Universe is product of design, not chance
Pope Explains his Authority
Pope Benedict said that Christ had given his apostles, and the bishops who succeeded them, the duty to ensure that the faith is passed along without dilution or distortion. Although the Pope “must be aware that he is a weak and fragile man,” he cannot avoid this responsibility, the Holy Father continued. He must execute his teaching function, fulfilling the mandate from Christ, because “when Sacred Scripture is separated from the living voice of the Church, it falls victims to the disputes among experts.”
The Pope acknowledged that papal authority is a stumbling block for some people, who see the teaching magisterium as a threat to freedom of belief and of conscience. But he explained that the Pope’s authority is not really his own, since “the ministry of the Pope is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word.” As teacher, he continue, the Pontiff “binds himself and the Church in obedience to God’s Word, in the face of all attempts to adapt that Word, or water it down, and in the face of all forms of opportunism.” Benedict XVI went on to say that his predecessor, John Paul II, was carrying out this task when he repeatedly demanded respect for human life, in the face of mounting public opposition. “The freedom to kill is not true freedom, a but a tyranny that reduces human beings to slavery,” he said.
January 06, 2011 [The] Universe is product of design, not chance, Pope says
The universe reflects “the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for the feast of the Epiphany,
Commenting on the visit of the Magi, the Holy Father said that the wise men who followed a star recognized the plan that is inherent in all creation. The universe is not driven by random chance, he said. “In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its greatness and rationality, we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality,” the Pope said. “We can not help but be guided by it to the one God, Creator of heaven and earth.”
A Fox News report on the homily drew the curious conclusion that the Pope was speaking about the “Big Bang” theory. But in fact the Pontiff spoke about the limitations of all human ideas about life—political as well as scientific—and all human plans that tend to shut out God. He reflected on how King Herod feared the Christ Child, because of jealousy for his royal power. All believers should learn from that story, he said:
Herod is a character whom we do not like, whom we instinctively judge in a negative way for its brutality. But we should ask ourselves: maybe there is something of Herod in us? Perhaps we, too, on occasion, see God as a kind of rival?
At his midday audience on January 6, the Pope sent his greetings to the Eastern Christian churches that celebrate Christmas on January 7. He offered a prayer that all of Christ’s faithful would be “strengthened in faith, hope, and charity.” In an apparent reference to Christians who have been the victims of violent attacks, he prayed that “comfort be given to communities that are suffering.”
Benedict XVI Stresses Ethics in Politics
Says Lack of Moral Principles Threatens Democracy
LONDON, SEPT. 17, 2010 (Zenit.org).-
Benedict XVI is underlining the need to base political decisions in ethical foundations and objective moral principles, without which democracy is threatened.
Today in London, the Pope addressed representatives of civil society, the academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, the diplomatic corps and religious leaders at Westminster Hall. The meeting took place on the second day of the Pontiff’s four-day state visit to the United Kingdom.
The Holy Father affirmed, “There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world.”
“So too in the political field,” he added, “the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can afford to ignore.”
Benedict XVI stated that the central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found?”
The Pope highlighted the example of St. Thomas More, “the great English scholar and statesman, who is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose ‘good servant’ he was, because he chose to serve God first.”
The Pontiff continued, “The dilemma which faced More in those difficult times, the perennial question of the relationship between what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God, allows me the opportunity to reflect with you briefly on the proper place of religious belief within the political process.”
“Britain has emerged as a pluralist democracy which places great value on freedom of speech, freedom of political affiliation and respect for the rule of law, with a strong sense of the individual’s rights and duties, and of the equality of all citizens before the law,” he observed.
“Catholic social teaching has much in common with this approach,” the Holy Father noted, “in its overriding concern to safeguard the unique dignity of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and in its emphasis on the duty of civil authority to foster the common good.”
He continued: “Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend?
“By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved?”
“These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse,” Benedict XVI stated.
“If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident,” he said. “Herein lies the real challenge for democracy.”
“The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation,” the Pope affirmed.
“According to this understanding,” he continued, “the role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these norms, as if they could not be known by non-believers — still less to propose concrete political solutions, which would lie altogether outside the competence of religion — but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.”
The Pontiff said, “This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith — the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief — need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilization.”
Society is Losing Religion, Says Benedict XVI
Religion is losing favor in society, which is a threat to the basic foundations of marriage and respect for the person from conception to natural death, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today upon receiving the letters of credence of Walter Jürgen Schmid, the new German ambassador to the Holy See.
In his address, the Pope lamented that “there is no strong attachment to religion” in society in general, and that faith in the “personal God” of Christianity is being left to the side in favor of a notion of a “god” who is “a supreme, mysterious and indeterminate being, who has only a vague relationship” with mankind.
“If one abandons faith in a personal God, the alternative arises of a ‘god’ who does not know, does not listen and does not speak,” the Pontiff warned. “And, more than ever before, does not have a will.
“If God does not have his own will, in the end good and evil are not distinguished, good and evil are no longer in contradiction to one another, but are in an opposition in which one is complementary of the other.
“Thus man loses his moral and spiritual strength, necessary for the complete development of the person. Social action is dominated increasingly by private interest or by the calculation of power, at the expense of society.
“Instead, if God is a Person — and the order of creation as well as the presence of Christians of conviction in society is a sign of this — it follows that an order of values is legitimized.”