Tag Archives: Gianfranco Ravasi

Preaching … to the pope and others

preaching to the pope.jpgLast Sunday at the keynote address given by Father Julián Carrón who said among many other good things is that preaching is taking part in man’s search for God. Moreover, preaching arouses curiosity from within, that one of its aim is to overcome the divide between faith and life.

We can point to the many instances when the preacher goes to his file, looks for the right date, and proceeds to inflict on the faithful yet another good example of pastoral slothfulness as if the faithful will not recall the last time the priest said the exact same thing. You can say that the quest of the Infinite, the quest for the  Faith is severely reduced.
In his Vatican Diary yesterday, Sandro Magister wrote a piece that may interest you, “Those who preach to the pope.” A timely essay given that Pope Benedict recently chose Cardinal Gianfrance Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, to preach this coming Lent.
Magister’s essay is good not only because it reveals some insight into an aspect of papal life not often thought about by the laity, but it also shows a certain commitment of the Pope to hear others share what Father Carrón says about our searching for God and the preacher arousing curiosity in the hearer. Magister also provides a helpful list of names and affiliations.

1,400 year old fresco of St Paul found

new fresco of St paul.jpgThe religious and art worlds are abuzz with the latest find: an early 6th century image of the Apostle Paul in Naples. The discovery happened in the Catacombs of San Gennaro.

Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi said “The image of Saint Paul has an intense expression, philosophical and its discovery enriches our image of one of the principal apostles.”
The story of the new image is found in the culture section of L’Osservatore Romano.
Watch the video story from Rome Reports.
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Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture: a deeper dialogue between science and faith

The Pontifical Council for Culture has been doing some good work in promoting serious dialogue among those who work in science, the humanities and theology. You may be familiar with the Council’s “Science, Theology and the Ontological  Quest” (STOQ Project). The most recent collaboration has been with NeoStem in organizing a forthcoming conference dealing with the theme of “Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.” Regenerative medicine is now on the front burner for dialogue and research among scientists, theologians and pastors. This field of study has wide applications for work in culture, law, theology, pastoral practice, scientific research and practical application for all peoples on the planet.

The Council for Culture is working also with the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers to give a united front and clear witness to the importance of this topic to all interested parties.

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Court of the Gentiles –next step

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.
Sandro Magister’s follow-up can be read here.
Chicago is on the list of possible events like the Court of the Gentiles. AND not New York?
BTW, read this blog post on the origin of the “Court of the Gentiles.”

Court of the Gentiles –Le Parvis des Gentils à Paris: a call to fraternity to believers and nonbelievers to live coherent in Christ, and for a new humanity

parvis gentils paris 2011.jpgCardinal 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:

GRavasi.jpgI 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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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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