Saints, not structures, show the character of the Church, Pope tells Portuguese faithful
CWN - 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."
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 five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($29,824 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
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!