Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body

These words will be said to each new Cardinal: "To the praise of God, and the honor of the Apostolic See receive the red biretta, the sign of the cardinal's dignity; and know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude even to the shedding of your blood: for the growth of the Christian faith, the peace and tranquility of the People of God, and the freedom and spread of the Holy Roman Church".The sobering words of the Successor of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, that he spoke to the future priests and the new Cardinals, echo for all of us to hear and reflect upon.The culture we are called to engage is not friendly turf.

The new ring of the Cardinals features the Martyrs of the Church of Rome, Peter and Paul

The new ring of the Cardinals features the Martyrs of the Church of Rome, Peter and Paul

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Apostasy, Religious liberty, Cardinals, Pope Benedict XI, Christian Non-Conformism, Seminarians, Cardinal Dolan, Deacon Keith Fournier


ROME, Italy (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Pontifical Major Seminary in Rome. He made comments called "off the cuff" by some in the Press. However, observers of this Pope know that these remarks were deliberate. They reflected his deeply held convictions concerning the challenge which the Church faces in a Western culture which has attempted to evict God.

The Holy Father read the first two verses of the twelfth chapter St. Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome, "I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."

Referring to the Church of the seminarians as "the Church of the future, the Church which lives forever" Benedict the Teacher gave a twenty minute exposition of St. Paul's instruction, calling the young men to "Christian non-conformism." He explained that "this does not mean that Christians flee from the world but on the contrary, that they let themselves be transformed by their faith in order thereby to transform the world."

He reminded those studying for the priesthood of two different ways in which the term translated "the world" is used in Sacred Scripture. He noted that the word "world" has two different meanings: creation, loved by God to the point that He gave Himself for its salvation; but also the world represented by the powers of evil that reflect original sin. This "world" is a system which has all too often ejected God. He warned the future priests of two aspects often captive to this world, the world of finance and the world of the media.

Though both in themselves are "useful and good" they are, in the Pope's words "so easy to abuse that they often become the contrary of their true intentions." He challenged the future priests to not conform themselves to this age or this world, in the sense of submission to falsehood, "We do not want always to be praised, we do not want appearances - but the truth." Because, he concluded, "this alone gives us true freedom from the need to please or to speak as the mass thinks."

On February 18, 2012, the consistory - wherein twenty-two Churchmen will be made Cardinals - will begin. They will also be called to a "Christian non-conformism" even to the point of shedding their blood for the ancient yet ever new faith.

These words will be said to each new Cardinal, "To the praise of God, and the honor of the Apostolic See receive the red biretta, the sign of the cardinal's dignity; and know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude even to the shedding of your blood: for the growth of the Christian faith, the peace and tranquility of the People of God, and the freedom and spread of the Holy Roman Church."

It is interesting to note that the rings given to those who will join the Senate of advisors to the Pope, the ones who will gather when the need arises to vote for his successor, is different this year.  It has been cast with the images of the martyrs of Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. This call to martyrdom reflects the sober tone in which the consistory is set.

In reflecting upon his own selection, Cardinal -designate Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, in an article for the Catholic New York wrote these words, "When the Holy Father presents the "red hat" to the new cardinals, he will ask us to accept it as a sign of our readiness to shed our blood for the strengthening of the faith, the peace and tranquility of the people of God, and the liberty and growth of the Church. Get it? Blood! Red!"

"Would you pray for me that I might do as I am asked? That I will be a courageous preacher of the
Gospel, and defender of human dignity, the Church and our cherished religious freedom? I need more than your prayers though. I need your joyful witness, your solidarity. Just as the whole community shares in this honor, so too do we all share in the responsibility. If all this only means that I now dress up in a red cassock and red hat, we will have missed the whole point."

"Are you ready to shed your blood? Every Christian disciple should aspire to be brave enough to do so. Please God, the day of shedding one's blood for the faith will not come to New York, but the cardinalatial red should invite everyone to ask some questions and examine our consciences. As Blessed John Paul II observed, "If something is not worth dying for, it's not worth living for." God, family, faith, freedom, one's country, friends, honor, virtue, life itself, the Church -- all worth dying for . . . all worth living for!"

