What a Theologian-Pope Tells Theology (Parts 1 and 2)

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last year, in the homily of the Mass celebrated in the presence of members of the International Theological Commission, the Pope explained that a true theologian is not one who attempts to measure the mystery of God with his own intelligence, but one who is conscious of his own limitations. On that occasion the Pope indicated humility as the way to arrive at truth, voicing a word of caution about expert theologians who behave like the ancient scribes. Do you think the Pope is referring to a marked tendency in our days?

Archbishop Forte: I believe this is an essential point that distinguishes Christian theology from any form of gnosis. The essential difference is that in theology everything stems from hearing, hence, from auditus Verbi, whereas in gnosis everything is the intellectual self-production of the individual. This is the real reason why the only authentically Christian heresy is gnosis: the pretension of a self-redemption of man who does not need the intervention of the Other, of [One] on High, that is, the intervention of God. A theology that is based, as is its nature, on Revelation, cannot but be first of all listening, hence humilitas: an attitude of profound willingness and docility before God's action, who enters history in a surprising way and at the same time confirms it in its dignity, opening it to the novum adveniens of his promise.

It is a topic that Ratzinger, as theologian, has stressed repeatedly, and which comes from his knowledge of Augustine, who is the genius of the intellectus fidei lived in listening, in the use of intelligence at the service of Franciscan-listening that predominates in Joseph Ratzinger's theological formation, which in his teaching as Pope reappears in his intense call to humilitas and to auditus. I would add that this topic is very important today in a society that has known the inebriation of reason and, hence, the gnostic temptation in the different faces of modern ideology, and that today, in the uneasiness of post-modernity, if it does not open itself to listening and to humilitas runs the risk of the great temptation of nihilism, that is, of meaninglessness.

Read it all and Part 2 is there

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* Theology

Posted January 27, 2010 at 7:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
Registered members must log in to comment.

Next entry (above): Archbishop Rowan Williams: Address celebrating the Mary Ward 400 Jubilee

Previous entry (below): Nominees for Eighth Episcopal Bishop of Kentucky announced

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)