The Pope’s Talk to the Roman Curia Yesterday

The Holy Father gave a talk to the Roman Curia yesterday, an annual event at Christmas time. He said a lot which I cannot summarize adequately in a blog post. You can read it in its entirety at:

I do want to comment on the opening paragraphs. It is a rather somber description of the present moment in the world. I quote the official English translation:

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. Repeatedly during the season of Advent the Church’s liturgy prays in these or similar words. They are invocations that were probably formulated as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of the key principles of law and the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats.

Excita, Domine, potentian tuam, et veni. Today too, we have many reasons to associate ourselves with the Advent prayer of the Church. For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure.”

The Holy Father then goes on to address the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests and follows that with a teaching on the true nature of conscience, reinforcing the truth that conscience is not just an individual’s judgment on right or wrong depending on personal experience, but rather conscience is the capacity each of us has to recognize truth and the obedience to the truth, a truth that is ultimately objective and recognizable and to which we orient ourselves.

The Pope’s likening of our present world to that of the declining Roman Empire is striking to me. His perception that the forces at work to support the structures of society appear to be failing is sobering.

At one other point in the talk, he says, “The very future of the world is at stake.”

Wow! I don’t think he means to speak in hyperbole. I wonder why these comments are not getting more press.  The Italian newspapers were headlining it earlier this morning.

What do you think?

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Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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One Response to The Pope’s Talk to the Roman Curia Yesterday

  1. mary says:

    I do not agree with the “falling apart and decline of the world” that the pope seems to have in this address. I see promise and everyday people doing extraordinary things every day. God’s natural beauty also is a joy to behold.
    There is good in the world. Each of us needs to believe it.

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