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The priority Renewal of the faith

· The Pope to participants in the Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ·

The priority of the Church as a whole is the renewal of faith. Of this Benedict XVI was convinced , who while meeting with participants in the plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made and appeal to the whole ecclesial community for commitment “ to bringing God back into this world and to opening to all men access to the faith”.

The audience, which took place on Friday 27 January, in the Clementine Hall, gave the Pontiff the opportunity to recall that “in large parts of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame that has nothing to feed on”. Raising a concern which he already revealed in his recent Message for  World Mission Day, the Pope admitted that “we are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of religious meaning which constitutes the greatest challenge to the Church”.

From here the recognition and encouragement  aimed  at the dicastery, committed together with the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization in preparations for the Year of Faith: “an opportune moment”, Benedict XVI declared, “to point out to all the gift of faith in the Risen Christ, the clear teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the invaluable doctrinal synthesis offered by the Catechism of the Catholic Church ”.

In his Discourse, the Pontiff also touched upon other topics to be discussed during the Plenary Session. In particular he focused on theme of unity among Christians, by emphasizing above all the necessity of maintaining “coherence in the ecumenical task with the Second Vatican Council and the whole of Tradition”. The Pope warned them of the risk substituting the faith with “a shallow moralism” and he invited them to promote “the logic” contained in the conciliar teaching: “the sincere search for the full unity of all Christians is a dynamism animated by the Word of God”.

Crucial in this regard is the “discernment between Tradition with a capital letter and the traditions”.l In this perspective the Pope greeted as “an important step” the measures applied to groups of the faithful coming from Anglicanism who wanted to enter into the full communion of the Church while conserving their own spiritual, liturgical and pastoral traditions, conformed to the Catholic faith. “There exists,” he said, “a spiritual wealth in the different Christian confessions, which is an expression of the one faith and gift to share”.

As to the matter of the methods adopted in the various ecumenical dialogues, Benedict XVI  ask that they be addressed “with courage, even the controversial questions” and that the working documents produced be always judged and evaluated by the competent authorities of the Church. Finally, regarding life, family, sexuality, bioethics, liberty, justice and peace, the Pope asked that all Christians working together on these great moral questions may speak “with one voice”.

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