is no merciful action that is not perfectly just. How far God’s logic is from our own! And how different is his way of acting from ours! (Benedict XVI. Address in the Rebiddia District Prison, December 18, 2011)

  • Jesus showed how justice and mercy come together perfectly

In God, justice and mercy come together perfectly, as Jesus showed us through the testimony of his life. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 45th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2012)

…judges Francis’ idea on the social doctrine of the Church

  • Charity, which is the synthesis of the entire Law, is at the heart of the Church’s Social Doctrine

Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36-40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 2, June 29, 2009)

  • The Social Doctrine of the Church is the proclamation of Christ’s love in society

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity’s power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 5, June 29, 2009)

  • The Social Doctrine of the Church argues on the basis of reason and natural law: it aims to purify reason and to attain what is just

Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just. The Church’s social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church’s responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 28, December 25, 2005)

  • The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helps to perceive the rich wisdom that comes from the experience with God, with Christ and from sincere acceptance of the Gospel

The commitment to build the city needs consciences that are led to God by love and for this reason are naturally oriented to the goal of a good life, structured on the primacy of transcendence. ‘Caritas in veritate in re sociali’: I thus felt it appropriate to describe the social doctrine of the Church (cf. ibid., n. 5), in accordance with its most authentic root — in Jesus Christ, the Trinitarian life that he gives us — and, with its full force, it can transfigure reality. We are in need of this social teaching, to help our civilizations and our own human reason to grasp all the complexity of reality and the grandeur of the dignity of every person. Precisely in this regard, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a help in perceiving the richness of the wisdom that comes from the experience of communion with the Spirit of God and of Christ and from sincere acceptance of the Gospel. (Benedict XVI. Message to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, November 3, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on studying theology

  • Theology is essentially the interpretation of Scripture

In a word, ‘where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology, and conversely, where theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Church’s Scripture, such a theology no longer has a foundation’ (Benedict XVI, Intervention at the Fourteenth General Congregation of the Synod – 14 October 2008). (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, September 30, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

  • It is absurd to think that we can truly live by removing God, the source of life, from the picture!

Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. […]So we can see how absurd it is to think that we can truly live by removing God from the picture! God is the source of life. To set God aside is to separate ourselves from that source and, inevitably, to deprive ourselves of fulfilment and joy: ‘without the Creator, the creature fades into nothingness’ (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 36). In some parts of the world, particularly in the West, today’s culture tends to exclude God, and to consider faith a purely private issue with no relevance for the life of society. Even though the set of values underpinning society comes from the Gospel – values like the sense of the dignity of the person, of solidarity, of work and of the family –, we see a certain ‘eclipse of God’ taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity. (Benedict XVI. Message for the Twenty-Sixth World Youth Day, August 6, 2010)

  • The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work: to help people establish and nurture a living relationship with Christ

People today need to be reminded of the ultimate purpose of their lives. They need to recognize that implanted within them is a deep thirst for God. They need to be given opportunities to drink from the wells of his infinite love. It is easy to be entranced by the almost unlimited possibilities that science and technology place before us; it is easy to make the mistake of thinking we can obtain by our own efforts the fulfillment of our deepest needs. This is an illusion. Without God, who alone bestows upon us what we by ourselves cannot attain (cf. Spe Salvi, 31), our lives are ultimately empty. People need to be constantly reminded to cultivate a relationship with him who came that we might have life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10). The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry should be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with ‘Christ Jesus, our hope’ (1Tim 1:1). (Benedict XVI. Address for the celebration of Vespers and meeting with the Bishops of the United States of America, April 16, 2008)

  • Without discipline, youth cannot be prepared to face the trials of the future

Suffering is also part of the truth of our life. So, by seeking to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk raising brittle and ungenerous people, despite our good intentions: indeed, the capacity for loving corresponds to the capacity for suffering and for suffering together. We thus arrive, dear friends of Rome, at what is perhaps the most delicate point in the task of education: finding the right balance between freedom and discipline. If no standard of behaviour and rule of life is applied even in small daily matters, the character is not formed and the person will not be ready to face the trials that will come in the future. The educational relationship, however, is first of all the encounter of two kinds of freedom, and successful education means teaching the correct use of freedom. As the child gradually grows up, he becomes an adolescent and then a young person; we must therefore accept the risk of freedom and be constantly attentive in order to help him to correct wrong ideas and choices. However, what we must never do is to support him when he errs, to pretend we do not see the errors or worse, that we share them as if they were the new boundaries of human progress. (Benedict XVI. Letter to the faithful of the diocese of Rome on the urgent task of educating young people, January 21, 2008)

