Saturday, September 4, 2010

Unity with the Pope

Last June, in his address to new archbishops, Pope Benedict said the greatest harm to the Church comes not from persecution from outside the Church but rather from that which "pollutes the Christian faith and the life of its members and its communities, eroding the integrity of the Mystical Body, weakening its ability to prophecy and witness..." Even at the beginning of the Church's history, St. Paul specified some of the dangers within the Church such as negative attitudes that belong to the world, selfishness, vanity, pride, love of money, etc. (cf. 3.1 to 5 )

The Body of Christ continues our Lord's redemptive mission today and throughout history. There have been many persecutions against the Church over the last twenty centuries; some were quite harsh and cruel. Yet, they strengthened the Church. The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. The sins of the members of the Body of Christ impede its mission. Those who teach false doctrine as well as those who live immorally damage and make the Church less effective. This gives all the more reason to avoid everything that is contrary to the Faith no matter how attractively it is presented or how charismatic the speaker might be. We want the truth and have a right to it. The authentic truth of Christ is guaranteed by the Pope. No Pope throughout history has ever formally taught anything contrary to faith and morals.

When bishops, priests, religious, theologians and the faithful are in union with the Holy Father, we are kept free from errors in the area of faith and morals. We can rest in the assurance that we have the true Gospel handed on to us.

The papacy is a great gift to us -- to the world. Let us never forget to pray for the Pope each day.

Father Stanley