Jesus is the answer

By  Catholic News Service
  • April 18, 2008
The settiing was St. Joseph's Church in New York's Yorkville, a parish established for German immigrants in 1893. In this temple of worship were gathered some 250 Protestant and Orthodox church leaders, 50 Catholics and Pope Benedict XVI.

The men and women were praying together for the ecumenical project. The ostensible goal that all Christians "may be one" has become rather elusive in recent years, what with women priests, openly gay bishops and other hot button issues. And Pope Benedict offered no indication he thought the road ahead would be easy.

His Holiness offered one path to unity: "Only by 'holding fast' to sound teaching will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and its moral teaching. This is the message which the world is waiting to hear from us."

Pope Benedict painted a picture of the modern barbarians at the gate: individualism, which lends itself to personal interpretation of Christian belief based on subjective experiences; secularism, which "undermines or even rejects transcendent truth;" and a relativist approach to doctrine which relegates religion to the sphere of individual feelings.

He even complained that sometimes some Christians haven't helped the ecumenical project. He took a shot at "so-called 'prophetic actions' that are. . . not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition" and the idea of "local options" favoured by certain churches. While he was too polite to identify who or what he was referring to, it's not hard to guess.

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