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Theologians' work is 'fascinating but risky,' Pope says

December 06, 2013

Theologians are “pioneers in the Church’s dialogue with culture,” Pope Francis said at a December 6 meeting with members of the International Theological Commission, who were concluding their annual meeting.

The entire Church, the People of God, bear witness to the faith, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit have a “spiritual instinct that makes us sentire cum Ecclesia,” the Pope said. However, he went on, “the sensus fidelium cannot be confused with the sociological reality of a majority opinion.” One aspect of the theologian’s work, he said, is to help discern the true sensus fidelium. He cited the advice of Pope Benedict XVI, who encouraged theologians to pay attention to simple, pious Catholics, “to whom it pleased the Father to reveal that which He had hidden from the learned and the wise.”

The work of theologians is both fascinating and risky, the Pope continued. Fascinating, because it can be “a true path to holiness.” Risky, because “it bears temptations with it: hardness of heart, pride, even ambition.”

This year’s meeting of the International Theological Commission was devoted to a discussion of “The Relationship between Monotheism and Violence.” Speaking on that topic, the Pope insisted: “God is not a threat for mankind.” In fact, he said, “the definitive Revelation of God in Jesus Christ by now renders every recourse to violence 'in the name of God', impossible. It is precisely by His refusal of violence, by His having conquered evil with good with the blood of His Cross, that Jesus has reconciled humans with God and with themselves.”


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