Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Church Doesn't Need Apologists? Pope Francis

Wait!  Did Pope Francis say that?  Well, let's look at it.  This, according to the Washington Post (a full English translation is not currently available) the Pope said to a meeting of cardinals who make up the Congregation for Bishops:
“The church doesn’t need apologists for their own agendas or crusaders for their own battles,” he added, “but humble and faithful sowers of the truth.”
Well then, yes, he did say that!  But what was the context?  Again, he's speaking to the Congregation for Bishops, and he's commissioning them to go out and get some good bishops - and included in that he is saying that those candidates for the bishoprick do not need to be "apologists for their own agendas, or crusaders for their own battles."  So, it is not a statement against apologists - nor is it even a statement against bishops who are also apologists for the Catholic Faith - but against those who might be apologists for "their own agendas or crusaders for their own battles."  In short, a priest who has a personal agenda may not be the best candidate for the bishoprick.  When the full statement is available in English we'll either post and/or link it here on CathApol, your Catholic Apologetics Blog.

Other articles on this topic:
Apologist, Jimmy Akin, on Sunday, March 9, 2014, click here.  
Catholic Online reported on March  3, 2014, click here.
The "CE" (Collective Evolution) reported on March 2, 2014, click here
Crooks and Liars reported on February 28, 2014, click here.

There are several more, but above gives you a variety of sources... and links to these sources should not be taken as consent or approval of other things they may have posted.

Here is a translation of the original text from the official French version, as done by, again when an official English translation is put out by the Vatican, we'll post and/or link it on CathApol:

