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Pope explains his confidence that Europe will recover faith

October 16, 2012

Europe will rediscover her Christian heritage, Pope Benedict XVI assured an interviewer, because “the search for God is profoundly inscribed into each human soul and cannot disappear.”

Pope Benedict made that statement in an interview that was included in a new film, Bells of Euorpe--Campane d'Europa. The film, which was produced by the Vatican Television Centre for distribution by Italy’s RAI television network, was screened on Monday evening, October 15, for participants in the Synod of Bishops. The film includes interviews with the Pope and other religious leaders, including Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The film’s title refers to a bell which is shown being cast in the ancient foundry at Agnone.

Questioned about the sources of his hope for the future of Europe, Pope Benedict replies that “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, faith in Jesus Christ, is quite simply true, and truth never ages.” Contemporary ideologies, on the other hand, wear out and lose their energy because they lack profound truth,” he said.

The Pope also observed that a “sense of restlessness today exists among the young.” Recalling the words of St. Augustine, he said that young hearts will remain restless until they rest in God. “Man was created for the infinite; the finite is too little,” he said.

Reflecting on Europe’s crisis of identity, the Pope said that “in Europe today we see two souls: one is abstract anti-historical reason, which seeks to dominate all else because it considers itself above all cultures.” He continued:

We could call Europe's other soul the Christian one. It is a soul open to all that is reasonable, a soul which itself created the audaciousness of reason and the freedom of critical reasoning, but which remains anchored to the roots from which this Europe was born, the roots which created the continent's fundamental values and great institutions, in the vision of the Christian faith.


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 17, 2012 9:30 PM ET USA

    And the "other soul" ought to be a soul animated by the grace of an eternally generously loving God who shares his love freely with all those who desire to reciprocate. Without God's love, his miraculous grace, we have nothing.