Archbishop: Church Must Learn Language of Youth

Says Liberty and Science Are Two Dominant Values

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MADRID, Spain, JULY 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- To evangelize young people, the Church must understand their culture, in which liberty and science are dominant values, say the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella said this Wednesday during the summer course "Young People and the Catholic Church: Points for a Youth Ministry for Today," which is under way this week at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

The archbishop's talk was titled "Young People and God, Young People and Jesus Christ, Young People and Eternal Life."

One cannot speak to young people of Christ, said the evangelization dicastery president, "without speaking of liberty, as the youth of today has placed it in his culture, but liberty must always be in relation to truth, as it is truth that produces liberty."

At the same time, he added, "one cannot speak of God to young people without knowing the culture of today's young people, which is scientific. Today's culture, its content, is full of axioms of science."

The Italian prelate clarified that the Church is "in favor of science, but the latter must be in favor of humanity and never against humanity."

"The time will come when science itself will ask for help from theology to know the realms of reality more amply, and to be able to give an answer to pain, to betrayal, to death," in short, "to the great questions, the questions of meaning," said archbishop Fisichella.

Archbishop Fisichella pointed out that "the interaction of science, personal life and ethics is necessary," and that one cannot live without the other.

By way of example, the archbishop gave the case of the director of the Genome project, Francis S. Collins, who has gone further into the language of God, because "true science puts you at the doors of the transcendent."

Archbishop Fisichella concluded assuring that one "can be Catholic and scientific at the same time. To experience scientific knowledge does not imply atheism. The scientific has its limits; it cannot affirm the non-existence of God."