Friday, September 08, 2006

Pope Benedict Meets with Canadian Bishops

This morning at Castelgandolfo, the Pope received prelates from the Canadian (Ontario) Conference of Catholic Bishops who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

Addressing them in English, the Pope indicated that "the fundamental task of the evangelization of culture is the challenge to make God visible in the human face of Jesus. In helping individuals to recognize and experience the love of Christ, you will awaken in them the desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, embracing the life of the Church. This is our mission."

"The split between the Gospel and culture, with the exclusion of God from the public sphere" is one of the "impediments to the spread of Christ's Kingdom" said the Holy Father. "Canada has a well-earned reputation for a generous and practical commitment to justice and peace, and there is an enticing sense of vibrancy and opportunity in your multicultural cities. At the same time, however, certain values ... have evolved in the most disturbing of ways. In the name of 'tolerance' your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of 'freedom of choice' it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children. When the Creator's divine plan is ignored the truth of human nature is lost."

"Democracy succeeds," the Holy Father insisted, "only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle. ... In your discussions with politicians and civic leaders I encourage you to demonstrate that our Christian faith, far from being an impediment to dialogue, is a bridge, precisely because it brings together reason and culture."

In the context of the evangelization of culture, Pope Benedict mentioned "the fine network of Catholic schools" in Ontario. Then, after highlighting how "catechesis and religious education is a taxing apostolate," he thanked teachers and catechists "who strive to ensure that your young people become daily more appreciative of the gift of faith which they have received."

The Pope identified relativism as "a particularly insidious obstacle to education today." For this reason, there is a particular need for "the apostolate of 'intellectual charity' which upholds the essential unity of knowledge, guides the young towards the sublime satisfaction of exercising their freedom in relation to truth, and articulates the relationship between faith and all aspects of family and civic life."

No comments: