Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Illustrating the figure of John of Salisbury in the general audience, Benedict XVI says that only when laws protect the sanctity of human life, marriage between a man and a woman and aspire to a secular State guaranteeing respect for religious freedom and the principle of subsidiarity, can they be considered fair. The "great responsibility" of culture, communication, media.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - If we fail to recognize the value of natural law, or of the immutable truth, inherent in the human heart, which urges concern for the common good and rejects attacks on life, then we risk a "dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything definitive and leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self and ones own desires". This is the warning that Benedict XVI traced today from the life and thoughts of John of Salisbury, a twelfth century English theologian, the subject of his catechesis delivered to nine thousand people present in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican for the General audience.
John was born between 1100 and 1120 in Salisbury, England. According to a wealth of letters left us by the theologian, between 1136 and 1148 he devoted himself to studies by attending the lectures of the most famous masters of his time, particularly those of the theological school of Chartres. "As often was the case with the most brilliant students” he was a sought after collaborator by bishops and sovereigns of the time and between 1150 and 1161 he became secretary and chaplain to Theobald, the aging archbishop of the primary See of Canterbury. "With unflagging zeal," while he continued in his studies, he carried out an intense diplomatic activity, frequently travelling to Rome to ensure ongoing relations with the papacy. An Englishman, Adrian IV, was pope at the time. He died in 1159. In those years, there was "serious tension between church and kingdom, which sought to assert its authority, limiting freedom" in England.
From CNA, "Natural law must be used to combat 'dictatorship of relativism,' Pope teaches"
From Catholic World News, "Natural law is the only defense against tyranny, Pope tells audience"
From Catholic News Service, "Laws are just only if they protect human life, pope says"
From Canada.com, "Pope speaks out against abortion, euthanasia"