Consider the Source. Then Consider the Rock.

Pope Benedict XVI gives the final blessing at the Nov. 14, 2012 general audience in Paul VI Hall. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.

I haven’t had time to watch the news today, but I gather that some venues moved to negativity about the Church and the Holy Father almost as soon as the news of his resignation was delivered.

I also heard some crude things about both Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church at work today.

My feeling about all this is, Consider the source.

I mean that literally. Think about the source, the basis for this nastiness. It comes from anger because Pope Benedict XVI held the line on 2,000 years of Christian teaching. He did it in the face of enormous pressure and widespread Christian/Catholic/Pope bashing.

Consider the source. It comes from people who are so arrogant that they want the Pope to abrogate Church teaching and Christian morality and follow their lead in these things instead of Christ the Lord.

Consider the source. Then, be proud of our Papa for holding that line and refusing to budge when it comes to Jesus Christ, even in the face of criticism, calumny and apostasy.

Apostasy is the new trendy of our times. People are oh-so-fond of telling us how they “love” Jesus but hate His Church. What that usually means is that they love the cheap grace of a Jesus made in their image and reject a Church that refuses to bend on the moral teachings that tell them they are wrong in this.

Apostasy is nothing for us to fear. It is not new, and it is not surprising. It is prophesied.

I am thankful for Pope Benedict’s time as Pope. He has kept the barque of Peter on the steady Gospel course. The Church he will hand to his successor is one whose teachings have not faltered in the face of public opprobrium from certain quarters. It is a Church that has shown a willingness to stand alone, if necessary, rather than compromise on 2,000 years of Christian morality. His successor will inherit a Church that is a beacon in a time where the lights of basic morality are going out all over the world.

I have no doubt that our new Pope, whoever he may be, will disappoint these pundits, along with my Church-hating co-workers by keeping the same steady course of consistent Catholic Truth that Pope Benedict has done.

After all, our Church is built on a rock. And the gates of hell will not prevail against it. 

  • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com Karyl

    I live in a safe bubble I guess. I have heard and seen positive remarks about the resignation of the Pope today. Most that Ihave heard were thankful for his staying the course of the Catholic faith. I applaud him for knowing when to step down. Of course, most of my friends and viewing is on a conservative line. I think it is wrong to belittle so maybe I have my rose colored glasses on today! I am certain that there are those who are so arrogant they think they are smarter than God. It sure will be a sad future for them.

  • Will

    I watched NBC Nightly News. They had video from Fr. Barrons, Cardinal Dolan, and George Weigel. Certainly there are non-religion reporters who do not understand things. There are people who do not like the Church.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Brilliant! The sources are biased and have hate in their hearts. My goodness, even today with our Pope’s humble resignation, they can’t be gracious. Shame on them. I almost never read or watch the main streasm media any more. They’re not worth the anger it generates inside me.

  • John

    And look at the wonders that has wrought

  • Pingback: Another Roundup of Reactions on Benedict’s Move

  • pagansister

    Well said, Bill S.

  • Maggie Goff

    Thank you for this, Rebecca. You are always a breath of fresh air. Pope Benedict is the one who drew me back into the Church after decades away. Always, kind and gentle while speaking the Truth. I am so grateful.

  • Ted Seeber

    I’d say the Church is *extremely* good at actually objectively examining morality. I can’t say the same for any atheist I know, who are always *subjective* about morality.

  • Ted Seeber

    Oh, and one more thing: If you are objective about morality, that means your morality is drawn from actual observation of the human species, and your morality shouldn’t change just because of individual emotion.

    Compare that with atheist morality, which changes every time a person’s hormone levels change.

    The fact that Catholic morality *doesn’t* change, means it is objective. As opposed to your atheist morality, which is subjective.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      And that is well said Ted.

    • Dennis

      Bill S,
      ” What Catholics do is accept the moral teaching first and then speculate on its effects projecting worst-case scenarios as the results of those actions that are considered immoral.”
      You have not given the whole picture. The Church derives its moral precepts from revelation, but also from natural law. So the Church first thought and observed human nature and considered possible effects of actions, proclaimed moral teachings regarding those actions, and then did more speculating as different situations arise in our world. This is a much better system than simply saying people should do what they want since we don’t want to be accused of projecting worst-case scenarios.

