1. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23619
    06 Sep '05 20:073 edits
    This lecture took place April 1, 2005 when Cardinal Razinger received the St. Benedict Award.

    The present form of enlightenment culture, its internal contradictions and the rejection of the reference to God and the Christian roots of Europe in the new European constitution.

    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0143.html


    On Europe's Crisis of Culture.

    CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER

    "And in the wake of this form of rationality, Europe has developed a culture that, in a manner unknown before now to humanity, excludes God from the public conscience, either by denying him altogether, or by judging that his existence is not demonstrable, uncertain and, therefore, belonging to the realm of subjective choices, something, in any case, irrelevant to public life."

    "In a world based on calculation, it is the calculation of consequences that determines what must or must not be considered moral. And thus the category of the good, as was clearly pointed out by Kant, disappears. Nothing is good or bad in itself, everything depends on the consequences that an action allows one to foresee."

    "If Christianity, on one hand, has found its most effective form in Europe, it is necessary, on the other hand, to say that in Europe a culture has developed that constitutes the absolutely most radical contradiction not only of Christianity, but of the religious and moral traditions of humanity."

    "The Muslims, who in this respect are often and willingly brought in, do not feel threatened by our Christian moral foundations, but by the cynicism of a secularized culture that denies its own foundations."

    "The concept of discrimination is ever more extended, and so the prohibition of discrimination can be increasingly transformed into a limitation of the freedom of opinion and religious liberty. Very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence. And the fact that the Church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is considered by some up to now as something irreconcilable with the spirit of the European Constitution."

    "A confused ideology of freedom leads to dogmatism, which is showing itself increasingly hostile to freedom."

    "It is evident that this canon of the Enlightenment culture, less than definitive, contains important values which we, precisely as Christians, do not want and cannot renounce; however, it is also obvious that the ill-defined or undefined concept of freedom, which is at the base of this culture, inevitably entails contradictions; and it is obvious that precisely because of its use (a use that seems radical) it has implied limitations of freedom that a generation ago we could not even imagine. A confused ideology of freedom leads to dogmatism, which is showing itself increasingly hostile to freedom."

    "It is true that the positivist philosophies contain important elements of truth."

    "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots becomes, in the last analysis, contempt for man. Man, deep down, has no freedom, we are told by the spokesmen of the natural sciences, in total contradiction with the starting point of the whole question."

    "Thus, even the rejection of the reference to God, is not the expression of a tolerance that desires to protect the non-theistic religions and the dignity of atheists and agnostics, but rather the expression of a conscience that would like to see God cancelled definitively from the public life of humanity, and relegated to the subjective realm of residual cultures of the past.

    Relativism, which is the starting point of all this, thus becomes a dogmatism which believes itself to be in possession of the definitive scope of reason, and with the right to regard all the rest only as a stage of humanity, in the end surmounted, and that can be appropriately relativized. In reality, this means that we have need of roots to survive, and that we must not lose sight of God, if we do not want human dignity to disappear."


    " .......................... But at this point, in my capacity as believer, I would like to make a proposal to the secularists."


    "Not even the truly grandiose effort of Kant was able to create the necessary shared certainty. Kant had denied that God could be known in the realm of pure reason, but at the same time he had represented God, freedom and immortality as postulates of practical reason, without which, coherently, for him no moral behavior was possible."

    Even one who does not succeed in finding the way of accepting God, should, nevertheless, seek to live and to direct his life veluti si Deus daretur, as if God existed. This is the advice Pascal gave to his friends who did not believe. In this way, no one is limited in his freedom, but all our affairs find the support and criterion of which they are in urgent need."


    "The negative testimony of Christians who speak about God and live against him, has darkened God's image and opened the door to disbelief.We need men who have their gaze directed to God, to understand true humanity. We need men whose intellects are enlightened by the light of God, and whose hearts God opens, so that their intellects can speak to the intellects of others, and so that their hearts are able to open up to the hearts of others."

    --------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------ ------------------------------
    You can find the full text on: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0143.html


    Any comments on this lecture by Pope Benedict XVI ?


