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I s s ue 2 2 Tuesday Conference
Theology e-magazine To make humanity united in worshipping God

New times, New Agenda. Part II Our Heavenly Patron
Tuesday Conference r each es you the second par t of
the article titled New times, New Agenda: An Updated Theology of
Priesthood. We have our responses in this issue.
The review of our ministries and the deployment of our
available manpower and resources is important. We must pay
great attention to the role in the service of faith and the
promotion of justice. This can be carried out by our retreat
houses, educational institutions, periodicals, parishes and the
other apostolic works for which we are responsible. Not only
should our structured activities undergo this review, so should our
individual apostolates. Any realistic plan to engage in the
promotion of justice will also mean some kind of involvement in
civic activity.

The aim is to insure a change in our habitual
patterns of thought, a conversion of heart as
well as of spirit. The result will be effective
apostolic decisions.
Greater emphasis should be placed on the
Page - 02 conscientization according to the Gospel of those who
have the power to bring about social change.

We must
Evaluation of Our Apostolic Work
We must be aware of the need for socio-political and
undertake a
theological reflection, carried on in a context which is both
interdisciplinary and integrated with the culture in which we are
 We should pursue and intensify th e w or k of
t of our
formation in every sphere of education.
 We must help prepare both young people and adults
to live and labour for others and with others to build a more
just world.
attitudes and
 We have to take a critical look at our ability to
communicate our heart-felt convictions not only to persons we
deal with directly, but also with those we cannot meet
New Responses
Our responses to these new challenges must be total,
It must be corporate, rooted in faith and experience, and multiform.
with a view to -total: W h ile r elying on pr ayer , and acting on the
conviction that God alone can change the human heart, we must
throw into this enterprise all that we are and have, our whole
them to the
persons, our communities, institutions, ministries, resources.
new needs of
-corporate: Each one of us m ust contr ibute to the total
the times and
mission according to his talents and functions which, in
to a world in collaboration with the efforts of others, give life to the whole body.
process of -rooted in faith and experience: It is fr om faith and
rapid change. experience combined that we will learn how to respond most
appropriately to new needs arising from new situations.
-multiform: W e m ust cultivate a gr eat adaptability and
flexibility in the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

We need to find Jesus Christ in the brokenness of our world, living
in solidarity with the poor and outcast.
We are insulated from any real contact with unbelief, everyday consequences of
injustice and oppression. As a result we run the risk of not being able to hear the cry
for the Gospel by the men and women of our time. Page - 03

1. New Responses to Faith
A deeper involvement with others in the world will be a decisive test of our
faith, of our hope, and of our apostolic charity. To be involved in the world in this
way is essential if we are to share our faith and our hope, and thus preach a Gospel
that will respond to the needs and aspirations of our contemporaries.
We must go wherever there was hope of the more universal good; go to those
who have been abandoned; go to those who are in greatest need.
But where is the greatest need today?
Where are we to locate this hope for the more universal good?
Can we ever afford to neglect the direct apostolate to individuals, to
those who are the victims of the injustice?

Are we ready???
 To bear witness to the Gospel in the painful situations where our faith and our
hope are tested by unbelief and injustice?
 To give ourselves to the demanding and serious study of bible, theology,
philosophy and the human sciences, which are ever more necessary if we are to
understand and try to resolve the problems of the world?

The 2. New Responses to Preaching the Word
transformatio Our ministries of the proclamation of the Word and the
n of cultures celebration of the life of Christ in the sacraments continue to be
requires a fundamental for our mission and our lives. They must be seen as
dialogue with part of the three-fold responsibility :
the religions  kerygma- There cannot, be an effective proclamation of the
and a
 leitourgia Kingdom unless the Gospel, touches its structural,
corresponding cultural and religious aspects with its light.
engagement  Diakonia.
with the social In this way, the Gospel comes to be seen in a new light; its
conditions that meaning is enriched, renewed, even transformed. There is
structure effective dialogue with members of other traditions when there is
them. a shared commitment to a transformation of the cultural and
social life within which people live.
There are important analogies between the rights of persons
and the ‘rights of peoples,’ such as cultural integrity and preservation, Page - 04

and control of their own destiny and resources.

3. New Responses to Social Justice & Human Rights
As Jesus
We need to work for structural changes in the socio-
the liberator
economic and political orders as an important dimension of the
calls us, we
must work
promotion of justice.
with  working for peace and reconciliation through nonviolence;
communities  working to end discrimination against people based on race,
of solidarity religion, gender, ethnic background or social class;
in supporting
 working to counter growing poverty and hunger while material
these rights.
prosperity becomes ever more concentrated.

A decision in this direction will bring us to ask ourselves;
 with whom we are identified
 what our apostolic preferences are.
For us, the promotion of justice is not one apostolic area among others, the
social apostolate; rather, it should be the concern of our whole life and a dimension
of all our apostolic endeavors.

4. New Responses to our Poor Brethren
Solidarity with those who live a life of hardship and who are victims of
oppression cannot be the choice of a few priests only. If we have the patience
and the humility and the courage to walk with the poor, we will learn from what
they have to teach us what we can do to help them. Without this arduous journey,
our efforts for the poor will have an effect just the opposite. These require our
attention which biblical tradition demands;
 Indigenous peoples isolated and relegated to marginal social roles, see their
identity, cultural legacy and natural world threatened.
 Other social groups — an example would be the Dalits, untouchables — suffer
severe social discrimination in civil and even ecclesial society.
 The long-term unemployed, young people, exploited and abandoned children of
the streets, the aged who live alone without protection, ex-convicts, victims of
drug abuse and those afflicted with AIDS .
Page - 05 An open and sincere interreligious dialogue is our
cooperation with God's ongoing dialogue with humanity.

