St. Peter Damian: The Saint for the Meeting in Rome
An abused child himself and a vehement denouncer of clerical sexual misconduct, it is appropriate that the opening day of the meeting in Rome is the memorial of St. Peter Damian.
One of the milder Jeremiads of St. Peter Damian:
“In a few words the apostle John explained it all, when he said, "Everything this world affords is lust of the flesh, enticement for the eyes, and the pride of life" [1 John 2:16]. Lust of the flesh
refers to bodily pleasure, enticement for the eyes involves the beauty of visible things, and the pride of life includes the heights of worldly honor and prestige. . . .Thus in our day the whole world is nothing but gluttony, avarice and sex. And as once the world was divided into three parts, so that together it was subject to three rules, so now, sad to say, the human race like slaves bends its neck to these three
vices, and willingly obeys the laws of the same number of tyrants. "For all," as Scripture says, "high and low, are out to practice avarice" [Jeremiah 6:13]. And what shall I say of gluttony, since the rich never know hunger, never expect to experience need?
Unless they frequently vent their fat bellies at both ends, they must fear the embarrassment of noisily breaking wind, and so good health consists in having an unobstructed bowel. They guzzle till their faces are fiery red and, if good taste did not forbid,
one would say that they do not eat, but rather lick up their food.”