    EDIT: Only serious comments and thoughts please.
  2. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23619
    06 Sep '05 21:012 edits
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Absolutely a very persuasive lecture. Oddly, I found myself agreeing with the Pope's logic. The "calculation of consequences" bit telegraphed the fact that the lecture would be about homosexuality, but I agree in almost every respect with the Pope here. Very interesting that the point of secularists was to assert that mankind has no freedom - I h ...[text shortened]... anors throughout history far too long to list here, should return to that very simple beginning.
    Pope Benedict: "In this connection, the Enlightenment is of Christian origin and it is no accident that it was born precisely and exclusively in the realm of the Christian faith, whenever Christianity, against its nature and unfortunately, had become tradition and religion of the state. Notwithstanding the philosophy, in so far as search for rationality also of our faith, was always a prerogative of Christianity, the voice of reason had been too domesticated.

    It was and is the merit of the Enlightenment to have again proposed these original values of Christianity and of having given back to reason its own voice. In the pastoral constitution, On the Church in the Modern World, Vatican Council II underlined again this profound correspondence between Christianity and the Enlightenment, seeking to come to a true conciliation between the Church and modernity, which is the great heritage that both sides must defend."


    We can find self-reflection and self-criticism in Benedicts' lecture. It is also very important to notice he doesn't dismiss Enlightenment and Modernity alltogether.
  3. Joined
    01 Dec '04
    Moves
    4640
    06 Sep '05 22:00
    This passage here...

    "The negative testimony of Christians who speak about God and live against him, has darkened God's image and opened the door to disbelief.We need men who have their gaze directed to God, to understand true humanity. We need men whose intellects are enlightened by the light of God, and whose hearts God opens, so that their intellects can speak to the intellects of others, and so that their hearts are able to open up to the hearts of others."

    ...I find to be perfectly consistent with wisdom.

    But I wonder how those words could be applied in such a way that they are not founded on an automatic negation of other spiritual paths?

    This is always the sticking point when it comes to possible interfaith dialogue. In particular I have admired the Dalai Lama for his refusal to infer that other spiritual paths are in error. Granted, the Pope is not implying that in the words I quoted, but I can only assume that his very position as Pope would compel him to regard other faiths as theologically unsound.

    How do we get around this? Can we, in fact?
  4. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23619
    06 Sep '05 22:292 edits
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    This passage here...[b]

    [b]"The negative testimony of Christians who speak about God and live against him, has darkened God's image and opened the door to disbelief.We need men who have their gaze directed to God, to understand true humanity. We need men whose intellects are enlightened by the light of God, and whose hearts God opens, so that thei ...[text shortened]... to regard other faiths as theologically unsound.

    How do we get around this? Can we, in fact?
    In fact this issue is off topic, but all right, here we go.

    Metamor : "But I wonder how those words could be applied in such a way that they are not founded on an automatic negation of other spiritual paths?"

    You speak of "an automatic negation of other spiritual paths", but if we read the introduction to the Encyclical Fides et Ratio, we can read the following:



    From the Encyclical Fides et Ratio. Pope John Paul II.

    http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0216/__P2.HTM

    INTRODUCTION - “KNOW YOURSELF”

    1. In both East and West, we may trace a journey which has led humanity down the centuries to meet and engage truth more and more deeply. It is a journey which has unfolded—as it must—within the horizon of personal self-consciousness: the more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question of the meaning of things and of their very existence becoming ever more pressing. This is why all that is the object of our knowledge becomes a part of our life. The admonition Know yourself was carved on the temple portal at Delphi, as testimony to a basic truth to be adopted as a minimal norm by those who seek to set themselves apart from the rest of creation as “human beings”, that is as those who “know themselves”.

    Moreover, a cursory glance at ancient history shows clearly how in different parts of the world, with their different cultures, there arise at the same time the fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta; we find them in the writings of Confucius and Lao-Tze, and in the preaching of Tirthankara and Buddha; they appear in the poetry of Homer and in the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles, as they do in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives.

    2. The Church is no stranger to this journey of discovery, nor could she ever be. From the moment when, through the Paschal Mystery, she received the gift of the ultimate truth about human life, the Church has made her pilgrim way along the paths of the world to proclaim that Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). It is her duty to serve humanity in different ways, but one way in particular imposes a responsibility of a quite special kind: the diakonia of the truth.1 This mission on the one hand makes the believing community a partner in humanity's shared struggle to arrive at truth; 2 and on the other hand it obliges the believing community to proclaim the certitudes arrived at, albeit with a sense that every truth attained is but a step towards that fullness of truth which will appear with the final Revelation of God: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully” (1 Cor 13:12).

