LightningVatican (2)“These year’s have been a stretch of the church’s pilgrim way, which has seen moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments. I have felt like St. Peter with the apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days in which the catch has been abundant; then there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church it has ever been — and the Lord seemed to sleep. Nevertheless, I always knew that the Lord is in the barque, that the barque of the Church is not mine, not ours, but His — and he shall not let her sink.” Benedict XVI (final audience)

Commentary: Benedict XVI said “the barque of the Church is not mine, not ours, but His — and he shall not let her sink.” In YOUCAT (Ignatius Press 2011) Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, Benedict said in the Forward: “You yourselves are the Body of Christ, the Church!” Is there a discrepancy in Benedict’s two statements?

We know that Christ is the Head and all the baptized form the Body of Christ — the People of God/Bride of Christ. And therefore “it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a personal character. Although Christ’s ministers act in communion with one another, they also act in a personal way. Each one is called personally: ‘You follow me’ in order to be a personal witness within the common mission, to bear personal responsibility before him who gives the mission…” CCC#878. While Benedict XVI is technically correct in saying the Church is “His (the Lord’s) and not mine or ours, the way he said it is disturbing and points to separation that is not what God intends, especially from the Pope.

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