(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico
Lombardi SJ, has released his weekly editorial in which he reflects on two major themes
of Pope Benedict XVI's remarks to the Roman Curia earlier in the week. Please find
Vatican Radio's English translation of the editorial, below.
remarks at the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with the officials of the
Roman Curia are always among the most personal and carefully crafted by the Holy Father
throughout the year: a reflection on the year that is drawing to a close, they are
also a close study of issues that the Pope considers most urgent and of greatest moment.
They are matters on which he feels the duty to show his mind, going to the heart
of them with characteristic clarity and courage: to do so is for him a duty to the
Church and humanity, come what may in the way of resistance or reaction. There are
two issues chosen this year: the family and the complementarity of man and woman;
dialogue and proclamation of the faith. With regard to the family, the Holy Father
returns to the idea that the basic issue is anthropological: it involves the question,
“What is a man?” There is an essential duality in human nature, for which each person
is either male or female. From this duality arise the fundamental relations between
father, mother and children. So much is in the plan of God the creator. To deny it
is contrary to the truth. To affirm that it is the human person who determines his
identity – even so far as regards the structure of his or her sexuality – is a destructive
step. It opens up the way to arbitrary manipulation of nature, with very serious consequences
for human dignity, starting with the dignity of children, who are no longer considered
as subjects with rights, but as objects to which others have a right. In short: in
the “struggle for the family” there is at stake the human person himself. The ample
and appropriate reference to the thought of the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim,
which the Holy Father makes throughout his argument, goes to show the position he
defends and advances is not dependent on the peculiar teachings of the Church, but
is rooted in reason and available to the great tradition that is common to Jews and
The second theme analysed by the Pope will also cause discussion.
It is very topical and not detached from the first: a Christian enters the relationship
of dialogue as bearer of the great experience of humanity interpreted in the light
of the faith, and as one who is sensible of a responsibility for protecting, defending
and sharing the most precious, true and lasting goods of that experience thus interpreted.
The Christian enters dialogue with the confidence that the search for the truth will
never bring into question his Christian identity. Because the truth is not something
that we proudly possess, but something that calls us and guides us, like Christ accompanying
us by the hand. This too is a Christmas wish: deep, demanding, present.