29 January 2007

Fides et ratio

Pope Benedict XVI upheld Saint Thomas Aquinas as "a valid model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of the human spirit, which are fully realized when they meet and dialogue" during his Angelus Address yesterday, a theme which hearkens back to his address in Regensburg.

Noting that the "relationship between faith and reason is a serious challenge for the present prevailing culture in the Western world," His Holiness explored the authentic relationship between the two:

In reality, the modern development of the sciences brings countless positive effects, which must always be acknowledged. At the same time, however, it must be admitted that the tendency to consider true only that which can be experienced constitutes a limitation for human reason and produces a terrible schizophrenia, evident to all, because of which rationalism and materialism, and hypertechnology and unbridled instincts, coexist.
It is urgent, therefore, to rediscover in a new way human rationality open to the light of the divine 'Logos' and to its perfect revelation that is Jesus Christ, Son of God made man. When Christian faith is authentic it does not mortify freedom or human reason; then, why should faith and reason be afraid of one another, if on meeting one another and dialoguing they can express themselves in the best way?
Faith implies reason and perfects it, and reason, illuminated by faith, finds the strength to rise to knowledge of God and of spiritual realities. Human reason loses nothing when it is open to the contents of faith; what is more, the latter calls for its free and conscious adherence.
Entrusting the Church to the intercession of the Angelic Doctor and to Mary, Seat of Wisdom, the Pontiff invited the faithful to pray that Christians will be "more able to express the reasonable character of their faith and to witness to it with a dialogue inspired by love."

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