Friday, March 8, 2013

Jose Antonio Pagola: "The Congregation has acknowledged that my book does not contain any proposition contrary to the faith"

by Jose Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Periodista Digital
March 8, 2013

I have received with satisfaction the final resolution from the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about my book, Jesus: An Historical Approximation. On this occasion, I want to address those who have read my book or have closely followed the controversy raised over the past six years.

1. First of all, I want to say that I receive the decisions that have been taken about my book as a stimulus that reaffirms me in what, at present, is the only objective of my life: helping us men and women of today to better know the exciting personality of Jesus, to more enthusiastically welcome his plan to build a more humane world, and to more faithfully approach the mystery of hope that lies within him.

2. Those of you who have read my book may be interested to know, albeit in a concise manner, the major decisions taken by Rome. Regarding doctrinal matters, the Congregation acknowledges that my book does not contain any statement contrary to the faith, so it has not asked me to correct any doctrinal error or heretical statement. Regarding methodological issues, the Congregation makes various reflections about the purpose and nature of my book, and the relationship between faith and historical research. However, it has not deemed it necessary to ask me for a revision of the focus of my work or any correction in the methodology I use in my work.

3. What I have been asked, "in order to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings", is to introduce in future editions "modifications" suggested by myself, around five specific points. I have never hesitated to collaborate with this arrangement, since the only thing I wanted has always been for my book to continue sowing the Good News of Jesus. The new edition will be released soon.

4. At this time I want to give my deepest thanks to those of you who, over the years, have shown me in many ways your warmth and unconditional support. I have been moved to be able to read the experiences many of you have had on reading my book. You tell me that Jesus has radically changed your lives, that through it you have finally found a God who is Friend, that you have reaffirmed your faith, that you have committed yourselves to living in a more gospel-centered way ... Thank you all. You have made me feel that Jesus is alive in our midst.

5. Now I'm just looking towards the future. I want to live my last years working on what I consider the most urgent task in the Church today: returning to Jesus Christ as the only truth that we are allowed to live and the only force that can make us move towards a more evangelical Church at the service of a more humane world. I could not live otherwise.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jon Sobrino, SJ: "I don't care if the Pope is black or European; I care about whether he will take risks for the poor"

By Enrique Conde (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Noticias de Navarra
February 23, 2013

He visited Pamplona during the lecture cycle organized by the Jesuits for the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. The room was packed to see Jon Sobrino, who talked about "The Church of the Poor: The Pact of the Catacombs", a title revealing a man who has frequently brushed with the Church hierarchy. Jon Sobrino says that what's important isn't why Ratzinger resigned -- about which he thinks it's normal that he would feel a certain "solitude before God, because he didn't have another pope above him from whom to ask advice" -- or who will be his successor, but that what's absolute, what's relevant is "God and hunger (hambre)." He speaks ironically and says he was afraid that they would change a letter in his speech, thinking that he really meant to talk about God and man (hombre). Because in fact when he read Ratzinger in 1966 in Frankfurt, "he wrote very well" but he was "very sensitive to the dehumanization -- the one produced by the disappearance of God -- but not of the poor. It doesn't seem like he was aware of the hunger of the people." Moreover, after so many years with this distinct argument, certainly Christian, he clarifies that "now they don't even ask me what liberation theology is." "It's God and hunger," he answers to himself.

You once said that the Church, like Jesus on the cross, has to begin with the defeated. However, it seems that at a certain point that path got twisted.

Sure it got twisted, like democracies...When I read the newspapers, there are a lot of truths that deep down are contrary to what the bishops do, or about the Pope who just resigned -- whether he did it well or badly -- but honestly it doesn't seem the most important thing to me. What's most important is what we can do as human beings. I was talking here about building a Church of the poor, where the poor feel at home. That they don't now is another matter. That immigrants, in the United States for example, find in Christians and others something that basically helps them, and who defend them when they're attacked, and that Christians take risks.

What can they risk?

Time, fame, money, even life, like the martyrs of the past, like Monseñor Romero in El Salvador. In the current context of the new Pope, about whether he'll be black, or European, what you read about in the newspapers every day, what do I know?...What matters to me is that he be someone who takes risks for the poor of this world and that in this he would be like Jesus and we would help him be like Jesus, beyond criticizing him once in a while. The Church of the poor sounds strange and a Europe of the poor sounds worse. Right? Not that there are poor people in Europe, which there are, but that Europe doesn't feel that it's future is abundance and having more and not falling into the misfortune of Africa, which is my impression. That Europe would feel in solidarity with the poor of Africa, Latin America and Europe...That we would view the world from the perspective of the poor to enjoy with them. Soccer, the amount of material assets that are invested in the elite sports, that has all the traits of being a multinational industry with which the majority entertain themselves and forget their burdens...But all those resources of mankind -- it isn't that there's a president who has many millions and with his millions pays for this or that -- no, those millions belong to all.

