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Democracy is rooted in Christian thought, Pope reminds theologians

Catholic World News - December 03, 2010

The freedom of modern democratic societies would be impossible without the contribution of Christian thought, Pope Benedict XVI argued in a December 3 address to the International Theological Commission.

The fundamental belief in human equality, the Pope said, is “the daughter of evangelical monotheism.” He also said that the quest for world peace is another outgrowth of the Christian heritage. “A God Who was not perceived as a source of forgiveness could not be a light along the path of peace,” the Pontiff said.

However, the Pope continued, a society that does not understand the philosophical foundations of its own basic beliefs is in jeopardy. Today, he said, “it is particularly important to show that the fruit dies if the roots of the tree are cut.” Pope Benedict continued:

There is, in fact, no justice without truth, and justice cannot fully develop if is horizon is limited by the material world. For us as Christians, social solidarity always has an eternal perspective.
The Holy Father went on to tell the members of the International Theological Commission—who are in Rome for their plenary meeting—that the goal of theology goes beyond serving society, to probe the eternal truths of an active faith. He cited Blessed John Henry Newman as an example of the theologian who recognizes that the ultimate goal of his study is the pursuit of sanctity.

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