Bologna room
Thursday, February 27, 2014
1. The essential mission of the Congregation
In celebration of ordination of a bishop, the Church met after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, calls to order the nominee. One who presides asks then: "Do you have a mandate? ". In this issue resonates that the Lord has made: "It designations him the Twelve and began to send them out two together ..." (Mk 6, 7). Basically, the question could also be expressed thus: "Do vou s certain that his name was given by the Lord thy Ê you certain that it is the Lord who has counted the number of conscripts to be? with Him in a unique way and to entrust the mission that is not hers, but that has been entrusted to the Lord by the Father? ".
This Congregation is to help write this mandate, then that will resonate in many churches and bring joy and hope to the holy people of God. This Congregation is to ensure that the name of the one chosen was initially given by the Lord. That is the great mission entrusted to the Congregation for Bishops, the most demanding task: to identify those whom the Holy Spirit himself at the head of his Church.
Lips of the Church will in any time and in any place demand: give us a bishop! The holy people of God continues to speak: we need someone watching us from above and we need someone who looks at us with the magnitude of the heart of God, we do not need a manager, a managing director of a company, or someone who is at our pettiness or our petty claims. We need someone who can rise to the height of the light of God to guide us to Him. It is only in the eyes of God that there is a future for us. We need that, knowing the breadth of God more than the narrowness of his own garden, we guarantee that what our hearts yearn is not an empty promise.
People travel with barely plain everyday and they need to be guided by who is able to see things from above. That is why we must not lose sight of the needs of the particular Churches which we must respond. There is no standard pastor for all the churches. Christ knows the uniqueness of the Church requires that any pastor to respond to their needs and help them achieve their potential. Our challenge is to get into the perspective of Christ, taking into account the uniqueness of the particular Churches.
2. The horizon of God determines the mission of the Congregation
To select these ministers, we all need to speak out, we also mount the "higher level". We can not fail to rise, we can not content ourselves with low measures. We must rise above and beyond our contingent preferences, sympathies, memberships or trends to enter the size of the horizon of God and to find those who bear his gaze from above. Not men conditioned by the fear of the bottom, but with pastors of parresia capable of ensuring that there is in the world a sacrament of unity (Constitution Lumen gentium , n. 1) and therefore the Humanity is not intended to drift and error.
This is the main objective, drawn by the Spirit, which determines how this unfolds generous and demanding task for which I am immensely grateful to each of you, beginning with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect and kissing you all , cardinals, archbishops and bishops members. I would also like to address a special word of gratitude for the generosity of their work, officiales this Pontifical Council, which silently and patiently contribute to the success of the service to provide the Church pastors they need.
By signing the appointment of each bishop, I wish I could touch the moral authority of your discernment and grandeur horizons with which ripens your board. For this, the spirit that works, the arduous task of officiales to Expediency and members of the congregation, may be this humble, quiet and laborious process exercised in the light that comes from above . Professionalism, service and holiness of life: if we move away from this triad, we are deprived of the greatness to which we are called.
3. The Apostolic Church as a source
So where to find this light? The height of the church is still in the depths of its foundations. In the Apostolic Church, there is what is high and deep. The future of the Church still lives in its origins.
That is why I invite you to memory and "visit" the apostolic Church to seek certain criteria. We know that the College of Bishops, which will be inserted in the bishops through the sacrament, succeeds the apostolic college. The world needs to know this exists unbroken succession. In the Church at least, this link with the divine arket has not broken. People already know the suffering of so many breaks, they need to find in the Church an indelible permanence of grace from the beginning.
4. Bishop as a witness of the Risen
Let therefore when the Apostolic Church must redial the Quorum of the Twelve after the betrayal of Judas. Without the Twelve, the fullness of the Spirit can not descend. The successor must be sought among those who have been following along the path of Jesus and can now become "with the twelve" a "witness of the resurrection" (cf. Acts 1: 21-22). Must select among the disciples of Jesus witnesses of the Risen.
From here derives the essential criterion to sketch the face of the bishops that we want. Who is a witness of the Risen? This is someone who has followed Jesus from the beginning and is made with the apostles witness of the Resurrection. For us, this is a unifying criterion: the bishop is the one who knows how to make present what happened to Jesus and know especially with the Church be a witness to his resurrection. The bishop is above all a martyr of the Risen. This is not an isolated but together witness to the Church. His life and ministry should make credible the Resurrection. By uniting with Christ in the cross really engaged himself, he brought forth his Church life that does not die. The courage to die, generosity to offer his own life and burn for the herd are listed in the "DNA" of the episcopate. Renunciation and sacrifice are congenital to the Episcopal mission. And I want to emphasize this: renunciation and sacrifice are congenital to the Episcopal mission. The episcopate is not for himself but for the Church, for the flock, for others, especially for those who, in the world, would be discarded.
Therefore, to identify a bishop, accounting human gifts, intellectual, cultural or even pastoral is not necessary. The profile of a bishop is not the algebraic sum of its virtues. It is clear that we need someone who excels ( cic , can 378 § 1.): his human integrity ensures its ability to healthy relationships, balanced, not project onto others his own shortcomings and become a factor instability, its Christian strength is essential to promote brotherhood and communion, his behavior just testament to the high extent of the disciples of the Lord, his cultural preparation allows him to interact with people and cultures, his orthodoxy and his fidelity to the whole truth preserved by the Church is a pillar and a reference point, its internal and external discipline allows you to be in possession of itself and opens a space for the reception and the conduct of others, the ability to govern with paternal firmness ensures the safety authority that helps to grow, its transparency and detachment in the administration of community property confers moral authority and raise the esteem of all.
However, all these essential gifts should be a variation of the central witness of the Risen subject to this priority commitment. It is the Spirit of the Risen One who makes his witnesses, that perfect and student quality and value by building the bishop.
5. God's sovereignty elector
But back to the apostolic text. After the difficult discernment, prayer is the apostles: "Thou, Lord, which knowest the heart of all men, show us which of these two you have chosen" (Acts 1: 24) and "they cast lots" ( Acts 1: 26). Learn what the atmosphere of our work and that is the real author of our choices. We can not get away from this "show you, Lord." It is always essential to ensure the sovereignty of God. The choice can not be dictated by our claims, conditioned by any "teams", factions or hegemonies. To ensure that sovereignty, two fundamental attitudes are necessary: ​​the court of our own conscience before God and collegiality. And this is a guarantee.