  • What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy

I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness. Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be? When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts. (Benedict XVI. Address to pupils for the Celebration of Catholic Education, September 17, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea that catholics and muslims adore the same God

  • To believe in God and to believe in Jesus are not two separate acts but one single act of faith

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). (Benedict XVI. Regina Caeli, May 22, 2001)

  • Believing in God means accepting 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)

  • Acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature

Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: ‘In the beginning was the λόγος’. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, σὺν λόγω, with logos. Logos means both reason and word – a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. […] A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act ‘with logos’ is contrary to God’s nature. (Benedict XVI. Address at the University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah’s will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. […] The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. (Benedict XVI. Address at the University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • This extreme voluntarism leads to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness

There arose a voluntarism which […] led to the claim that we can only know God’s voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God’s freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God’s transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which – as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated – unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism. (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah can contradict himself, as he does with regard to ‘holy war’

In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις – controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels’, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Allah is not bound even by his own word. He can even order sin. Were it his will, he could even command us to practice idolatry…

Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God [Allah] is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry. (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • In face of the ways that God’s image can be destroyed, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe

The second section of the Creed tells us more. This creative Reason is Goodness, it is Love. It has a face. God does not leave us groping in the dark. He has shown himself to us as a man. In his greatness he has let himself become small. ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’, Jesus says (Jn 14:9). God has taken on a human face. He has loved us even to the point of letting himself be nailed to the Cross for our sake, in order to bring the sufferings of mankind to the very heart of God. Today, when we have learned to recognize the pathologies and the life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason, and the ways that God’s image can be destroyed by hatred and fanaticism, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe, and to proclaim confidently that this God has a human face. (Benedict XVI. Homily, Islinger Feld, Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • The true God is He who acts in harmony with reason

The truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, ‘transcends’ knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul – ‘λογικη λατρεία’, worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1). (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the representatives of Science, University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • The Lord was prepared to forgive, but the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were locked into a totalizing and paralyzing evil

The first text on which we shall reflect is in chapter 18 of the Book of Genesis. It is recounted that the evil of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the height of depravity so as to require an intervention of God, an act of justice, that would prevent the evil from destroying those cities. […] Abraham confronts God with the need to avoid a perfunctory form of justice: if the city is guilty it is right to condemn its crime and to inflict punishment, but — the great Patriarch affirms — it would be unjust to punish all the inhabitants indiscriminately. If there are innocent people in the city, they must not be treated as the guilty. God, who is a just judge, cannot act in this way, Abraham says rightly to God. […] Abraham — as we remember — gradually decreases the number of innocent people necessary for salvation: if 50 would not be enough, 45 might suffice, and so on down to 10. […] However, not even 10 just people were to be found in Sodom and Gomorrah so the cities were destroyed; a destruction paradoxically deemed necessary by the prayer of Abraham’s intercession itself. Because that very prayer revealed the saving will of God: the Lord was prepared to forgive, he wanted to forgive but the cities were locked into a totalizing and paralyzing evil, without even a few innocents from whom to start in order to turn evil into good. (Benedict XVI. General audience, May 18, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on sects forming part of the Church

  • If the Movements are really gifts of the Holy Spirit, they must be inserted into the one Church

Since the Church is one, if the Movements are really gifts of the Holy Spirit, they must, naturally, be inserted into the Ecclesial Community and serve it so that, in patient dialogue with the Pastors, they can be elements in the construction of the Church of today and tomorrow. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of Communion and Liberation Movement on the 25th anniversary of its Pontifical Recognition, March 24, 2007)

