Recently, it has become common to hear affirmations regarding the right to religious liberty that end up confusing diverse concepts such that it seems to indicate an almost obligatory religious pluralism that intends to put all religions – Christian or non-Christian – on the same level.
It’s probable that many of our readers received their catechism classes during the turbulent years of the 70’s, and may have heard, wide-eyed and scandalized, that the well-known miracle of the multiplication of the loaves – transmitted in the Gospel – was nothing more than a metaphor to symbolize the power of sharing with others. It was a time in which many things in the Church were re-interpreted by some…and much innocence was lost.
Conscience is the sacred place where we find ourselves alone with God, where the most important matter of our existence is decided: the salvation or loss of our souls.
A light word, in certain circumstances is considered normal, for it’s a natural way of making human relationships more pleasant. But, this jesting must be done with equilibrium and respect. Consequently, it’s easy to understand that certain situations do not permit this means of expression, especially by those who hold more elevated positions. For example, what would we think of a Head of State who cracks a joke at the funeral of a victim of terrorism?
When, to a pitcher of water, a tiny drop of poison has been added, no one would claim that it is suitable to drink. This is true also of our spiritual life, in which it is not justifiable to choose the path of mediocrity, establishing a compromise between the pure water of virtue and the poison of sin.
Well, not 50 years, but a collection of 50 pearls from Pope Francis’ lips – together with the teachings of the Magisterium on corresponding subjects.
And that would be reason for a celebration, had not every one of these 50 studies been the cause so much pain and concern to us!
Nonetheless, one chapter of the DzB in English has been put behind us. Which makes it inevitable that memories of how this whole adventure came about flood our hearts: the pastoral concerns we faced, the moving questions our parishioners asked us, the discovery of the original DzB Spanish site, the offer to help out with something that would be of use for so many English-speaking faithful, the joy to see agreement and fraternal assistance budding forth, the preliminary initiatives till…..the Denzinger-Bergoglio_EN became a reality!!
Now, with more than 50 posts online, it is time for a word of thanks. None of this would have been possible if our Spanish counterparts had not first – in their own pastoral zeal, in face of the difficulties posed by their flock – developed the original DzB. And neither would this have come about, had they not been so kind and open-hearted as to not only encourage our individual offers to help out with an English version, but also to lend a hand with the first efforts. Our work has been definitely easier than theirs: we only translate; they have researched, composed the text etc. Though we did put in our own two pence too, on some occasions…
Even more grateful are we to our respective Bishops, who have supported us unfailingly along this difficult road. Maintaining a balance between intense pastoral life and the challenging toil of the DzB_EN has not been an easy job. Their comprehension, support and careful suggestions have been priceless. To them, we must add the assistance of many brethren in the Lord’s vineyard, who have not been able to aid directly but whose encouragement and prayers, especially the Most Holy Sacrifice, have accompanied our steps.
But perhaps the most thanks is due to those who are the very reason that this all started out – the numerous English-speaking faithful, who have literally smothered us with messages of thanks, of encouragement, and of questions… more work in newer posts!! It has simply been heart-moving to witness all the good that this English website has been able to do, and for this we are grateful to God! If truth be told, it was these messages, sometimes so touching, that at the hardest times kept us on no matter what! After all, we were able to feel how so many good mums and dads, youngsters, catechism teachers, etc., are just waiting for someone to state in clear and unambiguous terms what God teaches us by our Holy Mother, the Church. In this age of rampant confusion – where evasive language seems to be the best ally for error – so many good people seem to be simply grappling for a helping hand on the path of Truth. That we could extend this hand, as priests, God’s ministers, leaves us absolutely without words to thank Him! We already had a very clear notion of the perplexity our people face; but to be able to reach out far and wide, beyond the confines of our confessionals and churchyards, even to distant countries, is something just wonderful. These are great testimonies of tremendous love for Jesus Christ and His Church! Though we have not published most of these messages – keeping in with our policy of privacy, especially since many people open their hearts out with us as if they were in the confessional itself – they are certainly the best proof that we need to go on. In the future, though, we will try to publish more feedback, now that the DzB_EN has grown to a stability that permits us explore other areas, always and only when authorized and with the minor alterations needed to safeguard identities, for we believe that this will be beneficial to all.
