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Friday, December 3, 2010

THEOLOGY MUST BE NOURISHED BY DIALOGUE WITH THE LOGOS

VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI received members of the International Theological Commission, who have just completed their plenary assembly.

  "Your reflection on the Christian vision of God", the Pope told them, "can be a precious contribution to the life of the faithful, as well as to our dialogue with believers of other religions and with non-believers".

  In "theo-logy", the Holy Father explained, "we seek, through the 'logos', to communicate what 'we have seen and heard'. ... We can think about God and communicate what we think because He has gifted us with reason in harmony with His own nature. ... Indeed, knowing God in His true nature is also the sure way to ensure peace. A God Who was not perceived as a source of forgiveness could not be a light along the path of peace".

  "No theological system can subsist if it is not permeated by the love of its divine 'Subject', if it is not nourished by dialogue (that is, by acceptance in the theologian's mind and heart) with the divine 'Logos', Creator and Redeemer". In this context the Pope explained that theology "must remain faithful to the nature of ecclesial faith: centred on God, rooted in prayer, and in communion with the other disciples of the Lord as guaranteed by communion with Peter's Successor and the entire college of bishops".

  Benedict XVI then highlighted how "the theologian never starts from naught, rather he considers the Fathers and theologians of Christian tradition to be his masters. Rooted in Sacred Scripture, read with the Fathers and the Doctors, theology can be a school of sanctity, as shown by Blessed John Henry Newman. Discovering the permanent value of the wealth handed down from the past is an important contribution that theologians make to the field of the sciences".

  "The social commitment of Christians necessarily derives from the manifestation of divine love. Contemplating the revealed God and practicing charity towards others cannot be separated, though experienced under different charisms. In a world which often appreciates many of Christianity's gifts (such as the idea of democratic equality, which comes from evangelical monotheism) without understanding the roots of its ideals, it is particularly important to show that the fruit dies if the roots of the tree are cut. There is, in fact, no justice without truth, and justice cannot fully develop if is horizon is limited by the material world. For us as Christians, social solidarity always has an eternal perspective".

  Benedict XVI concluded by highlighting how "theologians cannot work in solitude; they need the ministry of the pastors of the Church, just as the Magisterium has need of theologians who carry out their service to the full, with all the asceticism this implies".
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