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My generation did not evangelise enough, says Pope

By on Monday, 29 August 2011

The Pontiff at a seminar with his former students (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

The Pontiff at a seminar with his former students (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Cradle Catholics have not done enough to show people that God exists and can bring true fulfilment to everyone, Pope Benedict XVI has told a group of his former students.

“We, who have been able to know [Christ] since our youth, may we ask forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he’s present and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for,” the Pope said.

The Pope presided at a Mass yesterday in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, during his annual meeting with students who did their doctorates with him when he was a professor in Germany.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, a regular participant in the Ratzinger Schülerkreis (Ratzinger student circle), gave the homily at the Mass, but the Pope made remarks at the beginning of the liturgy.

The Vatican released the text of the Pope’s remarks today.

Pope Benedict highlighted the day’s reading in Psalm 63 in which the soul thirsts for God “in a land parched, lifeless and without water”.

He asked God to show himself to today’s world, which is marked by God’s absence and where “the land of souls is arid and dry, and people still don’t know where the living water comes from”.

May God let people who are searching for water elsewhere know that the only thing that will quench their thirst is God himself and that he would never let “people’s lives, their thirst for that which is great, for fulfilment, drown and suffocate in the ephemeral,” the Pope told his former students.

However, it also is up to Christians to make God known to the world, the Pope said, and older generations may not have done their best.

“We want to ask [God] to forgive us, that he renew us with the living water of his spirit and that he helps us to celebrate properly the sacred mysteries,” he said.

The formal discussions of the “schulerkreis” this year focused on the new evangelisation.

The closed-door seminar was held from August 25 to 28 in the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo and was attended by 40 people, according to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

The Pope chose two speakers to give lectures: Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, a female German theologian and professor, and Otto Neubauer, director of the Emmanuel Community’s academy for evangelisation in Vienna.

The lectures were followed by discussion among the participants, including the Pope.

Summarising the discussions for L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Schönborn said participants felt that World Youth Day events in Madrid represented a fresh “boost of renewed hope” for the Church.

He said older generations had suffered by first living their faith at a time when Church life was thriving, and now watching parishes lose parishioners.

But today’s young Catholics seem to realise they are a minority in a secular, relativistic world and have shown their “undaunted willingness to give witness to their peers in such an environment,” he said.

Seminar participants saw the so-called “John Paul II and Benedict XVI generations” as a whole new phase for the Church. No one thought young Catholics would be so open to being in “the courtyard of the Gentiles” to evangelise, said the cardinal.

He said the meeting also reflected on how to spread the Gospel in a secular world that nonetheless “shows that it is waiting to receive anew the Gospel message.”

  • Jeannine

    Yes, Holy Father, your generation, my parents’ generation, & my generation of clerics did not do their bit to draw us, cradle Catholics closer to God. I, who have received 12 yrs of Catholic school education, administered by  religious orders, can honestly say that I had 1 yr of a decent religious education during that time. The remainder consisted of mindless fluff. 

    I am still a Catholic, hopefully a good one, because of my mother & EWTN. 

    Thank you Holy Father for realizing that the priests & sisters did a lousy job in evangelizing. Many other lay persons & I are working hard to catechize within the parishes so that this never happens again. 
       

  • Clark Whitney

    Well, perhaps if dear Generation-X had had access to adequate catechetical instruction, we would have had a fighting chance.  Perhaps if we hadn’t been bombarded with horrible liturgies, watered down teaching of the fundamentals of our faith and abuses at our WYDs like, women portraying Christ in the stations of the cross or sets of risers on either side of the Papal Mass flanked with girl dancers grooving to the words of JPII…

