The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is "the proclamation of 'Jesus Christ, and him crucified,'" he stressed. The scandal of the cross, he said, "humbles the hubris of the human mind and elevates it to accept a wisdom which comes from above."
Christ's cross, he emphasized, must not be relativized, but regarded as the one, universal way to salvation, offered to "the modern world, which suffers from an existential depression."
Christ crucified, he told the cardinal-electors, is "intimately tied to the Church crucified" and the persecution of the Church for proclaiming Truth.
"Persecution is a constitutive element of the Church, as is the weakness of her members," which he called a "a cross which is to be embraced."
He noted the pedophilia scandal, and the acts of Benedict XVI to humble the Church and to remove the evil at all costs. In light of this, Cardinal Grech called for a greater "transparency" because the Church can be "obscured or hidden."
He called for courage in the face of the scandal, and to "trust only in God" rather than placing faith in political solutions.
After finishing his preface, Cardinal Grech moved to discuss God's will regarding the Church. Christ's "highest desire" is "the unity of his body," he noted, in a plea for Church unity, both within and without the Catholic Church.
With regard to ecumenism, he said that "to desist from dialogue would run explicitly contrary to the will of God." He also said the future pontiff would face the problem being able "to hold onto the unity of the Catholic Church herself."
"Between extremist ultra-traditionalists and extreme ultra-progressives … there will be always the peril of minor schism.
"Unity at any cost," he urged. "Unity yes, but this does not mean uniformity."
Cardinal Grech emphasized that it is "evident that this does not close the door to intra-ecclesial discussion, present in all of Church history. All are free to express their thoughts on the task of the Church, yet which are proposed in line with the deposit of faith which the Pope together with all the bishops has the task of preserving."
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He lamented that both theology and philosophy today are suffering, and that "we need a good philosophical foundation from which to develop dogma with a valid hermeneutic that speaks in a language intelligible to the contemporary world."
Saying this, Cardinal Grech, who had been a priest 12 years when Vatican II began, noted that "certainly laws and traditions which are purely ecclesial may be changed, yet not every change signifies progress; we must discern whether changes act to augment the holiness of the Church or to obscure it."
Having addressed all of these issues, Cardinal Grech then moved on to what he called an "even more pressing chapter," the secularism and abandonment of Christianity in the West, and especially in Europe.
The roots of this secularism and agnosticism, he said, include relativism; a materialism that "measures everything in economic terms;" governments' desire to remove God from society; the sexual revolution; and scientific advances that recognize neither moral nor humanitarian brakes.
In the face of a culture which is ignorant not only of Catholic doctrine but of the very "ABCs of Christianity," he stressed the urgency of the new evangelization and its position as the central-most issue for the Pontiff who was to be elected.
Cardinal Grech added, however, that while doors are "closing" in Europe, they are being widened elsewhere, particularly in Asia.