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Reason Is Open to the Transcendent PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:51

I came across these comments by Pope Benedict XVI, which were made en route to a visit to Portugal earlier this month.  They seem appropriate given the tendency these days to see faith and reason as mutually exclusive (see the recent posts on Fr. Barron and the movie Agora).

In these centuries, the dialectic among the Enlightenment, secularism and faith always had people who wanted to build bridges and to create a dialogue. Unfortunately, the dominant tendency was to see a contradiction and to see one as excluding the other. Today we can see this is false. We have to find a synthesis and be able to dialogue. In the multi-cultural situation we’re all in, it’s clear that a European culture which would be solely rationalist, which would not have any sense of the transcendent dimension, would not be in a position to dialogue with the other great cultures of humanity – all of which have this sense of the transcendent dimension, which is a dimension of the human person. To think that there’s a pure reason, even a historic reason, which exists entirely in itself, is an error, and we discover that more and more. It touches only a part of the human person expressed in a given historic situation, and is not reason as such. Reason as such is open to transcendence, and only in the meeting between transcendent reality, faith and history is human life fully realized.


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