“Although owing to Adam’s fall, human nature is tainted with original sin, yet it has in itself something that is naturally Christian; and this, if illumined by divine delight and nourished by God’s grace, can eventually be changed into true and supernatural virtue.

This is the reason why the Catholic Church has neither scorned nor rejected the pagan philosophies. Instead, after freeing them from error and all contamination she has perfected and completed them by Christian revelation. So likewise the Church has graciously made her own the native art and culture which in some countries is so highly developed. She has carefully encouraged them and has brought them to a point of aesthetic perfection that of themselves they probably would never have attained. By no means has she repressed native customs and traditions but has given them a certain religious significance; she has even transformed their feast days and made them serve to commemorate the martyrs and to celebrate mysteries of the faith. In this connection, St. Basil says very well: “Just as dyers prepare the material to be dyed by certain processes beforehand and only when this has been done do they color it with purple or some other color: likewise if the unfading glory of the just is to be ours for all time we shall first be prepared by these external rites and then we shall master the teachings and mysteries of Faith. When we become accustomed to looking at the reflection of the sun in the water, we shall turn to gaze upon the sun itself. . . Certainly the essential function of a tree is to produce fruit in season; still the foliage that its branches also bear serves to adorn it. In the same way the primary fruit of the soul is truth itself; but the garb of natural culture is a welcome addition, just as leaves provide shade for the fruit and add to its beauty. Thus Moses, a man of the greatest renown for his wisdom, is said to have come to the contemplation of Him, Who is, only after being trained in Egyptian lore. So later the wise Daniel is said to have been first schooled in Babylon in the wisdom of the Chaldeans, and only then to have come to know Divine Revelation.”


The herald of the Gospel and messenger of Christ is an apostle. His office does not demand that he transplant European civilization and culture, and no other, to foreign soil, there to take root and propagate itself. “

(scroll down for answer)


Venerable Pope Pius XII

Evangelii Praecones, 57-58, 60

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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

Which Pope said this?

5 Responses

  1. Pete Vickery says:

    Sounds like a prescription for unity. Kind of like the blueprint for the Church to unite the human race. Billions of people who share a common humanity yet all unique and varied in their beautiful features and expressions. Satan hates the diversity of beauty in the human race and hence hates the same in the Church. Satan would want a Mordor-like fear-driven uniformity. Dare I inject the Catholic Tolkien’s two cents worth?

    Bilbo’s Song- (which Bilbo Baggins sang on the evening before the Fellowship of the Ring set out on their fateful journey).

    “I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen
    of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;

    of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
    with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.

    I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
    when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

    For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
    in every wood in every spring there is a different green.

    I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago
    and people who will see a world that I shall never know.

    But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
    I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.”

    May our experience in heaven be an amplification of these experiences Bilbo reminisces upon. May the familiar voices and presence of the people that we loved accompany us for all eternity.

  2. jong says:

    Great post Pedro,
    While the Vatican II works so hard to fulfill it’s new evangelizing mission in uniting all the People of God thru Ecumenism and Inter-religious dialogue into a path of solidarity, fraternity and charity the schismatic rigid Trads are also doing their own Ecumenism. They are uniting the mystical body of the Antichrist thru “Ecumenism of hatred” towards the Church Magisterium and esp. the Vicar of Christ.
    The Three Pillars rest on the Sacred Tradition, Sacred Word and Church Magisterium.
    The recent Voice of the Family Round Table Discussion of the Clan of Trads held last Oct.4, 2019 were united together to paint a bad picture of the Vatican II Church and attacking the dignity of Pope Francis to destroy the pillar of Church Magisterium. For them the Magisterium of Pope Francis is destroying the Holy Mother Church that was started during Vatican II Councils.
    The Clan of Trads are shouting that the Church is now “deformed”, and this justified their schismatics acts & behaviors to continue to resist the Pope.
    How far will they go in spreading their lies & deceptions? I think this schismatic Rigid Trads will not stop until they finally launch their “grand revolt” for the “son of perdition” to come out and appear on the side of their rebellious group.
    Pope Francis is very much willing to challenge all the schismatics to fight and come out in the open. The recent celebration the group of Amazon people with Pope Francis at the Vatican was again painted badly by all the Rad Trads channel spewing evil words on Pope Francis to feed their minions of commenters.
    link; BREAKING NEWS: Pope Francis & Ecological Ritual at the Vatican for Amazon Synod!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PNmrPBh0pM
    Dr M LIVE in Rome: Amazon Religion in the Vatican; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_r9dQOirhc
    AMAZON: Mother Earth vs Mother Church; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jmHh338Tsw
    This is how the Clan of Rad Trads works in destroying and undermining the Church Mission in the New Evangelization. It’s no wonder Fr.Spadaro sees their group was formed to “Ecumenism of Hatred”. Below is the link article;
    “ROME – A recent Civiltà Cattolica article criticizing ecumenism between Evangelicals and “Catholic integralists” in the United States has created a cottage industry of commentary and analysis by leading thinkers, as well as provoking both an examination of conscience and a pondering of the state of ecumenism in the U.S. today.
    Certain expressions by the authors, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro and Reverend Marcelo Figueroa, have elicited sharp responses, especially the assertion that for years Evangelicals and ultraconservative (“integralist”) Catholics have been engaged in an “ecumenism of conflict” or an “ecumenism of hate,” fueled not by faith but by an underlying “desire for religious influence in the political sphere.”

