Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 16

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 absolute truth

  • Love, caritas, originates in Absolute Truth

Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical, Caritatis in Veritate, June 29, 2009)

…judges Francis’ idea on new customs among today’s youth

  • Jesus’ mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses – mercy does not change the nature of sin and demands correspondence

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. Eucharist Concelebration at the Lower Square of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, June 17, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on God

  • The plenitude of Revelation is found in Jesus Christ – There is no other Word of God

In all of this, the Church gives voice to her awareness that with Jesus Christ she stands before the definitive word of God: he is ‘the first and the last’ (Rev 1:17). He has given creation and history their definitive meaning; and hence we are called to live in time and in God’s creation within this eschatological rhythm of the word; ‘thus the Christian dispensation, since it is the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (cf. 1Tim 6:14; Tit 2:13) (Dei Verbum, 4). Indeed, as the Fathers noted during the Synod, the ‘uniqueness of Christianity is manifested in the event which is Jesus Christ, the culmination of revelation, the fulfilment of God’s promises and the mediator of the encounter between man and God. He who ‘has made God known’ (Jn 1:18) is the one, definitive word given to mankind’ (Prop. 4). Saint John of the Cross expresses this truth magnificently: ‘Since he has given us his Son, his only word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything at once in this sole word – and he has no more to say… because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has spoken all at once by giving us this All who is his Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely on Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty’ (St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, II, 22). (Benedict XVI. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church Verbum Domini, September 30, 2010)

…judges Francis’ idea on First Holy Communion

  • The Church’s faith is essentially a Eucharistic faith

The mystery of faith! With these words, spoken immediately after the words of consecration, the priest proclaims the mystery being celebrated and expresses his wonder before the substantial change of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord Jesus, a reality which surpasses all human understanding. The Eucharist is a ‘mystery of faith’ par excellence: ‘the sum and summary of our faith’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1327) The Church’s faith is essentially a Eucharistic faith, and it is especially nourished at the table of the Eucharist. […] For this reason, the Sacrament of the Altar is always at the heart of the Church’s life: ‘thanks to the Eucharist, the Church is reborn ever anew!’ (Benedict XVI, Homily at the Mass of Installation in the Cathedral of Rome – 7 May 2005): AAS 97 (2005): 752). The more lively the eucharistic faith of the People of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, no.6, February 22, 2007)

  • Christ comes to meet men and women, and becomes their food

In the sacrament of the altar, the Lord meets us, men and women created in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:27), and becomes our companion along the way. In this sacrament, the Lord truly becomes food for us, to satisfy our hunger for truth and freedom. Since only the truth can make us free (cf. Jn 8:32), Christ becomes for us the food of truth. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, no.2, February 22, 2007)

  • The Eucharist is at the root of the Church as a mystery of communion

This is why Christian antiquity used the same words, Corpus Christi, to designate Christ’s body born of the Virgin Mary, his Eucharistic body and his ecclesial body. This clear datum of the tradition helps us to appreciate the inseparability of Christ and the Church. The Lord Jesus, by offering himself in sacrifice for us, in his gift effectively pointed to the mystery of the Church. It is significant that the Second Eucharistic Prayer, invoking the Paraclete, formulates its prayer for the unity of the Church as follows: ‘may all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.’ These words help us to see clearly how the res of the sacrament of the Eucharist is the unity of the faithful within ecclesial communion. The Eucharist is thus found at the root of the Church as a mystery of communion (cf. STh, III, 80, 4). (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, no. 15, February 22, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s presence in a sinner’s life

  • There are people who have totally destroyed their possibility of being with God

There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people n everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe Salvi, no. 45, November 30, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on the harmony of all christian faiths

  • The unity operated by the Spirit is visibly manifest in the profession of the faith in its entirety

It is the Holy Spirit, the principle of unity, which establishes the Church as a communion (cf. LG, 13).  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 (cf. ibid; Acts 2:42). The Church, however, analogous to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, is not only an invisible spiritual communion, but is also visible (cf. LG 8; Communionis notio, 4); 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’ (LG, 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 selling off churches to feed the poor

  • Gestures of authentic devotion to Christ benefit the entire Church

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 stood at the feet of Jesus in a humble attitude of service, the same attitude that the Teacher himself was to assume at the Last Supper, when, the fourth Gospel tells us, he ‘rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet’ (Jn 13: 4-5), so that, he said, ‘you also should do as I have done to you’ (v. 15): the rule of the community of Jesus is that of love which knows how to serve to the point of offering one’s life. And the scent spread: ‘the house’ the Evangelist remarks, ‘was filled with the fragrance of the ointment’ (Jn 12: 3). The meaning of Mary’s action, which is a response to God’s infinite Love, spreads among all the guests; no gesture of charity and authentic devotion to Christ remains a personal event or concerns solely the relationship between the individual and the Lord. Rather, it concerns the whole Body of the Church, it is contagious: it instills love, joy and light. (Benedict XVI. Eucharistic Celebration on the fifth anniversary of the death of John Paul II, March 29, 2010)

  • To be preserved from perversion of heart it is necessary to assume Jesus’ point of view