You've been quoted several times as saying that the Church should be in the Third World.

In what we call the Third World, geographically. Certainly it should be there and it is there. What I mean is that here, in these countries, that aren't the Third World although they have their crises and pains, the Church should be in solidarity with what is Third World in these countries and fight against what is First World in said countries. The First World, what does it do? Oppress the Third World.

In your opinion, the new Pope should be like Jesus of Nazareth...

Read the Gospel of Mark. There Jesus appears, he links up with a prophet like John the Baptist and starts to proclaim some good news: God is with the poor. He starts to perform miracles, which are poorly understood, to do good, heal the sick, cheer up those who are possessed by the devil, and defends the poor against the scribes, the pharisees, a high priest, against those who had the sacred and political power in Jerusalem in those days. I'm not saying for the Pope to be like that. But the Pope, the bishops, the priests and the theologians, we should go that way.

Should the manner of electing the Pope change?

Let's hope it changes towards greater participation. The Pope is the bishop of Rome. For him to be elected by the 1.2 billion Catholics you would have to find mechanisms, but I would like it to come in time.

Has the Church regressed a lot in the last decade?

I don't know. I think the last decade...We've been like this for some time. On the other hand I see that elite sports has evolved a lot into an industry that produces an infinite amount of money, that unites with other sub-industries in fashion, tourism...It's changing. And you like it better than before? To each their own. Does this make things more humane? I rather doubt it. And that to be president of a [soccer] club you have to have an infinite concentration of capital...What's wrong with having so much capital? I don't like it in a world of poor people like ours.

Do you think elite sports dehumanize society?

For me, as a whole, yes.

Has power been the greatest enemy of the Church?

The Church has been and is an institution that also has power, not that everyone in the Church has it. Popes and emperors in the Middle Ages fought each other, which was a pleasure. The Church as an institution has enemies when it puts itself at the service of the poor, the democratic poor...

What message would you like to stand out from your work?

There's a group of bishops (Casaldáliga, Romero), a group of important Christians who have devoted themselves to the liberation of the poor, of the oppressed...There are those of us theologians who try to formulate this in concepts. The message is that we hold two things and only two things to be absolute -- for those of us who are Christian: God and hunger. Everything else is relative except God and hunger, and when we meet hunger, that we relativize where we came from, where we're going, what we've studied, if we're in a democracy...And that we put everything else out there so that in this world there won't be hunger. Now, in Europe, they're showing terrible scenes of people looking for food, but hunger is normal in many parts of this world. If we overcome hunger, it's that we can eat and, if we can eat, we will all do it together, Europeans and Africans. We should know that we have relatives in Africa -- the one in the dinghy is a relative, a very distant one -- this would be a legacy to promote among all. But if we don't see ourselves as brothers and sister, someone will win the "Champions", and some will rejoice and others will suffer. What's important is humanization, that we are all brothers and sisters.

What did you feel when you discovered hunger?

That I had never been hungry. I though about what we have, about putting ourselves at the service of those people...And then about thanking them, because many of those who are hungry give more to us than we give them.

With arms always open

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
March 10, 2013

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

For many, God is anything but someone who is able to bring joy to their lives. Thinking about Him brings bad memories -- the idea of a threatening and demanding being, who makes life annoying, uncomfortable and dangerous, is aroused inside them.

Little by little they have dispensed with Him. Faith has been "repressed" inside them. Today, they don't know if they believe or not. They have been left without paths to God. Some still remember "the parable of the prodigal son," but they've never heard it in their hearts.

The real protagonist of that parable is the father. He repeats the same cry of happiness twice: "This son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found." This cry reveals what is in his heart as a father.

This father doesn't care about his honor, his own interests, or how his children treat him. He doesn't use moralizing language. He only thinks of his son's life -- that it not be destroyed, that he not remain dead, that he not be lost without knowing the joy of life.

The story describes in full detail the surprising meeting of the father with the son who had abandoned the home. While he was still far away, the father "saw" him coming, hungry and humiliated, and he "was moved" to the very heart. That good look, filled with kindness and compassion, is what saves us. Only God looks at us like that.

