Monday, February 8, 2010

Benedict XVI on Aquinas (V)

Entry 0108: Benedict XVI on Aquinas (V)

On 28 January 2010, the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, granted an audience to the members of the Pontifical Academies who had gathered in Rome for the 14th Public Session of the academies. In his address to the participants the Pope remarked:

One of the Pontifical Academies is named after Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Doctor Angelicus et Communis, an always relevant model to inspire the activity and dialogue of the Pontifical Academies with the different cultures.

In fact, he succeeded in establishing a fruitful confrontation both with the Arab and the Jewish thinking in his time, and while setting store by the Greek philosophical tradition, he produced an extraordinary theological synthesis, fully harmonizing reason and faith.

He already left his contemporaries a profound and indelible memory, precisely on account of the extraordinary refinement and acuteness of his intelligence and the greatness and originality of his genius, quite apart from the luminous sanctity of his life.

His first biographer, William of Tocco, emphasized the extraordinary and pervasive pedagogical originality of Saint Thomas, with expressions that could also inspire your activities.

He wrote: "Fra Tommaso introduced new articles into his lectures, resolved questions in a new and clearer way with ‘new’ arguments. Consequently, those who heard him teach ‘new’ theses, treating them with ‘new’ methods, could not doubt that God had enlightened him with a ‘new’ light: indeed, could one ever teach or write new opinions if one had not received ‘new’ inspiration from God?" (Vita Sancti Thomae Aquinatis, in Fontes Vitae S. Thomae Aquinatis notis historicis et criticis illustrati, ed. D. Prümmer M.-H. Laurent, Tolosa, s.d., fasc. 2, p. 81).

Pope Benedict XVI, “Address to Participants in the 14th Public Session of the Pontifical Academies,” Clementine Hall, Thursday, 28 January 2010, in L’Osservatore Romano English Weekly Edition, 3 February 2010, p. 5.