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from issue no. 03 - 2007

The themes of faith communicated in a language accessible to all

by Cardinal Severino Poletto

The Church of Turin wishes to express through these words of mine its affection and closeness to the Holy Father Benedict XVI on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. The feelings that animate me personally and all the diocesan community of Turin are above all good wishes accompanied by fervent and daily prayers that the Lord may help the Holy Father in his fatiguing task of leading the universal Church. At the same time I would like to accentuate our convinced backing for his extraordinary and daily Magisterium on issues delicate and important for all mankind such as peace, the defense of life, the family based on matrimony and the need to combat the widespread relativism. The Holy Father beseeches us to recover the truth of the reasonableness of the faith, whereby faith and reason are not contraries but are «the two wings with which the human spirit rises toward contemplation of the truth» (Fides et ratio, n. 1).
In these first two years of his pontificate, Pope Benedict has been able to impose himself on the attention of the world with authoritativeness and extraordinary wisdom. For these gifts we truly thank the Lord for having given us a pastor who, even if in different style, is leading the Church with sweet steadiness in continuity with the Magisterium of the unforgettable John Paul II.
I like highlighting a specific charism of this theologian pope: his ability to communicate important issues of the faith in a language accessible to all the Christian people. This specific characteristic makes the most of the spiritual and cultural training of this Pontiff and is also a particular gift for all believers, who look to the Pope so they may feel steadfast and directed in their faith, and that happens when the Christian people hear words accessible to all. The liking that Benedict XVI arouses and the growing interest in his Magisterium are also confirmed by the ever greater number of pilgrims at the general audiences on Wednesdays as at the Sunday Angelus.
My wishes are accompanied by my prayers, and those of all the Turin Church, that the Lord may grant our Holy Father long life, good health and above all let him always have that extraordinary presence of the Spirit, of which we are visibly aware each day in his person and in his Magisterium.
The delicacy of touch, the sweetness of his way of communicating and the ability to converse with all the situations in the Church and in the world are also the sign of how through this great Pope the Lord continues to lead his Church, called to be, in the words of Scripture,«salt of the earth, light of the world and city on the hill».
Best wishes, Holy Father, and ad multos annos!

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