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Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The International Theological Commission has issued a message for the Year of Faith. Extracts from the English-language version are given below.

"As a community of faith, the International Theological Commission wishes to heed the message of conversion which is central to the Year of Faith and to renew its commitment to the service of the Church. In order to do so, on 6 December the International Theological Commission, led by its president Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will make a pilgrimage to the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major during its annual plenary meeting, and will entrust there its activities and those of all Catholic theologians to the intercession of the faithful Virgin Mary, model for believers, bulwark of the true faith, who is proclaimed 'blessed' because she believed.

"In connection with the Year of Faith, the International Theological Commission is committed to providing - 'in medio Ecclesiae' - its own specific contribution to the new evangelisation promoted by the Apostolic See, by plumbing the revealed mystery for the benefit of believers, using all the resources of reason enlightened by faith, so as to promote the reception of that faith in the world of today".

"The recent document of the International Theological Commission, entitled 'Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria', develops the understanding that theology is entirely derived from faith, and that it is practised in constant dependence on the faith that is lived by the people of God under the guidance of its pastors. In fact, only faith allows the theologian to reach really the object of theological enquiry: the truth of God that bathes the whole of reality in the light of a new day - 'sub ratione Dei'".

"The theologian works to 'inculturate' in human intelligence, in the form of an authentic science, the intelligible content of 'the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints'. But the theologian also pays particular attention to the act of faith itself. ... 'In fact, there exists a profound unity between the act by which we believe and the content to which we give our assent'. The theologian highlights the great human significance of that act, investigating how God’s prevenient grace draws out from the very heart of human freedom the 'yes' of faith, and showing how faith is the 'foundation of the entire spiritual edifice', in that it informs all the various dimensions of Christian life, personal, familial and communitarian.

"Not only is the work of the theologian dependant on the living faith of the Christian people, attentive to 'what the Spirit is saying to the churches', but its whole purpose is to foster the growth in faith of the people of God and the evangelising mission of the Church. ... Indeed, the vocation of the theologian, in responsible collaboration with the Magisterium, is to serve the faith of God’s people.

"In the same way, the theologian is the servant of Christian joy which is 'the joy of truth'. ... In this sense, faith - and theology as the science of faith and wisdom - offers to all 'lovers of spiritual beauty' a full-flavoured foretaste of eternal joy.

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