Have no fear! Pope shows the way for Religious Leaders in Britain and elsewhere…

HT to Adam for this link to a Daily Mail article in Britain:

But who can doubt that the Pope’s central theme deserves a hearing in a society increasingly devoted to instant self-gratification?

Britain is a country riven by family breakdown and moving ever closer towards ‘mercy killing’ for the sick and elderly. It’s a nation in which the destruction of unborn human lives is routine — and anti-abortion protesters have been thrown behind bars for holding a banner depicting an aborted foetus.

In the name of ‘multiculturalism’, Christian nurses have been ordered not to pray for their patients, a BA worker has been disciplined for wearing a small crucifix and public authorities have shied away from celebrating Christmas.

Doesn’t the Pope make a timely point when he warns against the march of ‘aggressive secularism’?

Other church leaders should draw courage from the success of his visit.

There’s a hunger in this country for a spiritual dimension in public life — and they should stop being afraid to feed it.

As they say in the classics, there’s something in that for all of us!

Not that every one in Britain was happy with this vocal demonstration of “Affirmative Catholicism” (as John Allen likes to call Benedict’s own particular idiom). In this report, Allen describes what he calls “the largest public protest Benedict XVI has ever faced on one of his foreign trips, and one of the largest protests against a pope in modern history”.

Maybe that in itself is a guage of his effectiveness. Whoever heard of such protests aimed against any other prelate in today’s Church (or Churches)?

Perhaps with an eye to the protesters, Benedict himself said

“In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered,” the pope said, “but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied.”

Allen goes on to say that

Benedict argued that Newman’s life and example confirms that “the Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society.”

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9 responses to “Have no fear! Pope shows the way for Religious Leaders in Britain and elsewhere…

  1. Peter

    “In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered,” the pope said.”

    Only a matter of time now.

    The Jihad against the Church is well under way.

    Stage ONE: Demand Tolerance for sin as a ‘point of view’. After all, a genuine democracy must encourage tolerance of divergent points of view and life choices, even if they don’t agree with my own.

    Stage TWO: Demand Equality! That is, demand that a sin be treated as ‘equal’ to all other views and moral choices, without reference to any such thing as evidence, rational argument or internal consistency.

    Stage THREE: Demand Conformity with your ideas and choices. Any dissenting voice or choice is to be censured, denounced and punished with extreme prejudice. No tolerance and no correspondence entered into on the matter.

    The Greens have prepared the legislation lined up for Stage 3. Coming soon to a parliament near you!

  2. adam

    Post visit observations from London:
    Monday 20 sept.
    The pope has left Britain and now there is commentary on the effect of the visit here. The BBC is screening a one hr doc tonight on the effect of the visit (very quick indeed to respond).

    But this morning on a BBC radio talk back radio show, an avowed atheist called in and was asked his views on the pope. The man,cooly and calmy said he was an atheist, but decided to hear what the pope had to say in person on the tv. He said he wanted to get a view of the man without media interference. And, yes, he had changed his mind about the pope and believed now that he (the pope) had some very relevant things to say about life etc. He had CHANGED HIS MIND.

    I think this shows the power of the personal visit. So many people have perceptions formed by a very critical media (TV and papers) that are formed by very atheist-leaning voices. The people do not normally read about the pope, let alone see him in Rome or what he does. The vatican paper does not have the widest circulation on the planet and radio vaticana is not on everyone’s iPod.

    But the scenes in Scotland and England when the pope was in the streets was amazing. Whispers in the Loggia blog today has a great shot of the pmobile (the catholis Mr Whippy) along the great Mall in London showing: the huge flag drapped poles with the Holy See flag alongside that of the UK. But it is the 10 deep crowds of people looking at the pope and runnning alongside as they sought to view him, waving and smiling. How much a smile can change peoples’ perceptions.

    For years BXVI has been called the Rottwwiller. But by whom and why? He has been pope for 5 years now and this charge is falacious and totally misleading. But many in the media still hurl it around. The people are not fooled and the young, ever searching for love and meaning, were there in their 1000s to see and hear the pope.

    John XXIII was in his 80s, Benedict is in his 80s – both men have made their impact on a celeb world in their own ways, as gentle, old men but wise and holy. Mandela was in his 80s and has had great impact. The Dalai lama is in his 70s and commands huge crowds. M Teresa was in her 80s when she had probably her greatest impact and still touching the poor and unloved.

    One atheist can change his mind on the pope because he listened to him and heard. Probably just what many men and women did by the sea of Galillee and across palestine when Jesus walked among them 2000 years ago. No cars, no trains, no security to fend off the wild crowds. Just the Lord walking and walking and being with his disciples who decided to follow him. A call to each individual made then and now – that is the power of the great Teaching Pope, Benedict XVI

    PAX
    ps and the mayor of London did not charge the popemobile the £8 congestion charge!!

