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Studia Moralia

Biannual Review published by the Alphonsian Academy Revista semestral publicada por la Academia Alfonsiana

VOL. XXXVII/1

1999

EDITIONES ACADEMIAE ALPHONSIANAE Via Merulana 31, C.P. 2458 - 00100 Roma, Italia

Studia Moralia

Vol. XXXVII / 1

CONTENTS / NDICE
A. WODKA, Loblativit neotestamentaria e il discorso etico-morale. II: il dono del dare (2 Cor 8-9)............. A. KELLY, God is Love: A Theological Moral Reading of I John............................................................................ R. TREMBLAY, La paternit de Dieu, fondement de la morale chrtienne et de lthique humaine ............... J.S. BOTERO G., Conciencia de pareja. Hacia la recuperacin de un proyecto inicial ......................................... D.J. BILLY, Christs Redemptive Journey and the Moral Dimensions of Prayer .................................................. J. MIMEAULT, Paternit de Dieu et pnitence des fils. (Premire partie) ................................................................ M. MCKEEVER, Postmodern with a Difference: Simone Weils Ethico-Theological Critique of Utilitarianism in LEnracinement ........................................................ E. KOWALSKI, Bioetica e tutela della persona ..................... A. CRDOBA CHAVES, La Academia Alfonsiana: cincuenta aos al servicio de la Teologa Moral .........................

5 35 73 95 127 153

185 215 229

StMor 37 (1999) 5-33 ANDRZEJ WODKA C.Ss.R.

LOBLATIVIT NEOTESTAMENTARIA E IL DISCORSO ETICO-MORALE. II: IL DONO DEL DARE (2 Cor 8-9)1
Camminate nellamore sullesempio del Cristo che vi ha amato e ha offerto se stesso per noi, oblazione e sacrificio di soave odore a Dio (Ef 5,2)

Percorrendo anche per sommi capi la storia del umano saper donare, non si pu che arrivare alla conclusione pi o meno esplicita che la stessa natura umana abbraccia in s, indelebilmente, una legge del dare: esisto quindi sono stato donato, dono quindi vivo, ecc. In altre parole, non si pu comprendere n il senso del proprio essere da individui, n lesistenza della societ nel suo insieme, senza effusioni costanti di gratuit che, come linfa in un organismo, porta la vitalit e la mantiene nel suo durare e trasformarsi. La sapienza umana di tutti i tempi, biblica ed extrabiblica, religiosa e laica, ha saputo scoprire e rilevare questa valenza, diremmo ontologica, del dare, inteso come attualizzazione dellesistenza reale, della reale possessio e dellautentico guadagno: solo cos si vive in un continuo crescendo dellessere2. Nella par-

1 In una precedente pubblicazione (StMor 36 [1998] 203-238) si cercato di presentare la gratuit e la sua tipica incarnazione nel dono/donare come continuamente presenti ed inscindibilmente legati ad ogni discorso etico-morale, articolato di solito allinterno di una visione pi globale dellindividuo e della societ. Ora si intende focalizzare lo sguardo su una particolare realizzazione delloblativit neotestamentaria (2 Cor 8-9), per ricavarne alcune indicazioni utili alla comprensione dellesistenza umana, individuale e collettiva, intesa come oblatio. 2 In questo tentativo, estremamente sintetico, di descrivere la natura del dare, non si pu passare inosservata la sua drammaticit nella fragile storicit umana: il dare pu anche portare alla morte vera attraverso la morte finta, quando cio il vuoto del donante viene riempito dello spirito catti-

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te pubblicata precedentemente ne abbiamo riportato alcuni elementi esperienziali, testimoniati tra laltro dalla primissima documentazione cristiana, conservata nelle lettere paoline. Nello studio presente vorremmo dedicare unattenzione pi ravvicinata ad ancora un altro caso concreto, proveniente dallesperienza protocristiana, dal quale emerge pi esplicitato e, a tratti, quasi tecnico il significato del donare tipicamente cristiano, interessante anche i nostri tempi.

1. Un hapax phenomenon paolino Si tratta di unimpresa, alla quale lApostolo Paolo ha voluto dedicare uno sforzo non indifferente nellarco del tempo che coincideva con la sua intensa attivit di fondazione delle nuove chiese etnico-cristiane dopo la nascita della comunit corinzia fino allarresto a Gerusalemme. un hapax phenomenon di quei tempi, riconosciuto come capolavoro dellindole pastorale dellApostolo delle Genti3. Ci che oggi conosciamo e continuiamo a studiare come la colletta paolina, era in effetti uno sforzo collettivo delle chiese fondate dallApostolo delle Genti, intrapreso per sovvenire alle necessit degli impoveriti membri della chiesa madre di Gerusalemme, venutasi a trovare, in un certo momento della sua storia ancora iniziale, in condizioni di particolare povert. Sar questo il nostro casus storico, scelto almeno in una sua parte per studiare ed evidenziare il dinamismo oblativo proprio della proposta morale cristiana. Una riduzione del campo imposta dalla misura ben arginata di questo contributo, ma per fortuna anche facilmente attuabile in quanto della colletta solo in una parte si parla nel senso veramente storico, dei fatti cio

vo: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, per ricorrere ad un luogo comune, ma carico di una eccezionale forza simbolica. Il dare risulta rischioso e drammatico proprio in quanto affidato alle mani, e prima ancora allo spirito, di qualunque donatore, di cui assume lanima e lenigmaticit. 3 Cf. S. GAROFALO, Un chef-doeuvre pastoral de Paul: la collecte, in L. DE LORENZI (a cura di), Paul de Tarse, aptre de notre temps (Benedictina 1), Rome 1979, 575-593.

LOBLATIVIT NEOTESTAMENTARIA E IL DISCORSO ETICO-MORALE

gi accaduti, evocati da Paolo di fronte a quelli auspicabili o ancora da completare. In breve, lunica parte della 2 Cor 8-9 che parli della colletta come gi concretizzata quella iniziale, dedicata alla sua realizzazione macedone (8,1-5). Sulla base di questi fatti, Paolo rilancia lopera a Corinto, prospettandone importanti dimensioni teologiche, oltre a quelle pratiche. Naturalmente anchesse saranno tenute presenti nella presente trattazione del tema, ma per la vastit dei contenuti soltanto sommariamente.

