October 28, 2009.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, we now turn
to the renewal of theology in the wake of the Gregorian Reform.
century was a time of a spiritual, cultural and political rebirth in the West.
Theology, for its part, became more conscious of its own nature and method,
faced new problems and paved the way for the great theological masterpieces of
the thirteenth century, the age of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure.
basic "models" of theology emerged, associated respectively with the
monasteries and the schools which were the forerunners of the medieval
universities. Monastic theology grew out of the prayerful contemplation of the
Scriptures and the texts of the Church Fathers, stressing their interior unity
and spiritual meaning, centred on the mystery of Christ.
sought to clarify the understanding of the faith by study of the sources and the
use of logic, and led to the great works of synthesis known as the Summae
Even today this confidence in the harmony of faith and reason inspires us to
account for the hope within us and to show that faith
liberates reason, enabling the human spirit to rise to the loving contemplation
of that fullness of truth which is God himself.
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today’s
Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Sweden, Nigeria, India and the
United States. My particular greeting goes to the priests attending a course at
the Pontifical North American College and to the seminarians of the Pontifical
Scots College. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!