“The best form of ecumenism consists in living in accordance with the Gospel”
In his speech at the Ecumenical Meeting in the Archdiocese of Cologne, Benedict XVI emphasised the need for ecumenical dialogue and highlighted fundamental perspectives and challenges. His speech is reproduced here, word for word.
“Not to act reasonably is contrary to the nature of God”
In a speech given at Regensburg University’s Aula Magna that attracted worldwide attention, Benedict XVI called for the rescue of reason. The Pope warned against a truncated concept of reason and emphasized the foundation that was needed for intercultural dialogue to take place. The full text of the Pope’s lecture on “Faith, Reason and the University” from 12 September 2006
Benedict XVI’s address before the German parliament became an instant and significant entry in Berlin’s history. He spoke of the foundations of right and coined the phrase “ecology of man”, reminding us that man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. His speech is reproduced here, word for word.
A defining moment in the history of the United Nations
The address by Benedict XVI at the plenary assembly of the United Nations (UN) in New York on 17th April 2008 is one of the most important political speeches of the pope. The address serves as an important contribution to understanding the Church’s mission vis-à-vis the world of politics, and in the wider society, of the 21st century.
In his address to the United Nations, Benedict XVI warns against an undue softening or illegitimate expansion of human rights and affirms that the right to religious freedom belongs to all human beings.
Pope Benedict XVI speaks of “unworldliness” not to indicate an attitude of withdrawal from the world, but rather to encourage a spiritual presence in the world. During his speech to Catholics engaged in the life of the Church and society in Freiburg on 25thSeptember 2011, the pope called for the Church to liberate herself from the captivity of worldliness.
In his “Freiburg Speech”, Benedict XVI calls for a radical renewal of the Church, not relying on institutions or clinging to privileges, but casting aside whatever conflicts with the Church’s mission and obscures her witness. This is the path of “unworldliness”, to which the Pope calls the Church. But this does not mean withdrawal from the world –quite the opposite, in fact. The full text of the Pope’s address from 25 September 2011.
Meeting with representatives of British society, Benedict XVI delivered a ground-breaking speech in Westminster Hall (City of Westminster, 17 September 2010) in which he considered religion’s role in political life and the ethical bases on which political decisions are made.
The academic year at the Sapienza University of Rome was supposed to open with a speech by the pope. But things took a different turn. Following a series of student protests, the Vatican canceled Benedict XVI’s scheduled visit. The incident, which took place in 2008, reveals a glaring lack of willingness to engage in dialogue in the academic world and underscores the significance of the Sapienza address’s subject matter. Benedict shows why it is indispensable to enquire after the truth and why the wisdom of the great religious traditions cannot be “cast with impunity into the dustbin of the history of ideas.”