"Truth is too strong a word for our ears, which are accustomed to weak thought," the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture told a conference Monday at San Pablo-CEU University.
"To speak of truth in contemporary culture is a provocation and challenge," the French cardinal said. "It seems as though to seek truth is a chimera or an impossible, quixotic enterprise."
In the wake of the recent extraordinary consistory of cardinals, he said, "We have two great challenges in the cultural realm -- the first, to proclaim the Gospel in an increasingly pluralist world, conquering two great temptations: the first, fear of the other, and closing in on oneself, which gives way to fundamentalism, [or the reverse], a very immoderate desire to understand and open oneself to the other, which implies the loss of one´s own identity."
"As Peter, the first Pontiff, said: ´We must know how to give reasons for our hope with gentleness and respect,´" Cardinal Poupard said.
"The second great challenge," he added, "is evangelization of originally Christian countries, with the appearance of a new generation that has not received Christian formation and has no information. For them, the Gospel is not news, but rather something foreign or strange."