Pope Francis encouraged the spread of friendship and dialogue between Jews and Christians “beyond the borders of the scientific community” during a hearing on February 28 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Augustin Bea.
Cardinal Bea was a German Jesuit priest who participated in the Second Vatican Council and collaborated in the interreligious dialogue and in the ecumenical relations of the Catholic Church in the post-conciliar period.
During his speech in the hall of the Consistory of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father affirmed that “it would be good, for example, for the rabbis and the parish priests to work together, with their respective communities, at the service of humanity suffer and promote forms of peace and dialogue with everyone. ”
In this line, he thanked the commitment and wished that the “Cardinal Bea” delegation headed by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians, Cardinal Kurt Koch, could be created “greater communion” among Christians.
In addition, Pope Francis highlighted the memory of Cardinal Augustin Bea “and his decisive influence on some important documents of the Second Vatican Council” of which highlighted among some of the current issues “relations with Judaism, the unity of Christians, the Freedom of conscience and religion. ”
However, the Pontiff explained that Cardinal Bea should not be remembered only for what he has done, but above all for “the way he did it” for what the Pope said is “a model in which to inspire for the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue “especially in the” understanding towards others “.
“Cardinal Bea was convinced that love and respect are the first principles of dialogue,” said the Pope, who emphasized love “as the ability to welcome”, the kindness to create “bonds of friendship, founded on common fraternity, on how many creatures of God who is Father and wishes us brothers “. For all this, he explained that a “courageous temperament” is required, described by Father Congar as “stubborn patience”.
Likewise, the Holy Father stressed that Cardinal Bea faced resistances in his work in favor of dialogue, he was even slandered, but “he continued with the perseverance of those who do not give up loving” and added that “he was realistic about the future of unity. : on the one hand conscious of the difficulties, on the other, convinced of the need to respond to the sincere desire of the Lord to be “one thing alone”.
The Council starting point
On the other hand, the Pope quoted the words of Cardinal Bea on the Second Vatican Council “may not be a point of arrival, but a starting point” so the Pontiff stressed the “fruitful path carried out in the dialogue between Jews and Catholics “after the work of Bea and her school in the Center that bears her name inside the Gregorian University of Rome.
At the end, Pope Francis encouraged that the memory of the figure and works of Cardinal Bea be “a stimulus to revitalize our irreversible commitment with the search for unity among Christians and with the concrete promotion of a renewed friendship with our Jewish brothers” and finally, he imparted his apostolic blessing.