Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cardinal Biffi's Talk on Soloviev

Currently, I'm reading three books by Vladimir Soloviev (is name is spelled differently in English in all three), this is a preliminary report on Cardinal Biffi's remarks, hopefully I'll find more posted later.

From Papa Ratzger Forum:

Today, it was that of the Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev, who died on the threshold of the 20th century. It was a century whose viscissitudes and troubles he had prophesied, a century whose events and dominant ideologies contradicted all that was most relevant and original in his teachings.

The great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar considered Soloviev's thinking "the most universal creative speculation of the modern era" and considered him on par with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Biffi recalled some of Soloviev's 'prophetic' visions, and said, that the prevalent attitudes today were farthest from Soloviev's vision of reality, even among Christians who work for and are acculturated to the Church.

He said these atttiudes ranged from selfish individualism to moral subjectivism, to pacifism and non-violence - confused with the Gospel ideals of peace and brotherhood - which leads to bowing down to the powerful, leaving the weak and the honest defenseless.

Of Soloviev, Biffi had written in a lecture celebrating the centenary of his birth: "A passionate defender of man, he was allergic to any philanthropy. He was an indefatigable apostle of peace, but an adversary of pacifism; advocate of unity among Christians but critical of any irenism; in love with nature but far from sharing today's ecological infatuation: in short, a friend of truth and an enemy of ideology. And today we have extreme need of men who can inspire and guide like Vladimir Soloviev."