  • Bob Hayes

    The Holy Father’s observations are incisive and reflect the intelligent thoughts and words we have come to expect from him. 
    Despite the pope’s declaration of responsibility for his generation’s approach to evangelisation, it would be dishonest and deceitful to associate the decline in Catholic worship and living (in ‘The West’) as always attributable to the Hierarchy or its failure to convince national governments of laws that facilitate ‘Conscript Catholicism’. Yes, clerical scandals will have driven some from the Church, as – no doubt – have aspects of liturgy and reordering of churches. These matters do raise questions about how the Church manages its dioceses, parishes and priests. The blogosphere is awash with arguments about the foregoing, but what about other causes of decline in Catholic worship and living? Millions no doubt altered their worship and lifestyle with the emergence and expansion of television: time now for only a quick prayer before bed – ‘there are so many channels and so much to watch’ – and no family worship. And what of attendance at Mass? The deadly sins of gluttony and envy – with their temples of consumerism in Oxford Street, the Trafford Centre etc – received a huge boost (including from Catholics) when Sunday retailing developed in the early 1990s (in GB) – ‘shop till you drop’. What impact has the retailing revolution had upon Sunday Mass attendance? The foregoing examples of contributing factors in the decline of Catholic worship and living have one thing in common: they are substantially a consequence of individual free-will choosing to place TV or shopping before Christ and the Church. People are tempted and many chose to sin and fall away from God. Benedict XVI’s observations should not be used as an opportunity to refresh old arguments (grudges?) or as an excuse to scapegoat the Vatican, the bishops, the priests or the liturgy, then promptly jump upon the already heavily-overloaded ‘victimhood’ bandwagon. As Catholics we must appreciate our own responsibilities in relation to worship and lifestyle, not constantly seek to blame someone else in the Church. It is up to us all to rise to the challenge of the Holy Father’s evangelisation message. 

  • Michael

    I was born, baptized and confirmed prior to the disasters of ‘The spirit of Vatican II’.  When I was young the divorce rate was 2% in the USA and now it is closing in on 60%.  Abortion was illegal and premarital sex was frowned upon.  And, yes, those who proclaim to be Catholic divorce and have abortions at these same rates.  The illigitimacy rate in the USA is at 41% and most of that is because women chose to not give their children a live at home father, not because the man abandoned them.  The US Church did a lot of harm since the early 1970′s and much of that harm is still happening throughout the US.  When my daughter made her confirmation the ‘Sacraments’ were NEVER taught nor was the gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT.  Yes, there is plenty of Catholics guilty of Sloth of even knowing their own faith.  We have time for ‘everything’ except reading the Bible and The Catechism.  Sloth!  Pick up a Bible and Catechism and start today.

  • http://twitter.com/ensucorazon Jason

    BXVI generation for the win :-)

  • JAMES LINK SHUMAKER

    The Pope is exactly right.  I am in his generation;  I have always known Christ.   But I give myself  D- in passing it on.  Maybe I still have a chance. 

  • Thomas Beyer

    Dr. Peter Kreeft once compared Blessed John Paul II to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. It’s almost too easy to remember the days when the Holy Father was quite literally bent over, bearing the weight of the world around his neck. If John Paul was Frodo, Dr. Kreeft said, then Benedict is his Sam, his loyal and lowly companion in the background, who was, in fact, always shoring up his dear friend and bearing the weight himself, silently.

    This is the legacy these two Pontiffs, surely two of the greatest the Church has yet seen, will leave behind them: Love as hard work, suffering; The presence of God lived out in a day-to-day life of penance and service; Worship as self-sacrifice in adoration of others and God; “The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

    This is the essence of the “New Evangelization,” the lesson Blessed John Paul and Benedict teach us with their lives and selves. One does not argue or lure people into the Church, one loves them into it, by being present to the world and those in it, living the life of Christ, day in and day out, and thereby becoming a conduit of grace and love.

    http://www.popsophia.blogspot.com

  • Jeannine

    I generally agree with you. Yet, history has shown that every time the quality of priests drops, problems that are mentioned in your post, soon follow within the Catholic Church.

    For example, starting with the Depression (or maybe before) & continued all the way up to Vatican 2 & beyond the rate of quality priests declined. We know that 1000s of priests murdered in such countries as Mexico, Spain, Germany, Belgium, & elsewhere. The qualifications to enter a seminary were eased during that time.

    Look at the time period of the Black Plague & Reformation. Again, many good priests died & bishops had to ease priestly qualifications to reduce the shortage.

    In both examples corruption & filth entered into the clergy & religious ranks.

    Now that the Vatican & bishops are cleaning up the seminaries, I have hope for the future.

  • AgingPapist

    Hopefully, this seminar, in addition to the pope’s published works, will become a model of what the ideal teaching papacy should be.  Instead of pontifical decrees and the issuing of Vatican ukases from the pen of cardinal bureacrats speaking not for “the magisterium”, but AS the magisterium.  Then, the world,  including Catholics, may start to take this papacy of Benedict 16 seriously, the voice of Christian witness and not simply the autocratic voices of prelates living in the high middle ages.

  • Parasum

    For a second I thought that was by EditorCT

  • Parasum

    ‘…”there are so many channels and so much to watch”…”

    - on another planet maybe; most TV is unwatchable pap – these days there are dozens of channels of nothingness.

