Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pope tells Vatican theological commission to respect diverse views Joshua J. McElwee | Dec. 5, 2014

"...The diversity of viewpoints should enrich catholicity without damaging the unity," he said. "The unity of Catholic theologians stems from their common reference to one faith in Christ and is nourished by the diversity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit."The pope also praised a "healthy pluralism" of views and said various theological methods "cannot ignore each other, but in theological dialogue should enrich and correct each other.""The work of your commission can be a witness to this growth, and also a testimony of the Holy Spirit, because it is he who sows these charismatic varieties in the church, different points of view, and it is he will make the unity," the pope said. "He is the protagonist, always."The pope also said he wanted to note "the increased presence of women" on the theological commission, which currently has the most women it's ever had serving at one time in its ranks. Five of the 30 theologians are women.That number, the pope said, is "not so many." The women, he said, "are the strawberry on the cake, but we want more."The presence of the five women, the pope said, "becomes an invitation to reflect on the role that women can and should play in the field of theology.""By virtue of their feminine genius, [female] theologians can detect, for the benefit of all, some unexplored aspects of the unfathomable mystery of Christ," the pope said. "I invite you, therefore, to take the best advantage of this specific contribution of women to the intelligence of faith."...
Bridget Mary's Response:  Pope Francis is affirming the mystical oneness that we share in Christ and the diversity of gifts of the Spirit present in the church. He is taking a positive step in challenging the patriarchal bias that has infected the institutional church for centuries,  and opening up to the gifts of women by increasing the number of women theologians in this commission, In order to move forward, Pope Francis  recognizes that the church must reflect on the Gospel in the light of women's experiences of faith, spirituality and service to the church. Now I wonder if that will take him toward a change in church teaching that will embrace gender equality for women in all areas of church life including a renewed model of priesthood in an inclusive, egalitarian communities of faith. That is the holy shakeup we really need in order to follow Jesus' example of Gospel equality! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,

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