apr 192008
 

I år ettermiddag var en stor gruppe representanter fra mange kirkesamfunn samlet i St Joseph kirke i New York City sammen med pave Benedikt. Her holdt han en interessant tale (hele teksten kan leses her), som flere allerede har kommentert, bl.a. skriver bloggen Rorate cæli slik:

An impressive ecumenical breakthrough. Reject false “prophetic actions”. Hold fast to sound teaching.

The Pope’s most impressive speech so far in his Apostolic Voyage to the United States, with many links to his epoch-making address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005, as the Successor of Peter professes his “faithful witness to the Gospel” and his fidelity to “the Church of every age”:

…”Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel.

… Throughout the New Testament, we find that the Apostles were repeatedly called to give an account for their faith to both Gentiles and Jews. The core of their argument was always the historical fact of Jesus’s bodily resurrection from the tomb. The ultimate effectiveness of their preaching did not depend on “lofty words” or “human wisdom”, but rather on the work of the Spirit who confirmed the authoritative witness of the Apostles.

… the power of the kerygma has lost none of its internal dynamism. Yet we must ask ourselves whether its full force has not been attenuated by a relativistic approach to Christian doctrine similar to that found in secular ideologies, which, in alleging that science alone is “objective”, relegate religion entirely to the subjective sphere of individual feeling. …

For Christians to accept this faulty line of reasoning would lead to the notion that there is little need to emphasize objective truth in the presentation of the Christian faith, for one need but follow his or her own conscience and choose a community that best suits his or her individual tastes. The result is seen in the continual proliferation of communities which often eschew institutional structures and minimize the importance of doctrinal content for Christian living.

Even within the ecumenical movement, Christians may be reluctant to assert the role of doctrine for fear that it would only exacerbate rather than heal the wounds of division. Yet a clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching: a teaching which indeed underlies the inspired word of God and sustains the sacramental life of Christians today.

Only by “holding fast” to sound teaching will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and its moral teaching. This is the message which the world is waiting to hear from us. Like the early Christians, we have a responsibility to give transparent witness to the “reasons for our hope”, so that the eyes of all men and women of goodwill may be opened to see that God has shown us his face and granted us access to his divine life through Jesus Christ. …

(Jeg har tatt utgangspunkt i Rorate cælis utdrag av talen, men også gjort noen flere forkortelse.)

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