Pope: In God Alone

To the ecumenical gathering in New York last night:

Even within the ecumenical movement, Christians may be reluctant to assert the role of doctrine for fear that it would only exacerbate rather than heal the wounds of division. Yet a clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching: a teaching which indeed underlies the inspired word of God and sustains the sacramental life of Christians today.

Only by “holding fast” to sound teaching (2 Thess 2:15; cf. Rev 2:12-29) will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and its moral teaching. This is the message which the world is waiting to hear from us. Like the early Christians, we have a responsibility to give transparent witness to the “reasons for our hope”, so that the eyes of all men and women of goodwill may be opened to see that God has shown us his face (cf. 2 Cor 3:12-18) and granted us access to his divine life through Jesus Christ. He alone is our hope! God has revealed his love for all peoples through the mystery of his Son’s passion and death, and has called us to proclaim that he is indeed risen, has taken his place at the right hand of the Father, and “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” (Nicene Creed).

May the word of God we have heard this evening inflame our hearts with hope on the path to unity (cf. Lk 24:32). May this prayer service exemplify the centrality of prayer in the ecumenical movement (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 8); for without it, ecumenical structures, institutions and programs would be deprived of their heart and soul. Let us give thanks to Almighty God for the progress that has been made through the work of his Spirit, as we acknowledge with gratitude the personal sacrifices made by so many present and by those who have gone before us.

By following in their footsteps, and by placing our trust in God alone, I am confident that – to borrow the words of Father Paul Wattson – we will achieve the “oneness of hope, oneness of faith, and oneness of love” that alone will convince the world that Jesus Christ is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of all.

Where Ratzinger was a Swear Word (Current Edition)

Popular Catholic author, Father James Martin confesses his dislike for the election of Pope Benedict XVI and how the reality of the man doesn’t measure up to the demonization of him by the liberal contingent in this country in his post in the New York Times Papal coverage:

Benedict’s trip has been a surprise for me. To be honest, I was one of those (many) liberal Catholics who was disappointed by his election. (At the time, I told someone that when Pope Benedict XVI first stepped onto the Vatican balcony after his election, I felt like jumping off of one!) In his previous role as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, charged with serving as the church’s theological watchdog, it was his job to ensure doctrinal purity, especially among theologians. During his many years in that position, he disciplined many good scholars and writers, even some of my friends, who were doing their best to advance Catholic theology.

And Rosemary Radford Reuther, who strangely escaped the silencing she bemoans has been inflicted on Catholic scholars like Hans Kung and Thomas Reese–(question for Rosemary Radford Reuther…has this silencing actually silenced anyone? Has Hans Kung stopped publishing his works?–short answer–no–, so your contention is false), again from the New York Time Papal Blog:

When Pope Benedict XVI met with Catholic educators yesterday, he used the occasion to warn them of the limits of academic freedom in Catholic schools. “Any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the church would obstruct and even betray the university’s identity and mission,” he said.
These words should be put in the context of the Pope’s former job as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Inquisition). During the 25 years when he headed this office (1981-2005), Cardinal Ratzinger cracked down on progressive Catholic thought, closed down seminaries dedicated to educating priests in the context of the issues of poverty and injustice, and, again and again, progressive bishops were replaced with conservative ones.

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