      “I think we need more of a utilitarian morality that would be based on the effects that the morals have on society.”
      Who determines which effects are desirable and which are not? I could list many benefits to society if we enslaved a race of people, so should we push for that, considering any negatives you would bring up could be simply brushed aside with a simple ‘I think the positives outweigh the negatives”?

      “There is no consideration of how the good outweights (sic) the bad and how it is not the role of government to legislate dogmatic morality.”
      Sure there is. The problem is that people have different subjective views of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The freedom to choose to tear an unborn child apart is considered ‘good’ by many while it is considered ‘bad’ by many. In the things you listed above, the ‘bads’ outweigh the ‘goods’ but people are not clear-thinking enough to understand why. For example, you mention ‘death with dignity’ as if it was a good, but it is in fact a very distressing idea, for it infers that someone can lose their dignity based on not being able to care for themselves, having all of their senses, etc. This view demonstrates a lack of respect for people as people.
      In addition, do you believe it is the role of the government to punish those who would intentionally harm or kill others who have not wronged them in any way? If so, can you think of any time where the government should not perform that role? If not, then you believe the government can legislate dogmatic morality (that the killing of innocent people is always wrong and should be punished); if so, then God help you.

      • Bill S

        You may have to look above for my comment.

      • Bill S

        Dennis, I can’t seem to get this in the right spot under your comment, so I will repeat the question:
        “In addition, do you believe it is the role of the government to punish those who would intentionally harm or kill others who have not wronged them in any way? If so, can you think of any time where the government should not perform that role? If not, then you believe the government can legislate dogmatic morality (that the killing of innocent people is always wrong and should be punished); if so, then God help you.”

        Although I answered you before, let me try again and then I will not speak anymore unless spoken to. No. I don’t believe the government should punish doctors who perform abortions, which I assume is what you mean. God help me? Fine. God help me.

    • Bill S

      Ted, I’m going to try to answer you specifically if I can get through the censorship.

      I’m not talking about the laws of the land, but morality in general. Don’t you think morality is subjective by its very nature? You say that atheist morality changes every time a person’s hormone levels change. I wouldn’t take it that far. But morality has to be relevant to the time and the place. There may have been a time and a place when and where things like contraception and gay marriage had to be looked at as immoral. But do you really think Americans have to still see it that way?

  • Christopher Lake

    Bill S., you write:

    “The Catholic Church relies on teachings that are set in stone and very difficult, if not impossible, to change due to claims of inerrancy and infallibility. The modern free world no longer accepts religious authority of this sort and relies instead on a more democratic process.”

    Your second sentence is packed with sweeping generalizations. Every Catholic convert whom I personally know, and those I know of indirectly, all made the *free and informed choice* to accept the “religious authority” of the Catholic Church. Many, many cradle Catholics also make this choice at their confirmation(s ) and continue to make it for their entire lives. Millions of such cradle Catholics and converts also happen to be inhabitants of the “modern free world.”

    The sections of the Church which are growing and thriving today are those which enthusiastically hold to the historic teachings of the Church, such as the more traditional orders of priests and nuns, and young lay Catholics who love Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. So much for today’s free world no longer accepting such religious authority!

    If the assumption behind your statement is that this “modern free world” is necessarily superior to pre-modern, supposedly less free cultures, then you must contend with the statistical fact that much of the “modern free world” has skyrocketing divorce and suicide rates and very high rates of violent crime. Perhaps it might not be so bad to have some teachings that are “set in stone” after all, and a Church which can teach them without bending to the whims of an often-sick “modern free world”?

    • Bill S

      Well said. I have to agree with you.

    • Bill S

      Christopher,
      I feel I need to answer you individually if I can. I am having a tough time placing my responses directly below the applicable comment. Hopefully, this one will be in the right place.
      You say: “Every Catholic convert whom I personally know, and those I know of indirectly, all made the *free and informed choice* to accept the “religious authority” of the Catholic Church.”
      That is all well and good. For almost all my life, with a few backslides, I did the same. I am not saying that there are not problems with the modern free world such as divorce and suicide, but if the good outweighs the bad, then isn’t it a better way of life? Catholic morals apply only to Catholics. Others can look to them for guidance but are not bound by them. I hope this addresses your comment and gets inserted in the right place.

  • Bill S

    I want to add just one more comment which I hope is not deleted with all the rest of my comments. Ted, Christopher and Dennis, all that I can say is that I no longer accept Catholic teaching over worldly wisdom, which is supposedly foolishness. That is why we have these disagreements. I can’t make my case if my comments are deleted. So I have to agree with you.


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