Despite misrepresenting Benedict XVI’s pontificate, the editors correctly assert that “the Catholic Church … [is] increasingly at odds with the largely secular moral framework” of today. As Timothy Cardinal Dolan said, we Catholics stand with the ‘uns’: “the un-employed, the un-insured, the un-wanted, the un-wed mother and her fragile un-born baby in her womb, the un-documented, the un-housed, the un-healthy, the un-fed, the under-educated.” The Church strives to transform the culture of devaluation and utility. No political or cultural pressure compromises her service. Moving forward, the Church continues to promote a radically different framework rooted in charity and love. In this way, Benedict XVI challenges us to offer Christ to the world as the true moral framework.
With this in mind, Benedict XVI asked young Catholics, “Is it still reasonable today to be a believer?” Despite the challenges of modernity, Benedict XVI proposed that we can live a Christian life. He responded to difficult crises and re-affirmed teachings on contraception, gay marriage and the ordination of women. He strengthened interreligious dialogue and united many Christians under the Holy See. Although the editors distorted the Pope’s ministry, we should direct our focus on the future as Catholics.
As a theologian, Benedict XVI teaches a greater understanding of identity as God’s creation. Identity troubles the editors as they struggle to reconcile being “liberal” and Catholic. As a lifelong Democrat, I promise that you can be both! They are not incompatible! We are not segregated to the GOP because of faith! Catholics need not consider partisan affiliation, but rather identity as God’s children in public life.
The most notable problem with last week’s Op-Ed lies in the plea for God and the Church to “meet [them] halfway.” While we all may struggle with aspects of our faith, we are created by and for God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). As the late Terrence Cardinal Cooke said, “The Catholic Church is not a ‘salad bar’ from which Catholics may choose to accept or reject moral values or other obligations.” The world needs a Pope committed to authentic faith in Jesus Christ, because we are not “doing fine on our own” the way the editors suggest. As students on our campus suffer from sexual assault, cruelty, theft and other crimes, we must ask ourselves if following Jesus Christ in His Church could strengthen our human family and offer a new joy in Him. The next Holy Father must propose the Christian life to the world in this way.
CGS ‘13 COM ‘15