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Pope: the choice between good, evil is one we all have to make

Discussion in 'Pope Francis' started by davidtlig, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. davidtlig

    davidtlig Powers

    Pope: the choice between good, evil is one we all have to make

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    by Elise Harris

    Vatican City, Jul 23, 2017 / 05:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday Pope Francis said good and evil are often entwined, and that as sinners, we can't label any one group or institution as bad, since we all face temptation and have the ability to choose which path to follow.

    “The Lord, who is wisdom incarnate, today helps us to understand that good and evil cannot identify with definite territories or determined groups of people,” the Pope said July 23.

    Jesus tells us that “the line between good and evil passes through the heart of every person. We are all sinners,” he said, and asked for anyone who is not a sinner to raise their hand – which no one did.

    “We are all sinners!” he said, explaining that with his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ “has freed us from the slavery of sin and gives us the grace of walking in a new life.”

    Pope Francis spoke to the crowd of pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square for his Sunday Angelus address, which this week focused on the day's Gospel passage from Matthew, in which an enemy secretly plants weeds alongside the wheat in a master's field.

    The image, he said, shows us the good seed that is planted in the world by God, but also the bad seed planted by the devil in order to corrupt the good.

    It not only speaks of the problem of evil, but also it also refers to God's patience in the master, who allows the weeds to grow alongside the wheat, so that the harvest is not lost.

    “With this image, Jesus tells us that in this world good and evil are totally entwined, that it's impossible to separate them and weed out all the evil,” Pope Francis said, adding that “only God can do this, and he will do it in the final judgment.”

    Instead, the parable represents “the field of the freedom of Christians,” who must make the difficult discernment between good and evil, choosing which one to follow.

    This, the Pope said, involves trusting God and joining two seemingly contradictory attitudes: “decision and patience.”

    Francis explained that “decision” in this case means “wanting to be good grain, with all of it's strengths, and so to distance yourself from evil and it's seductions.”

    On the other hand, patience means “preferring a Church that is the leaven of the dough, which is not afraid to dirty her hands washing the feet of her children, rather than a Church of the 'pure,' which pretends to judge before it's time who is in the Kingdom of God and who is not,” he said.

    Both of these attitudes are necessary, he said, stressing that no one is perfect, but we are all sinners who have been redeemed by Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.

    Thanks to our baptism, Jesus has also given us the Sacrament of Confession, “ because we always need to be forgiven for our sins,” Francis said, adding that “to always look at the evil that is outside of us means not wanting to recognize the sin that is also within us.”

    Jesus also teaches us a different way of looking at the world and observing reality, he said. In reflecting on the parable, we are invited to learn God's timing and to see with his eyes, rather than focusing on our own, narrow vision.

    “Thanks to the beneficial influence of an anxious waiting, what were weeds or seemed like weeds, can become a product of good,” he said, adding that this is “the prospect of hope!”

    Pope Francis closed his address praying that Mary would intercede in helping us to observe in the world around us “not only dirtiness and evil, but also the good and beautiful; to expose the work of Satan, but above all to trust in the action of God who renders history fruitful.”

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/n...n-good-evil-is-one-we-all-have-to-make-78564/
     
    Mario likes this.
  2. davidtlig

    davidtlig Powers

    This particular homily from the Pope touched me because I'm also a great admirer and follower of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and here is a quote from his writings which perfectly matches some of what Francis is saying above.

    “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”


    “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil.

    Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
     
    Booklady, Carol55 and AED like this.
  3. AED

    AED Archangels

    Thank you for this quote. I have read and mired Solzhenitsyn for years. Have you read his book "The Soul and Barbed Wire". Profound.
     
  4. AED

    AED Archangels

    That should read "admired"
     
  5. Adoremus

    Adoremus Archangels

    Well I reckon I am getting a heavenly nudge to read Solzhenitsyn... I never in my life heard of him until a few weeks ago when I started listening to some lectures by the psychology professor, Jordan Peterson (as discussed in this thread), who advises his students to read The Gulag Archipelago. So I was surprised to read a quote from Solzhenitsyn in the church newsletter at Mass yesterday (your first quote above, in fact). And now you post this today. Guess I'd better get my hands on that book.
     
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  6. davidtlig

    davidtlig Powers

    For me, Solzhenitsyn was a John the Baptist figure and he looked the part!

    I read the three volume work when it was first published in paperback and it made a very deep impression. It taught me above all of the power of the spirit within a person and gave me a profound recognition of good and evil. It also gave me a true horror of communism and how it aimed to kill the soul.

    Somehow, although I was still a believer all those years ago after a faith filled upbringing, the book gave me, for the first time, a conviction that we had to commit fully and deeply to good in our lives.
     
    Booklady, AED and Don_D like this.
  7. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    It does no good to recognize good vs evil if we can't call it out. This brave Bishop has done as much. We need more of his like in the hierarchy, not just ones that talk about it!!

