The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old

St. Pius X warned about pastors only committed ‘to doing good, above all to resolving the problems of the people,’ but who were concerned ‘greatly about nourishment and care of the body, while silencing the salvation of the soul and the gravest obligations of the Christian faith.’ This admonition, made in a time when society was incomparably more Christian than it is today, makes us recall the words of the Divine Master: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord’ (Deut 8:3).

What should we think of the worsening of this situation in our days? Should more emphasis be put on another aspect? Or rather would it be best to strongly insist in this sense?
In a world where family values tend to disappear, where the love of God is given secondary importance – when not entirely put aside – and where the divine precepts are taken with callous indifference, being obeyed only by a minority, what should the most urgent preoccupation of the Church be? It would seem that She should stress on impeccable catechetical formation, the transmission of Her holy doctrine to Her disoriented children, lost in this materialistic and atheistic world…
Or should the attention perhaps be focused on unemployment and the isolation of the elderly, on poverty and corruption? Aren’t these evils the result of a society without faith and without God? Should we not get to the root of the evil? Or is it better to just silence the symptoms? Holy Mother Church hasthe right answers…

Francis

The most serious evils currently afflicting the world are unemployment among the young and the solitude in which the elderly are left. The elderly need care and companionship; the young need work and hope. However, they have neither the one nor the other, and the trouble is that they are no longer seeking for them. They have been crushed by the present. Tell me: can one live crushed by the present? Without any memory of the past or any desire to look to the future by building a project, a future, a family? Is it possible to continue in this way? This, in my opinion, is the most urgent problem facing the Church. (Interview with Eugenio Scalfari, La Reppublica – October 1, 2013 – and also in L’Osservatore Romano (weekly English ed.), no. 41 (9/10/2013)) – [See notes 1 and 2]

[Juan Berretta:] What are the greatest evils afflicting the world today?
[Francis:] Poverty, corruption, trafficking of humans…I might be mistaken about the statistics, but what would you say if I asked you, what is the greatest expenditure in the world after food, clothing and medicine? The fourth is cosmetics and the fifth, pets. This is serious, eh. The care for pets is a sort of programmed type of love, that is, I can program the loving response of a dog or cat, and that way I don’t need to have the experience of a reciprocal human love. I am exaggerating, don’t take this literally, but it is worrisome. (Interview with La Voz del Pueblo, May 27, 2015)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

I – The Greatest Evils of our Times are of a Spiritual Nature

Pius X
– Ignorance of divine things is the chief cause of the present weakness of souls and the serious evils that result from it
– Apostasy from God is the terrible and deep rooted malady to blame for the disastrous state of human society today

Pius XI
– The greatest and most destructive scourges of the social order of today lie within the supernatural order, but are not perceived by ‘the sensual man’
– When examined with Christian eyes, nothing can be compared to the loss of souls
– Those who repudiate the supreme authority of God destroy the basis of human society

Vatican Council II
– A grave error: the separation between faith and life

Pius XII
– The greatest sin of our time: the loss of the sense of sin
– The greatest kind of sin: open and implacable hatred against God and His Church

Leo XIII
– The source of evils lies chiefly in despising and setting aside the authority of the Church

Gregory XVI
– Indifferentism has produced many of the evils that afflict the Church

John Paul II
– Today too many people have a bitter experience of a society without values, which results in hostility to the individual
– We must ask ourselves what our responsibilities are regarding today’s evils
– Today’s problems: religious indifference, loss of the transcendent sense of human life, loss of respect for life and the family, a crisis of obedience to the Church’s Magisterium

Vatican Council II
– The most urgent needs today are resolved in the light of the ideals of the Gospel

Pius XI
– We are witnessing a war against the Church, with most grievous damage to souls

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
– Dictatorship of relativism: the evil of our times

 II – The Lack of Religious Instruction and its Consequences in the Crisis of Society

John Paul II
– Sound catechetics and trustful openness to the Magisterium aid in restoring the proper sense of sin: the first way of facing today’s grave spiritual crisis
– The Church has particular responsibility in forming the necessary ethical and religious values
– Education of the moral conscience is a pressing requirement that cannot be renounced
– Today it is more necessary than ever the mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ

