Yes, Dear Reader, there will be a quiz! How much do you know about prominent figures in the faith, such as a recent pope and a soon-to-be-saint? Can you guess which of the following five statements was made by Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), and which was made by Archbishop Óscar A. Romero—“martyred” in El Salvador in 1980? It should not be hard to guess: Benedict is a widely read, highly influential “teaching Pope,” considered one of the brightest theologians of his generation, and usually ascribed a “conservative” bent. Romero was killed by rightwing paramilitaries for his advocacy on behalf of the poor, therefore popular in Latin America and in “progressive” circles. With that, would you care to hazard a guess as to which of these two influential Catholic figures made each of the following statements?
- “Confronted with the abuse of economic power, with the cruelty of capitalism that degrades man into merchandise, we have begun to see more clearly the dangers of wealth and we understand in a new way what Jesus intended in warning us about wealth.”
- “The primary and most important person who is present during the Mass is Christ on the altar ... [T]he people, either standing as a sign of respect or on knee as a sign of adoration, affirm that before their eyes, under the appearance of bread and wine is the body and the blood of Christ, truly, really and substantially present.”
- “We see that the world of finance can dominate the human being, that possessions and appearance dominate the world and enslave it. The world of finance is no longer an instrument to foster well-being, to foster human life, but becomes a power that oppresses it.”
- “This homily provides us with an opportunity to see the aberrations of those individuals who abuse sexual pleasure: those who avoid having children, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, abortion, prostitution, etc. All of these realities place the use of these bodily functions at the service of pleasure. Yet the sexual functions of our bodies have been given to us by God for much higher objectives.”
- “In God's Name, I appeal to all those responsible for this spiral of violence on all sides to lay down their weapons immediately!”
So, how confident are you that you can correctly attribute these statements? Test your knowledge and take the quiz here, and see how you score on the automated Internet test program. After you get your score, be sure to come back and check your answers!
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Answers: (1) Ratzinger, “Jesus of Nazareth;” (2) Romero, June 17, 1979 sermon; (3) Ratzinger, February 15, 2012; (4) Romero, November 6, 1977 sermon; (5) Ratzinger on Mid East violence, July 30, 2006.