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    » 12/07/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN

    "Forgetfulness of God" leads to relativism which engenders violence, says pope



    Speaking to the International Theological Commission, Benedict XVI denies the claim that religions are bearers of violence because they assert the existence of a universal truth. "Without openness to the transcendent, which allows us to find answers to questions on the meaning of life and how to live a moral life, mankind becomes unable to act in accordance with justice and work for peace."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "It is the forgetfulness of God that immerses human societies in a form of relativism, which inevitably generates violence" because "When you deny the opportunity for people to refer to an objective truth, dialogue is rendered impossible and violence, whether declared or hidden, becomes the rule of law of human relationships." In saying so, Benedict XVI rejected "the notion that religions, especially the monotheistic religions, would inherently be bearers of violence, mainly because of the claim that they advance the existence of a universal truth. Some believe that only the 'polytheism of values' can guarantee tolerance and civil peace and conform to the spirit of a pluralistic democratic society."

    Speaking before the plenary session of the International Theological Commission, centred on the Year of Faith, Benedict XVI stressed in particular the "the specific and irreplaceable role of Magisterium" so as to reflect on the faith and life of the Church, noting that the Council had already insisted on the fact "that the whole People of God participates in Christ's prophetic office".

    The sensus fidei is a "gift" that "constitutes in the believer a kind of supernatural instinct that has a connatural life with the same object of faith. It is a criterion for discerning whether or not a truth belongs to the deposit of the living apostolic tradition. It also has a propositional value because the Holy Spirit does not cease to speak to the Churches and lead them to the whole truth. Today, however, it is particularly important to clarify the criteria used to distinguish the authentic sensus fidelium from its counterfeits. In fact, it is not some kind of public opinion of the Church, and it is unthinkable to mention it in order to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, this because the sensus fidei cannot grow authentically in the believer except to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the life of the Church, and this requires a responsible adherence to her Magisterium."

    "Today, this same supernatural sense of the faith of believers leads to strong reactions against the notion that religions, especially the monotheistic religions, would inherently be bearers of violence, mainly because of the claim that they advance the existence of a universal truth. Some believe that only the 'polytheism of values' can guarantee tolerance and civil peace and conform to the spirit of a pluralistic democratic society."

    "The Lord attests to a radical rejection of all forms of hatred and violence in favour of the absolute primacy of agape. If, therefore, in history there have been or are forms of violence carried out in the name of God, these are not to be attributed to monotheism, but historical causes, mainly the result of human errors. Rather it is the forgetfulness of God that immerses human societies in a form of relativism, which inevitably generates violence. When you deny the opportunity for people to refer to an objective truth, dialogue is rendered impossible and violence, whether declared or hidden, becomes the rule of law of human relationships. Without openness to the transcendent, which allows us to find answers to questions on the meaning of life and how to live a moral life, mankind becomes unable to act in accordance with justice and work for peace."

    "If the failure of the relationship between mankind and God brings with it a deep imbalance in the relationship between men themselves, reconciliation with God, brought about by the Cross of Christ "our peace" (Eph, 2:14) is the fundamental source unity and fraternity.

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    See also

    05/10/2007 VATICAN
    God’s law, not majority rule, guarantees democracy and rights, says Pope
    Nowadays some claim that ethical relativism is the true guarantee of freedom and that the Law is based on the will of the majority. History shows however that majorities have made mistakes. Hence, we must raise awareness and mobilise people of good will against this point of view irrespective of religious convictions.

    06/10/2006 VATICAN
    No limbo for unbaptised children
    For the International Theological Commission, the concept of Limbo can be dropped. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger said the same more than 20 years ago.

    05/12/2008 VATICAN
    Theologians’ first virtue is obedience to the faith, says Pope
    In receiving the members of the International Theological Commission, Benedict XVI said that there is an “urgent need” to create the conditions to raise awareness of the value of natural moral law,” which is everyone’s “true guarantee” against ideological manipulations and the law of the strongest.

    06/12/2013 VATICAN
    For Pope, faith in God "is not and can never be a source of violence or intolerance"
    In his audience with the International Theological Commission, Francis spoke of the mission of the theologian as something that is "at once fascinating and risky" and of the "sensus fidelium", which he describes as a sort of "spiritual instinct" that enables the faithful "to discern that which is in conformity with the apostolic faith and the spirit of the Gospel."

    05/12/2014 VATICAN
    For pope, women theologians can reveal certain unexplored aspects of Christ's unfathomable mystery
    "The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess." The theologian must humbly listen to "the various manifestations of the living faith of the people of God."



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