116 – The thought comes to mind of the temptation of connecting the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitorial blows. No, the Gospel is proclaimed with gentleness, with fraternity, with love

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him’ (Prov 13:24).
The natural love that parents have for their children is such that they are even willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of their offspring is familiar to all. Due to this love, parents experience much concern when a young person begins to take the wrong path… They must teach them, reprehend and warn them, and when necessary, resort to a more severe measure: punishment.

Later on, those who were brought up in this way will show themselves to be people of character and virtue, giving many fruits through their good works. Therefore, a tenderness that omits the truth, with the illusion of eliminating the pain caused by severity, is simply a misnomer. By using this erroneous tactic, parents end up fomenting the bad tendencies of their children, who, without a real formation in the truth, might even end up losing their souls eternally.

The Church as our Holy Mother takes on the essential duty of proclaiming the truth, also utilizing its authority in announcing the Gospel. Consequently, it has never laid aside the efficacious means of salvation such as severity, reprehension and even punishment when it deems necessary. In this way, it follows the example of the Divine Master who did not hesitate to expel the vendors from the temple with a whip, or to vehemently rebuke the Pharisees.

So we are left with just one doubt: Does the Church really do good when it evangelizes exclusively through gentleness, fraternity and love? Moreover, what harm does the Church do when it fails to preach the truth in the name of gentleness, fraternity and love?

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – Evangelization should be based above all on announcing the truth
II – Should the truth be omitted in the name of ‘charity’?
III – Fear, severity and threats are also means of salvation


I – Evangelization should be based above all on announcing the truth


Sacred Scripture

The time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but diverted to myths

Pius XII

The Church may not desist in showing firmness and intransigence when transmitting morals
From the exact maintenance of the laws, which the Church cannot renounce her right to proclaim, depends the solidity of any national and international order
The greatest duty of the Vicar of Christ: ‘to give testimony to the truth’

John XXIII

Hiding the truth is like a diabolical conjuration
How strong and terrible is the commandment of never speaking falsely against your neighbor!

Leo XIII

To keep silence when clamors are raised against truth is to insult God and to favor the enemies of the faith
Christ left the Church He founded to be the supreme teacher of the peoples so that men be preserved by the truth

John Paul II

The temptation today is to reduce Christianity to a pseudo-science of well-being. Mission is an issue of Faith.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Those who preach the truth are always inopportune for the evil – preach always nonetheless

John Paul II

Pastors: your principal duty is to be Teachers of the Truth
The Church today, despite all the difficulties, cannot speak in a way different from that which Christ spoke

Catechism of Trent

Today it is necessary to labor with more than ordinary zeal to strengthen the faithful with wholesome doctrine

Pius XI

The world has fallen by its arrogant rejection of divine revelation

Code of Canon Law

It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles

II – Should the truth be omitted in the name of ‘charity’?


Pius XI

The priest’s first loving gift to his neighbors is to serve truth and refute error in any of its forms – to fail on this score is to betray God and the real welfare of people

Benedict XVI

It is our mission to proclaim the whole of God’s will, in its totality and ultimate simplicity – even when inconvenient

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

A great danger: that in the name of ‘love’, truth be either silenced or compromised

Pius X

The truth is one, it lasts forever, and is not subject to the vicissitudes of the times
The use of merely complacent language harms the faithful
The primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas
Jesus did not respect the false ideas of sinners, however sincere they might have appeared

Saint Irenaeus of Lyon

The Apostles did not address the weak in accordance with their opinion at the time, but according to revealed truth

John XXIII

“Veritas Domini manet in aeternum”

John Paul II

Truth has an intrinsic power to draw the human heart to all that is good

III – Fear, severity and threats are also means of salvation


Sacred Scripture

Exhort and correct with all authority

Benedict XVI

Christian admonishment is always moved by love and mercy

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Since some are found to be prone to vice it is necessary to be restrained from evil by force and fear

Origen

Our object is to reform the human race: either by the threats of punishments or by promises

Saint John of Avila

God threatens the sinner; then fulfills the threats, or undoes them if man repents

Saint John Chrysostom

Imitate Christ by warning, teaching, exhorting, admonishing and advising
Employ all your zeal toward the fruitful care of spiritual things

Sacred Scripture

The people of God perishes for want of knowledge

Related studies

  • 155 – “Any Church community, if it thinks it can comfortably go its own way without helping the poor will risk breaking down”

  • 154 – “The Church has never been better. This is a wonderful moment for the Church”

  • 153 – “The Church can sometimes fall into a needless hallowing of our own culture, and thus show more fanaticism than true evangelizing zeal”

  • 141 – “This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige”

  • 131 – ‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation’

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