“The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world.” With these words, Francis closed his first Way of the Cross in the Coliseum as Bishop of Rome, during a brief speech that foreshadowed his future preaching centered on pardon and mercy. The Pontiff explained, in an original manner, the meaning of the immolation of the Lamb of God, who had offered his life on the Cross to transmit a word of love, stronger than that of justice.
In this matter, what Catholic doctrine truly teaches us is that the Son of God sacrificed his life on the saving tree for the human race, which had been deprived of the life of grace and impeded to enjoy eternal happiness due to its sins. His offering made reparation to the Father for the great abyss of sin that separated us from him, opening the doors of heaven. Therefore, it was an act of the highest justice.
The process of one’s justification and salvation involves a long journey of perseverance, which consists of abandoning sin through divine aid. Saint teaches: “The Father, therefore, who has prepared the kingdom for the righteous, into which the Son has received those worthy of it, is He who has also prepared the furnace of fire, into which these angels commissioned by the Son of man shall send those persons who deserve it, according to God’s command” (Against Heresies, bk. IV, ch. 40). All will depend on the inmost dispositions of the individual and his or her correspondence to God’s designs. What is certain is that the problem of judgment, the gravity of sin and of eternal damnation continues beyond the sacrifice of Calvary, as much as we may wish to dismiss its importance.
Nevertheless, when we hear that ‘the Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world’ and the interpretation that followed this beautiful affirmation, can we be assured that what is being conveyed is truly orthodox? Rather, might this not be a saying in keeping with a pontificate which ‘makes no response to evil’ and prefers to ‘maintain silence’ in this regard? What are we to think of such a statement within the atmosphere of a Year of Mercy whose meaning no one has yet clearly understood. See what we have on Denzinger-Bergoglio about this….