St. Augustine: Christ wouldn’t add good in ‘I am the good Shepherd,’ were there not bad shepherds. Where do good shepherds hear God’s voice?

It’s no novelty that the texts of Vatican Council II have often been manipulated with diverse intentions; consequently, it’s necessary to read them within their context and in light of the Magisterium, which has been guiding humanity for almost 2000 years.

One of the documents that has perhaps undergone the most significant misinterpretations is the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes. It is not unusual to find some of its statements taken out of context in order to justify the most varied positions. For example, this phrase: ‘The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ (GS 1).’ With these inspired words, the conciliar document presents the role of the Church as a compassionate Mother who educates her children in authentic love of God and neighbor. She employs every means within her reach to ease the sufferings of human beings with solicitude and wisdom.

Among the ‘the griefs and the anxieties’ which afflict the human heart, is the thirst for the truth, the desire to break away from from the sea of uncertainties, to find rest for the spirit in firm convictions. In healing this need, the Church – besides being Mother – acts as a Teacher of the peoples since she has received ‘the news of salvation which is meant for every man (ib.).’ This is what makes the Church feel ‘truly linked with mankind and its history by the deepest of bonds’ the conciliar fathers conclude. However, from this affirmation, read out of context, other conclusions may be drawn. The objective of this post is to consider this citation in light of the Magisterium....Read on…