Beautiful homily yesterday at the daily mass of the Pope at the Casa S. Marta (sigh). News and translation in English of the most relevant part courtesy of Father Z. Emphases from the translation.
“How’s our faith? Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (all’acqua di rose – “like rose water”, meaning banal, an insufficient substitute, shallow, inadequate)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he din’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder”, he stressed, “we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”
In just a few lines, the Pope sends a fair number of rather clear messages.
1. The faith isn’t negotiable.
2. This means it must be told whole.
3. There will always be the temptation to accommodate and choose comfort and popularity, but
4. we must choose to be rigid and, consequently, hated,
5. because otherwise apostasy can’t be far away.
Behind the rhetorical questions, and the very soft presentation “(“a bit” superficial; “a little” lukewarm) the message is pretty brutal, and not susceptible of misinterpretation. So much so in fact, that there isn’t much to comment, either. When the Pontiff talks of “dialogue” the ambiguity of the word does force one – and not only myself; the SSPX has also made the same considerations – to examine what is meant by it; but this here doesn’t leave space for many doubts.
In real life – I mean, in the daily duties of a Pope; duties that go beyond talking, and extend to actually reigning – I can imagine a whole range of situations in which the Pope will be allowed to put his words in practice.
Firstly, there is the issue itself of dialogue with other religions, where the Pope will now clearly avoid “chopping off a piece of the faith”; like, for example, chopping off Christ and Holy Ghost in one fell swoop by saying that Muslims believe in the same God we do, and make clear at the end of every dialogue there is the Christian aim of conversion.
There there is the issue of “ecumenical” talks with our fellow Christians. Here, I doubt the Pontiff will accept my contribution to the talks, but I do not doubt the Pontiff will resist the temptation “not to be very rigid” and will say to the chaps (and chapesses) that, well, there is only once Church, and it’s not the one where they are now.
There there are the issues internal to Catholics, where – if the Faith is to be transmitted whole – the issue of religious freedom will have to be addressed, and someone will have to tell the poor boys and girls the Church cannot change the Truth and, therefore, the teaching on religion freedom can’t be changed, either.
It goes on, and on, and on… from the chastisement of the Liberal Catholics to the deserved punishment for liturgically creative nuns, first of all the unidentified beings of the LCWR (too many examples here: just type “LCWR” in the search line); all without forgetting the Jesuits, our Sodo-mass friends, provided they are still Christians and, of course, survive.
I could go on, but you get the gist. The Pope has, with his homily, promised he will be very rigid, and he will have plenty of opportunities to let the fact follow the words.