Here we go ...

Thomas

So it goes ...
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A new document issued today by Pope Frances, "Ad Theologiam Promovendam ('to promote theology'), revises the statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (PATH) “to make them more suitable for the mission that our time imposes on theology.”

Pope Francis has called for a “paradigm shift” in Catholic theology that takes widespread engagement with contemporary science, culture, and people’s lived experience as an essential starting point, citing the need to deal with “profound cultural transformations”.

“Theology can only develop in a culture of dialogue and encounter between different traditions and different knowledge, between different Christian confessions and different religions, openly engaging with everyone, believers and nonbelievers,” he writes.

He says Catholic theology must experience a “courageous cultural revolution” in order to become a “fundamentally contextual theology.” Guided by Christ’s incarnation into time and space, theology must be capable of reading and interpreting “the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women live daily, in different geographical, social, and cultural environments.”

The pope contrasted this approach with a theology that is limited to “abstractly re-proposing formulas and schemes from the past” and repeated his long-standing criticism of “desk bound theology.” Instead, he emphasised that theological studies must be open to the world, not as a “‘tactical’ attitude” but as a profound “turning point” in their method, which he said must be “inductive.”

Pope Francis said that this “pastoral stamp” must be placed upon all of Catholic theology. Described as “popular theology,” by starting from “the different contexts and concrete situations in which people are inserted” and allowing itself “to be seriously challenged by reality,” theological reflection can aid in the discernment of the “signs of the times.”

To achieve this “‘outgoing’ theology,” Pope Francis wrote that theology must become “transdisciplinary,” part of a “web of relationships, first of all with other disciplines and other knowledge.” This engagement, he wrote, leads to “the arduous task” of theologians making use of “new categories developed by other knowledge” in order to “penetrate and communicate the truths of faith and transmit the teaching of Jesus in today’s languages, with originality and critical awareness.”

Pope Francis also wrote that priority must be given to “the knowledge of people’s ‘common sense,’” which he described as a “theological source in which many images of God live, often not corresponding to the Christian face of God, only and always love.”

(English version of the document not available yet ... )

+++

At the root of this, I think Pope Francis has an issue with 'clerical conservatism' by which the clergy regards itself as superior to the laity, who should be quiet and do what they're told. This conservatism has played, and continues to play, its part in the scandals that have dome so much damage to the Church.
 
Such a pity the Latin Mass baby goes out with the bathwater, imo

The Carthusian motto is "the world changes but the Cross stands firm"
 
Women in priesthood?
Nope ... maybe female deacons.

Same sex marriage?
Nope. A same-sex union blessing, quite likely, but not a marriage.

Jeffersonian Bible?
Haha! A cut-n-paste job with all the supernatural elements removed? Not a chance.

Anybody doing the same to any other historical document would be rightly condemned by scholars.

What exactly is being proposed?
Well I haven't seen the whole text yet, so beyond the various blurbs, I can'r say.

All I know is the liberals will be all for it, the conservatives will be dead against it.

Stated flatly, as it has been, it's quite incendiary, in proposing, one might read, that the dogmas of the Church are open to debate ...

But Francis is always good for a sound-bite.
 
A new document issued today by Pope Frances, "Ad Theologiam Promovendam ('to promote theology'), revises the statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (PATH) “to make them more suitable for the mission that our time imposes on theology.”

Pope Francis has called for a “paradigm shift” in Catholic theology that takes widespread engagement with contemporary science, culture, and people’s lived experience as an essential starting point, citing the need to deal with “profound cultural transformations”.

“Theology can only develop in a culture of dialogue and encounter between different traditions and different knowledge, between different Christian confessions and different religions, openly engaging with everyone, believers and nonbelievers,” he writes.

He says Catholic theology must experience a “courageous cultural revolution” in order to become a “fundamentally contextual theology.” Guided by Christ’s incarnation into time and space, theology must be capable of reading and interpreting “the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women live daily, in different geographical, social, and cultural environments.”

The pope contrasted this approach with a theology that is limited to “abstractly re-proposing formulas and schemes from the past” and repeated his long-standing criticism of “desk bound theology.” Instead, he emphasised that theological studies must be open to the world, not as a “‘tactical’ attitude” but as a profound “turning point” in their method, which he said must be “inductive.”

