Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Pope Francis says "Today let us too ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with culture..." Full Text + Video

General Audience, 06.11.2019 

  This morning’s General Audience took place in Saint Peter’s Square, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and all over the world.

In his address in Italian the Pope continued his catechesis on the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, this time focusing on the passage: “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” (Acts of the Apostles 17: 23).
After summarising his catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father addressed special greetings to the groups of faithful present. The General Audience concluded with the recitation of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

Catechesis of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Let us continue our “journey” with the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. After the trials he experienced in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea, Paul arrives in Athens, right in the heart of Greece (cf. Acts 17: 15). This city, which lived in the shadow of ancient glories despite political decadence, still held the primacy of culture. Here the Apostle’s “spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17: 16). This “impact” with paganism, however, instead of making him flee, drives him to create a bridge to dialogue with that culture.
Paul chooses to become familiar with the city and thus begins to frequent the most significant places and people. He goes to the synagogue, symbol of the life of faith; he goes to the square, symbol of city life; and he goes to the Areopagus, symbol of political and cultural life. He meets Jews, Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, and many others. He meets all the people, he does not close himself up; he goes to speak with all people. In this way Paul observes the culture, he observes the environment of Athens “with a contemplative gaze” which discovers “God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares” (Evangelii gaudium, 71). Paul does not look at the city of Athens and the pagan world with hostility but with the eyes of faith. And this makes us question our way of looking at our cities: do we observe them with indifference? With contempt? Or with the faith that recognizes the children of God in the midst of the anonymous crowds?
Paul chooses the gaze that drives him to open up a passage between the Gospel and the pagan world. In the heart of one of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient world, the Areopagus, he offers an extraordinary example of inculturation of the message of faith: he proclaims Jesus Christ to the worshippers of idols, and does not do so by attacking them, but by making himself a “pontiff, a builder of bridges” (Homily at Santa Marta, 8 May 2013).
Paul takes his cue from the altar of the city dedicated to “the unknown god” (Acts 17: 23) – there was an altar with the inscription, “to the unknown god”, no image, nothing, just that inscription. Starting out from that “devotion” to the unknown god, to enter into empathy with his listeners, he proclaims that God dwells among the citizens (cf. Evangelii gaudium, 71) and “does not hide Himself from those who seek Him with a sincere heart, even though they do so tentatively” (ibid). It is precisely this presence that Paul seeks to reveal: “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” (Acts 17: 23).
To reveal the identity of the god the Athenians worship, the Apostle starts from creation, that is the biblical faith in the God of the revelation, arriving at redemption and judgement, that is the proper Christian message. He shows the disproportion between the greatness of the Creator and the temples built by man, and explains that the Creator always makes himself sought so that each person may find Him. In this way Paul, according to a beautiful expression by Pope Benedict XVI, “is proclaiming Him Whom men do not know and yet do know – the Unknown-Known” (Benedict XVI, Meeting with representatives from the world of culture, Collège des Bernardins, 12 September 2008). Then, he invites everyone to go beyond “the times of ignorance” and to decide for conversion in view of the imminent judgement. Paul thus arrives at the kerygma and alludes to Christ, without naming Him, defining Him as “a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17: 31).
And here, there’s the problem. The word of Paul, who until now had held his interlocutors in suspense – because it was an interesting discovery – finds a stumbling block: the death and resurrection of Christ appears to be “foolishness” (1 Cor 1: 23) and arouses mockery and derision. Paul then moves away: his attempt seems to have failed, yet some adhere to his word and open themselves to faith. Among them is a man, Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, and a woman, Damaris. Even in Athens the Gospel takes root and flow with two voices: that of the man and that of the woman!
Today let us too ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with culture, with those who do not believe or with those who have a different creed from ours. Always build bridges, always reach out, no aggression. Let us ask Him for the capacity to delicately inculturate the message of faith, turning a contemplative gaze to those who are ignorant of Christ, moved by a love that warms even the most hardened hearts.

Greetings in English
I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

Greetings in various languages
Summary of catechesis and greetings in different languages

In French


Frères et sœurs, poursuivant notre «voyage» in the livre des actes des Apôtres, nous rencontrons saint Paul à Athènes. The veut entrer en contact avec cette ville, here conservit encore the premiere of the culture, and fréquenter les personnes et les lieux les plus significatifs, rencontrant toutes sortes de gens aux cultures diverses. The ne regarde pas Athènes et le monde païen avec hostilité, maize avec le regard de la foi. The cherche à annoncer Jésus-Christ aux adorateurs d 'idoles non pas en les agressant mais en construisant des ponts. Dieu est déjà présent. The ne if cache pas à ceux qui le cherchent avec un cœur sincère, même si c’est à tâtons. N'y a-t-the pas dans la ville un autel dédié au «dieu inconnu»? C est cette présence that the Apôtre cherche à révéler: "Celeste que vénérez sans le connaître, voilà que, moi, je viens vous l'annoncer". Cependant, the prédication de Paul, bien accueillie jusque-là, rencontre un écueil: la mort et résurrection du Christ qui semble être une folie et provoque la dérision. The tentative of Paul semble avoir échoué, according to that-adhèrent à sa parole et s’ouvrent à la foi.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims, in particular the young people of the Diocese of Paris. Brothers and sisters, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to build bridges with those who do not believe. May you always know how to witness to them our faith, turning on them a look of love that also touches the most hardened hearts. God bless you!


The cordial greetings of the langue française, in particulier les jeunes du diocèse de Paris. Frères et sœurs, demandons à l'Esprit Saint de nous apprendre à construire des ponts avec ceux qui ne croient pas. Que nous sachions touours leur témoigner de notre foi, in portante sur eux a regard d amour qui touche même les cœurs les plus endurcis. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

In English


Dear brothers and sisters: In preaching before the Areopagus in Athens, the cultural capital of the pagan world. In a city filled with idols, Paul proclaims the Gospel by appealing to the religious of his hearers and their desire to know the truth. Seeing an altar dedicated to an "unknown god", Paul states that God, the transcendent Creator of the world, has made himself known, and he is his friend. Yet when Paul begins to speak of Christ's death and resurrection, his listeners lose interest. The mystery of the cross, in which Gods wisdom and power are revealed, appears in the eyes of the Greeks (cf. 1 Cor 1:23). Yet Paul's preaching bears fruit in the conversion of some Athenians, including Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris. As we think of our own culture, may we, like Paul, be sensitive to people 's deepest yearnings in order to propose the mystery of Christ and his saving love.

Holy Father:

I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!


I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

In German language

In German language


Liebe Brüder und Schwestern, in der heutigen Katechese betrachten wir das Wirken des Apostels Paulus in Athen, der Hauptstadt der antiken Kultur. Beim Anblick der zahlreichen Götzenbilder „wurde sein Geist von heftigem Zorn erfasst“. Dieser Zusammenstoß mit dem Heidentum jedoch treibt ihn nicht zur Flucht, surveyor zum Dialog mit jener Kultur: Er macht sich mit der Stadt vertraut und sucht ihre wichtigsten Orte und Plätze auf, wo er Juden, stoischen und epikureischen Philosophen sowie vielen anderen begegnet. So begibt er sich in den Mittelpunkt einer der berühmtesten Institutionen der antiken Welt, auf den Areopag, wo er Jesus Christus verkündet. Ausgendend einem „dem unbekannten Gott“ geweihten Altar, erklärt er seinen Zuhörern einfühlsam, dass Gott unter den Menschen wohnt und sich vor denen nicht verbirgt, die ihn suchen. So kann Paulus über die christliche Offenbarung sprechen, über den Schöpfer, über die Erlösung und das Gericht. Zwar stößt er beim Thema der Auferstehung Christi auf Spott und Hohn, doch bleibt seine Mission nicht ohne Frucht: Einige Menschen öffnen sich für den Glauben, so dass das Evangelium auch in Athen Wurzel schlagen kann. Möge auch heute das Licht Christi die Herzen derer, die ihn noch nicht kennen, erleuchten und erwärmen.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the German-speaking pilgrims. The Holy Spirit makes you grow steadily in the knowledge of God so that you can spread his love and truth in the world.


Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Der Heilige Geist lasse euch beständig in der Erkenntnis Gottes wachsen, so dass ihr seine Liebe und seine Wahrheit in der Welt verbreiten könnt.

[01757-DE.01] [Originalsprache: Deutsch]

In Spanish

Queridos hermanos y hermanas:

Siguiendo nuestro viaje por el book de los Hechos de los Apóstoles, hoy acompañamos al apóstol Pablo a su llegada a Atenas, la gran ciudad de la culture griega. En ella, el apóstol frecuenta the synagogue, símbolo de la fe en Dios; la plaza, center of la vida ciudadana, y el Areópago, corazón de la vida cultural y política. El contacto con el paganismo no asusta, until it empuja to crear a puente para dialogar with aquella culture.

With contemplative mirada, Pablo describes that Dios habita in the houses of the atenienses, in sus calles, in sus plazas; no aims el paganismo con hostilidad, sino que, en un ejemplo extraordinario de inculturación, announces to Christ partendo de su fe en a "Dios desconocido", to which they built an idol. Después de captar on benevolencia desde este puente, comienza a explicar paso a paso la revelación, desde la creación hasta la resurrección de Cristo.

