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JEAN-PAUL II                  -                    JOHN PAUL II
                          GIOVANNI PAOLO II             -              JUAN PABLO II

 

Preaching the Gospel in a globalized world

 

“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12), I greet you and the Order of Preachers on the occasion of the Elective General Chapter beginning in Rhode Island on 10 July 2001. […]

In your Chapter, you will reflect upon the intimately related themes “Preaching the Gospel in a globalized world” and “The renewal of the contemplative life”. The history of your Order indicates that the Gospel will be preached in fresh and effective ways in a fast-changing world only if Christians follow the path of contemplation which leads to a deeper relationship with Christ, “known through his manifold presence in the Church and in the world, and confessed as the meaning of history and the light of life’s journey” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 15).

It is clear that the ancient afflictions of the human soul and the great untruths never die but lie hidden for a time, to reappear later in other forms. That is why there is always need for a new evangelization of the kind to which the Holy Spirit is now summoning the whole Church. We live in a time marked in its own way by a denial of the Incarnation. For the first time since Christ’s birth two thousand years ago, it is as if he no longer had a place in an ever more secularized world. Not that he is always denied explicitly: indeed many claim to admire Jesus and to value elements of his teaching. Yet he remains distant: he is not truly known, loved and obeyed, but consigned to a distant past or a distant heaven.

Ours is an age which denies the Incarnation in a multitude of practical ways, and the consequences of this denial are clear and disturbing. In the first place, the individual’s relationship with God is seen as purely personal and private, so that God is removed from the processes that govern social, political and economic activity. This leads in turn to a greatly diminished sense of human possibility, since it is Christ alone who fully reveals the magnificent possibilities of human life, who truly “reveals man to himself” (Gaudium et Spes, 22). When Christ is excluded or denied, our vision of human purpose dwindles; and as we anticipate and aim for less, hope gives way to despair, joy to depression. There also appears a profound distrust of reason and of the human capacity to grasp the truth; indeed the very concept of truth is cast into doubt. To their mutual impoverishment, faith and reason part company, degenerating into fideism on the one hand and rationalism on the other (cf. Fides et Ratio, 48). […]

The needs of the new evangelization are great; and it is certain that your Order, with its many vocations and outstanding heritage, must play a vital part in the Church’s mission to overturn the old untruths and proclaim the message of Christ effectively at the dawn of the new millennium.

 

Letter to the Very Reverend Timothy Radcliffe, Master General of the Order of Preachers, 28-06-2001.

 

 

Bibbia e cultura

 

 Fin dalla prima antichità cristiana la Bibbia fu il libro che plasmò non poche culture, e per tradurlo si crearono talvolta gli alfabeti nazionali.

Di ciò era ben consapevole la Chiesa ortodossa nei Principati romeni, quando provvide alle prime traduzioni della Bibbia in lingua nazionale in modo da renderla più accessibile ai fedeli. Nella seconda metà del secolo XVIII venne esaurita la prima edizione completa romena della Sacra Scrittura, conosciuta come “Biblia de la Bucureşti” (1688). Nella lingua nazionale si erano verificate nel frattempo notevoli trasformazioni. Si rese allora necessaria una nuova edizione; lavoro che fu compiuto con competenza e zelo da un grande monaco erudito, Samuil Micu, della “Şcoala Ardeleană”. L’edizione prese nome dalla città di Blaj, dove essa venne stampata nell’anno 1795 dal vescovo Ioan Bob.

Questa nuova traduzione venne adoperata non soltanto dalla Chiesa greco-cattolica della Transilvania, ma anche dalla Chiesa ortodossa, servendo così a tutti i Romeni per la diffusione della fede in Cristo. E così nella Liturgia continuarono a risuonare gli stessi testi, sviluppando ulteriormente il comune linguaggio teologico.

Inoltre, data la grande qualità letteraria dell’opera, essa ebbe un notevole impatto culturale sull’intera Nazione, come successe per esempio in Polonia, grazie alla traduzione della Bibbia fatta per opera del gesuita P. Jakub Wujek.