Pope Francis said that this “pastoral stamp” must be placed upon all of Catholic theology. Described as “popular theology,” by starting from “the different contexts and concrete situations in which people are inserted” and allowing itself “to be seriously challenged by reality,” theological reflection can aid in the discernment of the “signs of the times.”

To achieve this “‘outgoing’ theology,” Pope Francis wrote that theology must become “transdisciplinary,” part of a “web of relationships, first of all with other disciplines and other knowledge.” This engagement, he wrote, leads to “the arduous task” of theologians making use of “new categories developed by other knowledge” in order to “penetrate and communicate the truths of faith and transmit the teaching of Jesus in today’s languages, with originality and critical awareness.”

Pope Francis also wrote that priority must be given to “the knowledge of people’s ‘common sense,’” which he described as a “theological source in which many images of God live, often not corresponding to the Christian face of God, only and always love.”

(English version of the document not available yet ... )

+++

At the root of this, I think Pope Francis has an issue with 'clerical conservatism' by which the clergy regards itself as superior to the laity, who should be quiet and do what they're told. This conservatism has played, and continues to play, its part in the scandals that have dome so much damage to the Church.
Truly great news. Let’s all use our prefrontal cortexes that can help bring forth an age/era of intentional integration. My take on what this latest to develop part of the human brain mostly brings to the “table” is “integration” and “intentionality.” Thank God that a leader of a major branch of a major religion is using his, and courageously setting a good example. If Christianity can put spirituality first, it has a chance to not only survive, but thrive.

Of course it means developing a greater appreciation of the metaphorical truths of its scriptures, a shift to a looser grip, right brain impressionistic, mode of thought that requires true faith. Pope Francis seems to be focused on the natural divinity that Christ embodied as an example for all human beings. A Grower (more than a rescuer) who showed us the spiritual Way. We can feel our way into the Divine, and see it shining through our daily existence.

You go, Pope!

Love,
Darrell (aka otherbrother)
 
Stated flatly, as it has been, it's quite incendiary, in proposing, one might read, that the dogmas of the Church are open to debate ...
Interesting to see how this plays out in the historical context of our “culture wars.”

A good way to get persecuted or crucified. Pope Francis does have a big line of credit to draw upon, but this is (at least what you showed of it) a MAJOR expenditure, possibly even exceeding his credit limit.

In a book I wrote (that no one read!), I delineated two kinds of “new sin.” By new sin, I meant the misfortune of not aiding collective evolution/growth. New sin was discussed in a section that describes one of three domains of doing “God’s work.” This domain was called “Era work,” the work of helping us (both as a collective and as individuals within that collective) move toward higher levels of understanding and being (deeper, more whole). The assumption is that God or Deepest Self wants us to grow, perhaps to wake up (as one of the German Idealists, Schilling? claimed) from the mere-ness or “slumbering” of surface, physical, reality—to become more lucid within the “dream” that we mistake as overall reality.

Type 1 new sin is to drag our feet and resist God’s initiatives to grow towards lucidity, enlightenment. Perhaps it is but projective personification on my part, but I assume that Mind Itself or God enters the surface reality in waves or “projects” in a way similar to us doing home improvement projects. A kind of “preveniant (sp?, John Wesley) grace” nudges us (over and beyond our conscious intent) to grow our culture and society into a higher stage.

Type 1 new sin is when we ignore and resist the calling and grace to grow/evolve.

Type 2 new sin is when we get too excited and rush headlong into the new era, failing to adequately utilize the resources (that could be used to facilitate constructive change) embedded in the previous era, and causing too much push-back for change.

Type 1 is too much lean into a conservative approach.

Type 2 is too much lean into a liberal approach.

The concern is that the Pope is taking a big step, perhaps new sin type 2? But if Universal Mind has his back, there is enough momentum for these bold initiatives to withstand the inevitable conservative pushback.

Sorry for the wordiness. I just don’t know what I’m talking about well enough to say it more to the point. And, to my defense, sometimes the points need a suitable context in order to have much meaning.

Thanks if you took the time and energy to process these thoughts.

