Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rosario del Migrante

I found this Rosary online here but chose to substitute in the Mysteries from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services' "Scriptural Rosary." It strikes me as something we could commit to praying in the face of the Trump administration's recent actions against our immigrant brothers and sisters. I will try to create an English version later, bearing in mind that English speaking Catholics don't do such an elaborate version of the Holy Rosary.-- Rebel Girl

La Iglesia ha contemplado siempre en los emigrantes y refugiados la imagen de Cristo que dijo: "era forastero, y me cogisteis" (Evangelio de San Mateo 25,35). Para ella sus tribulaciones son interpelación a la fe y al amor de los creyentes, llamados, de este modo, a sanar los males que surgen de las migraciones. Por eso ha dado gran importancia -- a través de los siglos -- al cuidado espiritual de los migrantes...

*Por la señal de la Santa Cruz, de nuestros enemigos líbranos Señor, Dios nuestro, en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amén.

SÍMBOLO DE LOS APÓSTOLES
Creo en Dios, Padre todopoderoso, Creador del cielo y de la tierra. Creo en Jesucristo, su único Hijo, nuestro Señor, que fue concebido por obra y gracia del Espíritu Santo, nació de Santa María Virgen, padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato, fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado, descendió a los infiernos, al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos, subió a los cielos y está sentado a la derecha de Dios, Padre todopoderoso. Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar a vivos y muertos. Creo en el Espíritu Santo, la santa Iglesia católica, la comunión de los santos, el perdón de los pecados, la resurrección de la carne y la vida eterna. Amén.

ACTO DE CONTRICION
Dios mío, me arrepiento de todo corazón de haberte ofendido porque eres infinitamente bueno, padeciste y moriste por mí clavando en la cruz; te amo con todo mi corazón y propongo no volver a ofenderte más. Amén.

PADRENUESTRO
Padre nuestro, que estás en el cielo, santificado sea tu Nombre; venga a nosotros tu reino; hágase tu voluntad, en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día; perdona nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden; no nos dejes caer en la tentación y líbranos del mal. Amén.

AVEMARÍA
Dios te salve, María; llena eres de gracia; el Señor es contigo; bendita Tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

GLORIA
Gloria al Padre, y al Hijo, y al Espíritu Santo. Como era en el principio, ahora y siempre, y por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.

PRIMER MISTERIO: Señor Jesús, ayúdanos a confiar en tí, como María, para ser la morada donde Tú habites y llevarte a donde sea que caminemos. Se reza un Padrenuestro, diez Avemarías y una Gloria.

SEGUNDO MISTERIO: Señor Jesús, ayúdanos a encontrar un trabajo digno para poder servir a los demás, según el ejemplo de María. Se reza un Padrenuestro, diez Avemarías y una Gloria.

TERCER MISTERIO: Señor Jesús, ayúdanos a encontrar un sitio dónde hospedarnos y danos un corazón generoso para recibir con amor a nuestros hermanos migrantes. Se reza un Padrenuestro, diez Avemarías y una Gloria.

CUARTO MISTERIO: Señor Jesús, danos la fuerza y la valentía necesarias, para que, dondequiera que estemos, sepamos defender los sagrados valores de nuestra familia. Se reza un Padrenuestro, diez Avemarías y una Gloria.

QUINTO MISTERIO: Señor Jesús, danos la fuerza para seguir peregrinando, amando y sirviendo en esta vida, a ejemplo de María, para que podamos merecer, como ella, llegar a la patria definitiva que tú nos has prometido. Se reza un Padrenuestro, diez Avemarías y una Gloria.

ORACIONES FINALES

– Oh soberano Santuario, Sagrario del Verbo eterno.
Libra, Virgen, del infierno a los que rezamos tu Rosario.

– Emperatríz poderosa, del mortal eres consuelo.
Líbranos, Virgen del cielo, con una muerte dichosa.

– Y danos pureza de alma.
Pues eres tan poderosa.

Dios te salve, María santísima, Hija de Dios Padre, Virgen purísima antes del parto, en tus manos encomendamos nuestra fe para que la ilumines, llena eres de gracia, el Señor está contigo, bendita tú entre las mujeres y bendito el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. Santa María...

Dios te salve, María santísima, Madre de Dios Hijo, Virgen purísima en el parto, en tus manos encomendamos nuestra esperanza para que la alientes, llena eres de gracia... Santa María...

Dios te salve, María santísima, Esposa de Dios Espíritu Santo, Virgen purísima después del parto, en tus manos encomendamos nuestra caridad para que la inflames, llena eres de gracia... Santa María...

Dios te salve, María santísima, templo y sanctuario de la Santísima Trinidad. Virgen concebida sin pecado original.

SALVE REGINA

Dios te salve, Reina y Madre de misericordia. Vida, dulzura y esperanza nuestra, Dios te salve. A tí clamamos los desterrados hijos de Eva. A tí suspiramos gimiendo y llorando en este valle de lágrimas. Ea, pues, Señora, abogada nuestra. Vuelve a nosotros esos tus ojos misericordiosos. Y después de este destierro muéstranos a Jesús, fruto bendito de tu vientre. Oh clementísima, oh piadosísima Virgen María.

Ruega por nosotros, santa Madre de Dios, para que seamos dignos de alcanzar la promesas de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Amén.

*De tus divinos ojos, oh María, penden nuestras felicidades. Míranos, Señora, y no nos desampares.

LETANIAS

Señor, ten piedad de nosotros.
Cristo, ten piedad de nosotros.
Señor, ten piedad de nosotros.
Cristo, óyenos,
Cristo, escúchanos.
Dios Padre celestial que eres Dios.
Dios Hijo, Redentor del mundo.
Dios Espíritu Santo.
Trinidad Santa que eres un solo Dios,
Santa María.
Santa Madre de Dios.
Señora que acogiste al Espíritu Santo.
Señora de todos los caminos.
Señora de todas las razas.
Señora de todos los idiomas,
Consuelo de todas las familias.
Esperanza de todos los países.
Reina de los continentes.
Virgen servidora y fiel.
Virgen humilde y pobre como nosotros.
Santuario del que es la Vida.
Refugio en la salida y en el regreso.
Señora de los migrantes.
Madre de los caminantes y peregrinos.
Madre de los discriminados.
Madre de los perseguidos.
Madre de los refugiados y deportados.
Madre de los extranjeros.
Madre de los indígenas.
Madre de los indocumentados.
Madre de los niños abandonados.
Madre de los esclavizados.
Madre de los encadenados a los vicios.
Madre de los que no tienen casa.
Madre de los enfermos y dolientes.
Madre de los que viven en soledad.
Madre de los que viven sin esperanza.
Madre de los discapacitados.
Reina de los que trabajan por la paz.
Reina de los que luchan por la justicia.
Reina de los que ayudan a su prójimo.
Reina de los misericordiosos.
Reina de los que defienden la vida.
Reina de los que ayudan a los migrantes.
Reina de los fieles en su matrimonio.
Reina de todos los santos.
Reina del cielo y de la tierra.
Estrella de la Nueva Evangelización.
Aurora de un Mundo Nuevo.
Madre de la unidad en la Iglesia.
Cordero de Dios que quitas el pecado del mundo. Oyenos, Señor.
Cordero de Dios que quitas el pecado del mundo. Escúchanos, Señor.
Cordero de Dios que quitas el pecado del mundo. Ten piedad y misericordia de nosotros.

