Benedict XVI concluding his visit today to the Czech Republic, repeats the warning against regimes and ways of life that reject the existence of God. Today we need "people who are 'believers' and 'credible', ready to bring to every sphere of society those Christian ideals and principles which guide their actions. On his arrival he had warned dictatorship is based on lies.
Prague (AsiaNews) - Those who deny God, as the Communist regime did - even arriving at persecution - or as the materialistic illusion of consumerism does, "seem to have an easy life and achieve material success," but in reality on the inside there is only "sadness and dissatisfaction. Only those who have a holy 'fear of God' in their heart, trust in their fellow man and spend their life building a more just and fraternal world”.
This is the warning that Benedict XVI has launched during his three days visit to the Czech Republic, a country that has experienced 40 years of harsh communist regime and which today is considered the most atheist of Europe, with 66% of its citizens , according to a research, who claim to be non-believers. Today, on the last leg of his journey, addressing to the more than 100 thousand people in the esplanade on the way to Melnik in Stara Boleslav (pictured), he concretely addressed both issues arguing that "the past century - as this land of yours can bear witness – saw the fall of a number of powerful figures who had apparently risen to almost unattainable heights. Suddenly they found themselves stripped of their power. Those who denied and continue to deny God, and in consequence have no respect for man, appear to have a comfortable life and to be materially successful. Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how sad and unfulfilled these people are. Only those who maintain in their hearts a holy “fear of God” can also put their trust in man and spend their lives building a more just and fraternal world. Today there is a need for believers with credibility, who are ready to spread in every area of society the Christian principles and ideals by which their action is inspired. This is holiness, the universal vocation of all the baptized, which motivates people to carry out their duty with fidelity and courage, looking not to their own selfish interests but to the common good, seeking God’s will at every moment."
Topics discussed already on the plane that brought him to Prague, when meeting with reporters he said that "these countries have particularly suffered under dictatorship, but in their suffering they also matured concepts of freedom that are relevant and which now remain to be further developed and achieved. I think, for example, of a text by Václav Havel that says: 'Dictatorship is based on lies and if these lies are overcome, if there is no more lying and if the truth comes to light, there would be freedom'. Thus he developed this relationship between truth and freedom, where freedom is not libertinism, arbitrary, but is connected to and influenced by the great values of truth and love and solidarity and of good in general". On the same occasion, speaking of being a minority of Catholics, had noted that “usually it’s the creative minorities which determine the future and in this sense, the Catholic Church must understand itself as a creative minority with a legacy of values that is not a thing of the past, but a very much alive and present reality. The Church has to come up to date, to be present in public debate, in our struggle for a true concept of freedom and peace".
That same day, before the political and civil and authorities and diplomatic corps at the presidential palace in Prague, he underlined that “History has amply shown that truth can be betrayed and manipulated in the service of false ideologies, oppression and injustice. But do not the challenges facing the human family call us to look beyond those dangers? For in the end, what is more inhuman, and destructive, than the cynicism which would deny the grandeur of our quest for truth, and the relativism that corrodes the very values which inspire the building of a united and fraternal world? Instead, we must re-appropriate a confidence in the nobility and breadth of the human spirit in its capacity to grasp the truth". And yesterday, during Mass celebrated in the esplanade of the airport in Brno, the capital of Moravia: " History has demonstrated - he said - the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions, and how hard it is to build a society inspired by the values of goodness, justice and fraternity, because the human being is free and his freedom remains fragile".
Today, the Feast of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the country, he repeated that "the true value of human life is measured not merely in terms of material goods and transient interests, because it is not material goods that quench the profound thirst for meaning and happiness in the heart of every person". A search that is particularly relevant among the young people of the nation, for whom he had a particular message; "it is not hard to see that in every young person there is an aspiration towards happiness, sometimes tinged with anxiety: an aspiration that is often exploited, however, by present-day consumerist society in false and alienating ways. Instead, that longing for happiness must be taken seriously; it demands a true and comprehensive response. At your age, the first major choices are made, choices that can set your lives on a particular course, for better or worse". The pope’s last words however were ones of "hope. This word, to which I often return, sits well with youth. You, my dear young people, are the hope of the Church! She expects you to become messengers of hope".