Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Catholic World News : Pope explains influence of Boethius, Cassidorus

Catholic World News : Pope explains influence of Boethius, Cassidorus

Being a "fan" (for lack of a better word) of Boethius and having enjoyed reading his The Consolation of Philosophy, I couldn't allow this papal reference to skip by without mention:

Pope explains influence of Boethius, Cassidorus

Vatican, Mar. 12, 2008 ( - At his regular weekly public audience on March 12, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) continued his series of talks on the early Church fathers, with short talks on Boethius and Cassiodorus.

Speaking first about Boethius, the Pope recalled that the philosopher was born into a noble family in 480, and pursued philosophical studies avidly while serving as a public official. Boethius, he said, made one of the early efforts to bring classical Greek and Roman philosophy into accord with Christian revelation. "Precisely for this reason," the Pope observed, "Boethius has been called the last great representative of ancient Roman culture and the first of the mediaeval intellectuals."

The victim of a political plot, Boethius was jailed and eventually executed. During his imprisonment he wrote his greatest work, The Consolation of Philosophy, explaining that in times of trouble and in the face of injustice, the truth "is the true medicine of the soul." True happiness can come only from within the individual's soul, Boethius taught, and "God remains the supreme good toward which all human beings tend, even without knowing it."

Pope Benedict reflected on the absurdity and injustice of the situation faced by those who, like Boethius, suffer and die "for no other reason than their political and religious ideals." Boethius, he said, saw the link between his suffering and that of the unjustly condemned Christ.


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