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Back to 2019-09-20-Opinión-TEO-Adelante con valentía

Ramiro Pellitero Iglesias, Professor of Theology, University of Navarra, Spain School

Going forward with courage, leaning on God

Fri, 20 Sep 2019 09:38:00 +0000 Published in Magazine "Palabra".

The Letter to the People of God on pilgrimage in Germany (29-VI-2019) is a testimony to the attitudes that Pope Francis wishes promote in the current circumstances of uncertainty that German Catholics are going through.

In the letter, which serves all Catholics, especially those in Europe, the Pope wishes to "encourage the search to respond with parresia to the present status ", and underlines some presuppositions for ecclesial discernment. A first group of elements have to do with what we could consider prudential or ethical discernment, integrated in the Christian experience: realism and patience; analysis and courage to walk together, looking at reality and with the energies of the theological virtues. Here there is a reference letter to a new Pelagianism that entrusts everything to "administrativeStructures and perfect organizations"(Evangelii Gaudium, 32), and to the new Gnosticism of those who "wishing to make a name for themselves and to spread their doctrine and fame, seek to say something ever new and different from what the Word of God has given them". As on previous occasions, the Pope proposes "managing the balance" with hope and not being "afraid of imbalance" (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 97).

To improve our evangelizing mission statement we have discernment, which today must also be carried out through synodality. It is a matter of "living and feeling with the Church and in the Church, which, in many situations, will also lead us to suffer in the Church and with the Church", both at the universal and particular levels. To this end, real paths must be sought, so that all voices, even those of the simplest and humblest, have space and visibility. Francis also points out other conditions of discernment that are specifically ecclesial, because this discernment is carried out in the framework of the life of the Church as a correspondence to the grace of God.

It is necessary to "always keep alive and effective communion with the whole body of the Church", without closing ourselves up in our particularities or allowing ourselves to be enslaved by ideologies. This requires a connection with the living Tradition of the Church. This framework is ensured by the reference letter to holiness that we all have to foster and the motherhood of Mary; by the fraternity within the Church and trust in the guide of the Holy Spirit; by the need to prioritize a broad vision of the whole, but without losing attention for the small and close.

In order to make possible the correspondence staff to the grace, especially of pastors, all this requires a "state of vigil and conversion": gifts of God to be implored by means of prayer (which includes adoration), fasting and penance. In this way we can aspire to have the same sentiments as Christ (cf. Phil 2:7), that is, his humility, poverty and courage.