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The long Pontificate of John Paul II and the 23 years of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, imprinted on the Church a clearly restoring trend.

Strategies were developed to contain the Catholic Reformation with thorough measures, some of them highly repressive, such as the dismantling of the liberation Church of Recife, Brazil, by a pitiless canonist who came to replace the great Prophet of the Third World, Dom Helder Câmara. This and many other processes created wounds, deceptions, bitterness, criticisms and countless interior exiles of Christians who retreated into their personal faith, if they did not, filled with sadness, leave the Church.

The sense of fraternity within the Church was broken, and instead, a generalized environment of distrust was engendered. Even more pitiful was the astonishment and suffering of the poor who could not understand that the Pope and many bishops were working on the same side as their oppressors and were witnessing unmoved the defamation and persecution of those who encouraged them to live the Gospels in a liberating way, committed to social change for dignity and justice, while still praying, baptizing, celebrating Mass, giving catechism, blessing weddings and burying their dead. Does a Marxist do that?

The Church can be at odds with the powerful, but cannot traumatize and cause suffering to the poor, because this would be a direct betrayal of the inheritance of Jesus. And whoever does so - claims to saintly aura not withstanding - will have to answer before the judgment of God.

But, in spite of the suffering and sadness, the great majority remained in the Church. However, they did not see it anymore as in their spiritual home. The Church is lived as a spiritual home when the Christian is happy to frequent the community, when the experience of an encounter with God is lived (spirituality), when the calling of the Gospel for the most needy is felt; when the Christian feels that the leaders love more than control, when they incite to courage and fight fear, and when the Christian sees in Rome a Pope who fills everyone with pride for what he teaches and expresses before the eyes of the whole world. For reasons that are known, all that became confused.

How to console the orphans of the Church and ask them to come back home? I think the first task of the present Pope is to carry out this gesture of magnanimity. And, for my part, I would say: the first thing that must be done is to see things as «relative» - as much as Benedict XVI is horrified by that word - starting with the Church. More important than the Catholic Church are humanity and the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom is Jesus’ utopia of a world that has a good end, where the ideals of all the revolutionists will come to be: justice and rights for all, and life without end, the true home and the motherland of human identity, with God. In the Kingdom, first are the poor and their allies, all those who are sensitive to those who suffer hunger, thirst, are naked and jailed.

Then come faith, hope and love, virtues all human beings can develop and are what in truth save them. The community of those who believe in Jesus, that we call Church, comes only afterwards. The Church institutionalizes itself but cannot succeed in containing the Resurrected and the Spirit, that now have cosmic dimensions and touch everyone, respecting their own paths. There are no orphans here. All belong to The House of God. Knowing this, we do not have to feel sad, exiled or orphans.