5. New Responses to Interreligious Dialogue
gious dialogue
We realize that God, who wants all people to be saved,
at its deepest leads believers of all religions to the harmony of the Reign of God
level is always in ways known only to him. God's Spirit is in continuous
a dialogue of dialogue with them. In dialogue
salvation,  we let God be present in our midst,
because it dialogue is a work
 we open ourselves to one another,
seeks to desired by God, an
 we open ourselves to God.
discover, Dialogue helps us to recognize that integral element of
clarify and these religions are graced with an the Church’s
understand authentic experience of the self- evangelizing
better the communication of the divine Word and of
mission, which
signs of the the saving presence of the divine Spirit.
Interreligious dialogue and proclamation finds expression in
dialogue which of the Gospel are not contrary ministries, the service of faith
God maintains as if one could replace the other. Both are and the promotion
aspects of the one evangelizing mission of
with humanity. of justice.
the Church.

6. New Responses to Inculturation
We need to respect these diverse cultures in their self-affirmation and to
work along with them creatively. We must take pains to adapt our preaching of the
Gospel to the culture of the place so that men and women may receive Christ
according to the distinctive character of each country, class or group and
environment. Pope Paul VI wrote that the split between the Gospel and culture is
without a doubt the tragedy of our time.
In every ministry, we must recognize that the salvific work of God's revelation
is already present in every culture. We must not impose our own cultural
structures, but witness to the creativity of the Spirit which is also at work in others.
The call to inculturated evangelization is not simply for those working in a land
other than their own. All of our works take place in a particular cultural setting with
positive and negative features which the Gospel must touch.
We cannot be excused from making the most rigorous
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possible political and social analysis of our situation.

7. New Responses to Religious Fundamentalism
Care of the
Nothing should excuse us, either, from undertaking a
searching discernment into our situation from the pastoral and
affects the
apostolic point of view. Any effort to promote justice will cost us
quality of our something. This will require the utilization of the various
relationships sciences, sacred and profane, and of the various disciplines,
with God, speculative and practical, and all of this demands intense and
with other specialized studies. Communal discernment requires that each
human of us develop some basic characteristics and attitudes, mobility,
beings, and humility, freedom, the ability to accompany others, patience,
with creation and a willingness to listen respectfully so that we may speak the
itself. truth to each other.

8. New Responses to Ecology
The new response calls us to move beyond doubts and indifference to take
responsibility for our home, the earth. We urges all and all partners engaged in the
same mission, particularly the universities and research centres, to promote this
cause. We should find ways in which our experiences with refugees and the
displaced, and people who work for the protection of the environment could
interact and have effective practical benefits for society and the environment.

Some Special Questions
Following are the few areas identified for our reflection in regard to our times.
The success of these initiatives, whatever form they take, requires of us a solid
formation, intense solidarity in community and a vivid awareness of our identity.

1. Formation of Young Priests
Young priests should be in contact with the poor, not just occasionally, but in
a more sustained manner. Each stage of our formation programmes should root us
in the cultures of the people we serve. It is also important that we strengthen in our
formation the mystical dimension of Christian faith and spirituality in encounter
with the spiritual traditions of others. Advanced secular studies for priests must be
encouraged and supported throughout formation.
2. Educational Apostolates 3. Ecumenism Page - 07
A strengthening and renewal of We need a closer collaboration with
education ministry as a privileged other members of the local church-es,
means for us to respond adequately to Christians of other denominations,
various issues. We can conscientize believers of other religions, and all who
students on the value of interreligious hunger and thirst after justice.
collaboration and instil in them a basic Ecumenism will then become not just a
understanding of and respect for the particular ministry but an attitude of
faith. mind and a way of life.

4. International Cooperation
We may be working as members of a diocese or of a province or region. But it
cannot put us confined to narrow outlook. All the major problems, of our time have
an international dimension. A real availability and openness to change will thus be
necessary to foster the growth of cooperation and coordination throughout the whole
All these points to a simple fact, a bare truth, that the priest of today have
to face, to confront squarely is priesthood is ever dynamic, if we stay still, we
are outdated, irrelevant and sometimes even burdensome.

Priesthood as a Team Work
As we are sharing in the priesthood of Christ, we are all an apostolic
community, not inward but outward looking. We are a community of men ready to
go wherever they are sent. We are all carthusisans at home and apostles aboard. A
communitas ad dispersionem, but also a koinonia, a sharing of goods and life, with
the Eucharist at its center. As we are sharing in the priesthood of Christ, we are also a
community of discernment. That is why we open our minds and hearts to our
superiors and our superiors, in turn, take part in the discernment of our
communities, always on the shared understanding that final decisions belong to
those who have the burden of authority. This is how we function as a team.
To Conclude:
We are sum up our discussions wit a few questions; Where do we live? Where
do we work? How? With whom? W h at r eally is our involvem ent w ith ,
dependence on, or commitment to ideologies and power centers? Is it only to the
converted that we know how to preach Jesus Christ? These are some of the questions
we should raise with reference to our membership individually, as well as to our
communities and institutions.

Editor: Tony Maliyekal VC Published from Vincentian Vidyabhavan, Aluva.