Paul VI…

…judges Francis’ idea on ‘diversified unity’

  • The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth

To what extent should the Church adapt itself to the historical and local circumstances in which it has to exercise its mission? How is it to guard against the danger of relativism which would make it untrue to its own dogmas and moral principles? And yet how can it fit itself to approach all men and bring salvation to all, becoming on the example of the Apostle Paul ‘all things to all men,’ that all may be saved? (1Cor 9:22) […] But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 87, August 6, 1964)

  • There is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new.’ ( Rev 21:5; cf. 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15) But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 18, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on union in the Catholic Church

  • The preacher of the Gospel never hides truth to please men

The preacher of the Gospel […] never betrays or hides truth out of a desire to please men. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 78, December 8, 1975)

  • The Church’s message of liberation should be regarding the Kingdom of God

We must not ignore the fact that many, even generous Christians […] are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, “[…] the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning….” […] the Church is certainly not willing to restrict her mission only to the religious field and dissociate herself from man’s temporal problems. Nevertheless she reaffirms the primacy of her spiritual vocation and refuses to replace the proclamation of the kingdom by the proclamation of forms of human liberation- she even states that her contribution to liberation is incomplete if she neglects to proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32–34, December 8, 1975)

  • Liberation is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One

As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 9, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of the Church

  • The task of the Church is to enlighten minds in order to assist them to discover the right path

In the social sphere, the Church has always wished to assume a double function: first to enlighten minds in order to assist them to discover the truth and to find the right path to follow amid the different teachings that call for their attention; and secondly to take part in action and to spread, with a real care for service and effectiveness, the energies of the Gospel. (Paul VI. Apostolic Letter Octogesima adveniens, no 48, May 14, 1971)

  • The first means of evangelization is sanctity

It is appropriate first of all to emphasize the following point: for the Church, the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life, given over to God in a communion that nothing should destroy and at the same time given to one’s neighbor with limitless zeal […] Saint Peter expressed this well when he held up the example of a reverent and chaste life that wins over even without a word those who refuse to obey the word. It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus […] in short, the witness of sanctity. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 41, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ defense of the Jovinian heresy

  • Celibacy: an even more perfect consecration to the kingdom of heaven and response to the divine call

Jesus, who selected the first ministers of salvation, wished them to be introduced to the understanding of the ‘mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 13:11.; Cf. Mk 4:11; Lk 8:10) but He also wished them to be coworkers with God under a very special title, and His ambassadors. (cf. 2Cor 5:20) He called them friends and brethren (cf. Jn 15:15; 20:17), for whom He consecrated Himself so that they might be consecrated in truth (Ibid., 17:19); He promised a more than abundant recompense to anyone who should leave home, family, wife and children for the sake of the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 18:29-30). More than this, in words filled with mystery and hope, He also commended an even more perfect consecration (cf. Decree on the Priestly Ministry and Life) to the kingdom of heaven by means of celibacy, as a special gift (cf. Mt 19: 11). The motive of this response to the divine call is the kingdom of heaven; (Ibid., 19:12) similarly, this very kingdom (cf. Lk 18:29-30), the Gospel (Mk 10:29-30) and the name of Christ (Mt 19:29) motivate those called by Jesus to undertake the work of the apostolate, freely accepting its burdens, that they may participate the more closely in His lot. (Paul VI. Encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, no. 22, June 24, 1967)

…judges Francis’ idea on renouncing our own culture to benefit the refugees

  • The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on if doctrine can be interpreted against the infallible Magisterium

  • The Church professes and teaches a sure and stable doctrine that emanates from God himself

Modern man has greatly augmented his knowledge, but not always in the solidity of his thought, not always in the certainty of possessing the truth. On the other hand, here is precisely the distinguishing characteristic of the teaching of the Church. The Church professes and teaches a sure and stable doctrine. Meanwhile we should remember that the Church, before being a teacher, is a disciple. She teaches a doctrine that is sure, but a doctrine that she herself had to learn previously. The authority of the teaching of the Church does not emanate from wisdom of her own, nor of scientific and rational control over what she preaches to her faithful; but rather from the fact that she announces a word that emanates from the transcendent Thought of God. This is her strength and her light. What is the name for this incomparable transmission of the Thought, of the Word of God? It is called faith. (Paul VI. General audience, August 2, 1978)

  • The Church indicates the sure way to distance oneself from deceitful illusions

Have the certainty – and instill it in those who doubt – that the Church, depositary of a message of salvation for all, the message that Christ the Lord confided to her, desires to offer her services with a lively understanding of the conditions of your situation, of your problems, so as to indicate to you the sure way to be followed in order to find a peaceful solution in Christ: ‘The way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6), distancing yourselves from deceitful illusions with which the false doctrines and the destroyers of upright human and social life could dazzle you. (Paul VI. Message to the people of the Dominican Republic, June 17, 1965)

  • Those who are not deeply rooted in faith and the observance of Church laws readily seek to adjust themselves to worldly standards of living

We must strengthen these convictions in ourselves if we are also to avoid another danger which the desire for reform can produce, not so much in us pastors, who are restrained by the proper awareness of our sacred duty, as in many of the faithful, who think that the reform of the Church should consist principally in adapting its way of thinking and acting to the customs and temper of the modern secular world. […] Hence, those who are not deeply rooted in the faith and in the observance of the Church’s laws, readily imagine that the time is ripe to adjust themselves to worldly standards of living, on the assumption that these are the best and only possible ones for a Christian to adopt. This craving for uniformity is observable even in the realm of philosophy (it is extraordinary how much weight is attached to fashion in a province where the mind ought to be free and independent, anxious only to arrive at the truth, and bowing to the authority of none but proved masters). It is observable also in the realm of ethics, making it more and more perplexing and difficult to define moral rectitude and the right conduct of life. In addition we are confronted with the doctrine of Naturalism, which attempts to undermine the fundamental conception of Christianity. Relativism, too, seeks to justify everything, and treats all things as of equal value. It assails the absolute character of Christian principles. We are also confronted with the growing tendency to prune away from the Christian life everything that requires effort or causes inconvenience. It rejects as vain and futile the practice of Christian asceticism and the contemplation of the things of God. Indeed, sometimes even the apostolic desire for a ready passport into secular society and the determination to make oneself acceptable to men and particularly to the youth of today, prompts certain people to lay aside the principles which characterize our faith and to reject the sort of dignity which gives meaning and force to our determination to make contact with others and makes our teaching effective. Is it not, perhaps, true that some of the younger clergy and religious, in their laudable endeavor to come closer to the masses and to particular groups, aim at becoming like them rather than different from them? By this worthless imitation they forfeit the real value and effectiveness of their endeavors. (Paul VI. Encyclical Eclesiam suam, no. 48–49, August 6, 1964)

  • When we speak about reform we are not concerned to change things, but to preserve all the more resolutely the characteristic features which Christ has impressed on His Church

First We must lay down a few rules to guide us in the work of reform. Obviously, there can be no question of reforming the essential nature of the Church or its basic and necessary structure. To use the word reform in that context would be to misuse it completely. […] In this context, therefore, when we speak about reform we are not concerned to change things, but to preserve all the more resolutely the characteristic features which Christ has impressed on His Church. Or rather, we are concerned to restore to the Church that ideal of perfection and beauty that corresponds to its original image, and that is at the same time consistent with its necessary, normal and legitimate growth from its original, embryonic form into its present structure. No […] Nor should one conceive the desire of renewing the whole structure of the Church just by taking account of the special spiritual gifts (charism) of some of its members. Some imagine that the only genuine renewal of the Church is one which is born from the ideas of a few, admittedly zealous, people who not infrequently consider themselves divinely inspired. Their vain dreams of the wrong sort of renewal could easily defile the very shape which the Church ought to have. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no 46.47, August 6, 1964)

  • Apostolate must not weaken our attachment to our faith

To what extent should the Church adapt itself to the historical and local circumstances in which it has to exercise its mission? How is it to guard against the danger of relativism which would make it untrue to its own dogmas and moral principles? And yet how can it fit itself to approach all men and bring salvation to all, becoming on the example of the Apostle Paul “all things to all men,” that all may be saved? […] But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no 87–88, August 6, 1964)

  • The presentation of the Gospel message does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation

Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 5, December 8, 1975)

  • Cultures must be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel

The Gospel, and therefore evangelization, are certainly not identical with culture, and they are independent in regard to all cultures. Nevertheless, the kingdom which the Gospel proclaims is lived by men who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the building up of the kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture or cultures. Though independent of cultures, the Gospel and evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them; rather they are capable of permeating them all without becoming subject to any one of them. The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelization of culture, or more correctly of cultures. They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 20, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea that preaching the Gospel does not entail doctrinal and moral principles

  • There are moral systems based on the erroneous conviction that it is only by faith and only by grace that we are saved, without a positive and systematic moral discipline

The Gospel is absolutely not a code that is easily fulfilled: it demands effort and fidelity. Here one may analyze the moral systems that renounce personal effort to obtain salvation, in the erroneous conviction that it is only by faith and only by grace that we have the fortune of being saved, without a positive and systematic moral discipline; as if faith and grace, gifts of God and true causes of salvation, do not demand a response, coherence, free and responsible cooperation on our part, either as a condition of cooperating in the saving work of God in us, or also as a consequence of the rebirth brought about by his merciful supernatural action. (Paul VI. General audience, July 7, 1971)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s mercy aimed at religious syncretism

  • “Renewal” and “reconciliation” remain the key words for the Holy Year – Reconciliation with God through a breaking with sin

“Renewal” and “reconciliation” remain the key words of this celebration: they sum up the hopes that we place in the Holy Year. And yet, as we have said, they will have no effect unless a certain “break” takes place within us (cf. Address of 9 May 1973).

