"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)
Friday, November 9, 2012
Pope: each confession helps the new evangelization
Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City, Mar 9, 2012 / 04:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Confession and true conversion of people’s hearts is the “motor” of all reform and an authentic “force for evangelization,” Pope Benedict XVI told a gathering of priests and deacons March 9.
The Pope reflected on confession in an address to 1,300 participants in the Apostolic Penitentiary’s annual course on the “internal forum,” a technical term for the area of personal conscience and judgment in the priest-penitent relationship.
In a novel speech, he connected the New Evangelization and confession, saying that the effort to spread the Gospel draws life from “the sanctity of the sons and daughters of the Church, from the daily process of individual and community conversion, conforming itself ever more profoundly to Christ.”
“Thus each confession, from which each Christian will emerge renewed, will represent a step forward for new evangelization.”
Priests are also able to become collaborators in the New Evangelization by hearing confessions, the Pope said. They have as many possible “new beginnings” as sinners they encounter, he noted, because those who truly experience the mercy of Christ in confession will become “credible witnesses of sanctity.”
Pope Benedict also reflected on what happens spiritually during the sacrament of confession. The repentant sinner is “justified, forgiven and sanctified,” thanks to the divine mercy, which is the “only adequate response” to humankind’s need for the infinite, he said.
The forgiveness of sins has a direct impact on efforts to spread the Gospel, he explained, pointing out that only those “who allow themselves to be profoundly renewed by divine grace can internalize and therefore announce the novelty of the Gospel.”
The Pope also had some words for priests who hear confessions. He stressed the importance of spiritual and canonical preparation, and reminded them that priests must be the first to renew an awareness of themselves as sinners who need sacramental forgiveness to renew their encounter with Christ.
He finished his talk by urging his fellow priests to always make “novelty of Christ” the focus of their priestly lives so that others will see Christ in them.
Posted by Kitchener Waterloo Traditional Catholic at 2:49 PM