the pope says, forgiveness does not
replace justice. As I have said before,
reconciliation must not discard and
must be based on truth and justice.
Does Not Replace Justice, Says Pope
LISBON, Portugal, MAY 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).-
Benedict XVI says the greatest persecution
that the Church endures comes from the
sins of her own children.
Pope said this today en route to Portugal,
in response to a question about the sufferings
the Church endures today in the midst
of the sex abuse scandal.
board Alitalia's Airbus 320, at the start
of his 15th international trip, the Holy
Father was asked if it is possible to
see in the Fatima message -- in addition
to a reference to the attack on John Paul
II -- an allusion to the sufferings that
the Church is going through today.
Benedict XVI replied that what can be
discovered again today in Our Lady's message
from Fatima is the "passion"
that the Church is experiencing, and that
"is reflected in the person of the
"The attacks on the Pope and the
Church do not just come from outside,
but the sufferings of the Church come
precisely from within the Church, from
the sin that is in the Church," he
said. "This has always been known,
but today we see it in a really terrifying
way: The greatest persecution of the Church
does not come from external enemies, but
is born from the sin in the Church.
the Church, therefore, has the profound
need to learn penance again, to accept
purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness,
as well as the need for justice. Forgiveness
does not replace justice."
Still, the Pope confirmed that "the
Lord is stronger than evil and the Virgin
is, for us, the visible, maternal guarantee
of the goodness of God, who is always
the last word in history."
Faith and reason
Earlier, the Bishop of Rome answered a
question on the secularization in Portugal,
despite the country's strong Catholic
Benedict XVI affirmed first of all that
throughout the centuries, there has been
a "courageous, intelligent and creative
faith," in the Portuguese nation,
spreading to many parts of the world,
as in Brazil.
Acknowledging at the same time that "the
dialectic between faith and secularization
in Portugal" has "a long history,"
he recalled that there have been numerous
persons who've been able to "create
bridges" -- "to create a dialogue"
between the two positions.
"I think that, precisely, the task,
the mission of Europe in this situation,
is to find this dialogue, to integrate
faith and modern rationality in an anthropological
vision that gives plenitude to the human
being," he answered.
"The presence of secularization is
something normal, but the separation,
the opposition between secularism and
the culture of faith is anomalous and
must be surmounted," the Pontiff
contended. "The great challenge of
this moment is that the two meet, and
in this way find their true identity.
It is a mission of Europe and a human
need of our history."
Benedict XVI also answered a question
on the economic crisis, which could endanger,
some think, the very stability of the
Stressing the social doctrine of the Church,
the Pope admitted that the Catholic faith
has "frequently" neglected the
economic issues of the world, thinking
only "of individual salvation."
"The whole tradition of the social
doctrine of the Church seeks to enlarge
the ethical aspect and the aspect of faith,
beyond the individual, until reaching
the responsibility of the world, a rationality
'conformed' by ethics," he explained.
"And, moreover, the latest events
in the market of these last two or three
years have demonstrated that the ethical
dimension is internal and must penetrate
"Only in this way," he concluded,
"does Europe realize its mission."
"For to me to live is Christ, and to
die is gain." (Phil 1:21)