PONTIFICAL COUNCIL for INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

ADDRESS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION

6 DECEMBER 2013

 

This dialogue of the Church with cultures is a dialogue at once critical and benevolent, which must foster the reception of the Word of God by people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Rev 7:9).

The three issues which you are presently addressing fit into this perspective. Your reflection on the relationship between monotheism and violence attests that God’s Revelation truly constitutes Good News for all men. God is not a threat to man! Faith in the One and Thrice Holy God is not and can never provoke violence and intolerance. On the contrary, its highly rational character confers on it a universal dimension, capable of uniting men of goodwill. Moreover, the definitive Revelation of God in Jesus Christ now renders impossible any recourse to violence “in the name of God”. It is precisely through his rejection of violence, through having conquered evil with good, with the blood of his Cross, that Jesus reconciled men to God and to one another.

It is peace itself which stands at the centre of your reflection on the Social Doctrine of the Church. This doctrine aims at translating the love of God for mankind, revealed in Jesus Christ, into practical life in society. This is why the social doctrine must always be rooted in the Word of God which has been received, celebrated and lived out in the Church. And the Church is required first of all to live within herself the social message which she carries to the world. Fraternal relations between believers, authority as service, sharing with the poor: all of these features, which have characterized the life of the Church from her earliest days, can and must constitute a living and attractive model for the various human communities, from the family to civil society.