Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stop Clowning Around

Whispers reports something the Holy Father said at his Wednesday Audience. I think it is quite good and pertinent to the Church today, so I thought I would share it.

Those who teach the faith “cannot run the risk of appearing like a type of clown who is playing a part; rather he must be like the beloved disciple who rested his head on the Master’s heart and learned therein how to think, speak and act”. Because “at the end of it all a true disciple is he who announces the Gospel in a credible and effective way”, in short “authentic witness”...According to the Pope, an effective announcing of the Gospel can only occur there where the “witness” of the preacher’s life and the “exemplary conduct of the Christian community” are credible, as was the case with Saint Ambrose and his Church. As Augustine himself writes in his ”Confessions” what urged the young sceptical and desperate African to convert was in fact “Saint
Augustine’s witness and that of his Milanese Church, which sang and prayed as one united body, capable of resisting the arrogance of the Emperor and his mother”, who demanded a building for the Arians. But in that building “the people held vigil ready to die together with their bishop”. “It is all too clear – commented Benedict XVI – which the witness of the preacher and the exemplary conduct of the Christian community condition the effectiveness of the spreading of the faith”.


fr. g said...

And just what exactly does he mean by "appearing like a type of clown who is playing a part"?
Its a rather strange phrasing. He could have used the word "actor" instead and been spot on. So just what exactly does the choice of the word "clown" mean?

aplman said...

I found this choice of a word puzzling, too. With fr. g. I think the pope's meaning is "actor." The introduction of the clown image, I think, derails his point.