On March 9, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Francis immediately after Easter. Dated March 20, it was forwarded to me from the nunciature in Berlin.
In the pope's reply, the following points are significant for me:
- The fact that Francis answered at all and did not let my appeal fall on deaf ears, so to speak;
- The fact that he replied himself and not via his private secretary or the secretary of state;
- That he emphasizes the fraternal manner of his Spanish reply by addressing me as Lieber Mitbruder("Dear Brother") in German and puts this personal address in italics;
- That he clearly read the appeal, to which I had attached a Spanish translation, most attentively;
- That he is highly appreciative of the considerations that had led me to write Volume 5 of my complete works, in which I suggest theologically discussing the different issues that the infallibility dogma raises in the light of holy Scripture and tradition with the aim of deepening the constructive dialogue between the "semper reformanda" 21st-century church and the other Christian churches and postmodern society.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Tuesday that the clergy should serve lay people and not make use of them and spoke out against clericalism, calling it one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America. His comments came in a wide-ranging letter reflecting on the role of the laity that was addressed to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Pope’s letter was a follow-up to the commission’s recent Plenary Assembly whose theme was “the indispensable role of the lay faithful in the public life of Latin American countries.” In his letter, Pope Francis explained that he wished to follow-up the discussions and reflections that emerged during the Plenary Assembly in order to prevent them "from not bearing fruit."
He urged the clergy to look closely at the people and lives of the lay faithful and avoid falling into the trap of adopting certain slogans on their behalf that seem well-meaning but in practice don't succeed in supporting the lives of our communities. Pointing to the example of a famous phrase “it’s time for the laity,” he noted that in this particular case, that clock has ground to a halt.
From the National Catholic Reporter
A group of prominent global Catholic theologians, priests and bishops who have been criticized by the Vatican's chief doctrinal office have come together to call for a new process for theological investigations in the church that would be marked by openness and transparency instead of deep secrecy.
In a letter sent to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last month, the theologians argue that current procedures for investigations -- characterized often by a lack of adequate defense or possibility of appeal -- are "contrary to natural justice and in need of reform."
April’s OMG! has Springtime renewal bursting throughout! Hans Küng writes an Open Letter to Pope Francis on Infallibility. Tom Doyle takes readers to the investigation that gave birth to the Oscar-wining movie “Spotlight.” Two new contributors share historical perspectives on Plato’s influence on Catholicism and more meaningful liturgies. Read more now at www.omgjournal.org.