In effect, the possibilities to pervert the human heart are truly many. The only way to prevent it consists in not cultivating an individualistic, autonomous vision of things, but on the contrary, by putting oneself always on the side of Jesus, assuming his point of view. We must daily seek to build full communion with him. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, October 18, 2006)

  • In the Church, charity is not a kind of social assistance

The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable. For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 25, December 25, 2005)

  • Charity involves spiritual actions accomplished in the light of the Holy Spirit

Charity and justice are not only social but also spiritual actions, accomplished in the light of the Holy Spirit. We can thus say that the Apostles confronted this situation with great responsibility. They took the following decision: seven men were chosen; the Apostles prayed the Holy Spirit to grant them strength and then laid their hands on the seven so that they might dedicate themselves in a special way to this ministry of charity. Thus in the life of the Church, the first steps she took, in a certain way, reflected what had happened in Jesus’ public life at Martha and Mary’s house in Bethany. Martha was completely taken up with the service of hospitality to offer to Jesus and his disciples; Mary, on the contrary, devoted herself to listening to the Lord’s word (cf. Lk 10:38-42). In neither case were the moments of prayer and of listening to God, and daily activity, the exercise of charity in opposition. Jesus’ reminder, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her’ (Lk 10:41-42) and, likewise, the Apostles’ reflection: ‘We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word’ (Acts 6:4), show the priority we must give to God. […] In any case activity undertaken to help one’s neighbor, ‘the other’, is not to be condemned, but it is essential to stress the need for it to be imbued also with the spirit of contemplation. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, April 25, 2012)

…judges Francis’ relations with  ‘ordained’ women of the christian churches

  • Ecumenical dialogue must not lead to indifferentism and false irenism

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 for the Doctrine of the Faith, January 27, 2012)

…judges Francis’ idea on responsible parenthood

  • Example of generosity and confidence in God

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 large 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. (Benedict XVI. Address by Videoconference at the conclusion of the Mass closing the sixth World Day of Families held in Mexico City, January 18, 2009)

  • Beautiful to listen to couples about their large families – the problem of Europe penetrated my soul

The visit to Valencia, Spain was under the banner of the theme of marriage and the family. It was beautiful to listen, before the people assembled from all continents, to the testimonies of couples – blessed by a numerous throng of children – who introduced themselves to us and spoke of their respective journeys in the Sacrament of Marriage and in their large families. They did not hide the fact that they have also had difficult days, that they have had to pass through periods of crisis. Yet, precisely through the effort of supporting one another day by day, precisely through accepting one another ever anew in the crucible of daily trials, living and suffering to the full their initial ‘yes’, precisely on this Gospel path of ‘losing oneself, they had matured, rediscovered themselves and become happy. Their ‘yes’ to one another in the patience of the journey and in the strength of the Sacrament with which Christ had bound them together, had become a great ‘yes’ to themselves, their children, to God the Creator and to the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Thus, from the witness of these families a wave of joy reached us, not a superficial and scant gaiety that is all too soon dispelled, but a joy that developed also in suffering, a joy that reaches down to the depths and truly redeems man. Before these families with their children, before these families in which the generations hold hands and the future is present, the problem of Europe, which it seems no longer wants to have children, penetrated my soul. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Roman Curia at the traditional exchange of Christmas Greetings, December 22, 2006)

…judges Francis’ idea on the obedience of a Religious

  • Admonishing sinners is an act of mercy

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. (Benedict XVI. Message for Lent 2012, November 3, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on all being saved

  • ‘God will be kind to us all’: a beautiful hope, but murderers cannot suddenly sit down at God’s table together with their victims

As the great Marxist Adorno said, only the resurrection of the body, which he claimed as unreal, would be able to create justice. We believe in this resurrection of the body in which not all will be equal. Today people have become used to thinking: what is sin? God is great, he knows us, so sin does not count; in the end God will be kind to us all. It is a beautiful hope. But both justice and true guilt exist. Those who have destroyed man and the earth cannot suddenly sit down at God’s table together with their victims. God creates justice. (Benedict XVI. Meeting with the Parish Priests and the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, February 7, 2008)

…judges Francis’ idea on the teaching of moral issues

  • The responsibility of constantly proclaiming non-negotiable values

Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae: AAS 87(1995),401-522; Benedict XVI, Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life – 27 February 2006: AAS 98(2006), 264-265). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (Cf. Cong. for the Doct.of the Faith, Doctrinal note on questions regarding participation of Catholics in political life: AAS 96(2004),359-370). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (cf. Propositio 46). (Benedict XVI. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, no. 83, February 22, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Education to the Youth

  • Integral education cannot omit religious teaching

The above-mentioned religious indifferentism and the easy temptation of lax morals, as well as the ignorance of the Christian tradition with its rich spiritual patrimony, exert a powerful influence on the new generations. Young people have the right, from the beginning of the process of their formation, to be educated in faith and sound morals. For this reason, the integral education of the youngest cannot omit religious teaching at school as well. A solid religious formation will also serve as an effective shield against the advance of sects or other religious groups widespread today. (Benedict XVI. Address to members of the Bishops’ Conference of Puerto Rico on the ad limina visit, June 30, 2007)

  • Religious teaching may not be reduced to a generic sociology of religions

And the teaching in question cannot be reduced to a generic sociology of religions, because there is no such thing as generic, non-denominational religion. Thus, not only does denominational religious teaching in state schools do no damage to the secularism of the State, but in addition it guarantees the right of their parents to choose the education for their children, thereby contributing to promote the common good. (Benedict XVI. Address to the new ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See, 31 October, 2011)

  • Religious teaching is a necessary value for the person’s integral formation.