    Bishop Paprocki Responds to Fr. Martin (with Video)
    “Father Martin gets a lot Wrong in Those Tweets”
    By Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Catholic Times:

    There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by legislative action and judicial decision as legal throughout the United States. This decree prohibits same-sex weddings to be performed by our diocesan personnel or to take place in Catholic facilities, restricts persons in such unions from receiving the sacraments or serving in a public liturgical role unless they have repented, and says that deceased persons who had lived openly in a same-sex marriage giving public scandal to the faithful are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.

    There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by legislative action and judicial decision as legal throughout the United States. This decree prohibits same-sex weddings to be performed by our diocesan personnel or to take place in Catholic facilities, restricts persons in such unions from receiving the sacraments or serving in a public liturgical role unless they have repented, and says that deceased persons who had lived openly in a same-sex marriage giving public scandal to the faithful are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.

    At the same time, the decree says that a child with a Catholic parent or parents living in a same-sex marriage may be baptized if there is a well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the Catholic faith and that such a child who is otherwise qualified and properly disposed may receive first Eucharist and the sacrament of confirmation. Moreover, the decree states that children living with persons in a same-sex marriage are not to be denied admission to Catholic schools and catechetical and formational programs on those grounds alone. However, parents and those who legally take the place of parents are to be advised that their children will be instructed according to the church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality in their fullness and they must agree to abide by the Family School Agreement.


    In the decree I also remind all who exercise a ministry within the church that, while being clear and direct about what the church teaches, our pastoral ministry must always be respectful, compassionate and sensitive to all our brothers and sisters in faith, as was the ministry of Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd and our everlasting model for ministry. People with same-sex attraction are welcome in our parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as we repent our sins and pray for God to keep us in his grace.

    All of this is totally consistent with Catholic teaching about the sacraments and the understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman that has prevailed for millennia in all of society, not just in the church. The fact that there would be such an outcry against this decree is quite astounding and shows how strong the LGBT lobby is both in the secular world as well as within the church. People have been quick to quote the famous in-flight statement of Pope Francis in 2013 when he said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” But the pope quickly added, “The problem is not having this [homosexual] tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem.” So while we certainly leave the eternal judgment of one’s soul to God, we still must deal with objective realities here on earth and even Pope Francis recognized that the gay lobby is a great problem.

    Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

    more.....
     
  8. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    My Response to Fr. James Martin
    [​IMG]Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest who lives in New York, posted my decree on Twitter and said in a series of tweets, “If bishops ban members of same-sex couples from funeral rites, they must also ban divorced and remarried Catholics without annulments … women who have children out of wedlock, members of straight couples living together before marriage, anyone using birth control … To focus only on LGBT people, even those in same-sex marriages, without a similar focus on the sexual or moral behavior of straight people is in the words of the Catechism a ‘sign of unjust discrimination.’” Father Martin gets a lot wrong in those tweets, since canon law prohibits ecclesiastical funeral rites only in cases of “manifest sinners” which gives “public scandal,” and something such as using birth control is a private matter that is usually not manifest or made

    public. Moreover, my decree does not focus on “LGBT people,” but on so-called same-sex marriage, which is a public legal status. No one is ever denied the sacraments or Christian burial for simply having a homosexual orientation. Even someone who had entered into a same-sex “marriage” can receive the sacraments and be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if they repent and renounce their “marriage.”

    Father Martin also misses the key phrase in the decree that ecclesiastical funeral rites are to be denied to persons in same-sex marriages “unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.” This is a direct quote from canon 1184 of the Code of Canon Law, which is intended as a call to repentance. Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming the Gospel of God with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In other words, those living openly in same-sex marriage, like other manifest sinners who give public scandal, can receive ecclesiastical funeral rites if they gave some sign of repentance. This does not mean that unrepentant manifest sinners will simply be refused or turned away. Even in those cases where a public Mass of Christian Burial in church cannot be celebrated because the deceased person was unrepentant and there would be public scandal, the priest or deacon may conduct a private funeral service, for example, at the funeral home.

    Father Martin’s tweets do raise an important point with regard to other situations of grave sin and the reception of Holy Communion. He is right that the Church’s teaching does not apply only to people in same-sex marriages. According to canon 916, all those who are “conscious of grave sin” are not to receive Holy Communion without previous sacramental confession. This is normally not a question of denying Holy Communion, but of people themselves refraining from Holy Communion if they are “conscious of grave sin.” While no one can know one’s subjective sinfulness before God, the Church can and must teach about the objective realities of grave sin. Speaking objectively, then, one can say the following:

    Those who have sexual relations outside of a valid marriage, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. This includes the divorced and remarried without an annulment. An exception would be where the couple agrees to live as brother and sister, as long as there is no public scandal. Similarly, if there is no public scandal, two men who live chastely with each other as friends or as brother and brother, or two women who live chastely with each other as friends or as sister and sister, may receive Holy Communion if there is no public scandal.

