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.