  • Sects are not stable

And we know that these sects are not very stable: at any given time, it may be all very well to proclaim prosperity, miraculous healings, etc., but after a while, it becomes clear that life is difficult, that a human God, a God who suffers with us is more convincing, more real, and offers greater help for life. It is also important that we have the structure of the Catholic Church. We do not proclaim a small group that after a certain time becomes isolated and lost, but we enter into this great universal network of catholicity, which is not only trans-temporal, but above all, it is present as a great network of friendship that unites us and also helps us to overcome individualism so as to arrive at this unity in diversity, which is the true promise. (Benedict XVI. Interview during the flight to Africa, March 17, 2009)

  • The sects have the upper hand because they appear with a few simple certainties and say: ‘This suffices’

In this atmosphere of a rationalism closing in on itself and that regards the model of the sciences as the only model of knowledge, everything else is subjective. Christian life too, of course, becomes a choice that is subjective, hence, arbitrary and no longer the path of life. It therefore naturally becomes difficult to believe, and if it is difficult to believe it is even more difficult to offer one’s life to the Lord to be his servant. […] On the other hand, the sects that present themselves with the certainty of a minimum of faith are growing, and the human being seeks certainty. Thus, the great Churches, especially the great traditional Protestant Churches, are truly finding themselves in a very deep crisis. The sects have the upper hand because they appear with a few simple certainties and say: ‘This suffices’. (Benedict XVI. Address to diocesan clergy of Aosta in the Parish Church at Introd, July 25, 2005)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 6

AM+DG

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.

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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)

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 5

AM+DG

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

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis Part 4

AM+DG

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 Koran is a book of peace

 

  • There is no peace without justice

You know, as I do, that authentic peace is only possible when justice reigns. Our world is thirsting for peace and justice. (Benedict XVI. Address to the new ambassadors to the Holy See, December 18, 2008)

  • Peace is a heavenly gift and a divine grace that demands conforming human history to the divine order

Seen in this way, peace appears as a heavenly gift and a divine grace which demands at every level the exercise of the highest responsibility: that of conforming human history–in truth, justice, freedom and love–to the divine order. Whenever there is a loss of fidelity to the transcendent order, and a loss of respect for that ‘grammar’ of dialogue which is the universal moral law written on human hearts, whenever the integral development of the person and the protection of his fundamental rights are hindered or denied, whenever countless people are forced to endure intolerable injustices and inequalities, how can we hope that the good of peace will be realized? The essential elements which make up the truth of that good are missing. Saint Augustine described peace as tranquillitas Ordinis (De Civitate Dei, XIX, 13) the tranquillity of order. By this, he meant a situation which ultimately enables the truth about man to be fully respected and realized. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XXXIX World Day of Peace, no. 4, January 1, 2006)

  • Peace also demands of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan – according to the ‘grammar’ written on human hearts

The transcendent ‘grammar’, that is to say the body of rules for individual action and the reciprocal relationships of persons in accordance with justice and solidarity, is inscribed on human consciences, in which the wise plan of God is reflected. As I recently had occasion to reaffirm: ‘we believe that at the beginning of everything is the Eternal Word, Reason and not Unreason’ (Homily at Regensburg, 12 September 2006). Peace is thus also a task demanding of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan. The criterion inspiring this response can only be respect for the ‘grammar’ written on human hearts by the divine Creator. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Recognition and respect for natural law: fundamental presupposition for authentic peace

Recognition and respect for natural law represents the foundation for a dialogue between the followers of the different religions and between believers and non-believers. As a great point of convergence, this is also a fundamental presupposition for authentic peace. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Peace on earth cannot be found without reconciliation with God

Peace on earth cannot be found without reconciliation with God, without harmony between Heaven and earth. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Roman Curia, December 22. 2006)

  • Sin: a progressive rejection of peace

Mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLVI World Day of Peace, no. 3, January 1. 2013)

  • It is only through the Redemption that man can overcome the progressive rejection of peace, and be an authentic peacemaker

To become authentic peacemakers, it is fundamental to keep in mind our transcendent dimension and to enter into constant dialogue with God, the Father of mercy, whereby we implore the redemption achieved for us by his only-begotten Son. In this way mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms: selfishness and violence, greed and the will to power and dominion, intolerance, hatred and unjust structures. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLVI World Day of Peace, no. 3, January 1. 2013)

  • True peace comes from Christ

True peace comes from Christ (cf. Jn 14:27). It cannot be compared with the peace that the world gives. It is not the fruit of negotiations and diplomatic agreements based on particular interests. It is the peace of a humanity reconciled with itself in God, a peace of which the Church is the sacrament. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic exhortation Africae munus, no. 30, November 30, 2011)

