If we want to be informed, we really need to go back to the primary source. Commentary is secondary. Follow the link to read what the Pope actually said. The most interesting part for me is when he talks about the way Christians practice charity, as progressive and holistic, accompanying others on a human journey.
Communion and Liberation follows the call of the Italian bishops to pray Sunday, November 21 for the Christians of Iraq, “who are suffering the tremendous trial of blood witness to the faith” (Final communiqué of the Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, November 11, 2010).
The Movement invites all its members to participate in Mass according to the intentions of Benedict XVI, who the day after the grave attack in the Syrian Catholic cathedral of Baghdad that left dozens dead and wounded, said, “I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, all the more savage because it struck defenseless people gathered in God’s house, which is a house of love and reconciliation. I also express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck once again, and encourage the pastors and faithful to be strong and steady in hope. In the face of the heinous episodes of violence that continue tearing the populations of the Middle East to pieces, I renew my grieved call for peace: it is the gift of God, but also the result of the efforts of people of good will, of national and international institutions. May everyone join their strengths to put an end to all violence! (Comments after the Angelus, November 1, 2010).
Addressing all members of Communion and Liberation, Fr. Julián Carrón said that “participation in Sunday Mass according to the intentions of the Pope and the bishops is a gesture of real communion and charity because we feel that the Christians of Iraq are our friends, even if we do not know them directly.”
As Fr. Giussani said, “If the sacrifice is accepting the circumstances of life, as they happen, because they make us correspondent, participants in the death of Christ, then sacrifice becomes the keystone of all life […] but also the keystone for understanding the history of man. The entire history of man depends on that man dead on the cross, and I can influence the history of man – I can influence the people who live in Japan now, the people in danger at sea now; I can intervene to help the pain of the women who lose their children now, in this moment – if I accept the sacrifice that this moment imposes.” (L. Giussani, Is It Possible to Live This Way? Book 3: Charity, McGill-Queen’s University Press, pp. 74-75.)
For this reason, added Carrón, “if a gesture of prayer can influence the change of people in Japan, it can also change something in Iraq. May the sacrifice we make for the Christians of Iraq and Sunday’s prayer be a gesture with which we invoke, implore from God protection for them.”
The CL Press Office
Milan, November 18, 2010
This downfall is not only the knowledge that these are not God. It is the process of the transformation of the world, which costs blood, costs the suffering of the witnesses to Christ. And, if we look closely, we see that this process is never finished. Even today, in this moment, in which Christ, the only Son of God, must be born for the world with the downfall of the gods, with suffering, the martyrdom of the witnesses.
We think of the great powers of today's history, we think of the anonymous capitals that enslave man, that are no longer something belonging to man, but are an anonymous power that men serve, and by which men are tormented and even slaughtered. They are a destructive power that threatens the world. And then the power of the terrorist ideologies. Violence is done apparently in the name of God, but this is not God: these are false divinities that must be unmasked, that are not God. And then drugs, this power that, like a ravenous beast, stretches its hands over all parts of the earth and destroys: it is a divinity, but a false divinity, which must fall. Or even the way of life promoted by public opinion: today it's done this way, marriage doesn't matter anymore, chastity is no longer a virtue, and so on.
These ideologies that are so dominant that they impose themselves by force are divinities. And in the suffering of the saints, in the suffering of believers, of the Mother Church of which we are part, these divinities must fall, what is written in the letters to the Colossians and Ephesians must come true: the dominations and powers fall and become subjects of the one Lord Jesus Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for Synod on the Middle East
Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter is kicking off a series on the new book issued by the USCCB: Pope Benedict: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy.
We Catholics like to touch our faith. We like the smell of incense in our nostrils. We like the taste of the Most Previous Blood on our lips. We like the feel of Holy oils on our foreheads. We like the kiss of peace with our brethren. We want to worship in a beautiful church that excites our eyes as well as our imaginations. Our faith is decidedly incarnational because our God is incarnational. The papacy is a part of that. Our tradition is not only held in our minds as a great principle of faith. You can see the successors of the apostles. You can shake their hands. And you can fill the Paul VI Hall and stand on your chair, and scream and shout when the successor of Peter enters the room.
Watch for a coming contribution by Father Julian Carron!