Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I unite with Fr Steel in his appeal for prayers for the Holy Father, the blog entry is found here.
Accusing Popes is not a new phenomenon. St Pius X was labelled as anti modernist because he did not believe in the Marxist and socialist paradise.
Paul VI was wayward as he protected the unborn and upheld sex in its proper context of true love.
John Paul II in 1980 was declared reckless because he had the courage to stand up to Communism.
In 1990 he was labelled as retrograde as he defended the culture of life and love and transmitted to the Church the theology of the body.
In 2000 we were told time and time again that he was too old and fragile, full of illness and that he should step down as he is of no value to the Church… and yet his funeral was a triumph for the faith and an encouragement to those who are made to feel useless!
The present Pontiff was described as irresponsible in 2005 as with faith and courage he placed in front of the Islamic world some of its contradictions whilst Europe adopted a feeble and hesitant approach.
Recently he was again declared irresponsible because he extended a hand of mercy towards alienated Catholics; it seems that reconciliation is not appreciated any more.
Today he is being maligned as he stood for what the Catholic teaching is about. Here is the quote of what he said in reply to a question by Philippe Visseyrias di France 2: Direi che non si può superare questo problema dell’Aids solo con slogan pubblicitari. Se non c’è l’anima, se gli africani non si aiutano, non si può risolvere il flagello con la distribuzione di preservativi: al contrario, il rischio è di aumentare il problema. La soluzione può trovarsi solo in un duplice impegno: il primo, una umanizzazione della sessualità, cioè un rinnovo spirituale e umano che porti con sé un nuovo modo di comportarsi l’uno con l’altro, e secondo, una vera amicizia anche e soprattutto per le persone sofferenti, la disponibilità, anche con sacrifici, con rinunce personali, ad essere con i sofferenti.(My translation: I say that the problem of Aids can not be won with publicity type slogans. If there is no courage, if the Africans do not help themselves, this plague will not be solved by distributing condoms: on the contrary, the risk is to make the problem larger. The solution can be found in a double commitment: the first, a humanisation of sex, a spiritual and human renewing that will bring about a new way of how we interact one with the other, and secondly, a true friendship especially to the persons who suffer, being ready, with sacrifices, and personal cost, to be with those who suffer.)
For me the Holy Father is proposing to the world a Christological vision: a vision of a free humanity. Truth does not come by with a quick fix solution, which comes from those whose vision is limited. In the light of Christ we see beyond our human imposed horizons. What we need to aim for is a world free from the plague of Aids but also of what brings it about. Relationships and respect comes to mind. The Holy Father is not imposing, he is suggesting a royal way, he is proposing the light of Christ, he is entering into dialogue with the world. I hope that those who raise their voice and toss their heads will be the first to follow the example of committed Christians in standing with those who suffer, even if it is at great cost.
The Holy Spirit blows where He wills, He is the Lord of History, He alone can heal the wounds of our society. Whatever some (manipulated?) sections of the media might say, Benedict XVI is the pope of tolerance, the pope of dialogue.
The work of the Holy Father is not to fit the Gospel to the present day customs, the Church is not about popularity but faithfulness, that is what Christ left to her.
So please let us join Fr Steel in his prayers for the Holy Father, maybe devoting some time every day to this, from the feast of St Joseph to that of the Annunciation.

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