Then he "starts running." It's not the son who comes home. It's the father who runs out and seeks the embrace with more ardor than his own son. "He threw his arms around him and started to kiss him." That's how God always is...running with open arms towards those who come back to Him.

The son begins his confession -- he has prepared it a long time inside himself. The father interrupts him to save him from more humiliation. He doesn't impose any punishment on him, he doesn't require any ritual of expiation, he doesn't put any condition at all on welcoming him home. Only God welcomes and protects sinners this way.

The father thinks only of his son's dignity. He must act quickly. He orders the best clothes, the son's ring and sandals to be brought to enter the house. Thus he will be received at a banquet that will be celebrated in his honor. With his father, the son will know a worthy and blessed life that he has not enjoyed far from him.

Anyone who hears this parable from outside, won't understand anything. They will go on walking through life without God. Anyone who listens to it from the heart, will perhaps weep with joy and thankfulness. For the first time they will feel that in the ultimate mystery of life there is Someone who welcomes and forgives us because He only wants our happiness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Liberation theologians fear new pope will follow "medieval" doctrine of predecessors

By Rafael Plaza Veiga (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Público.es
March 3, 2013

In reference to the scandals that have punctuated his pontificate, Benedict XVI has acknowledged that he has experienced "difficult times, where the waters were choppy, the winds against us, as in the whole history of the Church, and the Lord seemed to be sleeping." Committed theologians provide clues about whether the God of the Roman Catholic Church was in fact "asleep", or definitely "dead".

The year 2006 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of a theologian who was, after Nietzsche did so in the late nineteenth century out of his radical atheism, the first who dared to speak out of his deep faith of the "death of God." At dawn on April 9, 1945, Protestant pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the son of Lutheran parents belonging to an upper middle class family who was born in Breslau in February 1906, was hanged in the concentration camp of Flossenburg. Bonhoeffer raised a disturbing question: "Do we need a Church?"

Nietzsche asked that question out of unbelief, Bonhoeffer, who knew very well that a "good Christian" is one who believes in a God who, precisely because of being one, "allows people to throw Him out of their lives", out of faith.

Christians today, "fatherless" orphans for a few days, are wondering again whether, thanks to the Church in which they believe, God is "sleeping", as Benedict XVI said just a few days before his retirement, or simply "dead". It may be that Nietzsche, Hegel, Heidegger and Bonhoeffer believed the same thing, deep in their hearts. That the death of the "Western God" was a good thing, even necessary. The so-called "radical theology of the death of God" had the honesty and courage to take seriously the "shadows" that Nietzsche's notion cast on "Christian" Europe.

The liberation theologians were fiercely condemned and humiliated by the last two popes. Many European and Latin American theologians did take it seriously over the last third of the 20th century. Bonhoeffer took the "death of God in modern times" quite seriously, not as an attitude of militant atheism, but as an experience of the Christian God who not only doesn't compete with man, but "lets us live in the world without this meaning that He is abandoning us." Hence the need, per Bonhoeffer, for a worldly, non-religious interpretation of Christianity. Only a faith that matches this deity, according to Bonhoeffer, "would be able to face with dignity and meet the challenge of modern atheism."

Many theologians have delved into this theory, until the "liberation theologians" emerged, who were fiercely condemned and humiliated by the last two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who, haunted perhaps by the contradictions he observed at the top of the Church that he had been ruling for the last eight years, saw the need to say, as he did on February 11, ending precisely on Thursday the 28th, "I can't take it anymore, and here I stop."

Frei Betto: "The Church is at risk of bicephalism"

Publico has dredged the thoughts of some current theologians to try to explain (before the machinery of the Conclave to elect a new Pope starts up) this shocking resignation by Benedict XVI a little more. Brazilian writer and Dominican friar Frei Betto (1944) -- the pseudonym of Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo -- along with a number of theologians, priests, bishops and representatives of liberation theology, suffered censorship and condemnation by Pope Wojtyla, and especially by Benedict XVI, both during his time as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith [sic] and during his pontificate. Unlike his former theological studies companion and even old friend, Hans Küng, Ratzinger has always been a staunch opponent of this movement, which emphasized the need to address social injustices from the Christian commitment to the "option for the poor." Hans Küng himself, the Brazilian Franciscan Leonardo Boff and many other supporters of liberation theology (Spaniards too), were strictly forbidden to teach theology at Catholic universities. The poor, much less "Christian critics", have not exactly been Benedict XVI's "preferential option".