We have now come to Lent, that special time set aside for the renewal of ourselves in Christ, and for reconciliation with God and with our neighbor. During Lent we share deeply in the death and Resurrection of Christ, through a breaking with sin, injustice and selfishness. (Paul VI. Message for Lent, March 2, 1974)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church having defects

  • The Church is, by divine vocation, holy and without blemish; it’s members are defective

During the council, in fact, the Church, in an effort to arrive at a more profound meditation on the mystery of itself, examined its own nature in all its dimensions and scrutinized its human and divine, visible and invisible, temporal and eternal elements. By first of all examining more thoroughly the link which binds it to Christ and His salvific action, it has underlined more clearly how all its members are called upon to participate in the work of Christ and therefore to participate also in His expiation. In addition, it has gained a clearer awareness that, while it is by divine vocation holy and without blemish, it is defective in its members and in continuous need of conversion and renewal. (Paul VI. Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, February 17, 1966)

  • The Church is holy, though she has sinners in her bosom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace

She [the Church] is therefore holy, though she has sinners in her bosom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace: it is by living by her life that her members are sanctified; it is by removing themselves from her life that they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for these offenses, of which she has the power to heal her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Paul VI. Motu proprio Solemni hac liturgia, Credo of the people of God, no. 19, June 30, 1968)

  • Bring the members of the Church to a clearer realization of their duty to correct their faults

A vivid and lively self-awareness on the part of the Church inevitably leads to a comparison between the ideal image of the Church as Christ envisaged it, His holy and spotless bride (Eph 5:27), and the actual image which the Church presents to the world today. This actual image does indeed, thank God, truly bear those characteristics impressed on it by its divine Founder; and in the course of the centuries the Holy Spirit has accentuated and enhanced these traits so as to make the Church conform more and more to the original intention of its Founder and to the particular genius of human society which it is continually striving to win over to itself through the preaching of the gospel of salvation. But the actual image of the Church will never attain to such a degree of perfection, beauty, holiness and splendor that it can be said to correspond perfectly with the original conception in the mind of Him who fashioned it. Hence the Church’s heroic and impatient struggle for renewal: the struggle to correct those flaws introduced by its members which its own self-examination, mirroring its exemplar, Christ, points out to it and condemns. And this brings us, Venerable Brethren, to the second policy We have in mind at this time: to bring the members of the Church to a clearer realization of their duty to correct their faults, strive for perfection, and make a wise choice of the means necessary for achieving the renewal We spoke of. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 10-11, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of women in the Church

  • Doctor of the Church is not a title that comports hierarchical functions; rather it means that one knew how to confess the faith received by God through the Church

This is, in synthesis, the message that Saint Teresa of Jesus, doctor and saint of the Church gives us. Let us hear and make it our own. We should add two observations that seem important. In the first place it is necessary to note that Saint Teresa of Avila is the first woman to whom the Church confers the title of doctor; and this without forgetting the severe words of Saint Paul: ‘women should keep silent in the churches’ (1Cor 14:34), which means that even today a woman is not destined to hold hierarchical functions of magisterium and ministry within the Church. Has the apostolic precept been violated then? We can respond with clarity: no. Really this is not regarding a title that comports hierarchical functions of the magisterium, but at the same time we should also emphasize that this fact does not suppose in any way the slightest despisal of the sublime mission of the woman in the heart of the People of God. On the contrary, she, in being incorporated in the Church through baptism, participates in the common priesthood of the faithful, that capacitates her and obliges her to ‘confess before all men the faith received by God through the Church’ (LG 2,11). (Paul VI. Homily proclaiming Saint Teresa of Jesus as Doctor of the Church, September 27, 1970)

…judges Francis’ idea on renouncing our own culture to receive the refugees

  • Saint Augustine: all the thought of antiquity converges in his work, irrigating the future centuries

One can affirm that all the thought of antiquity converges in his work and that currents of thought are derived from it which irrigate the entire doctrinal tradition of the future centuries. (Paul VI. Address to the religious of the Order of Saint Augustine on the inauguration of the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, May 4, 1970: AAS 62, 1970, p.426)

  • In dialogue, one must take care not weaken in the faith – The immoderate desire to sink differences at all costs is nothing more than skepticism about the power of the Word of God

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no 88, August 6, 1964)

  • The presentation of the Gospel is necessary, unique and cannot be replaced. It does not permit indifference, syncretism or accommodation

Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 5, December 8, 1975)

  • The Church is linked to evangelization in her most intimate being, born of the evangelizing activity of Jesus and the Twelve

Anyone who rereads in the New Testament the origins of the Church, follows her history step by step and watches her live and act, sees that she is linked to evangelization in her most intimate being: The Church is born of the evangelizing activity of Jesus and the Twelve. She is the normal, desired, most immediate and most visible fruit of this activity: ‘Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations’ (Mt 28:19). Now, ‘they accepted what he said and were baptized. That very day about three thousand were added to their number… Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved’ (Acts 2:41, 47). Having been born consequently out of being sent, the Church in her turn is sent by Jesus. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 15, December 8, 1975)

  • The very nature of the gifts which Christ has given the Church demands that they be extended to others and shared with others

If, as We said, the Church realizes what is God’s will in its regard, it will gain for itself a great store of energy, and in addition will conceive the need for pouring out this energy in the service of all men. It will have a clear awareness of a mission received from God, of a message to be spread far and wide. Here lies the source of our evangelical duty, our mandate to teach all nations, and our apostolic endeavor to strive for the eternal salvation of all men. […] Certainly we must preserve and defend the treasure of truth and grace that we have inherited through Christian tradition.[…] The very nature of the gifts which Christ has given the Church demands that they be extended to others and shared with others. This must be obvious from the words: ‘Going, therefore, teach ye all nations’ (Mt 28:19). Christ’s final command to His apostles. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 64, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on John the Baptist doubting the Messiah

  • When Jesus begins His ministry, John ‘rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice instead of becoming envious

John the Baptist, whose mission is to point Him out to the expectation of Israel, had himself leapt for joy, in His presence, in the womb of his mother (cf. Lk 1:44). When Jesus begins His ministry, John ‘rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice’ (Jn 3:29). (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Gaudete in Domino, no. 22, May 9, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on reforming the Church

  • There can be no question of reforming the essential nature of the Church or its basic necessary structure

First We must lay down a few rules to guide us in the work of reform. Obviously, there can be no question of reforming the essential nature of the Church or its basic and necessary structure. To use the word reform in that context would be to misuse it completely. […] In this context, therefore, when we speak about reform we are not concerned to change things, but to preserve all the more resolutely the characteristic features which Christ has impressed on His Church. Or rather, we are concerned to restore to the Church that ideal of perfection and beauty that corresponds to its original image, and that is at the same time consistent with its necessary, normal and legitimate growth from its original, embryonic form into its present structure. […] Nor should one conceive the desire of renewing the whole structure of the Church just by taking account of the special spiritual gifts (charism) of some of its members. Some imagine that the only genuine renewal of the Church is one which is born from the ideas of a few, admittedly zealous, people who not infrequently consider themselves divinely inspired. Their vain dreams of the wrong sort of renewal could easily defile the very shape which the Church ought to have. We must love and serve the Church as it is, wisely seeking to understand its history and to discover with humility the will of God who guides and assists it, even when He permits human weakness to eclipse the splendor of its countenance and the holiness of its activity. It is precisely this holiness and splendor which we are endeavoring to discover and promote. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 46. 47, August 6, 1964)

  • Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith

To what extent should the Church adapt itself to the historical and local circumstances in which it has to exercise its mission? How is it to guard against the danger of relativism which would make it untrue to its own dogmas and moral principles? And yet how can it fit itself to approach all men and bring salvation to all, becoming on the example of the Apostle Paul “all things to all men,” that all may be saved? […] But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 87.88, August 6, 1964)

  • Those who are not deeply rooted in the faith and in the observance of the Church’s laws, readily imagine that the time is ripe to adjust themselves to worldly standards of living

We must strengthen these convictions in ourselves if we are also to avoid another danger which the desire for reform can produce, not so much in us pastors, who are restrained by the proper awareness of our sacred duty, as in many of the faithful, who think that the reform of the Church should consist principally in adapting its way of thinking and acting to the customs and temper of the modern secular world. […] Hence, those who are not deeply rooted in the faith and in the observance of the Church’s laws, readily imagine that the time is ripe to adjust themselves to worldly standards of living, on the assumption that these are the best and only possible ones for a Christian to adopt. This craving for uniformity is observable even in the realm of philosophy (it is extraordinary how much weight is attached to fashion in a province where the mind ought to be free and independent, anxious only to arrive at the truth, and bowing to the authority of none but proved masters). It is observable also in the realm of ethics, making it more and more perplexing and difficult to define moral rectitude and the right conduct of life. In addition we are confronted with the doctrine of Naturalism, which attempts to undermine the fundamental conception of Christianity. Relativism, too, seeks to justify everything, and treats all things as of equal value. It assails the absolute character of Christian principles. We are also confronted with the growing tendency to prune away from the Christian life everything that requires effort or causes inconvenience. It rejects as vain and futile the practice of Christian asceticism and the contemplation of the things of God. Indeed, sometimes even the apostolic desire for a ready passport into secular society and the determination to make oneself acceptable to men and particularly to the youth of today, prompts certain people to lay aside the principles which characterize our faith and to reject the sort of dignity which gives meaning and force to our determination to make contact with others and makes our teaching effective. Is it not, perhaps, true that some of the younger clergy and religious, in their laudable endeavor to come closer to the masses and to particular groups, aim at becoming like them rather than different from them? By this worthless imitation they forfeit the real value and effectiveness of their endeavors. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 48–49, August 6, 1964)

  • When does the Church rediscover its youthful vitality? By submitting to the obedience of Christ

The Church will rediscover its youthful vitality not so much by changing its external legislation, as by submitting to the obedience of Christ and observing the laws which the Church lays upon itself with the intention of following in Christ’s footsteps. Herein lies the secret of the Church’s renewal, its metanoia, to use the Greek term, its practice of perfection. Even though the Church, in the reliance which it places on the liberty of the modern Christian with his increased awareness of his duties and his greater maturity and practical wisdom in fulfilling them, may make certain of its laws or precepts easier to observe, nevertheless the law retains its essential binding force. The Christian way of life as set forth and interpreted by the Church in its prudent legislation, demands a not inconsiderable degree of loyalty, perseverance and self-sacrifice. It constrains us, as it were, to take the “narrow way” recommended by Our Saviour. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 51, August 6, 1964)

  • By reducing the mission of the Church to the dimensions of a simply temporal project, she loses her fundamental meaning

We must not ignore the fact that many, even generous Christians who are sensitive to the dramatic questions involved in the problem of liberation, in their wish to commit the Church to the liberation effort are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, “the need to restate clearly the specifically religious finality of evangelization. This latter would lose its reason for existence if it were to diverge from the religious axis that guides it: the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning….” (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32, December 8, 1975)

