Saturday, December 26, 2015

What family?

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
December 27, 2015

Luke 2:41-52

Today is the Day of the Christian family. A recently established feast so that we Christians might celebrate and delve into what could be a family project understood and lived in the spirit of Jesus. It's not enough to defend the value of the family in an abstract way. Nor is it enough to imagine family life modeled after the family of Nazareth, idealized based on our concept of the traditional family. Following Jesus may sometimes require challenging and transforming schemes and customs deeply rooted in us.

The family is not something absolute and untouchable for Jesus. Moreover, what's significant isn't blood family, but that great family we humans are to go about building by heeding the wish of the one Father of all. Even his parents will have to learn, not without problems and conflicts.

According to Luke's account, Jesus' parents, distressed, look for him to find that he has abandoned them without worrying about them. How can he act like that? His mother reproaches him when she finds him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." Jesus surprises them with an unexpected response: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

His parents "didn't understand him." Only by delving into his words and behavior towards his family, do they gradually discover that, for Jesus, the first thing is the human family -- a more fraternal, just and united society, as God wants.

We can't celebrate today's feast responsibly without listening to the challenge of our faith.

How are our families? Are they committed to a better and more humane society, or exclusively locked into their own interests? Do they teach solidarity, peaceseeking, sensitivity to the needy, and compassion or do they teach living for insatiable affluence, maximum profits, and the neglect of others?

What is happening in our homes? Is faith being nurtured and Jesus Christ remembered? Are we learning to pray or are we spreading indifference, unbelief, and a God void? Are we teaching to live based on a healthy responsible moral conscience consistent with the Christian faith, or do we favor a superficial lifestyle, without goals or ideals, without criteria or any ultimate meaning?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Living nativities

By Victor Codina (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Blog de CJ
December 25, 2015

In the Christmas liturgy we sing, "Today is born a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord," thus actualizing the message of the angels to the shepherds in Bethlehem (Luke 2:11). But where is the Savior being born today?

Certainly Jesus is present in the Church's Eucharistic celebration, but that doesn't exhaust the whole presence of the Lord. As the gospel on the last judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) warns us, Jesus is identified with the poor. They are the vicars of Christ, his living presence today.

Francis of Assisi reproduced the birth of Jesus in Greccio, putting the Child on a bit of hay, accompanied by an ox and an ass, as Giotto beautifully painted it. Since then, as Christmas draws near, nativities or mangers are put up in family homes and churches, with clay figures, green moss, cork mountains, silver stars, and colored lights...In some places, living nativities are organized with people representing Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus.

But all these nativities, as laudable as they are, recall and look to the past. So we can keep asking where Jesus is born today, because the Mystery of Christmas is always current, Christmas is always historicized, there is always a living Nativity today.

Certainly Jesus isn't born in the big stores where the orgy of consumption reigns during the year-end feasts, however much Christmas carols resound continually...

Jesus is born today, without a house or inn, on many parts of the Mediterranean shore, among the thousands of refugee children who come with their mothers to the coasts of Greece, Italy, and Spain, and who often die in the Mediterranean sea, which nowadays has become a true marine cemetery.

The social networks have spread the image of the Syrian-Kurdish boy Aylan, dead near the beach in Turkey. But there are thousands of children who are fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan in search of a European country that will welcome them. In some countries, they're received with barbed wire fences. There's no room for them. They are illegal, nameless, undesirable, disposable.

Jesus is born among the African children who survive in the camps in South Sudan and among the Central African child soldiers recruited by terrorist groups. Jesus is born today amid the Central American children who are crossing Mexico to reach the United States and die along the way, who are murdered or deported. He is born among the indigenous children displaced from their ancestral lands by the insatiable oil operators. He is born among the street children who live under the bridges in the cities of Latin America and sometimes disappear in police social cleansing campaigns.

Fortunately, Jesus is also born in boys and girls welcomed by someone lovingly, in children adopted by families, in children who live in children's villages with substitute mothers. Jesus is born in homes where nuns care with great affection for special boys and girls who use wheelchairs but have names -- Juan de Dios, Marta, Zenaida...

Living nativities exist near all of us today too, though we don't hear rumors of angels...Only when we approach these living nativities, can we sing completely truthfully, "Today is born unto us a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord."