  • Parasum

    “Benedict XVI’s observations should not be used as an opportunity to
    refresh old arguments (grudges?) or as an excuse to scapegoat the
    Vatican, the bishops, the priests or the liturgy, then promptly jump
    upon the already heavily-overloaded ‘victimhood’ bandwagon.”

    ## “[G]rudges” ? Not in the least; the woes of the Church since 1962 are the work, first and foremost, of the clergy. This is simply a fact. And attempts by the clergy to say otherwise won’t change facts. Far from scapegoated, they scapegoat others all the time. It would be a great thing if the Pope were to destroy this fungus of self-justifying cowardice & clericalism that has corrupted the clergy for far too long. Fortunately, God can’t be cheated by “the easy speeches/that comfort cruel men”, even though men can.

  • Anonymous

    I feel (as a convert to Catholicism) that we could learn something from the evangelicals and Pentecostals, specifically their fervor for the Gospel and their desire to proclaim it. Perhaps in previous decades the Catholic Church has been a little too comfortable and inward looking. The Pope is right, we need to be seen to live our faith and be apologists for it.

  • Anonymous

    Yes the Holy Father is right.
    I suppose some inkling of the problem comes from a British Catholic newspaper The Universe. It’s Editors own forum is running a thread on World Youth Day that is so stunningly negative as to defy belief. Not only repeating the trash from tthe secular press, but just for good measure describing the participants as nerds.
    If you want a depressing read this is the link though you do need to find the WYD thread.

    http://www.totalcatholic.com/discuss

  • Anonymous

    ‘most of that is because women chose to not give their children a live at home father, not because the man abandoned them.’

    What proof do you have of this?

  • James H

    Don’t be so hard on yourselves, O Elders! :)

    The world has changed massively since the pre-Vatican II church. It’s thanks to the Charismatic Renewal that I didn’t follow the New Age in an ever-decreasing spiral. That and a good teacher, a de la Salle brother in primary school, who convinced me (in the teeth of Carl Sagan) about the reality of God and especially the Real Presence.

    Yes, the ball was dropped; but trust in God that it will be providential. The ‘old’ church was not faultless, for all the insistence on the Golden Age of the 1950s. I agree with Cestius, wholeheartedly (though I for one couldn’t go around sharing my faith with everyone!).

  • Basil Loft@ss

    The Holy Father has been reading too much St. Augustine and has got this wrong. Prior to the Council the UK and American Catholic Church had a huge number of converts. The failure of the Council was essentially a Franco-German one. The English speaking branch was doing well with 70+% Mass attendance. Then the Germans and the Fench decided to show us how it should be done …

  • Parasum

    That would probably mean a major re-adjustment in Catholic attitudes. “Inward-looking” ? And how !

  • Parasum

    According to a book with the helpful title “The RCs”, about English Catholicism, there were 15,000 – 15 thousand – converts in 1954, and 3,000 Catholics leaving in the same year. Net gain: 12 thou.  In 1981, there were slightly more than 5,000 converts. The figure is lower now. As to Scotland, the 1967 Catholic Encyclopedia records a figure of 850,000 Catholics in 1964. 46 years later, the figure is round about 700,000.

    This is apart from all the other statistical indicators. BTW, I think the Scottish & English stats are calculated in different ways: Scotland groups conversions under baptisms, or did at one time.

    A few years ago the USCC figures for conversions had shot up again, to over 80,000 – OTOH, it used to be nearer 150,000. The US has the problem that even before the 1960s many parishes were without priests; the fall in numbers of priests in the US has greatly aggravated a problem that was already present.

    STM the US bishops can take a tidy share of the credit for the debacle: thanks to their bilge about religious liberty being a human right, the Council asserted a continuity between Dignatis Humanae & previous teaching which has never yet been demonstrated. Any one can assert anything – such as, that the Vatican is run by Sontarans; but asserting it doesn’t make it true. Maybe there was a paradigm shift in the Church’s thinking – that’s the only explanation of DH’s novelties I can think of; but the laity should not be reduced to guessing-games. 

  • Basil Loft@ss

    Certainly in the UK the ratio of priest to laity hasn’t changed in a hundred years (although I don’t understand what point you are making overall).

    The USA is an enormous country and there are all sorts of economic and demographic reasons to explain shortages of any kind. The collapse of the Faith since V2 has not helped the Faith..
     
    From what I can understand of your point, you do seem to be agreeing with me. How Franco-German intellectuals gained control of the Church in 1962 remains a bizarre feature of the period.
     

  • Basil Loft@ss

    Your third paragraph is contradictory in respect of the USA. If the convert rate was 150,000 prior to the Council on top of an already high rate of practice then this suggests things were going well. The expansion rate of the American Catholic Church prior to the council was staggering. There simply wasn’t enough time to build new seminaries, churches and schools to keep up especially as Catholics moved away from the major east and west seaboard conurbations. Of course there was a vocations ‘crisis’ as a result.
     
    Then came the collapse.   
     
    The irony is that politically a stratum of American intellectuals (not all Catholics) are asking themselves what has gone wrong these last 50 years in the USA in general? It seems some Americans are more willing to ask pertinent questions about some of the disasters which have befallen their country (worthless dollar, indebtedness and perpetual war) than Catholics are of their own Church’s problems.
     
    It’s weird if you ask me. Nobody is asking for change just dialogue. Let’s us talk about these issues or at least ask questions or make some polite enquiries. Instead there is a refusal to countenance any vision for the Church other than ‘conciliarism’. This new translation of the Mass, for example, is yet another bail out for Vatican II. No less pernicious than those received by the banks from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England respectively. The same mentality: “Vatican II is too big to fail”.

  • Basil Loft@ss

    Your third paragraph is contradictory in respect of the USA. If the convert rate was 150,000 prior to the Council on top of an already high rate of practice then this suggests things were going well. The expansion rate of the American Catholic Church prior to the council was staggering. There simply wasn’t enough time to build new seminaries, churches and schools to keep up especially as Catholics moved away from the major east and west seaboard conurbations. Of course there was a vocations ‘crisis’ as a result.
     
    Then came the collapse.   
     
    The irony is that politically a stratum of American intellectuals (not all Catholics) are asking themselves what has gone wrong these last 50 years in the USA in general? It seems some Americans are more willing to ask pertinent questions about some of the disasters which have befallen their country (worthless dollar, indebtedness and perpetual war) than Catholics are of their own Church’s problems.
     
    It’s weird if you ask me. Nobody is asking for change just dialogue. Let’s us talk about these issues or at least ask questions or make some polite enquiries. Instead there is a refusal to countenance any vision for the Church other than ‘conciliarism’. This new translation of the Mass, for example, is yet another bail out for Vatican II. No less pernicious than those received by the banks from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England respectively. The same mentality: “Vatican II is too big to fail”.

  • Oconnordamien

    Yet again the pope says it’s not his fault, it’s ours.

  • Oconnordamien

    Yet again the pope says it’s not his fault, it’s ours.

  • Bob Hayes

    I cannot find an evidence for that from the article above. Can you explain how you draw that conclusion?

  • peregrinus

    A lot of people on these
    forums talk about the collapse ’caused’ by Vatican II. But you have to ask the
    question, why did Catholicism just about fall over in the face of what was
    obviously largely heretical? Why did it not have the native strength to resist,
    except for SSPX and a few others? Why did vocations evaporate like they did? Why were Catholics so ill-formed -long before liberal seminaries and paedophile priests- that they and the hierarchy fell over like dominoes? And
    what is the option proposed by “Traditionalists” – to go back to whatever it
    was that collapsed like a pricked balloon? 
    When Pope John XXIII proclaimed the council he was obviously spot on
    that the Church needed to change – if he did not know how bad VII would be, he still
    knew that pretending it was still the 18th century was no longer an option.  The traditional mass and other trad stuff is
    good, Bishop Fellay is right when he says its all about doctrine – but even now
    no-one is engaging with the point, which is that the Church has manifestly
    shown that it cannot survive on tradition alone and that VII got it right at
    least that something had to be done to enable the faith to engage with the
    modern world.  If the VII brigade need to
    smell the coffee that VII was a disaster, the Trads still have to wake up and
    figure out that a retreat to frilly vestments is not going to do it
    either.  

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    PRIESTS, BISHOPS, CARDINALS AND THE POPE MAKE THE OFFICIAL SIDE  OF THE CHURCH BUILT INTO AN INSTITUTION OVER THE CENTURIES; WHAT MAKES THE CHURCH  TRULY THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS THE SOUL: THE HOLY SPIRIT; UNLESS HE THE SOUL IS A LIVING REALITY IN THE OFFICIALS, THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE CREDIBLE WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD OR THE WORLD.

    TOO MUCH OF INTELLECTUALSIM AND THEOLOGY MAKE THE OFFICIALS LIVE A LIFE LEAD BY A SPIRIT OPPOSED TO CHRIST. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT OF THE APOSTLES.

    IF THE BISHOPS HAVE INHERITED THE OFFICES OF THE APOSTLES, THEY NEED TO BE APOSTLES THEMSELVES FIRST OF ALL.

    WHEN THE APOSTLES OPENED THEIR MOUTHS THE SPIRIT OF JESUS BROUGHT CROWDS OF PEOPLE TO THEM. WHAT ABOUT US PRIESTS, BISHOPS AND THE POPE?  WE ARE ONLY BENT ON ORGANISING THEM!

    WE  ALL NEED TO BECOME TRUE APOSTLES AND NOT REMAIN AS MERE PRIESTS WHO CAN ONLY PERFORM RITUALS.

    AND FOR THIS WE ALL NEED TO REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE WORD OF CHRIST FIRST.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    WE CHRISTIANS SHOULD TAKE ONLY THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES:  GOD JESUS; AND NOT A GENERIC NAME. IT WILL HELP US TO OBEY THE FATHER WHO SENT HIS SON FOR US TO BE OUR MODEL; IT IS THE FATHER WHO TOLD US, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, LISTEN TO HIM”.  GOD THE SON JESUS, OUR SAVIOUR  IN TURN TOLD US, “LEARN OF ME BECAUSE I AM HUMBLE OF HEART”, “HE WHO SEES ME SEES THE FATHER. I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE”.

    CRADLE CATHOLICS ARE LIKE THE CHILDREN OF THE RICH WHO WALLOW IN WEALTH AND DESTROY THEMSELVES; THEY ARE LIKE  PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT  WORKED AND EARNED THIS WORLDLY WEALTH OR OTHER WORLDLY TREASURES; THEY ARE LIKE TRAPPED PARROTS WHO MADE NOISES WITHOUT ANY UNDERSTANDING; AS A CONSEQUENCE THEY ARE NOT IN A POSITION  TO APPRECIATE AND ENJOY GOD’S GIFTS AS SOMETHING  VERY PRECIOUS. THEY ARE NOT SEEKERS; AND THEY HAVE NO JOY OF DISCOVERY. THEY JUST OBEY AND REMAIN COMFORTABLE AND WIN APPROVAL FROM BELOW!

    IT IS JESUS WHO SAID, “SEEK….KNOCK…ASK…”. ANY SEEKER BECAUSE OF HIS/ HER PERSONAL DISCOVERY WILL BE AN EXULTANT AND JOYFUL ONE; WHEREAS READ-MADE CHRISTIANS ARE TAME, UNINSPIRING  AND BORING. THEY ARE TRAPPED IN DEAD RITUALS AND DOGMAS. THIS IS THE REASON THE YOUNG PEOPLE MOVE AWAY FROM THEM WHEN THEY GET THE OPPORTUNITY.

    WITHOUT KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING JESUS PERSONALY,  THAT TOO THROUGH HIS WORD  HOW CAN WE GROW IN FAITH? TRUE FAITH THAT COMES FROM MEDITATION ON THE WORD OF GOD, INSPIRES AND REVEALS. IT CONVICTS PEOPLE OF SIN AND BRINGS THEM TO REPENTANCE AND SALVATION. WHEREAS MERE SACRAMENTS AND DOGMAS AND RITUALS BRING ONE FALSE SECURITY. WITHOUT GOD’S WORD THEY WORK AS MERE TRAPS. OBEYING THE WORD OF GOD BRINGS ONE TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST AND SALVATION. THE WORD OF GOD IS FOUNDATIONAL; THE SACRAMENTS AND OTHER THINGS ARE SECONDARY AND DEPENDENT ON THE WORD OF GOD.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Basil Loft@ss

    This is ‘reductio ad absurdam’. The notion that the pre-V2 Church can we be reduced to frilly vestments is a puerile analysis. This completely contradicts the  reality that the American Church was generating a huge number of conversions. Even Hollywood presented Catholic priests as essentially heroic men and not just the Bing Crosby caricature. If one examines the gangsters movies of the 30’s or even darker post-war presentations, priests were depicted in a positive light by film makers who were, for the most part, Jewish. Bishop Fulton Sheen, in the 1950’s, had a TV show which enjoyed the highest ratings and went head to head on a Sunday evening with Milton Berle – one of the highest paid entertainers in the World. And It was not just in the USA where the Church enjoyed huge surge in conversions. In the UK also this phenomenon could be observed and here we saw evidence of an indigenous Catholic cultural renaissance especially as the greatest novelists of their generation were all Catholic: Waugh, Tolkien and Greene. All these men attended Mass celebrated by priests wearing ‘frilly vestments’. Curiously Waugh, disliked High Mass and much preferred to participate at low Mass but was nevertheless appalled by the liturgical changes wrought by Bugnini in the 1950’s to the Triduum during the papacy of Pius XII.

