25 July, 2014 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


» 08/05/2009
VATICAN
Pope: Priests in love with Christ, against the "dictatorship of relativism"
Benedict XVI returns to the Cure d'Ars as a model for priests during the year dedicated to them. He fought against the "dictatorship of rationalism"; Today the priest is fighting against the "dictatorship of relativism." But both rationalism and relativism do not satisfy the thirst for truth that is in the heart of man. The pastoral effectiveness of the Cure d'Ars depended on his "friendship with Christ."

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - "Contemporary relativism mortifies reason, because in fact it arrives at the point of affirming that the human being knows nothing with certainty beyond the field of positive science”. Thus man remains a "beggar for meaning and fulfilment," "in constant search for comprehensive answers to questions of substance that he ceaselessly poses to himself”. Thus, just as the Council invites, the priests of today must remember this "thirst for truth," that is burning in the heart of every man, and become teachers of the faith, capable of "opening up the way that leads to Christ [and the Church] to all people”.

This was the heart of the pope’s message in his first general audience from the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo summer, dedicated to the figure of Saint John Mary Vianney, whose memorial was celebrated yesterday. Benedict XVI reaffirmed the value of the Saint, known as the Curé d'Ars, as an example for all priests in the this year for priests, launched on the occasion of 150 anniversary of his death, which occurred on  August 4,1859.

Beyond the differences, and "even admirable" "nineteenth century devotional spirituality” of the Curé d'Ars, the pontiff stressed the need to see the  “prophetic power" of his priestly personality.

"In post-revolutionary France - explained the pope – that was experiencing a kind of 'dictatorship of rationalism' bent on erasing the very presence of priests and the Church in society, he lived, first - in the years of his youth - a heroic clandestinity travelling kilometres at night to attend Mass. Then - as a priest – he stood out for his unique and fruitful pastoral creativity in showing that the rationalism which prevailed at the time, was far from meeting real needs and moreover, ultimately not worth living. "  

"If then there was a 'dictatorship of rationalism' - continued the Pope - at present there is in many environments, a kind of 'dictatorship of relativism'. Both responses are inadequate to the man’s just demand to fully use his own reason as a distinctive and constitutive element of his identity. Rationalism was inadequate because it did not take account of human limitations and wanted to elevate reason alone as the sole measure of all things, transforming it into a god; contemporary relativism mortifies reason, because it arrives at the point of certifying that the human being knows nothing with certainty beyond the field of positive science. "

The priest today must indicate or facilitate those "who do not believe the path that leads to Christ and his Church", and for those who already believe, the priest must "stimulate, nurture and support the spiritual battle."

The pope also outlined the condition for this pastoral commitment: "the priest must create an intimate personal union with Christ, to be nurtured and augmented day by day. Only then will he touch the hearts of the people and open them to the merciful Lord. "

The pope recalled that the Curé d'Ars was over a period of great abandonment to the faith, able to help his "parishioners rediscover the meaning and the beauty of sacramental penance, showing it to be an intimate requirement of the Eucharistic Presence."

The Curé d'Ars, said the pontiff, "managed to touch the hearts of the people not by virtue of their human skills, nor relying solely on an, albeit laudable, effort of the will; he conquered souls, even the most refractory, by communicating to them what he intimately lived, that is his friendship with Christ. It was his 'being in love' with Christ, and the true secret of his success was the pastoral love that he had for the mystery of the Eucharist proclaimed, celebrated and lived. "

The pope spoke at length on the childhood of the Curé d'Ars, the faith lived in the family, his illiteracy as a child, the difficulties of his vocation. Nevertheless, “in his pastoral service, as simple as it was extraordinarily fruitful, this anonymous priest in a remote village in southern France was able to become one with his own ministry, to become, even in a visible and universally recognizable way, alter Christus, the image of the Good Shepherd, who, unlike the mercenary, gives his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:11). "

Ultimately, said Benedict XVI, "the effectiveness of the mission of every priest," and "the credibility of witness" depends "on holiness”.

"Let us pray – he concluded –so that, through the intercession of Saint John Marie Vianney, God makes a gift to his Church of holy priests, and so believers may grow in their desire to support and assist their ministry. We entrust this intention to Mary, whom today we invoke as Our Lady of the Snows”.

Photo: CPP

 
 

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/11/2009 VATICAN
Faith, hope and charity, a spiritual journey’s start and end, says Pope
06/28/2009 VATICAN
Follow Saint Paul in one’s passion for Christ and the Gospel, says Pope
08/19/2009 VATICAN
Pope: Priests formed and consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, like St. John Eudes
08/31/2009 PHILIPPINES
Year for Priests in Manila: confessions and fund raising for seminaries
by Santosh Digal
04/01/2009 VATICAN
Pope: the Church accompanies Africa in the great challenges that await it

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.