26 December 2008

"If People Look Only to Their Own Interests, Our World Will Certainly Fall Apart."

From the UK Mail:

Pope warns of 'ruin' as he makes Christmas appeal for peace in Holy Land

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:56 PM on 25th December 2008

The Pope has addressed the economic gloom in his Christmas message. 

Benedict XVI warned that the world was headed toward ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during tough times for both rich and poor nations. 

'If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.' 

Benedict dedicated part of his message to Africa, singling out Zimbabwe, where hunger is deepening and cholera is raging. He said that people there were 'trapped for too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening'. Suffering also continues in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo and in Darfur, Sudan, the Pope added. 

And in Somalia, people are weighed down with 'interminable sufferings' as 'the tragic consequences of the lack of stability and peace,' he said. 

Earlier at midnight Mass, he appealed for an end to child abuse in all its forms. 'Let us think of those street children who do not have the blessing of a family home,' he said. 

'Let us think of those children who are victims of the industry of pornography and every other appalling form of abuse, and thus are traumatised to the depths of their soul.'

Benedict said Roman Catholics had to 'do everything in our power to put an end to the suffering of these children'. 

In the past year the Pope has repeatedly addressed the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, but did not raise it in his Christmas homily. Benedict apologised for sexual abuse of minors by clergy and met victims during a July trip to Australia. He also met victims in the U.S. in April. 

Pope Benedict said he hoped Christmas would bring hope to those suffering from war, terrorism, injustice and poverty and appealed for peace in Israel.

In his 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) Christmas Day message, the Pope also turned his thoughts to some of the world's wealthiest countries, which have been hard hit by the world financial crisis.

'In each of these places may the light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity,' he said from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica to tens of thousands of people below.

'If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.'



Anonymous said...


Pope Benedict used that phrase in his speech. Pope John Paul II used the term "solidarity" a lot too.

The anti-communist movement in the former communist Poland was named that too, recall.

To me this use of "solidarity" means that all the various classes and segment of society should see themselves as, in certain key ways, as being one nation, one people, instead of the usual way of pitting the rich against the middle class, and dividing people up by ethnicity or language.

To me, this sort of "solidarity" is different from the comrade-ship they had in the old Communist countries, in which it was a crime to be rich.

Under this use of "solidarity," there is no condemnation of some being being rich and others being, well, not rich. No class of society tries to wipe out or exploit the other.

Yet, all classes can be "Christian" to each other.

Yet, this is where, to me, the notion of "solidarity" falls short.

No one can be "Christian" to anyone else unless they are in the State of Grace, and it is really hard to be in the State of Grace apart from the sacraments and the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The misbegotten doctrine of the "anonymous (unconscious) Christian" has done much damage to the Catholic Church in recent years.


Anonymous said...


Your "You can't be Christian unless you're Catholic" schtick is really getting a little old. If you keep it up, you're going to become pretty isolated. Revel in the goodness of your fellow human beings!

Anonymous said...


A quote from "On The Mystical Body of Christ," a papal encyclical issued in 1943:

103. ...those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church...We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church."

All Catholics are bound to accept and believe this encyclical and its teaching with reverence.

This is the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church, which, motivated by true love, seeks to bring the whole truth and eternal salvation to all who are willing repent and believe.

If you can't believe Pope Pius XII, ask Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis, or Archbishop Raymond Burke, formerly of St. Louis.


Anonymous said...

Tom is right.

"Revel in the goodness of your fellow human beings" - that's a good one!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2-- you guys are just hopeless. I'm afraid you're going to get to the gates of heaven and find out there's a bunch of people-- Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists,Unitarians ahead of you. When that happens, I honestly think you'll turn around rather than share eternal life with these good folks. If you want to hang around in your tight-knit little circle and say, like the Pharisee, "Lord, I thank you that I am not like the rest of these people.", go ahead, but I think you'll be in for the shock of your life on judgment day.

Anonymous said...


One can embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church without being isolated. Although, I'd rather be alone and happy knowing I'm doing the right thing, then go along with the crowd, and have a guilty conscience.

I know this is harder for some people though, who may not have such an independent nature.

You sound like you are searching in your comments here on this blog. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

thetimman said...

LMG, well said.

TGL, I think we will all be in for the shock of our lives on Judgement Day. Mary protect us!

Anonymous said...

Tim-- I say Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

Talking in the van Saturday on the way to a bday party my dear 6 year-old son said "Mom, I hope you get to Purgatory"! My response,
"Well, I'm hoping I go past it. . .straight to Heaven"!