Benedict XVI
– A satisfactory solution for problems requires the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society
– The present crisis challenges the Church devise effective ways of proclaiming the path of salvation
– Disoriented youth need that the faith be proclaimed to them – the heart of the Church’s mission
– Facing the ignorance of deepest spiritual roots: open yourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit so that no one is left without the indispensable spiritual food

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
– Anguish at the urgency of problems cannot blur what is essential: man does not live on bread alone, but on God’s Word

Pius XI
– Catechetical apostolate is more urgent in the current conditions

Pius XII
– We must make every effort to lead back to Christ those brethren who have strayed from the right path

I – The Greatest Evils of our Times are of a Spiritual Nature

Pius X

  • Ignorance of divine things is the chief cause of the present weakness of souls and the serious evils that result from it

Now, more than ever before, the prediction of the Apostle to the elders of the Church of Ephesus seems to be verified: ‘I know that . . . fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock’ (Acts 20:29). Those who still are zealous for the glory of God are seeking the causes and reasons for this decline in religion. Coming to a different explanation, each points out, according to his own view, a different plan for the protection and restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. But it seems to Us, Venerable Brethren, that while we should not overlook other considerations, We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. This is fully in accord with what God Himself declared through the prophet Hosea: ‘And there is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing and lying and killing and theft and adultery have overflowed: and blood hath touched blood. Thereafter shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth in it shall languish’ (Hos 4:1-3). (Pius X. Encyclical Acerbo Nimis, no. 1, April 15, 1905)

  • Apostasy from God is the terrible and deep rooted malady to blame for the disastrous state of human society today

 Then again, to omit other motives, We were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is – apostasy from God, than which in truth nothing is more allied with ruin, according to the word of the Prophet: ‘For behold they that go far from Thee shall perish’ (Ps 72:26). We saw therefore that, in virtue of the ministry of the Pontificate, which was to be entrusted to Us, We must hasten to find a remedy for this great evil, considering as addressed to Us that Divine command: ‘Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant’ (Jer 1:10). But, cognizant of Our weakness, We recoiled in terror from a task as urgent as it is arduous. (Pius X. Encyclical E supremi apostolatus, nos.2, 3, October 4, 1903)

Pius XI

  • The greatest and most destructive scourges of the social order of today lie within the supernatural order, but are not perceived by ‘the sensual man’

It is surprising, then, that we should no longer possess that security of life in which we can place our trust and that there remains only the most terrible uncertainty, and from hour to hour added fears for the future? Instead of regular daily work there is idleness and unemployment. That blessed tranquility which is the effect of an orderly existence and in which the essence of peace is to be found no longer exists, and, in its place, the restless spirit of revolt reigns. As a consequence industry suffers, commerce is crippled, the cultivation of literature and the arts becomes more and more difficult, and what is worse than all, Christian civilization itself is irreparably damaged thereby. In the face of our much praised progress, we behold with sorrow society lapsing back slowly but surely into a state of barbarism. We wish to record, in addition to the evils already mentioned, other evils which beset society and which occupy a place of prime importance but whose very existence escapes the ordinary observer, the sensual man – he who, as the Apostle says, does not perceive ‘the things that are of the Spirit of God’ (1Cor 2:14), yet which cannot but be judged the greatest and most destructive scourges of the social order of today. We refer specifically to those evils which transcend the material or natural sphere and lie within the supernatural and religious order properly so-called; in other words, those evils which affect the spiritual life of souls. These evils are all the more to be deplored since they injure souls whose value is infinitely greater than that of any merely material object. (Pius XI. Encyclical Ubi Arcano, nos. 15-16, December 23, 1922)

  • When examined with Christian eyes, nothing can be compared to the loss of souls

Minds of all, it is true, are affected almost solely by temporal upheavals, disasters, and calamities. But if we examine things critically with Christian eyes, as we should, what are all these compared with the loss of souls? Yet it is not rash by any means to say that the whole scheme of social and economic life is now such as to put in the way of vast numbers of mankind most serious obstacles which prevent them from caring for the one thing necessary; namely, their eternal salvation. (Pius XI. Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, no. 130, May 15, 1931)

