by HFH Reuvers


In the world of today, where distances and frontiers are becoming less important, the Christians form a minority again. Many people are seeking for a suitable form of religion. How can we pass on the message of Jesus in these circumstances? In the years 1960, the pope threw the window to the world wide open. He convoked the second Vatican council to give an impulse to the communication between Church and world.
The council never intended to abolish the philosophy of Saint Thomas or the tridentine mass. However, it did make room for other ways of thinking and other forms of worship. The council was especially thinking of the relation with the Protestants. Of course, later on, the Church had to take measures to guarantee the standpoints of Catholicism. This is primarily about the objectivity of the things we believe. Indeed, these don't only exist in the imagination of the faithful.
The previous pope visited many countries to speak with the wordly and ecclesiastical leaders and with the young people. He played a special role in the downfall of the iron curtain.
We have to cooperate to make the world one and undivided. But let it be a free world, not a world that is controlled by Big Brother and the multinationals. Therefore, it's important we don't delegate to big corporations with an invisible management things we can better settle at a local level.

The new pope already indicated he wants to speak with Islam. In this dialogue, he will have to admit the Islamic community has in some respects a sounder view on the world than the western one. I especially think of western speculation with money and western corruption of our environment.
Of course, he will also call attention to the fight against terrorism, whether committed by Christians and Jews or by Islamites. Then he will show how Jesus faced terrorism.
(Also see my little article about the jihad, mentioned in the literature section of this catechism.)