Society Doesn´t Understand What the Church Is Saying, John Paul II Warns

Poor Reception Even Among Some Theologians and Intellectuals, He Says

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 18, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed concern over contemporary society´s inability to receive and understand the documents of the Catholic Church and especially the Holy See.



When he met the participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican today, the Holy Father said that the documents published by this congregation, as well as others of the Roman Curia, have problems in their "reception" and in the "assimilation of their contents."

"There is a problem of transmission of the fundamental truths that these documents address to all the faithful, more than that, to all people, and, in particular, to theologians and people of learning," John Paul II said.

"To what degree does the dynamic of the media affect these difficulties?" the Pope asked. "To what degree do particular historical situations affect them? Or do they stem from the difficulties to accept the severe demands of evangelical language, which, however, has a liberating force?"

John Paul II said these questions call for "time and proper studies." He made two suggestions.

First, he called for "reciprocal listening" between the Vatican organizations, bishops´ conferences, and the superiors of religious congregations -- "the first fruit that we must pray for together for today´s meeting."

"The need is evident for an ever greater involvement of the episcopal conferences and of each one of the bishops and, through them, of all those who proclaim the Gospel in the work of sensitization on the topics for the proclamation of faith today," the Pope continued.

Second, it is "a problem of style, of consistency in life," he said. Reactions to Church documents "are a provocation and an invitation to witness increasingly, especially with [one´s] life, the central character of the love of God in our existence, in face of ephemeral perspectives that obfuscate its persuasive force," the Pope emphasized.