VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The hierarchy of values isn’t determined by either trends or politicians, said Benedict XVI in a meditation on the fourth-century bishop Eusebius of Vercelli.
The Pope commented on the life of the prelate today during his weekly general audience, held in St. Peter’s Square. An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance to listen to another meditation in a series of discourses on the great figures of the early Church.
The Holy Father recounted how Emperor Constantius II had exiled Bishop Eusebius to Asia Minor for many years for having fought against the Arian heresy, which denies the divinity of the Son of God.
“For the emperor,” said the Pontiff, “the simpler Arian faith was more useful politically as an ideology of the empire. For him the truth didn’t count, only the political opportunity: He wanted to use religion as a tie to unite the empire.”
But St. Eusebius, together with the other great bishops of the time, “resisted, defending the truth over and against political domination,” said Benedict XVI.
The life of St. Eusebius, said the Pope, teaches the Church even today the need “to protect the hierarchy of just values, without bending to the trend of the moment, or to the unjust demands of political power.”
The Pontiff continued: “The authentic hierarchy of values, Eusebius’ whole life seems to tell us, does not come from the emperors of yesterday or today, but from Jesus Christ, the perfect man, equal to the Father in divinity, but at the same time a man like us.
“Therefore, the pastors, Eusebius reminds us, should exhort the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their permanent dwelling, but rather to seek the future city, the definitive Jerusalem in heaven.”
The Holy Father added, addressing those present in St. Peter’s Square: “I too recommend to you with all my heart these perennial values.”