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Monday, February 7, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 7 FEB 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father received participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

  In his address to the group the Pope noted that "the common denominator of the topics you are examining over these days is education and formation, which today represent one of the most urgent challenges the Church and her institutions are called to face. Educational work seems to be becoming ever more arduous because, in a culture which all too often makes relativism its creed, the light of truth is lacking. Indeed, it is considered dangerous even to speak about truth, thus instilling doubt about the basic values of individual and community life".

  The Holy Father went on to recall how the dicastery was founded by Benedict XV in 1915. "For nearly a hundred years", he said, "it has been doing its important work serving the various kinds of Catholic formative institute", such as the seminary, which "is one of the most important for the life of the Church and thus needs educational projects which take account of the abovementioned [cultural] context".

  Benedict XVI then remarked on the fact that the participants in the plenary will be studying a draft document on "The internet and formation in seminaries". The internet, he said, "with the necessary discernment to ensure it is used intelligently and prudently, can be a useful tool, not only for the studies but also for the pastoral work of future priests in various ecclesial fields, such as evangelisation, missionary activity, catechesis, educational projects, and administration of institutions. Here too, the presence of well-prepared formators is of vital importance, as they act as faithful guides accompanying candidates to the priesthood in the correct and positive use of the information media.

  "This year", he added, "marks the seventieth anniversary of the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations, established by the Venerable Pius XII to favour collaboration between the Holy See and the local Churches in the vital task of promoting vocations to the ordained ministry. This anniversary can be an opportunity to understand and take advantage of the most important vocational initiatives being promoted in the local Churches. It is important ... to insist more clearly on the nature of priestly ministry, characterised by its specific configuration to Christ, something which intrinsically distinguishes it from the other faithful and places it at their service".

  The Pope also commented on the fact that the participants have begun a revision of the Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia christiana" on ecclesiastical universities and faculties. "One sector meriting particular attention is that of theology", he said. "It is vital for theology to remain closely linked to individual and community prayer, especially liturgical prayer".

  "Catholic universities, with their highly specific identity and their openness to the 'totality' of human beings, can do precious work to promote the unity of knowledge, guiding students and teachers towards the Light of the world", he said.

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by underlining "the educational role of the teaching of Catholic religion as an academic discipline in interdisciplinary dialogue with others. It contributes, indeed, not only to the integral development of the student, but also to an understanding of others, to comprehension and mutual respect. To reach these goals, particular attention must be paid to the education of directors and formators, not only from a professional, but also from a religious and spiritual standpoint so that, through coherent lifestyle and personal involvement, the presence of Christian educators may become an expression of love and a witness of truth".
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1 comment:

  1. I am delighted by Benedict XVI’s insistence on the light of truth. De Veritate nunquam satis…

    It is related to his June 11th, 2007, address in which he proclaimed that “It is up to us to seek to respond to the question of truth, fearlessly juxtaposing the proposal of faith with the reason of our time. […] Thus, it is very important to develop what last year we called "the pastoral care of intelligence". […] In a society and in a culture which all too often make relativism their creed – relativism has become a kind of dogma - the light of truth is lacking. Indeed, it is considered dangerous even to speak about truth…

    Those lucid words should apply to the concrete case studied by the CDF Commission presided by Cardinal Ruini concerning the Medjugorje events.

    Since the establishment of the first Commission until today, it seems that the Bishops from the Mostar Diocese and former Yugoslavia have comprehended the historical facts by pronouncing a verdict of non constat de supernaturalitate.

    However, since the Zadar Declaration (1991) that confirmed the non constat, the "pastoral care of intelligence" has given way to the pastoral care of alleged “good fruits” promoted by the parish pastoral personnel and some foreign dignitaries. One even reads in certain propagandist blogs that the initiators of an eventual fraud should be warmly congratulated because the fruits of the manipulation are amazingly impressive. The end would justify the means, relativism would have “become a kind of dogma”.

    It seems that the “intelligence of pastoral care” is sorely lacking and it is no wonder that Benedict XVI, in mutual agreement with the Bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina, solicits the expertise of the members of the Fourth Commission to meet the demand of truth wished for by His Holiness and the faithful who discuss or argue about an important issue concerning private revelations.

    Let us hope that that “pending case” will be resolved in accordance with Benedict XIV’s aspirations and that the light of truth will prevail.

    Louis Bélanger


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