11/13/2012 4:34:00 PM Pope offers reasons to hope for 'new springtime for Christianity'
Catholic News Service
Pope Benedict waves at end of nursing home visit.
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said the enduring desire for God, the truth of the Gospel and the “restlessness” of today’s youth are reasons to hope for a “new springtime for Christianity” in Europe and beyond.
The pope made his remarks to an interviewer in a new documentary film, “Bells of Europe,” which was shown at the Vatican Oct. 15 after the day’s session of the world Synod of Bishops.
The synod is dedicated to the new evangelization, a project aimed at reviving the Christian faith of secularized societies, especially in Europe and other Western lands.
Pope Benedict told his interviewer that he has three main reasons to hope for a Christian revival, starting with the “fact that the desire for God, the search for God, is profoundly inscribed into each human soul and cannot disappear.”
He said he also takes heart from the eternal truth of the Gospel.
“Ideologies have their days numbered,” the pope said. “They appear powerful and irresistible but, after a certain period, they wear out and lose their energy because they lack profound truth.”
“The Gospel, on the other hand, is true and can therefore never wear out,” he said.
Finally, Pope Benedict cited the dissatisfaction of young people today with the “proposals of the various ideologies and of consumerism.”
Answering a question about Christianity’s prospects in Europe, Pope Benedict said that the continent is undergoing a crisis of identity, divided between “two souls.”
One of these souls is “abstract anti-historical reason,” which seeks “to liberate itself from all traditions and cultural values in favor of an abstract rationality,” he said, citing for example a ruling (subsequently overturned) by the European Court for Human Rights that crucifixes should be removed from classrooms in Italian public schools.
“We could call Europe’s other soul the Christian one,” Pope Benedict said, describing it as a “soul which itself created the audaciousness of reason and the freedom of critical reasoning, but which remains anchored to the roots from which this Europe was born.”
A blend of these two souls, the pope concludes, will lead to a “new humanism” arising “directly from the view of man created in the image and likeness of God.”