DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance to recent Apostolic Exhortations is purely coincidental.
OF A SIMPLE LAYMAN
ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
IN TODAY’S WORLD
The joy of Christ fills the hearts and lives of all who receive the Gospel, believe the authentic Faith, and enter into His Mystical Body, the Holy Catholic Church, through the waters of Baptism.
Every form of authentic evangelization draws from the wellspring of sacred Tradition; that which transmits the immutable Faith that comes to us from the Apostles.
The mission of the Church, though it is often exercised in the face of new challenges, is ever the same, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded.” (cf Matthew 28:19-20)
We cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about carrying out this mission among those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him, including the Jews. All have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.
While some seem to believe that there is a need for a certain “decentralization” of authority in the Church, any reorganization of her structures that would impose a form of democratization upon her must be avoided as Our Blessed Lord, in His infinite wisdom, established a monarchical Church.
Ecclesial structures serve the work of evangelization only to the extent that they faithfully embrace the mission that Our Lord gave to us. It is toward this end alone that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures must be ordered.
Pastoral ministry in a missionary style must, by necessity, faithfully transmit the doctrines of our Holy Catholic faith. Inasmuch as they reveal the face of the Almighty and serve to instruct humankind in the first demand of justice; namely, worshipping the one true God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – they are most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary.
As such, the body of Catholic doctrine is safeguarded as a great treasure, avoiding in every possible way that which might lead to corruption or confusion. Only in this way can the inexhaustible riches of the Gospel be faithfully preached to all generations.
If the Church comes to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated, she does well to offer suitable instruction as to their meaning, and she must be slow to abandon them or change them according to the mind of the world, as in so doing she may deprive herself and future generations of a great treasure that is rightly theirs.
Let us be clear: there is no such thing as “the primacy of the human person,” there is the primacy of Our Lord Jesus Christ! It is through, with and in Him alone that man may realize his true dignity.
We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data – all treated as being of equal importance – and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we must call objective immorality by its name, as opposed to behaving as if the truth that comes to us from God through His Holy Catholic Church is but one opinion among many. Liberation from sin, made possible only in Christ, is the solitary pathway to true joy.
Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries – even those where Christians are a minority – the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need, but we are neither moved by, nor concerned with, public opinion. Faithfulness to her Divine Founder alone is the source of the Church’s credibility; precisely that which the world so often despises.
There is a certain exodus from the Holy Catholic Church towards other faith communities. The cause of this searching may often be traced directly to a hierarchy that has failed to plainly teach the truths of the faith, thereby allowing the faithful in their care to languish nearly to the point of spiritual starvation.
The impact of this failure extends beyond the community of believers to the whole of society. It is not enough for the Church to simply insist upon a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society. Rather, the Church is duty bound to tell the Good News in its fullness, a key component of which is that the one true God has revealed Himself to man in Jesus Christ, the Divine Lawgiver, who has commissioned His Holy Catholic Church to speak in His name.
As such, it is with great joy that she exhorts every human person to save themselves and their children from this perverse generation, to be cleansed of their sins in the waters of Baptism, and to enter into the family of God the Father through, with, and in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost.