Benedict XVI Is Standing Up to Attacks

There has been an uptick in attacks on the Church, on her doctrine and shepherds.  I noticed the other day that John Allen had a similar observation.  Today I see that the gentlemanly Sandro Magister of Chiesa has a piece about this issue.  I recommend it.  Here is the beginning.  You can read the rest there.

“Non Prævalebunt.” How and Why Benedict XVI Is Standing Up to the Attacks

The crisis of the Church is not resolved with the practical changes requested by its critics, but with a more lively and more real faith. Joseph Ratzinger was absolutely convinced of this as already as a cardinal. A memorable clash between him and a French archbishop helps to explain his current conduct as pope

by Sandro Magister

ROME, August 1, 2011 – In the heart of this summer, the attacks against Benedict XVI have suddenly picked up steam again, from outside and inside of the Church.

From the outside, there has been the frontal attack – of unprecedented harshness – of Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, who accused the Catholic hierarchy, even at the highest levels, of protecting pedophile priests from the rigors of earthly justice. Kenny even found a guilty seat for Joseph Ratzinger, because of this statement when he was a cardinal: “Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”

In an editorial, the “Financial Times” also sided with the Irish prime minister and against the Catholic Church. In Ireland, a law is being considered that would require priests to inform state agencies of any sexual abuse of minors learned about in the sacrament of confession.

From within the Church, meanwhile, a new onslaught of demands has emerged on the part of droves of priests in Austria, the United States, Australia, and little by little in other countries, calling for the abolition of clerical celibacy, the conferral of priestly ordination on women, communion for divorced and remarried persons.

What ties all of these attacks together is the pressure to make the Church conform to the practices of the modern democracies, and imitate the dominant cultural currents.

At closer inspection, the reform of the Church demanded by these accusers has at its center not doctrinal changes, but the modification of its organization and discipline. Orthodoxy does not matter to them, but orthopraxy does: it is the practical rules of the Church that must be changed and brought into step with the times.

It is precisely of this that Benedict XVI is accused: of insisting on the truth of doctrine, and rejecting the practical innovations that the Church needs.


In reality, the current pontificate is also characterized by an important series of normative changes in the areas of liturgy, finance, law, ecumenism, to the point that authoritative scholars of ecclesiastical law dedicated a recent conference precisely to “Benedict XVI, canonical legislator.”


Read the rest there.

Do your part to inspire more prayer for Pope Benedict?  I have some buttons and stuff you could give out.

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. The world, and so many Catholics, are so thoroughly secularized, that it comes as no surprise to see attacks from within and without, launched from the premise that the Church is just another human social or political organization, instead of the Holy Bride of Christ. The only real solution is to restore a sense and awareness of the supernatural and the eternal, in the light of which Catholics must view the world. This means rooting out the modernist thinking with which we are all so saturated. The work of restoring the liturgy of tradition is key.

  2. teomatteo says:

    When I hear of these attacks on the Pope I have mixed emotions. I can’t help but think about how he was looking forward to his retirenment with his brother and settling back in Bavaria. His music, books, writing and his cats. I cannot imagine what he felt when the college elected him the Supreme Pontif at 79(?). And yet I have been enriched by his teaching and fortitude. I would like no other to fill his Office. I wish more would embrace his leadership as I dedicate the third decade of my rosary for him.

  3. CharlesG says:

    At closer inspection, the reform of the Church demanded by these accusers has at its center not doctrinal changes, but the modification of its organization and discipline.

    But surely the end goal for these dissidents is still change of doctrine to match the spirit of the world, particularly on issues of sexuality and morality generally. Democratization and elimination of the Magisterium and the hierarchy’s power to govern the Church are means to that ultimate end.

  4. AJ says:

    This onslaught of “modernization and secularization” advocated by these dissidents and if I may use the word now – heretics – give us a clearer view of the line being continuously drawn to weaken the Church. I incessantly pray for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI so that he may continue to steer the “Barque of Peter” into our most troubling times.

    Oftentimes now, I wonder, if our Holy Father has ever thought of using the full force of his office and just excommunicate and secularize these dissident clergy and laity and make use of the Office of the Holy Inquisition/CDF like it was before. I wonder as well if it could help if the Holy Father should bring back the CDF back into the picture of choosing our new Bishops/Archbishops rather than the Secretary of State.

    Oremus Pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto! Ad Multos Annos Sua Santita!

  5. mrose says:

    I wonder in a similar vein to AJ above…in any case, if Satan hates priests, and all the more the Successors to the Apostles, then how much more Christ’s own vicar upon earth and Saint Peter’s successor? May our Holy Father humbly take upon himself the tiara and rule with that divine authority bestowed upon him, ever guided by charity.

    Oremus pro pontifice!

  6. chcrix says:

    “It is precisely of this that Benedict XVI is accused: of insisting on the truth of doctrine, and rejecting the practical innovations that the Church needs.”

    The best one sentence description of the problem. The Pope is actually Catholic.

    I keep wondering why the internal critics of the Holy Father don’t seem able to realize that their criticisms of him imply that the religion is simply a charade. That of course cuts the ground out from under their feet. I think it also explains why contemporary ‘liberal’ religious positions do not build a strong religion either for Catholicism or any of our protestant would-be competitors.

  7. irishgirl says:

    Amen to what you said, AJ!
    I pray for our Holy Father every day in my Rosary-three Hail Marys at the end of it, in imitation of Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, a great lover of the Pope.

Comments are closed.