Saturday, February 18, 2006


Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) On Christian Opposition to the World

"It is not Christians who oppose the world, but rather the world which opposes itself to them when the truth about God, about Christ and about man is proclaimed. The world waxes indignant when sin and grace are called by their names. After the phase of indiscriminate 'openess' it is time that the Christian reacquire the consciousness of belonging to a minority and of often being in opposition to what is obvious, plausible and natural for that mentality which the New Testament calls--and certainly not in a positive sense--the 'spirit of the world'. It is time to find again the courage of nonconformism, the capacity to oppose many of the trends of the surrounding culture, renouncing certain euphoric post-conciliar solidarity."(The Ratzinger Report pp. 36-37)

In the view of your host, the Christian approach to world trends boils down to the recognition of what is true and what is false. To the extent that these trends are in accord with the truth, we should not only support them, but also show that it is only in the fullness of Christian faith do they have any real chance of coming to fruition in addition calling the false ones false.

In other words, it is simply not a matter of nonconformism (or conformism for that matter) for its own sake. It is fidelity to the truth pure and simple.

To parlay this into an effective strategery requires we be as "wise as serpents and innocent as doves". (Matt. 10:16)

Honestly, we Catholics need to do a better better job of actively exegeting this Scripture passage.


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