  • The Church reaffirms the primacy of her spiritual vocation and refuses to replace the proclamation of the kingdom by the proclamation of forms of human liberation

With regard to the liberation which evangelization proclaims and strives to put into practice one should rather say this:
– it cannot be contained in the simple and restricted dimension of economics, politics, social or cultural life; it must envisage the whole man, in all his aspects, right up to and including his openness to the absolute, even the divine Absolute;
– it is therefore attached to a view of man which it can never sacrifice to the needs of any strategy, practice or short-term efficiency. Hence, when preaching liberation and associating herself with those who are working and suffering for it, the Church is certainly not willing to restrict her mission only to the religious field and dissociate herself from man’s temporal problems. Nevertheless she reaffirms the primacy of her spiritual vocation and refuses to replace the proclamation of the kingdom by the proclamation of forms of human liberation – she even states that her contribution to liberation is incomplete if she neglects to proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 33–34, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christians and Muslims sharing the same points

  • We cannot agree with the Moslem form of religion

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, [Judaism, Moslem and Afro-Asiatic] nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 107, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church called to dialogue

  • Reducing the Church’s mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project would to lose her fundamental meaning

We must not ignore the fact that many, even generous Christians who are sensitive to the dramatic questions involved in the problem of liberation, in their wish to commit the Church to the liberation effort are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, ‘the need to restate clearly the specifically religious finality of evangelization. This latter would lose its reason for existence if it were to diverge from the religious axis that guides it: the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning….’ (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32, December 8, 1975)

  • Evangelizing means transforming humanity from within and renewing it with the Gospel

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Rev 21:5; cf. 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15) But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism (cf. Rom 6:4) and by lives lived according to the Gospel (cf. Eph 4:24–25; Col 3:9–10). The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert (cf. Rom 1:16; 1Cor 1:18, 2:4) ,solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 18, December 8, 1975)

  • Evangelization cannot be contained in the simple and restricted dimension of economics, politics, social or cultural life – it must envisage the whole man

With regard to the liberation which evangelization proclaims and strives to put into practice one should rather say this: – it cannot be contained in the simple and restricted dimension of economics, politics, social or cultural life; it must envisage the whole man, in all his aspects, right up to and including his openness to the absolute, even the divine Absolute; – it is therefore attached to a view of man which it can never sacrifice to the needs of any strategy, practice or short-term efficiency. Hence, when preaching liberation and associating herself with those who are working and suffering for it, the Church is certainly not willing to restrict her mission only to the religious field and dissociate herself from man’s temporal problems. Nevertheless she reaffirms the primacy of her spiritual vocation and refuses to replace the proclamation of the kingdom by the proclamation of forms of human liberation – she even states that her contribution to liberation is incomplete if she neglects to proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on obtaining spiritual fruits in other religions

  • True joy is not possible except where the faith is entire

A common joy, truly supernatural, a gift of the Spirit of unity and love, which is not possible in truth except where the preaching of the faith is accepted in its entirety, according to the apostolic norm. […] The joy of being Christian, of being united with the Church, of being ‘in Christ’, and in the state of grace with God, is truly able to fill the human heart. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Gaudete in Domino, no. 68. 72, May 9, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on Ecumenical dialogue

  • The Church cannot abdicate its proper role: it must be according to the mind of Jesus Christ, as recorded and preserved in Sacred Scripture and in Apostolic Tradition

We also know that the modern world is in the grip of change and upheaval. It is undergoing developments which are having a profound influence on its outward way of life and habits of thought. The great advances made in science, technology, and social life, and the various currents of philosophical and political thought pervading modern society, are greatly influencing men’s opinions and their spiritual and cultural pursuits. The Church itself is being engulfed and shaken by this tidal wave of change, for however much men may be committed to the Church, they are deeply affected by the climate of the world. They run the risk of becoming confused, bewildered and alarmed, and this is a state of affairs which strikes at the very roots of the Church. It drives many people to adopt the most outlandish views. They imagine that the Church should abdicate its proper role, and adopt an entirely new and unprecedented mode of existence. […] An effective remedy is needed if all these dangers, which are prevalent in many quarters, are to be obviated, and We believe that such a remedy is to be found in an increased self-awareness on the part of the Church. The Church must get a clearer idea of what it really is in the mind of Jesus Christ as recorded and preserved in Sacred Scripture and in Apostolic Tradition, and interpreted and explained by the tradition of the Church under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 8, August 6, 1964)

  • For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, transforming it from within and making it new

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Rev. 21:5; cf. 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism (cf. Rom 6:4) and by lives lived according to the Gospel (cf. Eph 4:24–25; Col 3:910). The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, (cf. Rom 1:16; 1Cor 1:18, 2:4) solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 18, December 8, 1975)

  • The message of Christ is truth that does not permit indifference, syncretism or accommodation

    Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 5, December 8, 1975)

  • We cannot agree with these various forms of religion on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, [Jewish, Muslim, and Afro-asiatic] nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 107, August 6, 1964)

  • Our dialogue: neither a weakening of faith, nor a watering down of truth, nor vague compromises concerning the principles of faith in theory and practice

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 33, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on God judging us by loving us

  • Metanoia: a profound change of mind and heart

This kingdom and this salvation […] each individual gains them through a total interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia; it is a radical conversion, a profound change of mind and heart. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 10, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Faith and Lutheran belief

  • The message of Christ is truth: it does not permit indifference or syncretism

Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 5, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on proclaiming the Gospel

  • The Gospel entrusted to us is the word of truth – it should never be betrayed or hidden out of a desire to please men

The Gospel entrusted to us is also the word of truth. A truth which liberates and which alone gives peace of heart is what people are looking for when we proclaim the Good News to them. The truth about God, about man and his mysterious destiny, about the world; the difficult truth that we seek in the Word of God and of which, we repeat, we are neither the masters nor the owners, but the depositaries, the heralds and the servants. Every evangelizer is expected to have a reverence for truth, especially since the truth that he studies and communicates is none other than revealed truth and hence, more than any other, a sharing in the first truth which is God Himself. The preacher of the Gospel will therefore be a person who even at the price of personal renunciation and suffering always seeks the truth that he must transmit to others. He never betrays or hides truth out of a desire to please men, in order to astonish or to shock, nor for the sake of originality or a desire to make an impression. He does not refuse truth. He does not obscure revealed truth by being too idle to search for it, or for the sake of his own comfort, or out of fear. He does not neglect to study it. He serves it generously, without making it serve him. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 78, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on the ‘Bread of Life’

  • Welcoming with faith the gift of the Eucharist is to welcome Christ

Hence the Christian people often follow the lead of Saint Thomas and sing the words: ‘Sight, touch and taste in Thee are each deceived; The ear alone most safely is believed. I believe all the Son of God has spoken; Than truth’s own word, there is no truer token.’ And Saint Bonaventure declares: ‘There is no difficulty over Christ’s being present in the sacrament as in a sign; the great difficulty is in the fact that He is really in the sacrament, as He is in heaven. And so believing this is especially meritorious’ (In IV Sent., d. 10, p.1, a. 1, qu.1; Quar. IV, p. 217). Moreover, the Holy Gospel alludes to this when it tells of the many disciples of Christ who turned away and left Our Lord, after hearing Him speak of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. ‘This is strange talk,’ they said. ‘Who can be expected to listen to it’ Peter, on the contrary, replied to Jesus’ question as to whether the twelve wanted to go away too by promptly and firmly expressing his own faith and that of the other Apostles in these marvelous words: ‘Lord, to whom should we go? Thy words are the words of eternal life’ (Jn 6:61-69). (Paul VI. Encyclical Mysterium fidei, no. 3, September 3, 1965)

  • The Eucharist is our source of hope as Jesus said in the Gospel of John

Dear Brothers in Christ, with the full conviction of our being we believe that these truths will guide you and sustain you in your apostolic ministry, in the joyful hope of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is our source of hope because it is our pledge of life. Jesus himself has said: ‘I am the bread of life… If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever’ (Jn 6:48, 51). Amidst all the problems of the modern world let us remain constant in this hope. Our optimism is based, not on an unrealistic denial of the immense and manifest difficulties and opposition that beset the Kingdom of God, but in a realization that, in the Eucharist, the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus is forever operative, and victorious over sin and death. (Paul VI. Address to Bishops from the USA on their ad limina visit, June 15, 1978)

  • Christ is the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine

The few things that We have touched upon concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass encourage Us to say something about the Sacrament of the Eucharist, since both Sacrifice and Sacrament pertain to the same mystery and cannot be separated from each other. The Lord is immolated in an unbloody way in the Sacrifice of the Mass and He re-presents the sacrifice of the Cross and applies its salvific power at the moment when he becomes sacramentally present – through the words of consecration – as the spiritual food of the faithful, under the appearances of bread and wine. (Paul VI. Encyclical Mysterium fidei, no. 34, September 3, 1965)

  • The grave responsibility of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the apostles

We also insisted on the grave responsibility incumbent upon us, but which we share with our Brothers in the Episcopate, of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the apostles. While being translated into all expressions, this content must be neither impaired nor mutilated. While being clothed with the outward forms proper to each people, and made explicit by theological expression which takes account of differing cultural, social and even racial milieu, it must remain the content of the Catholic faith just exactly as the ecclesial magisterium has received it and transmits it. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 65, December 8, 1975)

  • The Church rigorously conserves authentic revelation

We may understand, then, why the Catholic Church, both yesterday and today, gives so much importance to the rigorous conservation of true Revelation, considering it an inviolable treasure, and why it bears such a rigorous sense of its fundamental duty in defending and transmitting the doctrine of the faith in unequivocal terms; orthodoxy is its first concern; the pastoral Magisterium its primary and providential function; the apostolic teaching affirms in fact the canons of its preaching; and the mandate of the Apostle Paul, Depositum custodi [Guard what has been entrusted to you] (1Tim 6:20; 2Tim 1:14), constitutes such a commitment for it, that its violation would be a betrayal. The teaching Church does not invent its doctrine; it is a witness, it is an interpreter, a mediator; and regarding the truths pertaining to the Christian message, it could be called conservative, intransigent; to those who request it to make the faith easier, more adapted to the caprice of the changing mentality of the times, it responds together with the Apostles: ‘Non possumus, we cannot’ (Acts 4:20). (Paul VI. General audience, January 19, 1972)

