Rorate Caeli

The situation of the Church affects all of mankind

From the address personally written by Pope Benedict for his previously scheduled visit to the University of Rome - la Sapienza (partial translation by AsiaNews):

The pope is, first of all, the bishop of Rome, and as such, in virtue of apostolic succession from the Apostle Peter, he has episcopal responsibility in regard to the entire Catholic Church. The word "bishop" - episkopos, which in its immediate meaning refers to "supervision", already in the New Testament was fused together with the biblical concept of the shepherd: he is the one who, from an elevated point of observation, surveys the whole landscape, making sure to keep the flock together and on the right path. This description of the bishop's role directs the view first of all to within the community of believers.

The bishop - the shepherd - is the man who takes care of this community, the one who keeps it united by keeping it on the path toward God, which Jesus points out through the Christian faith - and He does not only point this out: He himself is the way for us. But this community that the bishop cares for - as large or small as it may be - lives in the world; its conditions, its journey, its example, and its words inevitably influence the rest of the human community in its entirety. The larger it is, the more its good condition or eventual decline will impact all of humanity. Today we see very clearly how the situation of the religions and the situation of the Church - its crises and renewals - act upon the whole of humanity. Thus the pope, precisely as the shepherd of his community, has increasingly become a voice of the ethical reasoning of humanity.


The purpose of knowing the truth is to know what is good. This is also the sense of Socrates’ way of questioning: What good thing makes us true? Truth makes us good and goodness is true. This optimism dwells in the Christian faith because it was allowed to see the Logos, the creative Reason that, in God’s incarnation, revealed itself as that which is Good, as Goodness itself.
If ...reason, concerned about its supposed purity, fails to hear the great message that comes from the Christian faith and the understanding it brings, it will dry up like a tree with roots cut off from the water that gives it life. It will lose the courage needed to find the truth and thus become small rather than great. Applied to our European culture this means that if it wants to constitute itself on the basis of its arguments and whatever appears to it to be convincing, with concerns about its own secular nature, it will cut itself off from its life-sustaining roots, and in doing so will not become more reasonable and pure but will instead become undone and fragmented.
What does the Pope have to do or say in a university? He certainly should not try to impose in an authoritarian manner his faith on others, which can only be freely offered. Beyond his ministry as Pastor of the Church and on the basis of the intrinsic nature of this pastoral ministry, it is his task to keep alive man’s responsiveness to the truth. Similarly he must again and always invite reason to seek out truth, goodness and God, and on this path urge it to see the useful lights that emerged during the history of the Christian faith and perceive Jesus Christ as the light that illuminates history and helps find the way towards the future.


  1. Anonymous1:15 AM

    More and more I believe that Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope mentioned in the vision of Fatima as the "Bishop in White", and also in the vision of Saint John Bosco, where a Pope is guiding the barque of Peter (the Church) thru stormy seas , but anchored safely to the Blessed Sacrament(the True Mass= Tridentine Latin Mass), and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Some people thought the Bishop in white in the Fatima vision was John Paul II....but more than likely it is Benedict XVI, who courageously is attempting to restore the True Mass, and the proper liturgical atmosphere of the Catholic Church (back to tradition), and is also teaching doctrine and dogma, and restating great truths of the Faith and of morality which is causing opposition among those who object to it (homosexuals etc.)
    This Pope is great, and deserves the time "Pope Benedict XVI the Great"

  2. Anonymous2:12 AM

    Yes, I also fear he may be the Pope seen in the visions by two prior popes as the one having to flee Rome because of a revolution against the Church.


  3. Let us support our Holy Father in the fight against the radicals who seek to bring about a false one world order under the reign of anti-Christ.

    Viva il Papa!

  4. Anonymous3:52 AM

    From Regnum Christi archives:

    We offer here a prayer written by Fr. Marcial Maciel himself, which all Legionaries and members of the Regnum Christi Movement pray daily. We hope that it can be of help, and we invite all to pray it fervently and to spread it among your friends:

    Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
    Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.

