Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2014_06_20_DCAN_La ayuda que los fieles prestan a la Iglesia en sus necesidades económicas tema de una tesis doctoral defendida en la Universidad de Navarra

The financial aid that the faithful provide to the Church in its financial needs, topic of a doctoral thesis

Its author is Mexican priest Jaime Vázquez Sánchez.

Image description
Jaime Vázquez Sánchez during the defense of his doctoral dissertation thesis . PHOTO: Courtesy
20/06/14 14:14

The Mexican priest Jaime Vázquez Sánchez defended today his doctoral dissertation thesis on c. 222 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law at the School of Canon Law of the University of Navarra. This rule prescribes the financial aid that the faithful lend to the Church to support its needs.

The reflection proposes a suggestive and new understanding of the duty to support the Church. The support of the Church has not been treated extensively and systematically by canonical doctrine. Therefore, thesis is a starting point for a detailed study of the question.

One of the causes of the reductionism to which the duty to help the Church in her needs has been subjected is its isolation in the patrimonial sphere. Precisely to remedy this shortcoming, thesis proposes several ways of opening up the meaning of rule. In the first place, from the point of view of the subjects, it underlines that it is a proven fact that clerics and members of institutes of consecrated life also collaborate actively in sustaining the work of the Church. They do so, of course, with their life and with their submission , but the same Code encourages them to do so also with their offerings. Likewise, a profound understanding of the universality of the Church facilitates the finding of its multiple dimensions that make possible a multitude of different forms of partnership .

From the point of view of the object, the scope that is formulated goes beyond economic benefits and also includes personal benefits (time and talent), and even spiritual and other types of benefits.

The needs that the Church must satisfy include the material means to carry out her mission statement and, fundamentally, deeper and structural needs that are spiritual. For this reason, the ends that the Church lists in can. 222 § 1 cannot be reduced to their material dimension. The whole life of the faithful can constitute spiritual worship to the point of becoming living stones (cf. 1 Pet 2:5). On the other hand, their whole existence is part of their witness to the love of God and therefore mission statement evangelizing (cfr. Evangelii Gaudium, 273). Charity can and must permeate all their actions, bringing the revolution of tenderness into the concrete existence of others (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 270). Finally, supporting the ministers also implies praying for them and accompanying them spiritually and affectively, even taking care of their rest and health.

However, the greatest contribution of the doctoral thesis is possibly the finding of the foundation of the generosity of the faithful to support the Church in her needs. Through a Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the United States in 1992, the work places in gratitude the true core of the co-responsibility of the faithful in the mission statement of the Church. Gratitude to God lightens the burden of obligation. The faithful, seeking to imitate divine generosity, feel invited to go out of themselves and become a gift to the Church. Therefore, when the faithful carry out the right-duty of helping the Church, they not only respond generously to the divine call to continue Christ's redemptive mission statement but at the same time they are grateful for his blessings.

The full understanding of the right and duty to help the Church in her needs entails a Education in the logic of the gift. The faithful who are aware of their baptismal commitment feel part of the Church and make her needs their own. On this point the words of Pope Francis are especially clear: "I have no riches, my wealth is only the gift I have received from God. This gratuity is our wealth" (Homily at Santa Marta, June 11, 2013). St. JosemaríaFounder of the University of Navarre, also referred to this in a homily in 1956: "But our Lord knows that giving is proper to those in love, and he himself shows us what he wants from us. He does not care about riches, fruits or animals of the earth, the sea or the air, because all that is his; he wants something intimate, which we must give him freely: give me, my son, your heart. You see? He is not satisfied with sharing: he wants everything. He is not looking for our things, I repeat: he wants us ourselves. From there, and only from there, come all the other gifts that we can offer to the Lord" (Christ Is Passing By, 35).

Jaime Vázquez Sánchez is a priest of the Archdiocese of Puebla. Archdiocese of Puebla (Mexico) to which he returned on June 28 after five years of intense work training at the University of Navarra.