1 December, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 09/17/2008
True separation of church and state cannot leave out the spiritual dimension, says Pope
In “Render unto Caesar . . .” lies the true foundation of freedom and autonomy for earthly matters,” said Benedict XVI as he talked in today’s general audience about the key moments of his recent trip to France. The foundation of every true culture lies in the search for God. In Lourdes there is “a privileged space for encountering God’s love.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The true separation of church and state “does not mean leaving out the spiritual dimension, but acknowledges that the latter is a guarantee of freedom and autonomy for earthly matters.” Before a gathering of 8,000 people in the Vatican’s audience hall Benedict XVI spoke positively again about the principle of the separation of church and state of which France is the standard bearer, talking to his audience about the key moments of his visit to Paris and Lourdes which ended last Monday.

The Pope paid tribute to the “beloved nation” whose cultural development was closely related to the “Church’s fundamental civilising role as early as in the 2nd century.” And “it is interesting that in such a context the need for a healthy distinction between the political and religious spheres developed,” he said.

“A true separation between church and state does not leave out the spiritual dimension,” he explained, “but acknowledges that the latter is, in a radical way, a guarantee of our freedom and autonomy in earthly matters” since Jesus said that one ought to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s . . . .” Indeed “if Roman coins bore Caesar in effigy and must be returned to him, the Creator’s fingerprint, that of the one and only lord of life, is in man’s heart.”

From this perspective the Pope looked at the reflections he developed after meeting cultural leaders in Paris.

“I began my address with Monasticism whose goal was the search for God” and the “highroad’ he noted. “The search for God led the monks to a culture of the word that sought God following his word.”

“There was a need to get inside the secrets of language” and thus “in searching the God of Revelation secular sciences became important” as did music and architecture. A culture that shaped our own emerged. “Seeking God is the foundation for every true culture.”

The Pope later discussed other moments of his stay in the French capital, including the visit to the Institut de France, an institution comprised of five academies, during which “as a member of one those academies I met my colleagues.” As a cardinal he was a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques.

During his time in Lourdes, which he visited on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions, Benedict XVI said that he went along the “path of the Jubilee which follows the life of St Bernadette.”

On the evening of his arrival the Holy Father “took part in the traditional Aux Flambeaux procession, a marvellous expression of [one’s] faith in God and devotion to his and our mother.”

“In a happy coincidence, the Sunday liturgy referred to the Exaltation of the Cross, a sign of hope par excellence, the maximum witness of love,” he said. “In Lourdes pilgrims learn to view life’s crosses in light of Christ’s cross.”

The Pontiff said that during the first apparition, Mary first’s gesture “was the sign of the cross, in silence.” This way “Our lady gave us the first sign of initiation into our faith,” so much so that “in that sign there is the whole message. God loved so much that he was willing to give his life for us.” Such a “mystery of death and glory” shows how “there is no gift of life without pain.”

On Monday during the Mass celebrated in the basilica’s esplanade during which he anointed the sick the Pope said that he “meditated on Mary’s tears under the cross and her smile on Easter Day.”

Towards the end Benedict XVI invited the audience to give thanks to the Lord, especially “because in meeting St Bernadette, Mary opened a privileged space for the world to encounter the Lord’s healing love.”

He concluded saying that “everyone is a pilgrim who needs a mother to guide us” for “her smile is an invitation to us to go forward because God is good; God is love.”

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/02/2008 VATICAN
Pope: We are the shepherd’s contemporaries, before the Mother of God and the Infant Child
09/11/2008 VATICAN
Pope: visit to France marked by themes of Mary, challenges of secularization
09/15/2008 VATICAN
“Mary’s smile” offer sufferers reasons for hope, says Pope
02/20/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Saint Augustine also teaches what true secularism is
03/14/2012 VATICAN
Pope: Mary teaches us to turn to God not just when we need help

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.