"But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to Him in reply, “You are the Christ.” This exchange between Peter and the Lord from today’s Gospel sums up an essential characteristic of our Faith. Like Peter, we believe that Jesus is the very Son of God, the only Redeemer of the World, the Savior of mankind. Several years ago Pope Benedict XVI, while he was the head of Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published with Pope John Paul II’s approval a document called Dominus Jesus (The Lord Jesus) which restates this core belief that there is one Savior by whom all may be saved and that the Lord established one Church. Though human sin has brought about the sad divisions in the Church which are a visible reality, nevertheless the Lord prayed that we might be one. That unity of belief and practice is to be found in the Catholic Church, which the Lord established upon the authority of the Apostles; and whose successors continue to exercise the role of shepherds. While we respect the freedom of persons, which is an inherent quality of religious belief, the truth of the Gospel impels us to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and to lead others to that same true Faith.
We marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country yesterday, Saturday, September 11. The passage of these 20 years does not diminish the shock, outrage, and anger that many rightly experienced after this deliberate assault against our country and the deaths of thousands of innocent people. Our disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan just before this anniversary makes it particularly painful. Weakness from within is almost always accompanied by enemies from without. All the more reason for us to pray for a true spiritual renewal in our country, and to pray for our President and Congress to make good, prudent, and just decisions.
May God bless you!