By Linda Bordoni
During his one-day visit to the southern Italian city of Naples on 21 June, Pope Francis will deliver a speech entitled “Theology after Veritatis Gaudium in the context of the Mediterranean.”
The event takes place within an initiative that brings experts to the table to discuss theology in connection with the current context in the Mediterranean area which is impacted by migration, inter-culturality and in need of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue.
The event is hosted by the Jesuits who run the ‘Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy’ in Naples. Pope Francis will be welcomed by the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, and by the dean of the Faculty. During his visit, he will lunch with Jesuits from across the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Pope Francis’ apostolic constitution Veritatis Gaudium was published in January 2018, and stipulated new norms of governance and education for all institutions that issue ecclesiastical degrees.
In it, the Pope urges theologians and philosophers to always be open to the maius [greatness] of God and of the truth, which is always in development. The constitution also calls for institutions to develop procedures for the education of refugees and migrants.
Jesuit father Pino Di Luccio, is the Dean of the Faculty. He told Vatican Radio that the programme for the event foresees a series of interventions that will shine the light on the new context in Mediterranean countries impacted by immigration and inter-culturality. He said speakers will focus on the crucial contribution of dialogue between religions.
Father Di Luccio said that the recent Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity, signed by the Pope and by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, will also offer points of discussion and reflection.
“And assuming the criteria of Veritatis Gaudium for the renewal of ecclesiastic studies, [the objective is] to elaborate a theology for the new context of the Mediterranean,” he said.
Father Di Luccio also said he expects that the Pope himself, who calls for dialogue as a way of building a new, fraternal society, “will show us how this dialogue can be actualized in theological studies in order to elaborate a new theology” in the Mediterranean context.