Reflections on the Teaching of Vatican II Through the Magisterium of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Pope in Private Audience With the Presiding Board of Latin American Religious
Private Audience with Latin American
On June 6, 2013, the Pope received the presiding board of the CLAR (the Latin
American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women - Confederación
Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas).
In an environment of
trust and simplicity, Francis prompted the leaders of the CLAR to not be afraid
of continuing to carrying on their mission to the boundaries and to the
borders.... "Courage! Advance towards new horizons! Do not be afraid to
run risks going to the poor, and to new emerging subjects in the
continent," said Pope Bergoglio, who at the end of the meeting
emphatically thanked religious life for being "sign and witness of the
Gospel" in many places in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Audience with Pope Francis
"Open the doors... Open the doors!"
They will make mistakes, they
will make a blunder [meter la pata], this will pass! Perhaps even a
letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine (of the
Faith) will arrive for you, telling you that you said such or such thing... But
do not worry. Explain whatever you have to explain, but move forward... Open
the doors, do something there where life calls for it. I would rather have a
Church that makes mistakes for doing something than one that gets sick for
being closed up...
(on his election) I did not
lose my peace [of mind - no perdí la paz] at any moment, you know? And this is
not from myself, I am of the kind that gets worried, that gets upset... But I
did not lose my peace at any moment. This confirms to me that this comes from
(upon mentioning to him the
hope that his gestures at this time have brought us, he makes reference to
having stayed at Santa Marta) ....these gestures... they have not come from me.
They have not occurred to me. It is not as if I had brought a plan, nor that I
have made one myself once elected. I do it because I felt this was what the
Lord wanted. But these gestures are not mine, there is Someone else here...
this gives me confidence.
I came [to Rome] only with the
necessary clothes, I washed them at night, and suddenly this... And I did not
have any chance! In the London betting houses I was in 44th place, look at
that, the one who bet on me won a lot, of course...! This does not come from
It is necessary to shake things
up [flip things over, lit. dar vuelta (a) la tortilla]. It is not
news that an old man dies of cold in Ottaviano [Rorate note: referring
to the surroundings of via Ottaviano and the Ottaviano Rome Metro station, near
the Vatican], or that there be so many children with no education, or hungry, I
think of Argentina...On the other hand, the main stock exchanges go up or down
3 points, and this is a world event. One must shake things up! This cannot be.
Computers are not made in the image and likeness of God; they are an
instrument, yes, but nothing more. Money is not image and likeness of God. Only
the person is image and likeness of God. It is necessary to flip it over. This
is the gospel.
It is necessary to go to the
causes, to the roots. Abortion is bad, but that is clear. But behind the
approval of this law, what interests are behind it... they are at times the
conditions posed by the great organizations to support with money, you know
that? It is necessary to go to the causes, we cannot remain only in the
symptoms. Do not be afraid to denounce... you will suffer, you will have
problems, but do not be afraid to denounce, that is the prophecy of religious
I share with you two concerns.
One is the Pelagian current that there is in the Church at this moment. There
are some restorationist groups. I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in
Buenos Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council...
One feels in 1940... An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh
at it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I
received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness,
we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say,
'we pray for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting... And these groups
return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through - not you, because
you are not old - to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but
not now, they do not exist today...
The second [concern] is for a
Gnostic current. Those Pantheisms... Both are elite currents, but this one is
of a more educated elite... I heard of a superior general that prompted the
sisters of her congregation to not pray in the morning, but to spiritually
bathe in the cosmos, things like that... They concern me because they ignore
the incarnation! And the Son of God became our flesh, the Word was made flesh,
and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly [de tirar al techo]! What happens
to the poor, their pains, this is our flesh...
The gospel is not the old rule,
nor this Pantheism. If you look at the periphery; the destitute... the drug
addicts! The traffic of people... This is the gospel. The poor are the
(upon mentioning the hardship
of being in charge of the Roman Curia, and the commission of cardinals who will
support him, etc.) And, yes... it is difficult. In the Curia, there are also
holy people, really, there are holy people. But there also is a stream of
corruption, there is that as well, it is true... The "gay lobby" is
mentioned, and it is true, it is there... We need to see what we can do...
The reform of the Roman Curia
is something that almost all Cardinals asked for in the Congregations preceding
the Conclave. I also asked for it. I cannot promote the reform myself, these
matters of administration... I am very disorganized, I have never been good at
this. But the cardinals of the Commission will move it forward. There is
Rodríguez Maradiaga, who is Latin American, who is in front of it, there is
Errázuriz, they are very organized. The one from Munich is also very organized.
They will move it forward.
Pray for me... that I make
mistakes the least possible...
Aparecida is not over. [Rorate
note: the reference is to the 5th General Conference of the Latin American
Episcopate, held in the Marian shrine of Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007.] Aparecida
is not simply a document. It was an event. Aparecida was a different thing.
First, because there was no working draft. There were suggesions, but not a
draft. And in the end, there was no document either, but on the eve of the
final day, we had 2,300 "notes"... Aparecida moved towards the
continental mission. There ends Aparecida, in the push towards mission.
[Blogger: the reference to the
“continental mission” makes on think of John Paul II’s document “Church in
America” (1997) as a blue-print for the American continent as the spark-plug for the
new evangelization. That document should be read carefully as well as the Notes of Aparecida].
What Aparecida had that was
special was that it was not celebrated in a hotel, nor in a retreat house... it
was celebrated in a Marian shrine. During the week, we celebrated the eucharist
and there were some 250 people, because it was a regular workday. But on the
weekends, it was full....! The people of God joined the Bishops, asking for the
I saw - I name him because I
see him more standoffish, more like this, he is good, but he is like that - I
saw the Prefect, João [Rorate note: João Braz de Aviz, then-Archbishop
of Brasilia, now Cardinal-Prefect of Religious], who went out with his miter,
and people got close to him, and they brought the children near, and he greeted
them, and hugged them like this... This same bishop then voted. He could not
have voted the same way as if he had been in a hotel!
We had the meeting rooms under
the Shrine. So the background music were the chants, the celebrations in the
Shrine... This made it very special.
There is something that
concerns me, even though I do not know now to understand it. There are
religious congregations, very, very tiny groups, a few persons, very old
people... They have no vocations, what do I know, the Holy Spirit do not want
them to go on, perhaps they have already fulfilled their mission in the Church,
I do not know... But there they are, clinging to their buildings, clinging to
money... I do not know why this happens, I do not know how to understand it.
But I ask you to be concerned with these groups... The management of money...
is something that needs to be reflected upon.
Enjoy this moment that we live
in the Congregation for Consecrated Life... It is a moment of sunshine...
Enjoy. The Prefect [Cardinal Aviz] is good. And the Secretary [Abp. Rodríguez
Carballo, OFM], that was "lobbied" by you! No, really, being the
president of USG [Union of Superiors General], the logical thing was that it
would be him! It's better...
Place all your effort in the
dialogue with the Bishops. With CELAM [Latin American Episcopal Conference],
with the national conferences... I know there are some who have a different
idea of communion, but... Talk, speak with them, tell them...