Co-Workers of the Truth 10/13

Benedict XVIThe Church believes that human language is capable of expressing truth and that the human spirit is capable of recognizing and accepting truth. By reason of this conviction, the Church has made her own the heritage of Israel and of Greek Philosophy. In doing so, she has established her special place in the religious history of humanity.

For the great Eastern religions are, precisely on this point, of a different mind; they are convinced that every human word is basically an analogy and can often be exchanged for and replaced by another word. Consequently, the contemporary religious philosophy of India is of the opinion that one can, with equal validity, say Christ instead of Krishna, or Krishna instead of Christ – everything is but a symbol.

The notion that it is ultimately a matter of indifference whether I employ this word or that, whether I follow this tradition or that, has today penetrated deeply into the spirit of the Western world. Truth seems, moreover, to be unattainable, and to imagine that the Christian Faith is true in its very essence – that it is truth – is repugnant to us; it seems to us too much like Western arrogance. But if that were the case, then all our actions would be mere illusions. Then our worship would also be false – we would be creatures without truth. But where truth is lacking, every standard can be altered and one is fundamentally free to do the opposite – the rejection of truth is the real core of the crisis.

And where truth is no longer fundamental to us, then even the finest communal solidarity is no longer binding because it is, in the last analysis, without foundation. To what extent do we base our lives on the apparently so humble, but in reality so arrogant, word of Pilate: “What, then, is truth?”

From: Ordinariatskorrespondenz, no.1, January 3, 1980

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