CARDINAL MARTINO PENS ON POPE'S SPEECHES IN BAVARIA
Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice
and Peace, wrote an in-depth article on Benedict XVI's recent speeches
in Bavaria which appears in the September 25 edition of L'Osservatore
Van Thuân International Observatory for the Social Doctrine
of the Church translated the article which pointed out the that
polemical target of the Pope Benedict's speeches is self limitation
of western reason.
is Cardinal Martino's article:
* * *
"Quaestio de Veritate," Christianity and Other Religions
The Speeches Delivered by Benedict XVI During His Trip to Bavaria
Cardinal Raffaele Martino
of the statements made by the Pope in the course of his journey
to Bavaria, from the 9th to the 14th of September, concerned truth,
starting from a question that is often present in the speeches and
homilies of the Pontiff: Can Christianity still be considered reasonable
in the eyes of today's man? We believe in God, "is it reasonable?"
he asked himself during the homily at Islinger Feld on the morning
of September 12. In fact, the West seems to suffer from a "hardness
of hearing" and what is said about God "strikes us as
pre-scientific, no longer suited to our age," he said on Sunday,
September 10, during the holy Mass at the outdoor site of the Neue
Messe in Munich.
to Benedict XVI, the clarification of the relationship between Christianity
and truth, and therefore between Christianity and reason, is important
first of all for the re-evangelization of the Western world and
is also equally important for establishing a relationship between
all religions based on dialogue and tolerance. These aspects must
be addressed separately, even though they are connected.
is the faith in Creative Reason, not Unreason. At Islinger Feld,
the Pope asked himself -- "What came first?" -- and provided
the two possible answers: "Creative Reason, the Creator Spirit
who makes all things and gives them growth, or Unreason, which,
lacking any meaning, yet somehow brings forth a mathematically ordered
cosmos, as well as man and his reason." However, this second
answer is illogical because then our reason would be only a casual
product of evolution, therefore the product of an irrational process.
Christian faith, concludes the Pope, believes "that at the
beginning of everything is the eternal Word, with Reason and not
same concept is reiterated in the "Lectio magistralis"
at the University of Regensburg: "Not to act in accordance
with reason is contrary to God's nature."
polemical target of these statements by the Holy Father is the self-limitation
of Western reason. Christianity does no longer seem reasonable to
the Western man because he has adopted a reductive, positivistic
idea of reason that accepts as true only what is mathematical and
empirical. The Pope described and exposed the limits of this type
of rationality in his lecture at the meeting with the representatives
of science at the University of Regensburg.
"only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of
mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific"
in the West today, then we understand where that "hardness
of hearing" where God is concerned comes from. Western positivistic
reason drastically curtails the range of our relationship with reality
and is incapable of opening itself to the rationality of faith,
which requires a metaphysical drive. In the Aula Magna of the University
of Regensburg, in fact, the Pope stressed the need of "broadening
our concept of reason."
is crucial also for the dialogue between religions because positivistic
reason and the forms of philosophy based on it claim to be universally
valid and therefore capable of dominating the entire planet through
technological development. But, in this way, they prevent a genuine
dialogue of cultures and religions. They lead to a "cynicism
that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom
and that holds up utility as the supreme criterion for the future
of scientific research"; these were the words pronounced by
the Pope in Munich [at] the Neue Messe on September 10.
he condemned the "mockery of the sacred," the Pope was
not just referring to the mockery of Christianity, but to the mockery
of any religion. "The tolerance which we urgently need,"
added Benedict XVI on that occasion, "includes the fear of
God -- respect for what others hold sacred." In this way, the
Pope criticizes the arrogance of a Western reason that has been
reduced to technology and reaffirms the importance of tolerance
and dialogue based on mutual respect between religions.
fact, still at the University of Regensburg, the Holy Father said
that "the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion
of the divine [exclusion that is caused by positivistic reason]
from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound
convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates
religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering
into the dialogue of cultures."
Munich, on September 10, the Pope expressed the same concept: "People
in Africa and Asia admire, indeed, the scientific and technical
prowess of the West, but they are frightened by a form of rationality
which totally excludes God from man's vision." And [he] concluded:
"They do not see the real threat to their identity in the Christian
faith, but in the contempt for God."
we reaffirm the relationship between Christianity and truth, then,
this not only does not prevent dialogue with other religions, but
opens a deeper dialogue because, citing an excerpt from a book written
by the present Pontiff when he was still cardinal, "If truth
is offered, this means a leading out of alienation and thus out
of the state of division; it means the vision of a common standard
that does no violence to any culture but that guides each one to
its own heart, because each exists ultimately as an expectation
of truth" [Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, "Truth and Tolerance:
Christian Belief and World Religions," Ignatius Press, San
Francisco 2004, p. 66].
OF THE SAINTS
ST. JUSTIN, MARTYR (165).
He lived in Palestine. He was converted to the Catholic Faith by the reading of Holy Scripture.
STS. MARCELLINUS AND PETER (304).
Marcellinus was a priest and Peter an exorcist (one of the minor orders), who both lived in Rome and labored there under the cruel Emperor Diocletian.
ST. CHARLES LWANGA AND COMPANIONS (1886-1887).
These were 22 young men and boys, from 13 to 30 years old, who were mar¬≠tyred for the Catholic Faith in Uganda in Africa after undergoing cruel torments.
