|(RADIO VATICANA IMAGE) BENEDICT XVI: IT IS RATIONAL TO BELIEVE|
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - "As the Year of Faith progresses we carry in our hearts the hope of rediscovering our joy at believing and our enthusiasm for communicating the truth of faith to all. … This leads us to discover that our encounter with God brings value to, perfects and elevates that which is true, good and beautiful in mankind", said the Pope in his catechesis during today's general audience, held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
Faith, he explained, "means knowing God as Love, thanks to His own love. The love of God … opens our eyes and allows us to know all reality beyond the limited horizons of individualism and subjectivism which distort our awareness".
Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to the rationality of faith in God, emphasising that the Catholic tradition "has always rejected the so-called principle of 'fideism', that is, the will to believe against reason. … Indeed, although a mystery, God is not absurd. … If, in contemplating the mystery, reason sees only darkness, this is not because the mystery contains no light, rather because it contains too much. Just as when we turn our eyes directly to the sun, we see only shadow - who would say that the sun is not bright? Faith allows us to look at the 'sun' that is God, because it welcomes His revelation in history. … God has sought mankind and made Himself known, bringing Himself to the limits of human reason".
"At the same time, God, with His grace, illuminates reason and opens up new horizons, immeasurable and infinite. Therefore, faith is a continuous stimulus to seek, never to cease or acquiesce in the inexhaustible search for truth and reality. … Intellect and faith are not foreign or antagonistic to divine Revelation, they are both prerequisites for understanding its meaning, for receiving its authentic message, for approaching the threshold of the mystery. … The Catholic faith is therefore rational and also nurtures trust in human reason. … Knowledge of faith, furthermore, is not contrary to reason. … In the irresistible desire for truth, only a harmonious relationship between faith and reason can show the correct path to God and to self-fulfilment".
"A correct relationship between science and faith is also based on this fruitful interaction between comprehension and belief. Scientific research leads to the knowledge of new truths regarding mankind and the cosmos. The true good of mankind, accessible through faith, indicates the direction his path of discovery must follow. Therefore, it is important to encourage, for example, research which serves life and seeks to combat disease. Investigations into the secrets of our planet and the universe are also important for this reason, in the knowledge that man is placed at the peak of creation, not not in order exploit it senselessly, but rather to protect it and render it inhabitable.
"In this way, faith does not enter into conflict with science but co-operates with it, offering fundamental criteria to ensure it promotes universal good, and asking only that science desist from those initiatives that, in opposition to God's original plan, may produce effects which turn against man himself. Another reason for which it is rational to believe is this: if science is a valuable ally of faith in our understanding of God's plan for the universe, faith also directs scientific progress towards the good and truth of mankind, remaining faithful to that original plan.
"This is why it is vital for man to open himself to faith, and to know God and His plan for salvation through Jesus Christ. The Gospel establishes a new humanism, an authentic 'grammar' of humankind and reality", the Holy Father concluded. "It is rational to believe, as it is our very existence that is at stake".
|APPEAL FOR PEACE IN GAZA|
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - "I am following with grave concern the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip", said the Pope during his greetings following today's general audience. "Along with my prayers for the victims and for those who suffer, it is my duty to emphasise once again that hatred and violence are not the solutions to these problems. Furthermore, I endorse the initiatives and efforts of those who are working to promote a ceasefire and negotiations. I also encourage the authorities of both parties to make courageous decisions in favour of peace and to bring an end to a dispute which has negative repercussions throughout the whole of the Middle East, a region riven by excessive conflict and in need of peace and reconciliation".
|THE POPE GIVES THANKS TO CLOISTERED RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES|
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - Following his catechesis at this morning's general audience, the Pope mentioned that today, the liturgical memory of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple, is also "pro orantibus Day", in which the Church shows her support for cloistered religious communities.
"I would like to express my closeness, and that of the entire ecclesial community, to the religious called by the Lord to the contemplative life, and renew my invitation to all Christians to ensure that monasteries receive the necessary spiritual and material support. We owe this to those who consecrate themselves fully to praying for the Church and for the world!"
|CATHOLIC AND MUSLIM COOPERATION IN PROMOTING JUSTICE|
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - "Catholic and Muslim Cooperation in promoting justice in the contemporary world" was the theme of the eighth Colloquium of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation (ICRO). The meeting was held in Rome from 19 to 21 November under the joint presidency of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and of Mohammad Bagher Korramshad, president of the ICRO.
A communique released today explains how the theme was divided into four subheadings "from the point of view of Catholics and of Shi'i Muslims: (1) The concept of justice; (2) Justice for the human person; (3) Justice for the different constituents of society, and (4) Justice for the entire human family. The English-language communique goes on: "Both sides expressed their awareness of and concern for current challenges, including the economic crisis, the environmental issue, the weakening of the family as a basic institution of society and threats to world peace. The participants, recognising both areas of commonality and difference, focused on common ground and shared values:
"1. The belief we share in the One God Who created all things gives each of us a holistic understanding of justice. The various spheres of its application are inter-related: personal, communitarian, social, political, economic, cultural and judicial.
"2. Justice as a virtue based on human dignity requires the right exercise of reason and the illumination of God. Recognition of, and respect for, freedom of conscience, inter alia, are conditions of justice in our societies.
"3. The dynamic nature of the concept of justice allows it to be adapted to meet the new challenges of the contemporary world.
"4. The responsibility of religious leaders, institutions and, indeed, every believer to denounce injustice and oppression in all their forms and to promote justice all around the world. We believe that our religions possess resources which can inspire people to work to make justice and peace a reality.
"5. The demand that, for the sake of the promotion of justice in today’s world, Muslims and Christians continue to deepen their understanding of one another through ongoing dialogue and cooperation.
"6. The need to take the fruits of our meeting and communicate them to the people of our respective communities and societies so that they can have a real effect in the world.
"The participants were pleased and honoured to be received at the end of the meeting by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who greeted and encouraged them to continue on the path of an authentic and fruitful dialogue. The next Colloquium, preceded by a preparatory meeting,will take place in Tehran, Iran, in two years".
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
Vatican City, 21 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Archbishop George Antonysamy, apostolic nuncio in Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone, as archbishop of Madras and Mylapore (area 3,160, population 8,222,000, Catholics 327,329, priests 326, religious 1,782), India. He succeeds Archbishop Malayappan Chinappa S.D.B, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Msgr. Lorenzo Piva and Msgr. Camillus Nimalan Johnpillai, officials of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as bureau chiefs of the same congregation.