The church, conservative and intransigent?
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
For many, the word "conservative" is almost an insult, a sign of lack of openness and foolishness, because it would go against "progress". For those many, the word "intransigent" is even more negative.
To the surprise of those many, Paul VI used the words "conservative" and "intransigent" to refer to a fundamental aspect of the church. How and why?
In a general audience (January 19, 1972) Pope Montini spoke of the revelation, of the set of truths that God conveyed to men. These truths, collected under the Latin expression of the "Depositum Fidei" (Deposit of the Faith), are immutable, definitive, to come directly from God.
After remembering that the revelation came to its summit moment with Jesus Christ, Paul VI explained some consequences of this event.
The first, that Catholic doctrine is separated from recent mistakes, which found its concrete characterization in the "Modernism" condemned by St. Pius X.
The second, then "we can understand why the Catholic Church, yesterday and today, gives so much importance to the rigorous conservation of authentic revelation, and considers it an inviolable treasure, and has such a severe awareness of its fundamental duty to defend and to convey in unequivocal terms the doctrine of the Faith".
Therefore, the pope continued in his speech, the church's first concern is orthodoxy, preserving the doctrine in all its purity, as an indispensable part of its mission.
This is where the following phrases are introduced: "The master Church does not invent its doctrine; she is a witness, is a custody, interpreter, is a formality; And, as far as the specific truths of the Christian message are concerned, she can be called conservative, intransigent; and to whom he asks to make the faith easier, more relative to the tastes of the changeable mentalities of the times, he responds with the Apostles: 'Non possumus', we cannot (acts 4.20).
Yes, with regard to the great gift of the Christian message, the church is conservative, because it preserves an immense treasure that is not his, but the same God. And it is intransigent, because that message cannot be reduced to content the world with its antievangelical, relativistic or totalitarian mindsets.
They are words of Paul VI that regain new life after his beatification and to the pressures of those who today, as in so many other moments in history, ask the Church to adapt to the mentality of the world.
Peter's boat, however, is called to keep the flag of Christ High. Alone, will be able to offer the men and women of our time a wonderful message of hope, of mercy and of love, which is not his invention, but comes directly from God.