*Bajo tu amparo nos refugiamos, Santa Madre de Dios; no desprecies las súplicas que te hacemos en nuestras necesidades, antes bien, líbranos de todos los peligros, oh Virgen gloriosa y bendita.

Ruega por nosotros, Santa Madre de Dios, para que seamos dignos de alcanzar las divinas gracias y promesas de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Amén.

*Dulce Madre, no te alejes, tu vista de mí no apartes. Ven conmigo a todas partes y solo nunca me dejes. Ya que me protejes tanto como verdadera Madre, haz que me bendiga el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo. AMEN.

LOS MISTERIOS GOZOSOS (Lunes y Sábado)

La Anunciación — Lucas 1:29-32
"No temas", dijo el Ángel Gabriel a María. Cuando nos enfrentamos a un cambio en nuestras vidas, es difícil no temer. Para el inmigrante y refugiado, el cambio puede exigir dejar atrás familia, amigos y hogar. Cuando hacemos espacio en nuestras vidas para acoger a recién llegados, nosotros cambiamos también. Oramos por la gracia del amor, que desecha todo temor.

La Visitación — Lucas 1:39-45
Durante su embarazo, María fue una mujer que tuvo que viajar, yendo a visitar a su prima Isabel en una ciudad entre los cerros. Hoy, millones de mujeres —a menudo embarazadas o con hijos pequeños— se ven obligadas a huir de su tierra natal. Oramos por la gracia de la hospitalidad, para acogerlas en nuestro país y nuestros hogares como Isabel acogió a María.

El Nacimiento — Lucas 2:1-7; Mateo 2:13-15
Jesús nació como migrante. Belén no tenía espacio, ni acogía a los forasteros, así que Jesús nació en un establo. La ira del rey Herodes convirtió a Jesús y su familia en refugiados. Hoy, migrantes y refugiados se ven todavía obligados a dejar sus hogares debido a la pobreza, la guerra, el desastre o la opresión. Oramos por la gracia de la caridad, para ofrecerles confortamiento y consuelo.

La Presentación — Lucas 2:22-38
Simeón y Ana crearon una comunidad de acogida cuando la Sagrada Familia llegó al templo. Fueron recompensados con el reconocimiento de que habían visto al Santo de Dios. Nos vemos desafiados a crear comunidades acogedoras en nuestras propias iglesias. Oramos por la gracia de reconocer a Jesús presente en cada inmigrante y refugiado.

El Hallazgo en el Templo — Lucas 2:41-50
Cuánta desesperación deben de haberse sentido María y José al descubrir que el niño Jesús se había perdido, y cuánto alivio al recuperarlo. Muchos miles de refugiados son hoy "menores sin compañía", niños perdidos sin padres que los busquen y reclamen. Oramos por la gracia de encontrar hogares y familias amorosas con ellos, como seríamos con Jesús mismo.

LOS MISTERIOS LUMINOSOS (Jueves)

El Bautismo en el Jordán — Marcos 1:9-11
Cuando Juan bautizó a Jesús, los cielos se abrieron, el Espíritu descendió, y una voz celestial proclamó: "Este es mi Hijo bienamado". Sin embargo, muchos se negaron todavía a reconocer a Jesús como el ungido de Dios. Hoy, muchos todavía dejan de reconocer las señales de la presencia de nuestro Cristo en nuestras hermanas y hermanos inmigrantes. Oramos por la gracia de abrirnos para acoger a Cristo.

La boda de Caná — Juan 2:1-12
Inicialmente Jesús se resistió a comenzar su ministerio público en Caná, diciendo, "Todavía no llega mi hora". Pero, ante la necesidad, no pudo dejar de responder. También nosotros tenemos muchas razones por las que no tenemos tiempo para dedicarnos a asuntos públicos tales como la inmigración. Sin embargo, ante la necesidad de nuestra hermana y nuestro hermano, ¿cómo podemos negarnos? Pedimos la gracia de actuar en favor de otros cuando Dios nos llame.

La Proclamación del Reino — Mateo 5–7
En el Sermón del Monte, Jesús proclama un Reino que pone de cabeza la sabiduría tradicional del mundo. En el Reino de Dios, son los pobres, los mansos, los que trabajan por la paz y los oprimidos los que son bendecidos, mientras que los ricos y poderosos se marchan entristecidos. Oramos por la gracia de crear este Reino Apacible en nuestro tiempo, acogiendo a los migrantes pobres y oprimidos que acuden a nosotros en busca de un hogar.

La Transfiguración — Lucas 9:29-36
Cuando el deslumbrante brillo del Jesús transfigurado fue revelado a los discípulos, éstos no vieron sólo una prefiguración de la Resurrección, sino también del cambio que ellos mismos experimentarían cuando recibieran la plenitud del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés. Oramos por la gracia de la transformación —de nosotros mismos y de nuestra nación— en el acogedor Cuerpo de Cristo.

La Institución de la Eucaristía — Lucas 24:19-27
Incluso cuando Jesús dio su propio cuerpo y sangre a los Apóstoles, éstos persistieron en discutir sobre quién era el más grande. La última instrucción que Jesús les dio fue que el más grande es el que sirve a los más humildes. Pedimos la gracia de servir a los que llegan entre nosotros como "forasteros", mal recibidos y desdeñados.

LOS MISTERIOS DOLOROSOS (Martes y Viernes)

La Agonía en el Huerto — Marcos 14:34-42
Parte del sufrimiento de Cristo fue que lo soportó solo. Los Apóstoles dormían mientras sus perseguidores se aproximaban. ¿También nosotros estamos dormidos? ¿Reconocemos la injusticia de la actual política inmigratoria? ¿Nos manifestamos en favor de los que buscan asilo? Oramos por la gracia de la solidaridad con aquellos a quienes se niega acogida en nuestro país.

El Azote en el Pilar — Juan 19:1
Pilato empleó la tortura para tratar de arrancar a Jesús una confesión. Hoy, personas que buscan asilo y víctimas de la tortura que huyen a Estados Unidos son muchas veces deportadas o encarceladas por no poseer los documentos adecuados. Oramos por el perdón por nuestro silencio y por el valor de manifestarnos a favor de estas personas.

La Coronación de Espinas — Mateo 27:27-30
Los captores de Jesús no se quedaron contentos con la tortura; lo humillaron, le pusieron una corona de espinas y se burlaron de él. El racismo, el prejuicio, los crueles estereotipos y el abuso verbal son las espinas que se clavan en muchos nuevos migrantes mientras buscan trabajo, vivienda y educación para sus hijos. Oramos por la compasión y por la gracia de curar las heridas que nos dividen.

El Acarreo de la Cruz — Lucas 23:26
La carga de la Cruz era tan grande que, sin la ayuda de Simón de Cirene, Jesús habría quedado aplastado bajo su peso. Muchas veces los refugiados soportan la culpa aplastante de haber sobrevivido mientras que sus hijos, padres y cónyuges murieron horriblemente. ¿Quién puede sobrellevar esto solo? Oramos por la gracia de estar con ellos en sus sufrimientos y ayudarlos a llevar su carga.

La Crucifixión — Marcos 15:37
Y dando un fuerte grito, expiró. Los "extranjeros ilegales" ¿gritan cuando mueren de deshidratación en el desierto del oeste, o ahogados en los Estrechos de Florida, o asfixiados en un contenedor de carga? Oramos por la gracia de entender que ningún ser humano es ilegal, y que toda vida es sagrada.

