Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: The Past 50 Years Have Caused A Great Crisis Of Faith!

PopemassBy, Bradley Eli, M. Div., MA.Th

VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is saying belief that all men are saved has crippled missionary efforts and caused many Christians to leave the Faith.

An interview of the former Pope, conducted last year, is being published today in L’Osservatore Romano. In it the former pontiff is reaffirming the dogma that there’s only one true Church outside of which there is no salvation.

Discounting false churches that are founded on “assembly of men who have some ideas in common,” Pope Benedict says they cannot be “the guarantor of eternal life.”

Contrasting self-created institutions with the Catholic Church, Benedict clarifies, “The Church is not self-made; She was created by God, and She is continuously formed by Him.”

He refutes the modern notion that all men are saved, commenting that men of today have “the sense that God cannot let most of humanity be damned.”

Pope Emeritus notes that starting in “the second half of the last century,” mankind believed “God cannot let go to perdition all the unbaptized” or even let them go to a place of “purely natural happiness,” which the Church calls Limbo.

Benedict contrasts the zeal of “the great missionaries of the 16th century” who “were still convinced that those who are not baptized are forever lost” with the lackluster missionary efforts after the Second Vatican Council, when “that conviction was finally abandoned” by many.

The former pontiff affirms that the lost conviction that the Church is necessary for salvation causes “a deep double crisis.”

“On the one hand this seems to remove any motivation for a future missionary commitment,” he says. “Why should one try to convince the people to accept the Christian faith when they can be saved even without it?”

Benedict also notes that many Catholics were scandalized by this presumption into leaving the Church, explaining, “If there are those who can save themselves in other ways, it is not clear, in the final analysis, why the Christian himself is bound by the requirements of the Christian faith and its morals.”

He then attacks the faulty attempts to “reconcile the universal necessity of the Christian faith with the opportunity to save oneself without it.”

After dismissing Karl Rahner’s mistaken notion that most men are saved as anonymous Christians, Benedict turns to another popular theory. “Even less acceptable is the solution proposed by the pluralistic theories of religion, for which all religions, each in their own way, would be ways of salvation, and in this sense, in their effects must be considered equivalent.”

In saying all this, Pope Emeritus Benedict is affirming the constant teaching that the Catholic Church is the only true Church and is absolutely necessary for salvation.

Pope Benedict XVI: I Am Not Abandoning The Church!

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful as he leads his Urbi et Orbi at the VaticanEWTN news/CNA

Dear brothers and sisters!
On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy  always presents us with the  Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The  evangelist Luke places  particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was  transfigured as he  prayed: his is a profound experience of relationship with  the Father  during a sort of spiritual retreat that Jesus lives on a high  mountain  in the company of Peter, James and John, the three disciples always  present in moments of divine manifestation of the Master (Luke 5:10,  8.51,  9.28).

The Lord, who shortly before had foretold his  death and resurrection  (9:22), offers his disciples a foretaste of his  glory. And even in the  Transfiguration, as in baptism, we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father, “This  is my Son, the Chosen One listen to him”  (9:35). The presence of Moses and  Elijah, representing the Law and the  Prophets of the Old Covenant, it is highly  significant: the whole  history of the Alliance is focused on Him, the Christ,  who accomplishes a new “exodus” (9:31), not to the promised land as in the time  of Moses,  but to Heaven. Peter’s words: “Master, it is good that we are here”  (9.33) represents the impossible attempt to stop this mystical  experience. St.  Augustine says: “[Peter] … on the mountain … had  Christ as the food of the  soul. Why should he come down to return to the labors and pains, while up there  he was full of feelings of holy love  for God that inspired in him a holy  conduct? “(Sermon 78.3).

We can draw a very important lesson from meditating on this passage of the  Gospel. First, the primacy of prayer, without which all the work of the  apostolate and of charity is reduced to activism. In Lent we learn to  give  proper time to prayer, both personal and communal, which gives  breath to our  spiritual life. In addition, to pray is not to isolate  oneself from the world  and its contradictions, as Peter wanted on Tabor, instead prayer leads us back  to the path, to action. “The Christian  life – I wrote in my Message for Lent –  consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back  down, bearing the love  and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers  and sisters  with God’s own love “(n. 3).

Dear brothers and sisters, I  feel that this Word of God is particularly  directed at me, at this point in my life. The Lord is calling me to “climb the  mountain,” to devote  myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does  not mean  abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so  that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same  love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better  suited to my  age and my strength. Let us invoke the intercession of the  Virgin Mary: may she  always help us all to follow the Lord Jesus in  prayer and works of  charity.

