Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pope to Bishops: Don't Water Down Church Teachings

VATICAN CITY, November 8, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a meeting with Bishops from Austria Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI warned them against the false notion that church teachings should be watered down so as to prevent people from leaving the Church. "At times, those who direct this mission fear that people may move away if they are spoken to clearly," he said. "However," added the Pope, "experience has generally shown that the opposite happens. ... Catholic teaching presented incompletely is self- contradictory and cannot be fruitful in the long term."

...The Pope reminded the Bishops present of St. Paul's words in Ephesus: "I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." The Pope said, "It is true that we must act delicately, but this must not prevent us from presenting the divine message clearly, even on those subjects that do not enjoy widespread approval, or that give rise to protest or even derision, especially in the field of the truth of faith and moral teaching."

Papa's right on the mark. Of course, it might be natural to think that whatever is easiest - including "easy religion" - would be most popular. But, who wants to devote their lives - or even a substantial amount of time - to a religion that's limp-wristed and makes no demands? Hardly anybody. Witness the current decline of the mainstream Protestant denominations and the rise of the evangelical movement ... although I have to admit, I see "easy" creeping in there, too, as it has in some quarters of the Catholic Church.

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