  • Those who repudiate the supreme authority of God destroy the basis of human society

In fact, because the supreme and eternal authority of God, which commands and forbids, is despised and completely repudiated by men, the result is that the consciousness of Christian duty is weakened, and that faith becomes tepid in souls or entirely lost, and this afterward affects and ruins the very basis of human society. […]

To this is added the clever and lamentable sect of those who, denying and hating God, declare themselves the enemies of the Eternal, and who insinuate themselves everywhere. They discredit and uproot all religious belief from souls. Finally, they trample on every human and Divine right. And while they cast scorn on the hope of heavenly reward, they incite men to seek, even by illicit means, false earthly happiness, and therefore drive them with brazen temerity to the dissolution of the social order, causing disorder, cruel rebellions and even the conflagration of civil war. (Pius XI. Encyclical Ingravescentiubus malis, nos. 4,7, September 29, 1937)

Vatican Council II

  • A grave error: the separation between faith and life

This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age. Long since, the Prophets of the Old Testament fought vehemently against this scandal (cf. Is. 58: 1-12) and even more so did Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament threaten it with grave punishments.   (cf. Mt 23:3-23; Mk 7: 10-13). (Denzinger-Hünermann 4343. Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 43, December 7, 1965)

Pius XII

  • The greatest sin of our time: the loss of the sense of sin

Perhaps the greatest sin in the world today is that men have begun to lose the sense of sin. (Pius XII. Radio Message to participants in the National Catechetical Congress of the United States in Boston, October 26, 1946)

  • The greatest kind of sin: open and implacable hatred against God and His Church

 For if We experience bitter sorrow at the feeble loyalty of the good in whose souls, tricked by a deceptive desire for earthly possessions, the fire of divine charity grows cool and gradually dies out, much more is Our heart deeply grieved by the machinations of evil men who, as if instigated by Satan himself, are now more than ever zealous in their open and implacable hatred against God, against the Church and above all against him who on earth represents the Person of the divine Redeemer […] But, in truth, hatred of God and of those who lawfully act in His place is the greatest kind of sin that can be committed by man created in the image and likeness of God and destined to enjoy His perfect and enduring friendship forever in heaven. Man, by hatred of God more than by anything else, is cut off from the Highest Good and is driven to cast aside from himself and from those near to him whatever has its origin in God, whatever is united with God, whatever leads to the enjoyment of God, that is, truth, virtue, peace and justice (cf. STh. II-II, q.34, a.2). (Pius XII. Encyclical Haurietis Aquas, nos 117- 118, May 15, 1956)

Leo XIII

  • The source of evils lies chiefly in despising and setting aside the authority of the Church

Now, the source of these evils lies chiefly, We are convinced, in this, that the holy and venerable authority of the Church, which in God’s name rules mankind, upholding and defending all lawful authority, has been despised and set aside. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Inscrutabili Dei Consilio, no. 2, April 21, 1878)

Gregory XVI

  • Indifferentism has produced many of the evils that afflict the Church

Now we examine another prolific cause of evils by which, we lament, the Church is at present afflicted, namely indifferentism, or that base opinion which has become prevalent everywhere through the deceit of wicked men, that eternal salvation of the soul can be acquired by any profession of faith whatsoever, if morals are conformed to the standard of the just and the honest. (Denzinger-Hünermann 2730. Gregory XVI, Encyclical Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832)

John Paul II

  • Today too many people have a bitter experience of a society without values, which results in hostility to the individual

This brings me naturally to that other form of poverty: moral destitution. […] the means of social communication often transmit indulgent messages which excuse everything and result in an unrestrained permissiveness. Thus the dignity and stability of the family are not recognized or are changed. Many young people are coming to consider almost everything as objectively indifferent: the only reference is what suits the convenience of the individual, and quite often the end justifies the means. Now, as we can see, a society without values rapidly grows ‘hostile’ to the individual who becomes the victim of personal profit, of a brutal exercise of authority, of fraud and crime. Today too many people have a bitter experience of this, and I know that statesmen are conscious of these serious problems which they must face each day. (John Paul II. Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, January 16, 1993)