Among these areas of mutual collaboration I would like to stress here, Mister Ambassador, that of education to which the Church has contributed with countless educational institutions whose prestige is recognized by society as a whole. The role of education cannot, in fact, be reduced to the mere transmission of knowledge and skills that aim to form a professional but must include all the aspects of the person, from his social side to his yearning for the transcendent. For this reason it is appropriate to reaffirm, as was confirmed in the above-mentioned Agreement of 2008, that far from implying that the State assumes or imposes a specific religious creed, denominational religious teaching in state schools, means recognition of religion as a necessary value for the person’s integral formation. (Benedict XVI. Address to the new ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See, October 31, 2011)

  • The religious dimension makes it possible to transform knowledge into wisdom

The religious dimension is in fact intrinsic to culture. It contributes to the overall formation of the person and makes it possible to transform knowledge into wisdom of life. (Benedict XVI. Speech to the Catholic religion teachers, April 25, 2009)

  • The teaching of the Catholic religion capacitates the person to discover goodness

Thanks to the teaching of the Catholic religion, school and society are enriched with true laboratories of culture and humanity in which, by deciphering the significant contribution of Christianity, the person is equipped to discover goodness and to grow in responsibility, to seek comparisons and to refine his or her critical sense, to draw from the gifts of the past to understand the present better and to be able to plan wisely for the future. (Benedict XVI. Speech to the Catholic religion teachers, April 25, 2009)

 

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 15

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 the last post on this topic..

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea that no one is saved alone

  • A hope that does not concern me personally is not a real hope; though an individualistic understanding of salvation is also incomplete

How could the idea have developed that Jesus’ message is narrowly individualistic and aimed only at each person singly? How did we arrive at this interpretation of the ‘salvation of the soul’ as a flight from responsibility for the whole, and how did we come to conceive the Christian project as a selfish search for salvation which rejects the idea of serving others? […] Life in its true sense is not something we have exclusively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. And life in its totality is a relationship with him who is the source of life. If we are in relation with him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we ‘live’. Yet now the question arises: are we not in this way falling back once again into an individualistic understanding of salvation, into hope for myself alone, which is not true hope since it forgets and overlooks others? Indeed we are not! Our relationship with God is established through communion with Jesus—we cannot achieve it alone or from our own resources alone. The relationship with Jesus, however, is a relationship with the one who gave himself as a ransom for all (cf. 1Tim 2:6). Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into his ‘being for all’; it makes it our own way of being. He commits us to live for others, but only through communion with him does it become possible truly to be there for others, for the whole. […] And however much ‘for all’ may be part of the great hope—since I cannot be happy without others or in opposition to them—it remains true that a hope that does not concern me personally is not a real hope. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe Salvi, nos. 16, 27, 28, 30, November 30, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on the flesh of Christ and poverty as a theological category

  • The Word became man so that man might become a son of God

Incarnation derives from the Latin incarnatio. St Ignatius of Antioch — at the end of the first century — and, especially, St Irenaeus used this term in reflecting on the Prologue to the Gospel according to St John, in particular in the sentence ‘the Word became flesh’ (Jn 1:14). Here the word ‘flesh’, according to the Hebrew usage, indicates man in his whole self, the whole man, but in particular in the dimension of his transience and his temporality, his poverty and his contingency. This was in order to tell us that the salvation brought by God, who became man in Jesus of Nazareth, affects man in his material reality and in whatever situation he may be. God assumed the human condition to heal it from all that separates it from him, to enable us to call him, in his Only-Begotten Son, by the name of ‘Abba, Father’, and truly to be children of God. Saint Irenaeus stated: ‘For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God’ (Adversus Haereses, 3, 19, 1; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 460). (Benedict XVI. General Audience, January 9, 2013)

…judges Francis’ idea on evil in our times

  • A dictatorship of relativism – we however have a different goal: the Son of God

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine’, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires. We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An ‘adult’ faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty… (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Homily at Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass, April 18, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christ at the Final Judgment

  • The Judge will return: we must not live as if good and evil were the same

The Judge who returns at the same time as Judge and Saviour has left us the duty to live in this world in accordance with his way of living. […] Since God can only be merciful we do not live as if good and evil were the same thing. This would be a deception. In reality, we live with a great responsibility. We have talents, and our responsibility is to work so that this world may be open to Christ, that it be renewed. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, November 12, 2008)

  • God is justice and creates justice: grace does not cancel out justice such that whatever one has done ends up being of equal value

The image of the Last Judgment is not primarily an image of terror, but an image of hope; for us it may even be the decisive image of hope. Is it not also a frightening image? I would say: it is an image that evokes responsibility, an image, therefore, of that fear of which Saint Hilary spoke when he said that all our fear has its place in love (cf. Tractatus super Psalmos, Ps 127:1-3). God is justice and creates justice. This is our consolation and our hope. And in his justice there is also grace. This we know by turning our gaze to the crucified and risen Christ. Both these things—justice and grace—must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spe Salve, no. 44, November 30, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on doing good

