by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Our Lord Jesus Christ asked us, “What doth it profit a man that he gain the whole world and lose his soul thereby?”
This question has troubled the hearts of the Saints for two thousand years. It is the very question which, when asked, had led countless men and women to abandon the world and follow the Lord Jesus Christ as religious, monks, sisters, hermits. It is a most important question for every man considering to enter into Sacred Orders, if he wish to have the right intention.
But above all it is a question posed to all of Christ’s disciples, when they are confronted with a choice which regards our Holy Religion, their souls, and eternal salvation, all three of which cannot be extricated from one another in this life, or the world to come.
For the entire Catholic world, for eight years we have had a simple choice to make. We have been confronted with a challenge, which is easy for those who are like little children, but impossible for those who have embraced the world as their friend.
The challenge is to answer a simple question: Did Pope Benedict XVI resign, when in renouncing the ministry, when Canon Law requires that he renounce the munus or office, he did not do what the Canon said must be done?
But another way: Who decides who is the pope: Jesus Christ, who said, “Whatsoever you bind on earth”, i. e., for example in Canon Law regarding Papal renunciations, “shall be bound in Heaven”, or the Cardinals who say, it does not matter what Benedict renounced, nor even the worlds he used, he is definitely not the pope anymore.
Pope Benedict XVI said that he was inspired to do what he did. He even said in his biography in 2016, that the more he sees of Bergoglio, the more he is convinced he was inspired.
Our Lord is King and Master. He has the right to instruct His Vicar on earth to do as He pleases. He does put us to the test, and thus it is perfectly acceptable in Catholic theology to suppose that He could ask His Vicar on Earth to put the Catholic world to a test: to see if they worship Him, in communion with those priests in communion with Him, or whether they worship men, in communion with the priests in communion with men.
This renunciation of ministry is such a test.
Woe to those who do not take it seriously!
CREDITS: The Featured image shows Judas Iscariot kissing Our Lord, in the Garden of Gethsemane. The fresco is by Bl. Fra Angelico, O. P.. Judas, who wanted the external observances of religious and communion, while rejecting the internal obligations of faith and repentance, was rebuked by Our Lord for his sacrilegious kiss, saying, “Do you betray me with a kiss?” — To signify to the rest of us, that there is no more repulsive sin to God, than to sin right in His face, by feigning communion with Him, while really following the doctrines of men about who is and who is not the true High Priest.
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