Thursday, January 28, 2010
Vatican City, Jan 28, 2010 / 11:34 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI met with members of the Pontifical Academies in the Clementine Hall on Thursday morning, following their 14th annual public session a day earlier. Reminding them of the importance of keeping up to date with the contemporary culture and maintaining a degree of "originality" in their research, he called for them to look to the figure of St. Thomas Aquinas for inspiration.
Addressing the 300 members present from seven academies, the Holy Father congratulated them on their "glorious past" and then pointed out that at the present time "contemporary culture, and even more so believers themselves, continually petition the Church to concentrate her reflections and actions in those fields in which new problems emerge.”
Members of the academies, the Pope reminded, "are called to offer a qualified, competent and passionate contribution, so that all the Church... can offer occasions, language and of adequate means to dialogue with contemporary culture and respond effectively to the question and to the challenges that face her in the different areas of knowledge and human experience."
Pontifical academies approach questions concerning everything from philosophical and theological research to reflection on the figure of Mary, the heritage of the Christian witness and artistic creativity.
"As I have said before," continued Pope Benedict, "today's culture is strongly influenced by a vision dominated by relativism and subjectivism and by methods and attitudes that are sometimes superficial and even banal." These, he said, "damage the seriousness of study and reflection and, consequently, also dialogue, exchange and interpersonal communications."