The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

February 22 is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter which obviously would bring our attention to the role of the Holy Father in our life. He is the Vicar of Christ on earth. No matter how undeserving we may think of him for that position, as long as he is properly chosen, he speaks and leads with the authority of Christ himself.

This is, of course, a truth of faith. There is no way we can accept this view if we only rely on our human estimation of things, no matter how brilliant we regard that human estimation to be. We should just rely on Christ’s words when he chose St. Peter to be the first Pope of the Church:

“I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16,18-19)

We need to strengthen our faith in these words, because times are changing, and the popes can be teaching us things according to how things are changing. We believe that the Holy Spirit will always guide him. We will be passing through periods that may surprise and confound us. But the invincibility of God’s protection over the Church should not be doubted.

In that controversy of the Fiducia supplicans, we are made to consider how to deal with people who are into same-sex relation. Is it okay to bless them or not?

I would say that if they ask for a blessing, it should not be denied, since that is already some kind of sign of at least some faith in the blessing of God. It was clarified that that blessing does not mean approval of their condition. It’s a simple blessing of goodwill that can invite them to take things more seriously that would hopefully lead to their repentance and conversion.

In spite of what we may not like in some of the moves and decisions of the Pope, we have the duty to love him, support and help him in any way we can.

We have to realize that the Pope, whoever he may be, whether Germanic or Latino, is always the Vicar of Christ, or as St. Catherine of Siena would put it, the sweet Christ on earth. He deserves to be loved and followed, his teaching listened to and obeyed.

And that’s mainly because he is vested with the same power that was first given to St. Peter to be the main Shepherd of the Church of God here on earth. Christ has entrusted St. Peter and his successors with the government of his Church to continue Christ’s mission on earth.

Through him we can hear the voice of Christ. In him, in some mysterious way, we have Christ himself, the head of the Church. He is given divine protection.

He obviously, like any human being, also has his own share of weaknesses and everything else that can arise from these weaknesses. We should not be surprised by this, much less, make a big issue out of it.

We just have to look at St. Peter who was quite impulsive and who denied Christ three times. But then he repented, and by divine order was made the rock on which the Church of Christ is built, with the assurance that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt 16,18)

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