Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has encouraged reflecting upon reason, and “the best that reason has to offer.”
The Vatican Secretary of State expressed this in a telegram to Maria Paola Azzali, president of the Tonalestate Association, on the occasion of the International Congress on Inter-cultural Dialogue, at the summer university “Tonalestate” (August 7-10, 2017), which takes place every year in the Italian Alps, at Ponte di Legno and at Col du Tonale, between Brescia and Trente.
It was a meeting in which Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Joseph Levi, former chief rabbi of Florence; Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Paris Mosque participated and whose interventions L’Osservatore Romano published in Italian.
Here is a translation of Cardinal Parolin’s message.
Cardinal Parolin’s Telegram
Unable to be personally present at the Tonalestate cultural event, dedicated this year to a reflection on “reason,” I wish to express to you, Madam President, as well as to each of the participants my warmest greeting and wishes that this meeting be the occasion of a profitable exchange of experiences and opinion on the theme – that of reason – which has engaged spirits and hearts from the first moments when man began to reflect on himself and his destiny. Lines of philosophers and theologians tried to weigh the characteristics, the possibilities and the limits of reason, which distinguishes the human being from all other living creatures.
When gravely skewed visions on the possibilities and intrinsic limitations of reason prevailed, or through an excessive exaltation of the first or vice versa, ignoring its capacity to attain and know reality, these errors of culture, which were obscured, were poured on the entire society, producing grave imbalances and what some have described as the sleep of reason, with dramatic results.
A believing reflection, desires to value to the best what reason is able to offer, recognizing its high properties and at the same time recognizing that Revelation assigns to it a new datum to seek to know, opening it to receive and to probe a form of knowing that doesn’t contradict or deny it, but that exceeds it.
It is my heartfelt hope that your meeting will be able to make a fruitful contribution in order to clarify the importance of having a conception of reason corresponding, as much as possible, to its veritable potentialities and with these sentiments, I address my benevolent thoughts to the organizers, to the interveners and to all the persons present, invoking upon each lofty divine blessings.