LOS MISTERIOS GLORIOSOS (Miércoles y Domingo)

La Resurrección — Juan 20:18
"¡He visto al Señor!" Con estas palabras María Magdalena respondió al llamado a evangelizar, a compartir con los demás el Evangelio de la nueva vida. También nosotros estamos llamados a compartir la Buena Nueva de que Jesús está vivo y entre nosotros el día de hoy. Sin embargo, como María, tal vez al principio no lo reconozcamos. Oramos por la gracia de reconocer y proclamar el Cuerpo de Cristo, vivo en cada persona que conozcamos.

La Ascensión — Hechos 1:11
"¿Qué hacen allí parados, mirando al cielo?", preguntaron los ángeles después que Jesús fue elevado. ¿Por qué en verdad nos quedamos esperando que Jesús cree milagrosamente un Reino acogedor? Somos nosotros los que debemos buscar la gracia de cambiar nuestros corazones y nuestra sociedad. Somos nosotros los que debemos crear la comunidad acogedora aquí en la tierra. Oramos por la gracia de la conversión.

La Venida del Espíritu Santo — Hechos 2:5-11
En Pentecostés, gente de todas las naciones se congregaba en Jerusalén; sin embargo, cada uno escuchaba, en su lengua materna, a los Apóstoles proclamar el Espíritu. Hoy experimentamos la misma diversidad de lenguas y culturas en nuestra tierra. Oramos por la gracia de la verdadera comunión: la apreciación de la riqueza y la belleza que cada tradición trae a la mesa de Dios.

La Asunción — Lucas 1:46-55
María glorificó al Señor, y su espíritu se regocijó en Dios su salvador, y Dios la elevó al cielo y la exaltó. En la Asunción de María, los humildes son elevados, los hambrientos alimentados, y se concede la misericordia a los hijos de Dios. Oramos por la gracia de seguir el ejemplo de María velando afectuosamente por el forastero entre nosotros.

La Coronación de María — Apocalipsis 12:1-6
Es una radiante María, vestida con el sol y coronada de estrellas, que reina como la Reina del Cielo y combate al dragón que quiere destruir a su hijo. Como hijos suyos, estamos llamados a combatir a los dragones del temor, el prejuicio, la intolerancia y la exclusión que nos separan de nuestras hermanas y hermanos. Oramos por la gracia de tener un corazón valiente y amoroso.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Primer Encuentro Iberoamericano de Teologia -- February 6-10, 2017

Boston College will host what is being billed as the First Ibero-American Theology Encounter on the theme "Present and Future of an Inculturated Ibero-American Theology in Times of Globalization, Interculturality and Exclusion." The meeting, which is mostly closed to the general public, will be held February 6-10, 2017, and participants include:

  • Omar César Albado (Argentina)
  • Virginia Azcuy (Argentina)
  • Luis Aranguren Gonzalo (Spain)
  • Agenor Brighenti (Brazil)
  • Harvey Cox (USA)
  • José Carlos Caamaño (Argentina)
  • Víctor Codina SJ (Bolivia)
  • Emilce Cuda (Argentina)
  • Allan Figueroa-Deck SJ (USA)
  • Mario Ángel Flores (Mexico)
  • Carlos María Galli (Argentina)
  • José Ignacio González Faus SJ (Spain)
  • Roberto Goizueta (USA)
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez OP (Peru)
  • Michael Lee (USA)
  • Rafael Luciani (Venezuela)
  • María Clara Lucchetti (Brazil)
  • Carmen Márquez Beunsa (Spain)
  • Cesare Del Mastro (Peru)
  • Carlos Mendoza OP (Mexico)
  • Patricio Merino (Chile)
  • Humberto Ortiz (Peru)
  • Hosffman Ospino (USA)
  • Félix Palazzi (Venezuela)
  • Nancy Pineda-Madrid (USA)
  • Luis Guillermo Sarasa SJ (Colombia)
  • Juan Carlos Scannone SJ (Argentina)
  • Carlos Schickendantz (Argentina)
  • María del Pilar Silveira (Uruguay)
  • Ahída Pilarski (Peru)
  • Gilles Routhier (Canada)
  • Jon Sobrino SJ (El Salvador)
  • Roberto Tomichá OFM Conv (Bolivia)
  • Pedro Trigo SJ (Venezuela)
  • Gabino Uríbarri SJ (Spain)
  • Ernesto Valiente (El Salvador)
  • Gonzalo Zarazaga SJ (Argentina)
  • Olga Consuelo Velez (Colombia)
  • Raúl Zegarra (Peru)
Also invited are Venezuelan Cardinal Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo (Mérida)and Bishop Raúl Biord Castillo (La Guaira)

PUBLIC SESSION

The conference, which is being jointly organized by theologians Rafael Luciani (Venezuela, currently teaching at BC), Juan Carlos Scannone SJ (Argentina), Carlos Galli (Argentina) and Félix Palazzi (Venezuela), will include one free public session on Wednesday, February 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in Boston College's Robsham Theater. That session, titled "Towards an Ibero-American Theology", will feature the well-known liberation theologians Gustavo Gutierrez and Jon Sobrino, and "teología del pueblo" scholar Juan Carlos Scannone. "Teología del pueblo" ["Theology of the People"] is the Argentinian theology current associated with Pope Francis. The session will be moderated by Thomas Groome, a professor of theology and religious education at BC. Professors Rafael Luciani and Thomas Stegman will also offer some remarks.

PRIVATE PROGRAM

The rest of the program is private but it has been posted online in Spanish. Here are some of the presentations planned:

  • "The challenge of the poor in a globalized world 50 years after the Council" by Gustavo Gutierrez
  • "Living and dying, especially in Latin America" by Jon Sobrino
  • "Inequality and exclusion in Latin America: problem and proposals" by Humberto Ortiz, an economist
  • "Geographic and existential peripheries: Challenges for theology" by Consuelo Vélez
  • "Talking about God in times of globalization" by Luis Guillermo Sarasa
  • "Towards a theological collaboration with Pope Francis' ministry" by Juan Carlos Scannone
  • "Theology and politics in Latin America today" by Emilce Cuda
  • "Church reform in the current pontificate in the light of Vatican II" by Carlos Schickendantz
  • "The new relationship between geopolitics and ministry" by Rafael Luciani
  • "The challenge of interculturality for ministry and theology" by Agenor Brighenti
  • "Interculturality and the challenge of the migratory phenomenon in Europe" by Carmen Márquez Beunsa
  • "Interculturality and mission in Latin America" by Roberto Tomichá
  • "Theology and the New Evangelization" by Mons. Raúl Biord Castillo
  • "Present situation and challenges of Latino theology in the current global context in Pope Francis' time" by Roberto Goizueta
  • "Feminist perspective of Latin American theology" by Nancy Pineda-Madrid
  • "Toward a political theology from the Latino perspective" by Michael E. Lee
  • "The challenge of practical ecclesiology in an intercultural context" by Hosffman Ospino
Participants will also be having special sessions with students and faculty at Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry, and Mass with representatives of Hispanic social and religious movements in Boston.

