VATICAN CITY, JAN 24, 1997 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented a series edited by his dicastery entitled "Documents and Studies."

Cardinal Pierre Eyt, archbishop of Bordeaux, France, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, congregation secretary, and Bishop Angelo Scola, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, also participated in the conference.

"Documents and Studies" is a series of separate volumes of the texts of major congregation documents, published in Italian and translated into Spanish. Each volume is accompanied by an introduction and by comments which illustrate the principal theme or themes.

Cardinal Ratzinger first explained that the congregation's roles of "guardian of orthodoxy" and "defender of the faith" are "necessary and greatly useful roles" in guarding the "hidden treasure" of the deposit of faith. He then highlighted the "promotional role" of this dicastery.

He cited Paul VI's words to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in this regard: "One can better provide for the defense of the faith by promoting doctrine, in such a way that, while errors are corrected and the errant are gently summoned to what is good, the heralds of the gospel gather up new strength."

He also cited Pope John Paul's 1988 Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" which states: "The duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine of faith and morals throughout the Catholic world."

"'Guarding' the Word of God, the word listened to, received, transmitted, is a basic duty and demands commitment and attention. ... A passive defense, repeating stereotypes, is not enough; what is needed is vigilance, attention to the dynamisms proper to the Word of God." This is especially true, he added, when "new questions and new theological proposals arise."

He observed that "nevertheless, the interventions of the congregation, when it is a matter of themes which have been discussed, limit themselves for the most part to indicating what is not compatible with the Catholic faith, more than positively laying out a doctrine. And that happens precisely to leave the greatest room possible for creative reflections by theologians, without having to coerce them necessarily to obligatory outlines."

Archbishop Bertone said that with the collection "Documents and Studies," the Congregation "intends to respond to its dual task of promotion and tutelage of Catholic doctrine, especially on fundamental and controversial points. With this collection, there is also a wish to correspond to a desire expressed by the Holy Father for the establishment of a trusting and constructive dialogue between the Roman Curia ... and all those, bishops, priests, faithful and theologians, who are interested ... in studying more deeply the teachings of the Church."

The Congregation, he said, "has already published the following volumes: 'Mysterium Filii Dei' Declaration, regarding the safeguarding of the faith in the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Holy Trinity from some recent errors (February 21, 1972); 'Mysterium Ecclesiae' Declaration, regarding Catholic doctrine on the Church to defend it from some current errors (June 24, 1973); From 'Inter Insigniores' (October 15, 1976) to John Paul II's 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis' (May 22, 1994)."

The other volumes published are: "Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (October 1, 1986); the Instruction 'Donum Vitae', on respect for nascent human life and the dignity of procreation (February 22, 1987); the Letter 'Orationis Formas', on some aspects of Christian meditation (October 15, 1989); the Instruction 'Donum Veritatis', on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian (May 24, 1990); the Letter 'Communionis Notio', on some aspects of the Church understood as Communion (May 22, 1992)."

av Webmaster publisert 31.03.2006, sist endret 10.03.2011 - 02:42