Theologians must explore and debate disputed questions, at times even taking “risks” with what they propose, but those discussions should take place within the academy so as not to confuse the faithful, Pope Francis said on Friday. Source: Crux.
“Theology must move forward,” the Pope told members of the International Theological Commission. “It must face things that are not clear and take risks in discussion. However, this is among theologians.”
“You must give the solid food of faith to the people of God, not feed the people of God disputed questions,” because that could confuse them and cause them to lose their faith, the Pope told the group during a meeting celebrating the commission’s 50th anniversary.
St Paul VI established the commission to continue the collaboration between theologians and the teaching authority of the Church experienced at the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said. And he wanted to ensure that the doctrinal congregation would benefit from the contributions of theologians reflecting on questions of faith in different parts of the world and in different cultural contexts.
“In fact,” the Pope told them, “you listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches in different cultures today in order to shed light on ever-new aspects of the inexhaustible mystery of Christ.”
By “translating” the faith for people of different cultures, he said, theologians help people feel “closer to and embraced by the Church, taken by the hand where they are and accompanied to taste the sweetness of the ‘kerygma’ (proclamation of Christ) and its timeless newness”.
“This is theology’s call,” he said. “It’s not an academic disquisition about life, but the incarnation of the faith in one’s life.”
“Good theology” is research that is born of a theologian’s own active spiritual life, he said. “Theology is born and grows on one’s knees!”