2013 Favs: Christian Persecution: Holy Father Warns Bishops of Coming Persecution

Pope Francis has spoken of Christian persecution. So did Pope Benedict XVI. The papacy is continuity, going back to the words, Thou art Peter. Unfortunately, Christian persecution is a continuity, as well. More Christians have died for their faith in the last century than all the previous centuries combined.

Far from abating, Christian persecution appears to be worsening and spreading, including socially accepted Christian baiting and bullying of Christians here in post Christian America. 

I wrote this post on January 11, 2013. 


The Holy Father cautioned bishops that they will inevitably face persecution for standing for Christ in the increasingly secular world of the future.

He issued this warning in his homily for Epiphany. Even though the warning was directed to bishops, I think it applies to all Christians. The day of cheap grace is passing for all of us.

We must, as Joshua instructed the Israelites, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” I hope that we will be able to say along with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

ROME, January 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “What sort of man” must a bishop be? The kind of man who can face persecution without flinching, Pope Benedict XVI said at the Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday.

At the Mass, the pope ordained four priests to the episcopate, one of whom is his close confidante and private secretary, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein.

Pope Benedict XVI

“Inevitably,” the pope said, faithful bishops will be “beaten by those who live lives opposed to the Gospel, and then we can be grateful for having been judged worthy to share in the passion of Christ”.

The Pope’s comments follow his recent pattern of especially strong statements on Dec. 14Dec. 21and Jan. 7  in response to the increasing push for abortion, acceptance of homosexual behaviour and general fierce opposition to the Church’s moral teachings from both inside and outside the Church.

“Today’s regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs,” Pope Benedict said.

“Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a Bishop today. He must be courageous.” Seeking the “approval of the prevailing wisdom,” he said, “is not a criterion to which we submit.”

“The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves,” said the pope. “The fear of God frees us from the fear of men. It liberates.” (Read more here.)

  • Bill S

    “The Holy Father cautioned bishops that they will inevitably face persecution for standing for Christ in the increasingly secular world of the future.”

    The whole purpose of secularism is to not show favoritism to any one religion. That really ticks off Pope Benedict, who seems to think that everyone should honor the teachings of the Catholic Church even when they come in direct conflict with other peoples worldviews. When the government doesn’t bow to the wishes of the Church, the Church cries “persecution!” We should all want our government to ban abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, in-vitro fertilization, cloning, etc. because that’s what the Pope and his Church want. Just because you can’t get your way doesn’t mean that you are being persecuted. Christians living in Muslim countries are being persecuted. Employers required to provide contraception as part of their health care coverage are far from being “persecuted” and their employees are benefitting, as well as students in Catholic colleges.

    This is an extremely fair and caring country. If anything, it is too caring and has a massive budget defecit to show for it with too many entitlements. While we have been amassing debt, we’ve had it pretty good in this country, except perhaps those who find themselves unemployed in this free market economy (Go ahead, blame the government if you must). But the government is even trying to help them by extending unemployment benefits.

    Charges of persecution are insulting and are only intended to try to force the government to restrict the freedoms of its citizens. “Persecution” my you know what.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      Translation: persecution doesn’t count unless it’s MY beliefs being fined, or MY conscience which the government is coercing me to violate. You are right, though, that as yet, the persecution of Western Christians is nothing compared to that of many other Christians around the world.

    • http://catholiceconomist.wordpress.com Buster Adams

      Here is a hint, it is not what the Pope wants, it is what your Creator, King, and Lord wants. The Pope didn’t institute the Church, your God did. Humble yourself, creation.

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  • Victo

    I think I’m just glad (after reading many articles about Christians in Nigeria and Middle East) that our churches aren’t burned down and our sisters and brothers in Western countries aren’t beat to death. I wish it could be the same for them (in the Middle East, Nigeria etc.), that we could take each one of them under our arms and protect them. That we could do so for every person even if they don’t recognize Christ as their savior (but here the post is about Christian). I do not know what to do except praying, but I hope I’ll be able to do more one day, because my prayers aren’t the one of a Saint and God is so new to me. They are weak. I liked it when the Holy Father make a declaration if front of an assembly of Christians and Muslims to live in peace together (I don’t remember where, but I think it was during the last summer). My point is that I can’t really believe I’m persecuted in the West as long as I live in health and wealth. I’ll find a way to preach and share my love for Christ. Our Christianity is supposed to be a challenge, not a always-safe spot. That’s why Sainthood is exciting . Such goodness in a wicked world is synonym of adventures, wonders and challenges. We’ll need to be creative in order to find ways to share goodness and find goodness for ourselves.

    • Victo

      When I say « They are weak » I’m talking about my prayers. I don’t have a relationship deep enough with God for the moment.

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

    Well, we’ve begun to see it here in the US with Obama’s trampling of the religious freedom amendment. God help us all. The power of any government to destroy whatever it feels is not in its interest is immense.

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

    Is that me? LOL, it must be. Those are my sentiments and the type of diction I would use. If it’s not, it’s a heck of a coincidence. I guess I didn’t have my avatar back then.

    • Bill S

      Can you explain that avatar. I’ve never been able to figure it out.

      Boy. I was obnoxious a year ago.

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

        Nothing really to explain except that I love dogs, and that’s either a dog or a wolf running in what I guess is dusk. It just cool looking.

        • Bill S

          I see it now. All I could see was either two legged ant or palm trees.

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

            Oh geez. That wasn’t even lose. Is your vision ok?

            • Bill S

              It is now.

  • FW Ken

    It’s always strange to comment on these old threads, but this latest from John Allen is excellent and topical.