The Pope's New Encyclical: "Spe Salvi"

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s new encyclical on hope, "Spe Salvi," has just been released by the Vatican. The link is below. Like Benedict’s first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," it is primarily in the form of a meditation. See what you think. "Spe Salvi"
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11 years ago
The subject of this papal encyclical is hope and redemption. I wonder whether it is unreasonable to hope that Pope Benedict will spend as much time trying to correct the abuse of power by the Catholic hierarchy that resulted (and I bet continues to result) in the knowing sexual abuse of countless Catholic children as the time he spent writing this sonorous encyclical. Clearly there is no change of heart in the bishops in the United States, given the recent promotion of Cardinal George of Chicago only weeks after a priest he continued to permit to work with children in a parish despite knowledge of sexual abuse faced five year a stint in jail. Everyone should know that the principal that finally the reported the sexual abuse of the Chicago priest to the police after getting no response by both the pastor and the Chicago Archdioceses was fired from her job. Why should we listen to anything these pompous hypocritical men have to say? I hope one day that the Catholic laity will hold the hierarchy accountable for their actions by refusing to give a dime to the Roman Catholic Church. That is the only flickering hope I have that the Church can be redeemed.
11 years ago
I wish the answer to the problem of corruption was that simple, Eileen. Unfortunately, the truth is that withholding money from the Church really won't solve the problem. As much as some members of the 'heirarchy' might benefit from it, numerous others (such as the folks here at America) would suffer as a result. So what's the answer? I wish I had it. Clearly, there is need for reform in the class of American bishops (publicly refusing communion to a presidential candidate? C'mon!), but we shouldn't, to use an old phrase, throw the baby out with the bathwater. To do so would be to deny the possibility of hope, an idea central to our faith. The church has overcome crises before. Remember when we had three popes at once? It won't be easy, but with time I feel we will overcome this.
11 years ago
Thank you, Eileen. Thank you. Theological reflections, however erudite and eloquent, are like straw to me in light of flesh and blood survivors/friends today revictimized by bishops refusing to reveal the truth in court about abusers and their own cover-ups. The pain they cause is inexcusable. Here is their clever misuse of the first amendment: claiming in effect a right under the law to be as negligent as they want in supervising perpetrator priests, and to be exempt from neutral principles of law to protect children, all in order to freely exercise our Catholic faith. Hope? Only in Christ in a personal sense, not for hearing truth from chancery or curia in this vital area, which colors so much. First, truth, then I can listen with attentive heart to the rest. I believe Fr. Martin expected different responses, understandably, but maybe it is instructive to reflect the dissonance that exists among some of us.

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