Saturday, July 14, 2018

Save the Date: 3rd Continental Theology Conference - Amerindia

This conference will be in Spanish and this year's theme is "The Cries of the Poor and the Earth Challenge Us / 50th Anniversary of the Medellin Conference". Additional information in Spanish can be found on the conference web site.

  Date: August 30 - September 2, 2018

Place: Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas – UCA, Bulevar Los Próceres, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, San Salvador, El Salvador

Registration: Registration fee is $100 regular / $70 theology students. You can register electronically on the conference web site and pay your fee via PayPal. See that page for what to do if you don't have a PayPal account.

Accommodations: Conference organizers have compiled a list of hotels all within a 20-minute walk from the university. Participants must make own lodging arrangements. Most hotel room rates include breakfast.


Thursday August 30
  • 7:30 Accreditation and materials distribution
  • 8:30 Spirituality Moment - Amerindia El Salvador
  • 9:00 Opening - UCA Rector Andreu Oliva and Amerindia Continental Coordinator Socorro Martínez Maqueo
  • 10:30 Snack break
  • 11:00 Testimony of Cecilio de Lora
  • 11:30 Generating memory of Medellin - Pablo Bonavia
  • 12:15 Contributions of participants
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Workshops (choose one 2-day workshop and an alternate when you register):
    1. New church ministeries for a new model of Church - Serena Noccetti and José Antonio de Almeida
    2. Youth for a different possible world in an outgoing church - Carlos Eduardo Cardozo and Francisco Bosch
    3. The PanAmazonic cry demands a new face of the church - Mauricio López and Roberto Malvezzi
    4. Present and future of the option for the poor, CEBs, and liberation theology - Geraldina Céspedes and Manoel Godoy
    5. Communication for the encounter culture in the digital era - Susana Nuin and Oscar Elizalde
    6. Synodality: source of inspiration for the way of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean - Victor Codina and Maria José Caram
    7. The criminalization of the poor and victims of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean - Benjamin Schwab and the UCA Team
    8. Lay men and woman: strength and hope of the Church in the world - Cesar Kuzma and Alejandro Ortiz
    9. Mysticism: force that pushes joy and hope in the midst of conflict - Rosa Ramos
    10. Justice and prophethood in the most unequal continent - Juan Hernández Pico
    11. Migration and human trafficking - Maura Verzeletti and Carmela Gibaja
    12. The cry of the earth and whole ecology - Tania Avila Meneses and Afonso Murad
    13. Inside the system - Mons. Reginaldo Andrietta and Juan Luis Hernández
    14. History workshop on Medellin - CEHILA
  • 16:00 Break
  • 16:30 Cultural time - Teatro del Azoro
  • 18:00 Global analysis of the current Latin American and Caribbean moment - Elio Gasda
  • 19:30 Questions
  • 19:45 Return to lodging

Friday August 31
  • 8:30 Spirituality Moment - Amerindia El Salvador
  • 9:00 Testimony of Maria López Vigil
  • 9:30 Address: Cries and resistance of the poor since Medellin - Francisco Aquino Junior
  • 10:15 Contributions of participants
  • 10:30 Snack break
  • 11:00 The Medellin event from a historical perspective - Silvia Scatena
  • 11:45 The Latin American episcopate and its difficult propehtic mission since Medellin - Rodolfo Cardenal
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Workshops (same as on August 30)
  • 16:00 Break
  • 16:30 Young Theologians Panel: "50th Anniversary of Medellin: What are our dreams now?"
  • 18:00 Testimony of Roberto Malvezzi
  • 18:30 Address: From Medellin to Laudato Si' - Leonardo Boff
  • 19:30 Questions
  • 19:45 Return to lodging

Saturday September 1
  • 8:30 The legacy of the martyrs - Jon Sobrino and Martha Zechmeister
  • 9:15 Contributions of participants
  • 9:30 Pilgrimage organized by the UCA Teaching Team: Crypt of Mons. Romero, home of Mons. Romero, Hospital chapel (where Mons. Romero was killed), the UCA martyrs
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Testimony of Rogelio Ponseele
  • 15:00 The strength of the little ones in the Bible - Elsa Tamez
  • 15:45 Contributions of participants
  • 16:00 Break
  • 16:30 The strength of the little ones in the experience of women since Medellin - Pilar Aquino
  • 17:15 Contributions of participants
  • 18:00 Cultural time - Yolocamba I Ta
  • 19:45 Return to lodging

Sunday September 2
  • 8:30 Spirituality Moment - Amerindia El Salvador
  • 9:00 Liberating mysticism: urgency of the essential for the task of Christians today - Maria Clara Lucchetti de Bingemer
  • 10:00 Contributions of participants
  • 10:30 Snack break
  • 11:00 Structural changes for a poor church committed to the poor - Carlos Schickendantz
  • 12:00 Contributions of participants
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Closing: Proposals from this Conference for the future of Christians in Latin America and the Caribbean - Manoel Godoy and Paola Polo
    Message from Gustavo Gutiérrez

Save the Date: 38th Theology Conference of the Asociación Teológica Juan XXIII

You can find information about this conference in Spanish on the conference web site. This year's theme is "Mysticism and Liberation."