  • Wherever Christ is welcomed, islands of peace develop

Et erit iste pax’ – this will be peace, the Prophet Micah says (Mic 5:4) about the future ruler of Israel, whose birth in Bethlehem he announces. The Angels said to the shepherds grazing their flocks in the fields around Bethlehem: ‘on earth peace among men’, the expected One has arrived (Lk 2:14). He himself, Christ, the Lord, said to his disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you’ (Jn 14:27). It is from these words that the liturgical greeting developed: ‘Peace be with you’. This peace that is communicated in the liturgy is Christ himself. He gives himself to us as peace, as reconciliation beyond all frontiers. Wherever he is welcomed, islands of peace develop. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2006)

  • Peace in this world always remains weak and fragile for it implies opening our hearts to God

We human beings would have liked Christ to banish all wars once and for all, to destroy weapons and establish universal peace. But we have to learn that peace cannot be attained only from the outside with structures, and that the attempt to establish it with violence leads only to ever new violence. We must learn that peace – as the Angel of Bethlehem said – is connected with eudokia, with the opening of our hearts to God. We must learn that peace can only exist if hatred and selfishness are overcome from within. The human being must be renewed from within, must become new and different. Thus, peace in this world always remains weak and fragile. We suffer from this. For this very reason we are called especially to let ourselves be penetrated within by God’s peace and to take his power into the world. All that was wrought in and through the Sacrament of Baptism must be fulfilled in our lives: the dying of the former self, hence, the rebirth of the new. And we will pray to the Lord insistently over and over again: Please move hearts! Make us new people! Help the reason of peace to overcome the irrationality of violence! Make us bearers of your peace! (Benedict XVI. Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2006)

  • Jesus builds the great new community of new men who place their will in his

The stable becomes a palace – and setting out from this starting-point, Jesus builds the great new community, whose key-word the angels sing at the hour of his birth: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those whom he loves’ – those who place their will in his, in this way becoming men of God, new men, a new world. (Benedict XVI. Homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, December 25, 2007)

  • Christ is our true peace: in him there is but one family reconciled in love

‘Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity’. We Christians believe that Christ is our true peace: in him, by his Cross, God has reconciled the world to himself and has broken down the walls of division that separated us from one another (cf. Eph 2:14 – 18); in him, there is but one family, reconciled in love. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLV World Day of Peace, no. 5, January 1, 2012)

  • If peace is to be authentic and lasting it must be built on the bedrock of the truth about God and the truth about man

For her part, the Church, in fidelity to the mission she has received from her Founder, is committed to proclaiming everywhere ‘the Gospel of peace’. In the firm conviction that she offers an indispensable service to all those who strive to promote peace, she reminds everyone that, if peace is to be authentic and lasting, it must be built on the bedrock of the truth about God and the truth about man. This truth alone can create a sensitivity to justice and openness to love and solidarity, while encouraging everyone to work for a truly free and harmonious human family. The foundations of authentic peace rest on the truth about God and man. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XXXIX World Day of Peace, no. 15, January 1, 2006)

  • Any authentic search for peace must begin with the realization that the problem of truth and untruth is the concern of every man and woman

Who and what, then, can prevent the coming of peace? Sacred Scripture, in its very first book, Genesis, points to the lie told at the very beginning of history by the animal with a forked tongue, whom the Evangelist John calls ‘the father of lies’ (Jn 8:44). Lying is also one of the sins spoken of in the final chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, which bars liars from the heavenly Jerusalem: ‘outside are… all who love falsehood’ (Jn 22:15). Lying is linked to the tragedy of sin and its perverse consequences, which have had, and continue to have, devastating effects on the lives of individuals and nations. […] Any authentic search for peace must begin with the realization that the problem of truth and untruth is the concern of every man and woman; it is decisive for the peaceful future of our planet. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XXXIX World Day of Peace, January 1, 2006)

  • A fundamental presupposition for authentic peace: respect for the Natural Law– to carry out the divine plan inscribed in the nature of human beings

