Thu 30th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Thu 30th Oct 2014 at 12:18pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Comment & Blogs

We have all now grown used to the idea of the Pope’s abdication: the reality will be harder to take in. It remains a great sorrow to have to live through

This has been a very great pontificate: we now need a vigorous pope who will defeat the treacherous bureaucrats who undermined Pope Benedict

By on Thursday, 28 February 2013

Benedict XVI, who leaves office today

Benedict XVI, who leaves office today

Last week, in the midst of an online controversy over what the former pope would be called once he had stepped down (most people saying that he would simply be some variant of Joseph Ratzinger, perhaps with the addition of the title Cardinal or Archbishop), I wrote that there was “no way the present Holy Father can ever cease to be Benedict XVI. His pontificate is a historical fact: and he will still embody it.” Well, though several of my correspondents pooh-poohed that, saying, no way, it would just be “back to Ratzinger” as one atheist troll amiably put it, it has now been announced.

that he will indeed continue to be known as Pope Benedict XVI; he will be addressed as “your Holiness,” and his title will be either “pope emeritus” or “Roman pontiff emeritus” (so much for JPII’s little joke). Father Lombardi said that the decisions about how the pope would be addressed and what he would wear were made in consultation with the Pope himself and with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, acting as camerlengo, along with others (who?). Pope Benedict also will give his “fisherman’s ring” and seal to be broken (one of the camerlengo’s duties), as is usually done on the death of a pope. The pope will go back to wearing the episcopal ring he wore as a cardinal. After tonight, he will continue to wear a white cassock, but without the mozzetta, the white shoulder cape which indicates papal rank. He will no longer wear red shoes or slippers (also a sign of papal rank); instead, he will wear brown shoes, beginning with the loafers he was given as a gift last March during a visit to Leon in Mexico. Fr Lombardi said the pope has found the zapatos to be very comfortable (I bet, after that, that a spare pair or two are already on their way). At 7 p.m. GMT this evening Father Lombardi said, the Swiss Guards stationed at the main doors of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo (where he will stay until after the conclave) will withdraw and close the doors. The Vatican gendarmes will take over pope Benedict’s protection. And that will be that.

This has been a very great pope; and part of his greatness has been his unique combination of great intellect with a very real and visible fatherly tenderness for all his people. Intellect and love, reason and faith; his has been a genius unique in its power to bring together means of perception and understanding which are often thought to operate in quite distinct ways, even to be incompatible. In many of his addresses, writes Professor Tracey Rowland, in a brilliant assessment of his pontificate, “Benedict … emphasised that love and reason are the twin pillars of all reality. The relationships between love-and-reason and faith-and-reason were themes to which he often returned. One sensed that he was trying to reconcile the Thomist and Franciscan traditions in a higher synthesis: rather than a system which gives a typically Thomist priority to truth, or one which gives a typically Bonaventurian priority to love, he insisted that love and reason are equally foundationally significant – hence the image of ‘twin pillars’.”

“The challenge in choosing Benedict’s successor”, Tracey Rowland says, “will be to find someone who has the strength and ability to deal with the administrative side of the office of the papacy while retaining at least some of the intellectual flair and imagination of Benedict and his predecessor.” It is clear that the Vatican’s complex and often devious, even treacherous bureaucracy is a major part of what has defeated him. “Given the successive waves of intellectual combat Pope Benedict XVI has endured in the service of the Church he loves”, Tracey Rowland says, “a future pope may well declare Benedict XVI a ‘Doctor of the Church’. And she tartly concludes “Were that to happen, I think he should also be honoured as the patron saint of people everywhere who are oppressed by bureaucracy – especially bureaucracies run by philistines.”

All that is behind him now. He leaves a great void, which even a new pope will, certainly at first, only partly fill. As I said in the immediate aftermath of the stunning announcement of his abdication, he will still be the pope to me (certainly until a successor is elected); and at least I can still correctly call him Pope Benedict, red slippers or not. But his departure is still a terrible blow. As I wrote after the announcement, “Catholics love their pope; and for the pope simply to disappear, for this beloved person to say, in effect, that after the end of this month we will never see him or hear from him again is like a kind of bereavement without a death and the final closure that a good death brings.” In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Queen sent a very powerful message, read out by the British Ambassador at a memorial service in St Thomas’s Church, Fifth Avenue: it included an unforgettable sentence: “grief is the price we pay for love”. Don’t misunderstand me: this isn’t of course a tragedy on anything like the same level of desperate horror. But the premature end of this particular pontificate, all the same, still feels to me to be not without its tragic dimension (note I said “feels”; what one thinks on mature reflection isn’t necessarily at all the same thing): and it is and will remain a source of grief to me and many others.

