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Church always leads the search for truth, Pope tells cultural leaders

May 12, 2010

In an address to Portuguese cultural leaders on May 12, Pope Benedict XVI said that " the Church considers that her most important mission in today’s culture is to keep alive the search for truth, and consequently for God."

The Holy Father devoted most of his address to an analysis of the tension between the immediate power of the present and voice of tradition. "The dynamic movement of society gives absolute value to the present, isolating it from the cultural legacy of the past," he said. The result of this conflict is an inability to reconcile society's present standing with its heritage, which causes a "crisis of truth."

"Indeed, a people no longer conscious of its own truth ends up by being lost in the maze of time and history, deprived of clearly defined values and lacking great and clearly formulated goals," the Pope said. He explained that the Church helps modern society by keeping alive the legacy of tradition and the search for truth.

The Pope urged the cultural leaders to use their own abilities to press forward with that search for truth. He reminded them that "thanks to to your talent, have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement."

Pope Benedict made his remarks to a gathering at the Belem Cultural Center, a modernistic structure on the Lisbon waterfront. Before the Pontiff's talk, he was welcomed by the 101-year-old film director Manoel de Oliveira, who anticipated the Pope's message by saying: "The roots of Europe and Portugal, whether we like it or not, are Christian."


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