Lenten Message for 2012
A press conference was held to present the Holy Father’s 2012 Lenten Message. Participating in the conference was Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, presented the Holy Father’s 2012 Lenten Message:
“However, over and above this important issue, there is another aspect of Christian life which this year’s text highlights: fraternal correction”.
“Charity teaches us that we are responsible not only for the material well being of others, but also for their moral and spiritual good… We cannot overlook the fact that a certain ideology which exalts the rights of the individual can have the consequence of creating isolation and solitude… When the call to communion is denied in the name of individualism it is our humanity that suffers, deceived by the impossible mirage of happiness obtainable alone. Therefore we can help one another by discovering our reciprocal responsibility the one for the other”.
“The Church’s activity in the modern world must also be seen in the light of fraternal correction in truth and charity”, the Cardinal went on. “Sometimes it is thought that the Church’s concerns, her tenacious resistance to certain fashionable ideas, are moved by thirst or nostalgia for power. This is not the case. The Church is moved by a sincere concern for mankind and for the world. Her activities are not moved by a desire to condemn or recriminate, but by justice and mercy which must also have the courage to call things by their name. Only in this way can we expose the roots of evil, which continue to intrigue the mind of modern man. This task of the Church is called prophetic mission”.
In the Old Testament, Cardinal Sarah explained, “a prophet was a man called and sent by God to announce His will to the people… Clearly the call for greater social justice is part of the mission of the Church”, which “cannot remain silent in the face of the fact that too many people die because they lack basic necessities while others grow rich exploiting their fellow beings. Yet the prophetic dimension of our words and deeds cannot be limited to these external phenomena without going to the moral roots of these injustices. Corruption and accumulation of riches, violence and unduly living at the expense of the commonwealth without contributing to it are all tumours that consume a society from within. Nor can we remain silent … about the fact that the roots of the current financial crisis lie in greed, unrestrained and unscrupulous thirst for money without considering those who have less and who must bear the consequences of the mistaken choices of others. Such attachment to money is a sin, and the Church is prophetic in her condemnation of that sin, which harms both individuals and society”.
“Yet the Holy Father… identifies an even more profound dimension. The Church is a prophet in this world to denounce the absence of God. … Our secularised society lives and organises itself without reference to God because it is affected by a poverty more tragic even than material want; a poverty represented by the rejection and complete exclusion of God from social and economic life, by the revolt against divine and natural laws. … The primary responsibility of the Church is to remind each generation that this spiritual dimension is vital.
The prophet of today must tell the world that God exists, that without this Father who stirs us to solidarity and sharing, life dies and fraternity dissolves into empty utopia that man has a supernatural vocation that we have a conscience in which the voice of God speaks and to which we must one day respond”.
“Today’s message”, the Cardinal concluded, “aims to awaken people’s consciences with respect to the rights and duties of our fellow beings, but also with respect to our duties towards the ‘rights’ of God. All this comes about in the context of Christian communion ruled by the principle of reciprocity and fraternal correction, with a view to the temporal good of mankind and his eschatological salvation”.
Source: Vatican Information Service