Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/21/2010 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Pope did more than call the UK to 'sit up and think', he called the Nation to kneel down and pray.

In his missionary trip to the United Kingdom the Pope proclaimed, without either compromise or triumphalism, that the fullness of that Gospel is found within the full communion of the Catholic Church. He pointed out that the path toward the recovery of Western Civilization is through the recovery of its Christian soul.He called the faithful to a New Evangelization and called for a Re-Christianizing of Europe. This missionary task will not be without opposition. He also knows it will require great sacrifice and heroic virtue.

Pope waving to the massive crowds during his recent pastoral visit to the United Kingdom.

Pope waving to the massive crowds during his recent pastoral visit to the United Kingdom.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/21/2010 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe


LONDON, UK (Catholic Online) - On Sunday, September 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI left the United Kingdom, giving a gracious farewell address at the Birmingham airport. There is a near universal acclaim for the pastoral visit of the successor of Peter. The crowds, the depth of his messages in every venue, the obvious hunger of the faithful for the truth of the ancient faith, all added together to make this trip both memorable and historic.

However, though Pope Benedict has physically departed and returned to Rome, the mission he elaborated in this historic four day visit has only just begun. It is the New Evangelization of the Church in the United Kingdom and then, through her, the unfolding of a new missionary age dedicated to re-Christianizing the European continent.

The reaction of the secular Press to this Papal visit is worth noting. Only a few months ago that press was predicting the Pope would be arrested upon arrival. If not, that he would at least be greeted with throngs of angry protestors. Ironically, though there were some protests, the numbers were relatively small. The real numbers in this story were the massive crowds which gathered in every one of his venues to listen to this humble and deeply reflective Christian leader. The response of the secular press is revealed in comments made by David Wiley of the BBC news:

"What has struck seasoned observers of papal tours is that people everywhere have responded spontaneously to the Pope's evident humility and his ability, even when talking serious theology, to communicate simple moral concepts in plain language. At the very start of his homily at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Pope struck a chord that resonated among his audience. As David Cameron plans to say later, as he bids farewell to the Pope, the 83-year-old pontiff has caused the whole country to sit up and think."

However, the Pope did more than call the UK to "sit up and think", he called the Nation to kneel down and pray. The theme of the visit, "Heart Speaks to Heart" was adapted from the beautiful insight of Blessed John Henry Newman which he chose as his motto upon being elevated as a Cardinal of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI came as a successor of the Apostle Peter and evangelized the United Kingdom afresh by conquering the heart of the realm with the liberating message of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all men and women.

He called the people of the United Kingdom to reflect on their Christian history, return to their roots and fall on their knees. The Pope proclaimed the God who alone can satisfy the hunger of every human heart, the One who is fully revealed in Jesus Christ - who continues His redemptive mission through the Church which is His Body.  This pastoral visit of Pope Benedict XVI was, above all else, a mission trip.

Catholic Online presented the text of his homilies and allocutions throughout the weekend. They were profound, prophetic, and passionate. This Pope who coined the phrase "Dictatorship of Relativism" while preaching at a Mass just prior to his being chosen to occupy the Chair of Peter, pulled no punches. He offered the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the weapon with which to fight against the tyranny of this dictatorship of relativism and the nihilism which accompanies its ugly reign. Right before he began his service to the Church and the world as Pope then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned of this "Dictatorship of Relativism" with these words:

"How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking? The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.

"Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.

"We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth. We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith."

In his missionary trip to the United Kingdom the Pope proclaimed, without either compromise or triumphalism, that the fullness of that Gospel is found within the full communion of the Catholic Church. He pointed out that the path toward the recovery of Western Civilization is through the recovery of its Christian soul. He called the flock of Christ to this kind of "adult faith" and he charged the Church to a new missionary age.

The Pope knows that this missionary task will not be without opposition. He also knows it will require great sacrifice and heroic virtue. In his address to an open air prayer vigil on the eve of the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman he spoke to 80,000 people gathered in Hyde Park. He called attention to the example of Christian martyrs executed at Tyburn for fidelity to the Catholic faith. Tyburn is a symbol of horrid persecution in the face of State sponsored hostility. There, Catholic men and women were tortured and executed for the ancient Christian faith handed down to us from the apostles.

It was declared to be an act of "high treason" to be a Catholic priest or even to associate with Catholic priests back during those dark days. 105 Martyrs went to their death for their heroic fidelity to Jesus Christ and His Body, the Catholic Church. They would not compromise. His message to the faithful was clear. Neither can we compromise in the face of the current Dictatorship of Relativism.

