Truth AND Charity

I wanted to clarify something that I alluded to in my recent post on the American Life League. I want to draw a distinction between raising legitimate questions about Church organization like CCHD and other questions of Catholic identity and the way these questions are raised.

If we have learned anything from the liberal wing of Catholicism we would know that the Church is not a democratic organization. It is not a political organization that can be petitioned. It is certainly not an organization to be protested by Catholics.

Friends, if you want change in the Church you have to change yourself, because you are the Church. A very young Joseph Ratzinger, commenting on St. Francis, once said that Francis was the greatest man of his age not because he knew the most, but because he loved the most. As pope, the mature Ratzinger has given us a roadmap to be people who love the most in his encyclicals Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate. Pope Benedict is an incredible personal model for the way we engage problems both within the Church, as well as the those outside. Let us not forgot the prescription for the dictatorship of relativism that Cardinal Ratzinger gave us in his famous 2005 pro-Conclave homily:

We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith – only faith – that creates unity and is fulfilled in love.

On this theme, St Paul offers us as a fundamental formula for Christian existence some beautiful words, in contrast to the continual vicissitudes of those who, like children, are tossed about by the waves: make truth in love. Truth and love coincide in Christ. To the extent that we draw close to Christ, in our own lives too, truth and love are blended. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like “a clanging cymbal” (I Cor 13: 1).

I was going to say more, but I think that I will just leave you to mull over Pope Benedict and reflect on Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s very helpful, 10 Rules for Handling Disagreement Like a Christian.

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3 thoughts on “Truth AND Charity

  1. Francis says:

    Justin,
    I think those 10 rules are possibly the most valuable item I have found on this site to date. I especially like number six: To do evil in the process of attempting to do good, is really to do evil.
    Thank you for posting that link.

  2. jean says:

    So true! But the change friends, is found when the Bishops and Pastors are united with The Pope! He is not just a figure head. Bishops, Pastors and Priests must all be united with the Pope and in union with Jesus Christ. Until all Bishops and priests humbly submit to his leadership, we will continue to see divisions. It is not about what I like or what our group thinks is right, it is about what has already been put inplace by our Lord .And ofcourse, what all the Holy Popes have said throughout the ages.
    It is Satan who cause division and confusion. People are used as his instuments. He does this best by forming groups who must voice their own opinions on how they feel the Church must be and what they personally like, instead of the humble obedience to the Leadership of Jesus found in our Pope.

  3. BlindFaith says:

    Everyone makes up the Church. Even some of the sorry sinners, still make up the body of the church. If we are the head, then they are it’s feet. It would be nice to have that thought about more deeply. Every life path is on its own distinct journey. Some may be farther along on their journey spiritually than others may be. It still does not mean that God does not want the people that are not as far along on their individual journey. They still have a place. I just am sad to think how divided everyone seems to be these days. I guess that is the way the church is going to become. A divided union of people, somewhat like our political government is. I worry about that, and I pray for all the people that are wondering where they will fit. If they even fit, and if they are desired by their priests and community. I pray for the sinner that is looking to come back to church, that maybe has been lost for a time, and is trying to find their way. I worry what they will be met with, by the very people of their church community. If you don’t subscribe 100 percent to the idea of what others see, then will they feel welcome to dwell in the presence of God? Those are the people that I am praying for. That they will find their place too, in this body that Jesus has made for us.
    I just pray they don’t feel like they should walk away. I also pray that I never am the person that would make another person walk away or feel hopeless.
    These times they are a changing it seems inside the church, and it looks like if you lean liberal, then you have no place in the Catholic Church. Maybe it’s just fate that some sheep will be lost. I don’t know.

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