Friday, March 01, 2013

Benedict XVI's frightening vision of the Church's future

In May of 2010, the Holy Father went to Portugal and visited Fatima. As John L. Allen, Jr. then reported in the liberal National Catholic Reporter (May 11, 2010), the Pope en route to Portugal "called the reality of the sexual abuse crisis “terrifying” and said that the greatest persecution of the church comes not from external attacks but from sin within the church."

When asked what meaning the apparitions of Fatima have for us today, Benedict XVI replied [here I cite a different translation of the Pope's words than Allen's]:
Beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope ... are indicated future realities of the Church which are little by little developing and revealing themselves.... Thus it is true beyond the moment indicated in the vision, it is spoken, it is seen, the necessity of a passion of the Church that naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope; but the Pope is in the Church, and therefore the sufferings of the Church are what is announced...

As for the novelty that we can discover today in this message, it is that attacks on the Pope and the Church do not come only from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from sins that exist in the Church. This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church. (emphasis added in original quote)

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