Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 9

AM+DG

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

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

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Benedict XVI…

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

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

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

  • Sects are not stable

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

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

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

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • In pierced side of Christ, we deposit our faith

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

  • To live the faith implies daily sacrifice, implies suffering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • There are many forms of poverty other than material poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pope Benedict Vs. Francis: Part 8

AM+DG

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

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

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

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

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

  • Jesus showed how justice and mercy come together perfectly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…judges Francis’ idea on studying theology

  • Theology is essentially the interpretation of Scripture

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

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A twofold commandment of faith: to believe in God and to believe in Jesus. In fact, the Lord said to his disciples: ‘Believe in God, believe also in me’ (Jn 14:1). They are not two separate acts but one single act of faith, full adherence to salvation wrought by God the Father through his Only-begotten Son. The New Testament puts an end to the Father’s invisibility. God has shown his face, as Jesus’ answer to the Apostle Philip confirms: ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (Jn 14:9). (Benedict XVI. Regina Caeli, May 22, 2001)

  • Believing in God means accepting Jesus of Nazareth

Believing in God means giving up our own prejudices and accepting the actual face in which he revealed himself: Jesus of Nazareth the man. And this process also leads to recognizing him and to serving him in others. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, February 3, 2013)

  • Acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pope Benedicts Vs. Francis: Part 7

AM+DG

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

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

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Benedict XVI…

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

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

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

  • Jesus showed how justice and mercy come together perfectly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…judges Francis’ idea on studying theology

  • Theology is essentially the interpretation of Scripture

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

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A twofold commandment of faith: to believe in God and to believe in Jesus. In fact, the Lord said to his disciples: ‘Believe in God, believe also in me’ (Jn 14:1). They are not two separate acts but one single act of faith, full adherence to salvation wrought by God the Father through his Only-begotten Son. The New Testament puts an end to the Father’s invisibility. God has shown his face, as Jesus’ answer to the Apostle Philip confirms: ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (Jn 14:9). (Benedict XVI. Regina Caeli, May 22, 2001)

  • Believing in God means accepting Jesus of Nazareth

Believing in God means giving up our own prejudices and accepting the actual face in which he revealed himself: Jesus of Nazareth the man. And this process also leads to recognizing him and to serving him in others. (Benedict XVI. Angelus, February 3, 2013)

  • Acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sects are not stable

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

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

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