Pope Benedict on the Modern Cultural Crisis

FAITH Magazine November-December 2007

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi S. J. has commented on the Holy Father’s question-and-answer session in late July with priests from two dioceses of northern Italy.

The Pontiff replied to one question: “I also lived the time of the Council with great enthusiasm; it seemed that the Church and the world had met again. We had hoped for a great deal - but things showed themselves to be more difficult.”
Father Lombardi said Benedict XVI recalled “above all the cultural crisis of the West that exploded in ‘68, with the fascination for Marxism and the illusion of creating a new world, and the crumbling of the communist regimes in ‘89: the fall of the ideologies that did not give room to faith but rather to scepticism.
“The Christian proclamation has to come to terms with this context,” the Vatican spokesman added. “And the Church faces it with realism and humility without ceding to the triumphalism of those who think that they have found the way to the new world.
“At the bottom of this is the humility of the Crucified, which will always be contrasted by the great powers of the world, but which generates a real hope that is manifested in the creative vitality of the Church: in her communities and her movements, in the new responsibility of the laity, in ecumenical relations, in liturgical and spiritual experiences.
“The Pope of great theological ideas and great cultural wealth is also the one who helps us to live the simultaneously humble and rich condition of the hope of the Church on its way, as he says: With our feet on the ground and our eyes turned toward heaven.’”

With acknowledgments to Zenit.org

Faith Magazine

November - December 2007