Concluding this "sneak preview," we would like to say that we hope that, given the restricted nature of this gathering but the popularity of the participants and subject matter, the organizers will seriously consider making the materials available over the Internet to the rest of us after the conference, whether online videos or PDFs of major papers or both.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Congreso Continental de Teología Feminista: March 1-3, 2017

The Cátedra de Teología Feminista Carmen Montull Vallés is sponsoring the 1st Feminist Theology Continental Congress on March 1-3, 2017, at the Universidad Iboamericana in Mexico City. Registration for the conference is 300 pesos. The conference will be in Spanish.


The theme of this first conference is violence against women. As the conference website states: "Violence towards women's bodies has become more acute in recent times. This fact has repercussions in the dehumanization of people and social injustice in Latin America. Hence the Cátedra de Teología Feminista has proposed making a critical analysis of the genealogy of violence and promoting feminist theology as a political tool based on the values of the gospel." And it states that the objective is "identifying the genealogy of power and mechanisms of violence in the political-religious space to liberate women's bodies."

PROGRAM


March 1
  • 8:30-9:15 Registration
  • 9:15-9:30 Opening Remarks by David Fernández -- Rector of Universidad Iberoamericana, Dr. Luis Macías -- Director of the Department of Religion, and Prof. Mari Carmen Servitje, President of the Cátedra de Teología Feminista
  • 9:30-10:30 1st Lecture: "Critical genealogy of violence towards bodies" by Dr. Norma Morandini. Moderator: Ms. Conchita Flores
  • 10:30-10:45 Coffee break
  • 10:45-11:45 1st Panel: "Suffering Bodies" -- Points of intersection between voices, experiences and pains that seek another explanation of the present and possible futures. Speakers: Julia Monárrez (researcher), Maricel Mena (theologian), Lucía Lagunes (journalist). Moderator: Prof. Gerardo Cortés.
  • 11:45-12:45 Conversation 1: Trivialization of the damage inflicted on women's bodies. Coordinator: Prof. Elvia González. Speakers: Julia Estela Monárrez, Citlalin Ulloa (sociogist). Other participants to be confirmed.
  • 13:00- 15:00 Lunch
  • 15:00-16:00 2nd Lecture: "The beliefs of feminism" by Dr. Marta Lamas. Moderator: Marisa Noriega.
  • 16:00-17:00 2nd Panel: Anthropology and theology of women's bodies. Speakers: Saúl Espino (historian), Marilú Rojas (theologian), Steffan Igor Ayora (anthropologist). Moderator: Prof. María Andrea González.
  • 17:00-17:15 Break
  • 17:15-18:30 Conversation 2: Cultural, political and religious devaluation of the terms "gender" and "feminism." Coordinator: Ms. Martha González. Speakers: Ivone Gebara, Marta Lamas, Helena Varela. Presenter: Dr. Miguel Ángel Sánchez.
March 2
  • 9:15-9:30 Introduction of the Cátedra. Ms. María Laura Manrique.
  • 9:30-10:30 3rd Lecture: "Towards liberation from violence" by Dr. María Pilar Aquino. Moderator: Dr. Carlos Mendoza.
  • 10:30-10:45 Break
  • 10:45-11:45 3rd Panel: Critical genealogy of violence towards women's bodies. Speakers: Gloria Prado (Letters), Teresa Lartigue (psychoanalyst), Ivone Gebara (theologian). Moderator: Prof. Adriana Martínez.
  • 11:45-12:45 Conversation 3: Patriarchy and the economics of exclusion. Coordinator: Dr. Edwin Culp. Speakers: Alberto Athié, Norma "la Patrona", Saskia Niño de Rivera. Presenter: Dr. Karen Cordero.
  • 13:00- 15:00 Lunch
  • 15:00-16:00 4th Lecture: "Prostitution and human trafficking" by Ms. Lydia Cacho. Moderator: Prof. Lucila Servitje.
  • 16:00-17:00 4th Panel: 'Daily life is political' -- liberation as a paradigm of resistance of women in Mexico. Speakers: Lydia Cacho (journalist), Norma Morandini (journalist), Dolores González (SERAPAZ). Moderator: Prof. Gabriela Juárez.
  • 17:00-17:15 Break
  • 17:15-18:15 Conversation 4: Gender - towards non-hegemonic masculinities. Coordinator: Dr. José Legorreta Speakers: Juan Guillermo Figueroa, Ángel Méndez, Cirilo Rivera. Presenter: Ms. Ruth Casas
March 3
  • 9:15-9:30 Presentation of Cátedra's publication. Cátedra Academic Committee.
  • 9:30-10:30 5th Panel: The contribution of feminist theory and theology to critical awareness and political involvement. Speakers: Oliva Espín (psychologist), Ricardo Bucio (political scientist), Ma. Pilar Aquino (theologian). Moderator: Prof. José Guadalupe Sánchez
  • 10:30-11:00 Break
  • 11:00-12:00 5th Lecture: "The body as a political-religious space" by Dr. Ivone Gebara. Moderator: Prof. Mari Carmen Servitje.
  • 12:00- 12:30 Tribute to Dr. Ivone Gebara.
  • 12:30-13:30 Performance.
  • 13:30-14:30 Closing reception.
MORE INFORMATION

Phone: 59504000 ext. 4825
E-mail: cteologiafeminista@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Leonardo Boff: "Francis is one of us."

By Joachim Frank
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (in German)
December 25, 2016
(Spanish translation by J. Benito Fernández Álvarez / English translation by Rebel Girl)

The Brazilian Leonardo Boff, born in 1938, is the son of Italian immigrants. In 1959, he entered the Franciscan order and studied for five years in Germany. In the 1980s, Boff became the main representative of liberation theology and was in conflict with the Vatican and its supreme guardian of the faith Joseph Ratzinger because of criticizing the official church. After they imposed a prohibition from publishing on him twice, Boff left his order in 1992 and resigned from the priesthood.

Mr. Boff, do you like Christmas carols?

What do you think? (he sings) "Sti-hil-le Nacht, heilige Nacht..." It's sung in every family that celebrates Christmas. Here in Brazil, it's also the tradition like in Germany.

Doesn't this kind of Christmas seem antiquated and commercialized to you?

It's different from one country to the other. Of course, Christmas has become big business. But in light of the above, joy, family fellowship, and for many too the moment of faith, are still alive. And as I've spent Christmas in Germany, it's a very expressive, a marvelous celebration of the heart.

How does faith in a "God of peace" that Christmas speaks of, function in the midst of the discord we are experiencing on all sides?

Most of faith is promise. Ernst Bloch says: "The real Genesis is not at the beginning but at the end, and it begins to start when society and existence are radical." The joy of Christmas is that promise: The earth and people are not condemned forever to continue as we see them now -- with all the wars, the violence, the fundamentalism. We have been promised in faith that at the end all will be good, that despite all the errors, the wrong turns and setbacks, we are going towards a good end. The true meaning of Christmas isn't that "God became man," but that He has come to tell us that "you human beings belong to Me and when death comes, you will come home."

Does Christmas mean that God is coming to pick us up?

Yes. The Incarnation means that something in us now is divine, immortal. The Divine is within us. In Jesus, it showed with greater clarity. But it's in all men. In an evolutionary perspective, Jesus doesn't come from out of this world but he grows from it. Jesus is the manifestation of the divine in evolution, but not the only one. The divine also appears in Buddha, in Mahatma Gandhi and other great religious figures.

That doesn't sound very Catholic.

Don't say that. All Franciscan theology of the Middle Ages viewed Christ as part of creation, not just as the redeemer from guilt and sin who comes from out of the world. Incarnation is redemption, yes. But, first of all, it's a celebration, a deification of creation. And something else that's important in Christmas. God appears in the form of a child. Not as an old man with white hair and a long white beard...

So, not like you?...

Not at all. I look more like Karl Marx. As far as I'm concerned, when we end our lives and have to answer to the divine judge, then we will be facing a child. A child who doesn't condemn anyone. A child who wants to play and be with others. We must re-emphasize this aspect of faith.

Liberation theology in Latin America, of which you are one of the prominent representatives, has come back into favor with Pope Francis. A rehabilitation also for you personally after decades of fighting with Pope John Paul II and his supreme guardian of the faith, Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI?

Francis is one of us. He made liberation theology a common good of the Church. And he has expanded it. Those who talk about the poor now have to talk about the earth, because it is also being plundered and profaned. "Hearing the cry of the poor", which means hearing the cry of the animals, the forests, of the collective suffering of creation. The whole earth weeps. Thus says the Pope, referring to the title of one of my books, we must also hear the cry of the poor and the earth today. And both have to be liberated. I myself have worked previously with this expansion of liberation theology. And that is what's fundamentally new in "Laudato Si'" ...

...The Pope's 2015 "eco-encyclical". How much Leonardo Boff is there in Jorge Mario Bergoglio?

The encyclical belongs to the Pope. But many experts were consulted.

Has he read your books?

And more. I was asked for material for "Laudato Si'". I gave him my advice and sent him some of what I had written. And he has used it. Some people have told me that they thought as they read it, "That's Boff!" Incidentally, Francis told me, "Boff, please do not send the documents directly to me."

And why not?

He said, "Otherwise, the Sottosegretari (the Vatican administration staff) will take them, and I won't get them. Rather send things to the Argentine ambassador with whom I have a good relationship and the'll reach my hands safely." You have to understand that the current Vatican ambassador is an old acquaintance of the Pope from his time in Buenos Aires. They've often drunk mate together. One day before the encyclical was published, the Pope had them call me to give me his thanks for my help.

A personal meeting with the Pope is still pending?

He's seeking reconciliation with the main representatives of liberation theology, with Gustavo Gutiérrez, Jon Sobrino... with me too. I told him with respect to Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, "But the other one is still alive!". He didn't agree. "No", he said, "il Papa sono io" -- "I am the Pope." We stayed silent. Thus one could see his courage and determination.

So why hasn't your visit taken place?

I had an invitation and had even landed in Rome. But just that day, right before the 2015 Synod on the Family, 13 cardinals -- including the German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- attempted a revolt against the Pope with a private letter addressed to him and then -- wonder of wonders! -- it appeared in the newspapers. The Pope was furious and said to me, "Boff, I don't have time. I have to promote calm before the Synod. We'll see each other some other time."

But he didn't get the calm either, did he?

The Pope felt the blade of the winds against his own ranks, especially from the United States. This Cardinal Burke, Leo Burke, who now - along with Cardinal Emeritus of Cologne Meisner - has already written a letter, is the Donald Trump of the Catholic Church. (Laughter) But unlike Trump, Burke is now frozen in the Curia. Thank God. These people really believe they should correct the Pope. As if they were above the Pope. So something is unusual, if not unprecedented in church history. One can criticize the Pope, argue with him. I did it quite often. But those cardinals are accusing the Pope of publicly disseminating theological errors and even heresies...in my opinion, it's too much. This is an affront that the Pope himself can't tolerate. The Pope can't be condemned; that's Church doctrine.

Despite your enthusiasm for the Pope -- what's up with the Church reforms that many Catholics had expected from Francis but that aren't really happening so much?

As I see it, the focus of his interest now is not the Church, it's not on the actions of the Church, but the survival of humankind, the future of the earth. Both are in danger, and you have to ask yourself whether Christianity can contribute to overcoming this important crisis in humanity that is under the threat of perishing.

Francis is worrying about the environment and meanwhile, the Church is still up against a wall?

I think for him there's a hierarchy of problems. When the earth is destroyed, there are also other problems. But as far as the internal affairs of the Church, you have to wait! Just the other day, Cardinal Walter Kasper, a confidant of the Pope, said there will soon be great surprises.

What's he expecting?

Who knows? Maybe the diaconate for women. Or the possibility that married priests can be reintegrated into the ministry. That has been a formal petition to the Pope from the Brazilian bishops, especially his friend, the retired Brazilian Curia Cardinal Claudio Hummes. I've heard that the Pope wants to answer that request, for a first experimental phase in Brazil. This country which has 140 million Catholics should have at least 100,000 priests. But there are just 18,000 -- a disaster from the institutional point of view. It's not surprising that the faithful are going en masse to the evangelicals and pentecostals who are filling the personnel void. Now, if thousands of married priests were to take up their office again, it would be a first step in improving the situation -- and at the same time an impulse for the Catholic Church to solve the bondage of compulsory celibacy.

If the Pope were to decide in this sense, would you also assume priestly functions again as a former Franciscan priest?

Personally, I don't need a decision of this sort. It wouldn't change anything of what I'm doing nowadays, what I've always done -- I baptize, I bury, and when I come to a community without a priest, then I also celebrate Mass together with the people.

A very German question: Are you allowed to?

Up to now, no bishop that I know of has ever opposed it or even prohibited it. The bishops are also glad and they tell me, "The people have the right to the Eucharist. Keep on doing it calmly!" My theological teacher, who died unfortunately some days ago, Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, for example, was very open. He went so far as to ask married priests whom he saw in the church pews during the celebration to approach the altar to celebrate the Eucharist with them. He often did it and said it -- "You are still a priest and continue to be one."

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

José María Castillo: "Seeing Jesus' humanity is how we see, find, and know God"

by Jesús Bastante (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Religión Digital
December 26, 2016

"The economy doesn't fix this. Politics either." Theologian José María Castillo is referring to the multiple crises we are suffering today. Not just the lack of solidarity or democracy, but above all the deficit in mercy towards the suffering. A situation in the face of which, he points out, "there has to be another system." Specifically the one of the Gospel, whose strength he explores in his book, La humanidad de Jesús ("The humanity of Jesus", Trotta, 2016).

Today we are joined by a good friend, whom you surely know, who needs no introduction but, just in case, he is José María Castillo.

Good morning, José María.


Delighted, Good morning.

Madrid isn't Granada, but it's nice to come here once in a while.

Madrid has a singular charm and enjoys such a large, ample and important offering that it's like a very powerful magnet that attracts one.

José María Castillo is one of the best theologians in our country. We are lucky and honored that he has been a collaborator of Religión Digital for many years.

It's been at least ten years. Or maybe more.

Laying down the law and, most of all, helping us to think. And giving us subjects, which he talks about through his blogs, with his posts and also through his writings, through his books.

We've come here today to talk about one of them, La humanidad de Jesús, which he has published through Trotta. You presented it yesterday in a talk-colloquium at the ABC cultural hall, which was packed.

I would like to talk about the subject that the book is about. About Jesus' humanity. Because they've always talked about this divine Jesus, who is sublimated and makes us closer to God, and lately it seems that his more human side has been reviled. The one of the Jesus who ate, got sad, and laughed with his friends. Who passed through this world and walked with the disciples from Emmaus, with Lazarus, with his disciples. Who felt tragedy, betrayal. Who had all the good and all the bad of human beings. Even until he came to die.

