Without Mercy, Society Erodes, Says Cardinal

Calls for Spiritual Reconstruction

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

L’AQUILA, Italy, AUG. 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Without mercy, «the cohesion of a city and of a society is eroded,» Cardinal Walter Kasper is affirming.

The former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity stated this Saturday while presiding over an annual ceremony instituted by Pope Celestine V.

St. Celestine V was a monk and hermit who founded the Celestine Order in the Abruzzi region, and is known for voluntarily resigning from ministry as the Bishop of Rome after only five months of his pontificate.
<br>Before his resignation, he decreed a «perdonanza» [pardon], which is annually observed Aug. 28-29 in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L’Aquila, whereby the faithful who visit the Church and fulfill other requirements can receive the remission of sins and the absolution of punishment.

This year’s celebration held particular significance because it marked the closing of the Celestine Year declared by Benedict XVI, which began last August to commemorate the 800th birthday of the saint.

During the opening of the basilica’s holy door, Cardinal Kasper, the Papal envoy for the event,
affirmed that Celestine V «lived at a time in which the Church was wealthy and powerful, but also with a grave internal crisis because of her involvement in politics, in money matters, in internal conflicts and intrigues, an excessively worldly Church and, as a result, not very spiritual.»
Today, the prelate continued, we live «in a situation in many ways different from that of the 13th century,» but «we also are facing in Europe a crisis of faith and of Christian life perhaps more profound and worrying than at that time.»
«Europe is estranging itself from God and from its Christian roots,» he observed.


The cardinal called for a «spiritual reconstruction» to profoundly renew personal and social life.
He affirmed that the first condition to undertake this path of reconstruction is awareness of divine mercy.
«We no longer see heaven open,» Cardinal Kasper said, rather «we live in darkness and in confusion without God,» blinded by «the pretension to build the house of our society and of our life according to our choice and according to our convenience and human interests.»
To be able to reconstruct, he said, it is necessary «to put God in the first place of our life,» abandoning «the false idols we have made for ourselves.»
«Spiritual reconstruction begins from God,» as does material reconstruction, the cardinal affirmed.
He warned that if «the spirit of individualism and of egoism, where each one thinks only of his own benefit, is not overcome, we cannot build a new future.»
Last July, Benedict XVI venerated the relics of St. Celestine V during his visit to Sulmona, Italy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation