What we believe in is the Word of God. The Word of the Lord abides forever. As St. Peter says: "This Word is the Gospel that was preached to you." With this assertion, we find ourselves before the Mystery of God, who has made himself known through the gift of his word. (1 Peter 1:25 cf. Isaiah 40:8) This word, which abides forever, entered into time. God spoke his eternal Word humanly; his Word became flesh (John 1:14). This is the good news. This is the proclamation that has come down the centuries to us today. This is what we believe.
Thanks to christians of every tradition, we who are Roman Catholics are rediscovering God's Word in the life of the Church as a wellspring of constant renewal. As Roman Catholic christians responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, Pope Benedict the 16th, expresses his hope that the word will be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity.
We are utterly delighted to be christians in the Roman Catholic Communion at this time, when the Holy Spirit is bringing about a new pentecost. In the Church, there is also a Pentecost today: in other words, the Church speaks in many tongues, and not only outwardly, in the sense that all the great languages of the world are represented in her, but, more profoundly, inasmuch as present within her are various ways of experiencing God and the world, a wealth of cultures, and only in this way do we come to see the vastness of the human experience and, as a result, the vastness of the word of God. There is an ongoing Pentecost in the various peoples who are still waiting for the word of God to be proclaimed in their own language and in their own culture.
Our core belief is that the novelty of biblical revelation consists in the fact that God becomes known through the dialogue which He desires to have with us. We believe that the unseen God, from the fulness of his love, addresses men and women as his friends, and lives among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company. The Prologue of St. John's Gospel, makes us realise that the Logos is truly eternal, and from eternity is himself God. God was never without his logos. The Word exists before creation. Consequently at the heart of the divine life there is communion, there is absolute gift. "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16), as the same apostle tells us elsewhere, thus pointing to the Christian image of God, and the resulting image of humanity and its destiny.
God makes Himself known to us as a mystery of infinite love in which the Father eternally utters his Word in the Holy Spirit. Consequently the Word, who from the beginning is with God and is God, reveals God himself in the dialogue of love between the divine persons, and invites us to share in that love.
From this starting point, we find our hearts expanded ever more widely as we sketch a brief outline of how we personally receive God's revelation. Some of what we say will be an invitation to some christian readers to look afresh at aspects of the Gift of God that will not be usual for them. Many of these fresh insights are a fruit of the ongoing ecumenical dialogue in which the Catholic Church has been involved with in recent decades.
There are different ways in which we speak of the word of God. There is a symphony of the word, a single word expressed in multiple ways. Human language operates analogically in speaking of the word of God. In effect, this expression, while referring to God's self-communication, also takes on a number of different meanings, which need to be carefully considered and related among themselves.
While the Christ event is at the heart of divine revelation, we also need to realise that creation itself , the book of nature, is an essential part of this symphony of many voices in which the one word is spoken. We also hold with the Catholic Church that God has spoken his word in salvation history; he has made his voice heard; by the power of his Spirit he has spoken through the prophets. God's Word is thus spoken throughout the history of salvation, and most fully in the mystery of the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Son of God.
Then, too, the word of God is that word preached by the apostles in obedience to the command of the Risen Jesus: "Go out into the whole world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15). The word of God is thus handed on in the Church's living Tradition.
Finally, the word of God, attested and divinely inspired, is sacred scripture, the Old and New Testaments. All this helps us to see that while in the Church we greatly venerate the sacred Scriptures, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book".: Christianity is the "religion of the word of God, not of a written and mute word, but of the incarnate and living Word. In union with the whole Catholic Church we believe, consequently, that the Scripture is to be proclaimed, heard, read, received and experienced as the word of God, in the stream of the apostolic tradition from which it is inseparable.
The expression "Word of God" is used analogically, and we should be aware of this. The different meanings of the expression are to be taken into account but also its unitary sense.
After this starting point we regard as our own the core beliefs of what christians for centuries have called the Nicene Creed.
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Soon. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.