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Pope speaks on Summa, 'masterpiece' of St. Thomas Aquinas

June 23, 2010

Devoting a 3rd consecutive weekly audience to the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on June 23 about the Summa Theologica, observing that the work "corresponds almost in its entirety to the structure of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” The Pope said that the rigorous logic employed by St. Thomas provides an answer to those who suggest that faith is irrational. He said:

To those who object that faith is foolish because it makes us believe something that does not enter into the experience of the senses, St. Thomas offers a very detailed response, claiming that this is an inconsistent objection because human intelligence is limited and cannot know everything.

Since human knowledge is always incomplete, the Pope continued, St. Thomas argues convincingly that it is imminently rational to rely on the testimony of others—in the case of the Christian faith, to the witness of the Apostles.

The Pope went on to say that while the Summa is his masterpiece, St. Thomas made the same points in his preaching. And while his approach is always logical, it is fired by a deep faith as well. He reminded his audience that St. Thomas had a special devotion to the Eucharist, and said that the faithful should “follow the example of the saints and love this Sacrament.”


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