Monday, April 25, 2005

Pat Buchanan: "Behind the Rage at Benedict XVI"

Catholic political commentator Pat Buchanan reflects on where all the rage against newly elected Pope Benedict XVI is coming from:
“Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

Hearing Jesus’ words in the synagogue at Capharnum, many of his disciples said, “'This is a hard saying, who can hear it?' . . . From that time many . . . walked no more with him.”

This episode from the Gospel of St. John is instructive. For today, scores of millions do not believe that John Paul II taught infallibly when he condemned abortion, contraception, homosexuality and the idea of women-priests. They cannot accept church teaching as settled and final, and want it changed to reflect their own beliefs. Yet, all the modern popes and now Benedict XVI refuse to change doctrine to accommodate them.

Thus, the rage, resentment and frustration that the conclave chose Cardinal Ratzinger as pope. They are like children who have been told by a stern but loving father that their tantrums are to no avail and they are not going to get their way, though they have been used to getting their way for most of their pampered lives.

And so the new pope is denounced as “God’s rottweiler,” “der PanzerKardinal,” John Paul II’s enforcer and the chief inquisitor who cruelly silenced the voices of dissent after Vatican II. What the hostility of the liberal media to the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger tells us is that the conclave got it right.

The secular world, too, hoped the church would alter its doctrines to conform to a moral relativism that teaches there is no law above manmade law, and that what is right and wrong is decided by each generation. The notion that there is a higher law—God’s law, permanent law—to which all manmade law and human conduct must conform is anathema.

But, still, why do they fulminate so?

Answer: Deep in their hearts, they fear the church is right. They are unsettled because they fear that when the church says it has been given by Christ custody of the truths about how men must live to reach eternal life, it is right. When liberal Catholics say people have been “hurt” by Catholic teachings, what they are saying is that their consciences are hurting.

What Benedict XVI is telling the world and dissident Catholics is: It is not Christ’s church that must change its teaching, it is you who must change your hearts. Like Christ himself, Benedict XVI will be reviled because he has said no to the world, the flesh and the Devil.

My Comments:
I have thought quite a bit over the last week about Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, and what it has to say to us today when many find a number of the Church's teachings to be "hard sayings". There has been lots of discussion over at Amy Welborn's blog and other blogs about what then-Cardinal Ratzinger said in an interview regarding a smaller, but more faithful Catholic Church being in our future. And my response is that I'm not sure what to think.

I want to see our Church grow, as we seek to increase Christ's Kingdom. But I also want the Church to teach the Truth. And that should be the Church's top priority: proclaiming Christ's Truth for the world to hear. If the unfortunate result is that many will fall away, just as many disciples fell away after hearing Jesus' "bread of life" discourse, I nevertheless want to hear the Truth proclaimed.

If possible, our challenge as Catholics is to proclaim that Truth in such a way that increases the number of sheep in the fold as opposed to driving them out into the darkness.



At 4/25/2005 8:28 PM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Also John 6 is the first mention of Judas's turning away and betrayal.


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