2. Un progetto sorprendentemente difficile Un atto di solidariet cristiana non dovrebbe suscitare molta meraviglia; una cosa naturale che una comunit ne sovvenga unaltra, bisognosa di aiuto. Con questa precomprensione, il lettore odierno quasi scarta i due capitoli della Lettera ai Corinzi (8-9), semmai chiedendosi, perch fosse necessario scrivere tanto per stimolare i primi credenti, presumibilmente pieni di fede autentica, alla condivisione che sarebbe invece dovuta scattare spontaneamente Le cose non erano tuttavia cos facili, e questo a causa di un insieme di fattori storici e teologici che rendevano il dono delle chiese etnico-cristiane un enigma altamente sospetto per chi lo stava per ricevere. Tutto ci a causa dello status, non ancora pienamente accettato dai giudeo-cristiani, della libert dei non-circoncisi e di chi lo proclamava in virt di un vangelo svincolato dalla Torah, considerata eterna. Dal punto di vista storico, si potrebbe addirittura ipotizzare tutta limpresa come un fallimento: la raccolta era, s, portata a Gerusalemme, ma effettivamente devoluta per uno scopo diverso da quello inteso dal promotore e dai contribuenti (At 21,20b-25)4.

4 sorprendente che Luca, nel libro degli Atti, non rispecchi in nessun modo questo immenso sforzo di Paolo, testimoniato dalle sue lettere, specialmente quando si tiene la Tendenz lucana di armonizzare al massimo i rapporti Gerusalemme - Antiochia. La grande raccolta, menzionata negli Atti con qualche imprecisa cronologia, non tuttavia rilevata, nel suo fruttare, in proporzione alla sua portata paolina. Se fosse stata un successo, come

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La colletta aveva avuto proprio a Corinto un inizio talmente entusiasmante ed ispirante che le altre chiese si sentivano spinte ad una specie di gara di generosit, pregiudicata tuttavia sin dallinizio a favore dei grandi corinzi, ricchi in ogni tipo di grazia. Eppure proprio a Corinto successo in seguito un qualcosa che metteva in dubbio, proporzionalmente grave, lesemplare adesione iniziale dei cristiani della capitale dellAcaia. La colletta si interrotta diventando un complesso problema da affrontare. Una delle soluzioni pi immediate sarebbe stata quella di abbandonare del tutto limpresa scomoda e proseguire nellannuncio totalmente gratuito del Vangelo, come Paolo si era proposto sin dallinizio della sua missione indipendente. Troppe realt importanti ne avrebbero tuttavia dovuto soffrire, oltre al fatto che la solidariet intercristiana in s era un valore cui tenerci senza esitazioni. Nelliniziativa si intrecciavano motivi di grande importanza per la stessa missione paolina, a volte solo indirettamente legati alla stessa opera di comunione interecclesiale. La crisi della grande raccolta cresceva lentamente e sui vari fronti. I germi di fragilit erano presenti gi al suo nascere. Se infatti vero che lidea stessa nacque nel contesto del primo sinodo gerosolimitano come una conclusione altamente simbolica e radicalmente concreta di comunione cristiana (Gal 2), gi questo dice da s che si trattava anche di una specie di balsamo versato su una grande ferita, difficilmente guaribile. Ci chiesero soltanto che continuassimo di ricordarci dei poveri (Gal 2,10), nellovvia convinzione che al di sopra di tutto ci deve essere lamore reciproco come lunica sostanza vitale e garanzia relazionale della verit del Vangelo. Paolo prese la consegna non come imposizione da parte delle colonne (Pietro, Giovanni, Giacomo), ma come lespressione comune dellessere lunica chiesa di Cristo e ha in seguito personalizzato limpegno fino a

Paolo si augurava e di cui era teologicamente sicuro, Luca non avrebbe perso loccasione di sottolineare ancora una volta quanto la comunione fra le due ali dellunica chiesa fosse stata reale e concreta. Il silenzio quasi totale al riguardo induce a pensare che sia una omissione dovuta allimbarazzo del fallimento finale - cf. S. LGASSE, Paolo Apostolo. Biografia critica, Citt Nuova, Roma 1994, 234-237.

LOBLATIVIT NEOTESTAMENTARIA E IL DISCORSO ETICO-MORALE

farlo diventare una diakonia tutta sua (Rm 15,31). Ma la ferita, causata dal riconoscimento definitivo della libert degli etnicocristiani dalla Torah, metteva linnocente opera di carit in unottica ambivalente per chi non riusciva a perdonare a Paolo il tradimento della grande tradizione mosaica. Erano qui nascoste le radici di un eventuale scarto finale dellimportanza del dono, che - superato ogni ostacolo - stato portato a Gerusalemme quasi in processione costituita dal Promotore e dai delegati delle comunit contribuenti. In altre parole, alcuni influenti capi di Gerusalemme cristiana continuavano a guardare qualsiasi mossa di Paolo come fortemente prevenuti e anche ci che inizialmente nasceva come stretta sincera delle destre in segno di comunione (Gal 2,9), finiva collessere considerato come un aborto da dimenticare. Sempre in connessione stretta con il problema, al centro del quale stava Paolo stesso, la sua comprensione del Vangelo, le modalit del suo evangelizzare, e - ancor pi radicalmente - la sua autorizzazione di essere apostolo, la colletta si rivelava fragile in quanto creatura di un apostolo messo in dubbio da alcuni superapostoli (2 Cor 11,5). Essa si prestava come un ottimo pretesto per avanzargli difficolt di natura meno elevata: non si forse esposti al rischio di corruzione mentre si gestiscono grandi soldi e le spese della propria missione non sono affatto indifferenti? Anche questo argomento finanziario poteva servire a chi non esitava di sfruttare ogni occasione per screditare un ex-fariseo che considerava tutta la sua gloriosa eredit giudaica un pura spazzatura. Sembra una ricostruzione forse troppo spinta, ma se non cos, come allora spiegare i segni trasparenti di autodifesa al riguardo? (2 Cor 8,20). Sospetti del genere, insinuati probabilmente dovunque giungessero i falsi fratelli (Gal 2,4; 2 Cor 11,26), si univano ad un altro fronte di problemi ancora. Prima che cominciasse la grande raccolta, stata ferita la sensibilit stessa dei figli corinzi, di cui Paolo era padre nella fede. Il fondatore della comunit infatti non si era mai permesso il lusso di accettare il sostentamento nei bisogni del suo apostolato dai propri figli. Si sapeva per che con i poveri Macedoni (chiese di Tessalonica, Filippi) aveva invece aperto una specie di conto corrente, dal quale non esitava ad attingere nelle sue spese (Fil 4,15). A Corinto (ma anche altrove) preferiva lavorare con le proprie mani, per non

