Pope: Faith based on personal encounter with Jesus through the church

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For St. Paul and for all Christians, faith is not based on a myth, but on a personal encounter with the risen Jesus through the church, Pope Benedict XVI said. At his Sept. 24 weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict focused on St. Paul’s relationship with the Twelve Apostles first chosen by Jesus to preach the word of God to the ends of the earth. Because St. Paul never met Jesus during his public, earthly life, he needed to consult with and be confirmed by the first disciples who lived with Jesus and were chosen by him, the pope said. In his writings, the pope said, St. Paul makes it clear that he recognizes the primacy of the first apostles and that the teaching he is handing on is the teaching of the apostles. “Before preaching Jesus Christ, his lord, St. Paul met him on the road to Damascus, spent time with him in the church, observing the life of the Twelve and those who followed him along the roads of Galilee,” the pope said.

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