Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Repentance, Truth and the Splendor of the Priesthood

"In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen. We must discover a new resoluteness in faith and in doing good. We must be capable of doing penance. We must be determined to make every possible effort in priestly formation to prevent anything of the kind from happening again. This is also the moment to offer heartfelt thanks to all those who work to help victims and to restore their trust in the Church, their capacity to believe her message. In my meetings with victims of this sin, I have also always found people who, with great dedication, stand alongside those who suffer and have been damaged. This is also the occasion to thank the many good priests who act as channels of the Lord’s goodness in humility and fidelity and, amid the devastations, bear witness to the unforfeited beauty of the priesthood."  - His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Address on the occasion of Christmas to the Roman Curia. 

Those of you who wish to read the beautiful and eloquent address of the Holy Father, you may visit the TEXT.  

I opine that this is one of the most difficult times in the life of the Church and things happened for a reason.  Even as we read the Bible we find stories of heroism as well as infidelity.  But the Holy Father has spoken eloquently of the fact that truth is the one that saves us and it will save us under this circumstances.  This is a call for repentance and reparation.  From this dark event the priesthood will emerge more stronger and beautiful a testament of God's love for his people.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Immaculate Conception

We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.
—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854