- Tuesday, 29 March 2011 14:18
Success is not a word that is appropriate for matters pertaining to faith, even if it’s dealing those hearing the message of the Gospel for the first time or fancy programs. But I think it’s fair to say that from the reports that are coming from the Court of the Gentiles last weekend, this event was extraordinarily successful. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, his staff and collaborators have the makings of very significant work for culture, humanity and theology which will, no doubt, bear much fruit.
What’s at stake is not theology but humanity, not God but man and woman. If we don’t deal with our humanity, our human need, our desire for the infinite, then we will be less than what we are made for: happiness and greatness.
Chicago is on the list of possible events like the Court of the Gentiles. AND not New York?
- Saturday, 26 March 2011 10:08
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi’s interview on the importance of the Court of the Gentiles for us. This is probably the single most significant initiative of the Pontifical Council for Culture taking seriously the place of belief and unbelief. The Pope some time ago asked the pastors of the Church to take atheism as a serious matter to engage in. And by atheism he’s not suggesting the Christopher Hitchens’ version of atheism but what might be called “honest atheism,” those who ask sincere questions of belief and who are seeking to live a coherent life. The Pope is brilliant in his call to respect, dialogue and living.
Pope Benedict’s message to the gathering:
I know that at the invitation of Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, and of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (seen right), the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, you are gathered in great numbers in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. I greet all of you, together with our brothers and friends from the Taizé Community. I am grateful to the Pontifical Council for having taken up and extended my invitation to open a number of “Courts of the Gentiles” within the Church. This image refers to the vast open space near the Temple of Jerusalem where all those who did not share the faith of Israel could approach the Temple and ask questions about religion. There they could meet the scribes, speak of faith and even pray to the unknown God. The Court was then an area of separation, since Gentiles did not have the right to enter the consecrated area, yet Jesus Christ came to “break down the dividing wall” between Jews and Gentiles, and to “reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility in himself”. In the words of Saint Paul, “He came and proclaimed peace…” (cf. Eph 2:14-17).
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