Benedict XVI's Commitment to Faith and Reason in Universities
about God rather than the proper subject of theological study that has for its object God and his loving revelation to man.
"Ex Corde Ecclesiae" insists upon the special bond that should exist between the Catholic theologian and the Church in the service of truth. This beautiful and vital ecclesial dimension of the work of the Catholic theologian needs to be embraced joyfully in service to the Church and all humanity.
The apostolic constitution speaks of the Catholic university as being "consecrated" in a special way to the search for and acquisition of truth. It must therefore be open to everything relating to God, man and the created order. The Catholic theologian has a crucial role to play in this essential mission.
As the Second Vatican Council taught in "Dei Verbum," sacred Scripture, sacred Tradition and the magisterium are like three pillars that are so interconnected "that one can't really stand without the others." They should be used and joyfully accepted by the theologian in his effort to help explicate the Faith in service to the Church and a world that hungers for the saving truth of Christ.
Q: A corollary: Do scholars have anything to fear under Benedict XVI's papacy?
O'Donnell: The fact that Pope Benedict XVI is a man of great intellect and scholarly ability should reassure scholars everywhere that they have nothing to fear.
Sadly, often times this fear stems from a belief that they will loose their "freedom." As the Pope beautifully stated in his opening homily, "this yoke of Christ... does not weigh down on us, oppressing us and taking away our freedom."
Pope Benedict, like all true academicians, is totally committed to the search for and acquisition of truth. It must be remembered that truth is the object of the intellect. Once truth has been discovered there is a special obligation to submit to the truth when it is recognized. This is what the human heart and mind were made for by the God who loves us.
We must remember that, contrary to popular opinion, an open mind is not in itself a perfection. The mind is made for truth. The purpose of scholarly endeavor is the acquisition and comprehension of truth.
To that end, scholars, who share this love for the pursuit and acquisition of truth, should rejoice that a man of such intellect, learning and deep faith has been elevated to the papal throne.
I believe his pontificate will be a grace for our broken, suffering world. The election of Pope Benedict should be a source of joy and hope for all those who love the Church, love the Faith and are committed to "communicating the whole truth about man," which is revealed most fully in Jesus Christ.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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