Saturday, 26 January 2008

First Post: Why do I do this?

This is very much a first dip of my toe into the world of Catholic blogging. I am sure there are pitfalls that I do not yet know about. If a more experienced blogger wishes to advise me of any of them, please do so via comments!

I gather that one should give an idea of the purpose of a blog. I recall that, soon after Pope John Paul II was elected Pope, I got hold of the address that he gave to the meeting of the South American Bishop's Conference that took place at Puebla. I think it was the first of John Paul II's overseas trips. I still have the copy of his text that I then obtained, and I viewed it as a "manifesto" for John Paul's whole pontificate.

In a similar vein, I viewed the addresses that Pope Benedict XVI gave during this visit to Cologne in 2005 as a kind of manifesto for the his pontificate. To start off my blog, then, I am going to serialise a thematic analysis I made of those addresses when I returned from Cologne. This is a way of identifying my purpose in blogging with the mission of Pope Benedict XVI.

These posts can be found in the series entitled "Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne: part 1" to "Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne: part 6". The themes are:
Part 2: the forgetfulness of God in contemporary life, and a call to a meeting with Jesus Christ
Part 3: the Eucharist as the "place" of our meeting with Jesus Christ and the source of transformation for the world
Part 4: the Christian heritage of Cologne (and, by implication, of Europe) and the example of the saints
Part 5: dialogue with those of other Christian denominations
Part 6: dialoge with believers of non-Christian religions,
As I update this post, questions of the denial of the place of God and religion in public life, and of dialogue between religions themselves and between religions and secular society, seem very relevant. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken since Cologne of the need to search for truth, and the necessity of this adherence to truth as a condition for dialogue in society.
I hope that you can see these same concerns reflected in the posts on this blog.

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