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    » 09/26/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: the Christian idea of the person a model for a cohesive society



    Retracing the life and works of St John Chrysostom, Benedict XVI recalls how the father of the Church proposed a utopia of the ideal society to the early Church, substituting the ideal of the Greek polis with that of Christianity.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Christian idea of the primacy of the person, which makes all men equal and which has as a direct consequence solidarity, as the foundation of the “city”, instead of the concept of the primacy of the “polis”, in which the individual is subordinate to society.  One of the fundaments of the Churches social doctrine was reaffirmed today by Benedict XVI, who retraced the thoughts of St John Chrysostom, theologian and “father of the Church”.

     

    Last week the pope had already spoke of the first part of the life and works of the great thinker, who was bishop of Constantinople in the IV century; today before a crowd of 20 thousand in his general audience he dwelt on the years of the saint’s life when he was the leader of the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire when he was twice exiled.  His relics were transferred to Rome and now lie in the canonical chapel of St Peter’s, and in 2004, the pope reflected “a large part of them” were donated to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

     

    Retracing the works of St John Chrysostom, Benedict XVI underlined that his meditation of the works carried out by God in the six days of creation led him to affirm that Genesis shows us the beauty of creation reveals the face of God to us, there is the “transparency of God” and therefore “our wonder at the beauty of creation should lead us to give glory to the Creato”. A second step follows on from this in which it is highlighted that the Creator is also a “Tender Father”: “we are weak, in lifting our gaze our eyes are weak and so God becomes a tender Father and sends mankind the Word, the Sacred Scripture”.  The third step is that God not only transmits the Word, but “in the end He Himself comes down to us”, he becomes the Word Incarnate until death, he really does become “God with us”, our brother.  The fourth and last  step is that through which the “the vital and dynamic principal “, the Holy Spirit, God is within us, “he enters our very existence and transforms our hearts”.

     

    In his works, the model of the early Church becomes a model for society, it is a “utopia of the ideal city, giving it a Christian face and soul”.   Chrysostom’s, “truly one of the great fathers of the Church”, affirms that it is not sufficient to give alms, or occasionally come to peoples aid, but that a new model is needed in which “the old idea of the Greek polis is substituted by a city inspired by Christian life.  His project corrects the traditional Greek vision of the city in which large swathes of the population are denied the rights of citizenship, while in the Christian cities the person is given primacy and as a result the city is built from the individual up, while in the polis the person was subordinate to the city”.  And when the bishop added “our city is another, our home is in the heavens”, he makes us all equal, brothers and sisters and obliges us to full solidarity towards humanity”.

     

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    See also

    19/09/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: “well prepared married couples close the door to divorce ”
    During his audience address, revoking the figure of St. John Chrysostom, Benedict XVI recalls the “sedition of Antioch” against taxes and comments : “you can see that some things never change in the course of history”.

    27/11/2004 VATICAN - TURKEY
    Pope and Bartholomew I: may the Saints help us towards unity
    Ecumenical ceremony takes place in St. Peter's Basilica for the handing over of the relics of Sts. Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom.

    28/12/2005 VATICAN
    Pope urges prayer and solidarity for tsunami victims

    God's love embraces man from the moment he is in his mother's womb. During the nine months of his pontificate, Benedict XVI met nearly three million people.



    17/06/2009 VATICAN
    Pope says all nations must “set” the Gospel in own language and culture
    Politicians must pay attention to and support the role of religions in society. In his General Audience Benedict XVI calls to mind Saints Cyril and Methodius, “Apostles of the Slavs”, “examples of what today is called enculturation”.

    07/12/2004 PHILIPPINES – VATICAN
    Pope donates money to typhoon victims

    The Pontiff's monetary gift is meant to bring some comfort to the victims and to be an 'incentive' to the international community to be generous.





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