One of my correspondents wrote that “This week will be something akin to heartbreaking – now the Church will have a new Papa … as I entered the Church at Benedict XVI’s first Easter he will always be Papa in some way to me … but also a grandpapa – a comforting thought”. Well call me sentimental if you like, but it is rather comforting isn’t it? Not Holy Father, but Holy Grandfather: the new pope will probably be at least twenty years his junior. And he will still be Pope Benedict. How could he be anything else?

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    @Acleron:disqus 
    “You are confusing reality with opinion.”

    Ahem!! Pot calling the kettle black, methinks! I’m afraid you’ve lost track of what you were arguing. To quote your previous comment: ‘In such a system [ie secularism] where members of a religion are unable to enforce their beliefs on others, religion tends to fade.’

    Scandinavia has established churches (ie were not secular) and have produced declining rates of religious belief. (Denmark, Iceland and Norway still have state Lutheran churches and Sweden only disestablished it in 2000.) The US excluded establishment (ie was secular) and has produced robust rates of religious belief. 

    There’s an extensive literature on this phenomenon which argues that it’s a result of rational choice theory working in a free market in religions. (So roughly if you have a free market in religions (ie the sort of secularism which simply keeps government out of religion rather than the sort you seem to favour which actively discourages religion) you get flourishing rates of religious activity, whilst if you have a confessional state, it drives down religious activity.)

    But please feel free to indulge your fantasies about the disappearance of religion: they’re quite harmless and I’m sure they keep you amused in the long winter evenings…

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Have you noticed though that it is now 2013 and not 1929, or any time prior

    Right —

    It’s also 2013 rather than 1066, and England should be shut down as an anachronism.

    It’s 2013 rather than 1789, so the French Republic should be abolished as an anachronism.

    It’s 2013 rather than 1776, so the USA should be dissolved as an anachronism.

    You really are grasping at straws now, aren’t you …

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    In fact, the best option available to all of us is to have Faith, through the Catholic Church, in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am just pointing out realities

    No you’re not ; you’re tediously repeating the contents of your personal opinions and of secularist doctrine, ad nauseam, even in the face of their incoherence with material reality.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Ad hominem now ?

    You really are clutching at straws …

  • Acleron

    Au contraire, you are trying to measure the secularity of a state on the basis of a state religion. But the degree of secularity depends the lack of ability of religion to interfere with the government of a state. The UK has a state religion but these pages are littered with complaints of its secularity.

    Only through secularity can the freedom of expression of minor beliefs be guaranteed. It just so happens that stripped of any power to demand worship or adherence to a certain religion’s beliefs then religion becomes less important.

    The founders of the USA clearly recognised this and attempted to devise a secular state. It appears that an essential part of the process requires free and unbiased education. The USA didn’t have this for a lengthy period enabling a substantial part of the population to allow religious interference with government resulting in a present majority of the population being ignorant in areas such as biology.

  • abadilla

    Communicating with him is almost like hitting a brick-wall. I don’t get it.

  • abadilla

    Pretty clear indeed and if he does not get it, well, what else can you or me say?

    BTW, what did Guest say that was so horrendous all his comments were deleted?

  • abadilla

    I’m sorry, I thought you were attacking the Holy Father and as you can imagine, I’m a bit sensitive on the issue these days.

  • Acleron

    When the religious say that secularism marginalises religion they honestly believe it. You have to remember that they believe they have not only the right to their own beliefs but also the right to interfere with anyone else’s conduct.

  • abadilla

    Majorcalamity,

     You truly honor your name on this website.
    Rather than answering lots of messages coming from you, I thought I answered all your objections in one message.
    1. Perspective. In order to understand the Catholic worldview of reality, you have to know the teachings of the Catholic Church and the “why” for those teachings. Talking to “Catholics” who barely know the faith or have personal agendas does not help anyone understand where the Catholic Church is coming from with her unpopular message. News outlets already pressuring the Cardinals to elect a Pope who would introduce gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, women priests, etc, simply do not understand Catholicism and have a very secular outlook of what the Church is all about, a sign of contradiction in a world gone mad because it no longer has a moral compass.