Considerando l’importanza della “Biblia de la Blaj”, che rappresenta un vero monumento di fede e, al tempo stesso, un monumento letterario della lingua romena, ho voluto che una sua edizione preparata da un gruppo di insigni studiosi, sotto il patronato della Metropolia greco-cattolica e delle più alte Autorità culturali della Romania, fosse stampata in Vaticano come dono della Santa Sede. […] Spero che la ristampa della “Biblia de la Blaj” possa costituire un ulteriore passo verso la piena comunione dei discepoli di Cristo.

[…] Con grande gioia accolgo, pertanto, quest’oggi Lei, Signor Presidente, e quanti hanno cooperato alla realizzazione della ristampa della Bibbia di Blaj. Ringrazio chi si è fatto promotore di quest’iniziativa e chi ha voluto curare le varie fasi della sua concreta attuazione.

Auspico, altresì, che la ristampa della “Biblia de la Blaj” ricordi questa urgenza che deve essere privilegiata nei programmi pastorali e nella formazione del clero. La Chiesa cattolica, che può essere giustamente fiera del contributo che ha dato nel corso dei secoli alla vita del popolo romeno, continuerà così a rendersi utile alla Nazione.

 

Udienza ai Membri della Delegazione della Conferenza Episcopale della Romania in occasione della presentazione della “Bibbia di Blaj”, 31-5-2001.

 

 

Contribuer à un authentique progrès humain

 

[…] La Communauté internationale ne peut qu’apprécier les succès obtenus dans la consolidation de la paix et dans la résolution des tensions régionales en tenant compte des spécificités locales.

Je vous encourage moi-même à persévérer dans l’effort nécessaire pour surmonter les difficultés qui demeurent, en garantissant le plein respect des droits des minorités nationales et religieuses. Une politique de tolérance sage ne manquera pas d’attirer la considération et la sympathie au peuple ukrainien, en lui assurant une place particulière dans la famille des peuples européens.

En tant que pasteur de l’Église catholique, je constate avec une sincère satisfaction le fait que, dans le préambule de la Constitution de l’Ukraine, « la responsabilité devant Dieu » soit rappelée aux citoyens. C’est certainement dans cette optique que se plaçait Hryhorij Skovoroda lorsqu’il invitait ses contemporains à toujours se fixer comme premier engagement celui de « comprendre l’homme », en cherchant pour lui les voies adaptées pour le faire sortir définitivement des impasses de l’intransigeance et de la haine.

Les valeurs de l’Évangile, qui font partie de votre identité nationale, vous aideront à édifier une société ouverte et solidaire, dans laquelle chacun puisse offrir sa contribution spécifique au bien commun, en en tirant dans le même temps le soutien nécessaire pour développer au mieux ses propres qualités.

C’est un appel que j’adresse en particulier aux jeunes afin que, en suivant les traces de ceux qui ont donné leur vie pour des idéaux humains, civils et religieux élevés, ils conservent intact ce patrimoine de civilisation.

« Ne permets pas aux puissants de détruire l’homme », c’est ce qu’écrivait Volodymyr Monomach (+1125) dans son Enseignement à ses Fils. Ce sont des paroles qui conservent encore aujourd’hui toute leur valeur.

Au XXème siècle, les régimes totalitaires ont détruit des générations entières, car ils ont miné trois piliers de toute civilisation authentiquement humaine : la reconnaissance de l’autorité divine, de laquelle découlent les incontournables orientations morales de la vie (cf. Ex 20,1.18) ; le respect pour la dignité de la personne, créée à l’image et à la ressemblance de Dieu (cf. Gn 1,26-27), le devoir d’exercer le pouvoir au service de chaque membre de la société sans exception, à commencer par les plus faibles et sans défense.

Avoir renié Dieu n’a pas rendu l’homme plus libre. Cela l’a plutôt exposé à diverses formes d’esclavages, en abaissant la vocation du pouvoir politique au niveau d’une force brutale et opprimante.

