Vatican City, 9 March 2015 (VIS) – On occasion of the one hundredth university of Faculty of Theology of the Universidad Catolica Argentina (U.C.A.), Pope Francis has sent a letter to Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Grand Chancellor of the faculty. “Teaching and studying theology means living on a frontier”, writes the Pope. “We must We must guard against a theology that spends itself in academic dispute or watches humanity from a glass castle. You learn to live: theology and holiness are inseparable”. Francis adds that the theology that is developed is therefore rooted and based on Revelation, on tradition, but also accompanies the cultural and social processes” and “must also take on board conflicts: not only those that we experience within the Church, but those that concern the whole world”.
The Pope urges all the members of the Faculty not to satisfy themselves with a theoretical “desktop theology” and not to give in to the temptation to “gloss over it, to perfume it, to adjust it a little and domesticate it”. Instead, he writes, good theologians “must, like good pastors, have the odour of the people and the street, and through their reflection, pour oil and wine on the wounds of men”. Similarly, he encourages them to study how the various disciplines … may reflect the centrality of mercy”, since “without mercy our theology, our law, our pastoral ministry run the risk of collapsing in petty bureaucracy or ideology”. He concludes by remarking that the U.C.A. does not form “museum theologians who accumulate data” or “spectators of history”, but rather people capable of building up humanity around them, “of transmitting the divine Christian truth in a truly human dimension”.