08 September 2009

The Pope To The Bishops Of Brazil

Nobody else seems to have noticed this rather important text, or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Is reading what is being said on other Conferences' ad liminae a requirement for our Bishops before theirs?

(Not my best translation - I want this out there!)

Dear Brothers

in the decades following Vatican II, some people saw the opening to the world, not as a requirement of the missionary zeal of the Sacred Heart, but as a gateway to secularisation, seeing in this some values of great Christian density, such as equality, freedom, solidarity, being willing to make concessions and find areas of cooperation. This led to the intervention of some Church leaders in ethical debates, meeting the expectations of the public, but not talking about fundamental truths of the Faith, such as sin, grace, the theological life. Many Christian communities unconsciously fell into self-secularisation: these, hoping to please those who never came, saw the departure, cheated and disillusioned, of many of those who had come: our contemporaries, when they come to us, want to see what they do not see elsewhere, that is, the joy and hope that spring from the fact that we are with the Risen Lord.

There is at present a new generation born into this secularized church environment, which, instead of being part of this openness and consensus, sees the gap between Society and the Magisterium of the Church, especially in the area of ethics, widening even more. In this desert of God, the new generation feels a great thirst for transcendence. It is the young men of this new generation who are knocking at the door of the Seminary and they need to find true men of God, priests fully dedicated to formation, to witness to the gift of self to the Church through celibacy and an austere life, following the model of Christ the Good Shepherd. These young men will thus learn to be available to meet the Lord in daily participation in the Eucharist, to love silence and prayer for, first, the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Dear Brothers, as you know, it is the task of the Bishop to establish the essential criteria for the formation of seminarians and priests in faithfulness to the universal law of the Church: in this spirit the ideas on this subject, which arose during the plenary assembly of your Episcopal Conference, in April should be developed.

Assured of your zeal with regard to the formation of priests, I invite all bishops, priests and seminarians to emulate in life the love of Christ, Priest and Good Shepherd, as the Curé d'Ars did. And, like him, take as a model and as a protection of your own vocation the Virgin Mother, who responded in a unique way to God's call, by bearing in your heart and in your body the Word made flesh in order to give it to mankind.

To your dioceses, with a cordial greeting and the assurance of my prayers, please bear my paternal Apostolic Blessing.

1 comment:

Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear Muniment Room,

Thanks for your translation. The first paragraph has been up on Rorate Caeli with the unfortunate comments that accompany many of their postings.

The Holy Father's belief in young seminarians is not just to be applauded but recognised as a call to bishops to receive these young men, who desire to dedicate their lives to the Good Shepherd, in a manner befitting the state they have chosen.

In Christo,