Hommes de la politique ! N’oubliez pas cette leçon sévère de l’histoire. Votre tâche est de servir le peuple, en assurant la paix et l’égalité des droits à chacun. Résistez aux tentations de profiter du pouvoir au profit d’intérêts personnels ou de groupe. Ayez toujours à cœur le sort des pauvres et agissez de façon légitime afin que soit garanti à chacun l’accès à un bien-être juste.

Hommes de la culture ! Vous avez une grande histoire derrière vous. Je pense, en particulier, à l’Archevêque orthodoxe de Kiev, le Métropolite Petro Mohyla, fondateur, en 1632, de l’Académie de Kiev qui demeure dans la mémoire un phare de la culture humaniste et chrétienne. C’est à vous que revient l’exercice d’une intelligence critique et créative dans tous les milieux du savoir, en conjuguant le patrimoine culturel du passé avec les exigences de la modernité, de façon à contribuer à un authentique progrès humain, sous le signe de la civilisation de l’amour. Dans ce contexte, je souhaite vivement que l’enseignement des sciences ecclésiastiques puisse recevoir la reconnaissance qui lui revient, également de la part des autorités civiles.

C’est à vous en particulier, hommes consacrés à la recherche scientifique, que doit servir d’avertissement permanent la terrible catastrophe sociale, économique et écologique de Tchernobyl ! Les potentialités de la technique doivent être conjuguées avec les valeurs éthiques immuables, afin d’assurer le respect dû à l’homme et à sa dignité inaliénable.

Chefs d’entreprises et agents du monde de l’économie de la nouvelle Ukraine ! L’avenir de la nation dépend également de vous. Votre contribution courageuse, toujours inspirée des valeurs de la compétence et de l’honnêteté, sera bénéfique pour relancer l’économie nationale, de façon à redonner confiance à ceux qui sont tentés de quitter le pays pour chercher un travail ailleurs. Ayez toujours à l’esprit, dans votre action, le bien commun et les droits justes de chacun. Considérez les personnes et non le profit, comme l’objectif de toute économie qui respecte la dignité humaine. Agissez toujours dans la légalité, qui est une garantie de justice.

Éminents représentants des Autorités, mesdames et messieurs ! L’humanité est entrée dans le troisième millénaire et de nouvelles perspectives se profilent à l’horizon. Un processus global de développement est en cours, marqué par des changements rapides et radicaux. Chacun est appelé à apporter sa propre contribution avec courage et confiance. L’Église catholique se trouve aux côtés de chaque personne de bonne volonté, pour en soutenir les efforts au service du bien.

 

Rencontre avec les Représentants du Monde de la Politique, de la Culture, de la Science et de l’Industrie, Palais Présidentiel “Mariyinskyi”, Kiev, 23-6-2001.

 

 

To unify our scientific knowledge

 

The heart of the Schools is the exchange of professional knowledge and personal experience between the teachers and students. Your personal and professional friendships, which embrace a variety of political, cultural and religious differences, are one of the most precious fruits of the School, and I pray that these bonds will endure through the years. […]

The study of the astrophysical nature of stellar remnants may seem to have little to do with the betterment of humanity. Yet those who closely examine reality as scientists, artists, philosophers or theologians, and those who struggle to improve the economic, social and political conditions of the world’s peoples soon come to realize that all that is true, good and beautiful has its ultimate unique source in the One in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Your astrophysical research is not a luxury remote from the daily concerns of people and irrelevant to the building of a more humane world. What you do as scientists is important for all of us, especially when your empirically grounded vision of reality leads to an understanding of the human person as an integral element in the created universe, that is, when it leads to the wisdom which is at the heart of all genuine humanism.

Yet our understanding of ourselves and of the universe will reach a point of true wisdom only if we are open to the many ways in which the human mind comes to knowledge: through science, art, philosophy, theology. Your scientific research will be most creative and beneficial to society when it helps to unify the knowledge deriving from these different sources, and leads to a fruitful dialogue with those who are working in other fields of learning. I am confident that the Vatican Observatory Schools in Astrophysics make a valuable contribution to such a unifying view of knowledge.

