Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reason and will: Barron on Benedict XVI

I just came across this clip by Father Robert Barron. It must have been made a while back, since its title suggests it is about Pope Benedict's visit to America in 2008. But the clip does not refer to the visit at all and its relevance to the state of culture and civilization is much deeper and goes far beyond it.

In a video lasting less than eight minutes, Father Barron offers a brilliant discussion of how the major champion of reason in the 21st century comes to be the pope of Rome. He summarizes with extraordinary succinctness Benedict's all-important Regensburg Lecture of 2006. (For the lecture itself and a penetrating explication and discussion, see James V. Schall's The Regensburg Lecture.)

Well, I tried to summarize Fr. Barron's summary of Pope Benedict's teaching about the importance and mutual dependence of reason, faith, and love--and how both Islam and European secularism need to come to terms with the questions of violence, intolerance, and irrationality--not his formulation but mine. But having deleted a couple of paragraphs, I realize that it is silly to try to summarize a summary like that of this video clip. I cannot do better than to let Fr. Barron, a penetrating cultural critic and Catholic evangelist, speak for himself.

His clip is available on his own website, Word on Fire, at:
The site is well worth exploring for its wealth of cultural criticism (everything from Bob Dylan to the Lord of the Rings movies to Anne Rice, the 'New Atheists,' American Idol, Judge Judy, and Stephen Hawking) and discussion of Catholicism as Church, history, and culture. Its home page is at:

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