    2. Secularism. A secular society, by definition, is hostile to the message of the Gospel, whether preached by the Anglican church or by the Catholic Church. Secularism sees freedom as doing what one pleases while the Church sees freedom as doing that which is right. The Church, by the very nature of her teachings stands in opposition to secularism. Now, having written this, not everything secularism proclaims is anti-Christian but much of it is. When secular society says abortion is a woman’s right, gay marriage is O.K. because after all, if a man loves another man it is O,K, masturbation has nothing to do with selfish sex, euthanasia is simply having mercy toward people who suffer, capitalism with its excess is O.K., socialism is the way to go because after all, Jesus was a socialist, then all these messages are anti-tethical to the Gospel whether you want to recognize that reality or not. Here in Los Angeles the moon is shining brilliantly tonight. I can choose to acknowledge that astronomical reality or I can choose to pretend the moon isn’t there at all.
    3. Independence of the Vatican. When the papacy had its armies and Rome was a papal city, the Pope had the freedom to teach the most unpolupar teachings of the Church without any government interference. That did not mean governments did not try to interfere with Papal teaching. Once the Pope lost Rome in 1870, years went by when the papacy was vulnerable to interference by the Italian and other secular governments. Finally in 1929 the “Roman question” as it was popularly known, was settled. The idea was masterful. The Vatican became an independent State with its own newspaper, its own currency, its own railroad, its own telephone servive, its own pharmacy and bank and later on its own radio station. During the Cold War the Pope could speak to Catholics behind the Iron Curtain and today he can reach us through the INTERNET, folks like Mr. Oddie, Catholic websites, Catholic Radio and T.V. WITHOUT any government interference. The independence of the Vatican is as relevant today as it was in 1929 when the Lateran Treaty was signed between Pius XI and Mussolini.
    4. Faithful Catholics. Those of us who are faithful to the Pope and the teachings of our Church do not have to apologize for our attitude. That is what is expected of us. We take the teachings of the Church seriously and we certainly know the difference between a secular society where moral relativism reigns supreme and the Church founded by Christ that believes truth is objective and binding on our consciences. We also know earthly life is not eternal, and that we have an eternal destiny to go to. We don’t see  through “rose coloured glasses,” because we know what the problems are we confront as Catholics, but we also don’t believe the “solutions” are the abandonment of the message of the Gospel. Henry VIII never understood that!

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    No worries — and the only disagreements I’ve ever had with the positions of HH Benedict XVI are to do with a certain degree of PR clumsiness towards the beginning of his pontificate, and some more abstruse methodology issues with his (otherwise wonderful) Jesus of Nazareth trilogy.

    We have been very blessed in this great Pope !!!

  • Nicolas Bellord

    I think you also need to consider whether majorcalamity does not have another agenda.  I think he would like to see the Papacy subjected to a secular state so that it could be pushed down a black hole.  Further there is a lobby who would like to see the Vatican cease to have a voice, as an independent state, at the UN and other international agencies in opposing the anti-life agenda proposed by the USA, the EU and particularly the UK.

  • $20596475

    And you are not tediously repeating your personal opinions? 

    If you truly don’t believe that what I have said is reality, then I guess that confirms my opinion that you occupy some kind of parallel universe to that in which most folk live. Times have changed, and you really do need to wipe the log from your eye if you cannot see it.

  • $20596475

    All the things you mention have continued to evolve, and develop, in response to changing circumstances. They are learning the lessons of the recent past very well, and planning for the future, by adapting as needed. That’s why we have the EU and the UN. That’s why the USA has added states, and amended it’s constitution, even against those who drag their feet and think that nothing should change. That’s why Obama will change the laws on guns, because times have changed.

    If the original purpose behind something has been surpassed, then it’s relevance needs to be reviewed.  

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The Universe where the Pope is (the current sede vacante period notwithstanding) a Monarch and Sovereign is the real Universe, as borne out extremely clearly by the available evidence.

    Your opinions concerning secularism, in this Universe, are personal opinions ; not objective “realities” that you could show to anyone.

    I am honest about my beliefs — I use the word “Faith“.

    You fail to be so honest about the nature of your own personal convictions.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Your argument in the above post basically boils down to : “I’m right, and you’re wrong, because your posts are deleted more frequently than mine”.

    It’s practically a textbook example of the ad hominem logical fallacy.

    EDIT : the ultimate fate of the post I responded to is rather ironic.