One type of feedback has been particularly satisfying – the appearance of a healthy number of priests, and even some bishops, from different countries, who have, requesting anonymity, entered in contact with us to assure us of prayers and support. We have also received new hands: some have gone so far as to offer their help, having verified the efficacy of this page. With the aid of these, we’ve been able to multiply production, moving up from an initial number of two to three posts a week to our current daily posting. What’s more, we’ve got suggestions, and above all more material to be added to our posts – these have been forwarded to the original DzB site too. To all our brethren in the priesthood, and especially to our newer collaborators, our entire gratitude!
Speaking of feedback, we have not failed to also receive criticism, some of it very unforgiving from those who preach forgiveness for all, and even accusations. But our conscience is clear. We never have, do not, and never wish to get any remuneration for this monumental work, other than knowing that we fulfill our duty as St. Paul recommended. Regarding the accusations, one deserves a reply here in public: we have nothing personal against whoever occupies the Throne of St. Peter, but it cannot be denied that, from the very beginning of the new pontificate, a complete deficiency of clear ideas mixed together with abundant misinformation and surreptitious insinuations have gushed forth like a sordid torrent – copiously abetted by the means of communication – upon the faithful, causing no small damage, hurt and incomprehension. Who promotes this we do not know. But what is certain is that Our Lord Jesus Christ is not benefited when a Catholic mother is scoffed at as a rabbit by those who murder their children, when a venerable priest is rebuked after decades in the Lord’s service for benignly counseling against practices opposed to morality and harmful in themselves, when someone in manifest mortal sin is deceitfully advised to receive the Holy Communion and so to add sacrilege to his poor conscience, and when, and when, and when…. How the little faithful of Christ suffer! And if the Lord asked Saul, on the way to Damascus, why he was persecuting Him, when Saul only sought the evil of Christians and could not touch the risen Christ, then what should we conclude today? The Magisterium, in two thousand years, has shed abundant light for all Christians. Having it at hand, can we refuse it to those who did not have the studies we went through, knowing that their spiritual consolation, and perhaps even eternal salvation, is at stake? We cannot keep silent – it is our duty before God, and to His flock, which we swore to tend at our ordination. Let our accusers at least be fair: treat us as they would communists, sodomites and the like! In addition, the DzB does not use personal commentaries – it simply places Francis’ statements alongside quotes from the Magisterium; if there is a difference, who is to blame? Certainly not the DzB!
Finally, we must thank those who have posted our pages on their websites, added links to their social network accounts etc. Because of them, in barely a few months, we have grown to proportions that were unbelievable when we started out. We hope that others too join in this effort, for as we foretold at the very start, the big ‘Catholic’ pages would try every effort to envelope the DzB in the greatest silence possible – just as the Magisterium and the Fathers of the Church have been left under layers of dust on the stands. Well, that silence has not really succeeded, but there are still very many Catholic faithful out there who are yearning for the luminous words of the Magisterium in these troubled times – our fraternal love cannot stop short of wanting to reach them too. Help spread the word!
For newcomers: till now (and the number will only increase), 33 Popes, 9 Councils, 23 Fathers of the Church and Doctors have shed the light of Christ’s truth on us at the DzB_EN. If you have met us recently, and do not know where to start amidst the more than 50 pages here, try these three, to whet your appetite:
– What is the ‘baptism of blood’ that Pope Francis so often speaks about?
– Does the Old Covenant still exist? Is Judaism a valid way of salvation?
– Could the Virgin Mary really rebel against God? Could She have thought: “Liar! I was deceived”?
This commemorative post ends with a plea: PRAY FOR US! Offer your prayers and sacrifices for this apostolate, without which it cannot bear abundant fruit. We too will continue to pray for all those who have helped, in any way whatsoever, to let us reach this 50th anniversary of the Denzinger-Bergoglio_English!
It’s no novelty that the texts of Vatican Council II have often been manipulated with diverse intentions; consequently, it’s necessary to read them within their context and in light of the Magisterium, which has been guiding humanity for almost 2000 years.