Friday 23rd August 2019

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “God Is Absent”

April 15, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Benedict XVI released a statement in German last week on the abuse crisis (see text elsewhere in this issue). It shows the extent of the crisis that, although he seeks to live in prayer and contemplation, he has chosen to speak out on this topic with the okay from Pope Francis.
People are craving clear teaching. The Emeritus Pope offers some deeper analysis which, though it does not absolve individuals of responsibility for sin, and should not, gives context to the abuse crisis which has destroyed the lives of the victims, shaken the Church, and threatened the faith of millions.
The Church always exists in a larger society which may or may not share its faith. In the case of the West that has gone to such an extreme that our faith is attacked, ridiculed, and scorned. But there is something even worse.
Benedict XVI says it this way: “Western society is a society in which God is absent in the public sphere and has nothing left to offer it. And that is why it is a society in which the measure of humanity is increasingly lost.”
Where “God is absent” man cannot even fulfill himself, made for the good, the true, and the beautiful as he is. Perhaps most damaging is the way in which the West has simply continued on as if God does not exist. At least hostility acknowledges the existence of the one against whom the ire is directed.
Though I cannot go into great detail here, I urge readers to seek out the full text. Benedict XVI summarizes the three-part statement thusly:
“In the first part, I aim to present briefly the wider social context of the question, without which the problem cannot be understood. I try to show that in the 1960s an egregious event occurred, on a scale unprecedented in history. It could be said that in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely, and a new normalcy arose that has by now been the subject of laborious attempts at disruption.
“In the second part, I aim to point out the effects of this situation on the formation of priests and on the lives of priests.
“Finally, in the third part, I would like to develop some perspectives for a proper response on the part of the Church.”
He credits the temptation provided by physiological sex education at younger ages and the experimentation it openly suggested as one element of a society rejecting chastity on a wide scale. A “mental collapse” of moral norms was associated with an accompanying surge in violence related to sexual aggression.
“Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ’68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate.”
In the second section he begins, “At the same time, independently of this development, Catholic moral theology suffered a collapse that rendered the Church defenseless against these changes in society.”
He writes that the internal “collapse” of moral teaching within the Church hinged upon the rejection of the natural law with a laudable attempt to base the teaching entirely upon Scripture. This well-intended experiment did not end well:
“In the end, it was chiefly the hypothesis that morality was to be exclusively determined by the purposes of human action that prevailed. While the old phrase ‘the end justifies the means’ was not confirmed in this crude form, its way of thinking had become definitive. Consequently, there could no longer be anything that constituted an absolute good, any more than anything fundamentally evil; (there could be) only relative value judgments. There no longer was the (absolute) good, but only the relatively better, contingent on the moment and on circumstances.”
Pope St. John Paul’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor was one of the responses, along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1993 to this crisis. Those who claimed to be teachers of Catholic morals were themselves among the loudest of critics:
“I shall never forget how then-leading German moral theologian Franz Bockle, who, having returned to his native Switzerland after his retirement, announced in view of the possible decisions of the encyclical Veritatis Splendor that if the encyclical should determine that there were actions which were always and under all circumstances to be classified as evil, he would challenge it with all the resources at his disposal.”
He died before being able to carry out his threat, an example of many others who had fallen into relativism. The encyclical of 1991 “did indeed include the determination that there were actions that can never become good.”
“There are values which must never be abandoned for a greater value and even surpass the preservation of physical life. There is martyrdom. God is (about) more than mere physical survival. A life that would be bought by the denial of God, a life that is based on a final lie, is a non-life.”
Martyrdom is incomprehensible without some moral goods that are non-negotiables.
“In moral theology, however, another question had meanwhile become pressing: The hypothesis that the Magisterium of the Church should have final competence [infallibility] only in matters concerning the faith itself gained widespread acceptance; (in this view) questions concerning morality should not fall within the scope of infallible decisions of the Magisterium of the Church. There is probably something right about this hypothesis that warrants further discussion. But there is a minimum set of morals which is indissolubly linked to the foundational principle of faith and which must be defended if faith is not to be reduced to a theory but rather to be recognized in its claim to concrete life.”
The teaching that Christ gave authority to the apostles and their successors in the episcopacy to teach in matters of both faith and morals had to be reasserted with forcefulness. The moral witness of the Church is unique.
“The moral doctrine of Holy Scripture has its uniqueness ultimately predicated in its cleaving to the image of God, in faith in the one God who showed himself in Jesus Christ and who lived as a human being.”
Benedict also goes into detail about the reform of procedures for laicizing priests found guilty of crimes including pedophilia.
“It is very important to oppose the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil. But even today there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer, and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. Today God also has His witnesses (martyres) in the world. We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them.”
“In the trial against the devil, Jesus Christ is the first and actual witness for God, the first martyr, who has since been followed by countless others.”
Thank you, Benedict XVI!

