“Despite all impressions to the contrary, the family is still strong and vibrant today. But there is no denying the crisis that threatens it to its foundations – especially in the western world.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI delivered a Christmas greeting to his closest collaborators at the Vatican. He met with Cardinals, members of the Roman Curia, and the Governorate of Vatican City State yesterday, December 21, as part of the traditional exchange of Christmas and New Years greetings. In his speech, he recalled the main events of 2012 and stressed the importance of the family in society, while also refuting gender ideology, stating “Human being calls his nature into question.”
The Pope spoke to the Curia about the key events which took place throughout the year 2012, beginning with his Apostolic Journey to Mexico, Cuba and Lebanon.
The Holy Father made mention of the Meeting of Families which took place earlier this year in Milan. “The great joy with which families from all over the world congregated in Milan indicates that, despite all impressions to the contrary, the family is still strong and vibrant today. But there is no denying the crisis that threatens it to its foundations – especially in the western world.”
The inability to make any commitment, he said, stems from a “false understanding of freedom and self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering… When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.”
“When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker Himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being.”
The Holy Father also addressed the importance of dialogue in today’s world. “For the Church in our day I see three principal areas of dialogue, in which she must be present in the struggle for man and his humanity: dialogue with states, dialogue with society – which includes dialogue with cultures and with science – and finally dialogue with religions. The Pope explained that it is the duty for Christians and members of other religions to engage in dialogue, as dialogue between religions is necessary for bringing about peace in the world.
The aim of interreligious dialogue is not conversion, he explained: nonetheless, “the search for knowledge and understanding always has to involve drawing closer to the truth. Both sides in this piece-by-piece approach to truth are therefore on the path that leads forward and towards greater commonality, brought about by the oneness of the truth.”
“We do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us: Christ, Who is the truth, has taken us by the hand, and we know that His hand is holding us securely on the path of our quest for knowledge.”
Drawing his discourse to a close, Pope Benedict turned his attention to the subject of evangelization. “The word of proclamation is effective in situations where man is listening in readiness for God to draw near, where man is inwardly searching and thus on the way towards the Lord… As he walks with Jesus, he is led to the place where Jesus lives, to the community of the Church, which is His body. That means entering into the journeying community of catechumens, a community of both learning and living, in which our eyes are opened as we walk.”
For the full text of the Pope’s message, click this link: