Saturday, May 27, 2006

Benedict's homily

From a transcript of the homily Pope Benedict gave yesterday in Warsaw's Pilsudski Square as reported by Zenit News Agency
"Dear brothers and sisters, faith … is revealed as love that prompts us to promote the good inscribed by the Creator into the nature of every man and woman among us, into the personality of every other human being and into everything that exists in the world. Whoever believes and loves in this way becomes a builder of the true 'civilization of love.'
I looked up the homily because I was curious to know what he really said about faith and reality. In a statement I like to quote Lorenzo Albacete says
Benedict's conversations with nonbelievers have convinced him that their major concern about Christianity is not its 'other-worldiness' but the very opposite. For them, what makes Christianity potentially dangerous as a source of conflict and intolerance in a pluralistic society is its insistence that faith is reasonable — that is, that it is the source of knowledge about this world and that, therefore, its teaching should apply to all, believers and nonbelievers alike.
I wanted to see whether Benedict stayed on the faith side in his homily or strayed to the truth side.

Benedict talked about the "the truth about God and about man" and he talked about "the truths of faith." But he did not claim that faith is a road to secular (i.e., scientific) truth. His message was that a good Christian lives a life of love as a result of faith and not that he believes any particular fact about the world. The core of his message was the passage quoted at the beginning, a sentiment everyone can subscribe to.

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