Why this disappearance of the human Jesus in some cases?

As I indicated yesterday in my lecture, and it was the first thing I wanted to highlight, it's that, strangely, relations between the divine and the human have not always been easy. On the contrary they have been a motive, occasion and cause for tension, misunderstanding, difficulty, estrangement, and separation.

It's enough to think about this: the divine is translated, in public social experience, into the sacred. The human is translated, in public social experience, into the profane.

It is noteworthy that the sacred has always claimed to be above the profane. Having a more determining power than secular or civil power. Having authority, prestige, credibility, argumentation, etc., everything always above. From the moment things are put like this, tension is inevitably created.

Among other things because Jesus had all those things you've described. And he also had his human side. Of a person who was born, grew up, and lived in a family.

Of course, that's what's remarkable, because the gospels don't specifically emphasize that Jesus was a "holy or consecrated" person. We are used to celebrating the Feast of Christ, Eternal High Priest. Christ --  Jesus -- wasn't a priest. On the contrary, he came into conflict with the priests. And such a conflict, that the priests ended up killing him.

Defenders of the law and of the norm who are also here in our Church today.

Of course, because they couldn't stand him. They couldn't bear him and saw in him a menacing threat to their cause, their power, and their interests. That's why, yesterday, I stressed how the deep reason for Jesus' humanity is because it is in and through humanity that the divine is revealed to us Christians. Why? Because the divine is the transcendent. And the transcendent is not within our reach, we can't get to know it or know of it. This is possible because the divine -- the transcendent by definition -- is what is incommunicable with the immanent, with what is human. So, through what is human in Jesus, in him, we discover the divine.

I put forward yesterday, and I'll repeat them here because they seem eloquent to me, two texts from the Gospel of John. At the end of the prologue, in chapter 1, verse 18, we find: "No one has ever seen God." It's a way of saying that God is not within our reach. We can't know Him. His only son, that is, Jesus, is the one who has made Him known to us.

And even clearer and more eloquent, the text of chapter 14, after the Last Supper. In that farewell discourse, the apostle Philip suddenly interrupts Jesus and says, "Master, Lord, show us the Father. Show us God and that will be enough for us." And Jesus responds, "But Philip, you still don't know me?".

And I said last night, and I repeat, that if I had been there, I would have said, "Yes, I do know you; I'm not asking about you, but about God."

And Jesus continues, without heeding Philip, "Philip, whoever sees me is seeing God."

Therefore, Jesus is the revelation. The explicit manifestation of God. And seeing Jesus' humanity is how we see, find, and know God. This is the main argument of the book.

Someone could accuse you of denying the Trinity.

One thing has nothing to do with the other, because the Trinity thing is a later elaboration. In the New Testament it isn't clear, although it talks about the Father and the Son. But the title, Son of God (many people don't know this or don't take it into account), was an imperial title that the emperor Augustus adopted. The whole dynasty of the Antonines. They adopted the Son of God title as an imperial title. Hence, the title, applied to Jesus, doesn't mean that he was the son of God, as we understand it, of the same nature. It was an elaboration against Arius, in the 4th century, in the Council of Nicea.

In the end, in the Church, we have been laying on these types of elaboration by virtue of confrontations between different theological or thought currents. And we come to the twenty-first century, and in the end, the idea you might have of Jesus, maybe it doesn't look too much like the idea or the reality that those who knew Jesus experienced.

The one that many people have isn't -- nor can it be -- similar. Because in people, when mixing the divine and the human, the divine gains more force than the human. So, in a human image, they worship Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The most grotesque -- and I always tell this story -- is that I know of a very famous Jesuit, he died already many years ago, who was a great catechist and who was giving a class to the Jesuits themselves. He was explaining the story of Jesus walking on the sea at night, in search of the disciples, when the Gospel says they were frightened, and that Jesus told them, "Be not afraid, I am your Lord Jesus Christ."

That's nonsense -- How was he going to say of himself, "I am your Lord Jesus Christ"?

Moreover it would have frightened the disciples even more.

It was laughable. But it's that many people don't dare say the word "Jesus." There is something mysterious about this. Why the resistance? They speak of Christ, the Lord, Jesus Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ. But not Jesus.

It's a cultural issue. In fact, there are many countries where my name, Jesús, is practically never given to a child. And evidently, Jesus Christ -- I think there must be very few people or any in the world who are named that. But I think the term, in some cultures, is almost prohibited. As if it were something irreverent.

Or that distills a certain mysterious reverence. For example, I have thought a great deal about blasphemy against the Virgin, against God, against Christ, even against sacred objects -- the host, the pyx, the pallium ... all this. Against Jesus, I have never heard a blasphemy.

And to what is this due -- that those who don't believe see him as a model and to those of us who believe, he frightens us because we don't know how to define him well or can't understand him?

Jesus is a reality that impresses us, but at the same time he's so close, so human, so like us, and so much like what we need ...

Yesterday they asked me, "But what did Jesus' humanity consist of?".

Well, being a Jew, a Galilean, from a poor and humble village in those days (now it's a more important city), who one fine day left his home, left his family, and went off to hear John the Baptist. He got in the line of those who were going to be baptized -- those who John the Baptist called a brood of vipers, he received the baptism and had an inspiration there. He felt something. He experienced something that made him see many things that we neither see nor comprehend, nor can we see or comprehend them.

Then he began to work. And to what did he devote himself? He didn't put up a spirituality center or a house of formation, he didn't set up an office of spiritual direction or create a chair in Theology. None of that. It simply says that when he was aware that they had killed John the Baptist, he went to Galilee, where John had been killed, where the danger was. Where there were movements in which those who ended up being the Zealots some years later were beginning to rise up against the domination of the empire there. But he didn't start to fight against Rome, in that sense. Jesus was convinced that the truly crucial thing wasn't changing the rulers but changing the ruled.

Make us protagonists, co-participants and co-responsible.

And that we, by changing, would take responsibility for the situation we have, for why we have it, and for what we want. Let us be clear.

For example, it draws my attention that when it was announced to Jesus that Herod had beheaded John the Baptist, Jesus didn't organize a demonstration or go out with signs...

Or go to Herod's palace.

Or to the Great Square of Jerusalem, or of any other city. Nor when they announced to Jesus that Pilate had beheaded some Galileans while they were making a religious sacrifice that had to be in the temple, did Jesus tell them, "Pilate is a scoundrel," "This is exploitation," "We're oppressed, we have to rise up"...Jesus said to them, "All of you, since you haven't changed, you're going to end up the same."

Jesus paid his taxes knowing they were unjust. I know there are people with a leftist social mentality who get nervous when they hear this, they feel bad. But I have to say it, first, because it's in the Gospel. And I have opted for the Gospel for many other more private, more personal, deeper reasons that I'm not going to be explaining here. But there's something that does give me a lot to think about. And it's that you can see that the economy, as it's working, doesn't fix this world; rather, on the contrary, it's making us worse off every year. There's more distance between rich and poor. And more and more poor.

The economy doesn't fix this. Politics doesn't fix it either, because it's in the hands of the economy. And if the economy doesn't fix it, politics does it even less. There has to be another force, another mechanism, another system. And I haven't found one other than the one I read about in the Gospel.

