Pontiff marks Year of Faith with major teaching document

The world urgently needs to discover once again that faith is not a form of darkness but a vital source of light, Pope Francis has said in his first encyclical.

The encyclical, Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”), was published this morning, just four months after the Pope’s election.

In the text, which Benedict XVI began before his resignation in February, Francis writes: “There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence.”

He also argues that faith can only be fully lived within the Church.

He writes: “Faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion: it comes from hearing, and it is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed … Faith becomes operative in the Christian on the basis of the gift received, the love which attracts our hearts to Christ, and enables us to become part of the Church’s great pilgrimage through history until the end of the world.”

The full text of the encyclical is available here.