Friday, 26 November 2010

The time of Bl Pio Nono - sound familiar?

Pope Pius IX

It is not the task of a Pope to plaster over the surface, making all thing plain and even; it is the task of a Pope to teach and guide, to open up the windows, to blow fresh air through a Church that may have become stagnant and turgid, to be confident in debate and to right the errors of a secular and materialistic world. That is precisely what Pope Benedict XVI has done during the course of his papacy but the account that follows shows that other Popes also have met with great opposition both from within the faith and outside it.

"The reign of Pius IX (1846-1878),  the longest in the annals of the Papacy, was, in the political sense,  a time in which many troubles, already ripening before the Pope was elected, came to their unpleasant maturity.
And it was a reign marked by serious losses to the public position of Catholicism in almost every country of Europe. But in the purely religious sense these same years were years of immense recovery and new gains. They are the years in which the many new teaching orders of women begin effectively to re-Christianise the education of women in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. They are the years in which, slowly, and as by a series of miracles, the two great Orders of Benedictines and the Preaching Friars came back to life. The principal figures in each case are Frenchmen, Dom Gueranger for the Benedictines and Lacordaire and Jandel for the Dominicans. France is also the scene of the heroic life of St Jean Mary Vianney (1786-1859), the Cure of Ars, and of many apparitions of Our Lady (1830, 1846, 1858, 1871), the best known of which are the series at Lourdes in 1858 to the child who became St Bernadtte Soubirous. Italy has St John Bosco and St Joseph Cottolengo to show, and the young Passionist St Gabriel of the Sorrows.
And the recognition of the Papal primacy reaches a new fulness in the final stages of the movement for the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX (December 8, 1854) by a personal act, in response to the urgency of all the Bishops of the Catholic world. The most striking evidence, however, as to the Church's essential independence of all but the grace of her divine Founder and her divine Guide was the General Council of the Vatican (summoned for December 8, 1869). Here the episcopate of the whole world gathered in numbers never known before, and after defining in singularly reassuring fashion the traditional Catholic belief in the value of reason and of its rights in the field of religion, it passed on to define anew the universal primacy of the Roman Pontiff in the Church of Christ, and also that in the exercise of his teaching office as Supreme Teacher of the whole Church he enjoys that infallibility which was promised by Our Lord to the Church itself."

Phillip Hughes (A Popular History of the Catholic Church)

I could add:

130 years on and we have a similar situation and a similarly great Pope to lead us. At present the Catholic media and Blogsphere are acting as though they are on a boat in a storm and Christ is sleeping. He may be sleeping but He is with us and with the Holy Father

Old Royal Air Force saying:


1 comment:

  1. Remember St. Peter in the storm, thinking that Our Lord was sleeping? We now He is awake and with us. He will quite the storm again.

    This reminds me also the dream of S. João Bosco.
    I think you know it, otherwise you may read it here.