On Friday morning, Benedict XVI received journalists and editors from the Italian magazine Civilta Cattolica, which is run by the Jesuits, recalling that Blessed Pius IX had "perpetually instituted" the publication in 1850, "giving it a particular statue that established a special link with the Holy See."
In order for the magazine to remain "faithful to its character and its duty," said the Pope, it must "continually renew itself, correctly interpreting 'the signs of the times'." Faced with the spread of "individualistic relativism and positivistic science, ...closed to God and His moral law though not always prejudiced against Christianity, ...Catholics are called to develop dialogue with modern culture, opening it up to the perennial values of transcendence."
The Holy Father also indicated the "many signs of hope" in today's world, such as "a new sensitivity to religious values, ...renewed interest in Sacred Scripture, greater respect for human rights, and the desire to establish dialogue with other religions. In particular, faith in Jesus can help many to grasp the meaning of life and of the human adventure, giving them the points of reference that are often lacking in so frenetic and disoriented a world."
In this context, Benedict XVI identified the mission of a magazine like Civilta Cattolica as being "to participate in the modern cultural debate, both to propose — seriously but also in a way accessible to all — the truths of Christian faith with clarity and faithfulness to the Church's Magisterium, and to defend, with no desire for controversy, the truth which is sometimes distorted by baseless accusations leveled against the ecclesial community."
The Pope indicated Vatican Council II as a "beacon" to guide the magazine. "The doctrinal and pastoral wealth it contains," he said, "have not yet been fully assimilated by the Christian community, even though 40 years have passed since its conclusion."
He concluded by saying that Civilta Cattolica must "divulge and support the action of the Church in all areas of her mission. The magazine must give particular emphasis to spreading the Church's social doctrine, one of the themes it has covered most fully in its 155 years of life."
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