In a speech to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2011, Benedict XVI
“The essence of the crisis of the Chruch in Europe is the crisis of faith.
If we find no answer to this…then all other reforms will remain ineffective.”
The Day is Far Spent / Cardinal Sarah
(a lone turkey feather lost in the woods / Julie Cook / 2019)
When Joseph Ratzinger speaks about a “crisis of faith”,
we should understand that he is not talking in the first place about an
intellectual or theological problem in the academic sense of the word.
He means a “living faith”, a faith that imbues and transforms life.
“If faith does not take on new life, deep conviction and real strength
from the encounter with Jesus Christ,” Benedict XVI added that day,
“then all other reforms will remain ineffective.”
This loss of the sense of faith is the deep root of the crisis of civilization
that we are experiencing.
As in the first centuries of Christianity, when the Roman Empire
was collapsing, all human institutions today sem to be on the
path of decadence.
Reflections between people, whether political, social, economic, or cultural,
are becoming difficult.
In losing the sense of God, we have undermined the foundation of all
human civilization and opened the door to totalitarian barbarity.
Human beings, separated from God, are reduced to a single dimension—
and this reduction itself is one of the fundamental causes of the various forms
of totalitarianism that have had tragic consequences in the past century,
as well as the crisis of values that we see in the current situation.
By obscuring the reference to God the ethical horizon has also been obscured,
to leave room for relativism and for an ambiguous conception of
freedom which, instead of being liberating, ends by blinding
human beings to idols.
The temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness before his public ministry
vividly symbolize which “idols” entice human beings when they do not
go beyond themselves.
Were God to lose his centrality man would lose his rightful place,
he would no longer fit into creation, into relations with others
Pope Benedict XVI
Nov 14, 2012