Critics have complained that Pope Pius XII did nothing to help victims of Nazi atrocities; critics have complained that Pope John Paul II did nothing to help victims of clergy abuse. The irony is that the Vatican shows more sensitivity to Jewish concerns than it does to the victims of its own clergy.
Know anyone who always has to have the last word? I know of a bishop who always had to have the last word in his written correspondence. So one of his priests decided to test his endurance. He sent the bishop a thank you letter, to which the bishop responded with an acknowledgment, to which the priest responded with another thank you, to which the bishop responded again with another acknowledgment, etc, etc, etc. In the end, after much time and postage, the bishop prevailed.
So too, Father Celatus insists on having the last word about his “Last Word.” I concluded my recent article regarding the impending canonization of Pope John Paul II with these words:
As the Church Militant continues to lower the standard for heavenly evidence that souls are within the Church Triumphant, one wonders whether canonization is now more a matter of what man himself declares and less a discernment of what God determines. Jesus promised that what is bound on Earth is bound in Heaven but in these canonizations, might not the Church be forcing the hand of God?
In his L’Année Liturgique – The Liturgical Year – the great Dom Guéranger, 19th century abbot of Solesmes, notes that Holy Thursday’s praying of the fifth psalm conveys a “moral teaching, which, if listened to, would correct many a false judgment of the world. It often happens that men are shaken at seeing the wicked prosperous, and the virtuous afflicted. It was the temptation which overcame the apostles, when, seeing their divine Master in the hands of His enemies, they lost their faith in Him as the Messias.”
In other words, even after having witnessed the miracles of Our Lord and professing to recognize Him as the Messiah the Apostles nevertheless “lost faith in Jesus” after He had fallen into the hands of His enemies.
Does this mean that in our own day as we witness the Mystical Body of Christ undergo a similar passion, we too can expect to be scandalized to that extent? Might we in our fear and weakness also come to deny the Church and even flee from her when she falls into the hands of the Christophobes?
In answer to the question: “Whether it was necessary for Christ to rise again?” (Q.53, art. 1), St. Thomas Aquinas writes as follows:
(It behooved Christ to rise again, for five reasons: First of all, for the commendation of Divine Justice, to which it belongs to exalt those who humble themselves for God’s sake, according to Luke 1,52: “He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.” Consequently, because Christ humbled Himself even unto the death of the Cross, from love and obedience to God, it behooved Him to be lifted up by God unto a glorious Resurrection; hence, it is said in His Person (Psalm 138.2): “Thou hast known (i.e., approved) My sitting down (i.e., My humiliation and Passion) and my rising up (i.e., My glorification in the Resurrection)…”
Secondly, for our instruction in the Faith, since our belief in Christ’s Divinity is confirmed by His rising again, because, according to 2 Cor. 13,14, “although He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the Power of God”. And it is therefore written (1 Cor. 15,14): “If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and our faith is also vain;” and Psalm 29.10: “What profit is there in My Blood (that is, in the shedding of My Blood), while I go down (as by various degrees of evils) into corruption?” As though He were to answer: “None.” “For if I do not at once rise again, but My body be corrupted, I shall preach to no one, I shall gain no one,” as the Gloss expounds.