Loading
Pope believes Christianity will rekindle in Europe
By Matthew A. Rarey
A shot from an Oct. 12, 2012 session of the Synod on Evangelization. Credit David Kerr/CNA.
A shot from an Oct. 12, 2012 session of the Synod on Evangelization. Credit David Kerr/CNA.

.- Pope Benedict XVI granted a rare interview to the creators of a documentary in which he said that he is “convinced” that “there will also be a new springtime for Christianity” in Europe.

The bishops, experts and observers at the synod on the New Evangelization were treated to a screening of the new documentary at the Oct. 15 afternoon session.

“(T)he desire for God…is profoundly inscribed into each human soul and cannot disappear. Certainly we can forget God for a time … but God never disappears,” Pope Benedict said on screen, though he was not in the audience. “This restlessness … is an expression of the hope that man may, ever and anew … start to journey towards this God.”

The movie, entitled “Bells of Europe: A Journey into the Faith in Europe,” considers Christianity, European culture, and the future of the continent. In addition to the Pope, it features interviews with leaders of the other main Christian confessions in Europe, as well as leaders in politics and culture.

To emphasize Europe’s common Christian roots, their reflections are bound together by the sound of bells ringing out from around the continent, the casting of a bell in the ancient foundry of Agnone, and the music of Estonian composer Arvo Part.

Based on an idea by Jesuit Father Germano Marani, the film was produced by the Vatican Television Center.

In his interview, the Pope expressed several reasons for hope for the future of Christianity in Europe.

“The Gospel … is true and can therefore never wear out. In each period of history it reveals new dimensions … as it responds to the needs of the heart and mind of human beings, who can walk in this truth and so discover themselves,” the Pope said. “It is for this reason, therefore, that I am convinced there will also be a new springtime for Christianity.”

Another reason he offered is that “faith in Jesus Christ is quite simply true; and the truth never ages.”

No ideology can prevail against Christianity in the long run, he stated.

“Ideologies have their days numbered. They appear powerful and irresistible but, after a certain period, they wear out and lose their energy because they lack profound truth. They are particles of truth, but in the end they are consumed.”

Young people are another source for the Pope’s hope.

“Young people have seen much – the proposals of the various ideologies and of consumerism – and they have become aware of the emptiness and insufficiency of those things.

“Thus, among the new generations we are seeing the reawakening of this restlessness, and they too begin their journey making new discoveries of the beauty of Christianity; not a cut-price or watered-down version, but Christianity in all its radicalism and profundity. That is Christianity. It is true and the truth always has a future,” the Pope said.

The future will not be easy, especially in Europe, since it suffers from a spiritual bipolarism, he explained.

“(I)n Europe today we see two souls,” he said toward the end of the interview.

“One is abstract anti-historical reason, which seeks to dominate all else because it considers itself above all cultures … and intends to liberate itself from all traditions and cultural values in favor of an abstract rationality. Yet we cannot live like that and, moreover, even ‘pure reason’ is conditioned by a certain historical context, and only in that context can it exist.”

The other soul is Europe’s Christian one. This soul is “open to all that is reasonable, a soul which itself created the audaciousness of reason and the freedom of critical reasoning, but which remains anchored to the roots from which this Europe was born, the roots which created the continent's fundamental values and great institutions, in the vision of the Christian faith,” the Pope said.

“The challenge for Europe,” he asserted, is for its Christian soul “to find a shared expression in ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches” and then “encounter this abstract reason. In other words, it must accept and maintain the freedom of reason to criticize everything it can do and has done, but to practice this and give it concrete form on the foundations and in the context of the great values that Christianity has given us.”

“Only by blending these elements can Europe have weight in the intercultural dialogue of mankind today and tomorrow. Only when reason has a historical and moral identity can it speak to others” and “find a fundamental unity in the values that open the way to the future, to a new humanism. This must be our aim. For us this humanism arises directly from the view of man created in the image and likeness of God.”

Tags: New Evangelization, Pope Benedict, Synod of Bishops


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Jul
25

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Gospel
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »

Saint
Date
07/25/14
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Homily
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: