Friday, September 24, 2010

Pope says entire West needs to see role of faith in public life
Pope Benedict XVI said his message in the Great Britain about the enduring importance of the faith-based values in the public life is valid for the entire Western world.

The pope said one of his key messages was "the importance of evangelizing culture, especially in our age when pervasive relativism risks overshadowing the unchanging truth about the nature of the man" and about the importance of faith in the education of the active, creative and responsible citizens.

During his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 22, the pope reviewed the trip he made to the Scotland and England Sept. 16-19.

"In the four beautiful, intense days I was able to spend in that noble land, I had the great joy of speaking to the hearts of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom and they spoke to mine, especially with their presence and the witness of their faith," he said.

Despite repeated descriptions of the Great Britain as one of the most secular countries in Europe, the pope said, "I was able to see how much the Christian tradition is still strong and still active in every strata of the social life. The hearts and existence of the British are open to the reality of the God and there are numerous signs of their religiosity, which my visit helped make more evident."

The pope said his first priority in visiting Great Britain was to encourage the nation's Catholics "to defend the unchanging moral truths -- contained in, enlightened and confirmed by the Gospel -- which are at the basis of a society that is truly human, just and free."

Speaking in Great Britain, a "crossroads of the world's culture and economy," he said he also was speaking to the "entire Western world."

"This apostolic visit confirmed in me a profound conviction that the ancient nations of Europe have a Christian soul, which is part and parcel of the genius and culture of its peoples, and the church does not cease working to keep this spiritual and cultural tradition alive," he said.

The pope described his meeting Sept. 18 with victims of clerical sex abuse as "an intense moment of emotion and prayer" and he said that his later meeting with child protection officers for dioceses and parishes underlined the importance of their work in the church, which always has dedicated special attention to caring for and educating children.

Pope Benedict said the key moment of his trip was the beatification Sept. 19 of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian and intellectual. The pope said Blessed Newman's teaching on the importance of the following one's conscience was not meant to encourage people to focus on themselves and their feelings, but to open themselves to the truth of the Gospel and moral law.

At the end of his audience, Pope Benedict asked Catholics to pray for the success of the international Roman Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue commission, which was meeting Sept. 20-27 in Vienna.

The commission members were continuing a study of the role of the pope, especially during the first millennium when Christians were still united.

"Obedience to the will of the Lord Jesus, as well as the great challenges facing Christianity today, require us to make a serious commitment to the cause of reestablishing full communion between the churches," the pope said.

No comments:

Post a Comment