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John XXIII, John Paul II Linked by Love of Dialogue With World
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, are “bound together” by their love for addressing the world in conversation, a cardinal who worked with them both has said.
“Before John XXIII, the Pope was perceived as one who made pronouncements from on high; John XXIII was the first Pope speaking off the cuff, and he paved the way for a new style,” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in an April 15 interview with CNA.
“And of course we all remember the spontaneous meetings John Paul II had, especially with young people.”
Cardinal Poupard worked at the Secretariat of State beginning in 1959, the second year of Angelo Roncalli’s papacy.
John Paul II appointed him head of the Secretariat for Non-Believers in 1980, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture from 1988 to 2007.
Cardinal Poupard had the opportunity to spend time with both Popes, and saw that “during their meetings, both of them turned into, in a sense, who they had been before their election.”
He recalled his first meeting with John XXIII, when he, a 29-year-old priest of Paris, presented the Roman Pontiff with the book he published after his doctoral dissertation, about the appointments of bishops in France.
“The appointment of bishops! You wanted to work hard!,” John XXIII told Fr. Poupard, reminded of his own efforts in French bishop appointments.
Roncalli had been apostolic nuncio to France from 1944 to 1953.
“In the conversation, he turned into the apostolic nuncio again,” Cardinal Poupard reflected.
He then recounted that “when John Paul II spoke about the situation in Poland, he spoke such that he turned back to being the Bishop of Krakow, mentioning the Primate, Stefan Wyszynski.”
Cardinal Poupard said that “John XXIII was the first Pope ‘speaking off the cuff’”, and he also “introduced into the style of encyclicals, the reading of the signs of times.”
This style is peculiarly evident, he said, in Pacem in terris, John XXIII’s last encyclical and “his spiritual legacy, I would say, since he died some weeks after the encyclical had been issued.”
Cardinal Poupard explained that “every chapter of the encyclical starts with a statement dealing with an aspiration of men … to peace, to freedom, to dignity.”
This style of Pacem in terris was an inspiration for the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, which was something “new in the history of ecumenical councils.”
“Conciliar documents had always been based on God, on revelation … Gaudium et spes inaugurated a new way of addressing the world, an inductive method which began from the aspirations of the human being instead of a deductive method with a basis in revelation.”
He said John XXIII paved the way to a more spontaneous way of being Pope, upon which John Paul II built, citing in particular the Pole’s institution of World Youth Day.
John Paul II frequently engaged in conversation with the world through his trips to 129 countries, and his dialogue with other Christians and with the followers of other religions.
This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus. But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have just listened to the Passion of our Lord. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus? We have just heard many, many names. The group of leaders, some priests, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, who had decided to kill Jesus. They were waiting for the chance to arrest him. Am I like one of them? We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty pieces of silver. Am I like Judas? We have heard other names too: the disciples who understand nothing, who fell asleep while the Lord was suffering. Has my life fallen asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them? Am I like Judas, who feigns loved and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people? Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself? Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus. Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him? Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross? Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: “He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!”. Mocking Jesus…. Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence? Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial? Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying? Am I like those leaders who went the next day to Pilate and said, “Look, this man said that he was going to rise again. We cannot let another fraud take place!”, and who block life, who block the tomb, in order to maintain doctrine, lest life come forth? Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.
The Triduum is made up of the three days before Easter - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is a single prayer of final preparation where we enter into the redemption of humanity and the salvation of the world made present in the Resurrection of our Lord.
This is the holiest part of the year and makes present the mystery of Jesus passion and death before He rises again.
Holy Thursday - The Mass of the Lord's Supper, it is the celebration of the first Eucharist in the upper room. This is when we have the annual washing of feet. Usually there is no other Mass celebrated on this day. Extra hosts are consecrated and then all of the Blessed Sacrament are taken from the Church and the tabernacle is left open to signify our longing for Christ. We have adoration after this mass as our last act of worship before the sorrow of Good Friday.
Good Friday - Celebration of the Lord's Passion. There is no Mass this day. Usually there are Stations of The Cross and a Communion service. This is when we have veneration of the Cross and the entire Passion of Christ is read.
Easter Vigil - This is the high-point of the Church's year. During this celebration of Christ's death and Resurrection we have the RCIA candidates and elect receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). The vigil must take place after night falls. It starts with an Easter fire outside of the Church. Then the paschal (Easter) candle is lit and processed into the Church. Then we all share the light of Christ with one another. Afterward, we have the Liturgy of the Word, which will have many readings about the story of God's Salvation history (7 Old Testament and 2 New Testament readings). Then after the homily, we celebrate baptism and confirmation. After this we celebrate the Eucharist. It is a long and absolutely beautiful liturgy with many "smells and bells".
We should prayerfully enter into the coming Holy Week in preparation for Christ's rising from the dead. Christ have mercy on us all!
Holy Week in Two Minutes
Want to know why Catholics wave palms on Palm Sunday; wash each other's feet on Holy Thursday; or kiss the cross on Good Friday? Look no further than BustedHalo.com's® two-minute video that describes the final week of Lent we spend preparing for Easter.
21 Reasons To Go To Confession & Why Catholics Confess Sins To Priests
There are several questions we need to sort through before we get to the reason we all need Confession.
Is the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) necessary to have your sins forgiven or can you go straight to God?
Why do we need this Sacrament?
Where did it come from?
What does sin do?
We have to lay some groundwork before giving adequate answers.
What Sin Does
Sin causes damage in an three-fold way:
Most people easily see that sin can damage the relationship between us and God. This is why all Christians seek forgiveness of sins in some way. But, this isn't the only damage done. St. Paul tells us, in several of his letters, we are all united to God in one body of Christ - the Church. One example of this teaching:
"We, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another." - Romans 12:5
So, when we sin we can damage others. As Paul says in his long teaching on the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians:
"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy." - 1 Cor 12:26
Thus, we not only damage the relationship with God, but also with other members of the Church. The Catechism teaches:
"1440 Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church."
The third damage caused is to ourselves. We are created for goodness and holiness. When we sin, in a sense, we become less of who we were created to be. This damage needs to be repaired also. This healing only happens when sin is forgiven.
Who Forgives Sins?
Only God has the authority to forgive sins. Yet, this authority is mediated through others. The Jews questioned why Christ was forgiving sins, because they did not realize He was God. We must not forget that Jesus was also a man. He passes on this authority to forgive sins to his apostles.
After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples who were gathered in the upper room, scared out of their minds and confused. Christ comes and breathes the Holy Spirit on them and then commissions them to forgive sins. This is only the second time God breathes on humans. The first is when He breathes life into Adam. Breath is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."" - John 20 19-23
The apostles are sent as the Father has sent Jesus - with the authority to forgive sins. But, how could they know which sins to forgive and which to retain, if the sins were not confessed? This is why the book of James says this:
"confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." - James 5:16
In this context of this verse, a person is told to "summon the presbyters of the church" (James 5:14). Presbyter is the Greek word for priest (or elder).
Therefore, based on the Biblical evidence, we see forgiveness of sins is explicitly tied to confession to a priest, who has the authority to forgive sins, which is given by Christ. Christ thus heals the relationship through the priest and we are reconciled to both God and His Church - healing the two-fold damage done in our relationships.
Can You Go Straight to God?
Yes and no. We are told, as we see clearly in Scripture above, that we are to confess our sins to one another. Thus, the ordinary way we have our grave sins forgiven is through the Sacrament of Confession. Thus, this is the way that Christ has established as the ordinary way to forgive grave (i.e. mortal) sins. But, there are extreme circumstances where God may forgive grave sins outside of Confession if the person has perfect contrition (sorrow) for their sins, but these are extraordinary.
Also, we are only required to go to Confession once a year during the Easter season, and only if we have committed a mortal sin. Thus, all venial sins can be forgiven by going straight to God, though they can also be forgiven in Confession, and this is recommended whenever possible.
Can only Catholics Have Their Sins Forgiven?
The simple answer is no. While confession is the ordinary way to have your sins forgiven, it is not the only way. The Catechism says:
“When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (CCC 1452).
If someone is not Catholic (thus they do not have recourse to the Sacrament), then they can be forgiven, with perfect contrition and confession of their sins to God. If a non-Catholic is in danger of death, they can receive the Sacrament - if they are a baptized Christian.
"If there is a danger of death or if, in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop or of the Episcopal Conference, there is some other grave and pressing need, catholic ministers may lawfully administer these same sacraments to other Christians not in full communion with the catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who spontaneously ask for them, provided that they demonstrate the catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed." (Code of Canon Law, canon 844.4)
So, Why Go to Confession If you Can be Forgiven Without It?
Many reasons, in fact, I came up with at least 21 of them:
21 Reasons To Go To Confession
God commanded we confess our sins to one another in the Bible. (James 5:16)
Helps us go deep within and think about how we can improve.
It feels good emotionally.
When we realize (again) we are sinners, it is easier to be patient with others.
Always confidential - what is said in the confessional stays in the confessional.
No more guilt.
We are better prepared to receive the Eucharist.
Forgiveness is a necessary part of growing in holiness.
Our consciences can be better formed.
If we have mortally sinned, then Confession brings us back into the family of God - The Church as well as restores sanctifying grace in our souls!
St. Pius X Scholarships
Have you been active in the Newman Club by participating in events, helping with projects and living out your faith? If so, you may be eligible for a St. Pius X Scholarship. The St. Pius X Endowment Association awards partial scholarships each year to a limited number of applicants. To apply for a scholarship, download the application form and submit it to the office by Tuesday, April 15th. All information will be kept confidential. The scholarships will be awarded at Banquet and Ball, which is held on April 26th. Applicants must be present to receive a scholarship.