ROME, February 6, 2012 – On the eve of the next consistory, Benedict VXI will gather around himself the entire college of cardinals, including the newly elect, for a day “of reflection and prayer.”
The encounter will be held on February 17, and its theme will be “The proclamation of the Gospel today, between ‘missio ad gentes’ and new evangelization.”
It is no secret that this is also the primary objective of the current pontificate. Pope Joseph Ratzinger has said this and said it again, time after time: “The supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the successor of Peter in this time is to lead men to God.”
But to what God? The pope’s answer to this question is also known:
“Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses ‘to the end’ – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.”
The words of Benedict XVI just cited are taken from the letter that he wrote to the bishops of the whole world, dated March 10, 2009.
Right on cue that same year, from December 10-12, the committee for the cultural project of the Italian Church headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini organized in Rome an international event that had the theme “God today. With him or without him, everything changes”:
But that’s just it – what God, if not the one who has revealed himself in Jesus? That first event necessarily had to have a second installment.
And it will come in a few days, from February 9-11, one week before the consistory. This time with the title “Jesus, our contemporary.”
The presentation and the program of the event are on the website of the committee for the cultural project headed by Ruini:
The opening address, in the grand auditorium on the Via della Conciliazione a few steps from Saint Peter’s Square, will be given by the German exegete Klaus Berger. While the concluding one will be given by the Anglican theologian and bishop Nicholas Thomas Wright, who will take on the topic of the resurrection of Jesus as an historical event on which the entire Christian faith stands or falls.
So it is not only Catholics who will speak, but also Protestants, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, nonbelievers. The approaches will also be the most varied: historical, philosophical, biblical, theological, literary, artistic. But all with a single, unmistakable foundation: the mystery of Jesus, true God and true man.