"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Friday, June 14, 2013

In Defense of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Article taken from Catholicwvengeance
Dear, Life Magazine and editors of Life Magazine:

I recently bought and read your “Pope Francis” issue of Life Magazine, Volume 13. No. 8 March 29, 2013. It was full of beautiful photographs and packed with information that was fairly free of bias. I commend you for giving the historical facts about Catholicism being Christianity’s oldest branch, the excavation of St. Peter’s tomb and the myth of Pope Joan. However your gloss over the Crusades was one-sided, viewing them more as a campaign for material gain than a defensive maneuver to protect Christian pilgrims.

Your coverage of past popes and their lives was meaningful. It keenly followed the history of Catholicism up to the present day. Your connecting the dots from antiquity to this modern day was very engaging. Most people do not realize how old the Catholic Church is and that its roots lie in Biblical times, starting from the apostles. Thank you for showing us this!

Now I must share some criticism. On the section about Pope Benedict XVI, a flash of bias came out strongly. Your treatment of him was harsh, implying he was a cold figure of the “old church” with his outdated bans on birth-control and gay-marriage. Worst of all, you said he did nothing to stop child abuse.

Allow me to make my first point that Pope Benedict’s stance on moral issues is no different from any other pope’s. Both John Paul II and even the darling John XXIII spoke against gay-marriage and birth-control. Pope Francis has already and will continue to do the same, going to uphold what the Catholic Church has taught for 2,000 years. It’s absurd to think otherwise and reflects a very poor understanding of Catholicism. The problem is precisely that you don’t understand the Catholic Church. You even state: “The Catholic Church is older than democracy”. Yet you seek to impose modern, democratic values on it?

The Church doesn’t need to get with the times, it is beyond the times. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said: “If the Church should marry the modern age, she would find herself a widow”. Don’t you get it? Catholicism came before this era and will be here after. It is something bigger than us- because it came from Someone bigger than us. Instead of criticizing Catholic leaders for not catering to modern whims, your publications should appreciate their perseverance, ancient tradition and sticking to principles laid down by Jesus Christ – not the majority vote.

Allow me to make my second point. A majority of child-abuse cases occurred before Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. Some date back from the 60’s and 70’s before he was even ordained a priest! May I also elaborate on the fact that our own American society does little to stop the exploitation and abuse of children that happens in our schools, by their relatives or human traffickers. In fact, a child is more likely to be molested at school or at home than in a Catholic Church. Where is our accountability? Why don’t we take responsibility for producing a culture where children are prepared for sexual activity at increasingly younger ages? We cannot even live up to the rigorous standards we apply to the Catholic Church.

Moreso, the measures Benedict XVI implemented to protect future abuse and his changes to discipline in the Vatican went completely unmentioned. To be honest, it looked like you couldn’t find the answers and looked for someone to blame.

Lastly, more detail was given to Pope Benedict XVI’s shortcomings than to his brilliance as a theologian and burning love for his faith. As I said, you regarded him as more “cold, old church” than a man who wanted to set things right. Could he have done better? Yes. We all can do better.

Pope Benedict XVI was a shining example of Christian discipleship who made others fall in love with Christ. It was sad you couldn’t see this beneath the scapegoating. Your criticism of previous popes such as Pius XII and of the College of Cardinals was more fair. Why couldn’t you be fair to Benedict XVI? The man was old, weary and beaten down by years of the media basically crucifying him. Beneath all the power, you should have seen a human being. I figured you could have treated him more kindly is all.

You may not all be Christian, maybe none of you are, but I believe you can learn a thing or two from Christ when he said: “The measure by which you judge others will be measures unto you.”


Rachel Gohlman.

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