March 24, 2010

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

SUMMARY:


ALBERT THE GREAT: NO CONTRAST BETWEEN FAITH AND SCIENCE

 VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope turned his attention to St. Albert the Great, whom he described as "one of the greatest masters of scholastic theology".

   The saint, who was born in Germany at the beginning of the thirteenth century, "studied what were known as the 'liberal arts': grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music; in other words, general culture, and he diplayed that typical interest for the natural sciences which would soon become his chosen field of specialisation".

   He entered the Order of Preachers and, following his ordination as a priest, had the opportunity to complete his theological studies at the most famous university of his age, Paris. From there he went to Cologne, taking Thomas Aquinas with him, his own "outstanding student". Pope Alexander IV made use of Albert's theological counsel, and subsequently appointed him as bishop of Regensburg.

   Albert, recalled the Holy Father, "contributed to the 1274 Council of Lyon, called by Pope Gregory X to favour the unification of the Latin and Greek Churches following their separation in the great Eastern Schism of 1054. He clarified the ideas of Thomas Aquinas, who had been the subject of entirely unjustified objections and even condemnations".

   The German saint died in Cologne in the year 1280, and was canonised and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1931, "undoubtedly an appropriate recognition for this great man of God" who was also "an outstanding scholar, not only of the truth of faith but in many other fields of knowledge". For this reason too, "Pope Pius XII named him as patron of the natural sciences, also giving him the title of 'Doctor universalis' because of the vastness of his interests and knowledge".

   "Above all, St. Albert shows that there is no opposition between faith and science. ... He reminds us that there is friendship between science and faith, and that scientists can, through their vocation to study nature, follow an authentic and absorbing path of sanctity", said the Holy Father.

   "St. Albert the Great opened the door to the complete acceptance of the thought of Aristotle into the philosophy and theology of the Middle Ages, an acceptance that was later definitively elaborated by St. Thomas Aquinas. This acceptance of what we may call pagan or pre-Christian philosophy was an authentic cultural revolution for the time. Yet many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle's philosophy", especially as it had been interpreted in such a was as to appear "entire irreconcilable with Christian faith. Thus a dilemma arose: are faith and reason in contrast with one another or not?

   "Here lies one of the great merits of St. Albert: he rigorously studied the works of Aristotle, convinced that anything that is truly reasonable is compatible with faith as revealed in Sacred Scripture", the Pope added.

   "St. Albert was able to communicate these concepts in a simple and understandable way. A true son of St. Dominic, he readily preached to the people of God who were won over by his words and the example of his life".

   The Pope concluded his catechesis by asking God "that the holy Church may never lack learned, pious and wise theologians like St. Albert the Great, and that He may help each of us to accept the 'formula for sanctity' which Albert followed in his own life: 'Wanting everything I want for the glory of God just as, for His glory, God wants everything He wants'. In other words, we must always conform ourselves to the will of God in order to want and do everything always and only for His glory".

 

PROTECTING LIFE FROM CONCEPTION UNTIL NATURAL DEATH

 VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope addressed a special greeting to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, and to Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, who are currently visiting Rome with a delegation to receive an image of Our Lady of Carmel. The Holy Father spoke of his "affection towards the citizens of that country, which is celebrating its bi-centenary", and gave assurances that he "will continue to accompany them during these difficult moments following the recent earthquake".

   Turning then to address Polish pilgrims, the Holy Father recalled the fact that tomorrow marks the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. "In Poland", he remarked, "it is also celebrated as the Day of the Sacredness of Life. The mystery of the Incarnation reveals the specific value of the dignity of human life. God gave us this gift and sanctified it when the Son became man and was born of Mary. It is a gift that must be protected, from conception until natural death. With all my heart I join people involved in various initiatives aimed at respecting life and promoting a new social awareness".

 

LEARNING TO LOVE IS CENTRAL TO CHRISTIAN LIFE

 VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Vatican dicastery responsible for organising the International Youth Forum currently being attended by around three hundred young people in the Italian town of Rocca di Papa.

   In his Message the Pope highlights how the theme chosen for the forum - "Learning to Love" - is "central to faith and Christian life" because, he writes, "the starting point for any kind of reflection about love is the mystery of God Himself. ... The heart of Christian revelation is this: 'Deus caritas est'. In His Passion, in His total gift of Self, He revealed the face of God which is Love".

   "From the very fact that God is love, and that man is His image, we understand the profound identity of the person and his vocation to love. Man is made to love, and his life is completely fulfilled only if it is lived in love", the Pope writes.

   He then goes on to observe that love takes on different forms in different states of life. In this context, with reference to the priesthood, he quotes words of St. John Mary Vianney to the effect that "the priesthood is love of the heart of Jesus". And he continues: "People consecrated in celibacy are also an eloquent sign of God's love for the world and of the vocation to love God above all things".

   Benedict XVI exhorts the young people to "discover the greatness and beauty of marriage. ... Through the Sacrament of Marriage spouses are united to God, and with their relationship they express the love of Christ Who gave His life for the salvation of the world. In a cultural context in which many people consider matrimony as a temporary contract that can be broken, it is vitally important to understand that true love is faithful, a definitive gift of self. Because Christ consecrates the love of Christian spouses and commits Himself with them, such faithfulness is not only possible but is the way to enter into ever greater charity".

   In closing his Message, Pope Benedict expresses the hope that the forum may stimulate young people "to become witnesses to their peers of what they have seen and heard. This", he concludes, "is a vital responsibility for which the Church is relying on them. They have an important role to play in evangelising the young in their own countries, that they may joyfully and faithfully respond to Christ's commandment to 'love one another as I have loved you'".

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Cloyne, Ireland presented by Bishop John Magee, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

  - Appointed Fr. Francisco Lerma Martinez I.M.C., provincial superior of the Mozambican Region of the Consolata Missionary Institute, as bishop of Gurue (area 42,451, population 1,150,000, Catholics 259,500, priests 46, religious 13), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in El Palmar, Spain in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1969.

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