DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     September 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 184

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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John Paul II Addresses A Favorite Topic

        CASTEL GANDOLFO, SEP 26 (ZENIT).- Today, John Paul II once again addressed a topic that has interested him enormously since his youth: the relation between faith and reason. He spoke on this subject a year after signing the encyclical "Fides et Ratio" (Faith and Reason), in which he proposed a new dialogue between contemporary philosophy and theology.

        The Pope focused especially on the role of reason in the road to faith. Reason, he said, "is already present in the mature act of faith, because the latter, although founded on the 'authority of God who reveals,' develops in a profoundly reasonable way through the perception of 'signs' that God Himself has given in the history of salvation," the Pontiff explained.

    Signs of the Spirit

        "Obviously, it is not about 'proofs,' as is the case in the field of experimental science. God's signs are to be found in the context of interpersonal communication. According to the latter's logic, not only is it related to reasoning, but also to a profound existential commitment. In this condition, and supported by interior grace, they become luminous indicators, a kind of 'signs of the Spirit,' which indicate the presence of God and impel man to abandon himself to God with full confidence."

        But the role of reason in the life of the believer is not limited to this. "Mature faith challenges intelligence, committing the latter, in St. Anselm's expression, 'to seek what it loves.' Thus faith becomes not only reasonable but also 'reasoning,' " the Pontiff, who is a doctor of philosophy and theology, said.

        The Holy Father is convinced that there can be no faith without reason, nor full reason without faith. "What is more, it can be said that 'one is in the other': on one hand it is necessary to believe to perceive something of the mystery that transcends us; on the other, it is necessary to understand so that faith will be reasonable and increasingly mature."

    Farewell to Castel Gandolfo

        After appealing to the international community for aid to Taiwan, the Pope greeted a group of officers and sailors of the Chilean Navy in Spanish; they sang an song composed in the Pontiff's honor entitled "Messenger of Life."

        The people of Castel Gandolfo, located some 30 kilometers south of Rome, took advantage of the occasion to bid the Pontiff farewell; he returns to the Vatican this week, at the end of summer vacations.

        Finally, the Pope received members of the Italian Air Force and their families in audience. He thanked them for accompanying him in his pastoral trips within Italy, he praised their technical and professional training and, as he usually does at the end of September, he decorated some of them with pontifical honors. ZE99092607

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 184


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