Catholic Committee of Appalachia Issues "People's Pastoral"

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia, a Catholic social justice organization, has issued a regional grassroots pastoral letter on the call to be a "church of the poor" and the transformative power of people's stories in the work for justice. CCA, based in Spencer, West Virginia, has released this pastoral on the 40th anniversary of its groundbreaking 1975 pastoral letter, "This Land is Home to Me," and on the 20th anniversary of its follow-up letter, "At Home in the Web of Life," both of which were signed by the Roman Catholic bishops of the region. The two previous pastoral letters are available in a single document on the organization's website.

"The Telling Takes Us Home; Taking Our Place in the Stories that Shape Us" is the result of four years of planning and listening sessions, interviews, and tours conducted throughout the region and across religious traditions. For this third letter, called a "People's Pastoral," the planning team did not seek the signatures of the region's bishops, but rather sought to lift up the authority of the people, their stories, and Earth itself as an expression of the Roman Catholic Church's teaching of the "preferential option for the poor."

Since 1970, the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, which describes itself as "a network of faith-based people raising a prophetic voice for Appalachia and her people," has been working to promote environmental and economic justice in the region. In addition to issuing the pastoral letters, CCA has worked to address local issues such as mountaintop removal, labor, private prison development, sustainable lifestyles and communities, poverty, health, clean water, racism and climate change.

CCA has also issued individual statements and resolutions on police violence, racism, mountain top removal, protecting water, and universal health care, as well as on the implementation of Laudato Si' in Appalachia. With respect to the implementation of Laudato Si', CCA challenges the region's Catholic bishops to employ an "integral ecology" and not just be focused on protecting jobs at the expense of the environment in Appalachia, expose and work to rectify the root causes of the region's poverty, unemployment and ecological destruction, move concretely away from fossil fuels, and partner with grassroots groups working on these issues.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas: Whenever a child is born, it's a sign that God still believes in human beings

By Leonardo Boff (English translation by Rebel Girl) (em português)
December 23, 2015

We are in the Christmas season but the aura isn't Christmas-like; it's more like Good Friday. There are so many crises, terrorist attacks, wars which the bellicose and militaristic powers (USA, France, England, Russia and Germany) have waged together against Islamic State, nearly destroying Syria with a stunning death rate of civilians and children as the press itself has shown, the atmosphere contaminated by rancor and a spirit of vendetta in Brazilian politics, not to mention the astronomical levels of corruption -- all this dims the Christmas lights and and dampens the Christmas trees that should create an atmosphere of joy and childlike innocence that still exists in every human person.

Whoever was able to see the film "All the Invisible Children", in seven different scenes directed by renowned directors such as Spike Lee, Katia Lund, John Woo among others, realized the destroyed lives of children in many parts of the world, condemned to live off of trash and in trash, and yet there are touching scenes of camaraderie, small joys in the sad eyes and solidarity among them.

To think that there are millions in the world today and that the child Jesus himself, according to the scriptures, was born outside in a manger for animals because there was no room for Mary, who was in labor, in any inn in Bethlehem. He mixed with the fate of all these children abused by our insensitivity.

Later, that same Jesus as an adult would say, "whoever receives the least of these my brothers and sisters, receives me." Christmas takes place when hospitality such as that which Father Lancellotti organized in São Paulo for hundreds of street children under a viaduct -- and which counted for years on the presence of President Lula -- happens.

In the midst of all this misfortune, in the world and in Brazil, the piece of wood comes to mind with an inscription in pyrography that an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital in Minas Gerais gave me during a visit I made there to cheer the attendants up. On it was written, "Whenever a child is born, it's a sign that God still believes in human beings."

Could there be an act of faith and hope greater than this? In some cultures in Africa, it is said that God is present in a special way in those we call "crazy." So they are adopted by everyone and everyone cares for them as if they were a brother or sister. So they are integrated and live peacefully. Our culture isolates and doesn't acknowledge them.

Christmas this year brings us back to this aggrieved humanity and to all the invisible children whose sufferings are like those of the child Jesus who, certainly in the severe winter of the Bethlehem countryside, was shivering in the manger. According to ancient legend, he was warmed by the breath of two old horses who as a reward then gained full vitality.

It is worth remembering the religious significance of Christmas: God is not an old bearded man with penetrating eyes, and a ruthless judge of all our actions. He is a child. And like a child, He judges noone. He just want to live and to be cherished. From the manger comes this voice: "O human being, do not be afraid of God. Can't you see His mother swaddled His little arms? He doesn't threaten anyone. More than helping, he needs to be helped and carried in her arms."