  3. Christopher Lake says:

    I know, keenly, that some sincere Catholics have a deep concern that this Amazonian Synod is a Trojan horse to bring anti-Christian aspects of pagan thought into the Church and fundamentally change Catholic teaching.

    Perhaps there are a few Catholic priests, Bishops, and Cardinals who *actually do* have such a hope of de-Christianizing the Church through bringing in *specifically anti-Christian aspects* of pagan thought. Perhaps this is the case. I have heard, anecdotally, of a few Catholic priests even casting doubt on the Resurrection of Christ in homilies, so if there are, indeed, priests who have ceased to believe in even such a fundamental truth of Christianity, then it’s not hard for me to believe that they would, eventually, also embrace anti-Christian aspects of paganism.

    However, I have not seen evidence of such a trajectory from *Pope Francis*, in terms of what he believes, and what he wants for the Church– and I have seen much, much evidence that he strongly, firmly believes he is a sinner in need of God’s mercy, *and* that the unique, redemptive, saving Christian revelation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the ultimate expression of God’s mercy to us.

    Also, I have seen much evidence that he, as Pope, believes strongly in the continuing mission of the Church to articulate these truths to all who already claim them, to live in light of these truths ourselves as Catholic Christians, and to take these truths to people who have not yet heard them. For anyone who doubts that Pope Francis personally holds such convictions, I would say, at the least, to read his Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangelli Guadiam” (The Joy of the Gospel). http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

    As the above quotations, which Pedro shared, from Venerable Pope Pius XII, show, the Catholic Church has a long history of holding to uniquely Christian revelation, while also, still, being willing and able to bring into Catholic thinking those aspects of pagan thought which are compatible with Christianity. One word for this is “Thomism.” Thomism literally *would not exist,* if not for the Church’s willingness to take in certain aspects of the pagan philospher, Aristotle’s, thinking, and harmonize those aspects with Catholic thinking and teaching. With all of this said, in regard to this Amazonian Synod, the Catholic Church is not about to compromise Christian revelation in favor of pantheism, or worship of spirits, or anything else that is incompatible with Christianity.

    It *should* be encouraging, given the deep and sincere concerns of some Catholics on these matters, that Pope Francis and priests sympathetic to him have stated that the Amazonian Synod is, largely, about how the Church can better serve the Catholics, other Christians, and all people of those countries, *and* that the Synod is, indeed, concerned about how the Church can best continue its mission of evangelization to the people in said countries who do not know Christ. https://www.osvnews.com/2019/10/03/synod-preview-reimagining-a-church-with-an-amazonian-face/

  4. Chris dorf says:

    Excellent….it’s interesting how difficult this is for Evangelical Christians and Baptist fundamentalist to accept without thinking it’s heresy. I know this firsthand because I’ve been trying to explain this in eccumenical men’s prayer groups anf to family members who left the Catholic faith, for 30 years

  5. Chris dorf says:

    Peter’s Speech.*
    Then Peter proceeded to speak and said,* “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.j
    Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.

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