Pope Quotes 2

21 09 2010

Pope Quotes 2

Now I am not a Catholic or intending to become one. Indeed I struggle with pomp, ceremony and obvious great wealth, not to mention a variety of strange beliefs that have come down through the years through the Catholic Church. Nevertheless I have to admit that looking over the speeches of the Holy Father, he has said some very good things which need saying into modern Britain.

I have simply grabbed key quotes from his various speeches last week and last weekend and for the sake of clarity put some hasty headings, hopefully to make them easier to understand. TV gave him a good coverage but I confess to finding his accent and reading his speeches not easy to take in. Reading them online has helped me appreciate them.  I hope you, if you are a Christian, find these quotes below challenging. They speak into the wider life.

2. The Effects of Lives of Faith

The Purpose of the Church?

“A Church which seeks above all to be attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for herself, she does not work to increase her numbers and her power. The Church is at the service of Another. She serves not herself, not to become strong; rather, she serves to make the announcement of Jesus Christ more accessible: the great truths, the great powers of love and reconciliation which appeared in Him and which always come from the presence of Jesus Christ.”     (Answer to Press on flight on Thurs 16th)

The impact of Christianity on our history

Your forefathers’ respect for truth and justice, for mercy and charity come to you from a faith that remains a mighty force for good in your kingdom, to the great benefit of Christians and non-Christians alike. We find many examples of this force for good throughout Britain’s long history. Even in comparatively recent times, due to figures like William Wilberforce and David Livingstone, Britain intervened directly to stop the international slave trade. Inspired by faith, women like Florence Nightingale served the poor and the sick and set new standards in healthcare that were subsequently copied everywhere.  (Speech before Queen – Edinburgh – Thurs 16th)

True Education

“You form new generations not only in knowledge of the faith, but in every aspect of what it means to live as mature and responsible citizens in today’s world. Education is not and must never be considered as purely utilitarian. It is about forming the human person, equipping him or her to live life to the full – in short it is about imparting wisdom. And true wisdom is inseparable from knowledge of the Creator”.    (Speaking about Education – St. Mary’s University College at Twickenham – Fri 17th)

The Need of a Spiritual Dimension in Life

“The quest for the sacred is the search for the one thing necessary, which alone satisfies the longings of the human heart. The human and natural sciences cannot satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart, they cannot fully explain to us our origin and our destiny, why and for what purpose we exist, nor indeed can they provide us with an exhaustive answer to the question, ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’     (Comments to Religious Leaders Twickenham –  Fri 17th )

The Spiritual Clarifies all else

“The quest for the sacred does not devalue other fields of human enquiry. On the contrary, it places them in a context which magnifies their importance, as ways of responsibly exercising our stewardship over creation”. God “entrusted us with the task of exploring and harnessing the mysteries of nature in order to serve a higher good. … In the Christian faith [this] is expressed as love for God and love for our neighbour. And so we engage with the world wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, but always with a view to serving that higher good, lest we disfigure the beauty of creation by exploiting it for selfish purposes.    (Ongoing comments –  Fri 17th)

The Spiritual leads to Virtue

“So it is that genuine religious belief points us beyond present utility towards the transcendent. It reminds us of the possibility and the imperative of moral conversion, of the duty to live peaceably with our neighbour, of the importance of living a life of integrity. … It motivates us to cultivate the practice of virtue and to reach out towards one another in love, with the greatest respect for religious traditions different from our own”.    (Ongoing comments  –  Fri 17th)

The Clarity of the Gospel

We Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ, and to explore together a deeper understanding of the means He has placed at our disposal for attaining that salvation. God ‘wants all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth’, and that truth is nothing other than Jesus Christ. …    (Comments at Lambeth Palace – Fri 17th)

Ethics without a foundation is adrift & threatens democracy

By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy”.    (To civil leaders in Westminster Hall – Fri 17th)

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