Tuesday 2 February 2010

Pope Benedict's Address: Mining the Nuggets of Gold

What a magnificent address by the Holy Father to the Bishops of England and Wales!

Much attention has been given – and rightly so, for it’s an absolute cracker – to the following passage:

“… see that they are equipped to hand on the faith to new generations comprehensively, accurately, and with a keen awareness that in so doing they are playing their part in the Church’s mission. In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.”

Also of great significance, I believe, are these earlier passages [with my impressions]:

“Your visit to Rome strengthens the bonds of communion between the Catholic community in your country and the Apostolic See, a communion that sustained your people’s faith for centuries, and today provides fresh energies for renewal and evangelization.”
[The Church in England and Wales cannot go it alone: our communion with Peter, willed by our Lord Jesus Himself, sustains our faith and energises us for the adventures ahead.]

"Even amid the pressures of a secular age, there are many signs of living faith and devotion among the Catholics of England and Wales.”
[I find it interesting that the Holy Father refers specifically to the Catholics, rather than the Church.]

Oh, how exciting! Now, I wonder what our Bishops’ response will be, in practical terms?

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