All’indomani delle due discusse pronunce, rispettivamente della Corte Europea dei diritti dell’uomo (per un commento a questa sentenza, v. qui) e della Suprema Corte di Cassazione, I sezione civile, n. 15138/2015 (per la vicenda, v. qui), nella memoria della Santa penitente Maria Maddalena, rilancio questo contributo – in inglese – quantomeno indicato, tratto dal consueto Rorate Caeli.
|Juan Correa, La conversione di Maria Maddalena, 1671 circa, Museo Nacional de Arte, Città del Messico|
The Denial of the Law of God
and His Rights
In his great encyclical letter Pope Leo XIII explains that it is not man’s place to dictate to God what man owes Him, but rather humbly and obediently to receive from God the law that must be followed if we are to please Him and attain the happiness for which He created us:
We see in these luminous words the confidence of a pope and of a church convinced of the reality and primacy of God, the existence of absolute truth, the ability of reason and faith to know that truth—and the ability of even fallen men to live according to that truth with the help of God’s grace (as Pope Leo develops at greater length elsewhere in the same encyclical, and as John Paul II was to do so masterfully in ).
Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, too, proclaimed with inimitable eloquence the same fundamental truth in regard to the condemnation of heresy, which, together with the reconciliation of the repentant heretic, is one of the greatest exercises of mercy of which the Church is capable:
How far we have lost this conception of the Church’s primary obligation to God, His truth, and His holiness, and how far we have settled for a worldly compromise with sin and error, can be seen if we consider an astonishing passage from Cardinal John Henry Newman, which, were it written today, would be considered offensive, outrageous, imbalanced, and possibly a form of hate speech:
Note that for Newman, the seeking of the lost means nothing other than —to induce them, however she can, by God’s grace, to follow His law, and thus to cease from lying, stealing, or any other action that can harm the soul, including the slightest venial sins. What, then, would Newman have said about the legalization of divorce, serial polygamy and polyandry (i.e., “remarriage”), contraception, sterilization, abortion, sodomy? Let us not kid ourselves: we are looking at the progressive dehumanization of man, the escalating asphyxiation of society, and the accelerating decomposition of the Church, with the concomitant loss of countless souls to eternal damnation—and there are still bishops who dare not to speak up in defense of God’s truth and His immutable rights, or who absurdly claim that “the law of the land is the law of the land,” or who are just hoping that if they sit still and do nothing, no one will raise a hand against them? It is like the apostasy of the Church in England under Henry VIII. We will have our heroic St. John Fishers and our St. Thomas Mores, along with a greater number of cowards, opportunists, apostates, and traitors.
Leo XIII, Cardinal Newman, and Msgr. Benson, like so many of their age, knew that the Catholic Church was locked in mortal combat with the irreligious and libertine spirit of modernity. They did not parley with it, they did not create committees for joint endeavors, they did not stand on their heads and squint with one eye until they could see something vaguely positive in it. They condemned it as poison, warned against it ceaselessly, and fought its dreadful effects with all their powers. They lost the fight, but only because their cause was betrayed by their own clerical brethren in the twentieth century. The crisis in the church is a crisis of bishops—whenever the Church is in turmoil, this will always be at the source of it. St. Gregory Nazianzen bears witness to this sobering fact when he writes:
Nevertheless, it was Cardinal Newman who, in his Arians of the Fourth Century, offered a well-documented and timely reminder that it was primarily the laity, under the guidance of a few stalwart bishops, who kept the true Faith in the horrible time of the Arian crisis. Today it is and will be no different. Let us glory in our baptismal privilege of having and keeping the true Faith, in union with Christ crucified and risen; let us glory in our Confirmation that enlisted us in the ranks of our blood-stained victorious King, to bear Him witness and fight His battles on earth. “Thus saith the Lord to you: Fear ye not, and be not dismayed at this multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
Fonte: Rorate caeli, Jul. 21, 2015
Fonte: Rorate caeli, Jul. 21, 2015