Love,
Darrell (otherbrother)
 
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Of course it means developing a greater appreciation of the metaphorical truths of its scriptures, a shift to a looser grip, right brain impressionistic, mode of thought that requires true faith.
Tricky one ... the Church has been aware of the four senses of Scripture from the get-go (The literal, the analogical, the moral and the anagogical), but if the implication of your statement is that we should treat what is regarded as 'literal' as 'metaphorical', then that's not what Francis is saying, and personally I think you've missed the trick, as it were, in favour of the 'same old, same old', whereas I would argue both ...

Pope Francis seems to be focused on the natural divinity that Christ embodied as an example for all human beings. A Grower (more than a rescuer) who showed us the spiritual Way. We can feel our way into the Divine, and see it shining through our daily existence.
Again, I'm not sure that's quite his message. In Abrahamic terms, 'divinity' itself transcends nature, so 'natural divinity' is a questionable oxymoron.

Nature open to the divine, or the divine immanent present in and to nature, yes, but Francis would reject the idea that nature is itself inherently divine, there is a distinction between the created/caused and the Uncreate/Uncaused ...
 
Regarding this, that you said: “Nature open to the divine, or the divine immanent present in and to nature, yes, but Francis would reject the idea that nature is itself inherently divine, there is a distinction between the created/caused and the Uncreate/Uncaused ...”

What about “in the image?” Doesn’t that imply a certain divine glow that never got dulled out of earthly existence? Perhaps I actually mean something like your “divine immanent(ly) present in and to nature”. As long as there’s an open door, I can live with the formal distinction between caused and I caused, etc. As long as the perfect and pure doesn’t become the enemy of the good.
 
What about “in the image?” Doesn’t that imply a certain divine glow that never got dulled out of earthly existence?
Yes.

Perhaps I actually mean something like your “divine immanent(ly) present in and to nature”. As long as there’s an open door, I can live with the formal distinction between caused and I caused, etc.
The door is always open.

As long as the perfect and pure doesn’t become the enemy of the good.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here?
 
The main branch of the Methodist church recently split in two...all the member churches had to vote.to decide which way they were going...lgtbq friendly ally or not in my church.

I think they made a mistake not making priests and admins vote public...so the congregation could have them move to the church that they would have voted with.

A change is definitely coming...Spong's book comes to mind. Change with the Catholic church is like turning an aircraft carrier...it takes a while eh?
 
Yes.


The door is always open.


I'm not quite sure what you mean here?
Normal , left brain dominant, “consciousness” tends towards dichotomous, “either/or” thought that in my writing elsewhere I have called “thinking like matter.” What I called/call “thinking like energy” (probably more right brain processing) allows for sense flows, blends, ratios.

Developmentally, we are taught to make the left brain processing our default program. It identifies everything and puts it into its neat little place. Mastery of it comes later than the right brain processing that is more prevalent during childhood. So there is a cultural bias to use the “new and improved” model of mental processing. But something akin to a quanta’s wave characteristics (as compared to its particle characteristics) is lost.

Fortunately, an even newer brain tool develops on into adulthood. It is the latest to develop, and first to atrophy during old age. It is the time-limited crown jewel of neurological development, one of God’s greatest gifts to us. It allows the earlier right brain “tool” to be integrated into the consciousness building project. I think this stage of mental/spiritual development was anticipated prophetically as the “Tree of Life.” Understanding of life’s dynamics comes late in both science and religion. It is more challenging to understand interactive flow while maintaining left brain analysis of “things”. But, thanks to the Crown Jewel of neuropsychological development, the prefrontal cortex, we can begin to see, or at least reasonably sense, how the complexities of Creation (including its ongoing unfolding) weave together. The prefrontal cortex allows us to use “both/and”, more flexible, thinking, and to be more integrated. Since it is part of the frontal lobe that helps us stay on task, goal-oriented, it also brings greater intentionality. The implications of intentional, mindful, being are indeed “spiritual.” We can intentionally DO God’s work, instead of being mere chess pieces moved about in Creation. We can use our free will to fulfill His will.

Thoughts about perfection and purity often reflect our “right hand (crossing over to left brain) of God” bias, inherited in our faith traditional during the Tree of Knowledge phase of cultural development.