    3. Men and women have at their disposal an array of resources for generating greater knowledge of truth so that their lives may be ever more human. Among these is philosophy, which is directly concerned with asking the question of life's meaning and sketching an answer to it. Philosophy emerges, then, as one of noblest of human tasks. According to its Greek etymology, the term philosophy means “love of wisdom”. Born and nurtured when the human being first asked questions about the reason for things and their purpose, philosophy shows in different modes and forms that the desire for truth is part of human nature itself. It is an innate property of human reason to ask why things are as they are, even though the answers which gradually emerge are set within a horizon which reveals how the different human cultures are complementary.

    Philosophy's powerful influence on the formation and development of the cultures of the West should not obscure the influence it has also had upon the ways of understanding existence found in the East. Every people has its own native and seminal wisdom which, as a true cultural treasure, tends to find voice and develop in forms which are genuinely philosophical. One example of this is the basic form of philosophical knowledge which is evident to this day in the postulates which inspire national and international legal systems in regulating the life of society.

    4. Nonetheless, it is true that a single term conceals a variety of meanings. Hence the need for a preliminary clarification. Driven by the desire to discover the ultimate truth of existence, human beings seek to acquire those universal elements of knowledge which enable them to understand themselves better and to advance in their own self-realization. These fundamental elements of knowledge spring from the wonder awakened in them by the contemplation of creation: human beings are astonished to discover themselves as part of the world, in a relationship with others like them, all sharing a common destiny. Here begins, then, the journey which will lead them to discover ever new frontiers of knowledge. Without wonder, men and women would lapse into deadening routine and little by little would become incapable of a life which is genuinely personal.

    Through philosophy's work, the ability to speculate which is proper to the human intellect produces a rigorous mode of thought; and then in turn, through the logical coherence of the affirmations made and the organic unity of their content, it produces a systematic body of knowledge. In different cultural contexts and at different times, this process has yielded results which have produced genuine systems of thought. Yet often enough in history this has brought with it the temptation to identify one single stream with the whole of philosophy. In such cases, we are clearly dealing with a “philosophical pride” which seeks to present its own partial and imperfect view as the complete reading of all reality. In effect, every philosophical system, while it should always be respected in its wholeness, without any instrumentalization, must still recognize the primacy of philosophical enquiry, from which it stems and which it ought loyally to serve.

    Although times change and knowledge increases, it is possible to discern a core of philosophical insight within the history of thought as a whole. Consider, for example, the principles of non-contradiction, finality and causality, as well as the concept of the person as a free and intelligent subject, with the capacity to know God, truth and goodness. Consider as well certain fundamental moral norms which are shared by all. These are among the indications that, beyond different schools of thought, there exists a body of knowledge which may be judged a kind of spiritual heritage of humanity. It is as if we had come upon an implicit philosophy, as a result of which all feel that they possess these principles, albeit in a general and unreflective way. Precisely because it is shared in some measure by all, this knowledge should serve as a kind of reference-point for the different philosophical schools. Once reason successfully intuits and formulates the first universal principles of being and correctly draws from them conclusions which are coherent both logically and ethically, then it may be called right reason or, as the ancients called it, orthós logos, recta ratio, etc "


    Does the above give you the impression that Roman-Catholic teachings "automatically negate other spiritual paths" ?
  5. Joined
    01 Dec '04
    Moves
    4640
    07 Sep '05 00:24
    Those words do not negate other approaches to truth, but Christianity itself is based centrally on the teaching that salvation is possible only via Christ, so the negation of other approaches to spiritual realization would seem to be automatic.

    The issue of "salvation via Christ" and its implied necessity has been debated to death; I'm not looking at that. My question is, can a head of a particular organized religion -- such as the RC Pope -- truly represent a wisdom or spiritual teaching that can benefit all of humanity?

    I would not see that as off-topic, given that the thread begins with a discourse from the Pope.
  6. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23619
    07 Sep '05 00:313 edits
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    Those words do not negate other approaches to truth, but Christianity itself is based centrally on the teaching that salvation is possible only via Christ, so the negation of other approaches to spiritual realization would seem to be automatic.

    The issue of "salvation via Christ" and its implied necessity has been debated to death; I'm not ...[text shortened]...
    I would not see that as off-topic, given that the thread begins with a discourse from the Pope.
    Metam: "The issue of "salvation via Christ" and its implied necessity has been debated to death; I'm not looking at that. My question is, can a head of a particular organized religion -- such as the RC Pope -- truly represent a wisdom or spiritual teaching that can benefit all of humanity? "

    My answer would be definitely "yes".