ST. CLOTILDE (545)
St. Clotilde was a queen, the wife of King Clovis of the Franks. Her husband brought the French people as a nation into the Catholic Church in 496, when he was baptized at Rheims by St. Remigius. Her husband died in 511, and St. Clotilde was left a widow for 34 years.
ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO (1608).
He was born of a royal family in the King - dom of Naples. As a little boy he started reciting the rosary daily. Very early in his life he contracted leprosy, and was miraculously cured of it. Francis spent every possible moment of his life in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
ST. BONIFACE (755).
Saint Boniface was born in England, in 680. His name in English was Winfrid, which in Latin is translated to Boniface, and means "he who does good.
ST. NORBERT (1134).
He was born near Cologne, in Germany, and was educated at the court of the emperor. After a somewhat worldly life, he was struck down one day by lightning while riding on a horse.
ST.PHILIP THE DEACON (FIRST CENTURY).
He was one of the Seven Deacons ordained by the Apostles, as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 6.
ST. ROBERT OF NEWMINISTER (1159).
He was an English priest from York - shire, England, who became a Cistercian monk.
St. Willibald was a bishop and missionary. A native of Wessex, England, he was the brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga and was related through his mother to the great St. Boniface.
ST.MEDARD AND GILDARD (558).
These two French saints were twin brothers, as we are told in the Roman Martyrology.
ST. EPHREM (373).
St. Ephrem the Syrian is both a Father and a Doctor of the Church. He was born in Mesopotamia, not far from the place where Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden.
ST. COLUMKILLE (597).
St. Columbkille, also known as Columba, was born in Donegal, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ambrose, on December 7. Columbkille founded many monasteries and churches not only in Ireland, but in Scotland as well.
BLESSED DIANA (1236).
She was a Dominican nun, a native of Bologna, Italy. Despite opposition from her noble born family, Diana gave up the world to follow Jesus and became a nun.
St. Getulius was martyred with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus.
ST. BARNABAS (60).
St. Barnabas was the cousin of St. Mark the Evan-gelist.
ST. JOHN OF ST. FACUNDO (1479).
He was born in northern Spain, in the town of St. Facundo. He was a brilliant and attractive young boy, educated in the household of a bishop, and became one of the Hermits of St. Augustine.
ST. LEO III.
St. Leo III is remembered as Charlemagne's pope. The cardinal priest of Santa Susanna, Leo was unanimously elected to the papal see in 795.
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA (1231).
There is no more loved and admired saint of the Catholic Church than Anthony of Padua. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal.
ST. ELISEUS (NINTH CENTURY B.C).
He was an Old Testament prophet, the disciple and companion of St. Elias.
ST. VITUS (303).
Vitus, whose name can also be Guy, was a child saint, entrusted by his pagan parents to the care of a Catholic nurse, Crescentia, and her husband, Modestus.
ST. GERMAINE COUSIN (1601).
She was the daughter of a poor farmer who lived near Toulouse in France.
ST. JOHN FRANCIS REGIS (1640).
He was one of the greatest priests of the Society of Jesus.
ST. BOTOLPH (680).
Botolph was a Benedictine, and an Englishman, with over 70 churches dedicated to him in England. An English town, origi¬≠nally called Saint Botolphstown.
STS. MARK AND MARCELLIAN (THIRD CENTURY).
They were twin brothers and deacons of the Church at Rome who were martyred under Diocletian.
ST. ROMUALD (1027).
He was a Benedictine monk, and later an abbot. He was the founder of the Camaldolese Order of the Benedictines in 1024. This saint's life was written by another holy man, Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church.
ST. SILVERIUS (538).
This 60th Pope of the Catholic Church suffered great persecution for defending the dogmatic truths of the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA (1591).
He was born on March 9, 1568, and is the model of the virtue of holy purity for all young Catholic boys.
ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA (431).
Paulinus was born at Bordeaux, France, of one of its noblest and wealthiest families. He was appointed by the Roman Emperor, Prefect of all France.
ST. THOMAS MORE (1535).
He was the wonderful English martyr, Chancellor of the Realm, who was beheaded on Tower Hill, just outside London.
ST.AUDREY (ETHELDREDA) (679).
St. Audrey was an East Anglian princess, and later a queen. Driven to do so by her parents, she first married a prince named Tonbert, who died three years after their marriage.
THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (1 B.C).
John the Baptist was the miraculous son of Sts. Zachary and Elizabeth, given to them when Elizabeth was well beyond the years of childbearing.
ST. WILLIAM THE ABBOT (1142).
St. William the Abbot (1142).
Of the many saints and holy people named William, none is better remembered than St. William of Monte Vergine, in Italy.
ST. JOHN AND PAUL (362).
Sts. John and Paul (362).
These two notable Roman soldiers were martyred under the rule of the cruel Julian the Apostate. They were executed for refusing to support Julian's defection from the dog¬≠matic truths of the Catholic Church.
ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (444).
A Doctor of the Church, St. Cyril was "the soul of the Council of Ephesus" in 431.
ST. LRENAEUS (202).
This great saint was born to Christian parents in Asia Minor, and died when he was 72, the same age as Our Lady at her death. Irenaeus is one of the Fathers of the Church and is sometimes called "the father of Catholic theology.
ST. PETER AND PAUL(67).
Peter the Apostle, the first Pope of the Catholic Church, was the son of a fisherman in Galilee, named Jona.
ST.THE FIRST MARTYRS OF ROME(64).
On this day the Church lovingly remembers the first fruits of the martyrs of the Church at Rome.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?