Vatican City, Oct 17, 2012 / 12:33 pm
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.