  • $20596475

    I didn’t draw that conclusion from my comment, but is instructive that you do. I was merely pointing out a fact and suggesting that you reflect upon it.

  • abadilla

    “I think he would like to see the Papacy subjected to a secular state so that it could be pushed down a black hole.”

    I did not consider this alternative because the man is not Catholic, so I don’t understand why he would have this type of agenda against the Vatican.
    My impression is that indeed he has Catholic friends who are as confused about Catholicism as he is.
    As for the lobby that you speak about, I am aware of their existence and their evil intention of silencing the Church. The irony is that those folks considered themselves open-minded and claim they want freedom of speech for everyone except the Catholic Church. They have an agenda that says, one world government, contraception and abortion are O.K. to limit the growth of the population, kill those who suffer through euthanasia because they cost too much to the public and government and make it appear as if they are concerned about suffering.  They want  a weak Catholicism incapable of being heard around the world, etc.

  • abadilla

    Yes, I think we have been blessed by this Pope and I pray the next one will also be wonderful.

  • $20596475

    My name was chosen years ago as a tribute to your Church. 

    A secular society will arrive if that is the wish of the majority. You might not wish it, or believe it is for the best, but that is what will happen. I merely recommend that you recognise that is probably going to happen and be prepared to work within it, rather than fight it. 

    Nothing you say about the Pope reaching out to others has anything at all to do with the Vatican remaining a state. He will be quite able to do so whatever it’s status, as we all can in today’s world. Things HAVE changed.

    Henry VIII was not a good example to anyone, but nevertheless the reformation happened for a very good reason, which remains as relevant today as when it first happened. If you cannot see that then you truly are seeing things through “rose coloured glasses”. 

  • $20596475

    Not at all. I value the good work which is done by many Catholics, in many places.Unfortunately, there is also a great deal of harm being done.  I think there is though much which desperately needs attention, to maximise the good and minimise the harm. There seems to be a number of Catholics who also are beginning to realise this.  I do think the Vatican remaining a state is a dangerous situation, which needs reforming, because it sends out the wrong message to others, particularly those in the Muslim world. It just is no longer necessary.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    0@.”The …… Pope………….. had
    the good sense to retire rather than let infirmity dim his ability to
    carry out his duties.

    WHEN you say, “The…..Pope………….. had
    the good sense to retire rather than………”

    You seem to be VERY POSITIVE OF THE ABDICATION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XVI has done his best IN HUMAN TERMS. He did what he could. Let us appreciate his accomplishments and his humility in acknowledging his own limitations.

    It looks, he abdicated when confronted with, what seemed to him
    “impossible”, and left the running of the Church to another person who could deal with the
    “IMPOSSIBLE” WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOD, WHO IS THE God of the impossible, for, to God everything is “POSSIBLE”.

    Besides,You are, I am afraid also revealing, the biggest sin in human history and to which you declare yourself a proud participant consciously or unconsciously.

    Some Jews killed Jesus by Crucifixion but once.
    Whereas, some Christians did it throughout centuries over and over again till the present times. This is how these took “CHARGE OF” him : through INSTITUTIONALISATION of his Church and thus reduced it into a mere human reality in practice. Institutionalisation is nothing but relativistion in it’s highest point.

    The Pope in Rome is a SUCCESSOR of St.Peter but
    above all he is the only REPRESENTATIVE of Christ the Lord on earth.
     
    St.Peter stood his ground till his VERY LAST MOMENT and remained there on the CROSS until he accomplished his task, of culminating his life as a fragrant offering to GOD, together with his MASTER AND LORD Jesus Christ, the Savior of us all humankind.

    MOST of the POPES in history did follow Jesus the Lord like PETER the worthy apostle of The Lord.

    The crowning of his life for a Pope is to REMAIN, nailed ON THE CROSS like our GREAT, GLORIOUS, and most INSPIRING Pope Blessed JOHN PAUL II, till the moment one becomes a FRAGRANT OFFERING in and through one’s free sacrificial death. This is in truth about following  Jesus the Lord and remaining loyal to him as worthy Apostle like Peter.

    If our FUTURE Pops keep this great truth in mind and acts accordingly, they will bless themselves and we too shall be blessed in and through them for their example will be the greatest inspiration to us all Christians, to be loyal to Christ the Lord till the end, and for remaining on the cross until we too become a fragrant offering to God through our own free sacrificial death.