"I'm very pessimistic about the new Pope changing the conservative course of the Catholic Church," Frei Betto, author of Fidel & Religion among many other books, just declared in Brazil. "Benedict XVI will have a key role in the election of the new Pope, so that the Church runs the risk of bicephalism, since the elected one will never do anything that displeases his predecessor." So, Betto added, "the new pontiff will keep the ban on issues like abortion, the end of celibacy for priests, the use of condoms, the use of stem cells, the right of women to the priesthood, homosexual unions,...being debated in the Church."

"We won't know what the new Pope thinks until after Ratzinger's death," the Brazilian theologian opined. For Frei Betto, Benedict XVI has been an epigone of Pope Wojtyla -- both refused to put into practice the decisions of Vatican II (1962-1965). Both opposed consecrating progressive bishops, both boosted the power in the Church of ultraconservative movements such as Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, and the Neocatechumenal Communities of Kiko Argüello (the famous "kikos"), so powerful in Spain... Both dreamed of a "Christian Europe" like in the Middle Ages. Both have stabbed progressive theologians, bishops and cardinals who were in solidarity with social liberation movements. "The Catholic Church still drags along medieval vestiges in itself and barely dialogues with modernity," Betto concluded in an interview on February 14.

Hans Küng: "The Church is terminally ill"

Hans Küng (1928), the controversial Swiss theologian, is even more critical. He was the first Catholic theologian since Vatican I in 1870 to speak out against the dogma of papal infallibility. He also rejects the absolute authority of the Pope in the Church, celibacy for priests and the absence of women within the clergy. His books On Being A Christian (1974) and especially Infallible? (1971) cost him his job as professor of theology in Catholic universities. He met Pope Ratzinger again in 2005, but he hasn't renounced his principles: "There is now a schism in the Church between the hierarchical top and the grassroots," he proclaimed in July 2011. "The current papacy is an institution of domination in which the Pope is dividing the Church." His diagnosis is fatal: "The church is terminally ill." "The Pope and the Curia have betrayed Vatican II."

Küng notes among other evils, "censorship, absolutism and the authoritarian structures of the Church." And he offers a decalogue of changes: "We want to elect our bishops, we wants to see women in the various positions, we want to have men and women pastoral agents be ordained as priests. We want the Christian people to actively participate in the decisions of the Church"... He had suggested all this to his former friend Ratzinger, trying not to offend him in their 2005 dialogue... with no results. Women are still unable to access positions, progress on optional celibacy is being stymied, the divorced are still prohibited from participating in the Eucharist ...

Küng denounces "papism" introduced by Gregory VII, the "papal absolutism" in which one person in the Church has "the last word", a disease of the "Roman" system. According to the controversial Dutch theologian, this is what produced the rift with the Eastern Church centuries ago, and since that time the predominance of the clergy over the laity goes on. "We are suffering from priestly celibacy that was imposed in the 11th century. With Vatican II, they tried to fight against all this. But they weren't allowed to debate celibacy or discuss the papacy." "We must abolish the absolutism of the Pope. We need to have active resistance, otherwise the Church will go under."

According to Küng, the situation is "dire". The last two restorationist popes --Wojtyla and Ratzinger -- "have done everything possible for the Council and the Church to go back to a preconciliar phase. The Catholic Church wants to maintain a monopoly on the truth. Sexual morality maintains it unfortunate standards..." Küng misses a pope "like John XXIII" for a community of more than one billion Catholics. Ratzinger and Wojtyla "have done everything possible to return to a medieval paradigm of Christianity. A medieval structure reigns today that, in principle, is only found in the Arab countries ..." On celibacy, he is implacable: "When tens of thousands of priests have to repress their sexuality and, however very good pastors they may be, they can't have a wife or family, then we have a structural problem."

In May 2012, Hans Küng pointed out that "the Pope has lost control of the Church" and he dared to suggest the removal of Benedict XVI, in an interview published in the Frankfurter Rundnschau and on a German radio station. "First, he questioned the Protestants, then he described Muslims as "inhumane", and finally he offends the Jews by allowing the re-entry into the Church of a member of the schismatic church [of Bishop Lefebvre] who has denied the existence of the Holocaust." Meanwhile, Pope Ratzinger goes on condemning liberation theologians ...

