11 June, 2010

Comments taken from the Homily of Pope Benedict XVI as he brought to a close the 'Year of the Priest'

The Pope noted how the Year for Priests was celebrated to ensure "a renewed appreciation of the grandeur and beauty of the priestly ministry. The priest is not a mere office-holder. ... Rather, he does something which no human being can do of his own power: in Christ's name he speaks the words which absolve us of our sins and in this way he changes, starting with God, our entire life. Over the offerings of bread and wine he speaks Christ's words of thanksgiving, ... which open the world to God and unite it to Him. The priesthood, then, is not simply 'office' but Sacrament".


"This audacity of God Who entrusts Himself to human beings (Who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead) this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word 'priesthood'. ...This is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew over the course of the past year. We wanted to reawaken our joy at how close God is to us, ... we also wanted to demonstrate once again to young people that this vocation, this fellowship of service for God and with God, does exist".
 
"It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the 'enemy'; he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the Sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light - particularly the abuse of the little ones. ... We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again; and that in admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey".

"Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: we grew in gratitude for God's gift, a gift concealed in 'earthen vessels' which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes His love concretely present in this world. So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, His gift becomes a commitment to respond to God's courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility".


THANK YOU HOLY FATHER!!  

18 comments:

  1. Each day we need to thank God for all the good priests He has given us and for those with wounded priesthood..may we forgive them as God forgives us and may they be open to healing

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  2. I do not like Pope Benedict XVI.

    I do not trust him!! He knew nothing about the sex abuse problems in the Holy Roman Catholic Church?...of course he did!!!

    Please remember there were a lot of bad Popes in the past...just check the history of the Pontiffs.

    Benedict XVI ranks with them in my opinion. His legacy will be the Godfather of cover-ups of molesters/pedophiles priests and clergy.

    Sadly...he will continue to busy himself to hide the true facts that there is these major cover-ups of the criminal kind.

    Pope Benedict does have that gift of talk but it is like he is in this rocking chair, yes moving but still not getting anywhere. All talk but his actions say a different story.

    Just talk to or look up: Sister Maureen Paul Turlish. She is a well known Victim's Advocate. Then again this poor woman has a problem right from the start,.....Pope Benedict and his all male entourage may have idiosyncrasy about her...she is a female. We all know these guys have a lot to learn about females/women issues. They have this certain thing..how could I put it...they are in the attitude mode something like...'Me Tarzan and you Jane!' It is so medieval, crass, and frustrating.

    I will not pretend to like Pope Benedict. It takes all my strength not to take his portrait in the entrance of our Church and turn the picture upside down. Then again, it is so easy to draw horns on his head and it looks so natural...to me anyway!

    I wouldn't go OR see this Pope if he came to this country. I would not even kiss his ring given the chance.

    Furthermore, the sooner this Pope Benedict XVI goes away the better.


    Lina

    P.S.
    I promise not to turn the Pope's picture upside down. (grin) About drawing horns on a photo of him...that I cannot promise :)

    *Thanks Fr. Tim, for letting me vent.*

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  3. Lina: You're welcome! I may not agree with you, but you are always welcome here... even if it's just to vent. We all need to do that sometime and I am grateful that you feel free to do it here.

    Fr. Tim

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  4. Tim,

    Lina's sentiment is probably widely felt. Have you read the history of the popes written by Peter de Rosa, a former Jesuit? The soft cover thick book is called "Vicars of Christ - The Dark Side of the Papacy" Peter de Rosa was an insider who had a terrific knowledge and way of putting it into words. It gives 1700 years (2000 yrs to some people) of history of the papacy. It is an eye opener.

    'Colourful and compulsive reading' - Stewart Lamon, Glasgow Herald

    The back cover says "In this startling, informative, myth-shattering book, former Jesuit priest Peter de Rosa examines two millennia of popes - and reveals a papcy shrouded in scandal, intrigue, murder, and all-to0-human fallibility. Putting the papacy through the same rigorous scrutiny that the Catholic Church demans of candidates for sainthood, he plays the devil's advocate to the holy fathers, from St. Peter to Pope John Paul II, and find more sinners than saints."

    When I was reading this book, I mentioned some details about it in the lunchroom back in the 1990s. Our young boss was an Italian RC and one workmate had gone to a baptist church for a while, but didn't go to church any more. The former baptist chewed me out for mentioning what was in the book with the boss listening. The Italian Canadian RC boss couldn't care less about it. Funny how some people react. Sometimes criticism comes from the most suprising sources. As I said before there are ecumenicals who don't have a clue about what is going on.

    Say Tim, when are you going to write a book on what it's like on the inside?

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  5. Lena:

    I had my own problems identifying with Pope Benedict XVI. But, I did a lot of my own research to figure out what he knew, and what he didn't, and what he did do and what he didn't do. Turns out that there are a lot of lies and misconceptions being spread about him by the Main Stream Media.

    Then, something else came along. The Knights of Columbus started a novena for Our Holy Father, which I started to pray with some fellow Knights, and which I posted about on my own blog.

    http://freethroughtruth.blogspot.com/2010/04/prayer-for-pope-benedict-xvi.html

    As I started to pray this novena, and we have continued it now for a few months (much longer than the 9 days), and as I look at his picture when we pray it, my heart softened for him, and for his role in Our Church.

    The prayer is as follows:

    Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world. Amen.

    V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.

    R/ May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over
    to the power of his enemies.

    V/ May your hand be upon your holy servant.

    R/ And upon your son, whom you have anointed.

    Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

    I now love Pope Benedict.

    God Bless You

    Michael

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  6. Wayne:

    It's time for you to come home, brother. We miss you, and the truth of something can not be properly gained from the outside looking in.

    There were a lot of popes who were scalawags, and scoundrels. What did you expect? Perfection. Remember, the man we call the first Pope, Peter was no shining example of sinless behaviour.

    Michael

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  7. MBrandon,

    "may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world. Amen."

    "It's time for you to come home, brother. We miss you, and the truth of something can not be properly gained from the outside looking in."

    Michael, You express yourself in a diplomatic and kindly way. The Lord saved me by His grace in about 1980/81, probably about eight or ten years after I quit going to the RCC. I heard the gospel preached over the radio one evening in our apartment. Because of events that had happened in my life, I felt in a kind of crisis situation and did not think the Roman church had the answers. I looked at the wall and thought if there is a hell, I don't want to go there. After all, any RC at that time who was divorced and remarried before a Protestant minister was considered a leper in the RCC and it was questionable whether there was any hope for them.

    Then I heard the radio broadcast where the minister clearly preached "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13 But thre are those who think they have it all with their "religion", maybe they are leading a reasonably clean upright moral life, and following all the sacraments and rituals. They believe everything they have been told.

    But the Bible explains salvation in very simple terms.
    Also, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10

    That night the preacher talked about 1 Corinthians chap15 vs1-4.
    "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;" vs 1 to 4.

    The preacher said if I would call upon Christ as my personal Saviour and believe in my heart that He died for my sins, that I would be saved. By the grace of God, I did so immediately. I believe He saved me and gave me eternal life.

    There are many other verses which verify what happened and that my sins are forgiven.
    "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Ephesians ch1:7

    "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgivenss of sins:" Colossians ch1 vs14.

    Considering the many verses which prove my sins are forgiven, why would I want to go back to a system of religion which rejects these biblical truths and instead teaches I must go regularly to a man to confess, receive penance and absolution and with no assurance of eternal life. Why would I want to toss aside God's Word and the assurance of the unspeakable gift of eternal life in Christ which His Word promises? That would be pure madness.

    By the way, there is no Vicar of Christ on earth authorized in the Bible. Christ is the only head of the true church. "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Ephesians ch2 vs20 See also 1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

    I reject all false man-made religion and trust in Christ alone. No more kneeling on a hardwood floor for 20 or 30 minutes praying to the virgin as I did when I as a young teen at the C.Y.O. hall on Friday evenings. Praise God for his Word and His unspeakable gift.

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  8. Wayne:

    I appreciated your comment, and particularly the tiny insight into your own conversion story.

    I desired to respond earlier to it, but health wise this had not been a very good week for me.

    There is only one thing that we own here on this mortal coil, our life story of the love that God has for us personally and individually, as we best explain it through the word of our testimony.

    That means much more than any quoting of scripture you use to make your points. In fact, without your own personal testimony, quoting scripture is merely words, without a context, good words, but meaningless to most.

    Months ago, Lady Janus invited you to bring you to the party, instead of just the mask of the Bible. If you think that it is beneficial to have people come to where you are, it is kind of important for you to let us see you where you are.

    A video that might interest you if you have an open mind, is a conversion story of a Baptist raised AOG Youth Minister, called "The Bible Made Me Do It."

    https://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/products/the_bible_made_me_do_it

    God Bless You, Brother.

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  9. MBrandon,

    "Months ago, Lady Janus invited you to bring you to the party, instead of just the mask of the Bible. If you think that it is beneficial to have people come to where you are, it is kind of important for you to let us see you where you are."

    You make some good points Michael. I will give it some thought. I'm not sure I would see the Bible as a mask though.

    I know you're not diminishing the importance of the Bible Michael. But don't follow Lady Janus' sentiment and relegate it to the dustbin either. To be a christian, I believe a person must love the Bible because it it is God's revelation to man. God wants us to love His Word, meditate on it, and of course live it. If I have learned anything, it is the more I know about what's in the Bible, the more I find I have fallen miserably short of what anyone would think a christian to be. If I had to depend on my own self, even partially, for salvation, there wouldn't be a hope. To look into the mirror and really see one's self can be very scary. If salvation depended on me in any way, shape, or form, I would never make it.

    Without what the Bible teaches, there is no salvation, no hope, and no christianity. The revelation in the Bible is what it is all built on. It is like the ultimate first aid book for those who are sick (from sin).

    I will check this story you have referred to and find out what this is all about.
    In the meantime, have a good weekend.

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  10. MBrandon,

    Michael, I checked that link. It is an ad to purchase a book "The Bible Made Me Do It."

    I thought it might be an online article. Sorry I'm not able to buy that.

    I know there have been people who were once alleged Protestants who became RC. But I doubt they were really converted or genuine believers. I can give you a website where you don't have to buy any books. It is loaded with information.

    http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/trf/index.html

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  11. Michael,
    I'm sorry you have had health problems this past week. I hope and pray your coming week(s) will be much better.

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  12. I recall about 17 years ago when a brother and I in the Reformed church I attend were doing a little door-to-door work when we came upon an big elderly man (a local shoe store owner) who answered the door. He immediately recognized the brother I was with and boldy said "you should know what I believe" and then said "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build by church" and closed the door in our faces.

    How sad if that is the sum total of his religion. Unfortunately for him, he continues on in his false belief because even the RCC church fathers could not agree on who the rock was in this verse in Matthew 16:18. Some thought it referred to Peter, some thought it referred to Christ, and some thought it referred to Peter's confession of Christ.

    Contrary to what many believe or assume, there never has been unanimity on this verse in the RC church. Yet the whole structure of the Papacy is built on this verse. Without the masses believing in Rome's interpretation, the whole structure would crumble like a deck of cards.

    The truth is known by the most basic principle of Bible interpretation. That is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. There are many other verses which prove the true church is built on Christ. Just one verse will suffice: "According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians Ch3 vs 10,11.

    The apostles throughout the New Testament never new any head of the church other than Christ. If Peter had been the head, it would have surely been mentioned in many places since it is a central doctrine of Rome. Even in the first church council recorded in Acts and held in Jerusalem, Peter did not preside; neither did he issue a papal encyclical. No, Peter never was a pope and neither claimed to be.

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  13. Brother Wayne:

    Boettner again, I see.

    I know you are a seeker of the truth, but to assume that a man with an ax to grind actually knows more of the truth than 2,000 years of Catholic Church teaching is a bit of a stretch for me. Particularly, when the actual teaching of the Catholic Church can be found with a few keystrokes, and I know you know how to stroke them keys, Brother.

    Revisionist history is not like real history. It's a story made up by men to satisfy their need to be right, which is quite different than the true story usually, and in this instance, pretty much totally.

    Here is a summary of Church teaching on Peter as Head of the Church.

    It starts with context. As you can read form the link posted here, there was no doubt in the bible that Peter was the head of the Church, and the Catholic Church has never thought otherwise, unless you believe Boettner, and I don't think he was there.

    Here is the summary of the entire article I am referencing below:

    "The New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14). One metaphor that has been disputed is Jesus Christ’s calling the apostle Peter "rock": "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

    Some have tried to argue that Jesus did not mean that his Church would be built on Peter but on something else.