From the first step of our complex work (nunciatures labor officiales, members and senior), these two attitudes are essential: the conscience before God and peer engagement. Not decide arbitrarily, but discern together. Nobody can have everything in hand, each posing with humility and honesty his own tesserae in a mosaic which belongs to God.
This fundamental vision drives us to abandon our small coastal boats to follow the road of the great ship of the Church of God, the universal horizon of salvation, strong compass in the Word and in the ministry, the certainty of the breath of Spirit which grows and certainty port awaits.
6. Bishops' kerygmatic "
Another criterion we are taught by Acts 6: 1-7: the apostles lay hands on those who must use the table because they can not "ignore the Word of God." Since faith comes from the announcement, we need bishops kerygmatic. Men who make available this "you" of which Paul speaks. Guards doctrine men, not to measure how the world lives from the truth that it contains, but to fascinate the world for enchanted by the beauty of love, to seduce him with the offers the freedom given by the gospel. The Church does not need apologists its own causes or crusades for his battles, but humble and confident purveyors of truth, who know that it is always their discount new and have confidence in its power. Conscious that even when making night and the day's work will be found tired bishops in the field, the seed will be germinating. Male patients, because they know that the tares will never intrusive as to fill the field. The human heart is made of wheat, it is the enemy who threw the bad seed in secret. However, the time from the chaff is already irrevocably fixed.
I would like to emphasize that: male patients! It is said that Siri used to repeat: "The virtues of a bishop are five in number: first patience, second patience, patience third, the fourth and last patience patience with regard to those who invite us to have patience. "
It is therefore rather embark on the preparation of the land, the extent of sowing. Act as confident sowers, avoiding the fear of one who has the illusion that the harvest depends only on him, or desperate students who, having failed to do their homework attitude, exclaimed that he now n ' nothing more to do.
7. Worshipers of Bishops
The text of Acts 6, 1-7 refers to prayer as the one of the essential tasks of the bishop: "select from among you, brothers, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, and we préposerons to this office and as for us, we will devote to prayer and to the ministry of the word "(vv. 3-4). I mentioned kerygmatic bishops, now I note another feature of the identity of the bishop a man of prayer. In prayer, it must have the same parresia in the proclamation of the Word, he must have in prayer, because it deals with God our Lord the good of his people, the salvation of his people. Be courageous in his intercessory prayer as Abraham, who was negotiating with God's salvation of the people (cf. Gn 18, 22-33) as Moses, when he felt powerless to guide the people (Num. 11, 10-15 ), when the Lord is tired of his people (cf. No. 14, 10-19), or when he tells her he is going to destroy the people and that he promises to appoint the head of another people. Have the courage to say no, I do not negotiate my people before Him! (Cf. Ex 32, 11-14.30.32). A man who has not the courage to talk to God on behalf of his people can not be a bishop - I say this from my heart, I am sure - no more than that is not capable of assume the mission to lead the people of God to the point that He, the Lord tells him (cf. Ex 32, 33-34).
And this also applies to the apostolic patience it must have the same prayer hypomone he must exercise in the preaching of the Word (cf. 2 Cor 6: 4). The bishop must be able to "get in patience" before God, watching and letting himself look, finding and letting find patiently before the Lord. Often falling asleep before the Lord, but this is good, it feels good!
Parresia hypomone in prayer and forge the heart of the bishop and the accompanying parresia and hypomone it must have in the proclamation of the Word in the kerygma. This is what I understand when I read verse 4 of Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles.
8. Pastors bishops
In words that I sent to papal representatives, and I traced the profile of candidates for the episcopate: they must be relatives of pastors, "fathers and brothers, they are soft, and patients merciful, they like poverty, inner freedom as to the Lord and also outside, as simplicity and austerity of life, they do not have a psychology of "princes" ... they are not ambitious and they do not seek the episcopate ... they are the spouse of a church without being constantly in search of another - it is called adultery. They are able to "monitor" the flock entrusted to them, that is to say, to take care of everything united guard; ... able to "ensure" to the flock "( 21 June 2013 ).
I repeat that the Church needs genuine pastors, and I would like to pursue this profile pastor. Let the will of the Apostle Paul (cf. Acts 20, 17, 38). This is the only speech by the apostle in the book of Acts is addressed to Christians. He does not talk to his opponents Pharisees nor the Greek sages, but to his own. He speaks to us. He says the pastors of the Church "to the Word of grace who has the power to build and to give the heritage." They are not the masters of the Word, but they are given to it, they are servants of the Word. Only in this way it is possible to build and get the inheritance of the saints. To those who torment themselves with the question about their heritage - "What is the legacy of a bishop? Gold or silver? "- Paul answers: holiness. The Church remains when spreads God's holiness in its members. When the depths of his heart, which is the Holy Trinity, holiness springs and reaches the whole body. It is necessary that the anointing flows from the top to the hem of the coat. A bishop could never stop worrying that the oil of the Spirit of holiness comes well until the last piece of the habit of his Church.
The Second Vatican Council asserts that the bishops' pastoral care, that is to say, the usual daily care and their sheep, is fully recovered [them] "( Lumen gentium , n. 27). More must be done to stop these two qualifiers care of the flock: normal and everyday. In our time, habit and are often associated with everyday routine and boredom. That is why we often seek to escape to an "elsewhere" permanent. This is a temptation for pastors of all pastors. Spiritual fathers are well explained to us so that we understand and that we do not let victims. Even in the Church, we are unfortunately not free of risk. This is why it is important to reaffirm that the mission of the bishop requires attendance and everyday. I think that this time of meetings and conferences, the decree of the Council of Trent residence is present it is very current and it would be nice if the Congregation for Bishops write something about it. The herd needs to find its place in the heart of the pastor. If it is not firmly established itself in Christ and His Church, it will be constantly buffeted by the waves in search of ephemeral compensation and will not provide shelter to the flock.
At the end of my speech, I ask myself: where can we find such men? This is not easy. Exist? How to select? I think the prophet Samuel in search of a successor to Saul (cf. 1 Sam 16, 11-13) which asks the old Jesse: "In what is done with your boys? "And hearing that little David was tending the flock, he ordered:" Send and fetch. " We also can not fail to examine the fields of the Church in seeking to present to the Lord, for He says, "Give him the anointing: this is it! ". I'm sure they exist, for the Lord will not abandon his Church. Maybe is it we who are not going quite in the fields to search. Maybe we need to Samuel's warning: "We will not sit down to table before he came here." This is the holy zeal that I want this lively congregation.

1 comment:

  1. Not once has the media reported what Pope Francis actually said--Yes, they quote his words, but they rip them out of the context of his speeches to make him say whatever they want him to say. Why would this be any different? Thanks for publishing the context for those who normally just read the biased headlines.


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