Pope Benedict’s Legacy is His Faithfulness to the Truth of Christian Teaching

The Catholic Church doesn’t bend on essential matters of faith.

In 2,000 years, through bad popes and good ones, through corruption, wars, plagues and persecution, the Church has held true to the core teachings which define Christianity. This makes the Catholic Church itself one of the most compelling witnesses to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit available to us.

Pope Benedict has faced direct challenges to the faith that many of his predecessors never experienced. This has not been a “Reformation,” but an attempted obliteration of Christian teaching altogether. We live in a world where the world itself proclaims that evil is good and good is evil. Those who stand for the truth of Christian teaching are attacked, reviled and accused of everything from bigotry to stupidity.

There is no middle ground in the culture wars, no island of neutrality where the combatants can join hands and say “at least on this we agree.” This fight is for our children, our families and our survival as a culture.

Pope Benedict XVI did not falter in the leadership he gave the Christian world concerning core issues of the sanctity of human life and the unique sacramental value of marriage between one man and one woman as the cradle of humanity. He has paid a price for his fidelity. But his leadership in this was critical.

As more and more of the various Christian denominations begin to parse the Gospels to create a false teaching which makes peace with the world at the cost of their discipleship, the Catholic Church is forced to stand alone in its absolute fidelity to the Truth.

It does this despite bishops and priests who fail, popes who age and a laity that wants to go along to get along. There are no perfect people in the Church, only pilgrim people, each of us on our way to our own personal Zion. When that day comes and we stand before God, the media, our friends and the people we’ve compromised for won’t be standing there alongside us. We will stand alone.

That is why leaders who follow Christ and teach us to do the same are so important. Everything depends on them. Those who mislead the children of God by twisting the Scriptures to tell them that evil is good and good is evil do so at their own great peril.

The whole wide world owes the Holy Father a thank you for staying the course and not telling us the easy lies that excuse our sins.

The following CNA/EWTN article discusses what we owe Pope Benedict for his faithful teaching on marriage. It says in part:

 Catholic leaders say Pope will be remembered for marriage defense 

ROME, ITALY, February 20 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Two leaders from one of the world’s largest pro-life groups think Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered for defending traditional marriage and his contributions to bioethics.

“He defended marriage as between a man and a woman and made statements, which later he was attacked for, because we really are in a very concerning situation where same-sex ‘marriage’ is being legalized worldwide,” said Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, director of Human Life International’s Rome office.

“People are going to realize how the pressure to give legal status to same-sex ‘marriage’ grew in this decade, they’ll will see it as a problem, and they’ll see Pope Benedict as prophetic after having been very clear that this goes against nature,” Msgr. Barreiro told CNA Feb. 15.

Joseph Meaney, the institution’s director of international coordination, pointed out that people raised by same-sex parents are already coming forward to talk about all of the problems caused by marriage being redefined.

“It has become this sort of libertarianism gone wild, where everyone has a right to everything,” Meaney said. (Read more here.)

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  • Bill S

    I think Benedict has raised the bar on conservativism. The die has been cast for conservative popes from now on. It’s as if the Catholic Church’s resistance to change were an asset instead of a liability.

    The only progressive thing I ever heard from him was when he suggested that it might be okay to use condoms to prevent the spread of HIV but not for birth-control as its primary purpose. But he didn’t go out of his way to broadcast it that much. I think he said it begrudgingly in response to a question that was asked of him.

    The popes will always have their fans around the world much like the Royal family does in England. But I think more and more people every day are coming to the conclusion that they don’t need that kind of authoritarian control over their lives. Reason and logic are replacing dogma and tradition.

    • Theodore Seeber

      Given what the progressives have proposed in the last 40 years, resistance to change *is* an asset. It means we don’t go off being irrational about things.

      Here’s an example of *real reason*, as opposed to the fake version peddled by the New Atheists:

    • Mike

      Bill we have 1.3 billion members and are the largest religion in America, we’ll be ok, stop worrying so much.

  • Sus

    Rebecca, do you think anything that Pope Benedict has said about preserving marriage for men and women has slowed down gay marriage?

  • Bill S

    I feel like Marco Rubio responding after the President’s State of the Union address. Seems like I feel like it’s my duty to give an opposing view.

    • Theodore Seeber

      The problem is that the opposing view isn’t progressive, it’s destructive. “Destroy marriage to let the gays get married”, “Destroy human life in abortion and euthanasia to prevent suffering”, “Destroy the initiative of the poor by making sure they don’t get married and don’t have children”. There is nothing constructive in the left wing at all.

  • Bill S

    I would hope that the next Pope will not make inappropriate statements like gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace. Where do those rate with Israel, Iran, North Korea, Al Quaeda, etc. ?

    • Theodore Seeber

      Why would you want the new Pope to be a liar?

      Abortion rates WORSE than war- all the wars of the 20th century killed maybe 15 million people, abortion has killed 56 million. Euthanasia is a popular method of despots for creating population control. Gay marriage is just an attempt to further destroy the human family.

      OBJECTIVELY, all of these are worse than anything Israel, Iran, North Korea or the Al Quaeda boogymen have ever done or *could potentially accomplish*.

      How about suggesting something CONSTRUCTIVE instead of DESTRUCTIVE for a change?

      • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

        all the wars of the 20th century killed maybe 15 million people
        Sorry, I would like to be on your side, but that is an enormity. Let’s do a little counting here.
        Massacre of the Belgian Congo by the emissaries of King Leopold II = at least ten, maybe twenty million dead.
        World War One = some ten million dead, not counting
        Massacre of the Armenians = two million dead
        Russian Civil War (or Revolution) = at least ten million dead
        Turkish War of Independence = anything up to 2.5 million dead
        Second World War = 55 million dead
        Chinese Civil War = between 4 and 11 million dead
        Vietnam War = at least half a million dead
        Revolt of the Biafra = up to a million dead
        Ethiopian war of Independence = literally countless (the conflict lasted from 1962 to 1991 and involved several lesser conflicts) but probably at least a million dead
        Wars of South Sudan = at least 2.5 million dead.

        And I’ve missed smaller events.

  • Bill S


    You can try to make abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage as terrible as you want. For the Pope to say they are a threat to world peace is just crazy talk. I hope the next Pope will be more in touch with what the real threats are (which he can do nothing about anyway).

    • Theodore Seeber

      It isn’t me that makes abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia terrible. It is the incredibly non-compassionate people who propose such monstrosity that makes them terrible.

      And it is the very *proposing* of such destruction that has destroyed world peace before, in the 1930s, and will do so again. Yeah, it’s supposedly voluntary now (then again, see two articles on this blog further on), but let’s face FACTS shall we- the only people who propose such things, are people who want to reduce population (as long as they’re not the person being “reduced”).

    • Theodore Seeber

      Those who forget history, are doomed to repeat it:

  • Bill S

    Always the comparisons to the Nazis. After discussing this further, I am fairly certain that the Pope is grasping at straws when he says that these things that the Church so vehemently opposes pose a threat to world peace. I don’t want to argue any more. It’s ridiculous to bring up either Naziism or world peace as issues that have anything to do with it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You “don’t want to argue anymore”? Is this Bill, or an imposter? Can’t be Bill. :-)

    • Ted Seeber

      If you don’t want to be compared to Nazis, don’t propose doing what the Nazis proposed. What part of that is hard to understand?

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    I don’t understand why Bill wants to apply secular labels where they are not appropriate. Why is it ‘conservative’ to defend marriage and the family – sociological research shows they are the best foundation for security in society.If insecurity and disorder are ‘progressive’ then defence off family and marriage is conservative. I somehow don’t think Bill thinks that.

    The Pope defending the teaching of the Church would be like the Oresident of the USA defending the US Constitution – comes with the territory.

  • Bill S

    By “conservative” I just mean keeping things as they are.

    Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in politics or religion.

    I agree that if there will be detrimental effects on the family, we should all be against gay marriage. But there is no reason to believe that would be the case. Even if there might be an impact, it might simply be their constitutional right in which case there is nothing anyone can do about it.