From this standpoint, the norms of the natural law should not be viewed as externally imposed decrees, as restraints upon human freedom. Rather, they should be welcomed as a call to carry out faithfully the universal divine plan inscribed in the nature of human beings. Guided by these norms, all peoples – within their respective cultures – can draw near to the greatest mystery, which is the mystery of God. Today too, recognition and respect for natural law represents the foundation for a dialogue between the followers of the different religions and between believers and non-believers. As a great point of convergence, this is also a fundamental presupposition for authentic peace. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. […] The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between – as they were called – three ‘Laws’ or ‘rules of life’: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. […] In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις – controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels’, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’ The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. ‘God’, he says, ‘is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…’. The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this; not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practice idolatry. (Benedict XVI. Address in the University of Regensburg, September 12, 2006)

  • Sufferings of the Christian community in Iraq

Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance. My thoughts turn in a special way to the beloved country of Iraq, which continues to be a theatre of violence and strife as it makes its way towards a future of stability and reconciliation. I think of the recent sufferings of the Christian community, and in particular the reprehensible attack on the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad, where on 31 October two priests and over fifty faithful were killed as they gathered for the celebration of Holy Mass. In the days that followed, other attacks ensued, even on private homes, spreading fear within the Christian community and a desire on the part of many to emigrate in search of a better life. I assure them of my own closeness and that of the entire Church, a closeness which found concrete expression in the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. The Synod encouraged the Catholic communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East to live in communion and to continue to offer a courageous witness of faith in those lands. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLIV World Day of Peace, no. 1, January 1, 2011)

  • Numerous conflicts causing bloodshed in our human family, beginning with that privileged region in God’s plan, the Middle East

Consequently, if the glorification of God and earthly peace are closely linked, it seems evident that peace is both God’s gift and a human task, one which demands our free and conscious response. For this reason, I wished my annual Message for the World Day of Peace to bear the title: Blessed are the Peacemakers. Civil and political authorities before all others have a grave responsibility to work for peace. They are the first called to resolve the numerous conflicts causing bloodshed in our human family, beginning with that privileged region in God’s plan, the Middle East. I think first and foremost of Syria, torn apart by endless slaughter and the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population. I renew my appeal for a ceasefire and the inauguration as quickly as possible of a constructive dialogue aimed at putting an end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins. Your Excellencies, allow me to ask you to continue to make your Governments aware of this, so that essential aid will urgently be made available to face this grave humanitarian situation. I now turn with deep concern towards the Holy Land. Following Palestine’s recognition as a Non-Member Observer State of the United Nations, I again express the hope that, with the support of the international community, Israelis and Palestinians will commit themselves to peaceful coexistence within the framework of two sovereign states, where respect for justice and the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples will be preserved and guaranteed. Jerusalem, become what your name signifies! A city of peace and not of division; a prophecy of the Kingdom of God and not a byword for instability and opposition!

As I turn my thoughts towards the beloved Iraqi people, I express my hope that they will pursue the path of reconciliation in order to arrive at the stability for which they long.

In Lebanon, where last September I met the various groups which make up society, may the many religious traditions there be cultivated by all as a true treasure for the country and for the whole region, and may Christians offer an effective witness for the building of a future of peace, together with all men and women of good will!

In North Africa too, cooperation between all the members of society is of primary concern, and each must be guaranteed full citizenship, the liberty publicly to profess their religion and the ability to contribute to the common good. I assure all Egyptians of my closeness and my prayers at this time when new institutions are being set in place.

Turning to sub-Saharan Africa, I encourage the efforts being made to build peace, especially in those places where the wounds of war remain open and where their grave humanitarian consequences are being felt. I think particularly of the Horn of Africa, and the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where new of acts of violence have erupted, forcing many people to abandon their homes, families and surroundings. Nor can I fail to mention other threats looming on the horizon. Nigeria is regularly the scene of terrorist attacks which reap victims above all among the Christian faithful gathered in prayer, as if hatred intended to turn temples of prayer and peace into places of fear and division. I was deeply saddened to learn that, even in the days when we celebrated Christmas, some Christians were barbarously put to death. Mali is also torn by violence and marked by a profound institutional and social crisis, one which calls for the effective attention of the international community. In the Central African Republic, I hope that the talks announced as taking place shortly will restore stability and spare the people from reliving the throes of civil war. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, January 7, 2013)