Philosophy of Science is the Key to Overcoming Successful Secular Evangelisation

FAITH Magazine May-June 2008s

Pope Benedict to Pontifical Council for Culture Saturday 8th March 2008

Secularisation, which presents itself in cultures by imposing a world and humanity without reference to Transcendence ... is not only an external threat to believers, but has been manifest for some time in the heart of the Church herself. It profoundly distorts the Christian faith from within, and consequently, the lifestyle and daily behaviour of believers ... (which) impresses contradictory and impelling models regarding the practical denial of God: there is no longer any need for God, to think of him or to return to him. Furthermore, the prevalent hedonistic and consumeristic mindset fosters in the faithful and in Pastors a tendency to superficiality and selfishness ... The “death of God” proclaimed by many intellectuals in recent decades is giving way to a barren cult of theindividual. In this cultural context there is a risk of drifting into spiritual atrophy and emptiness of heart ...
... The intellectual sensitivity and pastoral charity of Pope John Paul II encouraged him to highlight the fact that the Industrial Revolution and scientific discoveries made it possible to answer questions that formerly were partially
answered only by religion. The result was that contemporary man often had the impression that he no longer needs anyone in order to understand, explain and dominate the universe; he feels the centre of everything, the measure of everything.
... The light of reason, exalted but in fact impoverished by the Enlightenment, has radically replaced the light of faith, the light of God (cf. Benedict XVI, Address, La Sapienza University, 17 January 2008). Thus, in this context the Church has great challenges with which to deal. The commitment of the Pontifical Council for Culture to a fruitful dialogue between science and faith is therefore especially important. This comparison has been long awaited by the Church but also by the scientific community, and I encourage you to persevere in it. Through it, faith implies reason and perfection, and reason, enlightened by faith, finds the strength to rise to the knowledge of God and spiritual realities. ...

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