Addressing the first gathering of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East this morning at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI made off the cuff remarks warning that terrorism, drugs, anonymous financial capitals and the ideologies associated with them are false gods that “must be unmasked.” This overturning will occur, he said, through the blood of witnesses to Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI presided this morning over the opening of the special assembly that aims to encourage authentic and effective witness to Christ in the Church in the Middle East by building up Christian identity as well as strengthening ties between the many different Eastern Rite Churches.
This "simple faith of true wisdom is the strength of the Church,” the Pope said as he began remarks to the assembly, according to Vatican Radio.
“Outward foundations falter because the inner foundations falter, the foundations of moral and religious faith from which the right way to live follows. And we know that faith is the foundation and, ultimately, the foundations of the earth can not falter, if faith the true wisdom remains firm."
Reflecting on the current state of affairs, and on Psalm 81, Pope Benedict pointed to modern-day false gods, such as the “power of terrorist ideologies that carry out violence in the name of god,” “anonymous (financial) capitals” that dehumanize man, drugs and “forms of life touted by the public opinion today for which values like marriage count for nothing.”
“These are false divinities that must be unmasked, because they are not God,” the Holy Father stated.
Turning to Revelations 12, the Holy Father noted that these gods must fall and that this process is the transformation of the world.
“And, if we look closely, we see that this process is never finished. Even today, in this moment, in which Christ, the only Son of God, must be born for the world with the downfall of the gods, with suffering, the martyrdom of the witnesses.
In his reflections on “anonymous (financial) capitals,” he said that they make "a slave of man” and are some "of the great powers of our history." The Pope added, “they are no longer things of man but have become an anonymous power that man serves, and for which he suffers and dies. This is a destructive power that threatens the world.”
Looking at society's approach to sexuality, Benedict XVI said, “Today marriage does not count and chastity is no longer a virtue … these ideologies that dominate and that are imposed forcefully are divinities.”
“These gods must fall, and must become what is written in the letter to the Ephesians: Dominion and powers fall and become subjects to the one Lord Jesus Christ," the Pope said.
Pope Benedict closed his brief words by saying, “And then the psalm says: 'Rise up, Lord, and judge the earth.' So let us also say to the Lord: 'Rise up in this moment, take the earth in your hands, protect your Church, protect humanity, protect the earth'.”