Archbishop: Rediscover the True Christ

Tells Biblicists Image of Jesus Is Fragmented

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BARCELONA, Spain, FEB. 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith told biblical scholars that false ideas of Christ are rampant, and that the Church needs to rediscover the image of the true Jesus.

Archbishop Angelo Amato said this Thursday during the second session of the 43rd Days of Pastoral Questions, held annually in Barcelona. The event, organized by the Priestly Center Montalegre, is an initiative of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, an association of priests united to Opus Dei.

Some 200 scholars, priests and bishops gathered Jan. 28 and Feb. 7 to discuss this year's theme: "Jesus of Nazareth: Who Do The People Say I Am?" The conference addressed Christological reflections in light of Benedict XVI's book "Jesus of Nazareth."

Archbishop Amato rated the situation of the Church as "critical" and in need of "a rapid healing therapy" due to erroneous positions about Jesus that are currently being spread.

Some, he said, are reductive by not welcoming the revealed mystery in its integrity. Others, the prelate added, are rationalistic by only taking into account its historical aspect and setting aside what is specifically Christian, such as "the definitive and universal value of the revelation of Christ, his condition as Son of the living God, his real presence in the Church, or the universality of his redeeming sacrifice."

"Catholic Christology should rediscover the authentic biblical-ecclesial Christ, cornerstone of the Church," said the archbishop, "in order to be able to relaunch an authentic Christian anthropology, which returns to postmodern man the hope and the joy of his human existence."

Archbishop Amato stated that particular historical investigations concerning Jesus "have fragmented the image of Jesus into a multiplicity of interpretations," and he lamented the "gallery of falsifications in which Jesus is lost in a spool of myths and legends."

For the prelate, this reduction of Jesus ends any interest in his ideals: "He who is defined as the light of the world has been reduced to a shadow. How can one follow and love such a fantasy?"