24 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


» 09/02/2012
VATICAN
Pope: Christians also likely to relegate religion to "secondary habit "
Benedict XVI warns against "false religiosity": entrusting our joy and security "in material goods, power or other 'gods'." In this way religion "loses its true meaning which is found in listening to God, in doing His will" and external practices which "instead satisfy the human need to feel right before God." Greetings to the Lebanese "joy of upcoming visit to their beautiful country."

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - The risk of reducing religion to "practices of a secondary custom" pervades every religion, even Christianity: this is the warning that Benedict XVI launched today before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. After the Marian prayer, during his greetings, he remarked on the Lebanese pilgrims present, confirming his visit in Lebanon, scheduled for September 14 to 16.

Taking a cue from today's Gospel (XXII Sunday year B, Mk 7 1-8.14-15.21-23), in which Jesus criticizes the Scribes and Pharisees in their formalism in following the law, the pope said: "The words of Jesus in today's Gospel against the Scribes and Pharisees should make us stop and think too. Jesus makes the words of the prophet Isaiah his own: "This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts"(Mk 7.6 to 7, cf. Is 29:13). He then concludes:" You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition "(Mk 7.8). Even the Apostle James, in his letter, warns against the danger of a false religion. He writes to the Christians: "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves" (James 1:22). "

The pope stated that the "law of God", the "commandment" are "an essential element of the Jewish religion and even Christianity, where it finds its fulfillment in love (cf. Rom 13:10)."

God's Law therefore is a positive thing because "it is his Word that guides man on the path of life, it frees him from the condition of his slavery of selfishness and introduces him to the" land "of true freedom and life. This is why in the Bible the Law is not seen as a burden, an overwhelming limitation, but as the most precious gift of the Lord, the testimony of His fatherly love, His desire to be close to His people, to be their Ally and write a love story together with them. Thus prays the pious Israelite, " In your statutes I take delight; I will never forget your word (...)Lead me in the path of your commandments, for that is my delight" (Ps 119,16.35.) In the Old Testament, he who in the name of God transmits God's Law to the people is Moses. He, after the long journey through the desert, on the threshold of the Promised Land, proclaims: " Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you"(Deut. 4:1)."

"Here - he continued - is the problem: when the people settle in the land, and are the depositaries of the Law, they are tempted to entrust their safety and joy to something that is no longer the Word of the Lord: to material goods, power, other 'gods' that are actually empty, that are idols. Certainly, the Law of God remains, but it is no longer the most important thing, the rule of life, it becomes a facade, a cover, and life takes another direction, other roads, other rules, often the selfish interests of the individual and groups. So religion loses its true meaning, which is to live in listening to God, to do his will, and is reduced to secondary habit, to satisfy the rather human need to feel we have done right before God. This is a serious risk in every religion, which Jesus encountered in his time, but that may occur, unfortunately, even in Christianity. "

"May the Virgin Mary - concluded the pope - to whom we now turn in prayer, help us to listen with an open and sincere heart to the word of God, so it may guide our thoughts, our choices and our actions, every day."

After the Angelus prayer, greeting the French-speaking pilgrims, he had a particular welcome for "the Lebanese present this morning, I assure you of my prayers and my joy to visit your beautiful country soon. I cordially bless you all". Thus confirming this visit, which some analysts have described as "difficult" and "unlikely" given the tensions in the Middle East. Instead, the Lebanese Church has always confirmed the trip of Pope Benedict XVI where he is expected to deliver the Apostolic Exhortation following the Synod of the Churches of the Middle East, held in October 2010.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/17/2008 VATICAN - LEBANON
Pope: The Transfiguration and the way of the Cross. An appeal for Lebanon
08/05/2012 VATICAN
Pope: Earning our daily bread, above all our faith in Christ, the “true bread of life"
09/13/2009 VATICAN
Pope: let us learn from Mary to witness our faith, ready to pay in person
04/14/2011 VATICAN-LEBANON
Pope: to new Maronite Patriarch, go "proclaim and live" the the Good News
07/03/2011 VATICAN
Life rooted in brotherly love true remedy for humanity's wounds, says Pope

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.