Pontiff Meets With President of Italian Senate

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 5, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI met with the philosopher Marcello Pera, president of the Italian Senate, to discuss cultural challenges.

Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed Saturday's meeting, adding that during the audience there were discussions on "some aspects of present-day culture, in the context of the present international situation."

Pera and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope) co-authored "Senza Radici. Europa, Relativismo, Cristianesimo, Islam" (Without Roots: Europe, Relativism, Christianity, Islam).

Although Pera is a nonbeliever, he has said that he shares Benedict XVI's concern for cultural relativism, which denies the value of objective truths.

According to Pera, relativism explains the loss or rejection of Christian roots which have been decisive in the development of European and Western civilization.