Aparente este camino no dio el resultado esperado, por a tiempo escucharon con simpatía, but muerte y resurrección de Cristo if reveló como a escándalo para los judíos y necedad para los paganos, arousing desprecio y burlas. But no es así, algunos se convirtieron y quedaron como semilla de la fe también en Atenas.

I am warmly present at los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos hoy to the Espíritu Santo de enseñarnos to construir puentes with quienes no creen or tienen otra fe distinct to the nuestra. Pidamos the capacity of inculturar with delicadeza el mensaje de la fe. Que el fuego de su amor que es capaz de inflamar el corazón más endurecido abra los ojos de que todavía no conocen to Christ.

Que el Señor los bendiga

In Portuguese language


Nos Atos dos Apóstolos, após as provas que experimentiu em Filipos, Tessalônica and Beréia, Paulo chega in Atenas, no coração da Grécia. Embora fosse uma cidade que vivia à sombra de suas glórias do passado, Atenas ainda conservava or primado da cultura. Aqui, apesar de ficar revoltado com idolatria, or Apóstolo procura ver o mundo pagão não com hostilidade, mas com os olhos da fé. De Concrete Mode, no Areópago, símbolo from vida cultural and política, pronounce um discurso que, partindo da existência de um altar dedicado to um “deus desconhecido”, anunciava aos atenienses a identidade daquele que adoravam sem conhecer: o Deus único and verdadeiro, que a fé bíblica ensina ser o criador and salvador do mundo. Porém ao ouvir falar from ressurreição de Cristo, muitos ouvintes acabam losing or interest. If no tratou, contudo, de frassasso: para alem do fato de alguns se converteram, Paulo nos deixou um exemplo extraordinário de inculturação da mensagem evangélica and from importância de se construir pontes com a cultura.

Holy Father:

I extend a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the members of the Associação de Imprensa de Inspiração Cristã, of Portugal, and to the Brazilian faithful of Niterói. Dear friends, in this month of November, we are invited to pray for the dead. Guided by faith in the communion of saints, try to entrust your deceased relatives, friends and acquaintances to God, especially in the Eucharist, feeling close to them in the great spiritual company of the Church. God bless you all!


Directo uma saudação cordial aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, especially os membros da Associação de Imprensa de Inspiração Cristã, de Portugal, and os fiéis brasileiros de Niterói. Queridos amigos, neste mês de novembro, somos convidados a rezar pelos defuntos. Guiados pela fé na comunhão dos Santos, procurai encomendar to Deus, sobretudo na Eucaristia, os vossos familiares, amigos and conhecidos falecidos, sentindo a proximidade deles na great compañía espiritual da Igreja. Que Deus vos abençoe a todos!

In the Arabic language


أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء ، نتابع "رحلتنا" مع كتاب أعمال الرسل. بعد المحن التي عاشها في فيليبي وتسالونيقي وبِيرِيَة وصل بولس إلى أثينة ، قلب اليونان. هذه المدينة التي كانت تعيش في ظلِّ الأمجاد القديمة بالرغم من الانحلال السياسي ، كانت لا تزال تحافظ على أولوية الثقافة. هنا "ثارَ ثائِرُ بولس إِذ رأَى المَدينَة تَملأُها الأَصنام". لكنّ هذا "الاصطدام" مع الوثنية لم يجعله يهرب بل دفعه ليخلق جسرًا من أجل الحوار مع تلك الثقافة. اختار بولس أن يدخل في ألفة مع المدينة وبدأ هكذا يتردّد إلى الأماكن ويلتقي بالأشخاص المهمّين. ذهب إلى المجمع ، رمز حياة الإيمان ، ذهب إلى الساحة علامة الحياة المدنية ، وذهب إلى الأَريُوباغُس رمز الحياة السياسية والثقافية. لم ينظر بولس إلى مدينة أثينة والعالم الوثني بعداوة وإنما بواسطة أعين الإيمان. وهذا الأمر يجعلنا نتساءل حول أسلوبنا في النظر إلى مدننا: هل نراقبها بغير مبالاة؟ أو بازدراء؟ أم بواسطة الإيمان الذي يرى أبناء الله وسط الجموع المجهولة الهوية؟ لقد اختار بولس النظرة التي تدفعه لكي يفتح معبرًا بين الإنجيل والعالم الوثني ، وحقق نموذجًا رائعًا لانثقاف رسالة الإيمان. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء ، لنطلب نحن اليوم أيضًا من الروح القدس أن يعلّمنا أن نبني جسورًا مع الثقافة ومع الذي لا يؤمن أو مع ن ا مختلفًا عنا.

