Co-Workers of the Truth 6/16

Benedict XVIAs a living organism, the Church, as Saint Paul expresses it, is both head and body.  The body without the head is no longer a body, but a corpse.  But the Head is Christ.  This is the most profound content and the deepest meaning of the sacrament; it must take precedence over all demographics, for without it the Church and all humanity would be just a corpse.  Jesus’ word was by no means so trite, so gentle and kind, as a false romanticism would have us believe.  It had the cutting sharpness of a genuine love that will not be separated from truth, and it brought him, in consequence, to the Cross.  His word was too diametrically opposed to the public opinion of all his adversaries.  This has not changed in the meantime.  But when people claim today that the history of the Church’s Magisterium was uniquely the history of a narrow-minded resistance to progress and that the history of genuine enlightenment is to be found only in the history of heresy, then the whole company of the saints – from Paul and John, from Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, to Maximilian Kolbe and all the Christian martyrs of this century – bears witness to the contrary.  And when there is drummed into us again and again the picture-book logic that authority is power, but power is a means of oppression, then such a mixture of truth and untruth must be firmly withstood.  Power has many faces today.  A principal on is the power to mold public opinion, to overwhelm the individual by invoking the giants of public opinion.  This public power will not hesitate to persecute anyone who resists it.  But it is precisely this that Saint Paul describes as the mark of the apostle, of the witness of Jesus Christ in the world (1 Cor 4:12-13)

From: Zeitfragen und christlicher Glaube, pp. 23ff

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