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Morning Catholic must-reads: 01/08/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Thursday, 1 August 2013

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis (CNS)

Christ and the Church “are two flames that cannot be separated“, Pope Francis said in his homily at the Gesù on the feast of St Ignatius yesterday (full text, video and analysis by Fr James Schall SJ).

The Holy Father also expressed concern at the Mass over the fate of Italian Jesuit Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, who is missing in Syria.

The Pope is considering whether to canonise Pius XII without first beatifying him, the Catholic News Agency reports.

Papal biographer Paul Vallely describes Francis’s meeting with a leading Argentine gay rights campaigner in 2010.

Peter McDonough suggests the Pope’s emphasis on women in the Church is a reaction to “the appeal that evangelical ‘sects’ have for women” in Latin America.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York asks whether the Pope “is frustrated by all this attention to his interview“.

And sociologist Peter Berger argues that Francis is taking a “distinctively postmodernist” view of virtual reality.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day

  • Kevin

    “The Pope is considering whether to canonise Pius XII without first beatifying him”

    It seems that a lack of objectivity is starting to characterise this papacy. “No-one owns the truth”, the Holy Father confusingly declared in his homily of 18th May. What does that mean? That if Pius XII were canonised we would still not be certain that he was truly in Heaven?

    Pope Francis seems to want his papacy to be characterised by love. But love must submit to objective truth. If a man has liver trouble you do not, as a matter of objective medical care, offer him another beer – no matter how much it might make him happy. Oddly enough, when prelates such as Cardinal Pell debate atheists such as Richard Dawkins, they tend to be more attentive to the need for objectivity in truth. Within the Church, however, the pressure seems to be on the sceptic to accept as true that which is presently only an expression of good will.

    To take as an example the dramatisation of The Song of Bernadette, it is as if we should accept the truth of the apparition because it seems benevolent to do so rather than, as the Church examiners in fact do in the film, look for holes in Bernadette’s evidence. Similarly, while it may be a matter of good will to want all popes – everyone, in fact – to be in Heaven, we ought to admit that, without evidence such as formally examined miracles, we are limited in what we can actually be sure of.

    Objectivity can give us strength too. I suggest that when we are sure of something we tend to be firmer in asserting and defending it under pressure.

  • NatOns

    ‘The Pope is considering whether to canonise Pius XII without first beatifying him, the Catholic News Agency reports.’

    I would wholeheartedly appreciate it, if he did .. of course. But politically – as with the election of that great confessor and doctor and, indeed (in the truest sense), witness for the Faith – it would not be universally welcomed. A more practical, if rather timid step, would be to study a great deal more deeply, and affirm with far surer clarity, and publicly teach (once more) from the unsurpassed wealth of the grace granted to this saint as pastoral teacher who reached out to the whole world not least as a prophet rejected by his own ..

    Yet, I suspect, that too might be more than many would be willing to bear (even in the manifold evils that afflict us and our own helplessness .. while remaining ever trustful of the Lord’s blessings, and knowing the weakness of the flesh).

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/speeches/index.htm

    ‘Before our eyes is the vision of the immense evils that afflict men and the relief which the blessed Lord sends to us, helpless, but trusting. With St. Paul we repeat to all: “Receive us!” (2 Cor 7 : 2). In this hope, We are confident that you will not make vain this Our vow of peace. After the grace of God, it is on your good will that We profoundly rely.’ Venerable Pius XII, Radio Message, March 1939.

    ‘Receive us. We have injured no man, we have corrupted no man, we have overreached no man.’ 2 Cor 7 : 2.

  • NatOns

    No one does own the truth, man receives it as a gift – that is an objective fact. The Catholic Church – and indeed popes with their authority to teach in Christ – have no claim to own the Truth, we have received Him by the grace of God .. that is an objective reality of faith. I agree, nonetheless, that the Sovereign Pontiff does tend to rely excessively on the subjective impressions of feeling rather than an objective expression of certitude (even of the Faith) – yet his very words must cause him to pause, and all of us with him, for he does not own the Truth, he is called to serve Him as have better teachers of the Faith by far .. so as best he may (in his own faltering but wonderfully grace-filled manner), he too must witness to the Truth.

    ‘Love your machines, but remember that before them must come you, yourselves, and your family duties, for social and religious life is a whole, it cannot become a sort of annex to a simple means of locomotion.’ Ven Pius XII, To Spanish Motorcyclists, September 1955 (I kid you not).

  • LocutusOP

    It’s my understanding (and I’m happy to be corrected) that canonisation falls within the realm of infallible declarations if carried out be the Pope. For that reason, we could safely conclude that a person canonised by the Church is in Heaven.

    I completely agree with you, on the other hand, that we should stick to the proper procedures for canonisation and not merely rely on the Pope’s reflection.

    More than that, I agree even more that love must always be subject to objective truth for otherwise it is mere sentiment.

  • Guest

    Duplicate post (for some odd web-world or human shaky finger reason).

  • NatOns

    Yes, L OP, Pius XII is now, as he was, a saint of incomparable virtue in witness to Christ. Extra-ordinary infallible teaching authority is not needed to demonstrate the objective reality of this truth, of course, any moreso than miracles or political approval. But that even a leap-frogged hop over canonical formalities must be subject to objective truth is simply Rome’s canonical way in the Catholic Church – guarding the proper place of reason in faith.
    God Bless Our Pope!