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Pope Francis listens as ACU Xavier Centre of Theology director Maeve Heaney speaks to him on behalf of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology at a meeting at the Vatican on May 10 (CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis says theologians must engage with experts in other fields as they investigate and explain the Christian faith because faith in God is not abstract but affects the way people live and interact with others. Source: NCR Online.

The Holy Father said this in a written message he gave to members of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology on Friday. 

The network – which includes the Xavier Centre of Theology at the Australian Catholic University, the Catholic Theological Society of America and similar groups around the world – promotes collaborative research projects by theologians from different cultures and encourages dialogue with scholars from other churches, other religions and various scientific disciplines.

In his prepared text, Francis told members of the group that theology is “a significant and necessary ecclesial ministry,” because “it is part of our Catholic faith to explain the reason for our hope to all those who ask.”

But in “our increasingly multiethnic and mobile societies marked by the interconnectedness of different peoples, languages and cultural backgrounds,” the Pope wrote, theology helps Catholics and the Church assess the changes and reflect on values needed “to help build a future of peace, solidarity and universal brotherhood, to say nothing of care for our common home.”

The Pope used artificial intelligence as an example because, he wrote, it raises questions about “what it means to be human, what is worthy of our nature as human beings, what aspect of our humanity is irreducible because it is divine, that is, made in the image and likeness of God in Christ”.

“Here, theology must be able to serve as a companion to the sciences and other critical disciplines, offering its specific sapiential contribution to ensuring that different cultures do not clash but become, in dialogue, symphonic,” he wrote.


Church needs theologians who grapple with modern world, Pope says (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via NCR Online)