Benjamín Forcano: "A more democratic Pope, and not for life"

Benjamín Forcano (1935), a Claretian priest, theologian and moralist, author of Nueva ética sexual ["New Sexual Ethics"], Con la libertad del Evangelio ["With the Freedom of the Gospel"] and Pedro Casaldáliga, former editor of Misión Abierta, a Christian journal from which he was dismissed in 1988 by Joseph Ratzinger himself, then Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, like other Spanish theologians such as José María Castillo and Juan Antonio Estrada -- and in recent years Juan José Tamayo and José Antonio Pagola, summarizes Benedict XVI's resignation with the words Saint Peter addressed to Cornelius, a soldier from Caesarea, when the latter received the first Pope of Christianity on his knees: "Get up. I myself am also a human being." This call for "equality" in the Church is what is demanded by Forcano, who recalls a text of Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes, 29): "The basic equality of all must receive increasingly greater recognition." It was during his eight years as Pope that Ratzinger saw the "rapid and traumatic" change in the world and the severity of the problems of the Church, the Claretian theologian says, "and around him, moreover, the dangerous web of his collaborators, some very powerful and savvy in the ambitions, intrigues and secrets of the Curia." In some cases that were difficult to resolve, "he met with opposing positions, before which he dared not proceed with courage," said Forcano, who views the Pope's resignation as "humility", but with the assurance of not wanting to appear to be manipulated "against his will" until his death.

"Not then, much less now, can it be argued that the ministry of the Pope should be lifelong," says Forcano. "The Pope himself said it when he wrote, in his time as a theologian:"For Catholic theology, it is impossible to consider the configuration of the primacy in the 19th and 20th centuries to be the only possible one, necessary for all Christians."

Forcano asserts that "the life tenure of the papacy is no dogma" and reaffirms "the democratic sovereignty of the people of God." He relies on texts by the Jesuit theologian José María Díez Alegría and his friend Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga (besides, of course, the conclusions of Vatican II) to support his statements about the urgent need for a "democratic and collegial" renewal of the Church. Quoting Jesuit liberation theologian Jon Sobrino too, he adds that "among those living in a world of misery and oppression, you can't focus the priesthood on worship or on mere liturgical celebrations, but on the real world."

"Perhaps what is most important and significant about the resignation of the Pope has yet to come," concludes Forcano. "His gesture should be an impulse to go back to taking the priesthood of Jesus seriously in the Church. And, citing two of the holy fathers, "let the one who presides over all be elected by all, because "the one who is known and approved is peacefully demanded, whereas the unknown one must be imposed by force and will always be a subject of argument."

Juan José Tamayo: "The last two popes have gone centuries backward"

Juanjo Tamayo (1946) is one of the most productive theologians and one of the most persecuted by the Vatican and Spanish hierarchies. The bishops stop him from giving lectures in Catholic church venues. For years, he has been secretary general of the Asociación de Teólogos y Teólogas Juan XXIII. From 1976 (Por una Iglesia del pueblo -- "For a People's Church") to 2012 (Otra teología es posible -- "A Different Theology is Possible", and Invitación a la utopía -- "Invitation to Utopia") he has published around 60 books. His most recent offering was, precisely, Juan Pablo II y Benedicto XVI. Del neoconservadurismo al integrismo ("John Paul II and Benedict XVI: From Neoconservatism to Fundamentalism") He is a professor at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, where he holds the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Theology and Religious Studies.

More critical than Forcano of the current hierarchy during the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, he is unequivocal in his postulations: "Women are the silent and silenced majority in the Church, and the last two popes have humiliated them by not recognizing them as subject to moral rights. Both popes have questioned the Church that emanated from Vatican II and have gone centuries backward; they've interrupted the dialogue with modernity, atheism, and other religions, both Christian and non-Christian."

Tamayo believes that Ratzinger's arrival in Rome as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith, together with the Polish pope who called him to his side, marked "the beginning of a long winter of agony, that both were to undertake to maintain, in full harmony" and to "pronounce sentences-- mostly condemnatory -- against their colleagues in Theology, Morals, History of the Church and University and in the conciliar classrooms themselves", on those they would accuse of "grave errors in their interpretation of the dogmas of Christianity." For a quarter of a century, he was settled in "the epicenter of the power of the Roman Curia" and "there was no matter that didn't pass through his hands, including, naturally, those related to the numerous allegations of sexual abuse by priests and religious in schools, residences and parishes and the accusations against the aberrations of the Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel."

