VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis asked academics in every discipline of theology — including moral theology, spirituality and canon law — to focus on how their area of study “can reflect the centrality of mercy” in the Gospel.
“Without mercy our theology, our law, our pastoral work runs the risk of crumbling into bureaucratic pettiness or into an ideology that, by its nature, tries to domesticate mystery,” the pope said in a letter released March 9. “To understand theology is to understand God, who is love.”
Pope Francis made his request in a letter to his successor, Cardinal Mario Poli of Buenos Aires, grand chancellor of the Catholic University of Argentina. The university’s theology school is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The university’s theology students, the pope said, should not be trained as “museum theologians who accumulate data and information about revelation without really knowing what do to with it,” nor should they be cold observers of human and church history.
“Good theologians, like good pastors, should have the smell of the people and the street,” the pope said, and the work in the various fields of theology should give them the balm needed to heal the wounds of the people with whom they will come into contact.
They should not be “bureaucrats of the sacred,” he said, but men and women who know, love and understand the church and its teaching, but also know, love and understand the modern world and are capable of helping people make sense of both.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103