1. Felicific Forest
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    09 Jan '08 17:16
    AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO: TIRELESS SEARCHER AFTER TRUTH


    VATICAN CITY, 9 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during today's general audience, held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, to St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, "a man of passion and of faith, of exalted intelligence and of tireless pastoral activity", he said.

    The Pope made it clear that he intended to dedicate this catechesis to St. Augustine's biography, leaving the saint's numerous works to be considered in coming weeks. It could be affirmed, said the Holy Father, that "all the threads of Latin Christian literature lead to Hippo" and that "many of the subsequent developments in Christianity, and in Western culture itself, lead out from this city of Roman Africa where St. Augustine was bishop from 395 to 430".

    The author of the "Confessions", that "extraordinary spiritual autobiography ... with its great concern for the mystery of the self, for the mystery of God hidden in the self", was born in Tagaste in the year 354, the son of Patricius and of St. Monica. His mother educated him in the Christian faith, which the saint would later abandon despite his persistent interest in the figure of Christ.

    Augustine studied rhetoric and grammar, a subject he went on to teach. While in Carthage, he read Cicero's "Hortensius" because although he had abandoned the practices of the Church he still always sought the truth. The book "awoke in him the love of wisdom", but "being convinced that without Jesus it is not possible to discover the truth", and as "Hortensius" contained no mention of Christ, he began to read Sacred Scripture.

    However his encounter with the Bible left him disappointed, not only because of the poor Latin style of the translations, but also because "the content matter itself did not satisfy him. In the biblical accounts of wars and other human vicissitudes, he did not find that exalted philosophy," or "that splendour of the search for truth which characterises it", said the Pope.

    Yet Augustine did not want to live without God and continued to seek "a religion that responded to his desire to find truth ... and to draw close to Jesus". For this reason he was attracted by Manichaeism, the followers of which claimed that theirs was a "completely rational religion". Their dualist morality attracted the future bishop of Hippo who was convinced he had found the right fusion between "rationality, search for truth, and love for Jesus Christ"; yet Manichaeism proved incapable of resolving the saint's doubts.

    When Augustine moved to Milan he began to frequent the sermons of Ambrose, as a way of improving his own rhetoric. The bishop of Milan taught "a typological interpretation of the Old Testament, as the road that leads to Jesus Christ". Thus it was that Augustine "discovered the key to understanding the beauty, and even the philosophical profundity, of the Old Testament, and he came to understand all the unity of the mystery of Christ in history, and the synthesis between philosophy, rationality and faith in the Logos, in Christ the eternal Word made flesh".

    Augustine converted to Christianity on 15 August 386, "the end of a long and painful interior journey", and was baptised on 24 April 387. Ordained a priest in 391 following his return to Africa, he became a bishop four years later. "In his tireless pastoral commitment", said the Pope, "he was an exemplary bishop, ... he supported the poor, ... concerned himself with the formation of the clergy and the organisation of monasteries and convents", and in a very short space of time became "one of the most important exponents of Christianity of that time".

    "The bishop of Hippo", the Holy Father went on, "exercised a huge influence in his guidance of the Catholic Church in Roman Africa" and stood up against "tenacious and disruptive religious movements and heresies such as Manichaeism, Donatism and Pelagianism".

    Pope Benedict recalled how "Augustine entrusted himself to God every day, until the end of his life", and how shortly before his death "he asked for the penitential psalms to be written in large letters and hung on the wall so he could see and read them from his bed". The bishop died on 28 August 430.

    AG/AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO/... VIS (Vatican Information Service) 080109 (7100)
  2. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    09 Jan '08 19:35
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "he was an exemplary bishop, ... he supported the poor,
    If this Bishop were around today, how do you suppose he would feel about the Pope having a personal cobbler, and also about the Vatican operating its own commercial airline?
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    09 Jan '08 21:49
    How does the Bishop of Hippo feel about that rapist hippo with the small equipment who hangs out in the forums?
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    10 Jan '08 07:44
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    If this Bishop were around today, how do you suppose he would feel about the Pope having a personal cobbler, and also about the Vatican operating its own commercial airline?
    The Vatican does not own its own commercial airline. From a BBC report in 2007:

    The Vatican itself has no airline and no airport, just a helipad used by the Pope for local journeys with the Italian air force providing helicopter transport.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6965124.stm

    The closest the Vatican has is a charter flight service contracted with Mistral Air which provides transport from Rome to Catholic shrines. None of the news reports suggest that the Vatican receives any monetary benefit from these flights. And while these planes bear the Vatican colours, they are not owned by the Vatican. Characteristically, the idea that the Vatican had initiated its own commercial airline was disseminated by Reuters, always known to embellish and sensationalise world news.

