Pope Says Biggest Problems Are Within Catholic Church

Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday said that the “sins inside the church” posed the greatest threat to Catholicism. Vincenzo Pint/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesRedTracker| Flying to Portugal where he will hold an open-air mass at the shrine at Fatima, Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday said that the “sins inside the church” posed the greatest threat to Catholicism, adding that “forgiveness does not substitute justice.” via NYTimes

The tendency of high-level Catholics to classify the biggest problems to the Church as coming from a secular society that want to ‘bring it down’ was disputed by the Pope.

“The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice.”

These words don’t undercut the Pope’s main concerns: the threat posed by secularism in Europe, the dialectic between faith and reason, and the role of ethics in economics.

In referencing the miracles at Fatima, the future Pope Benedict said the images of Fátima were not to be taken literally, but rather “synthesize and compress against a single background facts which extend through time.” He added then that the apparitions at Fátima had a central message: “Penance, penance, penance.” via NYTimes