Our age is an age which wishes to “eliminate God, not only from the present and the future, but also from the past,” writes Archbishop Viganò. This is why we must stay in print! An editorial which is also an appeal
“It is the end of an age that has rebelled against the first principle of the universe, against the nature of things, against the ultimate goal of man. An age that has rebelled against God, that has presumed to be able to overrule and overthrow Him… to eliminate Him, not only from the present and the future, but also from the past.”
—Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, July 17, 2021
August 30, 2021
I write to you today for help, just as the news has arrived that, after 160 years the venerable daily Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, is considering no longer appearing in print . This is the newspaper that for a century and a half has published every papal encyclical, every major Vatican pronouncement, together with news and commentary, for Catholics everywhere — indeed, for all the world. The high costs of printing are now leading the Vatican to seriously consider ceasing print publication.
Some may take it to be yet another sign of the challenges that face the Catholic Church right now. It seems that every vestige of the Church’s traditions, some originating not decades or centuries, but even millennia ago, are being wiped out.
Progress marches on, we are told; modern man no longer needs these things, whether they be 1,000-year liturgical traditions or simply a newspaper that tells the world each day what is happening at the Vatican.
Today’s belief: “Man no longer needs God”
Pope John Paul II, in his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio, calls the modern world “a world which has experienced marvelous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself.” In fact, says that world, modern man does not need religion at all; certainly not the Catholic Church, a “relic of a fading past.” But is this true?
To answer this question, we must ask another, central one, the anthropological one: What is man? Is man a being in time without an eternal horizon? Are human persons “in the image and likeness of God,” or casual, inconsequential, meaningless?
And the central answer Christianity proposes is that man — every man, each man and each woman, each human person — is in the image and likeness of God, and, in existing, is meant, as St. Irenaeus tells us, to give glory to God — the ultimate reality — by becoming fully alive through the vision of God, through seeking after and finally seeing God, through the vision of the ultimate, “than which there is nothing greater.”
What does this mean? It means that any humanism, any de facto deification of man… any worship of man, not God… will not lead the human person to true happiness or true life but, on the contrary, will lead to a dead end and misery. That is the essence of the matter, for the Catholic faith.
We become ourselves by becoming more like Him
We have a calling, a vocation, each one of us, every one of us. We are called to undertake a pilgrimage in this life, to set our sights on our true destiny, our true home, and journey toward that destiny, that home, in the face of every temptation, every proposed alternative destiny, focusing on that final goal alone.
The goal is to encounter the Logos, Christ, our brother, firstborn of many, and by meeting Him, knowing Him, following Him, to journey home. And by making this journey, to fulfill ourselves. To fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts, to become ourselves, by becoming like Him.
“Man bears within him a thirst for the infinite, a longing for eternity, a quest for beauty, a desire for love…man bears within him the desire for God,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his General Audience of May 11, 2011. This is the message of Christianity, and it is the message that is behind all of the Church’s elaborate structures, all of the teachings, doctrines, commandments, counsels, laws, sacraments, rituals and charitable initiatives.
This is the true heart of the Church, and the true purpose of the Holy See, the true center of the Vatican — Inside the Vatican, to use the title of the magazine we have published for almost 30 years — even if all the insufficiencies and failings of men have made it difficult to see that true center. And now, more than ever, it appears, Inside the Vatican fulfills a role that nobody else is filling — to help people to see that true center.
Calmness, reason and balance
Frankly, it was a bit of a shock to hear that L’Osservatore Romano may fold up its tent (it will apparently continue to have some sort of internet presence, behind a paywall) — after 160 years, it has come to be regarded as an “institution,” almost as solid and venerable as the Vatican itself.
But these are strange times. They are also difficult times financially, and we are trying to answer a call that seems to grow louder with each passing day… but also requires us to ask for financial support from our friends.
And so we are asking you, today, to send us an amount that you can afford, to help us carry on, to bring the Truth that was bequeathed to Peter and his successors, to the Church that Jesus Christ gave us, the Church of which He said, “The gates of Hell shall never prevail against her.”
We would be grateful if you could send us $15 or $25; $50 or $100 would be even more effective; $250 or $1,000 would help ensure that Inside the Vatican does not go the way L’Osservatore Romano seems to be going. In fact, now it is more important than ever that somebody is reporting on what happens in Rome — and around the universal Church — with calmness, reason and balance. It is, we believe, a rare combination, and why we are convinced that we are needed now more than ever. If you agree, please help us now. Call 800-789-9494, or visit our website: InsidetheVatican.com. Thank you, and God bless you!