…judges Francis’ idea that Jesus is only mercy

  • Sins bring punishments inflicted by God’s sanctity and justice

It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God’s sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or ‘purifying’ punishments. Therefore it has always been the conviction of the faithful that the paths of evil are fraught with many stumbling blocks and bring adversities, bitterness and harm to those who follow them. These punishments are imposed by the just and merciful judgment of God for the purification of souls, the defense of the sanctity of the moral order and the restoration of the glory of God to its full majesty. (Paul VI. Apostolic constitution Indulgentiarum doctrina, no. 2, January 1, 1967)

…judges Francis’ idea on the poor being the heart of the Gospel

  • There is no true evangelization if Jesus, the Son of God, is not proclaimed

Nevertheless this always remains insufficient, because even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if it is not explained, justified – what Peter called always having ‘your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have’ (1Pet 3:15) – and made explicit by a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus. The Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 22, December 8, 1975)

  • At the center of Christ’s Good News is liberation from sin

As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 9, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea that Koran is a book of peace

  • The reconciliation with God by Christ, and our peace coincide – one is the cause of the other

For it reminds us all that the first and indispensable reconciliation to be achieved is reconciliation with God. For us believers there can be no other way to Peace than this. Indeed, in the definition of our salvation, reconciliation with God and our Peace coincide; one is the cause of the other. This is the work of Christ. He has repaired the break which sin produces in our vital relationship with God. We recall, among many, one of the phrases of Saint Paul in this regard: ‘It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us .to himself through Christ’ (2Cor 5:18). (Paul VI. Message for the celebration of the VIII World Day of Peace, January 1, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on adulterine unions

  • Christians must observe conjugal fidelity

Where are the Christian people, faithful to the observance of the precepts, solid in the faith, in preaching, in the love of the Cross? We cannot do other than reaffirm here the duty of conjugal fidelity, despite the legal existence of divorce. (Paul VI. General Audience, May 24, 1978)

…judges Francis’ idea that Christians and Muslims share the same faith

  • The other religions do not succeed in establishing an authentic relationship with God

The Church holds that these multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ – riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fullness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth. […] In other words, our religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 53, December 8, 1975)

  • We cannot agree with various forms of religion

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, [Judaism, moslem religion and Afro-Asiatic) nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 40, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on good-will replacing theological investigation

  • The theologian should be attentive and docile to the light of the Holy Spirit

Theology, in fact, by means of the human intelligence illuminated by the faith, and not without a certain light of the Holy Spirit, to which the theologian should be attentive and docile, has the task of knowing and penetrating more completely the contents of Revelation; to bring to the knowledge of the Christian community, and particularly of the Magisterium itself, the fruits of his research, so that, through the teaching of authority, it may become a light for the whole Christian people, and then to collaborate to spread, explain, justify and defend the truth taught with authority by the Magisterium. (Paul VI. Address to the participants of the International Theological Congress of Vatican Council II, October 1, 1966)

  • The Gospel message does not permit indifference, syncretism or accommodation

Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 5, December 8, 1975)

  • The danger of a dialogue that weakens our attachment to our faith and makes vague compromises

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the social doctrine of the Church

  • The Church, founded on the Redeemer’s love, has a social doctrine that spreads the the truth of the gospel so as to shed light on all areas of human activity

The Church’s policy? This is it, in the words of the Second Vatican Council: ‘The Church, founded on the Redeemer’s love, contributes to the wider application of justice and charity within and between nations. By preaching the truth of the gospel and shedding light on all areas of human activity through her teaching and the example of the faithful, she shows respect for the political freedom and responsibility of citizens and fosters these values… It is always and everywhere legitimate for her to preach the faith with true freedom, to teach her social doctrine, and to discharge her duty among men without hindrance. She also has the right to pass moral judgments, even on matters touching the political order, whenever basic personal rights of the salvation of souls: make such judgments necessary’ (Gaudium et Spes, 76). (Paul VI. Address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps, January 10, 1972)

  • The Church professes and teaches a stable and sure doctrine which emanates from God Himself

Modern man has greatly augmented his knowledge, but not always in the solidity of his thought, not always in the certainty of possessing the truth. On the other hand, here is precisely the distinguishing characteristic of the teaching of the Church. The Church professes and teaches a sure and stable doctrine. Meanwhile we should remember that the Church, before being a teacher, is a disciple. She teaches a doctrine that is sure, but a doctrine that she herself had to learn previously. The authority of the teaching of the Church does not emanate from wisdom of her own, nor of scientific and rational control over what she preaches to her faithful; but rather form the fact that she announces a word that emanates from the transcendent Thought of God. This is her strength and her light. What is the name for this incomparable transmission of the Thought, of the Word of God? It is called faith. (Paul VI. General audience, August 2, 1978)

  • The Church indicates the sure way to distance oneself from deceitful illusions of false doctrines, destructive of upright human and social life

It is for Us a great motive of joy to know that the episcopate, the Clergy and the Laity belonging to Catholic Action and to the Cursillos de Cristiandad are studying a way to contribute to a solution to the present crisis. And we are aware that, in the last years, you have given life to praiseworthy activities, socials, inspired on the Social Doctrine of the Church proclaimed by Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate. We bless, therefore, with all our heart, the studies that with true effort and proven seriousness you carry out, with an identical end, in the new Catholic University of Santiago de los Caballeros, of great hopes, and arisen with the promise of good success, under the very title of the fundamental Encyclical Mater et Magistra, of the Supreme Pontiff John XXIII, of venerable memory. Have the certainty – and instill it in as many as doubt – that the Church, depositary of a message of salvation for all, the message that Christ the Lord confided to her, desires to offer her services with a lively understanding of the conditions of you situation, of your problems, so as to indicate to you the sure way to be followed to find the peaceful solution in Christ: ‘The way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6), distancing yourselves from deceitful illusions with which the false doctrines and the destroyers of upright human and social life could dazzle you. (Paul VI. Message to the people of the Dominican Republic, June 17, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on studying theology

  • Theologians should avoid consenting to the desire of popularity in detriment to the Truth

Their [the theologians] greatest care shall be that of being faithful to the truth of the faith and the doctrine of the Church; they shall avoid therefore consenting to the desire of being easy received and of popularity, in detriment to the security of the doctrine taught by the Magisterium, which in the Church represents the person of Jesus Christ the Teacher. (Paul VI. Address to the participants in the International Congress of Theology of Vatican Council II, October 1, 1966)

  • Interpreters of the Truth

They shall place their greatest honor in being faithful and wise interpreters of the teachings of the Magisterium, knowing that nothing is so beneficial to the Christian people and to the whole of mankind as the correct knowledge of the truths of salvation, and that these are found with those to whom Jesus said: ‘Those who hear you, hear me.’ (Paul VI. Address to the participants in the International Congress of Theology of Vatican Council II, October 1, 1966)

…judges Francis’ idea on the formation of youth

  • To reduce the Church’s mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project is to lose her fundamental meaning

We must not ignore the fact that many, even generous Christians who are sensitive to the dramatic questions involved in the problem of liberation, in their wish to commit the Church to the liberation effort are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, ‘the need to restate clearly the specifically religious finality of evangelization. This latter would lose its reason for existence if it were to diverge from the religious axis that guides it: the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32, December 8, 1975)

  • Evangelization cannot be contained in the restricted dimension of social or cultural life; it must envisage the whole man

With regard to the liberation which evangelization proclaims and strives to put into practice one should rather say this:
It cannot be contained in the simple and restricted dimension of economics, politics, social or cultural life; it must envisage the whole man, in all his aspects, right up to and including his openness to the absolute, even the divine Absolute;
– It is therefore attached to a view of man which it can never sacrifice to the needs of any strategy, practice or short-term efficiency.
Hence, when preaching liberation and associating herself with those who are working and suffering for it, the Church is certainly not willing to restrict her mission only to the religious field and dissociate herself from man’s temporal problems. Nevertheless she reaffirms the primacy of her spiritual vocation and refuses to replace the proclamation of the kingdom by the proclamation of forms of human liberation- she even states that her contribution to liberation is incomplete if she neglects to proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 33-34, December 8, 1975)

  • Be generous, pure, respectful and sincere – youth should give free expansion to faith

The Church is particularly anxious that this society should allow free expansion to her treasure ever ancient and ever new, namely faith, and that your souls may be able to bask freely in its helpful light. She has confidence that you will find such strength and such joy that you will not be tempted, as were some of your elders, to yield to the seductions of egoistic or hedonistic philosophies or to those of despair and annihilation, and that in the face of atheism, a phenomenon of lassitude and old age, you will know how to affirm your faith in life and in what gives meaning to life, that is to say, the certitude of the existence of a just and good God. It is in the name of this God and of His Son, Jesus, that we exhort you to open your hearts to the dimensions of the world […] Be generous, pure, respectful and sincere, and build in enthusiasm a better world than your elders had. (Paul VI. Address to young men and women of the world at the closing of Vatican Council II, December 8, 1965)

  • Cultures are to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel

The Gospel, and therefore evangelization, are certainly not identical with culture, and they are independent in regard to all cultures. Nevertheless, the kingdom which the Gospel proclaims is lived by men who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the building up of the kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture or cultures. Though independent of cultures, the Gospel and evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them; rather they are capable of permeating them all without becoming subject to any one of them. The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelization of culture, or more correctly of cultures. They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 20, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea that sin forms a part of religious life

  • The witness of holiness of Religious is of prime importance in evangelization

Religious, for their part, find in their consecrated life a privileged means of effective evangelization. At the deepest level of their being they are caught up in the dynamism of the Church’s life, which is thirsty for the divine Absolute and called to holiness. It is to this holiness that they bear witness. They embody the Church in her desire to give herself completely to the radical demands of the beatitudes. By their lives they are a sign of total availability to God, the Church and the brethren. As such they have a special importance in the context of the witness which, as we have said, is of prime importance in evangelization. At the same time as being a challenge to the world and to the Church herself, this silent witness of poverty and abnegation, of purity and sincerity, of self-sacrifice in obedience, can become an eloquent witness capable of touching also non-Christians who have good will and are sensitive to certain values. (Paul VI. Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 69, December 8, 1975)

  • The world needs to see Religious dedicating their lives to witnessing the love of Jesus Christ

Today more than ever, the world needs to see in you men and women who have believed in the Word of the Lord, in His resurrection and in eternal life, even to the point of dedicating their lives to witnessing to the reality of that love, which is offered to all men. In the course of her history, the Church has ever been quickened and gladdened by many holy religious who, in the diversity of their vocations, have been living witnesses to love without limit and to the Lord Jesus. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelica testificatio, no. 53, June 29, 1971)

