July 21, 2017

Pope Emeritus Benedict: The Lord Does Not Abandon His Church Even When It is ‘On the Verge of Capsizing’

Pope Benedict XVI

In a letter read at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany and one of four cardinals who wrote the dubia to Pope Francis last year. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI praised his late friend as a "passionate shepherd and pastor", who died at peace with God and his will for the Church.

According to CNA/EWTN News: "Benedict, who had known Meisner personally, noted that the late prelate... had found it difficult to leave his post in Cologne upon retirement, especially at a time when the Church needs persuasive priests 'who resist the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist and who live and think the faith with complete determination.'"

The Pope Emeritus continued "However, what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing."

"Of late, two things caused him to become ever more joyful and confident:

For one, he repeatedly related to me how it filled him with profound delight to see how young people, especially young men, experienced the grace of forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession – the gift of having truly found that life which only God can give them.

The other thing which always touched him anew and put him in a joyful mood was the quiet spread of Eucharistic Adoration. At World Youth Day in Cologne, this was a central concern of his: that there be Adoration – a silence in which only the Lord speaks to the heart. Some experts in pastoral work and liturgy were of the opinion that such silence in contemplation of the Lord could not be achieved with such a large number of people. A few even considered Eucharistic Adoration as such to be obsolete, as the Lord desires to be received in the Eucharistic Bread, and not examined. That, however, one cannot eat this Bread like some common aliment, and that to “receive” the Lord in the Eucharistic Sacrament makes demands upon every dimension  of our existence – that to receive must be to adore – has since become once again very clear. "[Source]

The three other prelates who publicly submitted the dubia last November to Pope Francis are Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller. They wrote, "The Holy Father has decided not to respond. We have interpreted his sovereign decision as an invitation to continue the reflection and the discussion, calmly and with respect." (A spokesman for Pope Benedict states the Pope Emeritus's remarks are not meant as a condemnation of Pope Francis.)

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