  • Charity needs to be practiced in the light of truth, else it be misconstrued and emptied of meaning

I am aware of the ways in which charity has been and continues to be misconstrued and emptied of meaning, […] Hence the need to link charity with truth not only in the sequence, pointed out by Saint Paul, of veritas in caritate (Eph 4:15), but also in the inverse and complementary sequence of caritas in veritate. Truth needs to be sought, found and expressed within the ‘economy’ of charity, but charity in its turn needs to be understood, confirmed and practised in the light of truth. In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, but we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 2, June 29, 2009)

  • Without truth, charity is without value and degenerates into sentimentality

Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an authentic expression of humanity and as an element of fundamental importance in human relations, including those of a public nature. Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. 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. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. […] A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance. In other words, there would no longer be any real place for God in the world. Without truth, charity is confined to a narrow field devoid of relations. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, nos. 3-4, June 29, 2009)

  • Atheism is one of the chief obstacles to human development – humanism which excludes God is inhuman

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) […] 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. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 78, June 29, 2009)

…judges Francis’ idea on boasting of our sins

  • St. Paul is well aware that he is an earthen vessel in which God places the riches and power of his grace

What are the weaknesses that the Apostle is talking about? […] his attitude enables us to realize that every difficulty in following Christ and witnessing to his Gospel may be overcome by opening oneself with trust to the Lord’s action. St Paul is well aware that he is an ‘unworthy servant’ (Lk 17:10) — it is not he who has done great things, it is the Lord — an ‘earthen vessel’ (2Cor 4:7), in which God places the riches and power of his Grace. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, June 13, 2012)

  • St. Paul understands clearly how to face every event: God’s power is revealed at the very moment when we experience our own weakness

In this moment of concentrated contemplative prayer, St Paul understands clearly how to face and how to live every event, especially suffering, difficulty and persecution. The power of God, who does not abandon us or leave us on our own but becomes our support and strength, is revealed at the very moment when we experience our own weakness. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, June 13, 2012)

  • We must entrust ourselves to God as fragile earthen vessels, so that He may work miracles through our weakness

The Lord does not free us from evils, but helps us to mature in sufferings, difficulties and persecutions. […] Therefore, to the extent that our union with the Lord increases and that our prayers become intense, we also go to the essential and understand that it is not the power of our own means, our virtues, our skills that brings about the Kingdom of God but that it is God who works miracles precisely through our weakness, our inadequacy for the task. We must therefore have the humility not to trust merely in ourselves, but to work, with the Lord’s help, in the Lord’s vineyard, entrusting ourselves to him as fragile ‘earthen vessels’.(Benedict XVI. General Audience, June 13, 2012)

  • Sin ruins man’s relationship with God

Sin is the distortion or destruction of the relationship with God, this is its essence: it ruins the relationship with God, the fundamental relationship, by putting ourselves in God’s place. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, February 6, 2013)

…judges Francis’ idea on sin and mercy

  • The mercy of Jesus Christ takes nothing away from the gravity of sin

Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of God, has demonstrated this immense mercy, which takes nothing away from the gravity of sin, but aims always at saving the sinner, at offering him the possibility of redemption, of starting again from the beginning, of converting. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, October 31, 2010)

  • The pardon of the Lord incites us to acknowledge the gravity of sin

By experiencing the tenderness and pardon of the Lord, the penitent is more easily led to acknowledge the gravity of sin, is more resolved to avoid it in order to remain and grow in renewed friendship with him. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Confessors who serve in the four Papal Basilicas of Rome, February 19, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on communion to divorced in second union

  • The Church’s practice does not admit the ‘remarried’ to the sacraments: their condition contradicts Christ’s union with the Church, signified by the Eucharist

The Synod of Bishops confirmed the Church’s practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2-12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objectively contradict the loving union of Christ and the Church signified and made present in the Eucharist. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, no. 29)

…judges Francis’ idea on the incapacity of the Church to resolve the crisis of the family

  • To safeguard the family: swim against the tide of prevalent culture

In today’s world, where certain erroneous concepts concerning the human being, freedom and love are spreading, we must never tire of presenting anew the truth about the family institution, as God has desired it since creation. […] In our day it is especially the stability of the family that is at risk; to safeguard it one often has to swim against the tide of the prevalent culture, and this demands patience, effort, sacrifice and the ceaseless quest for mutual understanding. Today, however, it is possible for husbands and wives to overcome their difficulties and remain faithful to their vocation with recourse to God’s support, with prayer and participating devotedly in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, May 13, 2006)

  • Be committed Christians: a culture favorable to the family flows from faith lived with courage

This pastoral commitment is made more urgent by the growing crisis of married life and the declining birth rate. […] It is within the complexity of these situations that you are called to promote the Christian meaning of life through the explicit proclamation of the Gospel, brought with gentle pride and great joy to the various milieus of daily life. From faith lived with courage, today as in the past, flows a rich culture of love for life, from conception until its natural end, the promotion of human dignity, of the elevation of the importance of the family based on faithful marriage and open to life, and of the commitment to justice and solidarity. The cultural changes taking place are asking you to be committed Christians. (Benedict XVI. Pastoral Visit to Aquileia and Venice: address to the Preparatory Assembly for the Second Ecclesial convention of Aquileia, May 7, 2011)

