Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Saints, not structures, show the character of the Church, Pope tells Portuguese faithful

Catholic World News - May 11, 2010

In a subtle but powerful message to the people of Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI made a distinction between the failures of Catholic leadership and the enduring power of Christ's message.

"In the living river of ecclesial tradition, Christ is not 2,000 years distant from us, but is really present among us," the Pope said during his homily at a Mass on May 11. He added that the same living tradition unites the Catholics of today's Portugal with the great saints that the Church there has produced over the centuries. "Portugal has gained a glorious place among the nations for the service rendered to the spreading of the faith: in all five continents there are local churches that owe their origin to Portuguese missionary activity," he reminded the congregation.

During the Mass that he celebrated in Lisbon on the first day of his visit to Portugal, the Pope observed that the Church "has quarrelsome and even rebellious sons and daughters, but it is in the saints that the Church recognizes her most characteristic features."

Today, the Pope continued, the Church faces new challenges. "Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programs," he said. The necessary antidote, he said, is "to proclaim anew, with vigor and joy, the event of the death and resurrection of Christ-- the heart of Christianity, the fulcrum and mainstay of our faith, the firm lever of our certainties, the strong wind that sweeps away all fear and indecision, all doubt and human calculation."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,337 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,662.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17