    Till death remaining on the Cross is the most important life-event in ANY POPE’S LIFE as a true follower and representative of the Lord on earth.This perseverance of the Pope also gives CREDIT to PETER who did not spare himself in any way from following the Lord through his death remaining on the cross all through.

     As for running the the CHURCH, which ( in TRUTH is the heavenly movement of SALVATION ON EARTH guided, directed and protected by THE SPIRIT OF THE SON OF GOD, JESUS THE LORD) was reduced into an INSTITUTION, anybody of the Pope’s team, one closest to him in mind and heart can do with all others’ help and co-operation. I believe it is WHAT Blessed Pope John Paul II and others did.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    All the things you mention have continued to evolve, and develop, in response to changing circumstances

    Good old double standards !!!

  • $20596475

    I find it ironic that someone who defends every aspect of Catholicism as you do, accuses me of double standards! If you cannot see your own double standards then you really are being blind to reality.

    You would do well to pause and reflect before you rush into responses.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

     

    SOME answers to questions raised on the Blogs in the
    Internet

     

    1@ “Our holy scriptures contain no requirement
    that there be ……………………………    priests barred from marriage or …..

    PRIESTS being barred from marriage through Church
    law of celibacy in the Church is the main case here!

    Mere Priesthood is a phenomenon also of non-Christian
    religions as well. It can be found also in Pagan Religions.

    In the Religion of Christ the Lord Priesthood has
    been bound up with APOSTLESHIP in its pure origin. Over the centuries when
    Paganism took over the Church, the Pagans divided the Priesthood  from APOSTLESHIP and thus  got rid of APOSTLESHIP on its practical level.
    As a consequence today there is hardly any Experiential Christianity in the Big
    Christian Churches like that of Apostolic Times when Every Christian was an Apostle.

    In pagan Religions people do not actively seek out
    The Lord, God, the one and only. It is mostly the case also with non-Christian
    Religions as well as Christian Divided-Churches, excepting the ones where GOD’S
    WORD is proclaimed in the Spirit of the Apostles of the Lord through individual
    and small groups.

     

    What is special about the Religion of Christ the
    Lord, THE WAY, is its centrality of  APOSTLESHIP in the lead positions and
    offices.

    When you float the idea of married PRIESTHOOD, you
    are placing it like the first premise of a syllogism. And the conclusion is
    assured – and a FALSE ONE at that because the first premise  is itself  a FALSE one in the context of the religion of
    Christ the Lord.

    Those who are on a level with, Paganism or the spirit
    of non-Christian Religions, would be very happy to take it up and follow it up.
    But then you are reducing the WAY, the Religion of the Lord into Paganism or to
    the status of non-Christian Religions.

     

    It is Christ the Lord who said, I am the WAY……No-one
    comes to the Father except through me.”

     

    Jesus the Lord is the WAY, the only Way to GOD, to
    Heaven, to Eternal happiness. This right of being the Way to the Father, Jesus
    won by his obedient life, Sacrificial death and the final victory over all evil
    through his anticipated resurrection.

     

    These other Religions and Paganism are unlike the
    historical Revelation of God in Christ the Lord. There is no APOSTLESHIP among
    them and for them. Now, they may take-up the word apostleship (after all some
    of them are following the Word-proclamation method on a parallel level) and may
    try to function that way, but then that is only that much and nothing more but
    imitation, and playing with words. And in-case they are doing it as the will of
    God for them  and getting true results,
    we are only happy; but we are not happy to be reduced into the status of not
    being sons and daughters of God in and through Jesus the Lord who made the
    strictest and the highest demands to “follow” him; and one of his
    demands is “being eunuch” for the sake of “the Gospel and the
    Kingdom”. Well, is there here anything of  marriage and not of celibacy?

     

    When you go back to Paganism and to these other Religions
    and float some of their practices as the standard for us,  placing it as the first premise for us, well
    you are  replacing the WAY, Jesus the WAY
    with their standard.

    Look at the MEN OF OLD, the People of God, the Israelites,
    did they not want to be like the other nations around them and in the process
    they exchanged the GLORY of the IMMORTAL GOD of Revelation with mortal and
    sinful KINGS and their idols and the rest of it?

     

    Here you may bring in also some Christian Churches
    which have married PRIESTHOOD. But then they are all break-away Churches. Neither
    are these the standards for us who are in CHRIST JESUS nor the former category
    belonging to Paganism and others.

