Reading through Pope Benedict’s book-length interview Light of the World a couple weeks ago, one of the pope’s responses jumped off the page at me [underlining mine]:
Interviewer: A “culture of doubt” is very much in these days, and it has found a comfortable nest even in media outlets associated with the Church. In many cases, editors simply take over uncritically the slogans circulating among the usual critics of the Church. Bishops follow the lead of their media consultants, who recommend a soft line in order to avoid any damage to the bishops’ liberal image. And when, on top of that, huge media concerns belonging to the Church remove religious books from their main sales lists – doesn’t this raise doubts as to whether we can still speak credibly about new evangelization?
Pope Benedict: These are all phenomena that one can only observe with sadness. It is sad that there are what you might call professional Catholics who make a living on their Catholicism, but in whom the spring of faith flows only faintly, in a few scattered drops. We must really make an effort to change this. In Italy – where there are far fewer enterprises run by the Church as an institution – I observe the initiatives arise, not because they are set up by the Church as institution, but because the people themselves believe. Spontaneous new beginnings arise, not from institutions, but out of an authentic faith.
At our best, I believe the pope is describing what CatholicVote is.
CatholicVote was not setup by the institutional Church, or chartered by a bishop, but rather it was begun by a small group of Catholic believers, Catholic doers.
In the words of the Holy Father, “Spontaneous new beginnings arise, not from institutions, but out of an authentic faith.”
Here at CatholicVote, we are proud to be obedient and joyful followers of our shepherd bishops, but as faithful laypeople, we also energetically have chosen to take up our responsibility to evangelize and pursue the common good in the secular world, especially through politics and culture.
At the very least, I found the pope’s words inspiring. At the very most, I hope that CatholicVote is the type of lay-run initiative which inspires him.