In his homily
delivered on March 8th in Ottawa’s packed Notre Dame Cathedral, Cardinal William Levada inspired hundreds of faithful (mostly students and young missionaries from Catholic Christian Outreach
) with an edifying message about the profound mystery (and paradox) of the Christian life.
“The proudest boast of the human race is an unknown virgin of Nazareth,” the Vatican Cardinal preached. “The Sovereign Lord of the universe was born in a manger in Bethlehem. The redemption of the whole world is accomplished between two thieves."
"The Risen Lord comes to us in the humble elements of bread and wine,” he continued. “The Divine power to forgive sins is entrusted to sinful men themselves."
“This is the sacramental economy in which the most extraordinary things are accomplished in the most ordinary ways.”
During his visit to Ottawa, Cardinal Levada sat down with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB for the latest episode of Witness
, airing Sunday, March 28th at 8 pm ET. Seldom interviewed, the Cardinal shares about his work as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—a position previously held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he moved on to the Chair of Peter and became Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Levada shares insights on what it’s like to have Pope Benedict XVI as a boss and how, since the papacy of John Paul II, the congregation handles even more issues than previously. These include the influx of Anglicans into the Church (especially in the wake of the recent apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus
) and, notably, the wave of abuse scandals currently pummeling the Church.
“We try to be as compassionate, but also as clear as possible,” the prefect said in reference to dealing with wayward priests accused of sexual abuse.
In a personal moment of their discussion, the Cardinal tells Fr. Rosica that he “cannot get by without the grace from your prayers”, referring to all the faithful who support his work spiritually. Surely, his job these days is not an easy one.
If you happen to miss the Sunday premiere, the episode will repeat at midnight, with encore presentations on Monday at 12:30 pm, Thursday at 8 pm & midnight and Friday at 12:30 pm (all times eastern).
Photo courtesy: CCN / Deborah Gyapong