Love And Truth Are The Same Reality!

Jesus Came To Bear Witness To The Truth.

Matthew 10:34.  “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

That Sword Is Truth!pope-benedict-xvi-blessing-of-the-host

Ewtn News.com

By, Junno De Jesús Arocho EstevesVatican City, February 04, 2013 (Zenit.org) – On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square during his weekly Sunday Angelus address, reminding them of the day’s readings that touched upon announcing the truth without fear.

Recounting the Gospel of Luke, the Holy Father said that the continuation of last Sunday’s Gospel reading where Jesus’ fellow Nazarenes are bewildered by his words, thus fulfilling the proverb: “No prophet is accepted in his own land.”

“At this point it is natural to ask: Why did Jesus wish to provoke this rupture?” the Pope said. “At the beginning the people admired him and perhaps they would have achieved a certain consensus… but this is exactly the point: Jesus did not come to seek consensus among men, but – as he will say in the end to Pilate – to ‘bear witness to truth’.”

Pope Benedict went on to say that a true prophet obeys no one but God in order to serve the truth, even if it means personal sacrifice. In regards to Jesus, the Holy Father referred to Him as the “prophet of love.”

“Indeed, love and truth are 2 names of the same reality, 2 names of God,” the Holy Father said.

“Believing in God means giving up our own prejudices and welcoming the concrete form in which he reveals himself: the man Jesus of Nazareth. And this path also leads to recognizing and serving him in others.”

The Supreme Pontiff cited the Blessed Virgin Mary as an enlightening model of one who carries “the mystery in her heart and knew how to welcome it continually more and more on the journey of faith to the night of the cross and the brilliance of the resurrection.”

Following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Benedict recognized the observation of the first Sunday of February as the “Day for Life” and greeted representatives of the Movement for Life as well as representatives of the departments of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Rome. The Holy Father encouraged them to continue their work and to train healthcare workers “in the culture of life.”

When God Is Denied Human Dignity Disappears!

Pope Benedict XVI

Moral Relativism Is Leading Mankind To The Abyss!

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Pope Benedict has weighed in on the issue of “gay marriage.”  Our Holy Father continues to be extremely concerned about the current state of the world, especially as it pertains to many governments and peoples out right rejection of the moral and natural law.  Once again, our Holy Father has stated that the “very future of mankind is at stake.”  The following are highlights of one of the pope’s end of the year speeches delivered today in Italian.

The Telegraph:

Pope Benedict XVI: “In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question,” the Pope said in Italian during an end-of-year speech.

“The question of the family … is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men,” he said.

The Pope spoke of the “falseness” of gender theories and cited at length France’s chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

“Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper,” he said.

He cited feminist gender theorist Simone de Beauvoir’s view to the effect that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so – that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves.

“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious,” he said.

The defence of the family, the Pope said, “is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears.”

On Monday, the Vatican’s newspaper described laws on gay marriage as an attempt at a communist-like “utopia”, a day after tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out in France to support legalizing both marriages and adoption for gay couples.

France’s parliament is to debate the government-backed “marriage for all” bill early next year.

With President Francois Hollande’s Socialists enjoying a strong majority, the bill is expected to pass despite vehement opposition from the right and religious groups.

Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake.  

Moral consensus is collapsing… Consequently the forces mobilized for the defense of such structures seem doomed to failure.  However, the grave challenges confronting the world at the start of this new Millennium lead us to think that only an intervention from on high, capable of guiding the hearts of those living in situations of conflict and those governing the destinies of nations, can give reason to hope for a brighter future.

Papal Smack Down!

“The Church’s Charitable Work Is Inseparable from Her Work Of Proclaiming The Gospel!

The Church Must Offer Our Contemporaries Not Only Material Assistance But Care For Their Souls!”


In light of the ever growing scandal of Catholic organizations providing funding to organizations that are in direct conflict with Church teaching, Pope Benedict has issued a Motu Proprio (letter).  In his Motu Proprio,  Pope Benedict makes it clear that he is not happy with the abuses involving some of the Catholic Church’s social justice organizations.   The following are highlights of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio concerning authentic charity.

Pope Benedict XVI-“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”

It is important, however, to keep in mind that “practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ” (ibid., 34). In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance (cf. ibid., 31).

