Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Church Must Always Search for the Truth

In a speech to the world representatives for culture, in May of 2010,  the Holy Father reminded us that often the culture today reveals a tension which sometimes takes the place of a conflict between the present and tradition.  In light of the recent health mandate that poses a threat upon our conscience, perhaps his words will help us to see this through situation more clearly.

"This 'conflict' between tradition and the present finds expression in the crisis of truth,", the Pope affirmed. "A people no longer conscious of its own truth ends up by being lost in the maze of time and history, deprived of clearly-defined values and lacking great and clearly-formulated goals". And he went on: "Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce."

"For Christians, Truth is divine; it is the eternal 'Logos' which found human expression in Jesus Christ. ... The Church, in her adherence to the eternal character of truth, is in the process of learning how to live with respect for other 'truths' and for the truth of others. Through this respect, open to dialogue, new doors can be opened to the transmission of truth".

"The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which she lives", said Pope Benedict quoting Pope Paul VI. "Dialogue, without ambiguity and marked by respect for those taking part, is a priority in today's world, and the Church does not intend to withdraw from it. ... Given the reality of cultural diversity, people need not only to accept the existence of the culture of others, but also to aspire to be enriched by it and to offer to it whatever they possess that is good, true and beautiful".

"Point out new worlds to the world", said the Holy Father quoting the poet Luis de Camoes, author of 'Os Lusiades'. You who are "forgers of thought and opinion", he told his audience, "have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, ... to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement. Do not be afraid ... to enter into dialogue with believers, with those who, like yourselves, consider that they are pilgrims in this world and in history towards infinite Beauty!".

He continued his address: "Precisely so as 'to place the modern world in contact with the life-giving and perennial energies of the Gospel', Vatican Council II was convened. There the Church, on the basis of a renewed awareness of the Catholic tradition, took seriously and discerned, transformed and overcame the fundamental critiques that gave rise to the modern world, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. ... The Council laid the foundation for an authentic Catholic renewal and for a new civilisation - 'the civilisation of love' - as an evangelical service to man and society".

"The Church", Benedict XVI concluded, "considers that her most important mission in today's culture is to keep alive the search for truth, and consequently for God; to bring people to look beyond penultimate realities and to seek those that are ultimate".
           

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