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Historical study important for Church of today, says Pope

April 14, 2014

In an address to members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, Pope Francis said that the study of history is important for discerning “what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church of today.”

Citing Blessed John XXIII, who in turn was citing Cicero, Pope Francis said that “history is truly the witness of the times, the light of truth, the life of memory, the teacher of life.”

The Committee's upcoming conference on the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, said Pope Francis, will highlight “the Holy See’s diplomatic efforts during the tragic conflict and the contribution made by Catholics and other Christians to rescue the wounded, refugees, orphans and widows, to search for the missing, as well as in the reconstruction of a world torn apart by what Benedict XV called 'useless slaughter.'”

Pope Francis then quoted Pius XII's plea for peace on the eve of World War II and said that “when we listen again to those prophetic words, really, we realize that history is magistra vitae [teacher of life].”


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