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.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
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 ..