EUROPE/SPAIN - Blessed Pauline Jaricot for missionary theology

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 pontifical mission societies   missionary animation   formation   theology  

Burgos (Agenzia Fides) - Archbishop Dal Toso, president of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), at the end of his speech "Theological reflection at the service of the mission" at the Semana Española de Misionología on Monday, July 4 in Burgos (Spain) dwelt on the figure of Blessed Pauline Jaricot, whose charism still speaks with a strong voice today: "Every great theology is born from a strong experience of Christ. Pauline was probably a mystic and from her experience we can draw some valid considerations for theological reflection". The Archbishop traced some paths for reflection on mission starting from the following consideration: "At the moment of the foundation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, what was highlighted was: we are Catholics, that is, we do not want to help this or that mission, but all the missions of the Church. It is the concept of universality. Pauline also said that she did not feel a vocation for religious life, because her monastery was the world, and therefore she questioned us about the Christian's relationship towards the world. Finally, in the first years of her conversion she heard the voice of Christ who asked her if she was willing to suffer and die with Him and Pauline said yes: this is the key to understanding her whole story". Christianity is not a theory or a philosophical doctrine, it is the Incarnation: "the Christian is such because he retraces the life of Christ". It is not a question of a generic humanism or a marked philanthropy: "In particular, we should have the courage to reaffirm, also from an intellectual point of view, that the great contribution of the Church throughout history to the growth of the person comes from being drawn on Christ". This cannot block interreligious dialogue, today an indispensable aspect of mission, "because a true theology can never escape the theme of truth". As regards to the relationship with the world, Blessed Jaricot said that her monastery was the world and the Archbishop identifies in the relationship between the Church and the world, one of the points most in need of being enlightened today by a sound theological reflection: "In this sense perhaps what the II Vatican wrote about the presence of the laity in the world to sanctify the world, to transform it from within, to open it to the saving presence of God, perhaps deserves more attention". Finally, on the relationship between the local Church and the universal Church, the Archbishop underlines the importance of not exhausting the Christian experience in the here and now, but of opening it to a universal breath, which gives life to the here and now: "We know that the missionary field is a privileged field to live this reciprocity, to keep these two poles of the Christian experience alive. And therefore I can only encourage this faculty of Burgos which has found its strength precisely in the theological reflection on mission". (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 5/7/2022)