No one understood the true human meaning of baby Jesus better than Fernando Pessoa [1]:

"He's the Eternal Child, the God that was missing.
He's the human being that's natural,
He's the divine being that smiles and plays.
And that's how I know for certain
That he's really the Child Jesus.

And the child who's so human, he's divine...

We get along so well together
In the company of every thing
We never think of one another...

When I die, my little son,
Let me be the child, the smallest one.
Take me in your arms
And carry me inside your house.
Undress my tired human frame
And lay me in your bed.
Tell me stories if I waken
So I can fall asleep again.
And give me your dreams to play with
Until whatever day is born,
A day -- and you know which."

Can emotion be contained in the face of so much beauty? Because of this, in spite of everything, it's still worth quietly celebrating Christmas.

Finally, this last simple and lovely message is highly significant: "Every little boy wants to be a man. Every man wants to be king. Every king wants to be God. Only God wants to be a little boy."

Let us embrace one another, as if embracing the Divine Child (the puer aeternus) that is hidden in us and never abandoned us.

And may Christmas still be a quietly happy feast.

Leonardo Boff wrote O Natal, a bondade e a jovialidade de nosso Deus (Vozes,Petrópolis 2003).

[1] The English translation of the fragment of Fernando Pessoa's poem is taken from Poems of Fernando Pessoa, translated by Edwin Honig.

Ivone Gebara: Review of "Flores de Sangre"

Flores de Sangre, de La Bandera a El Salvador 1970-1979, a historical novel by ecofeminist theologian and lay missionary Mary Judith Ress was published in 2014 by Cuatro Vientos in Chile. It was originally published in English as Blood Flowers by iUniverse (2010). Ress is also the author of Ecofeminism in Latin America (Orbis, 2006), which won second place in "Best Gender Issues" at the Catholic Press Association in 2007. Ress is a co-founder of the Conspirando Collective in Santiago, a reflection group on feminist theology and spirituality and ecofeminism. Her friend and fellow theologian Ivone Gebara recently reviewed the Spanish edition of Flores de Sangre and we are happy to bring you the English translation of that review.

Fascinated by Judith Ress's novel, I will begin my presentation with the suggestive and intriguing title "Blood Flowers." Why did the author choose it as the title? Mixing flowers and blood? Locating these flowers from Chile to El Salvador as if in that medium and from there were born flowers of blood? Whose blood? What an unusual analogy! As if the blood nourished the birth of flowers...

I confess I never asked my friend Judy why the title. I think it's good I didn't do it because it gives me more freedom to interpret it and work comments on the beauty of the novel starting from it. I don't think the title means the martyrdom of women, although some aspects of the life of the nuns and peasant women in the novel and in Latin American reality would lead us in that direction. I think they are rather passionate ethical and political protagonists who from their daily lives, subvert cultural and religious codes. Martyrdom often sounds like something very masculine and very patriarchal to me! It makes me think about the etymology of the word that has to do with testifier. A martyr is a testifier to their faith and for that reason suffers torment and persecution to death. So far so good ... But if we continue a little further, if we go into the history of the intimate life of words, we find the etymology of 'testifier' and interestingly, the word comes from the Latin testis, the root from which the word "testicle" also originates. In many ancient cultures, men swore and became witnesses by holding their testicles in their right hand. It is perhaps unimportant but these subtleties of etymology and origin of words reveal forgotten layers of our psychic, cultural and religious structure. They invite us to think, to find connections, to seek other expressions.

Fighting for justice in human relations, living close to the poor with love and solidarity by choice is simply life, a life, many lives. The glorification of those who fought in life and after death are transformed into martyrs, is a device that does not always make us discover the complexity of everyday life, its traps, unforeseen events, and extraordinary beauty.

