Querida Amazonia 104-105: Expanding Horizons Beyond Conflicts

Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation looks at a new topic. We can cover expanding horizons beyond conflicts in just one post. So let’s get to it:

104. It often happens that in particular places pastoral workers envisage very different solutions to the problems they face, and consequently propose apparently opposed forms of ecclesial organization. When this occurs, it is probable that the real response to the challenges of evangelization lies in transcending the two approaches and finding other, better ways, perhaps not yet even imagined.

People do take strong ownership of their service, their challenges and ministries. The Ignatian path suggests we practice a certain detachment. In other words …

Conflict is overcome at a higher level, where each group can join the other in a new reality, while remaining faithful to itself. Everything is resolved “on a higher plane and preserves what is valid and useful on both sides”.[Evangelii Gaudium 228] Otherwise, conflict traps us; “we lose our perspective, our horizons shrink and reality itself begins to fall apart”.[Ibid. 226]

105. In no way does this mean relativizing problems, fleeing from them or letting things stay as they are. Authentic solutions are never found by dampening boldness, shirking concrete demands or assigning blame to others. On the contrary, solutions are found by “overflow”, that is, by transcending the contraposition that limits our vision and recognizing a greater gift that God is offering. From that new gift, accepted with boldness and generosity, from that unexpected gift which awakens a new and greater creativity, there will pour forth as from an overflowing fountain the answers that contraposition did not allow us to see.

Pope Francis looks back to the most fruitful time of evangelization and inculturation:

In its earliest days, the Christian faith spread remarkably in accordance with this way of thinking, which enabled it, from its Jewish roots, to take shape in the Greco-Roman cultures, and in time to acquire distinctive forms. Similarly, in this historical moment, the Amazon region challenges us to transcend limited perspectives and “pragmatic” solutions mired in partial approaches, in order to seek paths of inculturation that are broader and bolder.

The era of Trent and colonialism hasn’t done well for us. Time for something new.

This document is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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