After two world wars, the collapse of fascism, nazism, communism and colonialism and the end of the cold war, humanity has entered a new phase of its history.
Hundreds of millions of human beings on our planet increasingly suffer from unemployment, poverty, hunger, and the destruction of their families.
We are convinced of the fundamental unity of the human family.
Second, we also got a more authentic liturgy of the people of God, in the vernacular language.
In the question of homosexuality, the Vatican was rather permissive or lenient, with regard to all these crimes of sexual abuse.
There are points where I think, for instance, Judaism or Buddhism are more constructive than the Catholic position, and vice versa.
We are certainly at an impasse, because on the grassroots level, we have a lot of ecumenical understanding, encounter, cooperation, even liturgy.
At the same time we are aware that our various religions and ethical traditions often offer very different bases for what is helpful and what is unhelpful for men and women, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.
But I have to add - and this answers your other question - this catholicity in time and in space is only meaningful for me if there is, at the same time, a concentration on the Gospel.
Religion often is misused for purely power-political goals, including war.
I like the catholicity in time: our tradition is one of 2,000 years.
The Epistle to the Romans is an extremely important synthesis of the whole theology of St. Paul.
That means that every human being - without distinction of sex, age, race, skin color, language, religion, political view, or national or social origin - possesses an inalienable and untouchable dignity.
There's no use casting doubt on (scientific) results with some little problems, as the intelligent-design people or the creationists do. What's there is there. A theologian should not cast doubt on a scientific consensus, but see how he can deal with it.
A human person is infinitely precious and must be unconditionally protected.
It is an absolutely unique success of the church community to have introduced such an epoch-making change, in just a few years, without having a serious division.
That is the Roman way: to give favors to the favorites.
That is an offense for all the other religions, and it's arrogance on the side of the Catholic Church to think that we are not at all deficient.
We are conscious that religions cannot solve the economic, political and social problems of this earth.
Humanity today possesses sufficient economic, cultural and spiritual resources to introduce a better global order.
The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope is an enormous disappointment for all those who hoped for a reformist and pastoral pope. ... But we must wait and see, for experience shows that the papacy in the Catholic Church today is such a challenge that it can change anyone Someone who went into the conclave a progressive cardinal can emerge as a conservative pope. ... Someone who went into the conclave a conservative cardinal can emerge as a progressive pope.
However, if the religions in essence merely repeat statements from the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, such a Declaration becomes superfluous; an ethic is more than rights.
As a matter of fact, you have deficiencies in all religions, but you have truth in all religions.
All historical experience demonstrates the following: Our earth cannot be changed unless in the not too distant future an alteration in the consciousness of individuals is achieved.
If priests were allowed to marry, if this would be an optional thing, and if he could have wife and children, he would certainly have less temptation to satisfy certain sexual impulses with minors.
I remember the Curia said, that's up to the American bishops, not up to Rome.
And a third thing is the understanding of the Church as a community, a communion which is just a hierarchy but the people of God, whose servants are the priests and bishops.
The Gospel has to be the norm.
Time and again we see leaders and members of religions incite aggression, fanaticism, hate, and xenophobia - even inspire and legitimate violent and bloody conflicts.
But we must wait and see, for experience shows that the papacy in the Catholic Church today is such a challenge that it can change anyone.
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