06/30/2011, 00.00
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Pope: "God is not an object of human experimentation"

Marking the "Prize Ratzinger", Benedict XVI speaks of the role of the "science of faith", in short human reason’s search for the Face of God, There's the "tyranny of reason" that wants to be judge of all and the "thirst" to deepen our knowledge of the object of our love.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "God is not an object of human experimentation", but even if we can not prove or deny His existence, this does not mean that human reason can not look for Him, rather the search for truth puts us on “the path towards God”. "When there this use of reason fails, then the great questions of humanity fall outside the scope of reason and are left to irrationality. This is why authentic theology is so important". The awarding this morning, of the "Ratzinger Prize", allowed Benedict XVI to reflect on "what theology is", the "science of faith" in a cultural context in which "experimental reason is now largely seen as the only form of declared scientific rationality

"If Christ is the Logos, the truth, man must relate to Him with his own logos, with his reason. To arrive at Christ, he must be on the path of truth. He must be open to the Logos, the creative reason, from which his very reason is derived and to which it refers. From here you can see that the Christian faith, by its very nature, should give rise to theology, it had to question the reasonableness of the faith, though of course the concept of reason and that of science embrace many dimensions, and so the concrete nature of the link between Faith and reason must and should always be re-explored".

"Therefore, while the link fundamental link between Logo, truth and faith are clearly presented in Christianity, the concrete form of such a link has raised and raises new questions. It is clear that at present this question, which has concerned and will concern all generations, can not be discussed in detail, and even general outlines. I would like to attempt to propose only a little note. St. Bonaventure, in the prologue to his Commentary on the Sentences spoke of a dual use of reason - a use that is incompatible with the nature of faith and one instead that belongs to the very nature of faith. There is the violentia rationis, the despotism of reason, which is the supreme judge of everything. This kind of use of reason is of course impossible in our faith.

"In this mode of use of reason, God "is, so to speak, subjected to interrogation and must submit to a procedure of experimental examination. This mode of use of reason in modern times, has reached the peak of its development in the natural sciences. The experimental reason is today widely seen as the only form of declared scientific rationality. What can not be scientifically verified or falsified falls outside the scope of science. With this approach great works have been carried out, that it is a just and necessary part of the knowledge of nature and its laws no one will seriously place in doubt. However, there is a limit to the use of reason: God is not an object of human experimentation. He is the Subject and is manifested only in the relationship from person to person: this is part of the essence of the person. "

"In this perspective Bonaventure mentions a second use of reason, which applies to the 'personal' sphere, regarding the great questions of being human. Love wants to know better the One he loves. Love, true love, does not make one blind, but renders all things visible. The thirst for knowledge, a true knowledge of the other is part of this. For this reason, the Fathers of the Church have found the precursors and the antecedents of Christianity - outside the world of the revelation of Israel - not in the sphere of customary religion, but in men in search of God, in the "philosophers", in people who were thirsting for the truth and were therefore on the path towards God. When this reason is not used in this way, then the great questions of humanity fall outside the scope of reason and are left to irrationality. This is why authentic theology is so important. Upright faith directs reason to be open to the divine, so that it, guided by love for truth, can know God more intimately. The initiative for this journey is with God, who has placed the search of His face in the heart of man. The humility that allows one to be "touched" by God on the one hand, and on the other hand, the discipline that is bound to the order of reason are therefore part of theology, they preserve love from blindness and help develop visual strength".

"I am well aware that all of this does not answer the question about the possibility and the task of the right theology, rather the great challenge inherent to the nature of theology has been highlighted. Yet it is precisely this challenge that man needs, because it pushes us to open our reason to ask about the truth itself, about the face of God. "

The three scholars who received the prize are : Manlio Simonetti, Italian, layman, scholar of ancient Christian literature and patristics; Olegario González de Cardedal, a Spanish priest, professor of systematic theology; Maximilian Heim, Cistercian, German, abbot of the monastery of Heiligenkreuz in Austria and a professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology.
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