…judges Francis’ idea that catholics and muslims adore the same God

  • God revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit

God alone can give us right and full knowledge of this reality by revealing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light. (Paul VI. Apostolic letter, Credo of the People of God, no. 9 June 30, 1968)

…judges Francis’ idea that man is the center of christian life

  • The illusion of false happiness considers only affliction and poverty

Hence the condition of the Christian, and above all of the apostle, who must become the ‘model of the flock’ (1Pt 5:3) and associate himself freely with the Redeemer’s passion. […] Unfortunately, in our century which is so threatened by the illusion of false happiness, we do not lack opportunities of noting the psychic inability of man to accept ‘the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14). The world—that world which is unfitted to receive the Spirit of Truth, whom it neither sees nor knows—only sees one side of things. It considers only the affliction and poverty of the disciple, while the latter always remains, in his inmost being, in joy, because he is in communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Gaudete in Domino, no. III, May 9, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • The Church’s mission cannot be reduced to a simply temporal project

Many, even generous Christians […] are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, […] the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning….’ (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 32, December 8, 1975)

  • The deep solicitude of the Church for the needs of men is born of the desire to illuminate them with the light of Christ

We confess that the Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing, and that its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science or of human technology, but that it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. […] The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. (Paul VI. Apostolic Letter Solemni hac liturgia, no. 68, Credo of the People of God, no. 27, June 30, 1968)

  • The option for the poor has as its purpose to raise them to a life in accordance with their dignity as Children of God

[The Church], with its option for the poor and its love for evangelical poverty, never wished to leave them in this state, but rather help them and raise them toward increasingly superior forms of life, more in accordance with their dignity as men and children of God. (Paul VI. Homily from the Canonization of John Macias, September 28, 1975)

  • The first means of evangelization: an authentically Christian life

It is appropriate first of all to emphasize the following point: for the Church, the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life, given over to God in a communion that nothing should destroy and at the same time given to one’s neighbor with limitless zeal. […]St. Peter expressed this well when he held up the example of a reverent and chaste life that wins over even without a word those who refuse to obey the word. It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus […] in short, the witness of sanctity. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 41, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • We cannot be faithful administrators of the divine mysteries without first having availed ourselves of their richness

We cannot forget the   solemn exhortations that were directed to us on the occasion of our Episcopal consecration. We cannot exempt ourselves from the practice of an intense interior life. We cannot announce the word of God without having meditated on it in the silence of the soul. We cannot be faithful administrators of the divine mysteries without first having availed ourselves of their richness. We should not dedicate ourselves to apostolate, if we do not know how to corroborate it with the example of Christian and priestly virtues. […] Blessed are these times of ours, tormented and paradoxical, that almost oblige us to sanctity to correspond to our office which is so representative and so full of responsibility, and obliges us to recuperate in the contemplation and the asceticism of the ministers of the Holy Spirit that intimate treasure of personality, from which the extremely demanding dedication of our office almost expels us. (Paul VI. Homily, Inauguration of the General Assembly of Bishops of Latin America, August 24, 1968)

…judges Francis’ idea on offering rosaries

  • The Rosary: ‘compendium of the entire Gospel’

We wish now, venerable Brothers, to dwell for a moment on the renewal of the pious practice which has been called ‘the compendium of the entire Gospel’ (Pius XII, Letter to the Archbishop of Manila Philippinas Insulas), p. 419): the Rosary. To this our predecessors have devoted close attention and care. On many occasions they have recommended its frequent recitation, encouraged its diffusion, explained its nature, recognized its suitability for fostering contemplative prayer-prayer of both praise and petition-and recalled its intrinsic effectiveness for promoting Christian life and apostolic commitment. We, too, from the first general audience of our pontificate on July 13, 1963, have shown our great esteem for the pious practice of the Rosary (Discourse to the participants in the III Dominican International Rosary Congress). Since that time we have underlined its value on many different occasions, some ordinary, some grave. Thus, at a moment of anguish and uncertainty, we published the Letter Christi Matri (September 15, 1966), in order to obtain prayers to Our Lady of the Rosary and to implore from God the supreme benefit of peace. We renewed this appeal in our Apostolic Exhortation Recurrens mensis October (October 7 1969), in which we also commemorated the fourth centenary of the Apostolic Letter Consueverunt Romani pontifices of our predecessor Saint Pius V, who in that document explained and in a certain sense established the traditional form of the Rosary. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, no. 42, February 2, 1974)

  • Without the Rosary, the family would lack its very character as a domestic Church

We now desire, as a continuation of the thought of our predecessors, to recommend strongly the recitation of the family Rosary. The Second Vatican Council has pointed out how the family, the primary and vital cell of society, ‘shows itself to be the domestic sanctuary of the Church through the mutual affection of its members and the common prayer they offer to God’ (Decree on the Lay Apostolate Apostolicam Actuositatem, 11). The Christian family is thus seen to be a domestic Church’ (Lumen Gentium, 11) if its members, each according to his proper place and tasks, all together promote justice, practice works of mercy, devote themselves to helping their brethren, take part in the apostolate of the wider local community and play their part in its liturgical worship(Apostolicam Actuositatem, 11). This will be all the more true if together they offer up prayers to God. If this element of common prayer were missing, the family would lack its very character as a domestic Church. Thus there must logically follow a concrete effort to reinstate communal prayer in family life if there is to be a restoration of the theological concept of the family as the domestic Church. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, no. 52, February 2, 1974)

…judges Francis’ words that it was not an offense accepting the Cross in the form of a communist symbol

  • Socialist currents that attract some Christians: incompatible with faith

Some Christians are today attracted by socialist currents and their various developments. They try to recognize therein a certain number of aspirations which they carry within themselves in the name of their faith. They feel that they are part of that historical current and wish to play a part within it. Now this historical current takes on, under the same name, different forms according to different continents and cultures, even if it drew its inspiration, and still does in many cases, from ideologies incompatible with faith. Careful judgment is called for. Too often Christians attracted by socialism tend to idealize it in terms which, apart from anything else, are very general: a will for justice, solidarity and equality. They refuse to recognize the limitations of the historical socialist movements, which remain conditioned by the ideologies from which they originated. (Paul VI. Apostolic Letter Octogesima adveniens, no. 31, May 14, 1971)

  • Marxist analysis leads to a society that is totalitarian and violent

While, through the concrete existing form of Marxism, one can distinguish these various aspects and the questions they pose for the reflection and activity of Christians, it would be illusory and dangerous to reach a point of forgetting the intimate link which radically binds them together, to accept the elements of Marxist analysis without recognizing their relationships with ideology, and to enter into the practice of class struggle and its Marxist interpretations, while failing to note the kind of totalitarian and violent society to which this process leads. (Paul VI. Apostolic letter Octogesima adveniens, no. 34, May 14, 1971)

  • The Church does not adhere to marxist social and political movements

And then we have the sixth axiom, which is the most disputed and complex. The Church does not adhere and cannot adhere to the social, ideological and political movements, which, taking advantage of their origin and strength from Marxism, have conserved principles and negative methods, for an incomplete notion – proper to radical Marxism, and therefore false – of man, of history, of the world. Atheism, which it professes and promotes, is not in favor of the scientific conception of the universe and civilization, but rather consists in a blindness from which man and society end up undergoing the gravest consequences in the long run. Materialism, in which it results, exposes man to extremely negative experiences and temptations; it extinguishes his authentic spirituality and his transcendent hope. (Paul VI. Homily to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, May 22, 1966)

  • False and dangerous ideologies promote class struggle

Class struggle, erected within a system, violates and impedes social peace; fatally results in violence and abuse, therefore in the abolition of liberty, conducing then to the instauration of a highly authoritarian and tendentially totalitarian system. With this the Church does not miss any of the opportunities for justice and toward the progress of the working class; but even the Church, rectifying these errors and these deviations, does not exclude from its love any man or worker. Known facts therefore, inclusively through an existing historic experience, that does not allow for illusions; but rather that painful things, through ideological pressure and practices that take place in the world of work, which intend to interpret the aspirations and promote grievances, generating in this way great difficulties and divisions. We do not wish to dispute now, but rather remember that the same word, which today, you Christian Workers, give testimony of honor and gratitude, is that which adverts us to not put our confidence in false and dangerous ideologies. (Paul VI. Homily to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, May 22, 1966)

  • Atheistic Marxism is condemned by the Church

Nor is it to be believed that this pastoral solicitude, which has become a prevalent program in the Church today, absorbing its attention and engaging its care, implies a change in judgment regarding the errors spread in our society and already condemned by the Church, as for example, atheistic Marxism: to seek to apply healthy and accurate remedies for a contagious and lethal disease does not mean changing one’s opinion of it, but rather combating it not only in theory, but also in practice; it means giving therapy following the diagnosis; that is, doctrinal condemnation, followed by salvific charity. (Paul VI. Address to the priests participating in the 13th Pastoral Orientation Week, September 6, 1963)

…judges Francis’ pro-communist ideas expressed in the Meetings with Popular Movements

  • The illusion and danger for a Christian to enter into the practice of class struggle

While, through the concrete existing form of Marxism, one can distinguish these various aspects and the questions they pose for the reflection and activity of Christians, it would be illusory and dangerous to reach a point of forgetting the intimate link which radically binds them together, to accept the elements of Marxist analysis without recognizing their relationships with ideology, and to enter into the practice of class struggle and its Marxist interpretations, while failing to note the kind of totalitarian and violent society to which this process leads. (Paul VI. Apostolic letter Octogesima Adveniens, no. 34, May 14, 1971)

  • The Church cannot adhere to Marxist social and political movements: they hold false notions of man, of history, and the world

And then we have the sixth axiom, which is the most disputed and complex. The Church does not adhere and cannot adhere to the social, ideological and political movements, which, taking their origin and strength from Marxism, have conserved its principles and negative methods, for an incomplete notion – proper to radical Marxism, and therefore false – of man, of history, of the world. Atheism, which it professes and promotes, is not in favor of the scientific conception of the universe and civilization, but rather consists in a blindness, from which man and society end up undergoing the gravest consequences in the long run. Materialism, which results from it, exposes man to experiences and temptations that are extremely harmful; extinguishes his authentic spirituality and his transcendent hope. (Paul VI. Homily to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, May 22, 1966)

