From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."Texts for reflection:
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 2007:
"...fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. These values are not negotiable. ... Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them."
Report of Pope Benedict XVI's sermon at the funeral of Cardinal Alfono Lopez Trujillo, 23 April 2008:
“The Holy Father spoke powerfully about Cardinal Lopez Trujillo’s zeal, passion and indefatigability in his promotion of marriage and the family and he spoke of the courage with which the cardinal defended the non-negotiable values of human life. He praised his tenacity in defence of family life, his love of the truth of the family and his love of the Gospel of Life. Pope Benedict stressed that the cardinal dedicated his life in Rome to the defence of the family and of life as a collaborator of the Holy Father."
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 82, 1995:
From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:"To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths [of the Gospel of Life] constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity.
Faced with so many opposing points of view, and a widespread rejection of sound doctrine concerning human life, we can feel that Paul's entreaty to Timothy is also addressed to us: "Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching" (2 Tim 4:2). This exhortation should resound with special force in the hearts of those members of the Church who directly share, in different ways, in her mission as "teacher" of the truth. May it resound above all for us who are Bishops: we are the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of life."
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently."Texts for reflection:
Pope Benedict BXVI, message to the bishops of Brazil, 9 March 2011:
"[T]he first ecology to be defended is 'human ecology'. This is to say that, without a clear defence of human life from conception until natural death; without a defence of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman...we will never be able to speak of authentic protection of the environment."
Pope Benedict XVI, address to diplomatic corps, January 2010:From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"If we wish to build true peace, how can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn? It is in man’s respect for himself that his sense of responsibility for creation is shown. As Saint Thomas Aquinas has taught, man represents all that is most noble in the universe (cf. Summa Theologiae, I, q.29, a. 3)."
"I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else."Texts for reflection:
"[T]he proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives ... The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ."
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 82:
"To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths [of the Gospel of Life] constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity."
Pope Benedict XVI, address to German ambassador, 7 November 2011:From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"Today, however, certain basic values of human life are again being put into question, values which defend the dignity man possesses simply by virtue of being a man. It is here that the Church sees she has a duty, over and above her faith, to defend truths and values that are under threat."
"I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?"Texts for reflection:
Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988:
14. ... "How often is she abandoned with her pregnancy, when the man, the child's father, is unwilling to accept responsibility for it? And besides the many "unwed mothers" in our society, we also must consider all those who, as a result of various pressures, even on the part of the guilty man, very often "get rid of" the child before it is born. "They get rid of it": but at what price? Public opinion today tries in various ways to "abolish" the evil of this sin. Normally a woman's conscience does not let her forget that she has taken the life of her own child, for she cannot destroy that readiness to accept life which marks her "ethos" from the "beginning"."
Pope John Paul II, Letter to women, 1995:From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
2. ... "Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life."
"We must...investigate further the role of women in the church."Texts for reflection:
Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988:From the interview with Pope Francis, published 19 September 2013:
"18. ... Th[e] mutual gift of the person in marriage opens to the gift of a new life, a new human being, who is also a person in the likeness of his parents. Motherhood implies from the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman's "part"."
"27. ... By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honour and gratitude for those women who - faithful to the Gospel - have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins, and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church's faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel."
"It is amazing to see the denunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally."Texts for reflection:
Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, interview, 21 September 2013:Comments on this blog? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
"The CDF is responsible for the whole world in the interests of the papal Magisterium. Bishops lead local Churches. The papal and the episcopal office are legitimised by divine law. That is something that bishops' conferences are not. They are work groups but do not have a competence to teach of their own over and above that of an individual bishop's mandate. So they are not a third authority between the Pope and bishops."
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