    Some argue that in this passage there is a minor difference between the Greek term for Peter (Petros) and the term for rock (petra), yet they ignore the obvious explanation: petra, a feminine noun, has simply been modifed to have a masculine ending, since one would not refer to a man (Peter) as feminine. The change in the gender is purely for stylistic reasons.

    These critics also neglect the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and, as John 1:42 tells us, in everyday life he actually referred to Peter as Kepha or Cephas (depending on how it is transliterated). It is that term which is then translated into Greek as petros. Thus, what Jesus actually said to Peter in Aramaic was: "You are Kepha and on this very kepha I will build my Church."

    The Church Fathers, those Christians closest to the apostles in time, culture, and theological background, clearly understood that Jesus promised to build the Church on Peter, as the following passages show."

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Origins_of_Peter_as_Pope.asp

    Part 1

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  14. Part 2

    Of particular note to the article referenced above, is that it contains a Nihil Obstat from the Censor Librorum, meaning that it has been checked and verified for Catholic doctrinal accuracy.

    Additional it has the Imprimatur of the Bishop of San Diego, which was his authority for the article to be published.

    I would be glad to provide you with the video "The Bible Made Me Do It".

    It amazes me that Christ very clearly founded His Church with Peter as its head, even though he was a sinful weak man, and equally that the ACTUAL (not Boettner version) of teachings of the Church have not wavered from the start, if you look at the biblical historical perspective of them, and yet a significant number of Christians think that THEY can REFORM it, ie, form it once again.

    What a kick in the teeth to Our Lord and Saviour that is.

    I get that there were some really bad popes, who said and did some very egregious things, but remember that the first leader of the Church denied Christ, who he lived with every day for years, not once but three times.

    Like you, when I look in the mirror, I often don't like who I see, because like you I am aware of my own sinfulness - at least I think I am. So, the popes were going to be different than you and me, and somehow be sinless.

    Thank you for your well wishes, and prayers (particularly the prayers).

    I very much appreciate your faith and knowledge of the Word of God. It provides a challenge for me to continue to explore my own, which is always a worthwhile exercise.

    I wish that I could respond more often to your challenges, because they are worthy of response.

    God Bless You

    Michael

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  15. STG: Not to interfere in this excellent discussion between you and Michael, I did want to put one question to you. Are you aware of the 'Church of the Universe' which is arguing in an Ontario court that marijuana is a 'sacrament'? They are using the exact same argument as you (let scripture interpret scripture' in using the bible to justify their actions and beliefs.

    I'm just interested in your thoughts. They would help me respond to these 'holy smokers' on the Holy Post website.

    Fr. Tim

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  16. "But don't follow Lady Janus' sentiment and relegate it to the dustbin either."

    Ah, do not read what is not there, Wayne! And do not ascribe to me that which I did not say.

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  17. Tim,

    "STG: ...Are you aware of the 'Church of the Universe' which is arguing in an Ontario court that marijuana is a 'sacrament'? They are using the exact same argument as you (let scripture interpret scripture' in using the bible to justify their actions and beliefs."

    I do not know what the Ontario court will do or whether they have any interest in getting into debates about biblical interpretation. I somehow doubt it.

    The historic belief of the Reformers has been that if something is not clearly understood in one passage, further clarification should be sought in other Scriptures. In other word Scripture interprets Scripture.

    This group you speak about, if they are even referring to the Bible, obviously is twisting Scripture to try to justify their own claims, much like other cults do. But if a christian knows the fundamental doctrines of christianity as taught in Scripture, they should be able to see through these false interpretations of cults. The Bible warns us about those false teachers and wolves in sheeps clothing who twist the Scriptures.

    One does not need to be a theologian to know marijuana use and the biblical truth are incompatible. It is not possible to make a legitimate case with the Bible to support a "sacrament of marijuana". Such a claim is foolishness on their part. But a couple of verses come to mind. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians ch5 vs 22,23.

    Also, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Sprit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians ch6 vs 7, 8.

    Taking illicit drugs is sowing to the flesh and will result in reaping corruption. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

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  18. Wake up, Wayne..."illicit" drugs are so labelled because those in power decided that when their serfs and peasants and other laborers used recreational drugs, they were less productive; and when the serfs are less productive, those in power aren't able to make as much profit.

    It's economic. It has nothing to do with "morality" or anything else.

    Marijuana should be as much a sacrament to those who use it as the wine in the chalice is to those who use it.

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