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compromettere in nessun modo la gratuit assoluta della Buona Novella (1 Cor 4,12). Da una parte la mentalit greco-latina di patrono - cliente5, estranea al vangelo, daltra - laccusa di amare di meno (2 Cor 11,7-11) non lasciandosi sovvenire dai prossimi familiari, oltre ad altri problemi (progetti di visita pi volte alterati, una grave offesa subita probabilmente di persona durante una visita-lampo a Corinto (cf. la lettera scritta tra molte lacrime - 2 Cor 2,3-5), tutto ci poteva far disperare latipico apostolo di Cristo e spingerlo a lasciar perdere ogni riferimento ai soldi scomodi. Nello stato di angoscia pi che naturale in una simile situazione, Paolo manda Tito a Corinto per mediare i rapporti danneggiati, mentre egli stesso si mette al lavoro missionario, attendendo con ansia lesito della missione di pace. Fra i cristiani macedoni, fortemente marcati dalla povert, gli capita di sperimentare una specie di miracolo di generosit che segna una svolta. Paolo sente risorgere in s la colletta e rimanda subito Tito, nel frattempo arrivato finalmente con buone notizie, con questo vangelo quasi insperato ai Corinzi, iniziando il biglietto con parole estremamente cariche di portata salvifica: Vi facciamo conoscere, o fratelli, la grazia concessa alle chiese della Macedonia (2 Cor 8,1).

3. Un insieme letterario (2 Cor 8-9) I tentativi di paragrafare i due capitoli con lo scopo di cogliere la loro buona novella riguardo al dare incarnato nellopera della colletta risultano non meno problematici delle stesse vicessitudini storiche appena abbozzate. Si possono tuttavia distinguere alcuni blocchi testuali, abbastanza omogenei, nel susseguirsi delle frasi. Un primo paragrafo tratteggia lesempio della sollecitudine dei Macedoni (8,1-5) Un secondo paragrafo del testo (8,7-12)

5 Paolo non pu aver ignorato la consuetudine diffusa nel mondo romano che laccettare un aiuto finanziario creava un rapporto tra patronus e cliens che limitava la libert del cliens - J. MURPHY-OCONNOR, La teologia della Seconda Lettera ai Corinti, Paideia, Brescia 1993, 117.

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esplicita in maniera pi chiara lappello di Paolo a completare la colletta presso i Corinzi: la generosit dei poveri Macedoni sarebbe dovuta verificarsi, a maggior ragione, nella completezza dei doni di grazia anche presso i Corinzi (8,7). Ci, per, liberamente e secondo la misura dellevento di Cristo (8,8-10), nella leale prontezza di fare quanto si era dichiarato (8,11-12), e non per altri motivi. Un terzo paragrafo spiega il precedente attraverso limpiego del principio delluguaglianza biblica, applicato alla vita cristiana (8,13-15). Un quarto blocco del testo viene in seguito dedicato ai delegati allattuale gestione della colletta (8,16-9,5)6. Si parla di Tito, con i due fratelli innominati (8,16-24), e dellimportanza complessa della loro missione (9,1-5). Lultimo, il quinto blocco del materiale epistolare (9,6-15), si presenta come un insieme conclusivo sulla generosit nel dare, la quale trae origine in Dio (9,6-10) e dopo essersi espressa nella contenta e fiduciosa donazione cristiana, lo glorifica nella reciprocit delle chiese (9,11-15). In questi blocchi del testo si possono individuare alcuni punti focali o pilastri di significato, con il supporto dei quali regge tutto il discorso, anche nelle sue parti pi pratiche e riconducibili soltanto ad un determinato contesto storico. Il valore di questi motivi salienti sta per nelluniversalit della loro origine teologica e della loro applicazione esistenziale nella vita dei credenti di tutti i tempi. Tali elementi fondamentali della struttura teologica della 2 Cor si manifestano al livello dei protagonisti principali coinvolti nel processo di donazione. Al livello immediato (un primo livello) c Paolo e i suoi collaboratori che rilanciano la colletta presso i Corinzi. Queste - lApostolo e i Corinzi - sono le due parti amministrative o quasi legali dellimpresa. Sono infatti loro, lAutore e i destinatari, i due soggetti della comunicazione epistolare, la quale avviene su uno sfondo pi largamente ecclesiale di partecipazione e di consegna della colletta. Il livello pi profondo (un secondo livello) abbraccia la sfe-

Per chi tratta il cap. 9 come un doppione, la divisione in paragrafi sar, naturalmente, diversa, specialmente perch il v. 9,1 costituisce il cuore del problema dellintegrit letteraria della 2 Cor.
6

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ra relazionale delle chiese coinvolte nello scambio di doni. Si tratta dei cristiani di Gerusalemme e delle comunit di provenienza paolina. La prima, curiosamente, non neppure menzionata con il nome proprio, ma sottintesa come la destinataria della carit delle chiese sorelle che si sentono chiamate ad intervenire a favore dei poveri tra i santi. Le comunit contribuenti sono presenti mediante i loro deputati nella gestione della stragrande abbondanza (8,20) del dono finale. Tale presenza si cela anche dietro il richiamo del vanto che Paolo potrebbe avere a causa dei Corinzi davanti a tutte le chiese (8,24), nonch nella sua speranza di veder crescere la gloria di Dio a causa della generosit della comunione dei Corinzi con loro (i santi [di Gerusalemme]) e con tutti (9,13). Il livello che fonda tutto (un terzo livello), appartiene alla sfera di Dio. Esso comprende sia la grazia nella sua istanza sorgiva (Dio, il Padre), sia la sua manifestazione e la realizzazione storica (la grazia del Figlio), proiettata ecclesiologicamente e antropologicamente come unabbondanza gioiosa e traboccante (lo Spirito?)7 nella vita delle comunit.

