‘The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is’. With these words Churchill well expressed the consistency and resilience of truth, so often unappreciated in our days, where unabashed cynical relativism, subjectivism and changing values have so often deviated humanity from He who is the Way, Truth and Life. Our confused generation questions just as Pilate did: ‘What is truth?’ (Jn 18:38). Is it a sign of the times that Francis doesn’t wish to speak of an absolute truth?
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Secondly, you ask me whether it is erroneous or a sin to follow the line of thought which holds that there is no absolute, and therefore no absolute truth, but only a series of relative and subjective truths. To begin with, I would not speak about ‘absolute’ truths, even for believers
, in the sense that absolute is that which is disconnected and bereft of all relationship. Truth, according to the Christian faith, is the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, truth is a relationship
. As such each one of us receives the truth and expresses it from within, that is to say, according to one’s own circumstances, culture and situation in life, etc. This does not mean that truth is variable and subjective, quite the contrary. But it does signify that it comes to us always and only as a way and a life. Did not Jesus himself say: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life?’
(Letter to Eugenio Scalfari, September 11, 2013
The first attitude is that of regarding every man and woman, even those of different religious
traditions, not as rivals, less still enemies, but rather as brothers and sisters
. When a person is secure of his or her own beliefs, there is no need to impose or put pressure on others: there is a conviction that truth has its own power of attraction. Deep down, we are all pilgrims on this earth, and on this pilgrim journey, as we yearn for truth and eternity, we do not live autonomous and self-sufficient individual lives; the same applies to religious, cultural and national communities. We need each other, and are entrusted to each other’s care. Each religious tradition, from within, must be able to take account of others.
(Meeting with the leaders of other religions and other Christian denominations, September 21, 2014
]: That is why the Spirit is the author of unity among Christians. That is why unity comes about on our journey,
because unity is a grace that one should ask for, and that is why I also repeat that all proselytism among Christians is sinful. The Church never grows due to proselytism but rather “by attraction”, as Benedict XVI said. Proselytism among Christians, therefore, is in itself a grave sin.
]: Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and continue being Christian.
The Church is not a soccer team looking for fans.(Interview with Avvenire, November 18, 2016
– English summary
Teachings of the Magisterium
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