This is the cover of the English edition of Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"). The encyclical was released at the Vatican July 5. CNS photo/Paul Haring

'Lumen Fidei' at a glance

By  Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service
  • July 5, 2013

VATICAN CITY - Here at a glance are the main points of Pope Francis' encyclical "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), released July 5.

-- Christian faith is the guiding light of a "successful and fruitful life," illuminating "every aspect of human existence."

-- The opposite of faith is idolatry, according to which man worships the "multiplicity of his desires."

-- Salvation is impossible through our own good works but requires faith, as acknowledgement of the "primacy of God's gift."

-- By virtue of his humanity, Jesus Christ is not only the object of faith but the ultimate model and mediator for all believers, and faith is a "participation in (Jesus') way of seeing."

-- Faith is not individualistic but by its very nature takes place within the communion of the church.

-- The unity and continuity of the faith are ensured by the apostolic succession, hence the pope and the bishops in communion with him stand as its authoritative teachers.

-- The fullness of faith is transmitted above all through the sacraments, which "communicate an incarnate memory, linked to the times and places of our lives, linked to all our senses; in them the whole person is engaged as a member of a living subject and part of a network of communitarian relationships."

-- Faith offers access to truth through love, since love is a "form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists."

-- Faith dispels philosophical relativism and encourages scientific research by affirming the "inherent order" and harmony of the material world, and "stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation."

-- Faith is essential to the promotion of "justice, law and peace" because it reveals the true basis of men's brotherhood as children of God.

 

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To read the full encyclical, visit The Vatican website.

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