Skip to comments.Pope: Church must preach what God says not what people want to hear
Posted on 07/17/2012 3:40:50 PM PDT by NYer
VATICAN CITY, July 16, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a homily delivered in the town of Frascati in Italy Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI noted that the Apostles were called by Christ to preach the truth even if people don’t want to hear it.
Jesus sends them out two by two and gives them instructions. ... The first instruction concerns the spirit of detachment: the Apostles must not be attached to money and comforts. Jesus warns the disciples that they will not always receive a favourable welcome: at times they will be rejected, and may also be persecuted. But that should not affect them: they must speak in the name of Jesus and preach the Kingdom of God, without worrying about success. They must leave the outcome in the hands of God.
Reflecting on the reading concerning the prophet Amos, the Holy Father added: “But, whether accepted or rejected, Amos continued to prophesy, preaching what God says and not what people wanted to hear.”
Addressing our current times, the Pope said, “This remains the mandate of the Church: she does not preach what the powerful want to hear. Her criterion is truth and justice, even if that garners no applause and collides with human power”.
In North America today, the Christian Church is challenged in the most extreme way in this regard by the issue of homosexuality.
There is no other topic, abortion and contraception included, which has made for more gun-shy Church, political and institutional leadership. And that is quite understandable given the current obsession with homosexuality and all things relating to it by the media and so many of the institutional elites.
For nearly 20 years the labels of ‘hater’ and ‘bigot’ have been cast upon all those who would dare to question the homosexual lifestyle. Christian Mayors have been lambasted and fined for refusing to declare gay pride days; businesses fined and even shut down for refusing their services to homosexual activists. Teachers and sportscasters who dared - on their own time - object to homosexual ‘marriage’ were turfed from their jobs. And now information and news services threatened for daring to report straight facts on situations that may not be complimentary to certain homosexuals.
Christian institutions, especially schools, have been targeted.
Very good men, leaders in the Church, even those who have stood up strong in the fight against abortion have shied away from the matter of homosexuality. Even when confronted with it head-on the preference has been to side step the fight with conciliatory stances.
During the Canadian ‘marriage’ battles back in 2003-2004, prior to the passage of same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation in 2005, the Ontario Bishops regularly consulted a diverse advisory group of lay people for advice on how to confront the issue. Some of the advisers - a minority - warned that the whole issue was really about normalization of homosexuality rather than marriage. Thus, in order to address the heart of the issue, the bishops were compelled to raise the long ignored subject of the harm of homosexual acts. But they declined to do so.
In some 80 public interventions, from that time until the passage of same sex ‘marriage’, the Ontario Bishops decided to avoid in nearly every case the hard issue of homosexuality. Rather, they spoke in glowing terms about the goodness of heterosexual marriage. It seemed it would be just too costly in public relations, or too uncomfortable, to address the subject of homosexuality head-on.
A repeat of the scenario has occurred in Ontario regarding the government’s imposition of ‘gay-straight alliance clubs’ on Ontario Catholic high schools. From the outset, parent groups were warning the Ontario Bishops that the agenda had little to do with ‘anti-bullying’ and everything to do with forcing normalization of homosexuality in Catholic schools.
The Bishops, however, in many interventions and countless meetings spoke only about their common goal with the government in opposing bullying. They took at face-value the claims of the McGuinty government rather than noting the warned about underlying agenda. For those listening closely to the noises coming from the politicians themselves that agenda was painfully clear.
Once, in a statement outside of that heated debate in Ontario, the national bishops’ conference came out with a statement on the matter of homosexuality which requires commendation. It was called, Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attraction
However, when asked directly by reporters about homosexuality, the lead bishop on the ‘anti-bullying’ fiasco refused to answer. Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins, only replied that the matter was too complex to explain in a media interview.
Remember who this man is. He is the same bishop who took the bull by the horns when it came to denouncing abortionist Henry Morgentaler being awarded the Order of Canada; the same bishop who laudably took Development and Peace to task over supporting pro-abortion groups.
Are Christians lacking a well-worded way to present Christ’s teachings on homosexuality to our modern culture? We’ve been in this battle for four decades. It’s time to get our talking points in order and face this issue, that clearly cannot be avoided, head on.
