A ‘Theology of Love’ needed to navigate modern challenges

Theology of Love

In a recent address to members of the International Network for Societies for Catholic Theology (INSeCT), Pope Francis stressed the necessity for theologians to engage with the contemporary world and the importance of a ‘theology of love’ and wisdom.

In his prepared text, Pope Francis told group members that theology is “a significant and necessary ecclesial ministry”.

This is because “it is part of our Catholic faith to explain the reason for our hope to all those who ask”.

Hope is Jesus Christ

Pope Francis noted three reasons why theology is important today.

First, “It is part of our Catholic faith to explain the reason for our hope to all who ask”.

The Pope noted that this hope is not an emotion but the very Person of Jesus Christ.

Then, the “epochal changes” faced by an increasingly pluralistic society must be “critically assessed” to foster human fraternity and care for creation.

Third, there is the rapid progress of science and technology.

The pope used artificial intelligence (AI) as an example.

He wrote AI 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.

Cross-disciplinary approach

Francis further stressed the importance of a cross-disciplinary approach.

He highlighted the reciprocal relationship between theology and other fields of knowledge, where Christian wisdom enriches and informs scientific inquiry.

The pope emphasised the collaborative nature of theological inquiry and called for collegiality and synodality.

He recognised the shared responsibility of theologians and scholars in navigating the complexities of the contemporary world.

Pope Francis concluded that a ‘theology of love’ must be marked by charity.

“Because ‘whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love'” as the First Letter of John says.


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