Be Firm in Your Catholic Identity, Says Pope
Reflects on Contributions of Two Apostles
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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The path of dialogue with other confessions must not make us forget our Catholic identity, says Benedict XVI.
The Holy Father said this during the general audience today, attended by 35,000 people, held in St. Peter's Square.
In his catechesis, Benedict XVI continued to meditate on the Twelve Apostles. On this occasion, he chose the figures of Simon the Cananaean and Jude called Thaddaeus, and prayed that they might "help us to rediscover always anew and to live tirelessly the beauty of the Christian faith, knowing how to give both strong and serene witness."
Regarding Jude Thaddaeus -- not Judas Iscariot -- the Bishop of Rome said that the apostle is attributed the authorship of one of the letters of the New Testament called "'catholic,' inasmuch as they were addressed to a very large circle of recipients."
"Central concern of this writing is to put Christians on guard from all those who give as pretext the grace of God to excuse their own licentiousness and to lead astray other brothers with unacceptable teachings, introducing divisions within the Church, 'under the influence of their dreams,'" the Pope added.
St. Jude compares them to "fallen angels, and with strong words says 'they followed the path of Cain,'" the Holy Father said.
The Apostle called them "clouds without rain blown away by the wind, or trees at the end of the season without fruits, twice dead, uprooted," which is why they are cut down, said the Pontiff.
Benedict XVI continued: "Today we are no longer in the habit of using such controversial language, which nevertheless tells us something important: That in all the existing temptations, with all the currents of modern life, we must preserve the identity of our faith."
It is true, that "the path of indulgence and dialogue, must be continued with firm constancy," but "this path of dialogue, so necessary, must not make us forget the duty to rethink and to witness always with as much force the guidelines of our Christian identity that cannot be given up," said the Holy Father.
At the end of the audience, the Pontiff blessed the statue of St. Edith Stein (1891-1942), co-patron of Europe, to be placed in an exterior niche of St. Peter's Basilica.