(Rome) A month after his election to Pope, there is word that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has not yet pronounced the concept religious freedom. Vaticanista Sandro Magister warned about this. Pope Francis did not even use the word, despite the associated expectations, even in his speech on the 22nd of March before the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See with the envoys from around the world.
Once he talked about it, but without mentioning it by the name of religious freedom, and then on Saturday, the 6th April in his morning, improvised short sermon in the chapel of the Vatican guesthouse Domus Sanctae Martae where he lives.
Pope Francis has still never mentioned Religious Freedom
He did so, but in a very special form. Pope Francis said not a word against the persecutors even against those who are trying to strangle the freedom of the believers in a subtile way.
He took a stand in his brief discussion on the side of the persecuted: “In order to meet a martyr you need not go into the Catacombs and the Colosseum: The martyrs are now living in many countries. Christians are persecuted for their faith, today, in the 21st Century, our church is a Church of martyrs. “
Then he identified with the early Christians, by quoting the words of Peter and John, "We can not but speak of what we have seen and heard" [Acts 4:20).
Church Church of martyrs, they are not negotiating the faith
To them there were no ifs and butts to derive a statement: “The faith is not to be negotiated over.”
He continued: "In the history of God's people, there was always this temptation: omit part of the faith, perhaps not much. But the belief is, as we confess in the Creed. The temptation must be overcome to take a little bit so as do like everyone, not to be so very strict, because right there is a journey that begins and ends in apostasy. In fact, when we begin to cut away a piece of the faith, to negotiate the faith in order to sell it to the highest bidder, we enter the road of apostasy, unfaithfulness to the Lord.”
This is religious freedom for Pope Francis, especially, "have the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord." An unabridged, public faith. A faith that claims to change society, and thus the world.
The “pretension" to change the world - criticism of theory of laicism of the "neutral" state
“The Pretension" is also the title of the book, published a few days ago the sociologist of religion Luca Diotallevi. Practice it started hard criticism of theories of laicism. Theories that are widely apparent even within the Church, appealing improperly to rely on the Second Vatican Council. It specifically concerns the denial of a direct and inseparable link between the Gospel and the social order, which is justified by an alleged "neutrality" of the state.
Diotallevi poses the paradigm of secularism against the paradigm of religious freedom, as it is typical done in the Anglo-Saxon world, but with a theological basis, based on De Civitate Dei of St. Augustine, and eventually to the New Testament.
Accordingly, the Saeculum between the first and second coming of Christ, an encounter between time and eternity, a conflict between sin and grace. This conflict is also attended by the prince, whether thrones or dominions, of which the New Testament speaks, and those who are considered to be the powers of this world. It's the rebel forces, on the cross and resurrection of Jesus who are to win the final victory. A victory that has not yet found its fulfillment. In Saeculum these powers still fluctuate between the extremes of anarchy and absolute rule, while the Church, as a guardian of victory is constantly trying to keep her away from the one and the other extreme.
Diotallevi and historical theology of Joseph Ratzinger
According to Augustine, the New Testament view of history has developed in our day, especially as developed by Oscar Cullmann and Joseph Ratzinger, the latter also in a theology of history, is quoted by Diotallevi in detail.
The really original part of the book, however, is that in which Diotallevi identifies with the celebration of the Eucharist as the source and summit of this “pretension" of the Christian faith to have a design for the social order. Here too the author is seen in continuity with Benedict XVI..
"The Eucharist is the Church visible. It is the victorious work of God breaking into history and it serves as a vision for the people. It is between the two thieves where the scourged Jesus is crucified, with the centurion who recognizes Him and the earth which trembles,” says Sandro Magister. The educated pagans of the first centuries were not wrong when they spoke of the celebration of the liturgy to describe Christianity.
Books for those interested (so far only in Italian edition):
Luca Diotallevi La pretesa. Quale rapporto tra vangelo ordine e sociale? (Entitlement. Which is the relationship between the gospel and social order?) Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2013, pp. 140, € 12.00.
These days, a book was published by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the relationship between state and religion, which deals also critical of the prevailing model of secularism:
Angelo Scola: Non dimentichiamoci di Dio (God does not let us forget), Rizzoli, Milan, 2013, pp. 112, € 15.00.
Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi