viernes, 18 de mayo de 2007


Thursday, May 17, 2007

I’m not sure what will be the topics for the final working agenda of the Commissions and Sub-Commissions. Yesterday I played the prophet when I mentioned some issues, but we will have to wait for the Assembly to decide. The one thing that was decided was that there will be a final Document, and the Redaction Commission was immediately appointed—it will be presided over by Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The other members of this Commission are Óscar Cardinal Rodríguez Madariaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa; Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Rietes, President of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference; Claúdio Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Concepción (Chile); Bishop Julio Edgar Cabrera of Jalapa (Guatemala); Bishop Mario Moronta of San Cristóbal (Venezuela) and Bishop Ricardo Tobón of Sonsón-Río Negro (Colombia).

A Catholic theologian from the progressive wing with whom I had a conversation outside the Conference hall says that he would be satisfied if the final Document reasserts, first of all, the “preferential option for the poor”, and secondly, the indication that poverty has “structural causes.” There are other issues such as women, Indians, the descendants of Africans and the Protestants, among others, which do not have great expectations but do have modest aspirations which, if they turn out to be accomplished, would be mere “grammatical successes.” For example, if evangelical Protestantism ceases to be termed as “fundamentalist sects” and its work ceases to be called “proselytist invasion”, we would be well served. In this case the aspirations are not ambitious because we know from beforehand the priorities of Catholic officialism.

At this time in the beginnings of the Conference, and even if we do not know what will be the topics to consider, the existing certainty is that there is an intuition of what issues will NOT be dealt with deeply enough. No miracles are expected concerning unequal treatment of women, for example. Carmiña Navia, a Xaverian religious sister and professor at the University of Valle (Cali, Colombia), has said that, from her point of view and her sensitivity as a woman, “no significant changes are in the horizon in this sense in the ecclesial landscape.” Carmiña believes that “in the institutional, majority sectors, the gender perspective and the acceptance of women in their full subjectivity is not something we could think can come in the next few years” (Carmiña Navia, La mujer y la Conferencia Episcopal: Reflexiones y propuestas. Revista Lascasiana, #32, 2006.)

There won’t be any big changes either in other sensitive issues, for which we will have to wait a little longer. Neither diaconate for women, nor marriage for priests, nor a more compassionate attitude with the so-called sexual minorities will be dealt with for the time being.

In order to get to know the agenda, we will have to wait a few days (not many)—but to see the big changes that many Catholic men and women have been dreaming about, we will have to wait much longer. For the time being, these miracles will not happen.


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