Perhaps just speaking the truth in charity and leaving the outcome to the Holy Spirit is all that is necessary. The truth on this issue IS charity - to everyone, Catholic, non-Catholic, and non-Christian. It benefits our entire society.
In words very similar to those the Pope used yesterday, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, upon his departure from Canada for Rome in 2010 gave an interview wherein he outlined what is needed in a good bishop. Bishops, he said, “need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received.” He added, “We have to dare to speak to the deep heart, where the Spirit of the Lord is touching people beyond what we can calculate.”
“Pope: Church must preach what God says not what people want to hear”
I hate to say it, but B16 is soooooo much more forceful than JP2 ever was.
That headline is true but funny coming from Catholics.
What a relief.
Most homilies are just a string of platitudes because priests are afraid of offending someone. I believe insipid homilies help no one.
Speak the truth, firmly but gently. Those who wish to be weak will leave for “Catholic-lite” churches. Those who stay will be enriched, fortified, and blessed.
There is a Way, a Truth, and a Light. We must face the Truth, walk the Way, and keep our minds and hearts on the Light.
I’m not a Catholic but I have respected the popes who don’t flinch from teaching what Scripture clearly teaches instead of teaching what is politically correct. I salute their courage. It is not easy when you see how vicious the militant gay lobby is. Yet Christ proclaims that the world will hate his disciples just as it hated Him. It should surprise nobody.
Every Christian must do the same. It’s not a stinking club or majority vote. You don’t do people favors lying to them because you’d rather gloss over unpleasantries.
Do remember, dear fish hawk, that comment, in light of the Truth which the Church teaches regarding John, chapter 6. And I say and mean that respectfully, not antagonistically. The Church has long taught what God says, not people want to hear. It’s just been the last ~100-120 years where more rather than less needed the reminder, especially in this country.
Viva Il Papa Benedetto XVI!
“That headline is true but funny coming from Catholics.”
I guess I don’t know what you mean. The Catholic Church has always preached what people don’t want to hear.
That is why it is so hated. The Truth is hard for people.
I was thinking the same thing.
Well this present Pope is the right fit for the dark and difficult times we live in. Blessed JP2 simply planted the seeds for this papacy in a special way.
Or do the very best you can.
IBPP (In Before Protesting Protesters!)
thanks. as usual, insight from this pope makes clear to me the wedge issue of bullying being used to dupe people into supporting sodomites which in turn is a statist wedge to destroy God’s sacrament of marriage.
you are right about not knowing what I meant.
Addressing our current times, the Pope said, This remains the mandate of the Church: she does not preach what the powerful want to hear. Her criterion is truth and justice, even if that garners no applause and collides with human power.
Don’t be nice, be good. That is what we are called to do.
It doesn’t fill the pews, and will cut down on donations, so it it is rarely done.
Actually, when people hear an orthodox and upright preaching of the Gospel, they flock to that church, for that is what they want to hear.
We are building a new church because our Masses are overflowing.
then please explain.
When orthodox preaching starts in a formally liberal congregation, the first result is lower attendance and anger.
Then, as people start to learn about it, they start to grow.
But I have seen many a good pastor driven out because they made a big donor mad. He started to attract more people, but he preached an antiabortion sermon and was attacked by a family who gave a lot of money to the church.
He left, I left, and a lot of others did also.
Take heed and listen to what God exactly says in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit delivery to be recorded:
Acts 26:17: Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [Christ talking to Paul]
Galatians 2:6: But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
Galatians 2:7: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Galatians 2:8: (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Galatians 2:9: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
The top verse in Acts 26 has the following context verses to show exactly what God says to use Gentiles / heathens / non-Jewish people - saved or not saved:
Acts 26:12: Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
Acts 26:13: At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
Acts 26:14: And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Acts 26:15: And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Acts 26:16: But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Acts 26:17: Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee [Paul]
Take heed and listen to what God exactly says in the above Scriptures that the Holy Spirit delivery to be recorded - the exact Words of God on these matter are final.
No one can deny that God said these words, and God expects us believer-saints to follow all what God Himself has says to us, not pick and choose what the Church or any person thinks God says: but exactly what God says as recorded in Acts 9, 22, 26, Galatians 2, Romans thru Philimon; Genesis thru Revelation.