    Those who have had an abortion or have assisted in performing or procuring an abortion should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

    Those politicians and judges who helped to make same-sex marriage legal and who aid and abet abortion, for example, by voting for taxpayer funding for abortion, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

    Those who use artificial contraception should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

    Those who miss Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, unless it would be impossible due to a grave cause such as serious illness, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.

    These are just a few examples, but in fact all those who are conscious of any grave sin should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. Those who do receive Holy Communion while conscious of grave sin compound the moral offense by committing the sin of sacrilege.

    My recent decree did not address all these various other situations because they have long been part of Church teaching. The decree was needed to add the novel concept of same-sex “marriage” to those instances considered to be objectively grave sins.

    The truths of the faith revealed by our Lord in Scripture and Tradition are not always easy to accept, especially in a world that seeks to make all truth subjective. The fact is that some truths are objective and unalterable. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). There is no greater happiness than to see God. Saint Paul reminds us that we are all in need of daily conversion in that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” Let us pray for each other, that each of us may come to an ever deeper understanding of God’s call to discipleship in our lives, the same God who “wills everyone to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2: 4).

    May God give us this grace. Amen.
     
  9. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Thanks, Fatima, for posting this. It gives me some hope that there are prelates who take their Oath of Fidelity seriously and not as some kind of rite of passage to be ignored when they pass a few more exams, have a few years of experience under their belts or get a job writing opinion pieces tickling itching ears.

    I was at a funeral recently where the priest sympathised with the deceased's two wives (the ex attended the funeral). Perhaps the first marriage had been annulled by the Church, but what I found extraordinary was the priest telling us that, although he had never met the deceased, he had been told that in the man's long search for the truth he had found God outside organised religion. That funeral Mass was con-celebrated by two priests.
     
  10. Jarg

    Jarg Archangels

    'Organized religion' always makes such a great scapegoat in our days, it debases the Catholic Church, that 'organized religion' funded by God himself while he was still walking on the hills of Judea, appear as a non authentic and dull path to God. It hurts to hear a priest would speak with such contempt for the very Church that gave him the gift of priesthood...
     
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  11. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Actually, he's usually very sound and always strikes me as a very humble, holy and faithful priest. He was doing his best in an awkward situation. Unfortunately, he didn't have a Bishop Paprocki type statement from the Archdiocese to fall back on. Yes, he could and probably should have handled it better but it's hard for priests, and the con-celebrating priest was a friend of the family. To make matters worse, the man's son gave a talk before the incensing of the coffin and doubled down on how his father had rejected religions of sin and punishment because he had discovered that God is love.
     
  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think if people priests especially believe in something they will make a stand on it. If they don't believe in anything much then they will make a stand on nothing.

    I had an interesting conversation at work on the bay Charlie Gard. Two of my co workers believed it would be better that the baby died, that the hospital should be allowed to let it die. I answered that if anyone had a right to murder the baby it was the parents. But that since the parents did not want to kill their child it was hardly the task of the hospital to maker the choice and murder the baby for them.

    They stared at me with their mouths open.

    But I understood were they were coming from; for if there is no God why not kill the baby? Why not kill anyone who is a, 'nuisance '?

    What an evil world we live in. I regard people like King Herod who wanted to kill babies as evil and all his soldiers who did his bidding..and all our modern King Herods.
    But then I must be wrong. I am told from Rome I must not call the abortionists and bay murderers of this world evil. What then must I call them?


    [​IMG]


     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
    Blizzard, Don_D, AED and 2 others like this.
  13. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    I'm sticking to my gut instincts.

    Abortionists and their collaborators are evil minions of satan.

    No one can persuade me otherwise.
     
    AED likes this.
  14. AED

    AED Archangels

    Sensus fidellium has an excellent series of retreat talks called getting out of Egypt. He talks about the issues you raise. So worth listening to.
     
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  15. padraig

    padraig New Member

     
  16. padraig

    padraig New Member

    This was posted only three days ago!! Good timing ! I love Sensum fidelium I have met many very evil people in my life and am not afraid to say so. Some of them killed many people, including torturing Catholics to death simply because they were Catholics.
    What is more they belonged to very evil organisations whose one task was to kill Catholics.

    Isaiah 5:20

    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.


     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
    AED likes this.
  17. AED

    AED Archangels

    Whenever Godsays "Woe!" We had better listen! Chills the soul. I just thank God with the most humble gratitude I can that he brought me out of Egypt. I am still struggling however to get Egypt out of me.
     
    Praetorian likes this.
  18. Blizzard

    Blizzard thy kingdom come

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