7 Paolo evoca la presenza esplicita dello Spirito Santo in collegamento alla gestione della colletta soltanto in riferimento allultima fase della sua realizzazione. Temendo le difficolt della consegna a Gerusalemme, egli esorta i Romani per il Signore nostro Ges Cristo e per lamore dello Spirito ad associarsi a lui nelle preghiere a favore del successo della diakonia. Tale riferimento allo Spirito potrebbe essere anche dissociato dalla stessa colletta e connesso soltanto alla preghiera di Paolo. Esistono, per, alcune premesse che permettono di sospettare lazione pneumatologica dietro alcuni motivi adoperati dallApostolo. Riguardo al dare non pu sfuggire il testo di Gal 5,22, dove, tra i frutti espliciti dello Spirito, vengono menzionate la carit, la gioia, la bont. Se limpresa della colletta, come presentata da Paolo, un affare prima di tutto damore, di gioia, di generosit, allora si deve intuire lo sfondo pneumatologico di tali frutti. LApostolo, inoltre, attribuisce allo Spirito la capacit umana di vedere i doni di Dio (1 Cor 2,12), ed fuori discussione che tale capacit operante in mezzo ai Macedoni. Allo Spirito si potrebbe, infine, associare il motivo dellabbondanza, molto importante per la colletta. La realt della perisseia proviene solo da Dio. Paolo tuttavia, assicurando ai Corinzi ogni ulteriore abbondanza per opera di Dio, non menziona lo Spirito. Esiste, per, unevidenza che lApostolo associ la perisseia con la potenza dello Spirito - Rm 15,13. La gioia dello Spirito, oltre ad essere un suo frutto, anche un fenomeno accompagnante il ricevere la pa-

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Analizzando il messaggio della 2 Cor 8-9, si pu quindi arrivare al livello del mistero divino del dare, sul quale si fonda sia la ragion dessere della colletta, sia le modalit della sua realizzazione concreta, sia il suo disegno e il destino salvifico. Al messaggio appartengono anche altri aspetti caratteristicamente corinzi che per appaiono troppo condizionati dalla specificit del loro milieu storico e delle difficolt uniche, non ancora pienamente risolte, alle quali Paolo allude, ma non mette nella prospettiva universale del suo progetto, n intende considerare alla luce della rivelazione. I due punti focali di tutta lellissi del percorso comunicativo paolino nella 2 Cor 8-9 si trovano situati nellevento di Cristo (la grazia della povert arricchente) e in Dio quale origine di grazia (provvidenza e amore). La comunit di Corinto, nella sua situazione storica del passaggio fra il volere e il fare, si trova proprio al centro dellattenzione, avvolta dalle due concentrazioni del mistero divino, rivolto verso lumanit. La comunit cristiana della capitale dellAcaia costituisce un punto nevralgico della molteplice tensione drammatica del divenire della salvezza. un incrociarsi di un gi divenuto particolare (Macedonia) e di un futuro universale (Gerusalemme e tutta la chiesa), delladerire (ideale) e delleseguire (realt), dellavere (possedere) e dellessere (donare).

4. Un vangelo: il dono del dare La sezione macedone del testo (8,1-5) comunica essenzialmente una notizia abbastanza elementare: i Macedoni continuano a dare, contribuendo alla vita delle altre chiese. La loro recente donazione, per, viene effettuata in condizioni di estrema insufficienza materiale e senza badare alle premesse psicologico-spirituali adeguate. Questo costituisce una sorpresa teologica per Paolo: il limite naturale si trascende verso una donazione inspiegabile. Avviene cio un dare impossibile, contrario

rola, frequentemente nella tribolazione - 1 Ts 1,6. Lazione dello Spirito nel dare sar resa pi esplicita nei tempi postpaolini - Ebr 9,14.

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alla natura della proporzionalit, che - invece di produrre unulteriore disperazione - si risolve nellabbondanza di gioia e di autenticit dellessere. Questo modello macedone del dare viene comunicato ai Corinzi come grazia di Dio in quanto troppo distante dalle ragionevoli attese umane. I suoi frutti vanno ben al di l della semplice somma di denaro raccolta per altri svantaggiati: il dare impossibile, divenuto una miracolosa realt, crea una nuova completa comunione dei donatori con Dio, realizzata, anche questa, attraverso il dono di s. a) Effetto o contenuto della grazia? La presentazione paolina dei fatti macedoni potrebbe essere interpretata come successione. La grazia donata da Dio avrebbe, in questa prospettiva, alcune tappe, storicamente separabili, anche se concatenate. Prima ci sarebbe stato il cambiamento della condizione spirituale, poi il nascere della generosit, in seguito la libera insistenza nel chiedere la partecipazione, infine il donare, anche questo cronologico: prima di se stessi a Dio e agli apostoli. Il culmine sarebbe stato raggiunto nel contribuire materialmente a favore dei santi. La struttura della frase potrebbe tuttavia disporsi nel senso parallelo e non consecutivo. In questo caso, si tratterebbe della prima e completa presentazione del fatto, cui segue la spiegazione che va nel profondo del fatto. Cos la grazia di Dio, accordata alle chiese della Macedonia, consisterebbe globalmente nellessere ricchi e gioiosi nel dare. Ci sarebbe per constatabile soltanto dopo aver partecipato alla colletta e non prima, in quanto la profonda povert non diventa ricchezza se non attraverso una sua dimostrazione concreta. Si tratterebbe del duplice movimento di adesione dei Macedoni al progetto della colletta. Il primo movimento consiste nel riconoscere e nello spontaneo chiedere la grazia della partecipazione, il secondo - nel dare. La lettura esclusivamente cronologica non plausibile. Le dimensioni cronologiche e qualitative in effetti si compenetrano. Lespressione il dono del dare come un possibile titolo interpretativo della sezione macedone della colletta non ci sembra esagerato.