     

    Another injustice is that you want to bring down,
    the Church from the pinnacle point provided by Christ the Lord for carrying out
    his ministry of salvation, which is APOSTLESHIP to mere priesthood.  The Lord’s APOSTLESHIP includes PRIESTHOOD, But
    mere PRIESTHOOD does not include APOSTLESHIP. And it is such a Priesthood you
    want to usher in the Church from Paganism and the rest of it. Jesus the Lord is the Omega-point of all evolution, and his standard  is the Best and most desirable.

     

    Most of the 12 APOSTLES were married once upon a time.
    This was before their CALL which they received from JESUS THE LORD. Then the
    situation and their status changed once and for all when they started
    responding to Jesus’ call and began following Him leaving aside everything, all
    their worldly concerns and relations in order to belong to him and his cause
    totally. It was exactly the demand the Lord made from them as conditions to
    follow him.

     

    Can’t you recall what Peter said to the Lord, Lo and
    behold, Lord, we have left everything for your sake, now, what are you going to
    give us? (I am paraphrasing from memory.) And the Lord answered him, saying,
    “All those who have left Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Children and property
    for my sake will receive a hundred-fold the very same things in this world and
    everlasting life in the World to come. And the Lord referred also to Sitting
    with him on 12 thrones when the time of judgement comes.

     

    Mathew and Mark do not put the word “WIFE”
    into the mouth of Jesus and it looks so quite not in tune like what was
    mentioned by Luke indirectly at least. But then, in PRACTICE the demand of
    Jesus the Lord was very clearly seen  in
    the APOSTOLIC age culminating in its practical and normative word-expression in
    St. Paul, the GREATEST and the most fruitful in practice AMONG  all the Apostle of the Lord

     

    Later when Paganism took over the Church and got it
    institutionalised, wives came in, and that is exactly what you are placing as
    your FIRST PREMISE. THE Church  of Christ
    the Lord is not an INSTITUTION. It is the heavenly movement of SALVATION ON
    EARTH guided, directed and protected by the SPIRIT OF THE SON OF GOD, Jesus the
    Lord. Quoting Romano Guardini, Pope Benedict XVI affirms the same truth that the
    Church is not an Institution.

     

    When Blessed John Paul II came to Delhi, Some Hindu
    groups started discussing about making Hinduism on the pattern of the Church
    and the Vatican. One Muslim gentleman wrote in one of the top National English
    Dailies, The Times of India, saying, “It is a Pipe-dream”.

     

    Even in its physical organisation and structure
    there is unmatchable and unbeatable uniquness due to the amount of SACRIFICE of
    so many lives behind the scene and the number and vastness of its service sectors
    through these “Sacrificed Lives” because of The Church’s foundation
    on the CORNERSTONE, CHRIST THE LORD CRUCIFIED, DEAD AND RISEN as the SAVIOR of
    all mankind.

     

    Church of Christ the Lord has Peter as his
    representative and the Pope is his successor and he it is who represents Christ
    the Lord Himself on earth trough Peter, for this very reason Pope is the one to
    be listened to whether one who is in the ministry has to be celibate or not. It
    is unimaginable and unthinkable that the one who represents Christ the Lord
    will go against the mind and law of Christ the Lord himaself and his Apostles. Of course
    the Pope can but then his faithfulness is in question. May the Lord forebid even the thought of it in a dream of his.

     

    St. Luke, unlike other evangelists, refers
    indirectly to WIFE also among the people and things the Apostles had to leave
    behind once and for all for the sake of the Lord.

     

    If we find St. Paul referring to some people who
    looked like living a compromised life in the service of The Lord, people who
    were carrying their girls with them, it was just a  few cases of aberration. It was, after all,
    their own wives they were carrying with them, that too as their sisters. Recall
    Abraham referring to his wife as sister? Or the cases of some non-Christian
    religions practising celibacy and chastity after retiring from marriage for a
    higher purpose of seeking God or the same reality for which they use other
    words.

    Marriage was neither the norm nor the Standard but
    rather the very forgoing of it in the spirit of total self-denial for the sake
    of the GOSPEL and the KINGDOM was the practice in the Apostolic Church. APOSTLES,
    like saints Paul (and Barnabas) out-shone for this very reason over all other
    Apostles in the “fruits” they produced for the Lord.

