Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accompanying the Holy Father in Portugal


"Mercy and truth have met, justice and peace have kissed."  Penance and the cross.
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If one is physically prevented from going on a pilgrimage one may always do so in spirit.  I have been anticipating the Holy Father's pilgrimage to Portugal, 'where the dogma of Faith will always be preserved' - the promise of Our Lady at Fatima.  The visit of a reigning pope to any Marian shrine is always significant, but none more so than to Fatima, since the apparition in 1917 were very much concerned with the pope and the Church.  This week I will unite my prayer and activities to the Holy Father, praying with him and especially for him.  In this way I will be at his side spiritually, listening and praying.
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Diehard Fatimists
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Anticipating his pilgrimage, the skeptics - no not those who deny that Our Lady really did appear in 1917 - but those who insist the secret of Fatima, revealed by Our Lady, has not been disclosed in its entirety.  In their denial, these otherwise good people harshly criticize members of the hierarchy as well as former Cardinal Ratzinger, claiming the entire third part of the secret has not been revealed.  In doing so, they foment dissent and the critical spirit, casting doubts upon the authority of the Church to govern, direct and rule on such matters.  Indeed, these scoffers resemble those who advocate purported apparitions and messages elsewhere in the world which are not approved by the Catholic Church.  They seek to isolate the messages of Fatima and somehow make it into a sort of parallel gospel, or their private Book of Revelation.  In effect, they derange the apostolate into something of a cult, offering speculative theories as to what Our Lady revealed to the children in 1917, as if their ideas were fact.
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On the other hand, no one is more reasonable and grounded in the faith as our Holy Father, and he never sensationalizes the message of Fatima.  In fact, he seems to me to have penetrated to the essential component of the message, "Penance, penance, penance."  Priests and laity must understand that the so-called third secret was intended for the Holy Father - it has always been up to the Pope's discretion to reveal it or not.  I hardly think that JPII and his curia would lie to the Church and the world when they announced that the complete secret has been revealed, or when they revealed from Sr. Lucy that Heaven had accepted the consecration of Russia as it was performed by JPII and the bishops of the world.  As many whose devotion has been enriched by the message of Fatima know already, these are matters some Catholic diehard Fatimists in the so-called "Fatima Challenge" movement contest.
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What the Pope says about his pilgrimage.
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LISBON — In his most direct condemnation of the sexual abuse crisis that has swept the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday said that the “sins inside the church” posed the greatest threat to Catholicism, adding that “forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
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“Attacks on the pope and the church come not only from outside the church, but the suffering of the church comes from inside the church, from sins that exist inside the church. This we have always known but today we see it in a really terrifying way,” Benedict told reporters aboard his plane en route to Portugal.
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“The greatest persecution of the church does not come from the enemies outside, but is born from sin inside the church,” he added. “The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
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In his remarks, Benedict appeared to distance himself from other church officials who in recent weeks have criticized the news media for focusing on the sex abuse crisis, which they called attacks on the church.
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On the plane, Benedict told reporters that the church had to relearn “conversion, prayer, penance.”** - NYT
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As Benedict XVI arrived in Portugal he announced: 

"'I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima", said the Pope at the beginning of his address, "invested from on high with the mission of confirming my brothers and sisters as they advance on their own pilgrimage towards heaven'". - VIS
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**The following is a more complete text from an earlier interview with the Pope: 
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"In terms of what we today can discover in this Our Lady's message, attacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church. The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way. The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin within the church. The church thus has a deep need to re-learn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. Forgiveness does not exclude justice. We have to re-learn the essentials: conversion, prayer, penance, and the theological virtues. That’s how we respond, and we can be realistic in expecting that evil will always launch attacks from within and from outside, but the forces of good are also always present, and finally the Lord is stronger than evil. The Madonna for us is the visible maternal guarantee that the will of God is always the last word in history." - NCR

Pray for the Holy Father.

12 comments:

  1. Comment coming from C Ferrara in 3....2....1....

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  2. Terry wrote. "These scoffers resemble those who advocate purported apparitions and messages elsewhere in the world which are not approved by the Catholic Church."

    *Thus making this faith all about themselves and that's what a protestant does. They tweak the faith to meet their own personal agendas. It's important to remember as a member of the body of Christ we must submit ourselves to the head.

    Even a simple minded convert knows that.

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  3. T, Earlier, I read the comments of the Holy Father where he summarizes the messages of Fatima and I immediately thought: he sounds just like Terry!
    Seriously.
    That was a weird moment! :)

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  4. I hope the Holy Father comes to Mexico City to visit Tepeyac Hill, the place where our mother gave Saint Juan Diego the tilma.

    The poor are the brothers and sisters of the Holy Father; her poor children await the Holy Father in Mexico.

    Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.

    *

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  5. Maria7:51 PM

    SF--Right you are. The Pope sounds like Terry. LOL. Not the other way around, right?

    "The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin within the church"--

    AMEN.

    Prayer Penance and Conversion

    The Church must re-learn penance.

    I just love this man, don't you? He brings us Truth: what no one ever wants to hear...

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  6. Mr.Terry, did you see what Maria wrote? "The Church must re-learn penance."

    This is why when I happened upon your blog I never left. Where else can you hear truth like this? I don't hear about penance and suffering and the value it has anywhere else except from bloggers. I don't even hear about penance in church... I love bloggers.

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  7. Maria9:04 PM

    Right you are Belinda about the fact that we never hear about penance except from folks like Terry... and the Pope, of course LOL. BTW only big time sinners like myself appreciate its value...

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  8. Terry and the Pope - the Pope and Terry. I like that. It does seem as if he knows each of us - I can't help feeling really close to him. He is so humble.

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  9. His first word was conversion.

    This is profound as he is speaking of those Cardinals, Bishops and Priests in the Vatican that are part of the four Masonic Lodges that control the Vatican.

    The Evil from within are these Sons of the Evil One.

    The only Bishop that has spoken clearly and without hesitation about the wolves within the Vatican is the one that made this statement well before the Holy Father uttered the words:

    “In today’s crisis of Church and world, our strength is in God alone, because humanly speaking we are powerless in the face of the trials confronting us. Our enemies are all-powerful, those inside the Church being much more dangerous than those outside. Just as the chief priests and ancients hated Jesus unto death, but they needed an Apostle to betray him, so we may blame Jews and Freemasons and others like them for engineering the destruction of the Church, but it has taken churchmen from within to do the actual betraying and destroying. Does Our Lord hate these traitors, as we can be sorely tempted to do? No, he seeks only their salvation, although their punishment will be horrible if they do not repent”.

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    Do you know who first said is?

    Hint: Bishop Bernard Fellay has him under arrest and has ordered he not blog, or communicate publicly.

    *

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  10. Maria9:35 PM

    Belinda--I was quoting the Pope He said that the Church needs to re-learn penance...But we are all on the same page, right?

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  11. Terry and the Pope - the Pope and Terry.

    Sounds like the title of a 70's sitcom.

    In all seriousness, though - Pope Benedict's simplicity and humility is appealing - very Christ-like.

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  12. Indeed, these scoffers resemble those who advocate purported apparitions and messages elsewhere in the world which are not approved by the Catholic Church. They seek to isolate the messages of Fatima and somehow make it into a sort of parallel gospel, or their private Book of Revelation. In effect, they derange the apostolate into something of a cult, offering speculative theories as to what Our Lady revealed to the children in 1917, as if their ideas were fact.



    This is the clarity and balance that keeps drawing me to your blog, Terry. Well done!

    ReplyDelete


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