    The only way to find out is to study the RCC's message and teachings. Reading the allready mentioned encyclical "Fides et Ratio" and above all "Veritatis Splendor" can prove to be an excellent start of this quest. I'm sure these encyclicals will answer a lot of questions you have about the RCC's message and teachings.


    Veritatis Splendor:

    http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0222/_INDEX.HTM


    Fides et Ratio:

    http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0216/_INDEX.HTM


    EDIT: Thoroughly reading the popes' lecture which is this threads' subject might also be a good start 🙂 , but you've done that allready of course .... 😀
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    07 Sep '05 14:57
    Pope: And the fact that the Church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is considered by some up to now as something irreconcilable with the spirit of the European Constitution.

    Why is the Church so convinced?
  8. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    07 Sep '05 16:13
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Pope: And the fact that the Church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is considered by some up to now as something irreconcilable with the spirit of the European Constitution.

    Why is the Church so convinced?
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2ORDIN.HTM
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    08 Sep '05 08:06
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2ORDIN.HTM
    Thanks for the link.

    Disclaimer: this is not really on topic! I feel the need, though, so...

    The reason that women are not, and can never be, ordained seems to be "tradition". OK. (Jesus recruited 12 male apostles (not priests), therefore women can never be priests. Perhaps I don't have a logical mind...because that doesn't seem like logic to me. Seems like saying "if God had meant us to fly he'd have given us wings"😉.

    A secondary factor might be misogyny, which seems quite traditional too:

    Said the not-so-saintly John Chrysotom, "What else is a woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours." (Sipe page 31)

    According to Cicero, Seneca, St. Jerome, and St. John, nearly all the overthrown kingdoms in the world resulted from treacherous women. In 1486, Pope Innocent VIII sanctioned "Witches Humanea," and consequently ingrained the subconscious of most celibates with negatives about women, such as the "fact" that women should not be ordained because they cannot keep secrets and are prone to jealousy. As the unfortunate title suggests, women were accused of being witches as a matter of course. (Sipe page 45)

    Of course that was then, and this is now.

    Some interesting stuff on priestly celibacy (all new to me, ignorant pagan):

    At the Council of Nicaea in 325, a proposal to require celibacy for all priests was defeated and at the Council of Trullo in 692, marriage rights for priests were reasserted. (Rice page 161.)


    Because the resulting implication of a priest living with his wife like a brother led many priests into "deplorable situations," in 1139, the Second Lateran Council forbade the marriage of priests altogether and declared all existing marriages involving priests null and void. (ibid)

    In reality, the 1139 law did not enact celibacy but merely changed marriage into concubinage. Rice quotes from a document on celibacy prepared by church historian Hubert Jedin for the Second Vatican Council:

    "It would be a mistake to imagine that these permanent concubines, especially in the countryside, would have aroused a lot of scandal," said Jedin. "We know of many cases where these `keepers of concubines' possessed the sympathies of their parishioners and were looked upon as good and virtuous pastors." (ibid page 162)

    No finer mind than Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologia II-IIa, 88, 11)had provided stubborn opposition to those who saw celibacy rulings as part of divine law. Thomas contended that the celibacy requirement for Catholic priests was merely Church law that could be reversed by any time by papal or conciliar authority. (MacGregor pages 108-109)

    In a belated effort to keep on topic, I note that the present form of priesthood is not all that ancient--dating as it does from the Reformation:

    When the Reformation indirectly brought forth the Council of Trent in the mid 1500's, the Roman Catholic Church reformed itself and remodeled the priesthood to its present form. Not only did the Council reiterate the Church's prohibition of a married clergy but also instituted reforms to try to insure the implementation of the decrees of the Church on this subject. (http://www.arthurstreet.com/celibacy1993.html)

    Maybe ordaining women as priests would be a bit of a mouthful for the Pope to swallow now, but allowing priests to marry seems to be an obvious measure that can only benefit the church.
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    08 Sep '05 08:31
    "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots becomes, in the last analysis, contempt for man. Man, deep down, has no freedom, we are told by the spokesmen of the natural sciences, in total contradiction with the starting point of the whole question."

    Contempt for humankind predates the modern age. Look to the Cynics, or Petronius Arbiter.