  • We must ask ourselves what our responsibilities are regarding today’s evils

Let us confess, even more, our responsibilities as Christians for the evils of today. We must ask ourselves what our responsibilities are regarding atheism, religious indifference, secularism, ethical relativism, the violations of the right to life, disregard for the poor in many countries. (John Paul II. Homily, Day of Pardon, March 12, 2000)

Today’s problems: religious indifference, loss of the transcendent sense of human life, loss of respect for life and the family, a crisis of obedience to the Church’s Magisterium

How can we remain silent, for example, about the religious indifference which causes many people today to live as if God did not exist, or to be content with a vague religiosity, incapable of coming to grips with the question of truth and the requirement of consistency? To this must also be added the widespread loss of the transcendent sense of human life, and confusion in the ethical sphere, even about the fundamental values of respect for life and the family. The sons and daughters of the Church too need to examine themselves in this regard. To what extent have they been shaped by the climate of secularism and ethical relativism? And what responsibility do they bear, in view of the increasing lack of religion, for not having shown the true face of God, by having ‘failed in their religious, moral, or social life?’ It cannot be denied that, for many Christians, the spiritual life is passing through a time of uncertainty which affects not only their moral life but also their life of prayer and the theological correctness of their faith. Faith, already put to the test by the challenges of our times, is sometimes disoriented by erroneous theological views, the spread of which is abetted by the crisis of obedience vis-à-vis the Church’s Magisterium. (John Paul II. Apostolic Letter Tertio Millenio Adveniente, November 10, 1994)

Vatican Council II

  • The most urgent needs today are resolved in the light of the ideals of the Gospel

This council has set forth the dignity of the human person, and the work which men have been destined to undertake throughout the world both as individuals and as members of society. There are a number of particularly urgent needs characterizing the present age, needs which go to the roots of the human race. To a consideration of these in the light of the Gospel and of human experience, the council would now direct the attention of all. Of the many subjects arousing universal concern today, it may be helpful to concentrate on these: marriage and the family, human progress, life in its economic, social and political dimensions, the bonds between the family of nations, and peace. On each of these may there shine the radiant ideals proclaimed by Christ. By these ideals may Christians be led, and all mankind enlightened, as they search for answers to questions of such complexity. (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, no. 46, December 7, 1965)

Pius XI

  • We are witnessing a war against the Church, with most grievous damage to souls

However, we should recognize with sorrow that, despite your diligent and assiduous care, within these regions also – as happens disgracefully in many others, – a war is occurring, at times silently, at times blatantly, against that which is most precious to Holy Mother Church, with the most grievous damage to souls. The integrity of the family is attacked at its foundations by frequent attempts against the sanctity of marriage; Christian education of the youth, interfered with and at times neglected, there as in other nations, is now seriously compromised by errors against faith and morals and by calumnies against the Church, which is presented as an enemy to progress, liberty and the interests of the people. (Pius XI. Apostolic Letter Con singular complacencia to the Bishops of the Philippines, January 18, 1939)

Card. Joseph Ratzinger

  • Dictatorship of relativism: the evil of our times

How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what Saint Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4:14) comes true. Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine’, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Mass Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, April 18, 2005)

II – The Lack of Religious Instruction and its Consequences in the Crisis of Society

John Paul II

  • Sound catechetics and trustful openness to the Magisterium aid in restoring the proper sense of sin: the first way of facing today’s grave spiritual crisis

The restoration of a proper sense of sin is the first way of facing the grave spiritual crisis looming over man today. But the sense of sin can only be restored through a clear reminder of the unchangeable principles of reason and faith which the moral teaching of the church has always upheld. There are good grounds for hoping that a healthy sense of sin will once again flourish, especially in the Christian world and in the church. This will be aided by sound catechetics, illuminated by the biblical theology of the covenant, by an attentive listening and trustful openness to the Magisterium of the Church, which; never ceases to enlighten consciences, and by an ever more careful practice of the sacrament of penance. (John Paul II. Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, no. 18, December 12, 1984)

  • The Church has particular responsibility in forming the necessary ethical and religious values

Since then, many things have changed, especially in recent years. The world today is ever more aware that solving serious national and international problems is not just a matter of economic production or of juridical or social organization, but also calls for specific ethical and religious values, as well as changes of mentality, behavior and structures. The Church feels a particular responsibility to offer this contribution and, as I have written in the Encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis, there is a reasonable hope that the many people who profess no religion will also contribute to providing the social question with the necessary ethical foundation. (John Paul II. Encyclical Centesimus annus, no. 60, May 1, 1991)

  • Education of the moral conscience is a pressing requirement that cannot be renounced

‘Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser people are forthcoming’ (Gaudium et Spes, no. 15). The education of the moral conscience, which makes every human being capable of judging and of discerning the proper ways to achieve self-realization according to his or her original truth, thus becomes a pressing requirement that cannot be renounced. Modern culture must be led to a more profoundly restored covenant with divine Wisdom. (John Paul II. Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, no. 8, November 22, 1981)

  • Today it is more necessary than ever the mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the stable principle and fixed centre of the mission that God himself has entrusted to man. We must all share in this mission and concentrate all our forces on it, since it is more necessary than ever for modern mankind. If this mission seems to encounter greater opposition nowadays than ever before, this shows that today it is more necessary than ever and, in spite of the opposition, more awaited than ever. Here we touch indirectly on the mystery of the divine ‘economy’ which linked salvation and grace with the Cross. It was not without reason that Christ said that ‘the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force’ (Mt 11: 12). (John Paul II. Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, no. 11, March 4, 1979)

Benedict XVI

  • A satisfactory solution for problems requires the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching, which is caritas in Veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity’s power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present. (Benedict XVI. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, no. 5, June 29, 2009)

  • The present crisis challenges the Church devise effective ways of proclaiming the path of salvation

Among these, I would mention in the first place the need for a comprehensive study of the crisis of modernity. European culture in recent centuries has been powerfully conditioned by the notion of modernity. The present crisis, however, has less to do with modernity’s insistence on the centrality of man and his concerns, than with the problems raised by a ‘humanism’ that claims to build a regnum hominis detached from its necessary ontological foundation. A false dichotomy between theism and authentic humanism, taken to the extreme of positing an irreconcilable conflict between divine law and human freedom, has led to a situation in which humanity, for all its economic and technical advances, feels deeply threatened […] A third issue needing to be investigated concerns the nature of the contribution which Christianity can make to the humanism of the future., and thus of modernity, challenges the Church to devise effective The question of man, and thus of modernity, challenges the Church to devise effective ways of proclaiming to contemporary culture the ‘realism’ of her faith in the saving work of Christ. Christianity must not be relegated to the world of myth and emotion, but respected for its claim to shed light on the truth about man, to be able to transform men and women spiritually, and thus to enable them to carry out their vocation in history. (Benedict XVI. Speech to the participants in the First European Meeting of University Lecturers, June 23, 2007)

  • Disoriented youth need that the faith be proclaimed to them – the heart of the Church’s mission

To proclaim faith in the Word made flesh is, after all, at the heart of the Church’s mission, and the entire ecclesial community needs to rediscover this indispensable task with renewed missionary zeal. Young generations have an especially keen sense of the present disorientation, magnified by the crisis in economic affairs which is also a crisis of values, and so they in particular need to recognize in Jesus Christ ‘the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of human history’ (Gaudium et Spes, 10). (Benedict XVI. Homily, December 31, 2011)

  • Facing the ignorance of deepest spiritual roots: open yourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit so that no one is left without the indispensable spiritual food