  5. Thankfully, through this pontificate, The Church is beginning to wake up from its post-conciliar "springtime" euphoria of being at one with the world. The Roman Catholic Church was established to lead the world by the light of The Christ which must be restored on the hilltop which is its rightful place.

    The nonsensical compromises of the last 40 years are just that. There is a tiny but vociferous and powerful minority of pressure groups in society which have wormed their way insidiously & phenomenologically into political positions where they can influence the reversal of customary social norms, values and mores. This has also occurred in our beloved Roman Catholic Church. As Paul Likoudis stated against the Amchurch sexual perverts who have corrupted & scandalised the American Catholic church, it is time to remove them definitively and their supporters. Unfortunately, some of these corruptors are the consequence of modernism within the church itself and its currently disorientated education system. It is also time to call to order those shepherds of the flock who have reneged on their proper pastoral duties and have sought the friendship of the secular world at the expense of the friendship of the Master whom they are supposed to serve.

    Indeed, let us all pray with greater fervour for our Holy Father, make sacrifices and do penance for a true restoration of all things in The Christ. This was the essential message of Our Blessed Lady of Fatima. This is the way of Our Blessed Lord's cross.

  6. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Once again, not one reference to Vatican II or JPII...

  7. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Pope Benedict, as always, the master catechist too. He begins with very basic concepts and explanations and then unfolds their deeper meanings and associations before us. The so-called "enlightened" from this university who protested the papal visit missed a chance to actually learned something.

    If this was 1500 years ago, Pope Benedict would be a "father of the Church"

  8. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Rorate Caeli, please post something about the Roman day of solidarity with the Pope called by Cdl. Ruini. We need to support our Peter!

  9. Anonymous6:26 PM

    Having been a young seminarian forty years ago, I used to think with great sadness then and for almost forty long years: "That we should live to see these days!" Now, I think with great joy and grateful tears: "That we should live to see these days!"

  10. Faith, of course is a gift from God and not everyone has it. It does not contradict reason but neither does reason obviate the need for Faith. Reason can only take us part of the way in receiving the manifold riches of the Incarnation.

  11. Anonymous8:10 PM

    To the Anon. who wrote "That we should live to see these days!" Amen and Deo Gratias!

  12. Anonymous9:58 PM

    I see we've a long way to go yet. How far are we from saying "impose the faith where you have the authority" so more souls are saved? It has a good record of success in history. Governmental support of the Catholic faith is very effective - an extra barrier against penetration by error. Nothing to be ashamed of there. Europe owed it's Catholic heritage to Christ the King acting through Catholic kings and queens.

    Or are we suppose to talk the Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu worlds into conversion? Not so good a record. Saint Ignatius couldn't even do it.

    Get serious. Souls in great numbers depend on this - we're losing nations because of it (Mexico, Ireland, etc).

    Convert the king and let him order the faith protected and all others publicly forbidden. Baptize all the children as a condition for citizenship. Let's win, not manage our decline.

  13. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Joe B, you just outlined a program for complete failure. If people even think the faith is being imposed on them, they will resist it for that reason.

  14. Anonymous1:39 AM

    Don't be so timid. Not all peoples are as obstinate and proud as that. Remember what we would be obligating - truth. History testifies that truth prospers when error is banned. Forget America for the moment - nobody has such authority here right now (but if the majority become Catholic, that's another story). But we all know the souls of those who do have such authority will even be judged by their use of or refusal to use that God-given authority to defend the faith. And those who let the faith die out because they didn't defend the faith by use of their authority will suffer for it. It's their duty. It's our duty. Baptize all nations.

    Paid for by Joe for King, and I approved this message.

  15. Anonymous4:16 AM

    The problems in the church and the lamentable state of the laity is solely the fault of the bishops who are worldly, cold, faithless, menpleasers. Second, by similarly conditioned priests. It's that simple.


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