.- Archbishop Angelo Amato, Secretary of the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in an interview last weekend that there exist serious obstacles to the transmission of the Faith, both inside and outside of the Church.
Polish journalist, Wlodzimierz Redzioch sat down with Archbishop Amato for the weekly journal Niedziela. The archbishop said that the Gospel message is still good news and that, as such, “we must do our best to proclaim the good news effectively.”
Quoting the Second Vatican Council document, Dei Verbum, Amato said that, “the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on (D.V. #10).”
In order to execute their task in this day and age, “The magisterium of the Church is, therefore, closely connected to mass media,” the archbishop said.
While the Magisterium attempts to do its best to promulgate the faith, there are still some parts of the world in which Christians are clearly persecuted and refused the right to practice their faith, Amato said.
However, he said, in most countries much more subtle obstacles exist. Those obstacles, the archbishop explained, include a postmodernist contemporary culture, a weakening of Catholics’ (both believers and theologians) feeling of identification with the Church, and a common lack of knowledge of the history and theology of the Church. “All these things influence the reception of the teaching of the Church, which is actually rejected.”
Amato said that the “weak philosophies” of the contemporary postmodernist culture reject the “strong philosophy” of Christian Revelation. These “weak philosophies,” which include nihilism, which regards the human being as a self-contained individual whose life, without values and aim, finds its end in nothingness; relativism, which overloads the individual with countless ‘sensible solutions’ thus making one’s opinion the most important thing; and the philosophy of a ‘biotechnological culture’, which creates the notion that the power of science is somehow greater than God, serve as obstacles to an understanding and acceptance of the Faith.
“When the religious aspect is removed from our lives the concept of 'life' is reduced. Such a life would be only a biological existence, without any deeper meaning and values that would be limited to ordinary functioning of human organs.”
“It is a great challenge to the Church, to her shepherds and all believers,” Amato said, to overcome these obstacles and spread the truth of the Faith.
Unfortunately, the archbishop stated, there are also challenges the Church must face from within. “The faithful show a weakened relationship with the Church. The Magisterium is not regarded as the transmission of God's truth about man and salvation; on the contrary it is seen as an ordinary opinion and is often ignored, fought against or rejected.” This too must be countered with a fervent recommitment to the spread of the truth, especially by way of modern media, Amato said.