Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

2/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When faith dies man gradually loses the knowledge that he was created by God and so he loses himself.

Pope Benedict's rare insight and erudition of the Eastern patrimony strengthens both West and East and many Orthodox believers are grateful for it. May God grant us more teachers like him. May his remaining years bear much fruit. We still need him.

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse is an Orthodox priest serving in Naples, FL. He is President of the American Orthodox Institute and blogs at www.aoiusa.org/blog.

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse is an Orthodox priest serving in Naples, FL. He is President of the American Orthodox Institute and blogs at www.aoiusa.org/blog.

Highlights

By Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Orthodox, priest, orthodox priest, ecumenism, Vatican II, authentic ecumenism, Orthodox/Catholic dialogue, Pope Benedict XVI, Regensburg, Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse


NAPLES, FL. (Catholic Online) - Like almost everyone, the resignation of Pope Benedict came as a shock to Orthodox believers. Those of us who have watched Pope Benedict and his predecessor Pope John Paul II work to lessen the estrangement between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches hope that Pope Benedict's successor will continue on the same path. Two things stand out in Pope Benedict's relationship with the Orthodox Churches. First is his deep understanding of the Christian patrimony of Christendom. The Christian foundation of culture should be self-evident to most, but in our post-Christian (and poorly catechized) age our historical memory has grown increasingly dim. Religion vivifies culture. Christianity is the well from which meaning and purpose are drawn. That meaning and purpose shapes law, institutions, and the other constituents that define Western culture. Many have forgotten that - while others don't even know it. The loss of this Christian cultural awareness has created a moral crisis of the first order. When faith dies man gradually loses the knowledge that he was created by God and so he loses himself. Only through concrete, existential encounter with the Risen Christ can man come to know God in the full  measure of God's self-revelation to him through Jesus Christ. And only in this relationship can man learn what it is to be truly human. Any kind of decline follows contours that are specific to the culture within which the decline occurs. In our technological age we tend to see man as a machine and the self-organization of society as strictly a rational enterprise. In the simplest terms our crisis is the dehumanization of the individual person. Pope Benedict understood this acutely, no doubt because of his first-hand experience with Nazism and the barbarity it unleashed in Western Europe. His work to recover and restore the Christian roots of Christendom is a prophetic call to return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only a return to Christ can reverse this march to cultural suicide but only the embrace of Christ will reveal to man who he was created to be. The Orthodox hear this, particularly Orthodox conservatives in the Christian West and the Russian Orthodox Church. Conservatives see the decline; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced its bitter fruit. Pope Benedict has furthered the common project to restore the Christian foundations of culture. Clearly this is divinely ordained.  The shared mission increasingly leads to a revaluation of the historical barriers that has contributed to centuries of estrangement between the Eastern and Western Churches and promises more progress in the future. The Orthodox wonder about Pope Benedict's replacement. If the new Pope is a cultural conservative in the mold of Popes Benedict and John Paul II, then we know that the rapprochement of the last four decades will continue. If not, it will be more difficult to find common ground. We wonder too if the Catholic Church's crucial role in preserving the religious heritage of the Christian West will continue with the same deliberation. We hope that it does. A second important characteristic of Pope Benedict's service in office is his understanding of the Orthodox patrimony within Christendom. The Regensburg Address is perhaps the most penetrating analysis of the contribution of Hellenism to Christianity offered by a Western Christian in centuries. Regensburg was met with immediate hostility by the Muslims and thus misinterpreted by the mainstream press. The press seems to have a congenital inability to comprehend any idea outside of an immediate political context. In actual fact, the Address is a historical and theological tour-de-force and gently reminds the Christian West that ignoring the patrimony of the Christian East is like looking at history with one eye closed. We should be careful not to underestimate the importance of Regensburg. It may have significant impact down the road. Pope Benedict already started the discussion by drawing out ideas about the non-coervice nature of the the Christian faith, considerations that require much more elaboration especially as the hostility towards the Christian faith increases in coming years and as Christendom faces the the historical problem of Muslim expansion once again. Regensburg is a testament to Pope's Benedict's towering intellect but it also reveals a deep humility. There simply is not one hint of triumphalism or false note of partisanship in it. It was clearly intended as a gift to both West and East and those with ears to hear will see that.  Pope Benedict's rare insight and erudition of the Eastern patrimony strengthens both West and East and many Orthodox believers are grateful for it. May God grant us more teachers like him.  What does a retired Pope do? Listening to Catholic radio it appears even the Catholic Church does not know for sure. It is reported that Pope Benedict will retire to a monastery within the Vatican and spend his remaining years in prayer and study.  May his remaining years bear much fruit. We still need him. ----- Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse is an Orthodox priest serving in Naples, FL. He is President of the American Orthodox Institute and blogs at www.aoiusa.org/blog.

---


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


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Lower Your Nets For a Catch! We Are All Called to Evangelize Watch

Image of Lower your nets for a catch

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Church so that she can then undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world. Only a Church fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Spirit can carry out such an evangelical ... continue reading


'Church ladies' finally force phony priest in Los Angeles to authorities Watch

Image of Erwin Mena  was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft (Los Angeles Times).

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself "Padre," and convinced Southern California Catholics that he was a priest, police say. Los Angeles, Calif. (CNA/EWTN News) - He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a time ... continue reading


Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis to Meet in Cuba in Historic Move of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Orthodox Christian Patriarch Kirill and Catholic Christian Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that ... continue reading


'Deeply disturbing': ANOTHER Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress (Warning: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of Yet another undercover video featuring the horrors of Planned Parenthood's illegal acts has been released (Leda Oreskovich).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released another video featuring Planned Parenthood officials casually - and even happily - discussing the revolting practice of murdering infants in the womb then mercilessly cutting them to pieces for profit. Meanwhile, after ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Palm Sunday HD Video
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5, 10, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 7:1-13
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 9th, 2016 Image

St. Apollonia
February 9: St. Apollonia, who died in the year 249, was ... Read More