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Vatican Official Notes Catholics’ 3 Weaknesses

Challenge Is to Return to Roots, He Says

TREVISO, Italy, JAN. 29, 2007 ( The modern Catholic world suffers from three main weaknesses, says the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

According to Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, Catholics during the last decades have shown the following weak points: the promotion of the notion of secularism as neutrality, thus weakening its identity; an inability to understand that the issues of life and bioethics are also social and political issues; and the failure to promote the Church’s social doctrine in a systematic and comprehensive manner.

The Vatican official opened a recent seminar on “The Common Good and the Social Doctrine of the Church from the Second Vatican Council to Benedict XVI.”

“We have all endured many difficult periods in our recent history,” said Bishop Crepaldi at the Jan. 20 seminar, sponsored by the Italian episcopal conference. “We have not always succeeded, despite the careful guidance of the magisterium, in resisting leaps forward, partisan interpretations and the weakening of our identity.

“A theology of the separation between faith and politics has been alternating with a theology of direct engagement, while, at the same time and almost undetected, a culture of agnosticism and relativism was advancing, becoming imposing and almost dictatorial, striking the very heart of the Christian message and radically hindering its reception.”

Bishop Crepaldi contended: “Once we lose sight of the fact that man is ‘capax veritatis,’ it is impossible to think that he can be ‘capax Dei.'”

According to the prelate, the current Catholic challenge is to reflect in depth on “our own roots because the anthropological question has now become the social question.”

“We will not be able to make a valid contribution to the common good,” he said, “unless we expand the culture of life, from bioethics and beyond bioethics, and succeed in making it a true social and political culture.”

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