North Western Winds

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JP II recognized by Scientists, Christianity respected by Atheist Philosopher

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Pope John Paul II has received a prize from scientists in Europe for recognizing and placing a high value on science and its potential for the betterment of human life:

The prize was conferred by the International Center of Scientific Culture — founded by Zichichi over 40 years ago in Sicily — on John Paul II “for having given science the same pedestal as faith, thus creating in the world the basis for a great alliance between science and faith, an alliance of which there is great need.”

In his address to the scientists, the Holy Father said he hoped that “the joint effort of the international scientific community, of public institutions, and of all people of good will may ensure a future of hope and peace for humanity.”

“May God make this common commitment fruitful; in particular, may it help believers dedicated to scientific research to give a clear evangelical testimony and foster dialogue between science and faith,” he added.

In another interesting turn, Cardinal Ratzinger, who could be a contender to replace JP II, has done something that will surprise a lot of people:

Last October 25, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger summoned to the field as his ally “the philosopher considered in the world of the German language as the purest secularist”: Jürgen Habermas , an exponent of the famous Frankfurt school

Between the likes of Ratzinger and Habermas, naturally, the distance remains intact. Habermas defines himself as, and is, “a methodical atheist.” But to read his most recent essay… “A Time of Transition” … Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization:

“To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”

Habermas says he is “enchanted by the seriousness and consistency” of the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, the opposite of the feeble thinking that pervades current theology:

“Thomas represents a spiritual figure who was able to prove his authenticity with his own resources. That contemporary religious leadership lacks an equally solid terrain seems to me an incontrovertible truth. In the general leveling of society by the media everything seems to lose seriousness, even institutionalized Christianity. But theology would lose its identity if it sought to uncouple itself from the dogmatic nucleus of religion, and thus from the religious language in which the community’s practices of prayer, confession, and faith are made concrete.”

On relations with other civilizations, Habermas maintains that “recognizing our Judaeo-Christian roots more clearly not only does not impair intercultural understanding, it is what makes it possible.”

He contests modern “unbridled subjectivity,” which is destined to “clash against what is really absolute; that is, against the unconditional right of every creature to be respected in its bodiliness and recognized in its otherness, as ‘an image of God’.”

The link is to a longer article. The interesting part starts about 1/4 of the way down, with the section beginning: “But is a shared appreciation of Christianity on the part of the Church and secularist thought, each for its own reasons, really so untoward?”


Written by Curt

December 9, 2004 at 9:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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