Monday, October 4, 2010

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church

When Pope Benedict XVI was asked by a reporter of what he could do to make Catholicism appear more “attractive” and “credible” to secularists and atheists in Britain, he brilliantly said,

"One might say that a church which seeks above all to be attractive would already be on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for itself, does not work to increase its numbers so as to have more power. The Church is at the service of Another; it does not serve itself, seeking to be a strong body, but it strives to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ accessible, the great truths, the great powers of love and of reconciliation that appeared in this figure and that come always from the presence of Jesus Christ. In this sense, the Church does not seek to be attractive, but rather to make herself transparent for Jesus Christ. And in the measure in which the Church is not for herself, as a strong and powerful body in the world, that wishes to have power, but simply is herself the voice of Another, she becomes truly transparent to the great figure of Jesus Christ and the great truths that he has brought to humanity…

If Anglicans and Catholics see that both are not there for themselves, but are rather instruments of Christ, “friends of the Bridegroom,” as Saint John says; if both follow together the priority of Christ and not themselves, they draw closer together, because the priority of Christ brings them together, they are no longer in competition, each one seeking greater numbers, but are united in commitment to the truth of Christ who comes into this world, and so they find themselves also placed reciprocally in a true and fruitful ecumenism.
--from George Neumayr's editorial, "The Battle of Britain"

This post was inspired by Ben's recent post on the Church. Thanks, Ben!


  1. You are too kind, Julie. And I am glad I inspired you to post these words. They are indeed wonderful and proof to me, and I hope other perhaps not-so-convinced protestants, that not only is the pope a good and holy man, but a man who seeks to defend Christ and His Church and not simply play a religious role in the global scheme of politics. I wish we had time to talk face to face, (especially with some sushi and beer) about this because our discussions are always so good and they always help me a lot to understand that much better the Catholic perspective on things. I was thinking about what you said on my blog and one of the things you are absolutely right about is that the Reformation "split" Christendom. Although I believe that greater truth came from it, as a Christian who wants to see the true Church of Christ be unified (whatever church that may be) I agree with you. The church is central to our foundation as Christians. The role the church plays beyond that, is exactly that which I want to discuss with you. We shall have to remember this for when I come visit when I come back! Great stuff, Julie. Always good and it keeps me thinking. :)

  2. Happy to hear it, Ben! We'll definitely chat more when you're back in the States. Sushi and beer sounds like a horrible combination, though. I'm taking you down the street to get one of Ohio's best hamburgers instead! Mmm cooked meat...