And they'll tell me, "Well, we're fixed, now we'll all go to Church for the priest to tell us the Gospel." That's not it! The priest is the first one who needs to change and convert to the Gospel because the Gospel -- and pay attention to this -- isn't primarily a religion book. It's a life project.

Jesus' life project, and a model of values to build society and build the kingdom, here too.

Obviously. And in that is Jesus' humanity. Jesus was convinced that it was by becoming deeply human, that we would, first, fix this world and second, become more divine.

Now Christmas is coming. When I was a child they taught me a phrase that has always stayed with me because I think it's a great truth -- I don't know what you'll think -- that God became man so that we men might be a little more of God.

It's a conventional phrase that's very good. But the reality is that Jesus becomes human so that we will all be more human. Even God had to humanize himself to fix this world.

And what's that? A symptom of God's weakness or a sign of love -- recognizing that something has become bad and that He has to send His son -- or however we want to call him -- so that the whole world might truly believe?

We see that religion as such, the religious factor as such, consists of beliefs, and especially of some rituals, which is the oldest part of the religious factor, and some rules. All around the sacred.

The divine is more complicated because we mustn't forget (many people don't know this, can't imagine it or expect it), that God is a very late product in the history of the religious factor. He's among the last to appear. Such that if homo sapiens, human beings, are some 100,000 years old, there have been vestiges of rituals since the beginning. For some 90,000 years, probably, rituals have been functioning.

Without God figuring in.

The God thing is very late. He appears, I don't know, 10-, 12- or 15,000 years before Christ.

But as a feeling of something higher, not someone?

There was a higher reality that slowly became outlined. Because, of course, since God is transcendent and is not within our reach, what we do is picture that ultimate reality.

And is representing him as a single figure against polytheism an evolution?

No. Polytheism is a different way of representing God. Specialized gods -- some in illnesses, others in calamities. But they are human representations. They are all human representations.

How has Jesus come to the 21st century? How is he understood? And all this, has it been thanks to, or despite the Church?

The Church thing was an organizing system that was established after Jesus died.

And that's where the other side, Paul's, comes from.

Jesus didn't found the Church. Nor did he found the clergy, or the priests, or any of that. It's not mentioned. All that began to take shape and function starting with Paul, who is the first about whom we have data that he made this work. He was founding CHURCHES [in Spanish "IGLESIAS"]. It's remarkable that they adopted that word that came from the Greek.

Ekklesia.

The ekklesia was a political institution the Greeks invented. It was a democratic assembly to make decisions. What happens, is that such as the Greeks experienced it, it was very restricted. Because women were excluded, slaves, children, and young people too. The participants in the ekklesia were very few in the Greek political culture.

But it's remarkable that the Christians, when they started to get together, instead of taking a religious name, adopted a political name -- ekklesia.

And they were doing it constantly, because the figure of the bishop, the diocese, all those terms...

Are civil names. An episkopos was an overseer. A presbyteros was a senator. However, the New Testament doesn't use the word "priest." Ever.

The word does appear with the representatives of the temple. With the Jewish priests.

Sure, it's applied to the pagans or the Jewish priests of the temple. But to the Christians, never.

I want to clarify two things that it's important that I not leave out. It's about the humanity of Jesus. How his fundamental concern was not a "religious" concern, but a "secular" one. What he cared about and why.

First and foremost, health. Something that concerns us all. Hence the amount of stories of healings.

Everybody asks: Did Jesus perform miracles? We can't know because it's a literary genre of that time to explain that he cared about people. About those who were suffering. And when he would see a person suffering, he would remedy that if he could. Because he went to his town, to Nazareth, and the Gospel of Mark says that he couldn't perform any miracle there. And why? Well, because they didn't believe and he always attributed the healing to faith -- "Your faith has healed you."

And second, he worried about the suffering because of the lack of food and of means of living.

Which leads to coexistence in community, because almost all meals or meetings with people, have an agape. And that leads us to think later of the Eucharist itself.

On almost all occasions, Jesus appears eating or healing people who were suffering from illnesses. They are stories that are repeated constantly.

And Jesus' third concern: human relations -- "Get along well", "Know how to forgive", "Understand one another", "Bear with each other", "Accommodate one another", "Know how to please each other", "Spread happiness to the people who live with you."

This is precisely the message that is contained in the Beatitudes, in the Sermon on the Mount, which is possibly the most universal of all, and the seed of other declarations that have been made throughout history, including the Declaration of Human Rights.

Obviously, because that leads us immediately as you've said to two issues that are wholly fundamental and that today are very absent, unfortunately.

On the one hand is the problem of corruption and it's that money, the eagerness for money and the power it has, has turned us all around. It has upset the coexistence, the politics and organization of society. Nobody trusts anybody. It's a terrible thing, and then we want to solve it with charity and beneficence. Which is necessary, of course, if there are people who are hungry. But it's also true that if you ask someone "What do you live on?" and he answers, "Well, I live on charity," that's humiliation. It's humiliating to live on charity. What people want is to earn their living and their money honestly. And to have dignity.

And second, the issue of human rights. Human rights assumes equality in dignity and in rights in the first article. We have created a society proclaiming human rights and creating more inequality at all levels and in every possible arena. This is such a strong, such a determining contradiction.

I want to stress something I said last night in my lecture and that I'll repeat here: a person who is responsible for this being thus and who, therefore, is the cause of suffering, can not believe in God.

The rulers we have, who know that the decisions they're making cause suffering, can not believe in God no matter how much they go to Mass, and no matter how much they belong to respectable institutions. The religious, the bishops and priests, the laypeople...All sorts of people who through their behavior, their conduct, their silence, are responsible for the fact that there are so many people suffering, can not believe in God. They believe in the representation of God they have made because it suits them.

And because it helps them to justify their actions or their ideas.

Right. That's it.

The core of the issue is reduced to that. Also to stress one thing that Professor Reyes Mate picked up from the book: that the determinant of God is mercy. Not mercy towards sin, but towards suffering. The blissful history of sin and the importance of sin, we owe to St. Paul.

Have we sacralized sin?

Yes.

Have we made it more important than suffering?

It has been made more important than suffering. And to avoid sin and punish sinners, much suffering is caused and much violence is generated.

In that sense, I suppose the Pope would agree with you. He's getting brickbats for trying to open, even minimally, the field of mercy to families in special circumstances, so to speak. Or to women who have had to have abortions, or conflict situations. Brickbats are raining down on him from all sides, strangely from within the Church itself.

Which is exactly what happened to Jesus. The most religious, the most observant people, those most of the temple, were the ones who persecuted him the most and they didn't stop their persecution until they killed him. Well, the same thing is being repeated today, it goes on today.

With the difference that Francis -- and we're very pro-Francis here -- is still part of an institution that still accepts some issues as untouchable facts.

I'm very pro-Francis. They ask why he doesn't change more positions and why he doesn't suppress certain classes, or why he doesn't make certain decisions...

If I were in his skin, I might see that I had to do the same. Because the whole setup that is the Vatican State and everything in there is much more complex and more difficult to clean up and solve than we imagine.

We shouldn't envy him, as they say in my town.

In any way. And in that sense, I see that Francis is a man for whom the Gospel and Jesus' humanity is central, in which I think the future of the solution is. And if this approach doesn't work, it's because we're the ones who don't believe.