  • Class struggle, promoted by false and dangerous ideologies, fatally leads to violence and oppression, conducing to an authoritarian and totalitarian system

Class struggle, erected within a system, violates and impedes social peace; and fatally leads to violence and to oppression, therefore in the abolition of liberty, conducing then to the instauration of a highly authoritarian and bluntly totalitarian system. With this, the Church does not neglect any of the opportunities for justice and toward the progress of the working class; and let it be again affirmed that n the Church, rectifying these errors and these deviations, does not exclude from its love any man or any worker. A known fact, therefore – inclusively through an existing historic experience that does not permit illusions but rather painful experience – is that through the ideological pressure and practices that they [Marxists] exert in the world of work, where they pretend to interpret the aspirations and promote grievances, generating in this way great difficulties and divisions. We do not wish to dispute now, but rather remember that the same word, which today, you Christian Workers, give testimony of honor and gratitude, is that which adverts us to not put our confidence in false and dangerous ideologies. (Paul VI. Homily to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, May 22, 1966)

…judges Francis’ ideas on faith being revolutionary

  • Catholics owe obedience to the constituted authority

The presence of Catholics in all the States seeks to represent a constructive element of active collaboration and of effective obedience to the constituted authority; it seeks to represent an active element of sure progress within order and love. (Paul VI. Address to the President of the Republic of Somalia, October 7, 1963)

…judges Francis’ ideas present in Laudate Si

  • The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth: our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on Laudate Si

  • In the social sphere, the Church assists discovery of the truth and the right path to follow

In the social sphere, the Church has always wished to assume a double function: first to enlighten minds in order to assist them to discover the truth and to find the right path to follow amid the different teachings that call for their attention; and secondly to take part in action and to spread, with a real care for service and effectiveness, the energies of the Gospel. (Paul VI. Apostolic Letter Octogesima adveniens, no. 48, May 14, 1971)

  • The rational creature should direct his life to God

Just as the whole of creation is ordered toward its Creator, so too the rational creature should of his own accord direct his life to God, the first truth and the highest good. […] United with the life-giving Christ, man’s life is newly enhanced; it acquires a transcendent humanism which surpasses its nature and bestows new fullness of life. […] Man’s personal and collective fulfillment could be jeopardized if the proper scale of values were not maintained. (Paul VI. Encyclical Populorum progressio, nos. 16; 18, March 26, 1967)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church reduced to a minority

  • Deceit: to think that the Church should be reduced to the modest proportions of its earliest days

In this context, therefore, when we speak about reform we are not concerned to change things, but to preserve all the more resolutely the characteristic features which Christ has impressed on His Church. Or rather, we are concerned to restore to the Church that ideal of perfection and beauty that corresponds to its original image, and that is at the same time consistent with its necessary, normal and legitimate growth from its original, embryonic form into its present structure. No one should deceive himself into thinking that the Church which has now become a vast, magnificent, and majestic temple built to the glory of God, should be reduced to the modest proportions which it had in its earliest days, as though this minimal form were the only one that is genuine and lawful. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 47, August 6, 1964)

  • The Church is linked to evangelization in her most intimate being

Anyone who rereads in the New Testament the origins of the Church, follows her history step by step and watches her live and act, sees that she is linked to evangelization in her most intimate being: The Church is born of the evangelizing activity of Jesus and the Twelve. She is the normal, desired, most immediate and most visible fruit of this activity: ‘Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations’ (Mt 28:19). Now, ‘they accepted what he said and were baptized. That very day about three thousand were added to their number…. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved’ (Acts 2:41, 47). Having been born consequently out of being sent, the Church in her turn is sent by Jesus. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 15, December 8, 1975)

  • The very nature of the gifts which Christ has given the Church demands that they be extended and shared with others

If, as We said, the Church realizes what is God’s will in its regard, it will gain for itself a great store of energy, and in addition will conceive the need for pouring out this energy in the service of all men. It will have a clear awareness of a mission received from God, of a message to be spread far and wide. Here lies the source of our evangelical duty, our mandate to teach all nations, and our apostolic endeavor to strive for the eternal salvation of all men. […] The very nature of the gifts which Christ has given the Church demands that they be extended to others and shared with others. This must be obvious from the words: ‘Going, therefore, teach ye all nations,’ (Mt 28:19). Christ’s final command to His apostles. The word apostle implies a mission from which there is no escaping. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 26, August 6, 1964)

  • There is no new humanity without renewal by Baptism

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Rev 21:5; cf. 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism (cf. Rom 6:4) and by lives lived according to the Gospel (cf. Eph 4:24-25; Col 3:9-10). The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 18, 1975)

  • The Lord wanted His Church to be universal

The first Christians readily expressed their deep faith in the Church by describing her as being spread throughout the universe. They were fully conscious of belonging to a large community which neither space nor time can limit: From the just Abel right to the last of the elect (St Gregory the Great, Homil. in Evang.19/1), ‘indeed to the ends of the earth (Acta 1:8; cf. Didac. 9, 1) to the end of time’ (Mt 28:20). This is how the Lord wanted His Church to be: universal, a great tree whose branches shelter the birds of the air (cf. Mt 13:32), a net which catches fish of every kind (cf. Mt 13:47) or which Peter drew in filled with one hundred and fifty-three big fish, (cf. Jn 21:11) a flock which a single shepherd pastures (cf. Jn 10:1-16). A universal Church without boundaries or frontiers except, alas, those of the heart and mind of sinful man. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 61, 1975)

  • Without true conversion, a society that is just and fraternal is not possible

The Church considers it to be undoubtedly important to build up structures which are more human, more just, more respectful of the rights of the person and less oppressive and less enslaving, but she is conscious that the best structures and the most idealized systems soon become inhuman if the inhuman inclinations of the human heart are not made wholesome, if those who live in these structures or who rule them do not undergo a conversion of heart and of outlook. […] Having said this, we rejoice that the Church is becoming ever more conscious of the proper manner and strictly evangelical means that she possesses in order to collaborate in the liberation of many. And what is she doing? She is trying more and more to encourage large numbers of Christians to devote themselves to the liberation of men. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 36-38, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on the immortality of the soul

  • Christ will come again to judge

Éscatos, in fact, means ‘last’. This word (or more frequently, what it means) does not only appear in many passages of the conciliar documents, but it also penetrates the entire idea of Christian life, of the history, time and human destiny beyond death (man’s ‘four last things’, according to the language of catechism and preaching, that is, death, judgment, hell and heaven); principally, what prevails is the idea of the plan of God with relation to humanity, the world and the glorious and eternal final epilogue of the mission of Christ. This notion brings to mind a Church on its way to another life; not established definitively on this earth, but rather provisionally, engaged within a messianism that is extended beyond time. […] It is true that we accept the words of the Lord, which infuse us with the certainty that with His coming to the world, ‘the kingdom of God is already in our midst’ (cf. Lk 17:21); we already possess – within the Church animated by the Holy Spirit – immense riches of a new life. But, after, with the prophetic emanation that permeates the entire Gospel, Christ shows us that his historic coming, which we know from the Gospel, is not the final one. (Paul VI. General Audience, September 8, 1971)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of non-christian religions

  • Other religions do not establish an authentic relationship with God

…the Church holds that these multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ (cf. Eph 3:8) – riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fullness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth. […] In other words, our religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 53, December 8, 1975)

  • We cannot agree with various forms of religion nor be uncritical toward them

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion [Judaism, Moslem religion, or Afro-asiatic religion], nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 40, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on ‘good vibes

  • The Vicar of Christ, with the mission of transmitting the Word of God, must give maximum attention to dignity and precision of language

The Successor of Peter is thus, by the will of Christ, entrusted with the preeminent ministry of teaching the revealed truth. The New Testament often shows Peter ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ speaking in the name of all (Acts 4:8; cf. 2:14; 3:12). It is precisely for this reason that Saint Leo the Great describes him as he who has merited the primacy of the apostolate’ (cf. Saint Leo the Great, Sermo 69, 3; Sermo 70, 1-3; Sermo 94, 3; Sermo 95 2). This is also why the voice of the Church shows the Pope ‘at the highest point- in apice, in specula– of the apostolate’ (cf. First Ecumenical Council of Lyons, Constitution Ad apostolicae dignitaties: Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta,; Ecumenical Council of Vienne, Constitution Ad providam Christi; Fifth Lateran Ecumenical Council, Constitution In apostolici culminis; Constitution Postquam ad universalis; Constitution Divina disponente clementia). The Second Vatican Council wished to reaffirm this when it declared that ‘Christ’s mandate to preach the Gospel to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15) primarily and immediately concerns the bishops with Peter and under Peter’ (Ad Gentes, 38). The full, supreme and universal power (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 22) which Christ gives to His Vicar for the pastoral government of His Church is this especially exercised by the Pope in the activity of preaching and causing to be preached the Good News of salvation. […] Being animated by the conviction, ceaselessly deepened, of the greatness and riches of the Word of God, those who have the mission of transmitting it must give the maximum attention to the dignity, precision and adaptation of their language. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 67; 73, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on our sins drawing us close to Jesus

  • The Gospel is not a code that is easily fulfilled: it demands effort and fidelity

The Gospel is absolutely not a code that is easily fulfilled: it demands effort and fidelity. Here one may analyze the moral systems that renounce personal effort to obtain salvation, in the erroneous conviction that it is only by faith and only by grace that we have the fortune of being saved, without a positive and systematic moral discipline; as if faith and grace, gifts of God and true causes of salvation, do not demand a response, coherence, free and responsible cooperation on our part, either as a condition of cooperating in the saving work of God in us, or also as a consequence of the rebirth brought about by his merciful supernatural action. (Paul VI. General Audience, July 7, 1971)

…judges Francis’ idea on knowing God’s will from the people

  • Evangelizing means bringing the Good News to all, and thus transforming humanity from within

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Rev. 21:5; cf. 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism (cf. Rom 6:4) and by lives lived according to the Gospel (cf. Eph 4:24-25; Col 3:9-10). The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert (cf. Rom1:16; 1Cor 1:18, 2:4), solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 18, December 8, 1875)

…judges Francis’ idea on the essence of divinity

  • The doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas of participation has nothing of pantheism