  • The duty of Pastors: presenting the extraordinary value of marriage

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. […] Today, it is necessary to proclaim with renewed enthusiasm that the Gospel of the family is a process of human and spiritual fulfilment in the certainty that the Lord is always present with his grace. This proclamation is often distorted by false concepts of marriage and the family that do not respect God’s original plan. In this regard, people have actually reached the point of suggesting new forms of marriage, some unknown to popular cultures in that its specific nature is altered. (Address to the participants of the Meeting of Presidents of Latin American Episcopal Commissions for the Family and Life, December 3, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea on the harmony among good and evil

  • The unity of the first community of believers was nourished by the teaching of the Apostles

According to Acts, the unity of believers was seen in the fact that ‘they devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers’ (Acts 2:42). The unity of believers was thus nourished by the teaching of the Apostles (the proclamation of God’s word), to which they responded with unanimous faith, by fraternal communion (the service of charity), by the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist and the sacraments), and by prayer, both personal and communal. It was on these four pillars that communion and witness were based within the first community of believers. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, no. 5, September 14, 2012)

  • The communion of the baptized is visibly 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 (cf. Lumen gentium, 13). 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 (cf. ibid; Acts 2:42). […] 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 (cf. CIC, can. 205; Lumen gentium, 13; 14; 21; 22; Unitatis redintegratio, 2; 3; 4; 15; 20; Christus Dominus, 4; Ad gentes, 22.) (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Contitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, November 4, 2009)

  • The Church: the place of unity and communion in truth

Jesus says: ‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth’ (Jn 16:13). Here, in speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus explains to us what the Church is and how she should live in order to be herself, to be the place of unity and communion in Truth; […] Dear friends, we must live in accordance with the Spirit of unity and truth and this is why we should pray that the Spirit illuminate and guide us so that we may overcome our fascination with following our own truths and receive the truth of Christ, passed on in the Church. (Benedict XVI. Homily Solemnity of Pentecost, May 27, 2012)

…judges Francis’ idea on the evils in our times

  • Dictatorship of relativism: the evil of our times

How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what Saint Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4:14) comes true. Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine’, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Mass Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, April 18, 2005)

  • A satisfactory solution for problems requires the proclamation of the truth 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 present crisis challenges the Church devise effective ways of proclaiming the path of salvation

Among these, I would mention in the first place the need for a comprehensive study of the crisis of modernity. European culture in recent centuries has been powerfully conditioned by the notion of modernity. The present crisis, however, has less to do with modernity’s insistence on the centrality of man and his concerns, than with the problems raised by a ‘humanism’ that claims to build a regnum hominis detached from its necessary ontological foundation. A false dichotomy between theism and authentic humanism, taken to the extreme of positing an irreconcilable conflict between divine law and human freedom, has led to a situation in which humanity, for all its economic and technical advances, feels deeply threatened […] A third issue needing to be investigated concerns the nature of the contribution which Christianity can make to the humanism of the future., and thus of modernity, challenges the Church to devise effective The question of man, and thus of modernity, challenges the Church to devise effective ways of proclaiming to contemporary culture the ‘realism’ of her faith in the saving work of Christ. Christianity must not be relegated to the world of myth and emotion, but respected for its claim to shed light on the truth about man, to be able to transform men and women spiritually, and thus to enable them to carry out their vocation in history. (Benedict XVI. Speech to the participants in the First European Meeting of University Lecturers, June 23, 2007)

  • Disoriented youth need that the faith be proclaimed to them – the heart of the Church’s mission

To proclaim faith in the Word made flesh is, after all, at the heart of the Church’s mission, and the entire ecclesial community needs to rediscover this indispensable task with renewed missionary zeal. Young generations have an especially keen sense of the present disorientation, magnified by the crisis in economic affairs which is also a crisis of values, and so they in particular need to recognize in Jesus Christ ‘the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of human history’ (Gaudium et Spes, 10). (Benedict XVI. Homily, December 31, 2011)

  • Facing the ignorance of deepest spiritual roots: open yourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit so that no one is left without the indispensable spiritual food

I note with pleasure that one of the pastoral initiatives that you consider most urgently necessary for the Church in Ecuador is the realization of the ‘great mission’ […] The call that the Lord Jesus addressed to his disciples, sending them out to preach his message of salvation and to make disciples of all the peoples (cf. Mt 28: 16-20) must be a constant cause of meditation and the raison d’être of all pastoral action for the entire ecclesial community. Today too, as in all times and places, men and women need a personal encounter with Christ, in which they can experience the beauty of his life and the truth of his message. To face the numerous challenges of your mission amid a cultural and social environment that seems to forget the deepest spiritual roots of its identity, I ask you to open yourselves with docility to the action of the Holy Spirit so that under the impetus of his divine power the missionary zeal of the first Gospel preaching, as well as of the first proclamation of the Gospel in your regions, may be renewed. This requires that you make a generous effort to spread the Word of God in such a way that no one is left without this indispensable spiritual food, the source of life and light. The reading of and meditation on Sacred Scripture, in private or in the community, will lead to the intensification of Christian life, as well as to a renewed apostolic impulse in all the faithful. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Ecuador on their ad limina visit, no. 2, October 16, 2008)