[…] Science has certainly been one of humanity’s guiding lights on its journey through time; but, as we seek to unify our scientific knowledge with all that we know as human beings, we sense that we are being led to other still more mysterious realities and that our passion to know is incomplete if it does not spark in us the desire to give and receive love.

 

To the Participants in the Eighth Vatican Observatory School in Astrophysics, 6-7-2001.

 

 

Superar las amenazas de la globalización

 

La fe y los valores que proclama el Evangelio son una riqueza que se debe preservar celosamente, porque está en la raíz de la identidad cultural nacional, amenazada hoy, como en otras partes, por una cultura masificada e informe, amparada en algunos aspectos del proceso de globalización. [...]

La fe en Jesucristo, lo saben bien, actúa en el ser humano de modo totalmente diferente a las ideologías, que son caducas y consumen las energías de los hombres y los pueblos con metas intramundanas, muchas de ellas, además, inalcanzables. Por eso, es cada vez más urgente presentar la riqueza insondable de la espiritualidad cristiana en estos comienzos del nuevo milenio, ante un mundo cansado de las viejas ideologías, las cuales al perder su atractivo inicial, han dejado en muchos un vacío profundo y una falta de sentido de la vida.

 

Visita “ad limina Apostolorum” de los Obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Cuba, 6-7-2001.

 

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COMUNICATO CONGIUNTO

VII Riunione Comitato Coordinazione Islamico-Cattolico

La religione e il dialogo delle civiltà nell’era della globalizzazione

Roma, 3-4 luglio 2001

 

 

Il Comitato enuncia gli accordi sui punti seguenti:

1. Riaffermare che le civiltà con le loro dimensioni materiali e tecnologiche sono patrimonio comune dell’umanità; perciò gli elementi positivi sono da salvaguardare ed i loro benefici resi accessibili a tutti; sono da sviluppare e promuovere nell’interesse della sicurezza e del benessere di tutta la società umana.

2. Riaffermare che i valori religiosi devono essere punto di partenza fondamentale affinché l’umanità difenda la dignità umana e promuova la coesistenza pacifica fra i popoli e la protezione dell’ambiente.

3. Riaffermare l’importanza del dialogo fra le civiltà per la conoscenza reciproca e l’impegno comune, in pace e in armonia, allo scopo di proteggere le società umane dalle catastrofi naturali, dalla povertà, dall’ignoranza, dalla degradazione morale, dal disgregamento della famiglia, dalle guerre e dall’effetto delle armi di distruzione di massa, rifiutando la tesi dell’inevitabilità dei conflitti delle civiltà e dei conflitti sociali.

4. Riconoscere l’importanza della globalizzazione ed i suoi vantaggi, richiamando l’attenzione sui suoi pericoli che ostacolano la realizzazione di un equo ordine mondiale comunemente concordato; l’accettazione di criteri giusti per il conseguimento del benessere di ciascun individuo ed il rispetto dei valori religiosi e culturali delle società umane.

5. Operare insieme per diffondere la cultura del dialogo e per promuovere uno spirito di responsabilità nei confronti della società, per resistere al consumismo, per proteggere la dignità umana ed i diritti umani, per prevenire le aggressioni, l’oppressione e l’ingiustizia, operare per garantire il diritto dei rifugiati a ritornare nei loro paesi d’origine e rifiutare tutte le forme di discriminazione contro le persone.

6. Condannare le violazioni del carattere sacro dei luoghi santi e dei luoghi di culto che si verificano in alcune parti del mondo e collaborare per assicurare il rispetto e la salvaguardia dei luoghi santi.

7. Comunicare questi principi attraverso i canali disponibili e i mass media, mediante istituti educativi e culturali, ecc.

 

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GÖTEBORG RESOLUTION

European Organ Symposium

Göteborg, June 14, 2001

 

The participants of the European Organ Symposium (EOS-2001), a follow-up conference of the Varaždin Congress in September 2000 (see: Culture and Faith VIII – 4/2000, pp. 346-347), approved the following resolution:

 

The organ has a clear and unique European identity and reflects centuries of European music, thought, science and technology. Many visions that have contributed to the formation of the Europe we recognize today, are given expression by the organ as a musical instrument, artistic tradition and bearer of culture.