  3. adam

    Note re Paschal Uche the amazing young man who spoke to the Pope in front of huge crowd. Some bishops and priests (dare I say) could learn much from this man’s utterances in front of the pope and thousands of people gathered. If you Google name, you may see him speak:
    Excerpt from press:

    The Pontiff was treated to whistles and chanting from up to 2,500 youngsters from dioceses in England, Wales and Scotland gathered on the piazza outside Westminster Cathedral.

    The Pope was greeted by Mr Uche, 21, a pharmacy student at Nottingham University, whose enthusiastic welcome brought further cheering from the crowd.

    Mr Uche, who worships at St Francis church in Stratford and was chosen by the Diocese of Brentwood to greet the Pope, told him: ”For many of us before today you were a face on television or a picture in a church.

    ”But today we behold you face to face, and on behalf of the Catholic youth of this great nation I would like to express my profound and heartfelt gratitude for your visit.”

    The Pope was also cheered as he replied: ”Thank you for your warm welcome.”

    Mr Uche, who is likely to become a poster boy for young Catholics, later said the Pope spoke to him again as they posed for pictures afterwards. He said the Pope’s apology to abuse victims “was very heartfelt and very personal”.

    He said: “He made us all understand that we all are sorry. The church is our family so if someone does something wrong we all are obliged in some way to be sorry and show compassion for the victims.”

    There was a sea of cameras and mobile phones directed towards the Pontiff, with some people climbing lampposts or sitting on shoulders to get a better view.

    Among the crowd there was a young worshipper sporting a huge Mohican hairstyle.

    Flags were waved and one banner read: ”We love our German shepherd.”

    He said: ”I ask each of you, first and foremost, to look into your own heart. Think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and all the love it is meant to give. After all, we were made for love.”

    He said while at times ”our hearts brim over with generosity”, at other times ”our hearts can easily be hardened by selfishness, envy and pride”.

    He urged followers to ”look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love”.

    He continued: ”Even amid the ‘busyness’ and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self.”

    After the speech, a chant went up of: ”We are the faithful!”

    Speaking afterwards, Mr Uche said: “It was just amazing. It was a brilliant experience. The crowd was roaring, it was an amazing feeling. Words can’t describe it.

    “The young people really did show with their voices, hearts and smiles how much we do love him.

    “In a sense it was a rock star welcome and he really responded to that.”

    He said when he finished welcoming the Pope, he was surprised to see the 83-year-old get up off his chair.

    He said: “I rushed in to make sure I shook his hand. At first I didn’t really know what to say. Then I asked him for a blessing.

    “I was so nervous, especially with all the cheering, but I knew I had to concentrate on doing a good job otherwise it would have let everyone down.

    “I was just going to bow and move to one side but then he got up and shook my hand and I took that as an opportunity and said ‘Can I have your blessing, father?’ and he did. It was amazing.

    “He said ‘well done’ and ‘you did a great job’ and then he was asking me about where I came from today, where I was born, what I was going in my life. It was such a big highlight for me for my faith and my life.”

    He said he welcomed the demonstrations taking place elsewhere in London.

    “There’s going to be people protesting and that’s brilliant, because it’s great that people are aware about [the visit],” he said. “The worst thing that could happen is that people are indifferent.

  4. Christine

    I have always had the deepest admiration for Blessed John Henry Newman. It was a great day.

    As for the Holy Father, a few things occurred to me. First, the comments made about how gentle and humble he was, the depth of his words, and, in my own personal observations considering how interrelated the royal houses of Europe are I find it wryly ironic that a German Pope from Bavaria was visting an English Queen with German Hannoverian connections 🙂

    I enjoyed watching the coverage very much.

    A comment was also made that the English monasteries preserved land for the free use of the people, making the destruction of the monasteries a very unfortunate occurrence.

    • adam

      not just unfortunate – horrific. When you think that Christianity was brought to Britain by Augustine 900 years before the reformation. All the great cathedrals, West Abbey and York and Canterbury were Catholic creations for centuries before Henry VIII took them over and ruthlessly laid plunder to the monasteries. He must have turned 500 times in his grave at St George’s chapel, Windsor when the pope was in Britain these last 4 days. Certainly Elizabeth I would have spiralled in her tomb only metres from the venerated tomb of Edward the Confessor before which BXVI prayed on his knees. If she only knew was destruction was brought upon the faith Augustine and Gregory brought and for which More and Fisher gave their lives.

  5. Christine

    not just unfortunate – horrific.

    I would agree, Adam. Because of the many conflicts in Germany et al. during the Reformation I think the vibrancy of English Catholicisim is one of the world’s best kept secrets. No wonder Henry’s “reforms” were not welcomed.

    I was fascinated to hear a comment during the papal coverage that Catholicism may be even older in Britian than was previously thought, having been brought by Roman Christians even before the legions would called back to Rome.

    He must have turned 500 times in his grave at St George’s chapel, Windsor when the pope was in Britain these last 4 days.

    That thought occurred to me as well 🙂

  6. Christine

    would called back to Rome.

    er, make that “were” called back to Rome.

  7. Louise

    Lord, I love this pope!