He told the faithful "Not far from here, at Tyburn, great numbers of our brothers and sisters died for the faith. In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered, but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed and parodied...the church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society".

His parting message to his brother Bishops was also straightforward: "In the course of my visit it has become clear to me how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the Good News of Jesus Christ. You have been chosen by God to offer them the living water of the Gospel, encouraging them to place their hopes, not in the vain enticements of this world, but in the firm assurances of the next.

"As you proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected, be sure to present in its fullness the life-giving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today's culture.

"As you know, a Pontifical Council has recently been established for the New Evangelization of countries of long-standing Christian tradition, and I would encourage you to avail yourselves of its services in addressing the task before you. Moreover, many of the new ecclesial movements have a particular charism for evangelization, and I know that you will continue to explore appropriate and effective ways of involving them in the mission of the Church."

He came, he saw, he conquered hearts. Now the real work begins.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Europe

Spiritual Ecumenism: Pope Francis Visits Evangelical/Pentecostal Church in Caserta Italy Watch

Image of Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church. This friend of Francis oversees the growing evangelical Church of the ... continue reading


Spanish priest packs them into church - by dancing the flamenco Watch

Image of Father Pepe danced in front of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1997. He says w he will retire this coming September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jose Planas Moreno, known as "Father Pepe," has revived interest in his church in Malaga, Spain. The priest has brought parishioners flocking back to the Nuestra SeƱora Del Carmen church in Campanilla, a district of Malaga, with his unusual style of worship. ... continue reading


LUNCH SURPRISE: Pope Francis eats with Vatican employees in surprise visit Watch

Image of The Pope spent about an hour dining at a table with around 10 other people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "lunch surprise" usually means an item that's not on the menu offered at a lower price. At the Vatican, employees got quite a "lunch surprise" on Friday when their "boss" and bishop, Pope Francis, turned up at their cafeteria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop! - Pope Urges End to Wars in Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza

Image of Brothers and sisters: never war.My thoughts go especially to the children, from whom we take away the hope for a decent life: dead children, injured children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have war relics for toys, children who do not know how to smile.- Pope Francis

By Asia News

He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak ... continue reading


Meriam Ibraham is Free! The Living God Has Heard the Cry of His People! Jesus Christ is Lord! Watch

Image of Meriam receives the blessing and the gratitude of the successor of Peter, Francis.- What should be front and center in every Christian news report on this remarkable story is that God intervened on behalf of Meriam and her family. The God whom we profess is real and His power is greater than any regime or any form of opposition. Yes, He used men and women, and even government leaders, to accomplish His deliverance. He often does. But it was His Love and Mercy which broke the shackles of evil. He deserves all the praise.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The photo of Pope Francis blessing Meriam Ibrahim and her little daughter Maya in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, July 24, 2014, reciving a blessing from a smiling Pope Francis, made millions of hearts leap for joy. The God of love answers the prayers of His ... continue reading


'A negative act necessarily must be condemned:' Vatican revising law on abuse penalties Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In regards to canonical law regarding acts of sexual misconduct, according to law ended up being too vague, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta says, church sanctions were being applied so haphazardly that the church appeared to be divided. In response, the Vatican is ... continue reading


VILE: Somali girl smuggled into United Kingdom for organ harvesting Watch

Image of In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for transplant.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There has been a noticeable uptick of cases of human trafficking in the United Kingdom. In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for ... continue reading


HORRIFIC ABUSE: 18-year-old girl coerced into group sex while being recorded on cell phone Watch

Image of The incident is being called an example of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An 18-year-old girl performed explicit sex acts on 24 men on a dance floor with the promise of a holiday - which never arrived. Presented with a mixed drink for her acts of indecency, the sordid episode was recorded on a cell phone camera - for the world to ... continue reading


Female genital mutilation threatens young females in England, Wales Watch

Image of The Department of Health has ordered hospitals to report signs of genital mutilation. The first statistics aren't due until September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Far away from Africa and parts of Asia, girls and young women are still at risk for female genital mutilation, or FGM within the United Kingdom. The barbaric practice, FGM, is still carried out among various immigrant females in both Great Britain and Wales. ... continue reading


Putin vs. the World: One plane crash may spell the end for Russian president's ambitious plan of conquest Watch

Image of Russian backed separatists stand around wreckage from the downed Malaysian Airlines plane.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World opinion continues to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine being the most notable and recent example of Russian interference in Ukraine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time and evidence ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter