George Weigel on 'Deus Caritas Est'
"Attempt to Introduce 'the God With a Human Face'"
By Viktoria Somogyi
ROME, DEC. 20, 2006 (Zenit) - Benedict XVI's first encyclical aimed, in part, to ask whether the government's role in charity might undercut the human tendency to reach out in solidarity to the needy, says George Weigel.
Weigel, a biographer of Pope John Paul II, delivered the keynote lecture on "Centesimus Annus" and "Deus Caritas Est" during a series of lectures organized by the Michigan-based Acton Institute. Acton is celebrating the 15th anniversary of John Paul II's social encyclical "Centesimus Annus."
The sixth conference in the nine-part lecture series, entitled "'Centesimus Annus' and 'Deus Caritas Est': Christian Charity in the Free Market," was held Dec. 12 at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Weigel spoke about Benedict XVI's "Deus Caritas Est" in this interview.
Q: What lessons do you think Western Europe can learn from "Deus Caritas Est"?
Weigel: "Deus Caritas Est" is Pope Benedict's attempt to introduce, or in some cases reintroduce, the world to "the God with a human face," which is the face of crucified love.
Beyond that basic evangelical message, "Deus Caritas Est" asks Europe to consider whether the outsourcing of the responsibilities of charity to government agencies doesn't make for a net human deficit.
Do womb-to-tomb social services, medical care, and pension systems, all run by governments on tax money, stifle the human and Christian instinct to reach out in solidarity to the suffering "other"? That's one of the question the Pope is putting on the table.
Q: How has "Deus Caritas Est" been received in the USA?
Weigel: It was well received, I think, because so many people who had previously accepted the media "cartoon" of Joseph Ratzinger discovered a man of evangelical gentleness and zeal.
The second half of the encyclical, as I explained at the Gregorian University earlier this week, was a challenge to certain dominant currents of thought in the American philanthropy industry.
Q: What do you think the possible futures of Europe are?
Weigel: Europe is dying from spiritual boredom, as I tried to argue in "The Cube and the Cathedral." If Europe does not rediscover its faith in reason and its faith in the God of the Bible, I fear that its below-replacement-level birthrates will continue, and much of the continent will eventually become an extension of the Arab-Islamic world.
Q: What particular challenges does the growth of Islamic communities in Europe pose for European governments and the EU?
Weigel: They pose the question, how can a Europe which is culturally awash in postmodernism and multiculturalism defend its unique civilization and that civilization's commitments to religious freedom, other basic human rights, the rule of law, and democracy?
Q: How do you see the Church's approach to Islam changing under Benedict XVI?
Weigel: Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have the same substantive understanding of Islam's theological defects and the same appreciation for Muslim piety.
Pope Benedict has drawn out some of the implications of certain defective Islamic understandings of the nature of God in light of contemporary world circumstances, and has helped the world to see that we can discuss these problems through the vocabulary of rationality/irrationality.
Q: At the beginning of the 21st century, what contributions do you believe the Church in Central and Eastern Europe can make to the revival of Christianity throughout Europe?
Weigel: Much of the Church in east central Europe lived an experience of the liberating power of the Gospel during the 1980s. That experience ought to be useful in challenging the soul-withering secularism of European high culture, with its insistence that the God of the Bible is the enemy of human freedom.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Deus Caritas Est, Weigel, God, Human, Benedict, Somogyi
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 24th, 2017 HD Video
- 'This is him telling me he is scared' - Heartbreaking image of ...
- Scientists predict Biblical flood for California HD Video
- Heroic woman saves officer's life during roadside attack
- Wave of anti-Semitic threats end in vandalization horror - But ...
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- New pilgrimage route recreates Jesus' footsteps HD
- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 HD
- California's floods predicted by scientists, but how? HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.