The idea of faith and access to God today. Twenty years after Fides et ratio


  • Armando Matteo Pontificia Università Urbaniana



faith, fides qua, personal dimension, Magisterium, pastoral challenge, Lumen fidei, Fides et ratio


The widespread religious indifference that today the Western populations demonstrate (with particular reference to youth) has to do with the idea of faith present in the collective imagination. In this regard, an Enlightenment suspect is still alive: faith — ie having faith (fides qua) — is understood essentially as an action by which “abstract truths” are experienced in personal life not only as posed against all rational and scientific plausibility but above all as substantially detrimental to subjective freedom.

This contribution intends to show the effort made by the Church to restore the idea of faith (of having faith) to its full truth. This process was started by the First Vatican Council and reached particularly illuminating and fruitful results in Pope Francis’s Encyclical Lumen fidei (whose initial thrust, as we know, is due to Benedict XVI).

In such an itinerary we will consider both the fundamental contribution of the discussions that took place in the Second Vatican Council and merged into Dei Verbum, and the no less decisive one offered by Fides et Ratio of St. John Paul II.





Access to God today