Wednesday 29 October 2014

Prophecy in our time.

My first awareness of a Holy Father was in January 1964 when my mother bought a copy of the magazine Paris Match for its coverage of Paul VI's visit to the Holy Land. I still remember being introduced to black and white photographs in which the Pope was present at a place where Christ had once been.
Now that Paul VI is numbered amongst the blessed we should remember his greatness. He who had so many critics and not enough brothers was a great prophet of our age.
Two prophetic teachings stand out:
First, in his great Encyclical Letter of 1968, Humanae Vitae, he gave what is arguably the greatest account ever written about the nature of married love. Without this vision of truth the contraceptive mentality might have completely submerged married love. But his prophetic teaching has kept the door open.
Secondly, in his 1975 Apostolic Letter, Evangelii Nuntiandi, he proclaimed the need for a new evangelisation. And the thing is, at that time, I think that he was the only person who saw it. Without that proclamation, much of the Church might have become utterly Pelagian. Because of his prophetic vision of 1975 he enabled a great grace for many.
When all is said and done, the 1960s and 1970s is more about Pope Paul VI than anyone else. The BBC may not recognise this, but many will.

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