Vatican City, Sep 13, 2010 / 10:20 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Benedict received letters of credence from the new German ambassador to the Holy See on Monday. In an address to the new diplomat, Walter Jurgen Schmid, the Holy Father stressed the importance of God being personal and that “the construction of a human society requires faithfulness to truth,” especially in the areas of marriage, biotechnology and news reporting.
The Pontiff opened his remarks to the ambassador with a reference to German martyrs, particularly Fr. Gerhard Hirschfelder, a priest who died under the Nazi regime and who will be beatified in Munster on Sept. 19. “Contemplating these martyrs,” he said, “it emerges ever more clearly how certain men, on the basis of their Christian convictions, are ready to give their lives for the faith, for the right to exercise their beliefs freely and for freedom of speech, for peace and human dignity.”
Despite this, however, “many men tend to show an overriding inclination towards more permissive religious convictions.”
“The personal God of Christianity, Who reveals Himself in the Bible, is replaced by a supreme being, mysterious and undefined, who has only a vague relation with the personal life of human beings,” Benedict XVI noted. “These ideas are increasingly animating discussion within society, especially as regards the areas of justice and lawmaking,” he continued.
“If, however, one abandons faith in a personal God, then an alternative 'god' arises, one who does not know, does not feel and does not speak.