I note with pleasure that one of the pastoral initiatives that you consider most urgently necessary for the Church in Ecuador is the realization of the ‘great mission’ […] The call that the Lord Jesus addressed to his disciples, sending them out to preach his message of salvation and to make disciples of all the peoples (cf. Mt 28: 16-20) must be a constant cause of meditation and the raison d’être of all pastoral action for the entire ecclesial community. Today too, as in all times and places, men and women need a personal encounter with Christ, in which they can experience the beauty of his life and the truth of his message. To face the numerous challenges of your mission amid a cultural and social environment that seems to forget the deepest spiritual roots of its identity, I ask you to open yourselves with docility to the action of the Holy Spirit so that under the impetus of his divine power the missionary zeal of the first Gospel preaching, as well as of the first proclamation of the Gospel in your regions, may be renewed. This requires that you make a generous effort to spread the Word of God in such a way that no one is left without this indispensable spiritual food, the source of life and light. The reading of and meditation on Sacred Scripture, in private or in the community, will lead to the intensification of Christian life, as well as to a renewed apostolic impulse in all the faithful. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Ecuador on their ad limina visit, no. 2, October 16, 2008)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  • Anguish at the urgency of problems cannot blur what is essential: man does not live on bread alone, but on God’s Word

The feeling of anguish at the urgency of the problems cannot make us lose sight of what is essential nor forget the reply of Jesus to the Tempter: ‘It is not on bread alone that man lives, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Deut 8:3). Faced with the urgency of sharing bread, some are tempted to put evangelization into parentheses, as it were, and postpone it until tomorrow: first the bread, then the Word of the Lord. It is a fatal error to separate these two and even worse to oppose the one to the other. In fact, the Christian perspective naturally shows they have a great deal to do with one another (cf. GS, 39; Pius XI, Quad. Anno). To some it even seems that the necessary struggle for human justice and freedom in the economic and political sense constitutes the whole essence of salvation. For them, the Gospel is reduced to a purely earthly gospel. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Liberation Theology, August 6, 1984)

Pius XI

  • Catechetical apostolate is more urgent in the current conditions

The catechetical apostolate appears to be more necessary and urgent in the current conditions of your country and of others, where, due to diverse reasons, so many children and youth, in the cities, villages and on farms grow up without religious formation. (Pius XI. Apostolic Letter Con singular complacencia to the Bishops of the Philippines on Catholic Action, January 18, 1939)

Pius XII

  • We must make every effort to lead back to Christ those brethren who have strayed from the right path

Consider the immense need of our time. We must make every effort to lead back to Christian principles those brethren who have strayed through error or been blinded by passions, to enlighten nations with the light of Christian doctrine, to guide them according to Christian norms and to form in them more Christian consciences, and lastly to urge them to struggle for the triumph of truth and justice. (Pius XII. Apostolic Exhortation Menti Nostrae, September 23, 1950)


Note 1: The authors of this study are aware that the Press Office of the Vatican has denied the interpretations that some media sources have attributed to certain affirmations contained in the interviews of Pope Francis with Eugenio Scalfari. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that these are still published on the Vatican website (found by clicking on the links of the articles), and also in the L’Osservatore Romano (weekly English ed., no.41: 9/10/2013), thus lending an official air to their content, seemingly with the approval of Pope Francis himself. In the midst of all the turmoil and confusion caused, we always feel that a presentation of the true doctrine should be made with clarity, together with such affirmations. We must above all not forget that the majority of the public read only the titles that the media publishes, and, as we know, the latter frequently manipulate the truth. Consequently, it appears that a mere declaration that the content of these interviews does not correspond with the textual words of Pope Francis, is simply not sufficient. As such, we publish this article with the intention of clarifying and orienting the faithful, who have always been the principle objective of this page, as we had expressed in our letter of presentation. In this way, each one can make a correct judgment, having beforehand attained knowledge of the truth.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 16.54.53Print screen of the intervew on the Vatican page, on May 18, 2015. 

Note 2. Fr. Lombardi explained that the Holy See decided to delete the interview with Eugenio Scalfari from the Vatican’s main portal: “he information in the interview is reliable on a general level but not on the level of each individual point analysed: this is why it was decided the text should not be available for consultation on the Holy See website. Its removal is a final update on the nature of this text. Some mistakes were made regarding its value, which was questioned. The Secretariat of State took the decisión.” (Vatican Insider, November 15, 2013).

The Denzinger-Bergoglio_English attests that at the time of posting today (June 17, 2015), the interview continues on the Official Page of the Holy See (see image).

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