VATICAN - WORDS OF DOCTRINE : Rev Nicola Bux and Rev Salvatore Vitiello -
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “ Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea …” (DCE n. 1); moral outcome, although important, cannot be the only measure of truth. Since the Church is inhabited by the power of the Spirit, nothing can prevail against her, not even the fragility of Christians. The apostles themselves were not impeccable in their behaviour: think of the moment when Jesus was arrested. Are we any different? Of course two thousand years of experience render less justifiable similar human behaviour, nevertheless “the heart is always new and needs to be re-educated in every generation”. The descent of the Spirit, at Pentecost, guarantees the indefectible nature of the Church and renders possible the Presence of Jesus Christ, a presence which 'burns' but does not consume.
One fascinating Gospel paradox should always be kept in mind: the Church, every true Christian, is strongest in weakness.
For example: certain biblical criticism, which sought to 'de-mythologise' the Old Testament, very often produced, instead of more genuine faith, an attitude of real and dangerous arrogance; even going as far as to think that those eyewitnesses, the men who wrote the New Testament, on the basis of direct witnesses, simply 'projected' their own personalities on the events of Christ: we have seen the birth of a 'Christ of the faith', unexplainably and illogically separated from the Christ of history. We might ask ourselves: “Could it be that modern exegetes project their own scepticism, their own style and attitude on the men and women of the 1st century?” (M.D.O’Brien, Il Nemico, Cinisello Balsamo 2006, pp. 175-176; 308). In this context of weakness, there flourished the recent Magisterium of the last two pontificates.
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The Church must desire only to be saintly, achieving radical overcoming of “conservator” or “progressivist” Positions. What is more, after love for Christ above all things comes obedience, since obedience and sincere love are inseparable.
Danger has always gripped the universal Church, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary was threatened by the enemy, satan. However the Church will overcome everything because Christ, the light of the world, is with her and assimilates her to himself. Christ alone is the morning star who will never fade and the Church must reflect Him, who is lumen gentium, as Vatican II says in the Constitution on the Church. (Agenzia Fides 16/7/2009; righe 35, parole 484)