Three criteria to help us understand Pope Francis's vision of reform
A friend of mine at Blackfriars Media (a division of the Dominican Order) has filmed a brief interview with British Catholic journalist Austin Ivereigh which gives what I think is a very helpful perspective on Pope Francis's idea of reform. Ivereigh looks at Francis through the lens of one of his primary theological influences, Yves Congar (1904-1995), who, in his study of failed and successful reforms in the Church's history, found three basic criteria for true reform:
1. The center must open up to the periphery.
2. True reform respects Catholic tradition.
3. True reform is pastoral in nature.
The four-minute video should help us to keep the essentials in mind amid the controversy and media coverage as the Synod on the Family approaches.
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Posted by: AgnesDay -
Sep. 21, 2015 3:02 PM ET USA
Very helpful. Very sensible. But then, if you think about it, isn't that what you expect from a theologian?
Posted by: koinonia -
Sep. 21, 2015 10:45 AM ET USA
There's no institution with the Church's understanding and compassion for the human condition. This wisdom is reflected in doctrine. "Survey says": The pastoral problem IS that of doctrine. The absence of the cross is "reality." We have turned away- even from natural principles. Do we believe in the transcendent? Do we believe in hope? In love? Look to the saints, to the missions- self-denial; living for others. True love. Alas we cannot believe in life when we don't know how to live.
Posted by: wsw33410 -
Sep. 21, 2015 9:07 AM ET USA
Perhaps these three criteria made sense to Congar in the first part of XX century. How do they apply to VatII Council's outcome? I don't see the current Pope's reforms as balanced (per 3 criteria) and theology-based; they are mostly pastoral-based, intuitive, missing a backbone of hermeneutics. All world praises such newness and "fresh-airness" of Francis - it seems like the Pontificates of St. JPII and Benedict XVI were so backwards, without a human face or mercy ..