Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2020-03-13-Opinión-TEO-Revolución de la ternura

Tomás Trigo, Professor of Moral Theology

Pope Francis and the revolution of tenderness

Fri, 13 Mar 2020 16:53:00 +0000 Published in Europa Press

Today is the seventh anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. An opportunity to take stock of his papacy. But so much has happened during these years that a necessarily brief assessment can be a difficult and useless task.

I prefer to limit myself to point out one element of his teachings that seems to me of enormous importance for Humanity, and that I consider, in a certain way, the core topic to understand the magisterium of this great pope.

I am referring to the revolution that Francis intended not to set in motion, because God himself set it in motion, but to promote throughout the world: the revolution of tenderness. A revolution that is born of the tender and merciful heart of Jesus and that must set on fire the hearts of every person and of society as a whole.

"The Son of God, in his incarnation, invited us to the revolution of tenderness," says the Pope in Evangelii Gaudium 88. This is the great revolution that the world needs to become more human, more just and happier: an imperfect world, no doubt, but one that is joyful because of fraternal love and the hope of salvation.

In words reported by the Italian weekly "Credere" on December 4, 2015, the pope says: "I felt that Jesus wants to open the door of His heart, that the Father wants to show His bowels of mercy, and that for this reason He sends us the Spirit: to move us and move us."

In these words - we could choose many others - the core topic of his pontificate is summed up: it is not the pope who has had a very interesting idea, but it is God who wants to show his heart of mercy; the pope does nothing more than push forward this divine desire. And he has done it and does it in a thousand ways. First by his example, then by his writings, his preaching and his sometimes surprising gestures.

If I had to say what Pope Francis has helped us the most with his teachings, exhortations, homilies and encyclicals, I would say this: he has made us see that God is a loving, tender, very close, merciful Father, eager for the happiness of his children.

The Pope has taught us to live tenderness and mercy with all our brothers and sisters, especially with those who suffer; to welcome and not condemn, to put ourselves in the other's shoes, to look with God's tender gaze.

But all this is nothing other than the Gospel, we might think. Yes, indeed, we only have to read the parable of the prodigal son and remember how that father forgives his son: he runs to his meeting, embraces him and covers him with kisses.

Pope Francis points us to this God the Father revealed by Jesus Christ. And he reminds us that to be moved by the love of that Father we need the Holy Spirit, who remains the Great Unknown.

Throughout these years of his pontificate, I have also noticed a phenomenon that saddens me: there are people who insist on seeing the pope (and judging him) on the basis of prejudices that obscure the view and distort reality. Some only see in him a progressive pope; others, a conservative pope.

I believe that we will take a great step forward if, leaving prejudices aside, we strive to understand the message that Jesus Christ is trying to convey to us through his Vicar on earth: we must open our hearts to the tenderness of God.