Nevertheless, to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church’s Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful, and that they likewise respect the legitimate norms laid down by civil authorities. In view of these requirements, it became necessary to establish in the Church’s law certain essential norms inspired by the general criteria of canonical discipline, which would make explicit in this sector of activity the legal responsibilities assumed by the various subjects involved, specifying in particular the position of authority and coordination belonging to the diocesan Bishop. At the same time, the norms in question need to be broad enough to embrace the significant diversity of the institutions of Catholic inspiration which are engaged as such in this sector, whether those originating from the Hierarchy or those born of the direct initiative of the faithful, received and encouraged by the local Pastors. While it was necessary to lay down norms in this regard, there was also a need to consider the requirements of justice and the responsibility of Bishops before the faithful, with respect for the legitimate autonomy of each institution.

The diocesan Bishop (cf. canon 134 § 3 CIC and canon 987 CCEO) exercises his proper pastoral solicitude for the service of charity in the particular Church entrusted to him as its Pastor, guide and the one primarily responsible for that service.

 The diocesan Bishop encourages and supports the initiatives and works of service to neighbor in his particular Church, and encourages in the faithful the spirit of practical charity as an expression of the Christian life and sharing in the mission of the Church, as indicated in canons 215 and 222 CIC and 25 and 18 CCEO.

It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that in the activities and management of these agencies the norms of the Church’s universal and particular law are respected, as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes (cf. canons 1300 CIC and 1044 CCEO).

To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church’s charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity. To this end, he is also to provide for their theological and pastoral formation, through specific curricula agreed upon by the officers of various agencies and through suitable aids to the spiritual life.

 It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.

To read the entire text from the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, Click here.

The Very Future Of The World Is At Stake!

Pope Benedict Discusses The Apocalypse And The Signs Of Our Times!

Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican City

Dear brothers and sisters,

On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, Jesus’ discourse about the end times  is proclaimed at Mass (cf. Mark 13:24-32). This discourse is also found, with some variations, in Matthew and Luke, and it is probably the most difficult text in the Gospels.

This difficulty derives both from the content and the language: Jesus speaks of a future that is beyond our categories, and because of this Jesus uses images and words taken from the Old Testament, but, importantly, he inserts a new center, namely, himself, the mystery of his person and his death and resurrection. Today’s passage too opens with some cosmic images of an apocalyptic nature: “The sun will be darkened, the moon will no longer give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers in the skies will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25); but this element is relativized by what follows: “Then the Son of Man will come upon the clouds in the sky with great power and glory” (13:26). The “Son of Man” is Jesus himself, who links the present with the future; the ancient words of the prophets have finally found a center in the person of the Messiah of Nazareth: he is the central event that, in the midst of the troubles of the world, remains the firm and stable point.

Another passage from today’s Gospel confirms. Jesus says: “The sky and the earth will pass away but my words will not pass away” (13:31). In fact, we know that in the Bible the word of God is at the origin of creation: all creatures, starting with the cosmic elements – sun, moon, sky – obey God’s Word, they exist insofar as they are “called” by it. This creative power of the divine Word (“Parola”) is concentrated in Jesus Christ, the Word (“Verbo”) made flesh, and also passes through his human words, which are the true “sky” that orients the thought and path of man on earth. For this reason Jesus does not describe the end of the world and when he uses apocalyptic images he does not conduct himself like a “visionary.” On the contrary, he wants to take away the curiosity of his disciples in every age about dates and predictions and wishes instead to give them a key to a deep, essential reading, and above all to indicate the right path to take, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life. Everything passes – the Lord tells us – but God’s Word does not change, and before this Word each of us is responsible for his conduct. It is on this basis that we will be judged.

Dear friends, even in our times there is no lack of natural calamities, nor, unfortunately, of war and violence. Today too we need a stable basis for our life and our hope, much more because of the relativism in which we are immersed. May the Virgin help us to accept this center in the Person of Christ and in his Word.

The following are a set of quotes from the Holy Father regarding the times in which we now live.

Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake.  

The most terrifying sign of the times… [for now] there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view.

The tyranny of mammon […] perverts mankind. No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it. 

Moral consensus is collapsing… Consequently the forces mobilized for the defense of such structures seem doomed to failure.  However, the grave challenges confronting the world at the start of this new Millennium lead us to think that only an intervention from on high, capable of guiding the hearts of those living in situations of conflict and those governing the destinies of nations, can give reason to hope for a brighter future.

Pope Benedict XVI: Liturgical Abuses Detract From Christ!

“If The Centrality Of Christ Does Not Emerge In The Celebration, Then It Is Not A Christian Liturgy!”

