Something just happened...

Were you sadly disappointed that the recent Vatican Synod on Synodality didn't produce the change you had hoped for.  
Or were you pleased and relieved that the Synod didn't produce the change you thought  and feared it might.

Well, something has just happened that might well rouse the hopes of the disappointed and increase the worries of the relieved.

 Pope Francis has written an apostolic letter, motu proprio (on his own initiative) titled Ad Theologiam Promovendam (To Promote Theology).

Citing the need to deal with “profound cultural transformations,” the pope's letter offers a dramatic vision for the future of Catholic theology.  The document also revises the statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology with a view to making them "more suitable for the mission that our time imposes on theology."

 The letter is brief, only 10 paragraphs, the fourth of which sums up the whole

Theological reflection is therefore called to a turning point, to a change of paradigm, to a courageous cultural revolution that commits it, in the first place, to be a fundamentally contextual theology, capable of reading and interpreting the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women daily live, in the different geographical, social and cultural environments and having as an archetype the Incarnation of the Logo. From here, theology can only develop into a culture of dialogue and encounter between different traditions and different knowledge, between different Christian confessions and different religions, openly confronting everyone, believers and non-believers. The need for dialogue is intrinsic to the human being and to the whole of creation and it is a peculiar task of theology to discover the Trinitarian imprint that makes of the cosmos in which we live a network of relations in which it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things.
 (As of 10/2/23, the pope's letter is only available in Italian. The above is an unofficial translation.)

From my view as a retired pastor, this letter may well go down as the most telling moment, the most significant act in Francis' tenure as pope.  All of the change and development people have hoped for or feared relies on just such a paradigm shift in how the Church approaches and works out the theology that informs and animates her life and mission in the world.
Although the impact and effects of this letter will not come to bear overnight - the significance of Francis' words here cannot be overestimated. Any student of history knows that change happens very slowly in the Catholic Church but today - the history of that change takes a giant step forward.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!