Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bishop of Rome Visits His Seminarians

Amidst all the news of the past few days, many have missed the Holy Father's annual visit to the Seminarians of the Diocese of Rome which took place last Friday.  What follows is a candid and typically wise excerpt from his talk.

“We are heirs, but not heirs of specific country but of the land of God, of the future of God. This word says that as Christians we have the future. Thus, as Christians, we know that ours is the future, and the tree of the Church is not a dying tree but a tree that grows ever new. 

Therefore, we have reason to not let ourselves be moved by the prophets of doom, as John XXIII said, who say that the Church is a tree grown from a mustard seed, which has lived two thousand years but now her time is past and the time to die has arrived. No. The church always renews itself; it is continually reborn. The future is ours. 

Of course, there is a false optimism and a false pessimism. 

A false pessimism says that the time of Christianity has come to an end. No: it begins again! 

A false optimism was that witnessed immediately after the Council when convents and seminaries were closed and people said: it doesn’t matter, everything is good. No: this is not good! There are also serious and grave dangers. We have to recognize with a healthy realism that all is not well. It is not good when they do wrong things. 

At the same time, we have to be sure that even though here and there the Church dies for the sins of humans, because of their lack of belief, at the same time, it is reborn."

Pope Benedict XVI
9 February 2013