As befits a Christian philosopher and theologian, St Thomas sees in every being a participation in the absolute Being Which creates, sustains and activates from above the whole of created reality, all life, every thought and every act of faith. On the basis of these principles Aquinas exalts human reason and thereby provides the student of theology with a powerful aid. At the same time he makes it possible to penetrate and gain a deep understanding of numerous truths which he himself quickly grasped with his sharp mind. The same may be said of Thomas’s positions on the transcendental properties and analogy of being; the structure of finite being as composed of essence and existence; the relation between created realities and the divine Being; the causal role of created beings which depends dynamically on the causality exercised by God; the full ontological reality of the activity of finite beings, a reality which affects all parts of philosophy and of doctrinal, moral and ascetical theology; the organic structure and finality of the whole created order. If we raise our eyes to the realm of divine truth itself, we must say the same of Thomas’s positions with regard to the notion of God as subsistent Being whose hidden interior life is made known to us through revelation; the defence of divine transcendence against every form of pantheism; the doctrines of creation and divine providence, in which St Thomas not only passed beyond the images and darkling shadows of anthropomorphic language but also, as we would expect from a man of his balanced genius and spirit of faith, effected what we today might call a ‘demythologisation’ but which might more correctly be described as an examination—rational in character but directed, supported and motivated by faith—of essential truths of Christian revelation. (Paul VI. Letter Lumen Ecclesiae, n. 16, November 20, 1974An English version) 

…judges Francis’ idea on the flesh of Christ and poverty as a theological category

  • The Church will evangelize the world primarily by her fidelity to the Lord Jesus, by the witness of sanctity

It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus- the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Virgin Mary was capable to rebel against God

  • The free and perfectly docile cooperation of Mary, marvelously associated to the divine plan of salvation

A great theological panorama now opens before us, proper to Catholic Doctrine, in which we see how the divine plan of salvation – offered to the world, by the only mediator, efficacious by virtue his own merit between God and men, Jesus Christ (cf. 1Tim 2:5; Heb 12: 24) – is brought about with human cooperation, marvelously associated to the divine work. And what human cooperation has been chosen, in the history of our Christian destiny, as the first, due to its function, dignity, efficacy – not merely instrumental and physical, but also as a predestined factor, free and perfectly docile – than that of Mary? (cf. Lumen Gentium, 56). (Paul VI. General Audience, May 30, 1973)

…judges Francis’ idea on evil in our times

  • The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down of truth

To what extent should the Church adapt itself to the historical and local circumstances in which it has to exercise its mission? How is it to guard against the danger of relativism which would make it untrue to its own dogmas and moral principles? And yet how can it fit itself to approach all men and bring salvation to all, becoming on the example of the Apostle Paul ‘all things to all men,’ that all may be saved? (1Cor 9: 22). […] But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, August 6, 1964)

  • The Christian religion is the one and only true Religion – we cannot adopt an uncritical attitude toward other forms of religion

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, August 6, 1964)

  • The basic propositions of atheism are utterly false and irreconcilable: we shall resist!

We are firmly convinced that the basic propositions of atheism are utterly false and irreconcilable […] We shall therefore resist this growing evil with all our strength, spurred on by our great zeal for safeguarding the truth, inspired by our social duty of loyally professing Christ and His gospel, and driven on by a burning, unquenchable love, which makes man’s good our constant concern. We shall resist in the invincible hope that modern man may recognize the religious ideals which the Catholic faith sets before him and feel himself drawn to seek a form of civilization which will never fail him but will lead on to the natural and supernatural perfection of the human spirit. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, August 6, 1964)

  • The Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ (Rev 21:5). But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 18, December 18, 1975)

  • Upsetting criteria which are in contrast with the Word of God, through the power of the Gospel

Strata of humanity which are transformed: for the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 19, December 18, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christ at the Final Judgment

  • Truths of the Christian doctrine may not be innovated according to arbitrary conjectures

We know well, in doing this, the problems that some modern ambiences are agitated regarding the faith. They did not escape the influence of a world that is undergoing a profound transformation, in which so many truths are either contested or put up for debate. Furthermore: we even see that some Catholics are captivated by a sort of passion for changes and innovations. Without doubt, the Church has always the obligation to penetrate more and more, and to offer them in more fitting way to men of each generation, into the profound mysteries of God, from which the fruits of salvation flow forth for all. But, at the same time, great care must be taken so that, while undertaking this necessary duty of investigation, truths of the Christian doctrine are not damaged. Because that would mean– and we have observed sadly that today this in reality takes place – general perturbation and perplexity in many faithful souls. For this reason, it is of great importance to warn that, besides that which is observable and that which is discovered by scientific means, the intelligence, which was given to us God, may arrive at reality, that which is, not only to the subjective expressions of structures and of the evolution of conscience; and that on the other hand, that what pertains to interpretation or hermeneutic is to seek to comprehend and discern, with respect to the word pronounced, the meaning of which a given text is an expression, but not to innovate, in any manner, this meaning, according to arbitrary conjectures. (Paul VI. Homily, Conclusion of the ‘Year of Faith’, June 30, 1968)

…judges Francis’ idea on sin and mercy

  • We must bear sufferings of spirit and of the body that we may expiate our sins and avoid the twofold penalty of hell

Therefore, impelled by love and by the wish to placate God for the offenses against His sanctity and His justice and, at the same time, moved by trust in His infinite mercy, we must bear the sufferings of the spirit and of the body that we may expiate our sins and those of our fellow beings and so avoid the twofold penalty of ‘harm’ and of ‘sense’, that is to say, the loss of God–the supreme good–and eternal fire (cf. Mt25: 41; Lumen Gentium, n. 48). (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum, no. 4, May 13, 1967)

…judges Francis’ idea on communion to divorced in second union

  • We may not silence the increased obligation of conjugal fidelity

We may not silence the increased obligation of conjugal fidelity within the family; now that legal divorce has been granted the possibility of being carried out with impunity. (Paul VI. General Audience, May 24, 1978)

…judges Francis’ idea on the incapacity of the Church to resolve the crisis of the family

  • Like Her divine Founder, the Church is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction’ – She cannot act differently toward men than did the Redeemer

It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction’ (Lk 2:34). She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. […] In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. […] The Church, in fact, cannot act differently toward men than did the Redeemer. She knows their weaknesses, she has compassion on the multitude, she welcomes sinners. But at the same time she cannot do otherwise than teach the law. For it is in fact the law of human life restored to its native truth and guided by the Spirit of God (cf. Rom 8). (Paul VI. Encyclical Humanae vitae, nos. 18, 19, July 25, 1969)

…judges Francis’ idea on the harmony among good and evil

  • The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down of truth

The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. […] (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

  • Do not betray truth out of a desire to please men

Every evangelizer is expected to have a reverence for truth, especially since the truth that he studies and communicates is none other than revealed truth and hence, more than any other, a sharing in the first truth which is God Himself. The preacher of the Gospel will therefore be a person who even at the price of personal renunciation and suffering always seeks the truth that he must transmit to others. He never betrays or hides truth out of a desire to please men, in order to astonish or to shock, nor for the sake of originality or a desire to make an impression. He does not refuse truth. […]The God of truth expects us to be the vigilant defenders and devoted preachers of truth. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 78, December 8, 1975)

  • Grave responsibility of bishops to preserve unaltered the deposit of the faith

We also insisted on the grave responsibility incumbent upon us, but which we share with our Brothers in the Episcopate, of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the apostles. While being translated into all expressions, this content must be neither impaired nor mutilated. While being clothed with the outward forms proper to each people, and made explicit by theological expression which takes account of differing cultural, social and even racial milieu, it must remain the content of the Catholic faith just exactly as the ecclesial magisterium has received it and transmits it. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 65, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on ‘culture of encounter’

  • Teaching is a function proper to the Church

What is the purpose of the Church? What does it do in the midst of the contemporary world which is so occupied in the the feverish work of utilitarian production? Well then, it seemed to us that that beautiful and modern building [Scuola professionale San Paolo] gave us a modern and yet perennial response, that is: the Church teaches! Teaching: this is a function proper to the Church; history bears witness to this. […] The Church has something to teach, something of its own competence, and this is religious truth. This has not been surpassed, nor is it superfluous, but rather necessary for the superior, transcendent and irreplaceable object fitting to religion; that is, true life, the spiritual life now and the life that continues after in eternity; but also necessary for a current temporal end, if it is to be sought according to true, authentic and firm principles, capable of being expressed in a great variety of forms and laws, yes, but not in an equivocal and discordant pluralism that does not consent to a humanly agreeable interpretation within a logical juridical system. (Paul VI. General Audience, May 31, 1978)

  • We cannot agree with various forms of religion nor adopt an uncritical attitude – as if all were on an equal footing with what God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, [Judaism, Moslem, Afro-Asiatic religions] nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 107, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the liberty of conscience

  • Only the Church may adequately form conscience; the faithful should cooperate in this mission

In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. Furthermore, let Christians walk in wisdom in the face of those outside, ‘in the Holy Spirit, in unaffected love, in the word of truth’ (2 Cor 6:6-7), and let them be about their task of spreading the light of life with all confidence and apostolic courage, even to the shedding of their blood. The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it, never-be it understood-having recourse to means that are incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel. At the same time, the charity of Christ urges him to love and have prudence and patience in his dealings with those who are in error or in ignorance with regard to the faith (Paul VI. Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, no 14, December 7, 1965)

…judges Francis’ idea on who decides what is good and evil

  • Conscience is not the last word in judging the goodness of a human act – it only interprets a superior norm

We should make an observation about the supremacy and the exclusivity that today is attempted to attribute to conscience as the guide for human conduct. One hears often repeated, as an indisputable maxim, that all human morality must consist in following one’s own conscience; and this is said both to emancipate man from the necessities of an extrinsic norm, as also from the deference toward an authority that intends to dictate laws for the free and spontaneous activity of man, which should be a law in itself, without the limitation of other interventions in its operations. We would be saying nothing new if we were to ask those who sum up in this criterion the ambit of the moral life that having one’s own conscience as guide is not only a good thing, but even a duty. Those who act against their consciences are outside of the path of uprightness (cf. Rom 14:23).
But, it is necessary, primarily, to affirm that conscience, in itself, is not a judge of the moral value of the actions that it suggests. The conscience is the interpreter of an interior and superior norm; which it does not create by itself. It is enlightened by the intuition of certain normative principles, co-natural with human reason. (cf. S.Th, I, q. 79, a. 12-13; I-II, q. 94, a.1); conscience is not the source of good and evil; it is the admonition, it is the sounding of a voice, that is justly called the voice of conscience, it is the calling to conformity that an action should have with an requirement that is extrinsic to man, so that man may be true and perfect man. That is to say, it is the subjective and immediate warning of a law, that we should call natural, despite the fact that many today do not wish to hear of the natural law. Is it not in relating with this law, understood in its true significance, that the sense of responsibility is born in emerges? And with the sense of responsibility, that of good conscience and of merit, as well as that of remorse and guilt? Conscience and responsibility are two related terms. (Paul VI. General Audience, February 12, 1969)