What we call martyrdom in our Western tradition is often the consolation of a logic of social and political violence that religions use to make the pain of loss bearable. I think one lives for life and that it's for life that Meg, Theo, the "Queen Mum", the peasant women of El Salvador, Chile, and so many people have lived. There aren't any eternal rewards...what there are are convictions, souvenirs, memories filled with tenderness such as Judy bestows on us in her gem of a novel. Speaking of martyrdom somehow accentuates the cycle of violence by giving a prize to the one who was violated or died because of the senseless violence of others. I can understand the logic of the proclamation of martyrs in Christianity almost as a logic of following it, but I think we have to break it or transform it. The many women in Latin America who have lost children, husbands, brothers and sisters, parents, and loved ones have tasted the bitter and tragic flavor of mortal loss and have refused to want them to be converted into martyrs. Wrongful death even for doing justice can not be exalted. The wrongful death of "good people" through weapons manufactured by "bad people" only accentuates a perverse logic and a dichotomy that must urgently be overcome. The same arms dealers serve both -- or perhaps more -- sides in the daily conflicts. So "Blood Flowers" is the memory of the creativity of female blood in life. It demonstrates that there are creative things that come from and go in many directions that only a woman's body can experience. Only singular women like Judy's characters can defend lives without weapons of war, can create new heart and hopes, can stay glued to everyday life and share the bread as a moment of love and justice.

We discover in the novel that there's another tradition that is more feminine than martyrdom and that is in the Afterword. It's the tradition of the "Sin Eaters." That tradition from my perspective and in my opinion cuts through Judy's whole novel, since most of her female characters and some of the male ones have experienced it deeply. Although it's only talked about explicitly at the end, this thread runs throughout the whole novel and creates complicity and solidarity between the characters and between them and the readers.

"There are Sin Eaters in every spiritual tradition. Because they love us, these gods and goddesses eat our shame, swallow our shit, and bear our guilt. In our own Christian tradition, of course, we have Christ, who took upon himself the sins of the world so we might be redeemed." [1] "I think you were my own personal Sin Eater, Theo." [2]

This confession written by Meg to Theo reveals aspects of this human tradition that has different faces depending on the culture but always appears and reappears as if to remind us of the interdependence between us. It is part of the human need to "bear one another's burden" in order to live and survive.

I think that among women there is and always has been something special relative to the experience of "Sin Eaters." Whenever anguish and fear confound our lives, whenever the pain keeps us from breathing, every time distance separates us from those we love, the need for "Sin Eaters" is present. Whenever doubts plague our bodies and jam the flow of life, we look for the "Sin Eaters"...

Who do we tell? With whom do we empty out the weight of shadows that suffocate us? Closeness and words become necessary...They bring out secrets, misery, make the words expressed fit a little better what is being felt and thus free us from the weight of suffering...The solidarity among us is made flesh, pulsating like blood. What we are experiencing as weakness and pain, as fear and passion, as death proclaimed, is accepted by the other without judgment and this sustains us and helps us to move forward. The friendship between the nuns in the novel is a typical example of the Christic experience of the "Sin Eater." A new meaning, a renewed theology perhaps is being drawn from the life of the characters. The Christic is no longer stated in an absolute and abstract way in relation to Jesus Christ as some dogmatic acquisition or static concept, but in the mobility of life and in every life that becomes a "Sin Eater" for the other. It is no longer affirmed only in a masculine hierarchical form as in the official theologies, but as a tender look from the eyes, from the ears, from the enveloping warmth of a hug, from the ability to bare one's soul to a friend and feel that baring accepted. This reveals that within the so-called official story of the liberation struggles in Latin America there are other little-told stories that cut across the official stories. Judy Ress has told them and rescued their poetic and political power, drawing a moving realism in her characters to the point of wrapping her readers in the narrative itself.

Stories within stories, kept in some history not officially recognized...A "historical novel" that many people don't think is real history, an account of lives taken out of hidden everyday life, of what doesn't appear, of what is almost prohibited from appearing. A story different from the official story about women and men "consecrated" to God, some heroes and heroines giving their lives in the practice of charity. In Judy Ress's "historical novel", we leave the "perfection" imposed by religious creeds and by a perfectionist imagination, we leave the ready-made beliefs, a perfect and pure white God who judges me from heaven for my impurity and imperfection...We also leave the rigid and controlled model for following the Gospel according to pre-established models. We enter into the mix of life, the daily impurity, the beauty of diversity including the diversity of impurities, the tiredness of copying abstract ideals and inventions that enslave life...Sweat, blood, stolen kisses, wounded bodies, the smell of good cooking, the freshness of the water on the body though it be dirty, beer though it be warm, a hammock in unexpected shade, feet without shoes and body without habit. Welcoming what comes as life when you no longer know where things are going or if dawn will come. One no longer thinks of "changing weak human flesh into a mass of holiness" [3] as Meg wrote in her diary as a young nun. One wants to live, to survive in a life that's changing every day. The challenge isn't to follow the established model but meeting people and ourselves in a world more complex than the ideal one was taught.

In Judy Ress's novel we read another story, beyond a tale of saintly and obedient nuns, beyond what was known and thought about the life of nuns. Nuns with cigarettes, nuns who bathe naked, who fall in love, who hug, who expose themselves to the dangers of looks filled with lust and filth, who dare to hide with the guerrilleros, to protect them...Nuns who speak up, who denounce the powerful, the deceivers of the people...Perhaps many will immediately think that "this isn't religious life anymore, life consecrated to God." And that's because they frame God in a model fabricated by themselves without realizing they're subjecting Him to their own laws and subjecting others to this very powerful and castrating invention.

The "historical novel" is dedicated to four North American women who were killed in El Salvador, four women who ventured out because they wanted to save the world from injustice, poverty, and violence. But it doesn't portray their lives; it reflects the lives of many other nuns and thus reveals a story of struggle for human dignity, a story of the soul's passions. The passions of the soul have never been the object of research by historians, much less the historians of the Church. Judy opens other windows by introducing the stories of the feminine soul in the history of the Church and the history of Latin America. She invites us to think about the influence of our passions on the course of our personal history and everyday policies. She takes them out of the hidden, the irrelevant and seemingly small world of emotions to put them in life as the power of leadership for justice and reciprocal love itself. Passions as diverse as life are shown in the characters as an expression of the vigor of their being, feeding their commitment. And, in a certain sense, contradicting the "pure" story of the Church where obedient nuns just see angels and talk to Jesus, those in the novel are passion, tears, and a song of life and death in flesh and bone. They, who are presented as following a dream of a God made man, dare to believe that their life of following God is in the midst of these daily paths filled with garbage, sweat and passion. "Following" is changed into acceptance of life as it presents itself without pre-established models. How bold! How crazy to think of themselves as fulfilling God's will the way they were living in Chile and El Salvador...And that's what they thought and believed until death. Moreover, perhaps they themselves felt like fragile goddesses choosing the paths of their lives filled with the unexpected, both good and bad. Life -- the plans aren't there, not outside, not in heaven, not in the Bible...They are lived out here amid the smell of gunpowder, blood and soil...amid the shots of an infamous fratricidal war like all wars..amid children's smiles, their tears, and the joyful pain of new births.

Conversion to the present, love for the present, a love both tender and tough, a love full of traps and moments of gentleness is drawn as everyday love, love like the "daily bread" we ask for when we need it...

I think it should be, and wish that Judy Ress's novel were obligatory reading in theological seminaries and houses of formation of religious men and women and in the faculties of history and sociology so we would put our feet on the ground again, look at it, feel it from our bodies. Get out of abstract ideals, stop imagining higher wills, patriarchal schemes of holiness, and go back to our sense of life, rediscover in it, in us, the necessary power and meaning for today...We have to be "tattooed" by today...and wait henceforth, although with pain and tears, the change in relationships that must start with us.

Everything changes...No more living in monastic fiefdoms like in the Middle Ages, no more protected convents, no more dark protective clothing, the characters in the novel go out in jeans and blouses to venture to fulfill the dream of their God or their own, nourished by the common good. They sing songs of love and nostalgia and they're the most vulnerable ones in the story. They live out their devotion to the poor of the slums and the countryside, marked by the events of the military dictatorships in Chile and El Salvador during the convulsive 60's. They live daily in this collective love of the people and within it are drawn other loves that do not hide the thirst for individuality, that don't keep personal dreams and tenderness from showing strongly until death.

As well as a chapter in this history of the Church in Latin America, Judy Ress's historical novel is a chapter in the lives of women in Latin America. Many of us, when taking on advocacy for the cause of the poor and ourselves, faced our own history, our bodies thirsting for love and tenderness. We left idealized perfection, we left imposed models and without promising anything to anyone, we let something big happen to us. We experienced in our own bodies what we had denied ourselves in the model of search for perfection that they had taught us. And we experienced the attraction of bodies in the middle of the war that took life from bodies. We experienced something of the love that gave us strength amid the bombs, fires, and destruction of the war of the big ones against the little ones and the little ones against the little ones. And we believe, we believe that someday we'll see peace, someday we'll see justice, though violent death encircles us from all sides. The love that is reborn "intertwines and intertwines like moss in the stone" [“va enredando y enredando como el musguito en la piedra”] as dear Violeta Parra sings.

