Home Abortion Aids & Hiv Euthanasia Homosexuality Lebanon Natural Family Planning Contact Me   
Daily News  »
Archives
Photo Album
Arabic Church News
Arabic Church Titles
Arabic Encyclopedia
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Church History
Code of Eastern Canon Law
Code of Western Canon Law
Council for Justice and Peace
Papal Documents
Papal Encyclicals
Paths of the Spirit
Pontifical Academy for Life
The 21 Ecumenical Councils
The Catholic Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Fathers of the Church
The Holy Father
The II Vatican Council
The List of Popes
The Mysteries of the Rosary
Way of the Cross
Question and Answer
- Faith FAQs
 
Newsletter
Your name:
   
Your email:
   
   Subscribe Unsubscribe
 
Latest Posts
- Liturgy Q&A: More on Pro Populo Masses
- Liturgy Q&A: Proper Use of the Cincture
- Liturgy Q&A: Confirmation Names
- Liturgy Q&A: Children’s Homilies
- Liturgy Q&A: Shining a Spotlight on a Monstrance
 
   
Media
-  Voice of Charity Taratil
- Charity TV Live
- Radio Maria
- Voice of Charity Live - Lebanon
 
Slide Shows & Movies
- Psalm 23
- Be United Against...
- You Are Mine
- Abortion
- Mother Teresa
- Promise
 
Calendar
  April 2021  
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number Of Visitors:
632405
 
Cantalamessa on Good Friday: Cross, the Christological foundation of fraternity
Cantalamessa on Good Friday: Cross, the Christological foundation of  fraternity - Vatican News02 April 2021. In his Good Friday homily, the Preacher of the Papal Household notes that fraternity among Catholics is wounded. Pastors should be among the first to make a serious examination of conscience regarding building fraternity and unity in the Church.

By Robin Gomes


“We build fraternity in precisely the same way that we build peace, that is starting close by, with ourselves… For us, that means universal fraternity starts with the Catholic Church,” said the Preacher of the Papal Household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa.  He made the point in his homily at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was presided over by Pope Francis.  In observance of the Covid-19 health protocols, the liturgy was attended by a limited number of faithful.

Meanings of brother

On the day that Christians commemorate the passion and death of Jesus, the cardinal explored the notion of fraternity and unity from various perspectives, starting with the Pope’s latest encyclical Fratelli tutti

He said the document is addressed to a very wide audience, inside and outside the Church, indeed practically to the whole of humankind.  It indicates some ways to reach real and just human fraternity in the various spheres of life, ranging from the private to the public sector, and from religious circles to social and political spheres.

“The mystery of the cross that we are celebrating,” the Italian cardinal said, “obliges us to focus precisely on this Christological foundation of fraternity which was inaugurated on Calvary.”  The term brother, in its most common meaning, is a sibling. A step further, it means the same nation or people.  The meaning widens to include every human person, in the sense that brother is translated as neighbour as in the Bible. When Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me”, he intends to include every human person in need of help. 

Fraternity after Easter

However, the 86-year-old Capuchin cardinal said, with Easter, there is a decisive development in the significance of brother.  In the Paschal Mystery, Christ becomes “the firstborn among many brothers” (Rm 8:29). The disciples become brothers and sisters in a new and very profound sense. In fact, Cardinal Cantalamessa pointed out that it is only after the resurrection that Jesus calls his disciples brothers for the first time.  “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’,” He tells Mary Magdalen.  

After Easter, the term brother indicates a brother in the faith, a member of the Christian community - blood brothers in the blood of Christ.  Rather than replacing the fraternity of family, nation, or race, this fraternity of Christ crowns them all.  The Christian faith adds a second and decisive dimension, that we are brothers not only because we all have the same Father in virtue of creation, but we also have the same brother, Christ, “the firstborn among many brothers” in virtue of redemption.

Healing divisions in the Church

The Preacher of the Papal Household noted that fraternity among Catholics is wounded and divisions between Churches have come about not because of dogmas, the sacraments and ministries.  “The divisions that polarize Catholics,” he said, “stem from political opinions that grow into ideologies after being given priority over religious and ecclesial considerations”, issues that are “not openly talked about or are disdainfully denied”.

For Catholics, the Italian cardinal pointed out, fraternity is built the same way that we build peace, that is by starting with ourselves, within the Church.  What is needed is a serious examination of conscience and be converted. Fomenting division, he said, is the work par excellence of the devil, “the enemy who sows weeds”. 

In this regard, Jesus is an example to be followed.  He vehemently refused to be drawn into any of the four parties of his time - the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, and the Zealots. The early Christians also followed the same path.   

Cardinal Cantalamessa said, “Pastors need to be the first to make a serious examination of conscience.”  They need to ask themselves whether they are leading their flocks to themselves or to Jesus.