Rorate Caeli

Saints Peter and Paul: "The True Church is the Church of the True Pope"

On the Patronal Feast of the Holy Roman Church -- the great feast of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, Martyrs for Christ and for the eternal, unchanging, and unchangeable Truth of the Holy Doctrine of His Holy Church -- the words of Cardinal Journet:

The true Church is the Church of the true pope, of the true successor of Peter, and the true pope is, in divine law we mean, the legitimate bishop of Rome. Who thus sees with which specific title the true pope is Roman also sees with which specific title the true Church is Roman. Roman Church: this is not nevertheless her interior, comprehensive, and profound name, but her concrete, apparent, immediately comprehensible name; when the Christian communities of the Far East, removed from paganism by Francis Xavier and that had remained without priests for two hundred years, saw disembarking missionaries once again, they recognized them by asking them if they obeyed to the "white robe".

"Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God..." (Acts ii, 22). Jesus was undoubtedly more than that; yet, he was truly that, and if Peter bitterly cried for having denied this name of humility, it was for remembering that his Master had made himself a Nazarene only in order to live among us, that it was, deep down, one of the very sweet names of his love. Roman Church: it is, one can truthfully say, the name of service of the Divine Church, her name of humility, lent to a piece of land, because, in order to save the world, it was necessary for her to know all humiliations of time and space.

It is, at the same time, a miraculous name. It makes immediately known - not due to a simple metonymy, but due to a true elevation of the Roman episcopate to universal episcopate - where is located the spiritual power that Simon, son of John, received from Jesus near lake Tiberias, and that he himself laid down in the heart of the Christian community founded in pagan Rome, in Babylon (I Peter v, 13), so that from there it would unify all Christians in the universe.
Charles Journet
L'Église du Verbe Incarné