POPE BENEDICT'S CALL TO ACTION

OUR HOLY FATHER POPE BENEDICT XVI WITH PASTORAL STAFF
A SOBER REALISTIC ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS OF THE SITUATION

CARE! THIS IS A GOOGLE TRANSLATION AS BECOMES EVIDENT IN THE MORE COMPLEX SECTIONS , AND  IT IS ACCORDINGLY USEFUL ONLY AS A GENERAL GUIDE

The second paragraph, though brief , is compelling in its description of the present state of affairs. 




"ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
 
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY
 
OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Clementine Hall
Friday, January 27, 2012
  
Cardinals,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
dear brothers and sisters!
It's always a joy being able to meet with you at the Plenary Session and to express my appreciation for the service that you do for the Church and especially for the Successor of Peter in his ministry of confirming the brethren in the faith (cf. Lk 22, 32). I thank Cardinal William Levada for his cordial words of greeting in which he recalled some important commitments met by the Congregation in recent years. And I am especially grateful to the congregation , in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization , prepares the ' Year of the faith , taking it a good time to point out to everyone the gift of faith in the risen Christ, the clear teaching of Vatican Council II and the valuable doctrinal synthesis offered by the Catechism of the Catholic Church .

As we know, in large parts of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no more food. We are facing a deep crisis of faith, a loss of religious meaning, which is the biggest challenge for the Church today. The renewal of the faith must be the priority in the commitment of the whole Church to this day. I hope that the ' Year of the faith can contribute, with the cordial collaboration of all segments of the people of God to bring God back into this world and to show men and women access to the faith, reliance on the God who He loved to the end (cf. Jn 13, 1), in Jesus Christ crucified and risen.

The theme of Christian unity is closely connected with this task. So I would like to focus on certain aspects of doctrine concerning the Church's ecumenical journey, which was the subject of further consideration of this plenary session, coinciding with the conclusion of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In fact, the momentum of the work must start from that ecumenical '"spiritual ecumenism", from that' "soul of the whole ecumenical movement" ( UR , 8), which is in the spirit of prayer "that all may be one '( Jn 17.21).
The coherence of the ecumenical teachings of the Second Vatican Council and with the whole tradition was one of the areas where the Congregation , in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity , has always paid attention. Today, we see quite a few good fruit caused by the ecumenical dialogues, but we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenicism and indifferentism, quite alien to the mind of the Second Vatican Council , demands our vigilance. This indifference is caused by the increasingly widespread view that the truth would not be accessible to man, you would then need to find rules for limited practice can improve the world. And so faith would be replaced by a moralism , without deep foundation. The center of true ecumenism, however, is the faith in which the man finds the truth that is revealed in the Word of God Without faith, the ecumenical movement would be reduced to a form of "social contract" which adhere to a common interest, a "praxeology" to create a better world. The logic of Vatican II is completely different: the sincere search for full unity of all Christians is a dynamic, animated by the Word of God, the Divine Truth that speaks to us in this Word.
The crucial issue, which marks the ecumenical dialogues across the board, is therefore the question of the structure of revelation - the relationship between Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Holy Church and the Ministry of the successors of the Apostles as witnesses of the true faith. And here the problem is implicit ecclesiology that is part of this problem: how to get the truth of God to us. Essential, among other things, here is the discernment between the Tradition with a capital, and traditions. I would not go into details, just an observation. An important step in this discernment has been taken in preparing and implementing measures for groups of faithful coming from, who wish to enter into full communion with the Church, the unity of the common and essential divine tradition,preserving their own spiritual traditions , liturgical and pastoral activities, which conform to the Catholic faith (cf. Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus , Art. III). There is, in fact, a spiritual richness in the different Christian denominations, which is an expression of the one faith and the gift to be shared and find together in the Tradition of the Church.
Today, then, is one of the fundamental issues raised by the problem of the methods adopted in the various ecumenical dialogues. Even they must reflect the priority of faith. Knowing the truth is the right interlocutor in any real dialogue. It is the same need of charity toward his brother. In this sense, to address the controversial issues with courage, always in the spirit of brotherhood and mutual respect. It is also important to provide a correct interpretation of that '' order or 'hierarchy' of truths of Catholic doctrine ", found in the Decree UR (11), which does not mean in any way reduce the deposit of faith, but bring out the internal structure, the organic structure of this one. They also have very important documents of the study, produced by various ecumenical dialogues. These texts can not be ignored, because they are an important fruit, though temporary, of the common reflection gained over the years. Nevertheless, they are recognized at their true meaning as contributions to the competent authorities of the Church, which alone is called to judge them permanently. Ascribed to these texts a weight or almost conclusively binding of thorny issues of dialogue, without proper evaluation by the Church, ultimately, would not help the way towards full unity in faith.
One last point I would like finally to mention is the moral issue, which constitutes a new challenge for the ecumenical journey. In the dialogues we can not ignore the great moral questions about human life, family, sexuality, bioethics, freedom, justice and peace. It will be important to talk about these issues with one voice, drawing on the basis in Scripture and the living tradition of the Church.This tradition helps us decipher the language of the Creator in his creation. Defending the fundamental values ​​of the great tradition of the Church, defending the man, defend creation.
At the conclusion of these reflections, I hope for a close and friendly collaboration of theCongregation with the competent Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity , in order to effectively promote the restoration of full unity among all Christians. The division among Christians, in fact, "not only openly contradicts the will of Christ, but a stumbling block in the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature" (Decree UR , 1) . The unit is not only the fruit of faith, but also half and almost a prerequisite in order to proclaim the faith ever more credible to those who do not yet know the Savior. Jesus prayed: "As you, Father, art in me and I in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent" ( Jn 17, 21).
In renewing my gratitude for your service, I assure you of my constant spiritual nearness and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all. Thank you."

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