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During Our Lord's trial, Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?" Right now, many Catholics are asking the same question and getting conflicting responses.
During the homily at Sunday's papal Mass, Pope Francis spoke to the suffering people of Myanmar, telling them to keep the faith, keep unity and keep the truth amidst a civil war raging in the Southeastern Asian nation.
He began his segment on truth with "Jesus asks the Father to consecrate his disciples in truth as they will be sent throughout the world to carry on his mission."
While his listeners' imaginations flashed to great missionaries preaching to crowds and dying horrific deaths for the faith, Pope Francis threw a zinger.
"Keeping the truth does not mean defending ideas, becoming guardians of a system of doctrines and dogmas," he declares. "It means remaining bound to Christ and being devoted to His gospel. Truth is Christ Himself."
Yes, Christ is the way, the truth and the life; nobody denies that. He's wrong to claim, however, that abiding in the truth does not include guarding "a system of doctrines and dogmas."
Our Lord taught in the Gospel, "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with all your strength, and from all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
God demands to be loved in a certain way. In the Gospel of John, Our Lord tells his disciples, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
But how can people keep His commandments if they do not know what the commandments are?
In his epistle to Timothy, St. Paul advises, "All Scripture, having been divinely inspired, is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in justice, so that the man of God may be perfect, having been trained for every good work."
In this passage, St. Paul communicates two things —first, that there are certain doctrines contained both in scripture and tradition that must be passed on in order to train men in the ways of God; second, that the Apostles and their successors are tasked with safeguarding and faithfully passing on those doctrines and dogmas.
By virtue of their vocation as spouses of the Church, popes, bishops and priests are obligated by Christ Himself to safeguard and faithfully pass them on.
But like many papal comments, this one adds yet more confusion to a time when confusion seems to reign supreme. Pray for the pope.
Learn more by watching The Download—What Is Truth?