Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz denounced the position of those who think the Church and the Christian life "are opposed to the development or the progress of man. He then pointed to numerous examples in history of "Christian scientists, artists and philosophers that have contributed to the culture and growth of man."
The archbishop said, "Faith is not opposed to nor does it limit reason; on the contrary, it presupposes and needs it. Faith opens the intellect to a dimension that helps it understand the truth about man in all of his grandeur as a human and spiritual being."
After recalling Jesus’ words in the Gospel, "My Father is glorified by this that bear much fruit," Archbishop Arancedo noted that for the Church, this passage is not understood "in merely spiritual terms, but in a wider sense."
"Bearing ‘much fruit’ refers also to the work of man when with his intellect he elevates the human condition, whether through education, health care improvement, the wellbeing of everything that makes man’s life in this world dignified," he said.
Likewise, Archbishop Arancedo said, "These fruits, in order for them to be truly human, should make reference to the world of values. This is not a limit, but rather a guarantee of authentically human growth."
The archbishop warned that "when the apparent ‘fruits’ of man compromise the level of human relations or the care of the environment, Jesus would tell us these acts are not the fruit referred to in the Gospel, nor the glory of the Father."
"Let us learn to understand the richness and commitment of our faith, so that we may be good Christians and committed citizens of this world that needs the light and life of the Gospel," he stated.