    On the point of the natural sciences, the Pope reasons like dj2becker. Nor does he seem terribly up to date with his science, since he apparently labours under an outdated mechanistic view of things discarded by quantum mechanics.

    "We need men whose intellects are enlightened by the light of God, and whose hearts God opens, so that their intellects can speak to the intellects of others, and so that their hearts are able to open up to the hearts of others."

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. It's obvious. (But he doesn't mention women.)
  11. Joined
    05 Dec '04
    Moves
    9647
    08 Sep '05 08:52
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    This lecture took place April 1, 2005 when Cardinal Razinger received the St. Benedict Award.

    The present form of enlightenment culture, its internal contradictions and the rejection of the reference to God and the Christian roots of Europe in the new European constitution.

    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0143.html


    On Europe's C ...[text shortened]... nts on this lecture by Pope Benedict XVI ?


    EDIT: Only serious comments and thoughts please.
    these florid, bombastic diatribes of patronizing right wing catholic christianizing are in itself the very reason people are deserting the church. i wonder if god's rottweiller has ever heard of ockram's razor?

    the pope should remember the church is for the people, the laymren, they are it's very foundation not the intellectuals and academics. if he set out to alienate his congregation then he's done a mighty fine job. the empty pews a resounding reminder to a church thats lost it's way, it's truth and it's light.

    the pontif can pontificate all he likes but, it ain't gunna bring them back.

    padmasambhava, anybody?
  12. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    08 Sep '05 08:59
    Originally posted by cavan

    padmasambhava, anybody?
    Yes, please--with just a drop of milk.
  13. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    08 Sep '05 11:241 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Thanks for the link.

    Disclaimer: this is not really on topic! I feel the need, though, so...

    The reason that women are not, and can never be, ordained seems to be "tradition". OK. (Jesus recruited 12 male apostles (not priests), therefore women can never be priests. Perhaps I don't have a logical mind...because that doesn't seem like logic to ...[text shortened]... , but allowing priests to marry seems to be an obvious measure that can only benefit the church.
    Could you provide the full biblio records for Sipe and Rice?

    Thanks, LH

    EDIT: MacGregor as well.
  14. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    08 Sep '05 11:302 edits
    Originally posted by cavan
    these florid, bombastic diatribes of patronizing right wing catholic christianizing are in itself the very reason people are deserting the church. i wonder if god's rottweiller has ever heard of ockram's razor?

    the pope should remember the church is for the people, the laymren, they are it's very foundation not the intellectuals and academics. if he set ...[text shortened]... if can pontificate all he likes but, it ain't gunna bring them back.

    padmasambhava, anybody?
    Originally posted by cavan
    these florid, bombastic diatribes of patronizing right wing catholic christianizing are in itself the very reason people are deserting the church. i wonder if god's rottweiller has ever heard of ockram's razor?

    I'm sure he hasn't. But I'm pretty sure he knows all about Ockham's razor, though - being an accomplished philosopher and theologian in his own right.

    The pews may be emptying in the West, but the Church is going from strength to strength in the East and in Africa. Oh, and there is no shortage of people returning to the Church or converting from other denominations in the West as well. Have you seen how many people turned up for the World Youth Day in Cologne last month? If you looked at the mainstream media, you wouldn't have seen much.

    But when was the last time a million under-30s turned up for an orthodox religious event?

    EDIT: "florid, bombastic diatribes" from a "patronizing" author? Very ironic.
  15. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    08 Sep '05 11:42
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots becomes, in the last analysis, contempt for man. Man, deep down, has no freedom, we are told by the spokesmen of the natural sciences, in total contradiction with the starting point of the whole question."

    Contempt for humankind predates the modern age. Look to the Cynics, or ...[text shortened]... s."

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. It's obvious. (But he doesn't mention women.)
    On the point of the natural sciences, the Pope reasons like dj2becker. Nor does he seem terribly up to date with his science, since he apparently labours under an outdated mechanistic view of things discarded by quantum mechanics.

    Not quite. Even quantum mechanics can lead to the view that man has no freedom - he is at the mercy of the probabilistic equations that describe the interactions between the particles that compose his body. As no1 likes to say in FULL CAPS - "THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS".

    Choice is an illusion under this view. Decision is an illusion under this view.

    The deterministic view of the world is translated into a probabilistic one under QM. But it still leaves man with no freedom.

    The Pope is spot on.
Back to Top