Were Jesus to become a case

2012-07-27 L’Osservatore Romano

A book by the Archbishop Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has just come out: “Ampliare l'orizzonte della ragione. Per una lettura di Joseph Ratzinger – Benedetto XVI (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2012, 77 pages,  € 12). The following are excerpts from one of the chapters containing the text of the report given at the Congress on the theme: “Dal logos dei Greci e dei Romani al Logos di Dio. Ricordando Marta Sordi” [From the logos of the Greeks and Romans to the Logos of God. Remembering Marta Sordi] (Milan, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 13 November 2011).

At the lesson in Regensberg Benedict XVI once again highlighted the syntheses of faith and reason and of freedom and love – four concepts that today's secularized world would like to claim for itself, while at the same time refusing to recognize the Church's right to present herself as a meaningful source of life.  Those who do not believe in Christ as the one mediator of salvation are proud of it and accuse the Church of the constraint of consciences and of spiritual imperialism. However whenever Christians and their choise of faith are involved, this tolerance, raised to the absolute in a pluralistic vision of the world, is lacking.

         Relativism applied to the truth is not only philosophical reasoning but indeed inevitably results in intolerance of God. The central pronouncements on God, Jesus Christ and the Church are considered, at most, as the subculture of a religiously motivated group. God becomes an “ideal”, to be used for the edification or education of humankind. Jesus Christ becomes a particularly suitable “case” to serve as a model for society's morals, and the Church is a voluntary union of people who have gathered together (similar to an association), with their own subjective opinions on religion.

Our profession of faith already contains the seed of an encounter with God oriented in accordance with human reason. Reason and rationality are not concepts incompatible with the faith, even if this is the recurrent reproach. We, as rational beings, were conceived in such a way as not to conceal God in the face of reason. The world needs a reason that is not deaf to the divine. The divine Logos took on human nature in Jesus Christ. This is the faith that reason teaches us to understand, this is the reason that arrives at faith, this is the freedom that acts in accordance with the conscience.

Gerhard Ludwig Müller