Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today because it does not conform -Benedict XVI

Here’s another extract from Benedict XVI’s wonderful last Lectio Divina which he gave  to the seminarians of the Pontifical Major Roman Seminary.  During this lectio Benedict XVI encourages us to realise that we are always foreigners in this world:

Chosen: a word of privilege and at the same time of humility. However “chosen” — as I said — is accompanied by the word “parepidemois”, exiles, foreigners. As Christians we are dispersed and we are foreigners: we see that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today, because it does not conform, because it is a stimulus, because it opposes the tendencies to selfishness, to materialism and to all these things.


As Christians we are, even today, also always foreigners. In the work place Christians are a minority, they find themselves in an extraneous situation; it is surprising that a person today can still believe and live like this. This is also part of our life: it is a form of being with the Crucified Christ; this being foreigners, not living in the way that everyone else lives, but living — or at least seeking to live — in accordance with his Word, very differently from what everyone says. And it is precisely this that is characteristic of Christians. They all say: “But everyone does this, why don’t I?” No, I don’t, because I want to live in accordance with God. St Augustine once said: “Christians are those who do not have their roots below, like trees, but have their roots above, and they do not live this gravity in the natural downwards gravitation”.

Let us pray the Lord that he help us to accept this mission of living as exiles, as a minority, in a certain sense, of living as foreigners and yet being responsible for others and, in this way, reinforcing the goodness in our world.

Protect the Pope comment: The question of the Church’s relationship, our relationship, with the world is one of the key challenges facing us in the post-conciliar Church.  After Vatican II we didn’t just throw open the windows, we knocked down the walls, and let the worldly trample the sacred into the dust.

13 comments to Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today because it does not conform -Benedict XVI

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,
    There is a resonance here-in the end all human elements fall away , don’t they?
    The Roman , Ottoman and British Empires-all dust.But again all man -made constructs are finite and ever malleable-last weekend I was up in London and the rate of pace of change really hit me.

    It was in MacDonalds(of all places)in Colindale NW9-an Asian man was trying to order 4 x Chicken MacVomits or whatever but the Latvian girl on the till simply could not understand him…both in central/north London ,in the capital of the UK.Pretty unthinkable possibly 5 ,certainly 10 years ago.

    As a society the West in the last 20? years we have rapidly shed any overlay of the Christian heritage we might have once had.We as Catholic Christians are actually dealing with a pagan, barbarian society-certainly in the inner cities.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      But then a year or two back I remember singing Father Faber’s “Faith of Our Fathers” for the first time for many years. You know the one about the persecution of Catholics in England that goes:

      Faith of our fathers, living still,
      In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
      O how our hearts beat high with joy
      Whene’er we hear thy wondrous voice!

      Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
      We will be true to thee till death.

      The irony was that the congregation was almost entirely black. More recently I congratulated a Nigerian lady on the quality of her singing and asked her how she came to know the Latin hymns so well. She replied almost scornfully she had of course learnt Latin at school back in Nigeria. That was in Arundel Cathedral at a Day with Mary. I wonder how often “Faith of Our Fathers” gets sung there!

  • peter

    Hi Nick

    The second vatican council was necessary and has brought us wonderful things. The opening para of the document Joy and Hope say so much
    “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men and women of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of women and men. United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for everyone. That is why this community realizes that it is truly linked with humankind and its history by the deepest of bonds.”

  • Wake up England

    Let us all pray for the Pope God wants.

    Not the Pope groups of men would like.

    The Holy Ghost will inspire, if he’s allowed to in this media circus of:
    cardinals’ leaks
    cardinals’ press conferences
    Cardinals’ poster campaigns
    cardinals’ co-opting national newspapers to support their cause
    cardinals not able to vote because of huge sexual scandals with their seminarians

    The press might not be particularly trustworthy, it’s true; but some Princes of the Church are not, themselves, setting a good example.

    So far I’m unimpressed.

    Please, voting cardinals and your advisers, PLEASE listen to Almighty God.

  • Wake up England

    I have just visited the Tablet’s website and read bits of the latest edition.

    Please may this heretical and damaging publication be prevented from calling itself a medium of the Catholic Faith.

    • amator Dei

      Interesting how people who excoriate The Tablet spend so much time reading it. Is it because they need to keep reassuring themselves they have got everything right? I read this recently: ‘There are many religious people who are much more concerned with winning arguments than they ever are with genuine prayer or exercising the glorious freedom of the children of God.’ By the way what happened to this blog’s intention to keep prayerful silence until the next Pope is elected? Is the temptation to keep scoring points just too great?

  • Michael Petek

    “After Vatican II we didn’t just throw open the windows, we knocked down the walls, and let the worldly trample the sacred into the dust.”

    We did this by failing to call by its proper name of idolatry the ambition of human beings to control their own fertility – the power of human flesh to serve God as His appointed means of creating human beings, whether by contraception or by manual means of human reproduction.

    In doing so we have acquiesced in this: that human beings have been interfering with the metaphysical fact on which God’s unique Lordship rests and on which depends His authority to impose commandments on creatures in the first place.

    Who lawfully controls human fertility? God alone? Or not?

  • Lynda

    God gave us nature, biology – and the reason by which we recognise it. Nature has laws – otherwise, it wouldn’t be nature.

  • John Dare

    We could discuss the source of nature to kingdom come Lynda, Michaels view on
    ‘lawful control’ is a bit of a dead end I suggest. What can happen is within ‘nature’ whether we like it or not. Nature is not under the legal control of anything, it just is. If it is because of god then the same point arises. He has created what is wherever that may end, because it is.

    • Michael Petek

      I don’t know whether you’re a Christian or not, but here goes. God is the Author of nature and holds all things in being. The power of a man and a woman to participate in the creation of a new human being is a power which only God may decisively exercise.

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