That we're afraid of returning to Jesus, taking away all the supposed support we have around us. Going back to Jesus has to be very complicated -- interpreting Jesus, understanding Jesus and experiencing him here. It's what you also said yesterday, that the true believers are those who try to live as Jesus would live.

Right, as he would live today. And that is what I think Francis is trying to do. He is doing what he can. Sometimes even being indiscreet, for example, in his way of expressing himself. Some have accused him of that, and sometimes they're right -- some phrases, especially, that have some validity in Latin America that they don't have here. Or a meaning that they don't have here. But I think the path goes there. And what gives me more hope, because he's of an advanced age now and his pontificate can't last very long, is that if this change that has taken place in the papacy keeps up and continues onward, the Church, in a few years, will be more different than we can imagine.

We trust in that and we trust that we will all look a little more like Jesus. To start now, when we finish the interview, we'll do the three things you said: We'll care about our health, we'll foment human relationships, and we'll eat. What do you think, José María?

(laughs....)

We'll tell you the results of this meal. "La humanidad de Jesús" by José María Castillo, published by Trotta. It's always a genuine pleasure, you know. And we're glad to see you so well, so active, and so content.

And we'll go on.

Spreading that joy. Many thanks.

Thanks to you for the good you're doing, which is huge.

We try to. May we never lack support like yours to go on doing it and carrying it forward. Thanks.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas in spite of everything

By Victor Codina (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Cristianisme i Justícia Blog
December 23, 2016

For a long time, in the bosom of the Christian people, very critical voices have risen up about Christmas -- the orgy of consumption, frantic purchase of gifts, food and drink, the chubby Santa Claus seeming to marginalize the Infant Jesus, carols being used as commercial propaganda, the Tree supplanting the manger, city lights having become marketing and a tourist attraction, there is leadership by people and institutions in charitable works at Christmastime... Christmas has become a solstice party ...

And all this as if in a bubble of well-being, on the margins of a world of violence and poverty, refugees and wars, with the heart anesthetized to the suffering of others.

True Christmas is different. What has happened is what is said of ants who, to be able to store wheat, cut off its germinal point. The West has tamed and perverted Christmas; it has ripped out its gospel nerve. All this is true and must be denounced prophetically. This bourgeois style of Christmas is the very opposite of the first Christmas. Today, Jesus is born again in Aleppo and Haiti, in the migrant and refugee camps of Lesbos and Lampedusa, in the victims of the Berlin bombing, in the new Christian martyrs of Egypt and the Middle East.

But what if, in spite of everything, the Christmas feast were to keep the mysterious light of Bethlehem on, because the darkness can never overcome the light? That families get together and often reconcile at Christmas, gifts to the little ones, especially the poor children, visits to prisons, hospitals and nursing homes, mangers in churches and families, a truce, sometimes, in the wars ... are these not a sign that, in spite of everything, the light and warmth of Christmas still linger amid the embers of so many ashes? Where does this sudden goodness that floods our hearts and sometimes our eyes these days spring from? No doubt this goodness is born from the manger of Bethlehem, the Child, the shepherds and angels who sing peace. And we also remember the old biblical prophecies that proclaim a new world, where the wolf and the lamb will graze together and a child will play with the serpent. The spirit of Christmas is never completely extinguished.

Because Christmas is not just a memory of the past but God the Father's plan for humankind -- a dream of filiation and fraternity, harmony and peace, love especially towards the least and marginalized. It is up to each and every one of us to make Christmas every day of the year so that the grain of gospel wheat does not lose its germinal power and produces true fruit. That is why, in spite of everything and in the midst of these ambiguities, Merry Christmas, the real one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas in times of Herod

By Leonardo Boff (English translation by Rebel Girl)
LeonardoBoff.com (em português)
December 20, 2016

This year's Christmas will be different from other Christmases. It is usually the feast of family fellowship. For Christians, it is the celebration of the Divine Child who came to take on our humanity and make it better.

In the present context, however, in his place has appeared the figure of the terrible Herod the Great (73 BC- 4 BC), linked to the slaughter of the innocent. Zealous for his power, he heard that in his kingdom, Judea, a child-king was born. That's when he ordered all boys under two years old to be slaughtered (Mt 2:16). Then we hear some of the most painful words in the Bible: "A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more." (Mt 2:18)

This story of the murder of innocents continues in another way. The ultracapitalist policies imposed by the current government -- taking away rights, lowering wages, cutting basic social benefits such as health care, education, safety, pensions, and freezing for 20 years the possibilities for development -- have resulted in a perverse and slow slaughter of innocents from the large and poor majority of our country.

The legislators are not unfamiliar with the lethal consequences stemming from the decision to consider the market more important than people.

Within a few years, we will have a super-rich class (today they are 71,440, according to IPEA, therefore 0.05% of the population), a middle class frightened by the risk of losing their status and millions of poor people and pariahs who will go from poverty to destitution. This means starving children who die from undernutrition and absolutely preventable diseases, elderly people who no longer get their medicines and access to public health, doomed to die before their time. This slaughter has those responsible for it. Most of the current legislators of the so-called "death PEC ["Proposta de Emenda Constitucional" - "Proposed Constitutional Amendment"]" can not be exempt from the stain of being the current Herods of the Brazilian people.

The moneyed and privileged elites were able to return. Supported by corrupt parliamentarians, with their backs to the people and deaf to the clamor of the streets, and by a coalition of forces that involves vigilante judges, the Public Ministry, the Military Police and part of the Judiciary and the corporate, reactionary and putschist media, not without the backing of an imperial power interested in our wealth, they forged the removal of President Rousseff. The real engine of the coup is financial capital, banks and rentiers (not affected by fiscal adjustment policies).

Political scientist Jessé Souza rightly denounces, "Brazil is the scene of a dispute between two projects: the dream of a big and powerful country for the majority, and the reality of a predatory elite that wants to drain everyone's work and plunder the country's riches for the pockets of half a dozen. The money elite rules by the simple fact that it can "buy" all the other elites."(FSP [Folha de São Paulo] 4/16/2016).

The sad thing is to realize that this whole process of plunder is a consequence of the old politics of conciliation between the owners of money among themselves and with governments, which has been in existence since the time of the Colony and Independence. Lula-Dilma were not able or failed to overcome the fine art of this dominant minority who, on the pretext of governability, seeks conciliation between themselves and with the rulers, granting some benefits to the people at the price of keeping the nature of their process of wealth accumulation at very high levels untouched.

Historian José Honório Rodrigues, who has thoroughly studied class conciliation always with backs turned on the people, rightly affirms: "The national leadership, in its successive generations, has always been anti-reformist, elitist and personalistic ... The art of stealing practiced by these minorities and not by the people, is noble and ancient. The people don't rob, they are robbed ... The people are cordial, the oligarchy is cruel and pitiless...; the great success of the history of Brazil is its people and great disappointment is its leadership."(Conciliação e Reforma no Brasil ["Conciliation and Reform in Brazil"], 1965, pp. 114,119).

We are experiencing the repetition of this evil tradition, from which we will never be liberated without the strengthening of an anti-power, coming from below, capable of overthrowing this perverse clique and establishing another type of state, with another type of republican politics, where the common good is imposed over private and corporate good.

Christmas this year is a Christmas under the sign of Herod. Nonetheless, we believe that the Divine Child is the liberating Messiah and the Star is generous to show us better ways.

Leonardo Boff has written Natal: o sol da esperança, Mar de Ideias, Rio, 2007.