"For my part, I have to ask myself: Where do I show steadfastness now? If I can't be courageous now in small things, how might I be ready to answer the summons to shed my blood in grave matters? Do I speak of the Gospel full and entire, with joy and conviction, even to those who appear to be indifferent or hostile? Do I defend the Church when she is maligned or attacked, or when her proper liberties are threatened?"

"Do I stand fast with those around the world persecuted and even martyred for their faith, raising my voice in solidarity with them? Do I do my utmost, with the help of God's grace, to live the virtues, especially those of humility and charity? Do I fight the daily battle to make room for God, in time set aside for prayer, the sacraments and works of service to others, especially those in need? Might I invite you to ask those same questions?"

The media in the United States falsely portrays the US Administrations' effort to compel the Catholic Church to apostatize as a battle over "contraception" rather than what it truly is -- a denial of the fundamental right to Religious Freedom. The sobering words of the Successor of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, that he spoke to the future priests and the new Cardinals, echo for all of us to hear and reflect upon as well. The culture we are called to engage is not friendly turf.

However, we need to remember it has never been. One of the oldest post New Testament writings we have is called the Letter to Diognetus. It was written to an early inquirer to the Christian faith at the beginning of the Second Century. The challenges then were not all that different. Here are but a few excerpts for our reflection:

"Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign."

"And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. "

"They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again.To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Europe

Archaeologists find a very different type of 'treasure' - a 2,000-year-old toilet seat Watch

Image of Discovered at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accustomed to finding priceless coins, artwork and historical artifacts, archaeologists in Great Britain have found an altogether different type of treasure - one that was desperately needed in ancient times - a wooden toilet seat, believed to be 2,000 years ... continue reading


Over 1,400 girls raped and abused by Muslims in English town Watch

Image of For more than 12 years a large community of Pakistanis living in England have enjoyed sexually abusing girls while officials turned a blind eye a new report reveals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over a 12 year period, hundreds of children were systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town, and the government commissioned report on the incident reveals that it is still going on today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Guilty? Corruption case moves forward against the head of International Monetary Fund Watch

Image of Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, who is facing charges currently in France.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and one of the most powerful women in the world, has been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as a French finance minister. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scandalous details come to light over defrocked nuncio's abuse of young boys Watch

Image of Shoeshine boys int he Dominican Republic say that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual acts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Loathsome details have come to light over defrocked Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Shoeshine boys say that Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual ... continue reading


Archbishop appeals his defrocking for sexual abuse allegedly committed in Dominican Republic Watch

Image of If found guilty in a criminal trial, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, from Poland, is accused of child sex abuse while he served in the Dominican Republic. He has since appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, according to the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING: Are there more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for British military? Watch

Image of Many young men facing poor job prospects in the U.K. find the IS narrative of defending Islam hard to resist.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a shocking figure that has many questioning immigration laws. Britain's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. In a momentous slap to the West - and ... continue reading


British Archbishop demands Muslim leaders enforce discipline on youth or face the consequences Watch

Image of George Carey, a former Archbishop recently spoke on the dangers of the Islamic State, as well as the British Muslims who go overseas to fight for it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for Britons that are fighting for the Islamic State to be banished from Britain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lord George Carey of Clifton said that Muslims must  discipline their young people, or see them ... continue reading


Pontifical Council Statement on the Violence in Iraq Watch

Image of Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis:

By Vatican Radio

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious ... continue reading


British rapper makes 14-year-old girl post sex video online Watch

Image of The girl, who can't be named for legal reasons, accepted a friend request from rapper Logik, whose real name is Kyle Burns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a sick incident that highlights what's going on around the eyes and ears of semi-attentive parents. A British rapper who goes under the stage name of "Logik" asked a 14-year-old girl to pose an indecent 60-second video of herself to which he promised ... continue reading


A new tomb may be the burial place of Alexander the Great Watch

Image of This road leads up to a newly discovered tomb which could hold the remains of one of Alexander the Great's generals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered an immense tomb that they believe may be connected with Alexander the Great, whose conquests stretched from Greece to India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This tomb, which dates to around 300 BC, may have held the body ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter