St Julius I

Pope (entered heaven in 352)

Dear Julie,

Thanks for writing back so quickly.  I have often wondered which saint you were named after, perhaps it’s today’s, Pope St Julius I.  It’s amazing how many of those early Popes were saints. The corruption of a few Renaissance Popes miffs some people, but they are missing the point – the vast majority of Popes have been saintly men, if not actual saints.  But I digress. Your question about combining forces with the Protestant groups on campus is a good one. Remember that we as Catholics have more in common with non-Catholic Christians than many of them realize. Focus on those things, so that together you can promote basic Christian values throughout the campus at large.  At the same time, however, keep Pope St Julius’ lesson in mind. You will recall that he was a bastion of order and clarity during the heat of the Arian heresy (the Arians denied Christ’s true divinity, along with a bunch of other stuff). He neither belittled the details of theology nor compromised the primacy of papal authority in order to smooth over a disturbance that was rocking all of Christendom.  Read how beautifully and gently he rebuked the Arian usurpers of the See of Alexandria: “Are you not aware that it is customary that we [i.e. the Pope] should first be written to, that from hence what is just may be defined? … Whereas you expect us to approve condemnations in which we had no part. This is not according to the precepts of Paul or the tradition of the fathers. All this is strange and new. Allow me to speak as I do: I write what I write in the common interest, and what I now signify is what we have received from the blessed apostle Peter.”  Likewise, you and your confreres should be ready at all times to profess and defend true Catholic doctrine even while you collaborate with non-Catholics to clean up collegiate morals. For instance, don’t be afraid to make the sign of the cross when you pray together with them, and don’t be afraid to genuflect when you pass by the tabernacle as you show them the chapel. You don’t have to bang them over the head with a Catechism – they deserve the respect owed to every child of God – but your fidelity in little things like these will be of great assistance to the work of the Holy Spirit.  Keep me posted. Uncle Eddy.

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