CV NEWS FEED // Pope Francis made the case for the importance of the Synod on Synodality in a wide-reaching interview with the Argentinian news agency TELAM this week, saying that the teachings of the Church need to change while maintaining consistency with the existing magisterium.
“Since the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII had a very clear perception: the Church has to change. Paul VI agreed, just like the succeeding Popes. It’s not just changing ways, it’s about a change of growth, in favor of the dignity of people. That’s theological progression, of moral theology and all the ecclesiastical sciences, even in the interpretation of Scriptures that have progressed according to the feelings of the Church,” the Pope said.
“Rupture is not good,” he continued. “We either progress through development or things don’t turn out right. Rupture leaves you out of the sap of development. I like the image of a tree and its roots. The roots receive the humidity of the soil and take it upward, through the trunk.”
“When you separate yourself from that, you end up dry, without traditions: tradition in the good sense of the word. We all have traditions, a family, we were all born within the culture of a country, a political culture. We all have a tradition for which to take responsibility.”
The pope highlighted that progress “is necessary and the Church has to incorporate these novelties with a serious conversation from a human point of view. The Greek thinker Publius Terentius Afer says ‘Nothing human is alien to me.’”
“The Church holds what’s human in its hand. God became a man, not a philosophical theory. Humanity is something consecrated by God. That is, everything human must be assumed and progress must be human, in harmony with humanity.”
Pope Francis told the interviewer that “in the 1960s, Dutch people came up with the word ‘rapidity’, which means much more than acceleration. Well, in the context of the rapidity of scientific knowledge, the Church has to pay close attention and have its thinkers be ready to dialogue. And I emphasize this: we must dialogue with scientific knowledge. The Church must dialogue with everybody, but being aware of its identity. Not from a borrowed identity.”
“The Church, through dialogue,” he explained, “has changed in many ways. Even regarding cultural matters. A theologian from the 4th Century said that changes in the Church must comply with three conditions to be real: consolidating, growing and ennobling themselves along the years. It is a very inspiring definition by Vincent of Lérins. The Church has to change. Let’s think of the ways it has changed since the Council until now and the way it must continue changing its ways, in the way to propose an unchanging truth.”
“That is, the revelation of Jesus Christ does not change, the dogmas of the Church do not change, they grow and ennoble themselves like the sap of a tree. The person who does not follow this path, follows a path that takes steps backward, a path that closes on itself. Changes in the Church take place within this identity flow of the Church. And it has to keep changing along the way, as challenges are met. That is why the core of change is fundamentally pastoral, without recanting the essence of the Church.”