Just as “those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” so “those who don’t know the Faith are condemned to reject it,” which, since Pope Benedict announced his resignation, they’ve been doing with renewed and great noise, criticizing the Church for views She doesn’t hold and for teachings She never taught.
Some of the critics are indirect and almost polite: in February the New York Times reported that Benedict’s resignation “puzzled the faithful and scholars, who wonder how a pope can be infallible one day and fallible the next — and whether that might undermine the authority of church teaching.”
Others are less restrained, writing with crude aggression that seems to grow bolder in direct proportion to their ignorance of the Church. For example, after the announcement of Benedict’s resignation, one blogger explained papal infallibility this way:
It means that if you’re a Catholic, you do whatever the pope says. Pope says birth control’s the work of the devil, you say it, too. Pope hates gay marriage, that’s your opinion as well.
The papacy is not the place for debates or democracy.
He’s the Godfather, and all Catholics are Luca Brasi.
The whole thing is, well, troublesome. You certainly can’t have two people running around with infallibility. If they ever said sentences containing different words you’d theologically get yourself into one of those time-traveler-meeting-their-
younger-self, rip-in-the-fabric-of-space- time scenarios. So the Church took the easy way out: “Don’t worry,” they said. “We’re just going to pass along infallibility to the next one.”
Now if I believed (as does this blogger . . . along with, it seems, the New York Times) that infallibility is a quality of the person of the Pope, rather than a privilege of his office, then I, too, would be shaken by Benedict’s resignation and might laugh at the Church for holding views that no rational person can respect.
I don’t say that their views are untinged by malice; rather, I think their errors about Church teachings—errors shared by the majority of non-Catholics—lend their anti-Catholic arguments an aura of credibility where there really is none.
Just at the moment, like waves battering the shore in a hurricane, the ordinary currents of anti-Catholic foolishness are surging relentlessly: “Pope Benedict’s resignation shakes our faith in the Papacy.” “Pope Francis’s love of the poor restores it.” “Francis’s sanctioning women religious shakes it again.”
Headlines about the Church changing faster than the tides confuse the average American and unsettle even ordinary Catholics.
That’s why, in times like these, the work of CatholicExchange.com is so important. We serve as your trustworthy friend, a faithful beacon whose clear, steady light shines forth across today’s dark and turbulent seas, guiding all of us to the truth about the Church that Christ gave us.
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That’s perhaps the best 2 cents Catholics can spend today, because the anti-Catholic nonsense just doesn’t stop coming. Just the other day I ran across scores of articles claiming that a week before Pope Benedict resigned, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, was informed that Benedict would soon be arrested for “crimes against humanity” and for directing an “ongoing criminal conspiracy to aid and protect child torture and trafficking.”
That’s nonsense, of course, but it’s nonsense believed by tens of thousands who get their news about the Church from biased reporters and petty bloggers . . . which is why it’s essential that our work continue here at CatholicExchange.com—work we must undertake full-time and anew each day to counter the anti-Catholics who are themselves working overtime to discredit the Faith.
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