    Based on this quality of total self-denial demanded
    by the Lord, and the Apostolic practice of  being “Eunuchs” in tune with the
    demands of the Lord, the Church has made a very sound rule of celibacy for the
    ministers of the mysteries of salvation in Christ the Lord.

    Those who want to take to this ministry for earning
    their bread in the institutionalised Church, take themselves to it as mere
    Priests and are trying to make the best of both the worlds.  Added to these, there are those who have lost
    their call from the Lord due to their unfaithfulness and these too swell the
    numbers clamouring for marriage.

    The unfit and the unfaithful have an altogether different
    understanding of celibacy in the CHURCH. This is their particular problem, and
    for this they need to find solution not by making demands on the CHURCH to
    lower her standard but they need to be true to themselves and to Truth itself,
    Jesus The Lord.

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    Thomas Poovathinkal
     

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    SOME answers to questions raised on the
    Blogs in the Internet

     

     

    0@.”The …… Pope………….. had the good sense to
    retire rather than let infirmity dim his ability to carry out his duties.

    WHEN you say, “The…..Pope………….. had the good sense to retire
    rather than………”

    You seem to be VERY POSITIVE OF THE ABDICATION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XVI has done his best in human terms. He did what he
    could. Let us appreciate his accomplishment.

    It looks, he abdicated when confronted with, what seemed to him
    “impossible”, and left the running of the Church to another person
    who could deal with the “IMPOSSIBLE” WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOD, WHO IS
    THE God of the impossible, for to God everything is “POSSIBLE”.

    Besides,You are, I am afraid also revealing, the biggest sin in human history
    and to which you declare yourself a proud participant consciously or
    unconsciously.

    Some Jews killed Jesus by Crucifixion but once.
    Whereas, some Christians did it throughout centuries over and over again till
    the present times. This is how these took “CHARGE OF” him : through
    INSTITUTIONALISATION of his Church and thus reduced it into a mere human
    reality in practice. Institutionalisation is nothing but relativistion in it’s
    highest point.

    The Pope in Rome is a SUCCESSOR of St.Peter but
    above all he is the only REPRESENTATIVE of Christ the Lord on earth.
     
    St.Peter stood his ground till his VERY LAST MOMENT and remained there on the
    CROSS until he accomplished his task, of culminating his life as a fragrant
    offering to GOD, together with his MASTER AND LORD Jesus Christ, the Savior of
    us all humankind.

    MOST of the POPES in history did follow, it looks, Jesus the Lord like PETER
    the worthy apostle of The Lord.

    The crowning of his life for a Pope is to REMAIN, nailed ON THE CROSS like our
    GREAT, GLORIOUS, and most INSPIRING Pope Blessed JOHN PAUL II, till the moment
    one becomes a FRAGRANT OFFERING in and through one’s free sacrificial death.
    This is in truth following  Jesus the Lord and remaining loyal to him as
    worthy Apostle like Peter.

    IF OUR FUTURE POPES KEEP THIS GREAT TRUTH IN MIND AND ACTS ACCORDINGLY, THEY
    WILL BLESS THEMSELVES AND WE TOO SHALL BE BLESSED IN AND THROUGH THEM FOR THEIR
    EXAMPLE WILL BE THE GREATEST INSPIRATION TO ALL US CHRISTIANS TO BE LOYAL TO
    CHRIST THE LORD TILL THE END FOR CARRYING THE CROSS AND REMAINING ON THE SAME
    UNTIL WE TOO BECOME A FRAGRANT OFFERING TO GOD THROUGH OUR OWN FREE SACRIFICIAL
    DEATH.

    Till death remaining on the Cross is the most important life-event in ANY
    POPE’S LIFE as a true follower and representative of the Lord on earth.This
    perseverance of the Pope also gives CREDIT to PETER who did not spare himself
    in any way from following the Lord through his death remaining on the cross all
    through.

     As for running the CHURCH, which was reduced into an
    INSTITUTION, anybody of the Pope’s team, one closest to him in mind and heart
    can do with all others help and co-operation. I believe it is WHAT Blessed Pope
    John Paul II and others did.

    Fr.Thomas Poovthinkal SSP

  • guest

    secularism is not an organized movement as such, but the constant misrepresentation of religious belief and attacks on the moral principles which religion expresses is certainly a ubiquitous aspect of it.  It is increasingly the case that secularists seem set on their own views being imposed on others but resent deeply any attempts, particularly by the Catholic Church to try to apply its traditional moral code in which many believe.  Historically it has always been the case that secularist states tend towards totalitarianism and the claim of objectivity is shown to be a sham.   

