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Reflections on Pope Francis’ documents

0319-3

BOGOTA, Colombia.
The Commission of theologians of the Teresian Association in America wish to contribute their reflection on to documents of Pope Francis.  Their work is an invitation to continue to deepen into them and find new perspectives.

They offer six reflections, each elaborated by one of the theologians who make up the commission. Some are focused on the contents of the documents themselves and others on some prominent aspects of the Pope, such as his "revolution of tenderness."

Each reflection is written from different perspectives. Consuelo Velez, when addressing the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: Paths of ecclesial renewal, presents a vision that helps understand "the journey of the Church - which Francisco wants to undertake - in the coming years," pointing to it as a "new evangelizing stage marked by The joy of the Gospel." She writes a brief presentation of the document and then dwells on some of the key aspects.

Lúcia Pedrosa-Padua proposes the vision of humanity found in Evangelii Gaudium, with its consequences for society, for the self-consciousness of each person as inter-subjectivity and for spirituality.

On the Encyclical Laudato Si, Consuelo Vélez offers a reflection on the articulation between ecological crisis and social crisis and, for this reason, she titles her contribution: "The encyclical of the environment and the poor." She then briefly presents the Bull Misericordiae Vultus, written by the Pope to convene the Jubilee of Mercy in 2015.

Andrea Sánchez Ruiz writes about the exhortation Amoris laetitia, moved by the Pope's style, realistic convictions, current theological and pastoral proposals. She emphasizes the words of Francis that spring from the experience of a man, a servant of communities, who has managed to pick up the life of families, their worries, their joys and sufferings from a perspective that attunes with the reality that couples are experiencing. She, as wife and mother, highlights issues of the document that invite to discernment in each environment and gives us some keys to reading the encyclical and some significant contributions.

The last document, presented by Consuelo Vélez, is on the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera, which Pope Francis wrote on November 20, 2016, for the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and through which he invites us to grow into a "Culture of Mercy."

Amparo Alvarado writes a l reflection on several of the Pope's writings from the persepective of "The Revolution of tenderness." She offers a reading of the Pope's thought, sensing in it a new ecclesial paradigm; a new vision of being human and of the world; a new ecclesiology and a new spirituality. Based on the Second Vatican Council and listening not only to local Churches around the world but to other Churches, the Pope invites us to a revolution, moving from theoretical and cold formulations to specific commitments and gestures of welcome, true love, humble service and, above all, closeness and identification with the poor. He encourages us to bear witness to our human, ecclesial, and spiritual identity with concrete expressions of tenderness.

Commission of American theologians of the Teresian Association.

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