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     Home > Culture and Society  >  2013-09-14 19:47:15
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Pope's open letter an invitation to truth



Rome, 14 September 2013: ‘After centuries of debate over the existence and nature of truth, and not a little war-weariness among those on all sides of the debate, “There is indeed a [search underway] for a common ground,” one that is based on, “this intuition that truth needs to be thought, not in individualistic terms,” but in terms of its ability to unite, to bring nations, societies, peoples together’, said Fr. Philipp Renczes, SJ, a Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was speaking to Vatican Radio on the issue of Truth deliberated by Pope Francis in his open letter published in the Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica.
Pope Francis wrote the letter in response to a series of questions posed to him by the noted journalist Eugenio Scalfari. About the issue of Truth, the Pontiff’s remarks centered on: whether there is truth in an absolute sense; whether, and if so, how we can know it; what are the consequences of answering one way or another? The answers, or ways toward answers, which Pope Francis charted were often surprising and challenging.

According to Fr. Philipp Renczes, SJ, Pope Francis is really concerned to refocus our attention on an understanding of truth as essentially relational – the claims of some sensational headlines notwithstanding. “[H]uman rationality,” explained Fr. Renczes SJ, “indeed always involves a relative character,” in the sense that the activity of reason, “always [involves] a capacity to relate: [to relate] truth to meaning, to personal existence.”

Fr. Renczes SJ considers that, despite some stylistic differences, there is a profound continuity between the way Pope Benedict XVI approached the question, and the way that Pope Francis is now approaching it. “What Pope Francis is trying to do is bring people together,” he said, adding, “it’s like an invitation that he is sending out.” He went on to say, “Pope Benedict was almost warning [us] that, if the invitation is not [welcomed], then we are facing big problems – and so the message is very similar.”
Source: VR Eng




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