  • $20596475

    I am completely honest. I believe secularism to be desirable for everyone in society, including you. 

    Secularism is very much a growing reality. Do you really dispute that?

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    TO THE EDITOR
    CATHOLIC HERALD, U.K.

    Dear Sir,

    Kindly keep open the blogging facility on both the latest articles of Fr. A. L.Smith
    Let a doze of Truth come out. Behaving like the proverbial OSTRICH, we are only adding to the Total Calamity of  of organised Christianity (at the earliest) coming to us through the Major Christian Churches of which, it looks, OUR CHURCH takes the FIRST PLACE.

    JESUS THE LORD said, If  “The light in you is your darkness, how much more will not be the darkness in you?.” OFFICIAL CHRISTIANITY has replaced JESUS THE  LIGHT of the world with with its’ own intellectual light, the light of CLEVER MEN! OFFICIAL CHRISTIANITY is only contributing to the total destruction of the cause of Christ the Lord. People’s participation (only CAN BRING SALVATION) at least from the mid-level if not from the grass-root-level can contribute to avoid or to save the situation, just like Jesus’ own case as reflected in the Holy Gospels. So often Jesus was saved by the very presence of People in big numbers; it created fear in the minds of “AUTHORITIES”. So before “HIS TIME”, they were not able to arrest and kill him by crucifixion.

    Please DO LEAVE OPEN the blogging facilities on such articles which touch the DARKNESS at the HEART of THE CHURCH.

    Remember, the PEOPLE ARE THE CHURCH and NOT THE OFFICIALS (of the Institution). The officials are there to serve the PEOPLE if they  are to follow the example of Jesus the Lord who “came to serve and not to be served”. The Officials giving themselves the first place is like THE MEANS BECOMING THE END. This is arrogance in the highest degree.

    JESUS’ CHURCH NEVER WAS AN INSTITUTION Ref. the Quote from Romano Guardini as presented, to uphold the same Truth, by POPE BENEDICT XVI. It was only when Paganism took over, having done away with APOSTLESHIP, that the Church was reduced to the status of an Institution. INSTITUTIONALISATION did away with THE SPIRIT OF JESUS AND IN PLACE OF IT the authorities brought in THEIR OWN LIGHT, their cleverness through their intelligence. Paganism in the Church by giving the lead role to REASON, PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY got rid practically of THE WORD OF GOD, the source of our SALVATION.Here started Christianity in place of the RELIGION OF JESUS THE LORD.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Nicolas Bellord

    I agree with Fr Thomas’s complaint that the comments on Father Lucie-Smith’s article should not have been closed so abruptly.  I found myself disagreeing profoundly with what he wrote and I believe it was a disastrous article in the present circumstances.  We need the light of truth to be shed upon what has been the greatest disaster for our Church in living memory.  There are many, many questions that need answering.  If the hierarchy and the clergy want to bury their heads then so be it.  It is time for the laity to demand answers.

  • Cassandra

    Hagia Sophia unfortunately became a mosque after the Ottoman conquest. It then became a museum. 
    But I understand that they building a huge mosque on the Asiatic Side of the Bosphorous.

  • Cassandra

    I know and I know its symbolism. But I always found it hideous to look at.

  • Cassandra

    Have you tried Modern Greek with all their different forms of dialects!
    It is such fun!!

  • Abadilla

    Hi. I’ve seen them at close range at the Vatican and they didn’t seem hideous to me, perhaps because I always knew its symbolism. People used to be critical of the Popes protesting that tiaras cost too much, but the truth is that the Vatican never paid for one of them. They were given to the Popes as gifts from queens and kings and emperors. The one at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. was donated to Paul VI and he donated it to the shrine. Paul VI was the last Pope to wear one.

  • Abadilla

    “Hagia Sophia unfortunately became a mosque after the Ottoman conquest. It then became a museum.”

    True, but Eastern Orthodox Christians do not feel any better because the Turkish government converted it into a mosque first and then into a museum. Worse than that, they painted over the beautiful icons of Jesus and Mary and we have lost that great art to the world, not to mention the fact that the very center of Eastern spirituality is based on the veneration of icons.

    I know that as Catholics we would lose it the Muslims were to take over St. Peter’s Basilica and convert it into a mosque. I presume Eastern Orthodox Christians feel the same way.