Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pope: The Church is not Merely the Dispenser of Social Services

Editor: While remaining ambivalent to the nature of the Church and the State, the Holy Father restates the importance of the State in maintaining the moral order.  Religion may not be merely limited as the participant in culture.

Rom (kath.net/as) This Thursday morning Pope Benedict invited the new ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Holy See, Alfons M. Kloss, for the handing over of qualifications, with which this extraordinary and appointed emissary was accredited.

In his address Benedict XVI. called Austria the "Land of Cathedrals", that in its culture, its history and not least in everyday life, the faith is deeply stamped and, while at the same time it could demonstrate a long history of friendly coexistence between different religions and cultures.

The Pope went about the "peculiar tension" in the relation between Church and State which exist in the various states of Europe.  It appears that one wants to adjust the Gospel to the culture, yet it is painfully intended to avoid the fact that the culture has been participated in by the religious.

As a second point Benedict stressed the actuality of the respect for religious freedom, which allows the ecclesiastical community to exercise its various activities, from which from which the entire society makes use. The engagement of the Church has its deepest foundation in God, "in God, is love": "therefore it is necessary, to attend the nature and actual effect of the Church, without making it merely a bearer of social services.  It is much more evident in the completeness of a religious dimension."


So, there is in place of prayer, "the tendency to counter egotistical individualism.  For all communal powers consist in the penetrating and persistent mission, to secure the moral dimension of the culture, the dimension of a culture, that which is representative of people as well as of life in society. 

Finally the Pope underlined the importance of family politics and the meaning of marriage as a natural help to social ordering:  "Therefore, marriage and family necessitates the special protection of the state.  They are, for all of their members, a school of humanity with positive consequences for the individual and for society."

The Pope's complete address is available on kath.net in German, here...

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