Today, we are faced with the challenge of preserving a seriously threatened legacy of European historical organs. At the same time, it is not enough to simply preserve this heritage, but also to find ways to make it live for the people of our time. In order to communicate the European organ heritage and create an extensive legal protection for it, the following tasks should be carried out:

 

A. Communicating the European organ heritage

1. The importance of the European organ heritage and the organ as a symbol of the European vision par excellence will be communicated to, amongst others, the EU-Council, the EU-Parliament, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, religious authorities, National and Regional Heritage bodies, as well as owners, curators and users of the organ.

2. A European contact network will be built with individuals and organisations in all of the countries that have actively taken part in the conferences so far or that are already EU member nations; the communication of the European organ heritage will take place via this network. This applies to official bodies that already have the responsibility of safeguarding the organ heritage. Other organisations or institutes with the agreement of these official bodies may join this network. Where there is no clear authority over the organ heritage, groups already engaged in its protection should become involved.

 

B. Protecting the European organ heritage

1. Amongst others, those named in A. l. will be asked to work for an extensive legal protection of the organ heritage that can be realized throughout the whole of Europe.

2. The responsibility for the organ heritage and its safeguarding belongs in the first place to the individual countries. Because the organ is historically a pan-European phenomenon and because it represents European culture in all of its regional manifestations, a European responsibility for this common cultural heritage is necessary and proper.

3. Notably, in view of the extension of the EU, the situation with respect to the organ heritage that is to be protected changes dramatically: in the countries of central and eastern Europe, several thousand valuable historic organs are to be found, of which the majority are in very poor condition. This fact urges us once more to strive for a European responsibility for this common cultural heritage.

4. A comparative survey will be researched and published detailing the existing legal protection of historic organs in European countries.

5. Guidelines for protecting the European organ heritage should be further developed, and will be presented at coming EOS-conferences.

 

C. Conducting a complete survey of European historic organs

1. An important tool for the realisation of the aims mentioned under A. and B. is a complete survey of historical organs in Europe. Such a survey should be assembled in cooperation with the respective authorities that are responsible for organ heritage. Where official registers of historic organs already exist, they will be included in this survey. A relevant list will also be included in the survey for countries that do not yet have their own official register, with the help of the contact persons and contact organisations mentioned under A. 2.

2. From this complete survey two lists will be generated. The first will identify the instruments that should be offered special legal protection on a European level. From this list, an exclusive group of organs will be nominated for World Heritage status.

 

D. Founding of a European organisation

The EOS-2001 presidency will appoint a working group and an international reference group. During the EOS conference in Lisbon, 2002, the working group will present a report demonstrating how such a European organisation could be established. This report will be produced with the international reference group as well as interim information about contact persons and contact organisations. The working group should be appointed by August 1, 2001 at the latest, the reference group by September 1, 2001 at the latest, and the contact persons as soon as possible but in any event by the end of the calendar year 2001.

Some priorities for this small and efficient European organisation are:

   to be a partner in political discussions

   to coordinate the exchange of education resources, research, and knowledge

   to build networks

   to give advice and help in finding sponsors

   to organise EOS conferences

   to support the realisation of the goals outlined in A. B. and C.

The coming EOS conferences are: 2002 Lisbon, 2003 Bratislava, 2004 Bologna, 2005 Vilnius, 2006 United Kingdom, 2007 France.

 

 

 

CURIA ROMANA


 

 

NOMINATIONS AU CONSEIL PONTIFICAL DE LA CULTURE

 

Le 14 mai 2001, Sa Sainteté le Pape Jean-Paul II a nommé Membres du Conseil Pontifical de la Culture ad quinquennium les Éminents Cardinaux Louis-Marie Billé, Ivan Dias, Cláudio Hummes, Walter Kasper, Jorge María Mejía et José da Cruz Policarpo.

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