2013-12-06 Vatican - Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the International Theological Commission on Friday at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The three main themes the Commission is addressing throughout the course of its current five-year study period are: the relations between monotheism and violence; the social doctrine of the Church; and, the “sense of the faith” – which Pope Francis described in his remarks to the participants as, “a sort of ‘spiritual instinct’,” that makes it possible for those attuned to it to think with the Church and to discern that, which is in conformity with the Apostolic Faith and with the spirit of the Gospel.

Speaking of the possible perversions of authentic faith in the one true God, Pope Francis said, “The definitive revelation of God in Jesus Christ makes every recourse to violence in God’s name ultimately impossible. It is precisely because of [Christ’s] refusal of violence, because of his having overcome evil with good, with the blood of his Cross, that Jesus has reconciled men to God and each other.”

The Holy Father went on to say that Christ’s peace also informs the Church’s social doctrine, which, he said, “Aims at translating the love of God for humanity manifested in Jesus Christ into the concrete terms of social life.”

Pope Francis called the mission of the theologian, “At once fascinating and risky,” because, while theological teaching and research can be a true way toward holiness, they can also tempt theologians to dryness of heart, pride and even ambition. He prayed that the Blessed Virgin might obtain for all those who live the theological life an increase in the spirit of prayer and devotion, so that they might be true servants of the Church in a profound spirit of humility.