Structural renewal to be a Church of the poor

It’s like a dream or a movie.

In less than a year, Pope Francis has transformed the dominant discourse around Catholicism from scandal and despair to joy and the evangelical demands in light of poverty and economic exclusion.

“Each individual Christian and every community,” he wrote in Evangelii Gaudium last week, “is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.”

This is a powerful and radical understanding of where the church is called to be in light of the Gospel of Christ and the joy of the Holy Spirit.

As if this was not enough of a contrast to the rampant consumerism of the pre-Christmas shopping season,  we hear rumours this week that the pope may be going out to Rome at night to do acts of charity—unbelievable.

This week, as the Council of Cardinals begins its second meeting in Rome they will begin to examine each Vatican office—hopefully with an eye to how to make them more “mission-oriented.”

In lead up to this meeting, I had the chance to work with an international group of Catholic intellectuals and social activists to formulate concrete proposals for curial reform. The full proposal, which was shared with several “super cardinals” as a White Paper of ICMICA-Pax Romana and an opinion article in the Catholic Information Service for Africa focuses on three areas. Continue reading.

Kevin Glauber Ahern, PhD is an assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College. He served as the President of the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS-Pax Romana) and is Vice-President of the ICMICA-Pax Romana.

The White Paper’s Executive Summary can be found here.

Source: DailyTheology

Image: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

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