Holy Father:

I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, before the many sufferings of our time, let us ask the Lord to make us builders of bridges, and to open our hearts to the needs of the needy, the defenseless, the poor, the unemployed, and those who knock on our door in search of bread, shelter and recognition of its dignity. The Lord bless you!


أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية ، وخاصةً بالقادمين من الشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء, إزاء العديد من معاناة عصرنا, لنطلب من الرب أن يجعل منا بناة جسور, وأن يفتح قلوبنا على احتياجات المعوزين, والعزل, والفقراء, والعاطلين عن العمل, وأولئك الذين يقرعون بابنا بحثا عن الخبز والملجأ والاعتراف بكرامتهم. ليبارككُم الرّبّ!

In the Polish language


Kontynuujemy naszą „podróż” z Księgą Dziejów Apostolskich. Po trudnych doświadczeniach przeżytych w Filippi, Tesalonice i Berei Paweł dotarł do serca Grecji - Aten. Tutaj Apostoł "burzył się wewnętrznie na widok miasta pełnego bożków" (Dz 17,16). To „zderzenie” z pogaństwem pobudziło go do poszukiwania płaszczyzn dialogu z kulturą grecką. Postanowił zapoznać się z miastem i zaczął odwiedzać najważniejsze miejsca i osoby. W synagodze, na placu, na Areopagu spotykał Żydów, filozofów epikurejskich i stoickich, i innych przedstawicieli tamtej społeczności. Nie patrzył na Ateny i świat pogański z wrogością, ale oczyma wiary. Szukał dróg dotarcia z przesłaniem Ewangelii. Na Areopagu Paweł wykorzystał znajdujący się tym mieście ołtarz poświęcony „nieznanemu bogu” (Dz 17,23), i wychodząc od tej „pobożności”, przekonywał, że Bóg „nie ukrywa się przed tymi, którzy Go szukają szczerym sercem, chociaż czynią to po omacku ​​”(tamże). Paweł „głosi Tego, którego ludzie nie znają, a jednak znają: Nieznanego-Znanego” (BENEDYKT XVI, Spotkanie ze światem kultury w Collège des Bernardins, 12 września 2008 r.). Dochodzi do kerygmy i nawiązuje do Chrystusa, określając Go jako „Człowieka, którego [Bóg] na to przeznaczył, po uwierzytelnieniu Go wobec wszystkich przez wskrzeszenie Go z martwych” (Dz 17, 31). Tu przepowiadanie Pawła napotyka przeszkodę: śmierć i zmartwychwstanie Chrystusa jawi się im jako „głupstwo” (1 Kor 1, 23) i budzi pogardę i drwiny. Wówczas Paweł odchodzi. Wydaje się, że jego próba się nie powiodła, a jednak niektórzy przystają na jego słowo i otwierają się na wiarę. Również w Atenach zakorzenia się Ewangelia. Prośmy również dzisiaj Ducha Świętego, aby nauczył nas budować pomosty z kulturą, z niewierzącymi lub ludźmi, których wiara różni się od naszej.

Holy Father:

I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear Brothers and Sisters, next Sunday the Church in Poland celebrates the 11th Solidarity Day with the Persecuted Church, organized by the Papal Foundation "Helping the Church in Need", together with the Polish Episcopal Conference. This year, spiritual and material aid is especially aimed at Christians in South Sudan. Your prayer and the concrete works of solidarity will bring relief and help to the brothers and sisters who suffer for Christ in different parts of the world. I cordially bless you!


Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w najbliższą niedzielę Kościół w Polsce będzie obchodził XI Dzień Solidarityści z Kościołem Prześladowanym, organizowany przez Stowarzyszenie „Pomoc Kościołowi w Potrzebie” i Konferencję Episkopatu Polski. W tym roku pomoc duchowa i materialna w sposób szczególny jest kierowana do chrześcijan w Sudanie Południowym. Wasza modlitwa i konkretne dzieło solidarności niech przynosi wytchnienie the wsparcie braciom i siostrom, którzy cierpią dla Chrystusa w różnych częściach świata. Z serca wam błogosławię!

In Italian language

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the Dominicans of the Immaculate Conception; the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the parish groups, especially those of Andria and San Ferdinando di Puglia.

I also greet the Grande Termoli defense sports group; and the primary schools of Rimini and Riccione.

Finally, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

The month of November, dedicated to the memory and prayer of the dead, is for all the occasion to reconsider the meaning of human existence and eternal life. This time is an encouragement to understand that life is of great value if lived as a gift, not only to itself, but to God and neighbor.

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