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b) Lorigine divina del dare Quando Paolo parla della grazia di Dio, si potrebbe pensare che egli voglia riferirsi alla grazia totale, cio a quella della salvezza in Cristo, accordata a tutte le chiese in pienezza. Il participio che segue, quella donata, sembra tuttavia ricondurre il termine grazia al suo significato basilare del dono, il quale sar ripreso anche in 8,4.6.7.19. Tale grazia viene donata piuttosto in mezzo alle che non alle comunit della Macedonia. un altro motivo per considerarla una grazia particolare e non quella fondamentale, accordata di solito con laccoglienza della fede e con la fondazione della comunit. La grazia accordata quindi specifica: Dio dona il dono del dare. Senzaltro tale grazia conosciuta anche dalle altre comunit, compresa quella corinzia. Il fatto che Paolo la presenti come specificamente accordata ai Macedoni potrebbe indicare che proprio essi hanno saputo metterla subito in pratica e in maniera tale che lApostolo ne resta impressionato (8,5a). Il dare dei Macedoni quindi radicato nella stessa grazia di Dio. Tale provenienza della loro capacit del dare emerge ancora pi visibilmente sullo sfondo delle precarie circostanze materiali (povert piuttosto permanente) e spirituali (tribolazione, piuttosto episodica?). Paolo sembra assistere, come dallesterno, ad un processo che cammina da s e che gli fa vedere la presenza della grazia di Dio proprio nelle reali impossibilit umane (8,3). In questo modo, dalla completa prova della tribolazione (8,2), Paolo vede scaturire unabbondanza traboccante di gioia. Lestrema povert dei Macedoni si tramuta nella ricchezza della loro generosit-integrit, nella quale liniziativa del dare sembra nascere automaticamente (8,4-5). La natura delle cose viene radicalmente trasformata. Ci che in effetti potrebbe essere trattato soltanto come un semplice raccogliere i fondi, qualche volta sentito come un peso, in mezzo alle chiese macedoni viene insistentemente (con molta preghiera 8,4) richiesto come unopportunit di grazia. In nessun altro luogo la colletta paolina riceve una definizione cos carica di significato: essa desiderabile come la grazia e la partecipazione del servizio dei santi. Il testo testimonia una particolare inversione della grazia. In 1 Cor 14,4 Paolo diceva che la colletta costituiva un momento di grazia-benevolenza, fatta dagli etnico-

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cristiani ai giudeo-cristiani. Ora sono i primi a chiedere la partecipazione alla colletta, come unimportante occasione di grazia ad essere loro concessa. La grazia di Dio e la grazia della partecipazione al servizio costituirebbero, dunque, ununica realt, presentata da due diversi punti di vista. Naturalmente, vi una differenza tra la grazia annunciata ai Corinzi e quella specifica, consistente nel realizzare la colletta, se si tratta del protagonismo coinvolto nel dare macedone: i cristiani danno perch Dio li fa dare. Per questo motivo Paolo distingue fra la grazia di Dio (8,1) e lintegritgenerosit loro (8,2). Ma c anche una stretta dipendenza fra i due volti della stessa grazia. LApostolo potrebbe aver scritto soltanto i versetti 1 e 5 per farsi capire: la grazia di Dio si comunica e si materializza nellautodonazione dei Macedoni. In altre parole, nel modo dellagire umano che Paolo scopre lagire di Dio e ne fa notizia ai Greci. In questa visione, il servizio a favore dei santi sarebbe ununica, storicamente verificabile, manifestazione della grazia di Dio. Questa grazia costituisce lanima della colletta e la trasforma dalla semplice beneficenza (spesso apersonale) o raccolta dei soldi (quasi sempre rischiosa) in unoccasione di grazia per il donante. Il nucleo fondamentale di questa grazia consiste nel sentirsi capacitati, individualmente e comunitariamente, di (ri)entrare nel rapporto pi profondo di comunione con Dio e con i fratelli nella fede. Ancor pi radicalmente: la grazia di Dio si lascia calcolare anche come una somma di denaro, nella quale racchiude e rivela nello stesso tempo tutta una serie di dimensioni divine e umane, entrate in un rapporto di reciprocit. Tutto questo frutto di unazione - quella di dare. Quando Paolo presenta la colletta come evento di grazia (2 Cor 8,1.9; 9,14), il senso di charis strettamente teologico e designa la presenza salvifica di Dio. Tale presenza si concretizza nella capacit del dono, rende possibili determinati comportamenti, si esprime in essi, e tende ad instaurare anche visibilmente un ordine di grazia8. Limpatto della presenza salvifica di

L. OITANA, Esperienza ecclesiale. Il significato della colletta di Paolo in favore di Gerusalemme, in Evangelizare Pauperibus. Atti della XXIV Settimana Biblica, Paideia, Brescia 1978, 390.
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Dio nelle chiese macedoni visibile attraverso il motivo di pienezza, che in Paolo designa la novit, la superiorit e la sovrabbondanza della salvezza nel mondo della creazione nuova, in contrasto con il superato eone antico. Guardata dalla prospettiva di Dio, la grazia implica il dono e il dono implica la grazia. Tale reciproco implicarsi realizzabile mediante il dare, che costituisce il dinamismo comune in ambedue le realt. Cos, linestimabile dono di Dio (9,15) concentra in s non soltanto il dono della colletta e il dono della reciprocit comunionale nella chiesa, ma anche e innanzitutto il dono del dare (la capacit stessa di donare), proveniente da Dio. c) Disposizione fondamentale umana Il midollo della grazia ricevuta dai Macedoni sta nella loro partecipazione concreta alla colletta. Essi agiscono in modo tale che Paolo, volendolo presentare, adopera due espressioni che appaiono come due facce della stessa medaglia. Si tratta dellabbondanza di gioia e della ricchezza di haplotes. Il significato primario dellultimo termine nella grecit profana quello di semplicit. Luso speciale attestato in senso negativo di semplicioneria, oppure quello positivo, pi frequente, di rettitudine e schiettezza. In questo secondo senso, il termine si riferisce alla condotta morale dellessere umano e quindi designa innanzitutto la sua linearit e integrit. Comprendendo lintegrit morale, esso deve necessariamente portare ad agathotes - bont del cuore, e cos si arriva alla nozione di generosit. veramente semplice-integro-buono colui che sa donare e condividere il proprio avere con chi si trova nel bisogno. Il legame fra lintegrit del comportamento e la bont donante abbastanza visibile anche nelluso paolino della parola in Rm 12,8: chi si sente titolare del carisma dellelemosina, deve esercitarlo in obiettivit schietta e benevola. Sullo sfondo delle difficolt corinzie con la colletta, Paolo doveva avvertire con pi grande chiarezza e gioia loperare di Dio nella Macedonia. Le comunit ivi situate, oggettivamente versanti nella situazione di svantaggio, si dimostrarono capaci di comprendere spontaneamente lessenza del loro libero (8,3) rispondere alla necessit di questo servizio a favore dei santi. Contrariamente alla situazione corinzia, la colletta macedone

