Papa Benedict and dear Cardinal Sarah have come out with a new book, available on January 15th, 2020 entitled, “From the Depths of Our Hearts.” The first release on 1/15 will be in French. Hopefully an English translation will soon follow.
Thank you, Papa Benedict, for your courage! Please continue to speak out. You are very important to all of us and we need you at this difficult time in the Catholic church.
Why don’t they speak? someone asked. Why don’t the good Priests and Bishops speak out against the problems in our church right now?
I believe there are a number of reasons.
One of them is explained in this article, remarkably originally written in 1987!
The Contemporary Catholic Crisis in its Historical Perspective: Ariani – Angelus Press
A second reason is fear. Last Christmas, at Christmastime no less, a number of people were demoted, kicked out of church groups and even excommunicated for daring to criticize the hierarchy of the church. You would think that something like this only occurs in cults, and the Catholic church is not a cult! But apparently some in the Vatican want to operate the church that way with anyone who dares to question their judgment. I do know that people have been pressured by their Bishops to remain silent, although some terrible things have been happening, too much to say here right now, but suffice it to say that the long-used nickname “mafia” applies quite well to some of the “wolves” within the church hierarchy.
In addition, there is some confusion about how to go about this situation, as we all want to be obedient to the Church and also faithful to Christ and His Bride, the true magisterium of our beautiful Catholic Church that has been lovingly created on earth through the last 2,000 years.
And we need to have courage.
We have a beautiful example of courage in Bishop St. Athanasius, who was excommunicated for refusing to sign on to a heresy in the fourth century (but was later obviously reinstated and declared a saint by the church). Other brave people who stood up for Christ at that time and were persecuted by the church for their faith were St. Basil, who said during the Arian heresy of the 4th century that threatened to swallow up the church:
“Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose…….Only one offense is vigorously punished; an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries, and transported into deserts.”
As St. Basil stood his ground, he was threatened with the loss of everything. “Are you mad, that you resist the will (of the emperor) before which the whole world bows?” said the prefect. “Do you not dread the wrath of the emperor, nor exile, nor death?”
“No,” said Basil calmly, “he who has nothing to lose need not dread loss of goods; you cannot exile me, for the whole earth is my home; as for death, it would be the greatest kindness you could bestow upon me; torments cannot harm me; one blow would end my frail life and my sufferings together…..”
A Picture of a Strong Bishop in the Face of Suffering – Community in Mission
It is said that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” And Christians have often been martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. We know that we can’t go wrong as long as we are faithful to Him, as long as we make Him the center of our lives and our faith.