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Bishop Conesa: "Benedict XVI always sought ways of dialogue between faith and reason".

The Bishop of Solsona closed at the University of Navarra the Theological workshop 'Benedict XVI in remembrance', organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the investiture of Joseph Ratzinger as honorary doctor of the academic center.

PhotoManuelCastells/From left to right: Josep-Ignasi Saranyana, Gregorio Guitián, César Izquierdo, Bishop Francisco Conesa, Paul O'Callaghan and Miguel Brugarolas.

02 | 10 | 2023

"Benedict XVI always sought ways of dialogue between faith and human reason". This is what Bishop Francisco Conesa, Bishop of Solsona, said at the University of Navarra. His words are part of the workshop Theological 'Benedict XVI in remembrance. A los 25 años del doctorate Honoris Causa', organized by the School of Theology of the academic center.

In his discussion paper, entitled 'Benedict XVI and contemporary atheism', he collected some of the dialogues that the Pope held with three atheists, namely with the philosopher and journalist Paolo Flores d'Arcais, in 2000; with the philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas, in 2004; and with the mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, which took place when Benedict XVI was already Pope Emeritus.

For Bishop Conesa, in the meetings Benedict XVI had with them, he always met with them at sample with an attitude of sincere and open dialogue: "He is convinced of the necessity of reason for faith. And at the same time he invites reason to be self-critical and to remain open. He strives to find ways of dialogue and promotes a broader conception of reason".

In addition, the Bishop of Solsona emphasized the respectful, humble and affable style he uses in each of his dialogues. For this he gave as an example the letter he wrote to the philosopher and former president of the Senate of Italy, Marcello Pera, where the Pope expressed that "both lay people and Catholics, both those who seek and those who believe, in the web of branches inhabited by numerous birds, must go to meeting each other with a new capacity for openness. On the one hand, believers never stop searching, and on the other hand, those who search are touched by the truth and, in this sense, cannot be considered men without faith or moral principles inspired by the Christian faith. There are ways of belonging to the truth in which one gives to the other, and both can always learn something from the other".

Four different approaches to the figure of Joseph Ratzinger

In the workshop, celebrated on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the investiture of Joseph Ratzinger as honorary doctor by the University, intervened, in addition to Msgr. Francisco Conesa, three other academics spoke: Josep-Ignasi Saranyana, Professor Emeritus of the University of Navarra, who spoke on 'The speech of Joseph Ratzinger in the classroom Magna'; Paul O'Callaghan, professor of the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce (Rome), who focused his message on 'The Christocentrism of Joseph Ratzinger'; and the professor of the University of Navarra, César Izquierdo, who spoke on 'The preaching of Benedict XVI: His homilies', and to whom a tribute was paid on the occasion of his seventieth birthday at the end of workshop .