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supera ogni difficolt nel suo svolgersi. Essa viene accettata ed eseguita dalle chiese abbastanza velocemente e con un elemento in pi: essa anticipata da un donare se stessi al Signore e ai suoi ministri9. Questultimo elemento avrebbe unulteriore valenza positiva se fosse vero che anche i Macedoni erano esposti a un test, paragonabile a quello dei Galati o dei Corinzi. In tale situazione, il loro (ri)donarsi al Signore (= Dio?) e agli apostoli costituirebbe una solenne ripresa e ratifica sia della comunione con il fondatore, sia della loro autentica vita ecclesiale. d) Lhumus comunionale Il dare macedone viene comunque definito come una richiesta (esigenza) di koinonia. Il termine riappare ancora in 2 Cor 9,13, dove potrebbe essere tradotto come generosit della partecipazione nel senso della quantit del contributo. Daltra parte, siccome questa integrit della comunione si estende verso i gerosolimitani e verso tutti, poco probabile che Paolo la pensi in termini economici. A meno che non si tratti della comunione universale attraverso la testimonianza della carit che anche di natura spirituale e quindi comunicabile a tutti gli altri. Se dovesse essere questo il pensiero dellApostolo, allora i cristiani di Gerusalemme ringrazierebbero Dio, tra gli altri motivi, per la sincera comunione dei Corinzi, la quale - raggiungendo i santi della comunit madre - influisce potenzialmente su tutta la chiesa. Seguendo tale interpretazione, si dovrebbe concludere che qualsiasi comunione di natura concreta e locale unincarnazione della comunione universale e pertanto nellopera di uno fa ritrovare tutti gli altri. Il primo tratto caratteristico di questo modo paolino di descrivere il dare in veste comunionale quello della comunitariet dellagire contribuente. Nelle prime tappe della colletta, lApostolo raccomandava ai Corinzi la necessit di contribuire personalmente, con la clausola di conservare individualmente la somma messa da parte, fino al momento della consegna. Presso le chiese della Macedonia questo aspetto individuale non viene

9 Il primato dei Macedoni nel dare traspare anche in Rm 15,26, dove essi sono menzionati per primi fra coloro che contribuirono alla colletta.

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minimamente messo in rilievo. Le comunit danno come un corpo, perch nella loro totalit che ricevono e sperimentano la grazia del dare. La risposta macedone al dono del dare spiccatamente comunitaria. Tale modo di presentarla mette in rilievo sia lunanimit delle comunit ecclesiali, sia il modo collettivo di vivere il dare individuale. Tuttavia, il fatto che questultimo non sia menzionato, non significa che esso sia del tutto assente. Il dare individuale piuttosto assorbito dalla comunit in maniera tale che esso sembra perdere la sua limitatezza, ma anche lidentit propria, proveniente dal donante singolo, diventando una ricchezza comune. Il dare che Paolo annunzia ai Corinzi quindi esplicitamente comunitario. Esso non si riduce ad una donazione episodica che si esaurisce nello stesso momento in cui stata effettuata, ma - proprio nellattimo in cui si incontra con una simile realizzazione, nellorizzonte della koinonia - si inserisce in un movimento di dilatamento del suo significato. In altre parole, una somma qualsiasi di denaro (libera anche nellaspetto quantitativo), donata ecclesialmente, nel momento del suo trasferimento per gli altri e insieme agli altri, intraprende un cammino di significato pienamente salvifico. Tale somma potr essere riconosciuta ed accettata come unespressione concreta di comunione verticale ed orizzontale che supera la calcolabilit immediata del contributo materiale, e costituisce un habitat permanente dei donanti e dei riceventi in Dio. e) Una modalit tipica dattualizzazione Paolo descrive il dare dei Macedoni adoperando ancora unaltra categoria, quella del servizio. Il dare gratuito, proprio perch definito come grazia (o favore), anche se vissuto ecclesialmente e in piena consapevolezza della necessit vitale della comunione fra le chiese, corre il rischio di considerarsi unazione di nobile superiorit del donante rispetto al ricevente. Chi dona in effetti fa del bene ed il beneficato, nel suo ricevere, generalmente accetta di riconoscersi bisognoso del dono, quindi in certo qual modo inferiore rispetto al donante. Proponendo ora il modello macedone ai Corinzi, alcuni dei quali non hanno forse ancora superato la crisi provocata dal rifiuto dellApostolo di non lasciarsi sostenere, Paolo coglie occasione per definire me-

