“The only and exclusive source of the visible institutions of the Church are the sacraments born out of the Side of Christ, among them the Eucharist and the Baptism that prepares it.

Sometimes, we hear about «sacramentalism», opposing it to evangelization (Evangelii Nuntiandii 47), but this overlooks that there, in the administration of the sacraments supporting the global catechesis, there is a hidden organization hidden in the bosom of the people who is faithful to God. Who wants a pastoral institution, without perfecting the baptismal grace to extend the Kingdom of Christ? What is the purpose of a mission or a diocese with its parishes? Is it not to consolidate life? And how to you consolidate life without a wholesome sacramental institution, whose «admirable fecundity of grace and holiness is a living expression of supernatural life» (Ev Nunt 47)? This is what underlies our apostolic constancy, which creates the institutions.”

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Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (future Pope Francis)

Spiritual exercises for Spanish bishops (my translation)

 


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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.

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