attacks on Pope Benedict XVI are unprecedented.
It is a reflection of the final conflict
that we are in, which focuses on the culture
of life versus the culture of death. The
anti-life and anti-family forces are formidable.
Only the holy Roman Catholic Church stands
in the way of their diabolical global
agenda. Thus they are focusing their guns
on our visible head, the Vicar of Christ.
But how mindful are our pastors of this
spiritual war that rages around us? Are
they speaking out forcefully against secular
humanism and its offspring the culture
of death, or is it business as usual?
Many good things are happening in the
Church, but are these the critical things?
Are more and more Catholics becoming secular,
nominal, or even the enemy within? Are
our bishops speaking out against dissident
Catholics, including those in Catholic
educational institutions that are increasingly
becoming secular and perhaps even "anti-Catholic,"
or against those clerics and religious
who support openly pro-choice candidates
The enemy Satan is wily and deceptive.
He is gleefully eroding the very foundations
of our faith and our Church. Though indeed
the gates of hell will not prevail, there
are many Catholics who are lost, clueless,
veering away, unfaithful to their calling.
Worse, many of them are being recruited
into the enemy forces, and perhaps unwittingly
are signing up!
I praise God for the holy man that our
pope is. It is indeed God's will that
he lead the Church during these turbulent
times. How I pray that all our pastors
will follow in his footsteps.
to the Pope's Tune
A response to:
Smearing an Anniversary;
Orphans in Rubble
secular press has attacked Pope Benedict
as it has perhaps no other pope in history.
Perhaps it is because he is a much gentler
man than John Paul II whom, one suspects,
they were just too cowardly to attack
while he lived. But why
should a man of Benedict's goodness and
holiness, a man of such blameless life,
be the target of such venom, a fair proportion
of it biased, caricaturing or just plain
himself has set their agenda, and far
from rushing to the attack, they are dancing
to his tune.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, he already, within the Church,
drew fire from heterodox or liberal Catholics
who could not stomach the solid
orthodoxy of his publications.
Remember the strong reactions to the Instruction
on Certain Aspects of Liberation Theology
in 1983? Or to the more recent Dominus
Iesus? Both of these were carefully nuanced,
balanced presentations of Catholic Teaching,
which itself represents the revelation
made to human beings by God through Jesus
Christ. He addresses the specific target
of his attention with an objective, surgical
similar, I believe, has happened since
Benedict became pope. At his Mass of installation
he addressed the
secular world forcefully, declaring unequivocally
his rejection of its agenda in
sentences like "vast interior deserts
of unbelief" [paraphrase]. Whenever
Benedict addresses the issue of secularism,
he speaks with a fiery conviction.
believe that the secular world recognises
only too well what he is saying, and how
accurately and precisely he has analysed
and understood their position. It would
explain the vehemence
with which he has been attacked, a vehemence
notably at odds with the charity he displays
towards his opponents. His first
Encyclical, Deus caritas est, wrested
the term "eros" back from its
debased secular usage. And his analysis
and dealing with secularism has not wavered.
secular world, it seems, has never felt
itself in a stronger position over and
against the Church than today. And certainly
its tactics are more subtle than in any
other age, though the gloves at this stage
would appear to be off. But then, many
other world powers have acted in the same
way, not least the mighty Roman Empire.
all the technology of the modern secular
world could do nothing about one erupting
volcano in far-off Iceland. The modern
secular world should be wary of hubris,
of believing in its own apparently limitless
powers. There is no doubt that the Papacy
will survive; but modern secularism may
very well turn out to be the latest Ozymandias.
Fr Phillip Vietri C.O.
of St Philip Neri.
Elizabeth, South Africa.
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."