The encyclical Fides Et Ratio was written by Pope John Paul II to his fellow bishops in to address the relationship between faith and. Intended audience of the encyclical: The Bishops of the Catholic Church, Cautionary note: The English translation of Fides et Ratio is not always what it should . for exposing the weakness of reason: “The beginning of the First Letter to the. Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, published only last week, I wished to defend the capacity of human reason to know the truth. This confidence in reason is an.

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Life in fact can never be grounded upon doubt, uncertainty or deceit; such an existence would be threatened constantly by fear and anxiety.

It happened rather in the depths of human souls, and it ef a meeting of creature and Creator.

Synthesis of the encyclical “Fides et ratio”

Christ reveals us to ourselves and makes clear our vocation to “share in the divine mystery of the life of the Trinity. How are we to explain these dynamics? It is as if, moving between the twin poles of God’s word and a better understanding of it, reason is offered guidance and is warned against paths which would lead it to stray from revealed Truth and to stray in the end from the truth pure and simple.

Put differently, freedom is not realized in decisions made against God. In some contemporary theologies, for instance, a certain rationalism is gaining ground, especially when opinions thought to be philosophically well founded are taken as normative for theological research.

Philosophy’s powerful influence on the formation and development of the cultures of the West should not obscure the influence it has also had upon the ways of understanding existence found in the East. They contain a hidden truth to which the mind is drawn and which it cannot ignore without destroying the very signs which it is given.


The positive results of the papal summons are well known. Step by step, then, we are assembling the terms of the question. The great Doctor of the West had come into contact with different philosophical schools, but all of them left him disappointed.

The Bishop of Hippo succeeded in producing the first great synthesis of philosophy and theology, embracing currents of thought both Greek and Latin. A passage of Saint Paul’s letter to the Christians of Ephesus helps us to understand how the early community responded to the problem.

This circular relationship with the word of God leaves philosophy enriched, because reason discovers new and unsuspected horizons ” 73 [my italics]. With a false modesty, people rest content with partial and provisional truths, no longer seeking to ask radical questions about the meaning and ultimate foundation of human, personal and social existence.

United States Catholic Conference Through this Revelation, men and women are offered the ultimate truth about their own life and about the goal of history.

Notes on Fides et Ratio

Thus the world and the events of history cannot be understood in depth without professing faith in the God who is at work in them. With the rise of rationalism, faith and reason became separated with disastrous consequences.

Here the Holy Father cites Aeterni Patris ratip its positive consequences. Woe is me, one of encydlical poor children of Eve, far from God, what did I set out to do and what have I accomplished? As a result, we see “the widespread mentality that a definitive commitment should not be made. I cannot fail to note with surprise and displeasure that this lack of interest in the study of philosophy is shared by not a few theologians” How vast is the sum of them!


What is there after this life? Anthropology, logic, the natural sciences, history, linguistics legter so forth—the whole universe of knowledge has been involved in one way or another.

The thirst for truth is so rooted in the human heart that to be obliged to ignore it would cast our existence into jeopardy. It is surely this kind of esoteric speculation which Saint Paul has in mind when he puts the Colossians on their guard: In fact man can be defined as “the one who seeks the truth” n. Fagan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and practices law in Fairfax, Virginia.

The chapter deals with the value of the human person created in the image of God, explains the dignity and superiority of the human being over the rest of creation, and declares the transcendent capacity of human reason.

The word of God is addressed to all people, in every age and in every part of the world; and the human being is by nature a philosopher. A theology without a metaphysical horizon could not move beyond an analysis of religious experience, nor would it allow the intellectus fidei to give a coherent account of the universal and transcendent value of revealed truth.

The Church has no philosophy of her own nor does she canonize any one particular philosophy in preference to others. History shows how Platonic thought, enncyclical adopted by theology, underwent profound changes, especially with regard to concepts such as the immortality of the soul, the divinization of man and the origin of evil.