Posted by: fvbcdm | May 9, 2014

Feast of Saint Pachomius (9 May 2014)

As I write this, the conclave has begun. The 115 cardinals are sequestered in the Sistine Chapel amid all the glory of Michelangelo and other painters, and they may have already taken the first vote for the new Pope—a vote that probably will not be conclusive, since a two-thirds majority is required for an election.

Earlier, Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated Mass with the other cardinals and spoke of the importance of electing a pope who will stoutly oppose what he called “the tyranny of relativism.” What is he talking about—this man who has headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for years and is therefore what has been called “the watchdog of Catholic doctrine” during the pontificate of John Paul II.

Relativism means that what is true for you is not necessarily true for me. Whatever each one of us believes to be true is true for us as individuals, but not universally. In other words, religion becomes a matter of opinion, and even of emotion with no objective truth, and certainly without anyone having the authority to speak definitively about religion, doctrine, and morals. This idea is just as ridiculous and self-defeating as it would be to have a department of mathematics in a school somewhere in which each teacher had a different opinion about the sum of 2+2. That would be mathematical relativism just as many people nowadays advocate theological relativism. There is a God; there is no God; there are many Gods. Jesus is divine; Jesus is merely human; Jesus is a fictitious character; Jesus was the husband of Saint Mary Magdalen, etc. If the mathematics department that espoused relativism were to collaborate in the building of a house, the walls, floors, and ceilings wouldn’t meet and the plumbing and electrical wiring would be chaotic. And yet, some people see no problem with moral and doctrinal relativism. It accounts for some four million deaths a year in this country alone, since some people profess to believe that abortion is not a sin, and therefore perform it or have it done. It is the cause of many family breakups and a world of misery because there are those who deny that adultery is wrong; and of course, it is killing many people who die of AIDS because of their sexual promiscuity.

Jesus prayed that there may be one flock and one shepherd, but theological relativism has spawned some 2000 churches, all claiming to be Christian including the more bizarre ones like Christian Science, Mormonism, and the snake-handlers of rural West Virginia.

So, my dear friends, let us pray earnestly for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the cardinals in conclave that God may use them as instruments for the shepherding of the Church in the years to come. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago


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