 

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 14

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 the Pope should not judge

  • The Pope bears the highest responsibility for Catholic Christianity

But the invitation to give this address was extended to me as Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, who bears the highest responsibility for Catholic Christianity. In issuing this invitation you are acknowledging the role that the Holy See plays as a partner within the community of peoples and states. Setting out from this international responsibility that I hold, I should like to propose to you some thoughts on the foundations of a free state of law. (Benedict XVI. Address, Visit to the Federal Parliament, the Budenstag, in the Reichstag Building, Berlin, September 22, 2011)

  • Christian faith and ethics do not wish to stifle love, but to make it healthy

Christian faith and ethics do not wish to stifle love but to make it healthy, strong and truly free: this is the exact meaning of the Ten Commandments, which are not a series of ‘noes’ but a great ‘yes’ to love and to life. Human love, in fact, needs to be purified, to mature and also to surpass itself if it is to be able to become fully human, to be the beginning of true and lasting joy, to respond, that is, to the question of eternity which it bears within it and which it cannot renounce without betraying itself.

This is the principal reason why love between a man and a woman is only completely fulfilled in marriage. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants of the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, June 5, 2006)

  • There is a biological basis of the difference between the sexes

Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes. I am thinking, for example, of certain countries in Europe or North and South America. Saint Columban stated that: ‘If you take away freedom, you take away dignity’ (Ep. 4 ad Attela, in S. Columbani Opera, Dublin, 1957, p. 34). Yet freedom cannot be absolute, since man is not himself God, but the image of God, God’s creation. For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or willfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator. (Benedict XVI. Address to the the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the Traditional Exchange of New Year Greetings, January 11, 2010)

  • Profound falsehood of the ‘anthropological revolution’ in the new philosophy of sexuality of our times

While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: ‘one is not born a woman, one becomes so’ (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term ‘gender’ as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: ‘male and female he created them’ (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. (Benedict XVI. Address, Christmas Greetings to the members of the Roman Curia, December 21, 2012)

  • Denying the natural structure of marriage between a man and a woman brings serious harm to justice and peace

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 46th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2013)

  • A radical denial of the nature of the creature

The most dangerous snare of this current of thought is in fact the absolutization of man: man wants to be ab-solutus, freed from every bond and from every natural constitution. He claims to be independent and thinks that his happiness lies in his own self-affirmation. ‘Man calls his nature into question…. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be’ (Discourse to the Roman Curia, 21 December 2012). This is a radical denial of the nature of the creature and child in man, which ends in tragic loneliness. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, January 19, 2013)

… judges Francis’ ideas on the evangelization of the Americas

  • The priceless treasure of Latin America is faith in God – not a political ideology

This is the priceless treasure that is so abundant in Latin America, this is her most precious inheritance: faith in the God who is Love, who has shown us his face in Jesus Christ. You believe in the God who is Love: this is your strength, which overcomes the world, the joy that nothing and no one can ever take from you, the peace that Christ won for you by his Cross! This is the faith that has made America the ‘Continent of Hope.’ Not a political ideology, not a social movement, not an economic system: faith in the God who is Love—who took flesh, died and rose in Jesus Christ—is the authentic basis for this hope which has brought forth such a magnificent harvest from the time of the first evangelization until today… (Benedict XVI. Holy Mass for the inauguration of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida – Homily, May 13, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church reduced to a minority

  • The principal task of the Church is evangelization

The Church is missionary by nature and her principal task is evangelization, which aims to proclaim and to witness to Christ and to promote his Gospel of peace and love in every environment and culture. […] The Church is also called in the military world to be ‘salt’, ‘light’ and ‘leaven’, to use the images to which Jesus himself refers, so that mindsets and structures may be ever more fully oriented to building peace, in other words, to that ‘order planned and willed by the love of God’ (Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 2006), in which people and peoples can develop to the full and see their own fundamental rights recognized (ibid., n.4). (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the Fifth National congress of Military Ordinariates, October 26, 2006)

…judges Francis’ idea on Communism

  • The wounds of Communism have not yet completely healed

Venerable Brothers, the Lord has chosen you to work in his vineyard in a society that only recently emerged from the sad winter of persecution. While the wounds that Communism inflicted on your peoples have not yet completely healed, the influence of a secularism that exalts the mirages of consumerism and makes man the measure of himself is growing. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia on their ad limina visit, June 23, 2006)

  • A hardened regime, but it could not make the Church bow down

Blessed Alojzije Stepinac responded with his priesthood, with the episcopate, with the sacrifice of his life: a unique ‘yes’ united to that of Christ. His martyrdom signals the culmination of the violence perpetrated against the Church during the terrible period of communist persecution. Croatian Catholics, and in particular the clergy, were objects of oppression and systematic abuse, aimed at destroying the Catholic Church, beginning with its highest Authority in this place. That particularly difficult period was characterized by a generation of Bishops, priests and Religious who were ready to die rather than to betray Christ, the Church and the Pope. The people saw that the priests never lost faith, hope and charity, and thus they remained always united. This unity explains what is humanly inexplicable: that such a hardened regime could not make the Church bow down. (Benedict XVI. Celebration of Vespers with Bishops, Priests, Religious and Seminarians and prayer at the tomb of Blessed Alojzije Viktor Stepinac, June 5, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on equality as the source of justice and happiness

  • The Marxist reproach of charity in the name of ‘justice’ is mistaken

Since the nineteenth century, an objection has been raised to the Church’s charitable activity, subsequently developed with particular insistence by Marxism: the poor, it is claimed, do not need charity but justice. Works of charity—almsgiving—are in effect a way for the rich to shirk their obligation to work for justice and a means of soothing their consciences, while preserving their own status and robbing the poor of their rights. Instead of contributing through individual works of charity to maintaining the status quo, we need to build a just social order in which all receive their share of the world’s goods and no longer have to depend on charity. There is admittedly some truth to this argument, but also much that is mistaken. It is true that the pursuit of justice must be a fundamental norm of the State and that the aim of a just social order is to guarantee to each person, according to the principle of subsidiarity, his share of the community’s goods. This has always been emphasized by Christian teaching on the State and by the Church’s social doctrine. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Deus caritas est, no. 26, December 25, 2005)

  • The socialization of means of production left behind a trail of appalling destruction

He [Marx] 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. […] 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. […] 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. 21, November 30, 2007)

…judges Francis’ idea on the immortality of the soul

  • A distinguishing mark of Christians: they know that their lives will not end in emptiness

You must not ‘grieve as others do who have no hope’ (1Thess 4:13). Here too we see as a distinguishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness. Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well. So now we can say: Christianity was not only ‘good news’—the communication of a hitherto unknown content. In our language we would say: the Christian message was not only ‘informative’ but ‘performative’. That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Spes salvi, no. 2, November 30, 2007)

  • The Judge has entrusted talents to us – now we must work so that the world may be open to Christ

The Judge who returns at the same time as Judge and Saviour has left us the duty to live in this world in accordance with his way of living. He has entrusted his talents to us. Our third conviction, therefore, is responsibility before Christ for the world, for our brethren and at the same time also for the certainty of his mercy. Both these things are important. Since God can only be merciful we do not live as if good and evil were the same thing. This would be a deception. In reality, we live with a great responsibility. We have talents, and our responsibility is to work so that this world may be open to Christ, that it be renewed. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, November 12, 2008)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s omnipotence

  • We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution

We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. (Benedict XVI. Homily of the Mass of the Imposition of the Pallium and conferral of the Fisherman’s Ring at the beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, April 24, 2005)

  • The notion of creation must transcend our naturalistic ways of thinking and speaking about the evolution of the world

Thomas Aquinas taught that the notion of creation must transcend the horizontal origin of the unfolding of events, which is history, and consequently all our purely naturalistic ways of thinking and speaking about the evolution of the world. Thomas observed that creation is neither a movement nor a mutation. It is instead the foundational and continuing relationship that links the creature to the Creator, for he is the cause of every being and all becoming (cf. Summa Theologica, I, q.45, a. 3). (Benedict XVI. Address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 31, 2008)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of consciences

  • Forming upright consciences receptive to the demands of justice

Yet one of the tasks of the Church in Africa consists in forming upright consciences receptive to the demands of justice, so as to produce men and women willing and able to build this just social order by their responsible conduct. (Benedict XVI. Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus, no. 22, November 19, 2011)

…judges Francis’ idea on knowing God’s will from the people

  • Christ’s voice rings out in the preaching of the Apostles and their successors

How can we listen to the voice of the Lord and recognize it? In the preaching of the Apostles and of their successors in which Christ’s voice rings out, calling us to communion with God and to the fullness of life. As we read today in the Gospel of Saint John: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand’ (Jn 10: 27-28). The Good Shepherd alone tends his flock with deep tenderness and protects it from evil, and in him alone can the faithful put absolute trust. (Benedict XVI. Regina Caeli, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 25, 2010)

  • St. Paul did not preach an à la carte Christianity, nor shrink from the commitment to proclaiming the whole of God’s will – that’s our mission

This is important; the Apostle did not preach an à la carte Christianity to suit his own inclinations, he did not preach a Gospel to suit his own favourite theological ideas; he did not shrink from the commitment to proclaiming the whole of God’s will, even an inconvenient will and even topics of which he was personally not so enamoured. It is our mission to proclaim the whole of God’s will, in its totality and ultimate simplicity. But it is important that we teach and preach — as Saint Paul says here — and really propose the will of God in its entirety. […]Thus we must make known and understood — as far as we are able — the content of the Church’s Creed, from the Creation until the Lord’s return, until the new world. Doctrine, liturgy, morals, prayer — the four parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church — indicate this totality of God’s will. (Benedict XVI. Lectio Divina, Meeting with the Parish Priests of the Rome Diocese, March 10, 2011)

  • God himself speaks through His Word, Jesus, who continues his ministry passing through the Apostles

And lastly, proclamation: the one who proclaims does not speak on his own behalf but is sent. He fits into a structure of mission that begins with Jesus, sent by the Father, passes through the Apostles the term ‘apostles’ means ‘those who are sent’ and continues in the ministry, in the missions passed down by the Apostles. The new fabric of history takes shape in this structure of missions in which we ultimately hear God himself speaking, his personal Word, the Son speaks with us, reaches us. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, December 10, 2008)

  • The wisdom of God often appears to be foolishness in the eyes of the world            

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). (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the International Congress on the 40th Anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, September 16, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea on contemplative life

  • The religious have at their disposal a wisdom that the world does not possess

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others. As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door. I therefore recall with admiration and gratitude the women and men’s cloistered monasteries. Today more than ever they are oases of peace and hope, a precious treasure for the whole Church, especially since they recall the primacy of God and the importance, for the journey of faith, of constant and intense prayer. (Benedict XVI. General Audience, December 1, 2010)

  • In a world growingly incapable of silence, the charism of the Charterhouse is a precious gift

In recent decades, moreover, the development of the media has spread and extended a phenomenon that had already been outlined in the 1960s: virtuality risks predominating over reality. Unbeknownst to them, people are increasingly becoming immersed in a virtual dimension because of the audiovisual messages that accompany their life from morning to night. […] Some people are no longer able to remain for long periods in silence and solitude. I chose to mention this socio-cultural condition because it highlights the specific charism of the Charterhouse as a precious gift for the Church and for the world, a gift that contains a deep message for our life and for the whole of humanity. (Benedict XVI. Liturgy of Vespers in the church of the Charterhouse of Serra San Bruno, October 9, 2011)

  • Your place is not on the fringes – you are in the heart of the Church

This is why I have come here, dear Brothers who make up the Carthusian Community of Serra San Bruno, to tell you that the Church needs you and that you need the Church! Your place is not on the fringes: no vocation in the People of God is on the fringes. We are one body, in which every member is important and has the same dignity, and is inseparable from the whole. You too, who live in voluntary isolation, are in the heart of the Church and make the pure blood of contemplation and of the love of God course through your veins. (Benedict XVI. Liturgy of Vespers in the church of the Charterhouse of Serra San Bruno, October 9, 2011)

  • Deep bond between pastoral service and the contemplative vocation

I would like our meeting to highlight the deep bond that exists between Peter and Bruno, between pastoral service to the Church’s unity and the contemplative vocation in the Church. Ecclesial communion, in fact, demands an inner force, that force which Father Prior has just recalled, citing the expression ‘captus ab Uno’, ascribed to St Bruno: ‘grasped by the One’, by God, ‘Unus potens per omnia’, as we sang in the Vespers hymn. From the contemplative community the ministry of pastors draws a spiritual sap that comes from God. ‘Fugitiva relinquere et aeterna captare’: to abandon transient realities and seek to grasp that which is eternal. These words from the letter your Founder addressed to Rudolph, Provost of Rheims, contain the core of your spirituality (cf. Letter to Rudolph, n. 13): the strong desire to enter in union of life with God, abandoning everything else, everything that stands in the way of this communion, and letting oneself be grasped by the immense love of God to live this love alone. Dear brothers you have found the hidden treasure, the pearl of great value (cf. Mt 13:44-46). (Benedict XVI. Liturgy of Vespers in the church of the Charterhouse of Serra San Bruno, October 9, 2011)

  • The prayer of contemplatives sustains the fervor of the priesthood

In certain places in Africa, a monastery of contemplative religious has been established in the vicinity of the major seminary. Is it not especially meaningful that those who saw the necessity of promoting vocations to the priesthood, so as to enable the young churches to become fully implanted in the native soil, also professed their conviction that only the grace of God, humbly sought in constant prayer, could sustain the fervor of the priesthood? I ask you therefore, as a special request on this occasion, to make it one of the primary intentions of your prayers, to beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (cf. Mt 9:38). (John Paul II. Address to the Sisters of the Order of Carmel, Nairobi, May 7, 1980)

  • An apostolate of greatest ecclesial and redemptive value – example Saint Theresa of Lisieux: the ‘Patroness of the Missions’

Following the steps of Saint Benedict, or Saint Bernard, Saint Clare of Assisi or Saint Teresa of Avila, cloistered nuns assume, full time, this service of divine praise and intercession in the name of the Church. This form of life is also an apostolate of greatest ecclesial and redemptive value, which Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus illustrated magnificently in the course of her short existence in the Carmel of Lisieux. Let us not forget that Pope Pius XI proclaimed her as ‘Patroness of the Missions.’ (John Paul II. Address to women religious gathered in the Carmel of Kinshasa, Zaire, no. 4, May 3, 1980)

  • You accompany the apostolic mission of evangelizers, your collaboration in the new evangelization is particularly important

Dear sisters, you are the representatives of the special vocation of contemplative life that has passed through the history of the Church, reminding everyone of the urgency of constantly walking toward the definitive encounter with God and the blessed. […] How precious is your vocation of special consecration! It is truly a gift situated in the heart of the mystery of ecclesial communion, accompanying the apostolic mission of so many in their efforts to announce the Gospel. The collaboration that you are called to offer in the new evangelization is particularly important. (John Paul II. Address to cloistered religious, Loreto, September 10, 1995)

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)