  • Peregrinus

    The reference to frilly vestments is a flippant way of asking the serious question: why did the Catholic Church – not only the hierarchy but the laity as well – not have the inner intellectual, spiritual and moral resources to withstand the heretical innovations brought about by the Council better than it did? Particularly if, as you say, it was so vibrant and well regarded?  
    Until you can answer that, a retreat to tradition is futile – tradition  was the first casualty of the Council.  
    Railing against the Council is no good, unless one first accepts the hard truth that there was a serious problem with the pre-conciliar Church.  John XXIII knew this, that is why he called the Council.  
    That is the point.  

  • Basil Loft@ss

    That is NOT the reason why J23 called the Council i.e. “there was a serious problem”. Read his opening address and it was the complete opposite. He had total confidence that the Council would be a success and wanted to share with the World what the Church was doing right. He sought new ways to present this success story.

    If tradition was a casualty of the Council then redescovering it is not a retreat. It becomes the only way forward. This is starting to happen at a secular level in the USA where sections of their intelligentsia are starting to return to the Constitution (similarly abandoned by their executive) as a way of reviving their country. If they don’t their country’s decline will be terminal.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    “We, who have been able to know [Christ] since our youth, may we ask
    forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to
    people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he’s present
    and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for,” said Pope Benedict when he met his former students in Castel Gandolfo where he presided over a Mass with his former students.

    THANK YOU JESUS, FOR GRANTING THIS MUCH HUMILITY AND GRACE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TRUTH

    OF HIS LIFE TO OUR GREAT  POPE BENEDICT XVI. ENABLE US ALL PRIESTS AND THE REST OF US TO

    HAVE THE SAME IN OUR OWN LIVES, FOR WE CLAIM TO WORK FOR YOU ALL OUR LIVES LIKE PETER

    YOUR APOSTLE AND HIS FRIENDS WHO SPENT THE WHOLE NIGHT FISHING BUT CAUGHT NOTHING!

    ALL THIS BECAUSE WE ARE NOT PURE IN OUR HEARTS DUE TO OUR OWN HIDDEN AGENDAS TO

    INVITE YOU INTO OUR LIVES TO LEAD US AND GUIDE US THROUGH YOUR HOLY SPIRIT.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    WE NEED TO BE APOSTLES OF CHRIST AND PROCLAIM HIS WORD AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

    WILL FLOURISH.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Richmaffeobooks

    Enough already of blaming others for not teaching us God’s word. What’s done is done. This is today. September 2, 2011. As St. Augustine heard the voice in the garden before his conversion, let us also hear that same voice telling us of the Scriptures, “Pick up and read.”

  • peregrinus

    Wrong.  Popes dont call councils when everything is going swimmingly. If you look past the verbiage of the opening address you will find the little nuggets: the modern ages lack of concern for spiritual values, the attack on the family and so on.  The most plangent sentence in the address is the following: “That being so, the Catholic Church, raising the torch of religious truth by means of this Ecumenical Council, desires to show herself to be the loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness toward the brethren who are separated from her.” Which is as much as to say “Why is no-one listening to me?”

    But you have not answered the question.  which was:  why did the Catholic Church – not only the hierarchy but the laity as well – not have the inner intellectual, spiritual and moral resources to withstand the heretical innovations brought about by the Council better than it did? Particularly if, as you say, it was so vibrant and well regarded?  

  • http://twitter.com/just_beingmum Hope Varnes

    We love, we show respect and kindess and touch lives without asking anything in return. And without telling people they’re wrong and we’re right. Isn’t that enough to show that God exist?

  • Siobham

    That is right take the same sad old stand, women are to blame for everything. Look at the picture accompanying this article, a group of men seated around a table, honestly I am no red hot feminist but if you cannot see the sentiments expressed by yourself are a real turn off for many people seeking God with a sincere heart in the 21st century then what hope is there.