  • Pedagogy of conscience is necessary: it is not always infallible nor objectively supreme

In the second place, we should observe that conscience, in order to be a valid norm for human activity, should be upright, that is, it should be sure and true, neither uncertain nor culpably erroneous. This unfortunately, can easily occur, given the weakness of human reason, when it is left to its own devices, when it is not educated. Conscience must be educated. The pedagogy of conscience is necessary, as it is for all in man, — who unfolds his life in an external milieu that is immensely complex and demanding — this being always in [a process of] interior development. Conscience is not the only voice that can guide human activity; its voice becomes clear and is strengthened when that of the law, and therefore that of legitimate authority, is united to it. That is to say, the voice of conscience is not always infallible, nor objectively supreme. And this is especially certain in the realm of supernatural action, where reason cannot rely on itself to construe the right path, and must have recourse to the faith in order to dictate to man the norm of justice willed by God through revelation: ‘He who is righteous lives by faith’ says St. Paul (Gal 3:11). To walk uprightly, when it is night – that is during the mystery of Christian life – it is not sufficient to use one’s eyes, a lamp is needed, light is necessary. And this ‘lumen Christi’ does not distort, does not degrade nor contradict the light of our conscience, but rather illuminates it and enables it to follow Christ along the right path of our pilgrimage toward the eternal vision. Therefore: let us seek to always act with an upright and strong conscience, enlightened by the wisdom of Christ. (Paul VI. General Audience, February 12, 1969)

…judges Francis’ relations with  ‘ordained’ women of the christian churches

  • The message of Christ is the truth and admits neither indifference nor syncretism

Such an exhortation seems to us to be of capital importance, for the presentation of the Gospel message is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. It is the beauty of the Revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith – faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, and to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no.5, December 8, 1975)

  • The danger of dialogue…it should not weaken our attachment to our faith

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 33)

…judges Francis’ idea on responsible parenthood

  • Responsible exercise of parenthood: couples must recognize their duties toward God

The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects. […] Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. Responsible parenthood, as we use the term here, has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society. From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. (Paul VI. Encyclical Humanae Vitae, nos. 7-10, July 25, 1968)

  • Using the divine gift outside of its purpose is to contradict nature

The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. […] Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman. (Paul VI. Encyclical Humanae Vitae, nos. 11-13, July 25, 1968)

…judges Francis’ idea on the teaching of moral issues

  • We may not silence the obligation of conjugal fidelity

We may not silence the increased obligation of conjugal fidelity within the family; now that legal divorce has been granted the possibility of being carried out with impunity. In the same way, we may not forget the duty of all — especially ours, the Pastors — to deplore the permissive legislation regarding abortion. […] These problems of today, to which are added others, countless and immeasurable, turn  grave, and ever more grave, of our pastoral duty, our responsibility over the People of God, and over that which is not officially of God, but is, nonetheless always ours.  (Paul VI. General Audience, May 24, 1978)

  •  Church teachings are not easily accepted. But She cannot declare lawful what is unlawful

It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching [on the illicitness of contraceptives]. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that She, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction’ (Lk 2:34). She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for Her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Humanae Vitae, no. 18, July 25, 1968)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Education to the Youth

  • Catholic teaching may not remain on a merely intellectual level

No one will deny that this instruction must be given to form patterns of Christian living and not to remain only notional. Truly the effort for evangelization will profit greatly- at the level of catechetical instruction given at church, in the schools, where this is possible, and in every case in Christian homes. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 44, December 8, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Pope

  • The Church must draw inspiration from a deeper scrutiny of its own origin, nature, mission and destiny

In short, Venerable Brethren, there are three policies which principally exercise Our mind when We reflect on the enormous responsibility for the Church of Christ which, unsought and undeserved, the providence of God has laid upon Us in making Us Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter the Apostle and Key-bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Vicar of Christ who appointed Peter the first Shepherd of his worldwide flock. First We are convinced that the Church must look with penetrating eyes within itself, ponder the mystery of its own being, and draw enlightenment and inspiration from a deeper scrutiny of the doctrine of its own origin, nature, mission, and destiny.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, nos. 8-9, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Church should not be a Point of Reference

  • In contemplating Herself, the Church belongs more fully to Christ

The Church wishes, in the end, to contemplate itself; or rather, to seek herself in the mind of Christ, her divine Founder; this certainly is the same as rendering honor to the wisdom and charity of her Founder and — while professing faith and fidelity with continual observance — making herself even more fit to carry out the mission of salvation, for which she was instituted. No one, however, should think that the Church, in so doing, closes in on herself to auto-delight in herself and forgets either Christ, from whom she receives all and to whom she owes all, or humanity, for whose serve she was born. The Church is in between Christ and the human community, not turned in on herself, nor as an opaque veil that obscures vision, not oriented towards itself; but rather, on the contrary, constantly seeking to be entirely of Christ, in Christ, for Christ, to be entirely of men, among men, for men, a truly humble and excellent intermediary between the Divine Savior and humanity, instituted for the defending and spreading of the truth and the grace of supernatural life. (Paul VI. Inauguration of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, September 14, 1964)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Re-reading of the Gospel

  • The influence of the Gospel should enlighten all spheres of human activity

For the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 19, December 8, 1975)

  • The Gospel is capable of enlightening, regenerating and enriching any culture

The Gospel, and therefore evangelization, are certainly not identical with culture, and they are independent in regard to all cultures. Nevertheless, the kingdom which the Gospel proclaims is lived by men who are profoundly linked to a culture, and the building up of the kingdom cannot avoid borrowing the elements of human culture or cultures. Though independent of cultures, the Gospel and evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them; rather they are capable of permeating them all without becoming subject to any one of them. The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelization of culture, or more correctly of cultures. They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, December 8, no. 20, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on happiness

  • True joy is found in seeking God and turning away from sin

It is therefore by becoming more present to God, by turning away from sin, that man can truly enter into spiritual joy. Without doubt ‘flesh and blood’ (Mt 16:17) are incapable of this. But Revelation can open up this possibility and grace can bring about this return. Our intention is precisely to invite you to the sources of Christian joy. […] In essence, Christian joy is the spiritual sharing in the unfathomable joy, both divine and human, which is in the heart of Jesus Christ glorified. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino, no. I- II, May 9, 1975)

  • True happiness is only possible within the Church

A common joy, truly supernatural, a gift of the Spirit of unity and love, which is not possible in truth except where the preaching of the faith is accepted in its entirety, according to the apostolic norm. […] The joy of being Christian, of being united with the Church, of being ‘in Christ,’ and in the state of grace with God, is truly able to fill the human heart. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino, no. VII/ Conclusion, May 9, 1975)

…judges Francis’ idea on Ascetism and silence in the Spiritual Exercises

  •  A priest is obliged to practice a virile asceticism

The priestly life certainly requires an authentic spiritual intensity in order to live by the Spirit; (Gal 5: 25) it requires a truly virile asceticism — both interior and exterior —   in one who, belonging in a special way to Christ, has in Him and through Him ‘crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’ (Gal 5:24), not hesitating to face arduous and lengthy trials in order to do so (1Cor 9:26-27). (Paul VI, Encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, no. 78, June 24, 1967)

…judges Francis’ idea on proselytism

  • In dialogue with others, we should guard ourselves from the contamination of their errors

The apostle’s art is a risky one. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or subtracting from the truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. In our apostolate we cannot make vague compromises about the principles of faith and action on which our profession of Christianity is based. An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs is, fundamentally, a kind of skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. Only the man who is completely faithful to the teaching of Christ can be an apostle. And only he who lives his Christian life to the full can remain uncontaminated by the errors with which he comes into contact. (Paul VI, Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Roman Curia

  • The Episcopate should collaborate with the Curia, which in turn helps the Pope

 It is superfluous to add that this collaboration of the Episcopate should be of great benefit to the Holy See and to the entire Church; and in a particular way, to the daily work of the Roman Curia, to which We are so grateful for the valuable assistance rendered, and which, just as the bishops in their diocese, We also have the permanent necessity for Our apostolic solicitudes. (Paul VI. Inaugural Speech of the Last Session of the Council, September 14, 1965)

…judges Francis’ ideas on peace

  • The Apostolate is Under Constant Fire, Obligation of the Apostle to Remain Unaffected By Errors

But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice.An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 88, August 6, 1964)

  • The Imminent Peril of Becoming Lost in the Midst of the Present Transformations Obliges One to Deepen Knowledge of the Church According to Scripture and Tradition

But we also know that the modern world is in the grip of change and upheaval. It is undergoing developments which are having a profound influence on its outward way of life and habits of thought. The great advances made in science, technology, and social life, and the various currents of philosophical and political thought pervading modern society, are greatly influencing men’s opinions and their spiritual and cultural pursuits. The Church itself is being engulfed and shaken by this tidal wave of change, for however much men may be committed to the Church, they are deeply affected by the climate of the world. They run the risk of becoming confused, bewildered and alarmed, and this is a state of affairs which strikes at the very roots of the Church. It drives many people to adopt the most outlandish views. They imagine that the Church should abdicate its proper role, and adopt an entirely new and unprecedented mode of existence.[…] An effective remedy is needed if all these dangers, which are prevalent in many quarters, are to be obviated, and We believe that such a remedy is to be found in an increased self-awareness on the part of the Church. The Church must get a clearer idea of what it really is in the mind of Jesus Christ as recorded and preserved in Sacred Scripture and in Apostolic Tradition, and interpreted and explained by the tradition of the Church under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, no. 26, August 6, 1964)

…judges Francis’ ideas on whether the Lord always pardons

  • The sacraments may not be received in a passive or indifferent manner

The role of evangelization is precisely to educate people in the faith in such a way as to lead each individual Christian to live the sacraments as true sacraments of faith–and not to receive them passively or reluctantly. (Paul VI. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, December 8, 1975)

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