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glio la natura delle cose. Il rovesciamento della prospettiva stato gi marcatamente effettuato attraverso linsolita inversione della grazia: riceve la grazia non chi si lascia aiutare, ma chi soccorre. Il dare cristiano si fonda sulla possibilit del dare che al potenziale donatore viene aperta da Dio. Tale dare richiede una nuova comprensione della sua natura (il dono del dare) e delle modalit del suo svolgersi. Proprio per chiarire questa dimensione, Paolo prosegue nel racconto macedone con la categoria del servizio. Il termine ha diversi significati nel testo della 2 Cor. In 3,79; 4,1; 5,18; 6,3 esso rende meglio il senso se tradotto come ministero. Nei testi riguardanti la colletta (2 Cor 8,4; 9,1.12.13; Rm 15,31), il sostantivo tende ad assumere un significato di unopera di soccorso, che diventa specifico per tutta lattivit di Paolo e delle sue comunit a favore dei cristiani di Gerusalemme (cf. anche le forme verbali in 2 Cor 8,19-20, Rm 15,25). Il dare coinvolto nella colletta diventa la grazia servita (8,19). Non si tratta quindi soltanto di un termine tecnico collaudato dalluso comune in riferimento allaiuto ai bisognosi, ma di un vero e proprio servire. Ci impone la prospettiva di una certa inferiorit assunta consapevolmente nei confronti di chi viene servito. LApostolo, proseguendo sulla traiettoria tracciata dalla semantica della charis, insiste sulla gratuit totale del dare, inteso come dono in s, beneficante il donante. Il valore fondamentale del termine servizio, permette a Paolo un ulteriore rovesciamento del modello patrono - cliente: chi dona non patrono e chi riceve non cliente. Ambedue dovrebbero invece essere partecipi della grazia di Dio. In questa prospettiva, il dare non dovrebbe essere pi considerato unattivit di beneficenza, ma quella di servizio vero e proprio. Conviene notare qui ci che Paolo scriver, non tra molto tempo, ai Romani, appunto a proposito della colletta. Alle comunit contribuenti, secondo Paolo, piaciuto partecipare alla colletta per i gerosolimitani perch sono ad essi debitori: infatti, avendo i pagani partecipato ai loro beni spirituali, sono in debito di rendere un servizio sacro nelle loro necessit materiali (Rm 15,27). Latteggiamento di diakonia, anche quando riconosciuto e assunto liberamente come grazia, non infatti una celebrazione di una libert sganciata da tutto, ma di un certo dovere assunto. Chi si decide di diventare servo, non pu nel-

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lo stesso tempo credersi padrone solo perch lha fatto di propria iniziativa. Entrare pienamente nella logica del servizio, significa assumere dei doveri del servo, e, tra questi, la necessit di non considerare la propria funzione come quella di beneficenza, ma di servizio dovuto. f) Un evento storico-salvifico Laccoglienza e la realizzazione del progetto della colletta presso le chiese della Macedonia costituisce un avvenimento di profonda trasformazione della loro vita. La colletta viene riconosciuta come grazia ed proprio questa comprensione a manifestare la presenza di Dio fra i Macedoni. Essi infatti, fra lafflizione e limpoverimento, potrebbero piuttosto mettersi sulla lista dei possibili destinatari dellaiuto delle altre comunit. Nel proprio svantaggio, invece, si mettono ad alleviare le difficolt degli altri e lo fanno con determinazione quasi sovrumana. Proprio questo provoca in Paolo, tranne la sorpresa, una nuova comprensione del valore teologico della raccolta. Ammettendo infatti di non aver avuto illusioni sulle reali possibilit materiali del dare in quelle terre proverbialmente povere, Paolo mette laccento non sulla quantit dellofferta, ma sulla qualit della prontezza dei Macedoni ad assumere latteggiamento di donazione totale. Proprio per questo motivo, Paolo - come se si fosse egli stesso convertito alla certezza della volont di Dio in riferimento alla colletta - mander Tito ai Corinzi. Il collaboratore dellApostolo, come prima notizia, offrir loro appunto il miracolo10 della Macedonia. Questo fenomeno speciale viene descritto a pi riprese. Innanzitutto attraverso levidenza dellincorrispondenza della condizione dei donatori di fronte al progetto della colletta. In primo luogo essi si erano trovati in pieno della prova della tribola-

10 H.D. BETZ non esita ad accompagnare la trasformazione avvenuta in Macedonia con laggettivo miracolosa (the miraculous change), affermando tuttavia che questa comunque unesperienza fondamentale a tutti i cristiani - 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. A Commentary on Two Administrative Letters of the Apostle Paul (Hermeneia), Fortress, Philadelphia 1985, 44.

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zione. Al posto, o piuttosto in mezzo11, della sofferenza si fa spazio uninspiegabile abbondanza della gioia. Non si tratta per dei semplici sentimenti di felicit. Questa gioia in s un soteriologico dono di Dio, infuso dallo Spirito (1 Ts 1,6; Rm 14,7), sperimentabile nella presenza degli altri credenti. Cos il messaggio paolino ai Corinzi avrebbe in s una sottile allusioneprovocazione di cercare nella comunione la vera gioia dei rapporti, e partire da l verso lagire concreto a favore degli altri. Il miracoloso passaggio che Paolo osserva in Macedonia ancor pi visibile nella trasformazione della loro abissale povert in pienezza della semplicit-generosit. Fa parte del miracolo anche il fatto che i Macedoni donino oltre le loro possibilit (8,3), e lo facciano liberamente. Queste qualificazioni del loro gesto rivelano da una parte un limite umano e dallaltra mettono in rilievo lintervento della grazia di Dio al di l delle legittime attese e delle proporzionalit naturali. Loggetto della donazione oltre le possibilit non viene specificato, ma pu essere facilmente identificato dal contesto. Le possibilit denotano il donare materiale. Dare al di l delle possibilit, significa semplicemente contribuire alla colletta in misura sproporzionata allavere. Paolo chiarir subito ai Corinzi che il suo ideale quello di dare secondo lavere (8,11), senza andare oltre tale misura, per non cadere nellindigenza (8,13). Leccesso dei Macedoni, per, non sembra essere causato dallazione dellApostolo, perci non si vede nessuna traccia di correzione di quello che per lui e per la comunit diventato un manifesto intervento della grazia di Dio. La charis non soltanto fa percepire una dimensione soprannaturale nel raccogliere i soldi dai poveri per i poveri, ma trasforma il rapporto dei Macedoni con il Signore e con i suoi mi-

11 La giustapposizione della tribolazione e della gioia senza alcun verbo di rapporto (di causalit o di dipendenza) tra di loro, non necessariamente significa leliminazione della prima attraverso lultima, ma una loro paradossale coesistenza. La trasformazione della situazione macedone consisterebbe non nel cambiamento del negativo nel positivo, ma nel riempire il negativo con il positivo. infatti pi logico pensare che la radicale povert materiale dei Macedoni, a causa del loro contribuire alla colletta, poteva addirittura aggravarsi ancora, come pure la gioia sopraggiunta in piena tribolazione poteva benissimo permeare, ma non sostituire la sofferenza.