Date: September 7-9, 2018

Place: Actos de Comisiones Obreras, calle Lope de Vega 40, Madrid, Spain

Registration: 30 euros for adults/20 euros for youth. Fee can be paid in cash at the door on the first day of the conference or via a bank transfer made before 9/5/2018. For details on how to make a bank transfer, see conference web site. Lodging and meals are not provided.


Friday September 7
  • 18:30 Introduction of the Conference - Asociación Teológica Juan XXIII
  • 19:00 Mysticism and Politics - Adela Cortina, University of Valencia

Saturday September 8
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Salvation and Liberation: A Sufi Perspective - Halil Bárcena, Institute of Sufi Studies
  • Break
  • 12:00 - 13:30 In the Waters of the Spirit: Mysticism as Overcoming Fundamentalism - María Toscano, Pontifical University of Comillas
  • 16:00 - 16:30 Spirituality and Youth - María Isabel Herrera and Mario Picazo,Young Christian Workers
  • 16:30 - 18:00 Roundtable: Models of Mysticism:
    • Christian Mysticism - Ángela Muñoz, Castilla La-Mancha University
    • Eastern Mysticism - Javier Ruiz Calderón, Hindu philosopher
    • Simone Weil: Mysticism and Justice - Alejandro del Río, Editorial Trotta
  • Break
  • 18:30 - 20:00 The Contribution of Silence to the Fight for Justice - Mary Hunt, theologian and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)

Sunday September 9
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Mysticism and Liberation - Mercedes Barrio, historian and professor
  • 12:00 Eucharistic Celebration and Solidarity Collection - LGTBI Christian Collective

Friday, July 13, 2018

Freeing Jesus

By Victor Codina (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Blog de Cristianisme i Justícia
July 12, 2018

In the March 2013 conclave that preceded the election of Pope Francis, Cardinal Bergoglio made interesting interventions, one of them somewhat curious and little known.

When commenting on the text of Revelation 3:20 where it says that the Lord is at the door and knocking, Bergoglio stated that obviously the text refers to Jesus knocking at the door from outside to come in.

But he added that he was thinking about the times Jesus knocks from within for us to let him out.

Undoubtedly this interpretation might scandalize many Biblical scholars but it is an interesting idea because, as Bergoglio adds, the self-referential Church seeks to retain Jesus within itself and doesn't let him go out.

To put it differently, we have enclosed Jesus in doctrines, laws, rites, temples, episcopal palaces and structures of the past. We have held Jesus prisoner for centuries in the Western, medieval, feudal, inquisitional, colonial, diplomatic, powerful, anti-modern, absolutist, bourgeois, patriarchal, centralist and elitist church of Christendom. Jesus has been locked in ecclesial structures that distance him from the poor and simple people, from children and women, from peasants and fishermen, from migrants and refugees, from all those who in all cultures and religions seek the truth.

Jesus wants to go out to the street, to not be a prisoner of the past, to travel new roads, tread the soil, go to the borders, smell like sheep, like dust, sweat and tears, hear the cry of the people, converse, embrace, kiss, give a hand, heal, bless, speak words of encouragement, forgive, console, proclaim the Kingdom, generate hope and joy, give life, since only he possesses the Holy Spirit without measure.

We must free Jesus from the many prisons in which we have locked him over the centuries, recover the freshness of his gospel, return to Galilee, listen to his prophetic voice against the current hypocrites and exploiters of the people, against the new merchants of the temple, regain again Jesus the Nazarene craftsman, dangerous and disconcerting, able to trust his Father, to die and rise.

But freeing Jesus doesn't mean saying "Jesus yes, Church no," rather it implies forming a Church that is not self-referential but outgoing, evangelical, transparent, in sandals or barefoot, poor, missionary and paschal, detached from all temporal power, involved in the liberation of people and of creation, challenged by the pain of the victims, joyful with the joy of the Holy Spirit. The Church cannot substitute for Jesus; it must foster a personal encounter with him.

Only when we have freed Jesus from these prisons and have let him go out into the world of today to listen to the people, will we be able to open the door to him, let him enter our home, dine with him and he with us.

Bergoglio in the 2013 conclave was already announcing his future pastoral road map and the style of an outgoing Church. Perhaps because of this he was elected Pope and perhaps for the same reason others reject him today. But what is certain is that the Lord keeps knocking at the door. Does he want to come in or does he want to go out?