Judy Ress, my friend of so many years, artist, sculptress of words, drawer of sentiments, confirms her extraordinary qualities as a novelist. She is able to bring her readers to life situations where something of what she describes finds strong echoes in our lives.

To feel and hear something new from our common body and from our memories experienced or heard, you must read the book with tenderness and attention. "Yes, I can smell resurrection when the wind blows through my open window. An open window can be a metaphor for the soul ... ," [4] Meg wrote to Theo ... And a well-written novel too ...

Ivone Gebara
October 2015

[1] Cf. p.221

[2] Idem p.222

[3] Cf. p.4

[4] Cf. p.223

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dictionary tells the history of liberation theology

by Cristina Fontenele (English translation by Rebel Girl)
December 15, 2015

Written almost entirely by Latin American theologians, the Diccionario Histórico de la Teología de la Liberación ("Historical Dictionary of Liberation Theology") which the Belgian publisher Lessius, with the support of emeritus professors, will launch in the Francophone world (Europe and Canada), is being finalized. It is anticipated that by September of next year, the work will be produced in French, Spanish, Portuguese and English versions. The work, which has been three years in the making, aims to provide an overview of the evolution of liberation theology from its emergence at the time of Vatican II [1965] to today.

Luis Martínez (photo), a Chilean theologian living in Brussels (Belgium) and one of the coordinators of the project, explains that the dictionary is organized into three big blocks. The first part develops the 10 main themes of liberation theology, for example, the theme "Liberation" which was written by Leonardo Boff, "Christology" by theologian Jorge Costadoat of Santiago [Chile], and "Base Communities" by Socorro Martínez of Amerindia. "We didn't ask anything of Gutiérrez [Gustavo Gutiérrez, considered to be the father of liberation theology], we left him in peace, but he is very present throughout the dictionary. There's a bibliographical note -- the biggest one -- about him, as well as Boff's."

Martinez, for his part, wrote a note on Chilean priest Ronaldo Muñoz. "He was my teacher, we studied theology and together we founded the Comunidad Teológica del Sur ["Theological Community of the South"]. In general, if anyone wrote about someone, it was because they knew them."

In the second block, the book does a geographic development of liberation theology by country, and in the third part around 150 biographies are presented about bishops, theologians, martyrs and lay persons who supported liberation theology and sustained it through their practice. This last block is preceded by a historical introduction about the obstacles, resistance to, and victories gained by liberation theology. Martínez says that almost all the theologians present at Amerindia's 2nd Theology Congress held in Belo Horizonte in October of this year, wrote an article for the dictionary. "Ninety percent of the work was written by Latin American theologians who are speaking about their own colleagues and reality. It's like listening to a family talking about itself."

With the arrival of Pope Francis, Martínez emphasizes that liberation theology is "back on the table", when it had been considered by many to be a "dead" theology. The main expectation with the launch of the Diccionario is, according to the theologian, presenting to the world a solid journey through Latin America starting from the great reception of the Council, especially to the European Church, which is facing many difficulties and is "almost dying," "on its death bed."

According to Martínez, Europe is very ethnocentric and thinks it has nothing to learn from the rest of the world. "So, we didn't want to get into a debate of ideas, but show the facts, which are irrefutable," says the theologian about the discussions related to the Diccionario and the history of liberation theology. For him, the idea of the project was to provide a dialogue between Latin American theologians, who tell their own story to brothers and sisters from other places.

In this context, Pope Francis, who, according to Martínez, isn't a liberation theologian but also fruit of the Latin American tradition, could give a new impetus to the Church, which is now being revitalized, with the "will to go out" and tell the "powerful" that the road they have taken doesn't work, being that it is necessary to save the Earth, save the poor.

The theologian emphasizes that Latin America is alive and full of hope, with projects and people who struggle despite undeniable difficulties at the social level as well as in the Church. In contrast, Africa is engulfed in wars and desolation, and Europe has locked itself in its wealth as in a fortress. Thus, Martínez perceives that Latin America could be an invitation to believe that, in fact, another world is possible.