Loading
Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict kisses a baby girl during the Oct. 10, 2012 general audience in St. Peter's Square. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Benedict kisses a baby girl during the Oct. 10, 2012 general audience in St. Peter's Square. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
By Matthew Rarey
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- At his first general audience during the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI initiated a new, year-long cycle of teachings aimed at healing the division between what Christians say they profess, what they actually believe, and how they live their lives.

“Christians often do not even know the core of their Catholic faith, the Creed, thus leaving room for a certain syncretism and religious relativism, without clarity on the truths to be believed and the salvific uniqueness of Christianity,” the Pope told the pilgrims packed into a sunlit St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 17.

Unless Christians understand their faith and live it fully, he warned, they leave themselves prone to the forces operating in a “profoundly changed society” scarred by “many forms of barbarism.” The Pope pointed to the influences of secularism, relativism, the use other people as objects “for pure selfishness” and a “widespread nihilistic mentality” as some of the forces that can exert a “crucial impact on the general mentality.”

The result is that “life is often lived lightly, without clear ideals or sound hopes, in transient and provisional social and family ties,” he said.

“Above all the younger generations are not educated in the search for truth or the deeper meaning of existence that goes beyond the contingent, to a stability of affection, trust.”

Christians must guard themselves against these errors, the Pope told the crowd, adding that if “individualism and relativism seem to dominate the mind of many of our contemporaries, we cannot say that believers remain totally immune from these dangers … .”

In response, the Pope urged sound instruction in the Creed and the teachings of the Church for all Catholics.

“The risk is not far off today of people building a so-called ‘do-it-yourself’ religion,” he said.

“Instead, we should return to God, the God of Jesus Christ, we must rediscover the message of the Gospel, to bring it into more deeply into our minds and our daily lives.”

The Pope cited cautionary findings from a survey conducted among bishops worldwide in preparation for the Oct. 7-28 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. Bishops reported such trends among the faithful as “a living faith that is passive and private, rejection of faith formation, and a rupture between faith and life.”

The Year of Faith, which was launched on Oct. 11, will promote the transformative power of that deep faith so radically different from the “life lived lightly,” Pope Benedict said.

“With faith everything really changes everything in us and for us, and our future destiny is clearly revealed, the truth of our vocation in history, the meaning of life, the joy of being a pilgrim towards the heavenly Kingdom,” he proclaimed.

Pope Benedict finished his remarks by telling the assembled pilgrims about his plans for the year-long series of reflections.

“In the catechesis of this Year of Faith I would like to offer some help in making this journey, to take up once again and deepen the central truths of the faith of God, man, the Church, of all the social and cosmic realities, meditating and reflecting on the statements of the Creed. And I would like to clarify that such content or truths of the faith are directly connected to our lives; they require conversion of existence, which gives life to a new way of believing in God.”

Tags: Pope Benedict, General audience, Year of Faith

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

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
21

Liturgical Calendar

November 21, 2014

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 19:45-48

Gospel
Date
11/21/14
11/20/14
11/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 10: 8-11
Gospel:: Lk 19: 45-48

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 19:45-48

Homily
Date
11/21/14
11/20/14
11/19/14