By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis is encouraging Catholic men and women in the field of theological ethics to be passionate about dialogue and networking in order to remove the walls of division and build bridges of fraternity everywhere in the world.
The Pope’s encouragement came in a message to participants in a 2-day conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. on the theme, “A Critical Time for Bridge-Building, Catholic Theological Ethics Today.” Some 500 Catholic moral theologians from 80 countries are attending the July 26-27 meeting, organized by the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) network.
Commenting on Sarajevo, the Pope said that in today’s environment of tension and division marked by fear and forms of regression, the city of bridges calls for the need to build new paths of closeness between peoples, cultures, religious, visions of life and political orientations.
The Pope noted that certain aspects of the ecological challenge can create grave imbalances not only in terms of the relationship between man and nature, but also between generations and people. In this regard, he said, the issue of migrants and refugees can foster ethical and theological reflection, even before inspiring suitable pastoral attitudes and responsible and carefully planned political policies.
In this backdrop, the Holy Father said individuals and institutions need to assume a renewed leadership to help find and put into practice a more just way for all of us to live in this world as sharers in a common destiny.
Network of persons
The Pope commended the CTEWC proposal to create a network between persons in various continents to engage in theological ethical reflection to help find new and effective resources that will help mobilize action that is compassionate and attentive to tragic human situations, and concerned with accompanying them with merciful care. But for this to happen, the Pope said, all the theologians themselves need to build bridges among themselves, to share ideas and programmes, and to develop forms of closeness.