from 30,000 feet altitude closer to God, and presumably away from his
apologists and bloviators, Pope Benedict XVl speaks the Truth.
The Holy Father must continue to find his own voice amid the cacophony
of aged Church politicians if he is to salvage and honor his
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Forgiveness Does Not Replace Justice, Says Pope
By Jesús Colina
LISBON, Portugal, MAY 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says the
greatest persecution that the Church endures comes from the sins of her
The Pope said this today en route to Portugal, in response to a
question about the sufferings the Church endures today in the midst of
the sex abuse scandal.
On board Alitalia's Airbus 320, at the start of his 15th international
trip, the Holy Father was asked if it is possible to see in the Fatima
message -- in addition to a reference to the attack on John Paul II --
an allusion to the sufferings that the Church is going through today.
Benedict XVI replied that what can be discovered again today in Our
Lady's message from Fatima is the "passion" that the Church is
experiencing, and that "is reflected in the person of the Pope."
"The attacks on the Pope and the Church do not just come from outside,
but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church,
from the sin that is in the Church," he said. "This has always been
known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: The greatest
persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is
born from the sin in the Church.
"And the Church, therefore, has the profound need to learn penance
again, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness, as
well as the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice."
Still, the Pope confirmed that "the Lord is stronger than evil and the
Virgin is, for us, the visible, maternal guarantee of the goodness of
God, who is always the last word in history."
Faith and reason
Earlier, the Bishop of Rome answered a question on the secularization
in Portugal, despite the country's strong Catholic history.
Benedict XVI affirmed first of all that throughout the centuries, there
has been a "courageous, intelligent and creative faith," in the
Portuguese nation, spreading to many parts of the world, as in Brazil.
Acknowledging at the same time that "the dialectic between faith and
secularization in Portugal" has "a long history," he recalled that
there have been numerous persons who've been able to "create bridges"
-- "to create a dialogue" between the two positions.
"I think that, precisely, the task, the mission of Europe in this
situation, is to find this dialogue, to integrate faith and modern
rationality in an anthropological vision that gives plenitude to the
human being," he answered.
"The presence of secularization is something normal, but the
separation, the opposition between secularism and the culture of faith
is anomalous and must be surmounted," the Pontiff contended. "The great
challenge of this moment is that the two meet, and in this way find
their true identity. It is a mission of Europe and a human need of our
Benedict XVI also answered a question on the economic crisis, which
could endanger, some think, the very stability of the European Union.
Stressing the social doctrine of the Church, the Pope admitted that the
Catholic faith has "frequently" neglected the economic issues of the
world, thinking only "of individual salvation."
"The whole tradition of the social doctrine of the Church seeks to
enlarge the ethical aspect and the aspect of faith, beyond the
individual, until reaching the responsibility of the world, a
rationality 'conformed' by ethics," he explained. "And, moreover, the
latest events in the market of these last two or three years have
demonstrated that the ethical dimension is internal and must penetrate
"Only in this way," he concluded, "does Europe realize its mission."