Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
In today’s first reading from Second Thessalonians (2:1-3a, 14-17), St. Paul diffuses a situation disturbing the young Church in Thessalonica. Word reached them, purportedly from Paul himself, that the anticipated “Day of the Lord” had already come and gone. Imagine if you were told that the Second Coming of Christ had happened, and that you missed it. As an apostle, Paul first calms the anxiety of the Thessalonians. He convinces them that the word they received was false. Then, he sets out to strengthen them against spurious teaching by telling them, among other things: “hold fast to the traditions you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”
Here we see the apostolic ministry of the Church at work. Because of sin, ignorance, and weakness–and sometimes through malice–error often affects the lives of believers. But watchful shepherds, commissioned by the Lord to lead and teach, detect the error, confront it, correct it, and then restore the faithful to right teaching. In the Church, the apostolic office is a mercy given us by Christ himself to protect and guard the fullness of his salvific truth. The teaching office of the bishops, who at their head sits the Pope, possesses the grace of infallibility when it defines and interprets issues of faith and morals. Within the past few days, we’ve seen the grace of this office enacted in rather dramatic ways.
As is now well known, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), made over the weekend woefully inaccurate statements regarding the consistency of the Church’s teaching on life. Here is a transcript of the remarks she made on Sunday’s Meet the Press:
On July 15, Father Jones and several members of the Hospitality Committee took a day trip to Westpoint. While touring the storied Army campus, they visited the famous Cadet Chapel, which is a sister church to St. Vincent Ferrer. They share the same architect, Bertram Goodhue. After lunch, the parish’s “pilgrims” enjoyed a leisurely boat ride on the Hudson.
Check after the break for pictures of their trip.