Ratzinger was always even "better informed" than the Polish pope. But he acted "with a double standard: intolerant and merciless with colleagues who dissented with his approach, while he kept the cases of sexual abuse at the bottom of the crate of the Congregation over which he presided and imposed silence on the victims to avoid scandal instead of bringing the culprits to justice and punishing them with the penalties provided for in the Code of Canon Law."

Moreover, Tamayo points out, Ratzinger applied a "double standard": rigidity and sanctions for the theologians accused of doctrinal errors...and lack of firmness on sexual offenses, financial irregularities, and other disloyalty. "I think that neither as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nor as Pope has he been able to separate the wheat from the chaff...and in the Vatican there's more chaff than wheat."

Tamayo concludes that because of all this "Benedict XVI was obliged to resign, a decision to be praised...if only he would have cleaned up the Vatican first."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Leave the Curia, Peter! - A poem-reflection by Pedro Casaldaliga

Dom Pedro Casaldaliga, bishop emeritus of São Félix do Araguaia, Brazil, has written a beautiful poem-reflection inspired by the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, encouraging the Pope to leave behind the constricting structures of the Vatican and risk meeting the Christ who "sweats the blood of the poor" in the garden.

Bishop Casaldaliga has also been in the news recently for asking to have his name withdrawn from a journalism prize offered by the Comissão Estadual de Erradicação do Trabalho Escravo ("State Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor"), an entity linked to the state government in Mato Grosso. He did this to protest the nomination of Janete Riva as secretary of culture because a farm owned by Riva appears on a list of slave labor operations compiled by Brazil's Department of Labor. Casaldaliga is well known for his activism against slave labor in Brazil.

Here is Casaldaliga's poem in its original Portuguese and my humble English translation of the same.

Deixa a Cúria, Pedro!

Deixa a Cúria, Pedro,
Desmonta o sinédrio e as muralhas,
Ordene que todos os pergaminhos impecáveis sejam alterados
pelas palavras de vida e amor.

Vamos ao jardim das plantações de banana,
revestidos e de noite, a qualquer risco,
que ali o Mestre sua o sangue dos pobres.

A túnica/roupa é essa humilde carne desfigurada,
tantos gritos de crianças sem resposta,
e memória bordada dos mortos anônimos.

Legião de mercenários assediam a fronteira da aurora nascente
e César os abençoa a partir da sua arrogância.
Na bacia arrumada, Pilatos se lava, legalista e covarde.

O povo é apenas um "resto",
um resto de esperança.
Não O deixe só entre os guardas e príncipes.
É hora de suar com a Sua agonia,
É hora de beber o cálice dos pobres
e erguer a Cruz, nua de certezas,
e quebrar a construção - lei e selo - do túmulo romano,
e amanhecer
a Páscoa.

Diga-lhes, diga-nos a todos
que segue em vigor inabalável,
a gruta de Belém,
as bem-aventuranças
e o julgamento do amor em alimento.

Não te conturbes mais!
Como você O ama,
ame a nós,
simplesmente,
de igual a igual, irmão.

Dá-nos, com seus sorrisos, suas novas lágrimas,
o peixe da alegria,
o pão da palavra,
as rosas das brasas...
... a clareza do horizonte livre,
o mar da Galileia,
ecumenicamente, aberto para o mundo.

Leave the Curia, Peter!

Leave the Curia, Peter,
disassemble the Sanhedrin and the walls,
order all the impeccable scrolls to be changed
to words of life and love.

Let us go to the garden of the banana plantations,
undercover and by night, at any risk,
for there, the Master sweats the blood of the poor.

The tunic/vestment is this humble disfigured flesh,
so many cries of children unanswered,
and memories embroidered with the anonymous dead.

A legion of mercenaries besieges the frontier of the rising dawn
and Caesar blesses them in his arrogance.
In the tidy bowl, Pilate, legalistic and cowardly, washes himself.

The people are just a "remnant",
a remnant of hope.
Leave them not alone among the guards and princes.
It's time to sweat with His agony,
It's time to drink the chalice of the poor,
lift the cross, devoid of certainties,
shatter the building -- law and seal -- of the Roman tomb,
and wake up to
Easter.

Tell them, tell us all
that the grotto of Bethlehem,
the Beatitudes,
and the judgement of love as food,
remain in force and steadfast.

Be no longer troubled!

As you love Him,
love us,
simply,
as an equal, brother.

Give us, with your smiles, your new tears
the fish of joy,
the bread of the word,
roses of embers ...
... the clarity of the untrammeled horizon,
the Sea of Galilee,
ecumenically open to the world.