By: David Kerr

Vatican City, Oct 3, 2012 / 09:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).– Pope Benedict XVI has reminded Catholics that the liturgy belongs to Jesus Christ and his Church, and should not be changed according to individual whims.

“It is not the individual – priest or layman – or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God’s action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity,” the Pope said during his Oct. 3 general audience in Rome.

“This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts, but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church,” he stated.

With over 20,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope explained how the Church is made most visible in the liturgy where “God enters into our reality and we can meet him, we can touch him.” The liturgy is where “he comes to us, and we are enlightened by him.”

The primary importance of Jesus Christ within the liturgy has been a constant theme of Pope Benedict’s teaching during his seven-year pontificate. He has often expressed concern that bad teaching can lead some Catholics to view the liturgy “horizontally” as the creation of a parish or group in which the community celebrates itself. “The liturgy is not a kind of ‘self-manifestation’ of a community,” he told pilgrims.

Pope Benedict noted that when priests or parishioners reflect on how to make the liturgy “attractive, interesting and beautiful,” they can “risk forgetting the essential: That is the liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves.”

To help counter such erroneous concepts, Pope Benedict XVI’s papal liturgies are always celebrated with a prominent crucifix placed centrally upon the altar.

The liturgy is God’s work and he is the subject, the Pope said, adding that this means when it comes to the liturgy we must “open ourselves to him and be guided by him and his body which is the Church.”

“If the centrality of Christ does not emerge in the celebration, then it is not a Christian liturgy, totally dependent on the Lord and sustained by his creative presence,” he said.

“God acts through Christ, and we can only act through him and in him.”

This conviction must grow in the hearts and minds of Catholics each day because “the liturgy is not our, my, ‘action,’ but the action of God in us and with us.”

“Let us ask the Lord to learn every day to live the sacred liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, praying in the ‘we’ of the Church, that directs its gaze not in on itself, but to God, and feeling part of the living Church of all places and of all time,” Pope Benedict said in conclusion.

Should You Also Go Away?

Pope Benedict Says Judas Should Have Left,
Should You?

 

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

 

From Pope Benedict’s Wednesday Audience:

Dear brothers and sisters!

In the past few Sundays we have meditated on the “Bread of Life” discourse that Jesus pronounced in the synagogue of Capernaum after feeding thousands of people with five loaves and two fishes. Today, the Gospel presents the disciples’ reaction to that speech, a reaction that Christ Himself knowingly provoked. First of all, John the Evangelist – who was present along with the other Apostles – reports that “from that time many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him” (Jn 6:66). Why? Because they did not believe the words of Jesus when He said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever” (cf. Jn 6:51-54). This revelation, as I have said, remained incomprehensible to them, because they understood it in a material sense, while in these words was foretold the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, in which He would give Himself for the salvation of the world: the new presence in the Holy Eucharist.

Seeing that many of His disciples were leaving, Jesus addressed the Apostles, saying: “Will you also go away?” (Jn 6:67). As in other cases, it is Peter who replied on behalf of the Twelve: “Lord, to whom shall we go? – and we too can reflect: to whom shall we go? – You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and know that You are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:68-69). On this passage we have a beautiful commentary of St. Augustine, who says in one of his homilies on John 6: “Do you see how Peter, by the grace of God, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has understood? Why did he understand? Because he believed. You have the words of eternal life. You give us eternal life by offering your risen body and your blood, your very self. And we have believed and understood. He does not say we have understood and then we believed, but we believed and then we understood. We have believed in order to be able to understand; if, in fact, we wanted to understand before believing, we would not be able either to understand or to believe. What have we believed and what have we understood? That You are the Christ, the Son of God, that is, that You are that very eternal life, and that You give in Your flesh and blood only that which You are” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, 27, 9). So Saint Augustine said in a homily to his faithful people.

Finally, Jesus knew that even among the twelve apostles there was one that did not believe: Judas. Judas could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. He did not remain because of faith, or because of love, but with the secret intention of taking vengeance on the Master. Why? Because Judas felt betrayed by Jesus, and decided that he in turn would betray Him. Judas was a Zealot, and wanted a triumphant Messiah, who would lead a revolt against the Romans. Jesus had disappointed those expectations. The problem is that Judas did not go away, and his most serious fault was falsehood, which is the mark of the devil. This is why Jesus said to the Twelve: “One of you is a devil” (John 6.70). We pray to the Virgin Mary, help us to believe in Jesus, as St. Peter did, and to always be sincere with Him and with all people.

____________________

Tell us what you think:

Should Catholics who disagree with the Church on teachings of faith and morals leave?  Yes or No?