    It is true that the Pope does have a personal cobbler; however, most of his shoes and clothes are donated from Italian fashion companies. The Pope's personal cobbler is simply one of these companies on which he relies for specially crafted shoes. The term "personal cobbler" is a misnomer because the cobbler is not personally his or used exclusively by him. Consequently, the costs entailed in the production of his shoes would be minimal. Often businesses are willing to offer their services freely as an honour.
  5. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    10 Jan '08 14:04
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO: TIRELESS SEARCHER AFTER TRUTH
    Disseminator of original sin propaganda...Curse his name.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Jan '08 15:30
    Originally posted by Conrau K

    The closest the Vatican has is a charter flight service contracted with Mistral Air which provides transport from Rome to Catholic shrines. None of the news reports suggest that the Vatican receives any monetary benefit from these flights. And while these planes bear the Vatican colours, they are not owned by the Vatican. Characteristically, the idea that ...[text shortened]... l airline was disseminated by Reuters, always known to embellish and sensationalise world news.
    Simon says. You really think the Vatican does not profit from this endeavor? Don't be naive.
  7. Standard memberPalynka
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    10 Jan '08 16:251 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Simon says. You really think the Vatican does not profit from this endeavor? Don't be naive.
    They airline's objective is to provide low-cost alternatives to commercial flights. Even if the Vatican profits something, I don't see what is wrong in something that benefits both the faithful and the Vatican.
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    10 Jan '08 18:21
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    You really think the Vatican does not profit from this endeavor?
    I do believe that is exactly what I said in my previous post.
  9. Donationkirksey957
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    10 Jan '08 21:44
    Originally posted by Palynka
    They airline's objective is to provide low-cost alternatives to commercial flights. Even if the Vatican profits something, I don't see what is wrong in something that benefits both the faithful and the Vatican.
    Why can't he fly coach like everyone else?
  10. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Jan '08 21:47
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Why can't he fly coach like everyone else?
    Or just stay home. Did Augustine of Hippo ever need to go on a world tour?
  11. Standard memberPalynka
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    10 Jan '08 21:49
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Or just stay home. Did Augustine of Hippo ever need to go on a world tour?
    Actually he's a samaritan. He could charge much more at the gates during his tour.
  12. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Jan '08 21:51
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Actually he's a samaritan. He could charge much more at the gates during his tour.
    He makes it up in souvenir sales, like Holy Water. Do you suppose Augustine of Hippo ever sold vials of Holy Water as souvenirs?
  13. Standard memberPalynka
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    10 Jan '08 21:54
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    He makes it up in souvenir sales, like Holy Water. Do you suppose Augustine of Hippo ever sold vials of Holy Water as souvenirs?
    There's no way the Original Sin doctrine was a coincidence.
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    10 Jan '08 22:27
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    He makes it up in souvenir sales, like Holy Water. Do you suppose Augustine of Hippo ever sold vials of Holy Water as souvenirs?
    And do you have evidence that the Pope sold souvenir holy water? It is illicit for any clergyman to sell sacramentals. That is why strips of Pope John Paul II's clothes were not sold, but were given to anyone upon request, even if distribution was expensive. Let me guess, your last comment is just as unsubstantiated as the past two?
  15. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Jan '08 22:31
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    And do you have evidence that the Pope sold souvenir holy water? It is illicit for any clergyman to sell sacramentals. That is why strips of Pope John Paul II's clothes were not sold, but were given to anyone upon request, even if distribution was expensive. Let me guess, your last comment is just as unsubstantiated as the past two?
    Let us suppose that I can produce evidence in support of my claim. What would think of such sales? You ponder that while I go search for the articles. It was widely reported during his trip to Bavaria sometime around a year ago.
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