Affirming the critically important role of a “free and responsible” form of Catholic theology in the life of the church, Pope Francis called on theologians to “remain faithful and anchored” to the vision of Vatican II, as well as “immersed” in the instincts and concerns of ordinary people who’ve never taken “academic courses in theology.”
The Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Francis said, called the Church “to announce the Gospel in a new way, more consonant with a profoundly different culture and world,” and he added, “The Church must always refer itself to that event.”
“That effort requires from the whole Church, and theologians in particular, to be implemented in a spirit of ‘creative fidelity’,” the pope said.
The pontiff’s remarks came during a noontime audience with roughly 100 members of the Associazione Teologica Italiana, the “Italian Theology Association,” the main professional society for Catholic theologians in Italy founded after Vatican II and this year celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Unlike his predecessor Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who’s an accomplished theologian and took a keen personal interest in doctrinal matters, Francis positions himself more as a pastor, usually referring to theologians as “they” – for instance, speaking to a visiting group of Evangelical pastors in 2016, he said, “Theology is a very complicated subject, and we should let the theologians argue it out. In the meantime, we should love each other and learn to value people who are different than ourselves.”
Famously, during a visit to the Anglican Church of All Saints this past February, Francis quoted a quip from Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople to Pope Paul VI after their historic 1964 meeting: “We’ll bring about unity between us, and we’ll put all the theologians on an island so they can think about it!” (Francis even added he’d confirmed with Athenagoras’s successor, Patriarch Bartholomew I, that the line wasn’t just an urban legend.)
Given that background, Francis’s remarks to theological groups typically are seen as a fairly rare opportunity to better understand his doctrinal vision.
To begin with, Francis on Friday urged theologians to see their work not as an individual quest for insight, but as being rooted in a broader community.
“What theologians do can’t help but be a personal quest,” he said, “but one immersed in the widest theological community possible,” insisting that it’s not just an “accessory” to the ministry of theologians.
In particular, Francis asked theologians to pay careful attention to the insights of ordinary believers, what experts sometimes call “popular religiosity.”
“It’s in this living faith of the holy People of God that every theologian should feel immersed, and by which he or she should also feel sustained, transported and embraced,” the pope said.
Full story at Crux.
“Pope Francis called on theologians to “remain faithful and anchored” to the vision of Vatican II…”
Anchor and Vatican II. Perfect juxtaposition of the two, Vatican II has been dragging down the Church since 1965.
Many people blame Vatican II as an automatic, unthinking reflex when, in fact, they’re actually upset with things that happened in Western Culture coupled with some tragic mistakes by Paul VI and others.
Do you actually blame Vatican II or could the actual cause be the culture that the Church operates in.
This is important because identifying the true cause is vital to arriving at the correct solution.
I would suggest your read Louie Verrecchio’s post of an article by Randy Engle on his blog.
It is lengthy, but definitely worth reading. While Vatican II cannot be solely blamed for the current state of the Church, it did mark a epoch in Church history. Nothing has been the same since. The rise of heretics/apostates/communists/radicals were decades in the making. Vatican II presented the perfect opportunity to inject their poison into the Church.
Is Randy Engel a traditionalist? the terms she uses seem kind of weird. Revolution. NewChurch. Does not seem objective.
It might not be objective, but the term seem accurate. We have indeed seen a revolution in the Church in the last 50 plus years.
When the writer is not objective, the reader needs to be.
The first question is always “How do they know?”
The second question is “Why do they want me to believe this?”
I would love to see something objective on who and what caused the problems. I can tell you the who’s and the what’s of my personal experience. But they only start about the mid-80s. Some names I don’t know because I was getting things 3rd hand. It really has more to do with individual bishops, priests and lay people than a change in the Church.
I think we’re close. We agree that substantial changes occurred among Catholics since the Council and that the central cause was the revolution that occurred in Western culture. But I would say that any negatives from the Council are minor compared to its positives.
We agree that the timing of Vatican II gave subversives an ideal opportunity to destroy her. In fact, the term “the Spirit of Vatican II” was used as a ploy to bypass Vatican II and everything that preceded her.
Lastly, it’s true that Vatican II and the cultural revolution coincided. But I object to labeling the new epoch as “Vatican II” because it gives the nuance that the Council was at fault. Instead, I refer to it as the “60s.”
Whatever the reason or cause, we cannot deny much damage has been done to the Church in the last 5 plus decades. Let us pray for Holy Mother Church, that the Lord blesses His Bride. +JMJ+
I think we can agree on that. :)
There is so much misinformation online. But I have found that people believe what they want to believe.
Francis is best understood through the “theology” of heretic Martin Luther. In short, Luther believed that man is essentially corrupt and vile, saved only through the sacrifice of Jesus. He further believed that, due to this, refraining from sin was useless and senseless. We sin and will always sin the ways vile, and, to Luther, this did not really matter. He despises priests, the sacraments, and the sense of “works” as having any meaning. We attain salvation by believing in Christ (and we can then “sin away”).
Francis embraces the execrable nature of man, not to have man acknowledge and alter his sinful ways, but to revel in it, and to make it sacramental, as well, as sin is historic evidence of man’s true nature (which…
Can you give us your sources on this?
(Part Deux) ” . . . Christ already forgave). There is no need for confession because it is “all over.” Anyway, the Catholic Church is irrelevant, in that everything is found in the Bible (“Sola Scriptura” and all that).
The Pope’s view of faith is not Catholic, at least not as taught by the Apostles, by centuries of Church teachings, by recent Popes, and, of course, by scripture. Many of us missed learning about the need to marinate ourselves in the “smell of the sheep.” Instead, we learned that Christ taught that we were “in the world” not “of the world.”
The Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis was to promote the sacraments of Mercy-confession and Eucharist.
Vatican II needs to be faithfully anchored to the truth.
Interesting title of this article – “Creative Fidelity “. A wonderful book by the French philosopher, Gabriel Marcel, has the same title. Vatican II is definitely anchored in the truth of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Thanks for the link to this. Unfortunately, it is not just liberal media that is distorting what the Pope says.
“Post-truth” media are constructing the “image of a progressive and permissive Pope” by quoting Pope Francis out of context, emphasizing these quotations in headlines, and passing over statements that are “consistent with Christian tradition.” Social media are also circulating Spanish-language speeches that are falsely attributed to the Pontiff.
The effect… is that Pope Francis is portrayed as “ever more revolutionary and unpredictable,” while the Roman Curia is “obviously demonized.”While the Pope’s texts are readily available for those who wish to read them, “very few do so because the majority blindly entrust themselves…
Hope this gets printed! The whole problem with Vatican II is that Church leaders felt that in the past, Church discipline was too harsh– so they abandoned it, in favor of letting clergy and laity make their own decisions. “Freedom of individuals according to their own conscience,” in the Church, is HUGE, in Vatican II! I think this is a tragic mistake!
I believe that Church leaders must all adhere to Christ’s teachings, and require all clergy and laity to do likewise. All Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions, should be responsibly administrated by Catholic teachings, world-wide. The Pope should be a very holy, excellent Catholic leader and teacher!