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Pope tells editors to confront cultural relativism


At a private audience with the editorial staff of the Italian Jesuits' journal Civilta' Cattolica, Pope Benedict XVI said Catholics must find ways to challenge a society that is steadily more hostile to religion and to the standards of moral law.

Catholic World News reports that the Pope met on Friday with the editors, who were accompanied by Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the superior general of the Society of Jesus. Civilta' Cattolica was founded by Pope Pius IX in 1850, and entrusted to the editorial control of the Jesuit order. It is regarded as a semi-official publication of the Holy See, since its articles are reviewed in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State.

In his remarks to the 45 members of the magazine's staff, Pope Benedict called attention to the origins of the magazine, and the special ties that link Civilta' Cattolica to the Holy See. He reminded the editors that their product should "divulge and support the action of the Church in all areas of her mission," with a special emphasis on Catholic social teaching.

To remain "faithful to its character" in our times, the Holy Father continued, the Jesuit journal must confront the "individualistic relativism and positivistic science" that dominate contemporary thought. In society that is more and more "closed to God and his moral law," he said, Catholic leaders must work to "develop dialogue with modern culture," prodding people to recognize transcendent principles.

Despite the widespread hostility toward religious faith in modern culture, the Pope sees several signs of hope for evangelising efforts. Among these signs are "a new sensitivity to religious principles," revived interest in the Bible, and greater recognition of fundamental human rights. Above all, he said, for contemporary men, "faith in Jesus can help many to grasp the meaning of life and of the human adventure, giving them the points of reference that are often lacking in so frenetic and disoriented a world."

The particular mission of Civilta' Cattolica, the Pope repeated, is to enrich cultural debate, setting forth Catholic teachings in a way that modern readers will find attractive. He underlined the need for the editors to defend the teachings of the Church magisterium, and to rebut "baseless accusations leveled against the ecclesial community."

SOURCE
Confront cultural relativism, Pope asks Jesuit editors (Catholic World News 17/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
La Civilta' Cattolica
Pope Benedict XVI: To the College of Writers of the magazine «La Civiltą Cattolica» (Italian, February 17, 2006)

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20 Feb 2006