So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Yay generic religion!

Is the Holy Father promoting the merits of generic religion? Shouldn't we Catholics be promoting the one True religion, i.e., the Catholic Faith received from the holy Apostles?

Humanity therefore needs (true) religion if it is to reach its goal. Religion is a compass that orients us to the good and steers us away from evil, which is always crouching at the door of a person’s heart (cf. Gen 4:7). Religions, therefore, have an educational task: to help bring out the best in each person. We, as guides, have a great responsibility, in order to offer authentic responses to men and women who are searching, who are often lost among the swirling contradictions of our time. Indeed, today we observe, on the one hand, the dominance of the nihilism of those who no longer believe in anything except their own wellbeing, advantage and profit, of those who throw life away, having become accustomed to the saying, “if God does not exist then everything is permissible” (cf. F.M. Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, XI, 4.8.9); on the other hand, we see the growing emergence of rigid and fundamentalist reactions on the part of those who, through violent words and deeds, seek to impose extreme and radical attitudes which are furthest from the living God (i.e., the Most Holy Trinity!).

Religions, on the contrary, which help to discern the good and put it into practice through deeds, prayer and diligent cultivation of the inner life, are called to build a culture of encounter and peace, based on patience, understanding, and humble, tangible steps. This is the way a humane society is best served. For its part, society must always overcome the temptation to take advantage of religious factors: religions must never be instrumentalized, nor can they ever lend support to, or approve of, conflicts and disagreements (What about our Lord's teaching that "(g)reater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (St. John 15:13)." Are we to stand idly by and watch innocent people being slaughtered... in the name of a highly problematic religion?)
Is Pope Francis a little shy on promoting the script of the one true faith which is that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life?
Perhaps the Holy Father might be permitted a little latitude when preaching among the nations, i.e., non-Catholics. Let us recall the words of Saint Peter.
Acts 10:34
And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Of course, Saint Peter knew his mission, which was and is the mission of Christ:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”—St. Matthew 28:18-20
Perhaps the question is, how do we best inform (evangelize) others about Jesus Christ AND remain entirely faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church? 

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