Wednesday, May 15, 2013
POPE FRANCIS ONCE AGAIN MAKES REFERENCE TO POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT: ONE MUST READ POPE FRANCIS THROUGH POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT
At today's Wednesday's General audience (which now are getting almost 100,000 pilgrims!) the new Holy Father Francis once again (and I have lost track of how many times in his short papacy he has made reference to him) referred to Pope Benedict and his teachings:
In the context of telling the pilgrims not to be part time Christians but to allow their faith to pervade their whole life he said the following:
We live in an age rather skeptical of truth. Benedict XVI has spoken many times of relativism, that is, the tendency to believe that nothing is definitive, and think that the truth is given by consent or by what we want. The question arises: does "the" truth really exist? What is "the" truth? Can we know it? Can we find it? Here I am reminded of the question of the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate when Jesus reveals the profound meaning of his mission: "What is truth?" (Jn 18,37.38). Pilate does not understand that "the" Truth is in front of him, he cannot see in Jesus the face of the truth, which is the face of God yet, Jesus is just that: the Truth, which, in the fullness of time, "became flesh" (Jn 1,1.14), came among us so that we may know it. You cannot grab the truth as if it were an object, you encounter it. It is not a possession, is an encounter with a Person.
So reading Francis through Benedict, what do we know of this new pope?
1. He is profoundly Catholic and builds his life on the Word of God, the Sacraments of the Church and Good works especially toward the poor and sick.
2. He is striving to live a life of simplicity amidst the opulence of Rome and the Vatican, not as an ideologue or making poverty into an ideology but in Gospel simplicity.
3. His style of celebrating the Sacraments especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is austere and sober. Apart from his choice in vestments and inability to sing, his gestures and ethos during the Mass are almost identical to Pope Emeritus Benedict.
4. He believes in the devil and preaches about his evil and hatred.
5. He believes in devotions and popular pieties of the Catholic Church and is encouraging the faithful to rediscover them and strengthen them.
6. He has consecrated his papacy to "Our Lady of Fatima!"
7. Most importantly he is calling the ideologues in the Church back to orthodoxy and the right practice of the faith. He is calling everyone from bishops, deacons and priests to consecrated men and women religious to rank and file Catholics back to the purity of the faith and away from relativism and make it up as you go Catholicism
8. He is calling every one to OBEDIENCE TO THE LIVING MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH, the Bishop of Rome and the other bishops of the world in union with him and Catholic orthodoxy.