Guest commentator, Dr. Markus Büning, would like to make a personal, conciliatory statement to the Pope's visit to Fatima, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the first publication of the Virgin Mary in Cova da Iria. We do not want to miss his request for publication.
Guest comment by Markus Büning *
After many controversies about this pontificate, it is my time to stop. Why? Tomorrow the Catholic world looks to Fatima. For me, Fatima is, in essence, the repetition of the Lord's Word: "Repent and believe in the Gospel!" (Mk 1:15). And, here are also those who demanded a great deal of criticism, certainly justified, in this pontiff, including me. From my point of view, I have said everything about Amoris Laetitia that is to be said. Sure, many a point was very urgent. I also have my limits and it is possible that I have not understood a lot. On the other hand, there are good arguments to ask critical questions.
One thing I must leave to this pope. He has great courage! Yes, I mean this quite sincerely. In the past few days, in a sermon, he has correctly referred to the processability of our values. Here is a quote from it.
"Think of slavery. When we went to school, they told us what they did with the slaves. How they caught them, they were sold, even in Latin America. This is a mortal sin - today we say that. At the time they saw that differently. At that time, some said: This is allowed because these people have no soul at all. One had to go on to understand the faith and morality better. - Oh, Padre, well, there are no slaves today! - Yes, there are, even more than before! But at least we know today that this is a mortal sin. We have advanced. The same applies to the death penalty, which was once normal. And today we say that it is not permissible! "
And now the improper critique is going again: the pope contradicts the Catechism. But, even in the Catechism, there can be things which are simply false, and maybe even when they do not directly concern dogma. There was, of course, a lot of things constrained by time, which we can not say now. He is right when he asks the protection of life also for the people who have fallen into grave sin, even for those who have murdered. Everyone has the right to repentance and every human being is an image of the Creator. And therefore it is imperative: Do not kill! Thank you Pope Francis for this clear impulse.
The Pope is looking forward to Fatima: On Wednesday evening he sent a video message to Portugal. Here he has said a sentence that deeply moves me. The pope utters a deeply Catholic phrase:
"As a shepherd of the world Church, I come to the Virgin Mary to offer her the most beautiful flowers that Jesus entrusted to my care - the brothers and sisters from all over the world, whom He has, without exception, redeemed by His blood. I need you all by my side, I ask for your (physical or spiritual) presence so I can entrust you all to the Virgin. "
Here I feel a profound spiritual vision which he has of his office. Yes, here I can see how much he needs to know the burden of this office. It is great that he takes us all to Fatima. And these words are also directed at we critics: I need you all! Yes, here I would like to answer the Holy Father: We also need you! We need the Pope, who guides the Church and with us the path of pilgrimage as a representative of the good shepherd. I would like to express this longing on the eve of the centennial of Fatima. May Fatima re-awaken us to all of that, in spite of all the differences of opinion, we are together and really need each other. I am very grateful to this pope's conciliatory impulse today, especially the reference to the redeeming power of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Here the Pope is at the very center of our faith!
* Markus Büning, born 1966 in Ahaus (Westphalia), studied Catholic theology and philosophy in Münster in Westphalia and Munich as well as jurisprudence at the universities of Constance and Münster; In 2001, he received his doctorate in law, first assistant at the Universities of Konstanz and Münster, then as a lawyer in the administrative service. The proven church lawyer published numerous publications on church and theological topics and about saints. Dr. Markus Büning is married and father of two children.
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org