Lumen Fidei, product of brawn and brain. – JOHN MENEZES

For the first time in the history of the Roman Church has an encyclical been written jointly by a sitting incumbent, Francis I  (who styles himself the Bishop of Rome), a Jesuit, and a retired Pope Emeritus,  Benedict XVI. It brings to light, again for the first time in the last 400 year history of the Roman Church, at least, the inability of a reigning “pontiff” to put together any solid matter of the class of Catholic teaching, let alone doctrine,  relevant to the present time, and so Benedict’s brains had to be borrowed.

As an ex student of the Jesuit run St. Vincent’s High School, Pune, I received the finest catechesis encompassing Penny’s Basic Catechism, church history, essential doctrine, knowledge of the contemporary encyclicals of Pius XII, and apologetics – the last imparting the ability to defend the Catholic Faith. The Jesuits of the nineteen-forties were the best trained in the history, doctrine, dogma, and the scholastic studies of the Doctors of the Church.  The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) has seen the erosion of seminary formation right round the world to create a new church without doctrine, dogma or morality on the hypothesis of the abiding “love of God,” and so there has been the emergence of a new Jesuit order with new priorities, agendas, and another corpus of knowledge related more to sociology and the contemporary world.

Francis I is the product of this  new order to the extent that his daily homilies at St. Martha’s Hotel, Vatican City, need to be censored by the editorial staff of L’Osservatore Romano before they can be published lest they flounder on the absurd like his recent one that even atheists can be saved. Marcelo González, of Panorama Católico Internacional, who knows the Church of Argentina well enough, has written on him: “accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is.”

 John Vennari, lawyer of international repute who takes up cases at the Roman Rota, and who edits Catholic Family News, USA, has written that Francis I is the last person he will ever enlist to teach his children catechism.

The Examiner, July 13-19, has graciously acknowledged the role of Benedict XVI in the encyclical by including his photograph on the cover.

John Menezes


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to Lumen Fidei, product of brawn and brain. – JOHN MENEZES

  1. I hope more follow practicing Catholics will read this and understand the meaning. Mr John Menezes is a well known Catholic from Mumbai, I also hope the clergy is listening or rather reading. The people are waking up.

  2. ralphpaulcoelho says:

    You are indeed fortunate that you “received the finest catechesis encompassing Penny’s Basic Catechism, church history, essential doctrine, knowledge of the contemporary encyclicals of Pius XII, and apologetics”. I received my catechism 75 years ago but it was not from the consummate educators Jesuits were and still are. What I remember to this day , and what carried me through my first sixty years , was what is referred to as the Penny Catechism( which belongs to the Church the Jesuits). I had catechism classes right through high school but none of it remained with me. What did remind, as a memory, was the Scripture subjects that were part of the Cambridge examinations.

    What existed in those days was the constant public image of the Church in the form of priest and nuns who dressed distinctively and behaved distinctively. They were, to a child and even to adults and unbelievers in the world but not of it. Apart from that children lived with their parents but were separated from parents and the adult social world by design . What I as a child accepted in faith was not denied by the behaviour – words, actions, discussion, conversation, jokes- I experienced of my own parents and relatives or the rest of the world.

    I agree somewhat that” The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) has seen the erosion of seminary formation right round the world to create a new church without doctrine, dogma or morality on the hypothesis of the abiding “love of God,”. Other than the last part of catechism based on “morality on the hypothesis of the abiding “love of God,” the rest is surmise on your part. The reality is that Vatican II rediscovered the Church as a “People of God” and rejected the institution that had taken its place. The Catholics of the last fifty years have been as stubborn as the Chosen People were in their first forty years. Even the intelligentsia amongst them regularly accepted the ways of the world that were more attractive and “sensible’; they even produced arguments to justify rules that gave the power and an easy life. If you read Lumen Gentium you will see that today many of the People of God , whiter they have responded to the call to be Bishops or priests or lay persons live a culture that draws increasingly from the democratic world than from the Bible , than from the authentic word that Jesus gave us comprehensively and not in the bits and pieces that were received through the prophets according to the times.

    Jesus came once to fulfil the law and inform us completely, the authentic will of the Father. He told it in parables but was more explicit to his immediate followers. Even they, committed Jews as they were, could not grasp the enormity of what he told them because the times were such. It was another convert of Jesus, Saul of Tarsus whom we know as St Paul, who explained a great deal of what it meant to follow the will of the Father. Vatican II is, in my opinion, a replay of St Paul illuminated by the learning of the twentieth century man , learning that goes beyond the Bible and explains many phenomena that were hidden from man. Today the couture of the times admits everyone to the whole knowledge of mankind and consciously trains everyone to maximise their understanding and to be full and responsible participants in making their choices. Paul VI, John Paul II , Benedict XVI were all active members of the Council. They could not throw out the entrenched bureaucracy whose preliminary proposals were consigned to the waste paper baskets by the Bishop of Vatican II, Bishops who ,with the guidance of the Holy spirit, developed the modern view of the Church that Christ founded but which had somehow got too entangled in the social world – unlike the Chosen people who took on religions with the social culture.

    A modern Catholic has the capacity, the resources and the duty to fulfil the will of the father. He can choose to be selective in what source he chooses or go to the Vatican II documents and then follow the path he sees. This would be the way of these times when most people, other than researchers, take life and technology as they see and experience it and move on. They certainly do not rely on the simple things they learnt in school.

    I agree with John Venarri, whom you quote. “Francis I is the last person he will ever enlist to teach his children catechism”. Francis is not talking not to children but to adults, to parents who have the primary responsibility to educate their children in early life. Adults and Parents who know more about the world that their own faith because they subconsciously continue to expect that the priest will guide them and effectively be their conscience.

    You ashen recognised that attitude of catechism taught in schools and expressed in homilies is the emphasis on eth “love of God”. .It is not wrong but it is incomplete because it encourages one to forget about the wages of sin, to eliminate sin all together for the present times.

    Anyone ahs ideas ? How do we supplement this incomplete teaching?


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