The encyclical Fides Et Ratio was written by Pope John Paul II to his fellow bishops in to address the relationship between faith and. Intended audience of the encyclical: The Bishops of the Catholic Church, Cautionary note: The English translation of Fides et Ratio is not always what it should . for exposing the weakness of reason: “The beginning of the First Letter to the. Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, published only last week, I wished to defend the capacity of human reason to know the truth. This confidence in reason is an.

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Current Requirements and Tasks. Following is the entire text of the synthesis of the encyclical prepared encyclocal the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and issued in Italian, Spanish, French and English:. Where do I come from and where am I going?

Fides et Ratio (14 September ) | John Paul II

Why is there evil in the world? What will there be after this life? In grappling with these questions men and women build their lives and give meaning to their actions. The thirteenth Encyclical of John Paul II takes its cue from these fundamental questions and offers an answer based upon the truth of faith in Jesus Christ.

The Encyclical has all the hallmarks of an ‘historic’ document.

Why should faith encyclicao concerned with philosophy and why does reason need faith’s contribution? These questions of John Paul II do not go unanswered. Nor are they presented merely as a theoretical exercise B though at first sight the theme could give this impression. They are in fact deeply related to life because they determine how people lettr.

The Encyclical appeals to all who are concerned for the truth and are leaders in the fields of thought and culture, that they may focus on what is essential, precluding nothing and setting no limits.

enccylical John Paul II does not condemn, but instead presents a serious problem which is bound to stir wide-ranging discussion among intellectuals and all those engaged in the world of culture: Reason is endowed with all that it needs to search ceaselessly for the truth, accepting no limit other lrtter the truth itself. Yet various modes of philosophy today, themselves the fruit of modern thought which is clearly in crisis, seek to glorify reason’s debilitation.

Thus, in practice, they prevent reason from being what it is. This results in a vision of the human person and of the world which gives pride of place to will-power and pragmatism cf. After all that has happened in the last hundred years it may seem paradoxical, but reason finds in faith its most valuable help and support, the steadfast ally which allows reason to be what it is. On the other hand, a dialogue between Christian faith and debilitated reason will not be fruitful; faith needs reason strengthened by the truth in order to explain why it acts with fkdes freedom.


In ‘Veritatis Splendor’ B of which the new Encyclical is a continuation B the Pope pointed to a number of lettef truths which had been encyclial or misunderstood. In this Encyclical, he is concerned with truth itself, its foundation in relation to faith. For John Paul II, this is no routine task but a solemn duty. Disclosing the mystery, Rides urges reason to seek the explanations which reason can make its own but can never claim to exhaust. It shows how biblical thought, accepting this unity, is convinced that a sure path to the knowledge of the truth can be found.

Synthesis of the encyclical “Fides et ratio”

It insists that the knowledge offered by God cannot be ignored, if one wants to find the path which leads to the answer to the fundamental questions of life. It shows how, with their ever-enquiring reason, men and women can attain the truth, which is by its nature universal, valid for all people at all times. The Pope considers different ‘faces’ of the truth, leading to the claim that ‘one may define the human being as the one who seeks the truth’ No.

This search looks not only to the attainment of truths which are partial, empirical or scientific; nor is it only in individual acts of decision-making that people seek the true good. Their search looks towards an ulterior truth which would explain the meaning of life.

And it is therefore a search which can reach its end only in reaching the absolute. Such a truth is attained not only by way of reason but also through trusting acquiescence to other persons who can guarantee the authenticity and certainty of the truth itself’.

It considers the example of the first centuries when the Church Fathers, aided by the rich insights of faith, ‘succeeded in disclosing completely all that remained implicit and preliminary in the thinking of the great philosophers of antiquity’ No.

Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason)

Then follows the great Medieval period with the enduringly valid thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his vision of the harmony between faith and reason based upon the principle that ‘whatever its source, truth is of the Holy Spirit’.

This brought an impoverishment of both faith and reason, since ‘each without the other is enfeebled’ No. In its second part, it shows how the Church has always urged philosophy to be faithful to its true task, and shows how this has at times enriched modern philosophical thinking. In Chapter Six, ‘Fides et Ratio’ identifies the ways in which the various branches of theology need philosophy.


Notes on Fides et Ratio

Here, the Pope highlights some recent problems in theology. There are those who, in wanting to open new paths for scholarship, ‘simply deny the universal value of the Church’s philosophical heritage’ No.

John Paul II tackles this problem directly, especially with regard to the relationship between faith and culture, a problem which has been central to recent theological discussion particularly datio India.

He gives essential criteria for ensuring that this encounter is fruitful cf. The fruitfulness of this approach is shown by the array of thinkers from both East and West who have produced systems of thought which remain valid today: This is the starting-point for the richest and most substantial chapter of ‘Fides et Ratio’ – Chapter Seven.

It begins by indicating the ‘sapiential way’ to be followed as the path leading enyclical the definitive answers which give meaning to life. It insists on the natural human capacity to reach the truth and concludes with the metaphysical implications of knowing. Faced with this drama, the challenge which John Paul II presents is to move ‘from phenomenon to foundation’ No.

From this starting-point, the Encyclical offers a dispassionate analysis which shows the encyclicxl limitations of some contemporary philosophical systems which reject the metaphysical demand for a constant openness to the truth cf.

Eclecticism, historicism, scientism, pragmatism and nihilism are all modes of thought which, closed as they are to the fundamental requirements of truth, cannot be used as philosophies which might help to explain the faith. This, it may be said, is the Encyclical’s ultimate message. The Pope insists that this freedom can be found and kept safe only if the journey towards the truth remains always open and accessible to everyone everywhere.

Forside Nyheter Nytt fra verdenskirken – oktober Synthesis of the encyclical “Fides et ratio”. Following is the entire text of the synthesis of the encyclical prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and issued in Italian, Spanish, French and English: VIS