Friday, May 02, 2008

Bishop Blair: "Reflecting on Pope Benedict and the Seeds of Hope"

Toledo Bishop Leonard P. Blair writes in the May issue of The Catholic Chronicle:

Reflecting on Pope Benedict and the seeds of hope

Written by Leonard P. Blair, Bishop of Toledo
Friday, 02 May 2008

... The genius of Pope Benedict, like Pope John Paul before him, is to sow the seeds of the Gospel in a way that is appealing and at the same time uncompromising in the face of the spiritual, cultural and social challenges of our time. During his visit the Holy Father developed several themes, three of which I would like to highlight as follows.

In the United States, which is marked by a genuinely religious spirit, but also a growing secularism, Pope Benedict says Christian faith is not about professing beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week promoting business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs, or ignoring or exploiting the poor and the marginalized, or promoting sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or adopting positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death.

The Holy Father was clear on this point: “Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”

Catholic belief in the Church as “a redeemed community” — and not just so many individuals relating to God in their own way — also calls to mind the decreasing Sunday Mass attendance in our country, together with the crisis of marriage and family life to which the practice of the faith is closely tied. There is no easy answer to these problems, and the Holy Father did not give one. We are to work and pray, to look for the “straying sheep,” and search out the lost, just as the Gospel says.

[ Read the whole thing ]

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Bishop Blair: "Come Holy Spirit"

Bishop Blair: "Truly Grave Moral Reasons" and "Serious Moral Soul-Searching" Before "Could Be Morally Permissible" to Vote for Pro-Abortion Candidate

Bishop Blair: "Lent 2008: ‘Lord, Teach Us to Pray’ "

Bishop Blair: "The World is Not Enough"

Bishop Blair: "Peace on Earth, in Communities, Homes"

Bishop Blair Urges Toledo-Area Catholics to Reject Domestic-Partner Registry

Bishop Blair: "Listening to Our Mother"

"How a Shepherd Speaks"

Bishop Blair: "A Dialogue of Truth and Love"

Bishop Blair: "Upholding the Bond of Love" (Part 3)

Bishop Blair: "Upholding the Bond of Love" (Part 2)

Bishop Blair: "Upholding the Bond of Love"

Bishop Blair: "The Gospel of Life Revisited"

Bishop Blair: "Building Your House on a Rock"

Meeting the Bishop - After Action Report

Bishop Blair Teaches: "And With Your Spirit"

Bishop Blair: "What God Joins Together"

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