We took comfort in precise “knowing,” but lost some of the gnosis in the process.

Now we are blessed with the first fruits of the Tree of Life. Time to use the prefrontal cortex, “while (limited) supplies last.” “Perfectionism, get thee behind me!”

We have a means to more effectively “open the doors.”

Regarding my meaning behind “natural divinity,” this that I wrote on another thread might help explain, especially “Some degree of quantum coherence survives the (unpacking) process.” :

“Recently, I have used again those 3 foci while running, and hope to transfer that practice to daily life.

The three foci:

Deep

Being

Flow


Deep and Flow are easier to imagine as being “spiritual.” Being may need more explanation.

Basically, it is to sense the deep-source divinity that survives the physical manifestation of being/beings. To sense the nature divinity in beings and things. In quantum theory terms, it would be to sense the wave characteristics that did not totally collapse while unpacking into a classical object. Some degree of quantum coherence survives the process. And perhaps we have the ability to amplify the coherence, to make the classical object more coherent than it would normally be? Can we put a “glow on” dull objects? So they could be used more creatively and effectively to create integrated processes? To gradually move the world toward wholeness? “

Thomas, If you managed to process all (or even MOST of) these thoughts, you might qualify for sainthood!

I really enjoy our deep dives, our little theology sessions.

Love,
Darrell (otherbrother)
 
The main branch of the Methodist church recently split in two...all the member churches had to vote.to decide which way they were going...lgtbq friendly ally or not in my church.

I think they made a mistake not making priests and admins vote public...so the congregation could have them move to the church that they would have voted with.

A change is definitely coming...Spong's book comes to mind. Change with the Catholic church is like turning an aircraft carrier...it takes a while eh?
Wil, The (Methodist) church I am a member of chose the LGBTQ-friendly path/identity (“Reconciling?”).

You mentioned “Spong’s book.” I’m not familiar with that. Probably something I’ll want to read.
 
Yes.


The door is always open.


I'm not quite sure what you mean here?
Instead of “natural divinity,” “natural proclivity towards divinity?”

I think Depok Chopra is onto something when he refers to God as Pure Potential. God calls us to a higher, fuller, deeper state of being. Perhaps the potential to grow is a huge part of God. Even if God were to turn out to be this upward pull, non-actual until such actualization, but as real as real can be as a great POTENTIAL for goodness and wholeness. If “exists” means “to stand out,” perhaps God “insists”, without standing out as an actual thing.
 
...something akin to a quanta’s wave characteristics (as compared to its particle characteristics) ... the complexities of Creation (including its ongoing unfolding) weave together ... "both/and” more flexible, thinking, ... In quantum theory terms, it would be to sense the wave characteristics that did not totally collapse while unpacking into a classical object
@otherbrother
Bingo, imo. Nice
 
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A change is definitely coming...Spong's book comes to mind. Change with the Catholic church is like turning an aircraft carrier...it takes a while eh?
LOL, you mean change direction by denying everything we believe in? Not a chance ...

His radical liberalism split his own episcopal church, which is in decline like so many others, but the evidence is clear that while numbers are declining, Spong's complete 'about face' is not the solution ... especially when it's so grounded in the social politics of his own times.

His sociology is admirable, and I applaud him for it, but his theology is not.
 
Instead of “natural divinity,” “natural proclivity towards divinity?”

I think Depok Chopra is onto something when he refers to God as Pure Potential. God calls us to a higher, fuller, deeper state of being. Perhaps the potential to grow is a huge part of God. Even if God were to turn out to be this upward pull, non-actual until such actualization, but as real as real can be as a great POTENTIAL for goodness and wholeness. If “exists” means “to stand out,” perhaps God “insists”, without standing out as an actual thing.
This poem that I wrote a year or two ago expresses the same philosophical/theological (in this case TELEOLOGICAL) notion:

Creator



What if there’s no God ahead of time,

only a god on down the line,

a god created from our mind,

as a mystical notion of the divine

that we can’t quite remember

but we never forget,

even though what it is

isn’t yet?



What if that God on down the line

relentlessly pulls us toward the divine,

the us we already really were,

but the thought of it just didn’t occur

until we reached a certain fullness of mind,

and finally meet the One that is,

but never was

ahead of time?
 
Normal, left brain dominant, “consciousness” tends towards ...

Developmentally, we are taught to make the left brain processing our default program...
My neuroscience knowledge is limited to Iain McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary, so I known enough to know it's a very complex issue, and while I agree with the left/right dichotomy, I'm loathe to rest too much on the theory, for the same reason I'm loathe to assume too much a spiritual view of Quantum Mechanics – I simply don't know enough.

I'm listening to McGilchrist now, on YouTube – but already I've picked up on the right brain more attuned to the sense of humour, poetry, fables, narratives and rituals – or rather the interiority of such communicative forms – and we've become focussed on the exterior and superficial form of the thing ...

Jumping ahead, he speaks of 'embodiedness' (a right brain thing) and that is entirely my theology – that in Christ we have the embodiment of the Divine, and I read Scripture through that lens – the union of spirit and nature, the unity of spirit and nature, as it was originally intended.

I might argue then that the Fall (Genesis 3) perfectly sums up the emergence of the Left Hand Sphere, and furthermore the temptation that Eve underwent: "And the woman saw that the (fruit of) tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold" (Genesis 3:6) is exactly what the Left does – it sees surface and superficial, but fails to comprehend the depth, the meaning, of the act?

It identifies everything and puts it into its neat little place.
Exactly.

So there is a cultural bias to use the “new and improved” model of mental processing. But something akin to a quanta’s wave characteristics (as compared to its particle characteristics) is lost.
I see this as the root of the 'new atheism'.

Fortunately, an even newer brain tool develops on into adulthood... It allows the earlier right brain “tool” to be integrated into the consciousness building project...
I do wonder if perhaps the Ancients were more balanced than we are today – that the physical world was more permeable to them than to us, as if they saw the particle, but simultaneously sensed the wave pattern ... but this is probably my romance of the past ...

We took comfort in precise “knowing,” but lost some of the gnosis in the process.
I'd agree – I rather think gnosis is more about 'being' than 'knowing'. In the highest realms of gnosis, there's nothing to know, there is no object of knowledge ... it's being in the flow, not facing the fact (a rather advaita comment, I think!)

We have a means to more effectively “open the doors.”
although I think the Ancients had just as effective means, if perhaps not moreso ...

Basically, it is to sense the deep-source divinity that survives the physical manifestation of being/beings.
The non-manifesting Logos as such, prior to its bringing into being the differentiated myriad logoi?

In quantum theory terms, it would be to sense the wave characteristics that did not totally collapse while unpacking into a classical object. Some degree of quantum coherence survives the process.
D'you know Eriugena's "Fourfold Division of Nature"?
His claim is that “nature” (natura): "the general term for all things that are and all things that are not” (I.441a), including God and creation, is divided into four species:
that which creates and is not created (ie., God);
that which creates and is created (ie., Primary Causes or Ideas);
that which is created and does not create (ie., Temporal Effects, created things);
that which is neither created nor creates (ie., non-being, nothingness, Beyond-Being).

The four are not strictly a hierarchy in the usual Neoplatonic sense of higher and lower orders, rather, the first and fourth both refer to God as the Beginning and End of all things, and the second and third may be thought to express the unity of the cause-effect relation.

The division is an attempt to show that nature is a dialectical coming together of being and non-being. Creation is normally understood as coming into being from non-being. God as creator is then a kind of transcendent non-being above the being of creation... Its discussion runs into five volumes.

And perhaps we have the ability to amplify the coherence, to make the classical object more coherent than it would normally be?
absolutely. "And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord" (Luke 1:46) – there is a classical Catholic theory that Mary's God-bearing is an embodied archetype of the union of spirit and matter ... whether we amplify the coherence, or whether the underpinning coherence becomes more visible is possibly a matter of semantics.

Can we put a “glow on” dull objects? So they could be used more creatively and effectively to create integrated processes? To gradually move the world toward wholeness?“
Illuminate all of nature, you mean, and not just the intellect/soul ... I absolutely bloomin' think so!

I really enjoy our deep dives, our little theology sessions.
So do I.

Pax vobiscum.
 
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