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Public Service Announcement:

The devil exists as a personal reality, not as a symbolic reality.

Jesus was not tempted in the desert by a symbol.

Load More...

Leader of Jesuit order: Satan doesn’t exist as ‘personal’ reality, only ‘symbolic’

August 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The devil is a not a personal reality but a symbol for evil, the head of the Jesuit order said this week. Satan, the devil whom the Catholic Church says was behind the fall of…Continue Reading

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the…Continue Reading

German archbishop in Auschwitz: Stand up against hubris of the politically powerful

Krakow, Poland, Aug 14, 2019 / 02:31 pm (CNA).- On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a German archbishop has called for a stand against hubris and arrogance of those in political power. Speaking…Continue Reading

Vatican ‘struggling to put out fire’ of public scandal over JPII Institute purge

ROME, August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The “firefighters for the new direction” being taken at the John Paul II Institute in Rome are “struggling” to put out a blaze of public scandal, as controversy sparked by a recent purge of professors threatens to reach the door of the Pope’s…Continue Reading

Survey on Catholic belief in the Eucharist prompts calls for better catechesis

Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2019 / 03:32 pm (CNA).- After a recent survey found that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe Church teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Catholic commenters are stressing the importance of better…Continue Reading

Apple News bans LifeSite without warning: says it ‘shows intolerance’

July 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform. Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris’ “Medicare for All” Plan Will Force Americans to Fund Abortions

Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris released her own Medicare-for-all proposal today. Just like the proposal handed down by pro-abortion presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Harris’s plan would force Americans to fund abortions. Harris confirms her plan will cover abortions in an…Continue Reading

Pew report: Only half of America’s Catholics know what the Church teaches about Communion

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) ― Do only half of America’s Catholics know what their Church teaches about Holy Communion? In a recent report called “What Americans Know About Religion,” the Pew Research Center suggested that Catholics are divided…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Businessman Michael Lindell, Creator of MyPillow, May Run Against Pro-Abortion Ilhan Omar

Michael Lindell is a pro-life businessman and the creator of MyPillow, a successful invention and company in its own right. Lindell was responsible for helping to fund production of the popular movie “Unplanned,” but now he’s turning his attention to…Continue Reading

Tucker Carlson: big business is now at war against your family

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The first thing to note about Tucker Carlson is that when he’s on stage and riffing on his irritations, he is hilarious. He began his keynote speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday…Continue Reading

Teacher sues Catholic school for firing her over pro-abortion posts on social media

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina, July 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former teacher filed a wrongful termination suit against a South Carolina Catholic school that fired her for championing legal abortion on social media in violation of long-settled, well-known Catholic doctrine.…Continue Reading

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist In Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

U.S. Catholic bishops hire a new spokeswoman — one month after another stirred controversy with her pro-Trump tweets

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ organization announced Thursday that it had replaced its public affairs director — a woman who triggered debate last month with tweets enthusiastically backing President Trump and striking out at Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Thursday that church and politics veteran Chieko Noguchi is its new head of public affairs, a position that speaks for the Catholic Church…Continue Reading

Thousands of Aussies protest bill to decriminalize abortion in New South Wales

SYDNEY, Australia, August 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As the winter night fell in Sydney, thousands amassed in the heart of the city, protesting a radical proposed new law permitting abortion on demand until birth. The rally began in Martin Place, a pedestrian mall in the center of Sydney’s business district, at 6 PM and lasted until 9 PM. Thousands of protestors marched from Martin Place to the front of New South Wales Pa

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal of sex abuse conviction

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 20, 2019 / 06:31 pm (CNA).- The conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in Victoria. After an appellate panel announced its decision at a court proceeding Aug. 21, the cardinal was returned to prison. “By majority (2 to 1), the Court of Appeals has dismissed Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for the commission of sexual offences. He will continue to serve his sentence…Continue Reading

‘Unplanned’ actress establishes scholarship for pregnant women

Columbus, Ohio, Aug 18, 2019 / 04:55 pm (CNA).- Ashley Bratcher, lead actress in the pro-life movie “Unplanned,” has helped establish a scholarship for women pursing an education during an unexpected pregnancy. “Women can pursue their careers, live out their dreams, and have richer, more fulfilling lives while balancing motherhood. Sometimes, it just takes a little help,” Bratcher said in a recent press release from Heartbeat International. “I wanted to be a part of empowering…Continue Reading

Trump rule to nix Obama order forcing religious contractors to hire LGBT workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is proposing a rule that would permit government contractors to make employment decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs, without fear of sanction by the federal government. If adopted, the rule would reverse an Obama-era executive order that restricted religious federal contractors’ ability to consider employees’ adherence to their faith on matters of sexuality and gender. In 2014, former President Ba

Advertisement3

Cardinal Pell . . . “Amazon Or No Amazon, The Church Cannot Allow Any Confusion”

By ED CONDON MELBOURNE (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has written a letter to supporters saying he is “disturbed” by the preparations for the forthcoming synod on the Amazon. The text of the two-page, handwritten letter — images of which were shared with Catholic News Agency and confirmed by sources close to Pell — has…Continue Reading

China’s High-Tech Tyranny

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributed this column.) + + + There are passages in the State Department’s latest reports on human rights and religious freedom in the People’s Republic of China that read as if they ought to be in some futuristic…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Pulling Back The Veil Between Heaven And Earth

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints, by Joan Carroll Cruz (TAN Books, 330 pages, Paperback and Kindle). Available at amazon.com. This book deals with miracles involving the Eucharist and saintly figures. The text ranges from miracles occurring in the eighth century to those occurring in more…Continue Reading

Diocese of Scranton . . . Launches Investigation Into National Shrine Rector Rossi

By ED CONDON WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The Diocese of Scranton has begun an investigation into allegations of misconduct on the part of the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. “Bishop Joseph Bambera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, has commenced the process of launching a…Continue Reading

China’s Human Rights Sham

By JOHN J. METZLER PARIS — It’s never polite to question the deteriorating human rights situation in China, but let’s do it anyway. The hidden and systematic repression of ethnic Uighur Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang province and the high-profile crackdown on pro-demonstrators in Hong Kong, many of them Christian, are both rooted in the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Are you looking for some solid Catholic books for your high school religious education program, books that have been found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Then you should get copies of the five-volume Catholicism Series. The topics covered include the Creed and Apologetics (Catholicism & Reason), the Commandments and Sacraments (Catholicism &…Continue Reading

What’s At Stake… In The Purge At The John Paul II Institute

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is president of Human Life International. Fr. Boquet’s commentary below on the John Paul II Institute first appeared at HLI.org on August 12 and is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.) + + + Essence Of Battle Is Ideological In the past few weeks, a long-brewing skirmish over the…Continue Reading

Enter Through The Narrow Gate

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 66:18-21 Heb. 12:5-7, 11-13 Luke 13:22-30 In the first reading today we hear something that would seem unthinkable to the Jewish people who heard these words when Isaiah spoke them seven hundred years before our Lord came into the world. For generations after that these words must…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Materialism Cannot Save Your Soul

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Some call it cafeteria Catholic. It manifests itself as a demand to take one thing Christ handed down in the Church while rejecting others likewise handed down. The Eucharist is the Real Presence of the Lord and it is thus the source and summit of our faith. The sight of the faithful going forward at…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent discussion in this column of Communism and socialism, and the sway that these collectivist ideologies hold over many Democrat politicians today, D.M. of Virginia sent along an excerpt from Whittaker Chambers’ 1952 book Witness that accurately describes the nature of Communism and its impact on the world over the past century, when its practitioners caused…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Stanislaus Papczynski

By CAROLE BRESLIN New orders of religious are frequently born from existing orders. The discalced Carmelites were born via St. Teresa of Avila, who was inspired to live a more strict observance of religious life: more seclusion, simpler meals, and more prayer time. St. Teresa of Calcutta belonged to a religious order in India, but desired to serve the poorest…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mariam Baouardy

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Bible, there are numerous references to Galilee with about 80 in just the New Testament. Galilee is an area in northern Israel and it includes the city of Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and the site of the Sermon on the Mount. In John 1:46. Nathaniel responds to Philip, who told him of Jesus, “Can anything good…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)