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nistri. un altro elemento del miracolo. I Macedoni donano prima se stessi al Signore e agli apostoli, attraverso la volont di Dio (8,5). Anche questa donazione12 sta sotto la qualifica dello al di l delle attese (8,5a). Linatteso autodonarsi dei Macedoni sembra riferirsi innanzitutto al loro ri-dedicarsi a Dio. Ci inatteso da Paolo nel senso che stato gi effettuato con laccoglienza della nuova fede durante la fondazione della comunit. Sorprendente potrebbe essere quindi non ladesione, ma la sua nuova qualit e intensit, con la quale la comunit ripristina e sviluppa ancora ci che aveva assimilato prima del test della tribolazione. La sorpresa di Paolo, in ogni caso, viene spiegata in relazione alla smisurata prontezza materiale dei Macedoni nel dare. Tale prontezza, a sua volta, manifesta una nuova trasparenza del loro essere trasformati dalla grazia di Dio e spinti di conseguenza a ridedicare se stessi a Dio e ai suoi ministri. La grazia concessa alle chiese della Macedonia quindi un dono particolare, se si riferisce alla loro capacit di valutare in modo soprannaturale il caso concreto di contribuire, da bisognosi, per altri bisognosi. Tale grazia anche globalizzante: in Macedonia tutto grazia. Un dare per gli altri richiede, stimola e attua un anteriore donarsi a Dio e a chi lo rappresenta, ed eseguito secondo la volont di Dio. Il negativo dellesistenza (lafflizione) si tramuta nella (o almeno viene permeato dalla) pienezza di gioia e dellintegrit dellessere. La grazia di Dio, sperimentata e testimoniata da Paolo in queste comunit, consiste

12 Lidea che la vita cristiana nella sua totalit dovrebbe essere una offerta vivente presentata a Dio viene programmaticamente sviluppata allinizio della sezione parenetica della Rm 12,1-2: Vi esorto dunque, fratelli, per la misericordia di Dio, ad offrire i vostri corpi come sacrificio vivente, santo e gradito a Dio; questo il vostro culto spirituale. Non conformatevi alla mentalit di questo secolo, ma trasformatevi rinnovando la vostra mente, per poter discernere la volont di Dio, ci che buono, a lui gradito e perfetto. Lautodonarsi dei Macedoni a Dio corrisponde pienamente a questa linea della teologia paolina (cf. Fil 2,17; 4,18; 1 Cor 4,13). Anche Luca descrive a modo suo lo stesso atteggiamento dei Macedoni nel libro degli Atti (16,9-17,15: 18,5; 19,21-22.29; 20,1-4; 27,2). Paolo stesso viene presentato in questa chiave, sia da Luca (At 20,22-24; 21,10-14), sia dalla scuola paolina nelle diverse lettere a lui attribuite (Col 1,24-29; Ef 3,1-13; 2 Ts 3,2; 1 Tm 1,1217; 2 Tm 1,7-14).

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nel saper avvertire e ricevere il dono divino, come anche nel saper corrispondere ad esso, e cos traboccare di gioia e di ricchezza dellessere. Il motivo della grazia accordata in mezzo alle chiese della Macedonia non quindi meramente retorico, adoperato solo per stimolare lemulazione di un esempio o di introdurre una gara di generosit (quale criterio della vincita?). una grazia di estrema importanza per Paolo stesso. Egli si sente consolato con traboccante consolazione e confermato nellopera affidatagli da Cristo. Le chiese della sua fondazione correvano il rischio di essergli sottratte e con ci poteva essere vanificato tutto il suo lavoro, compresa la colletta. Lafflizione, quella di Paolo e quella delle chiese macedoni, cambia invece in gioia della comunione ritrovata e corroborata. In questo contesto di vita autentica, positivamente verificata nelle impossibilit umane, il dare sviscera i suoi nuovi misteri. Lo stesso poter dare una grazia per il donante. Essa nasce da Dio, apparendo nel donatore come reazione spontanea al dono divino. Inoltre, essa coinvolge lintera comunit, che - quando dona - ritrova se stessa al livello nuovo di autenticit e di comunione. Questa grazia ora si allarga perch non pu limitarsi a un gruppo che lha sperimentata. Gi il fatto che la grazia di Dio data alle chiese e non a una sola comunit non senza significato. La grazia macedone globalizzante non soltanto per la totalit della vita della comunit che abbraccia, ma anche perch rappresenta unanticipazione e un modello di quanto dovrebbe avvenire nelle altre chiese. Pertanto la testimonianza di questo avvenimento di grazia viene affidata a Tito, con la missione di mediare a una simile manifestazione in seno alla comunit cristiana a Corinto.

5. Una sfida da completare a Corinto Avendo esaminato il fatto avvenuto in Macedonia, completiamo il percorso con la lettura, questa volta veloce, di ci che resta del materiale dedicato alla colletta. Contrariamente alla precedente esplosione dellautentico e gioioso essere nella pi profonda povert e afflizione, la chiesa corinzia si trova arricchita in ogni modo, ma deficiente proprio nella gioia della co-

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munione pienamente solidale (gi al proprio interno, cf. 1 Cor 11,21.33-34). La sua ricchezza spirituale non sar mai pienamente vera n completa se non trover le modalit adeguate di tradursi in agape serenamente e sinceramente donante. Il modello proposto ai cristiani greci quello di teologia ordinaria: arrivare alluguaglianza, modesta ma dignitosa, di tutti attraverso la condivisione del proprio avere, fatta liberamente ma possibilmente da tutti, da ci che supera le necessit ordinarie della vita sufficiente. Paolo contrasta limpasse delloblativit corinzia non tanto con lesempio eroico dei Macedoni, quanto con un altro modello donante, andante ben oltre ogni donazione materiale umana. La conoscenza della grazia del Signore (8,9), base del loro dare e dellautenticit agapica del loro essere cristiano, riporta i Greci al mistero divino-umano della perdita totale di s per gli altri nellassumere la condizione di povert, estranea al Nuovo Adamo, ma arricchente gli altri con la sola capacit di dare, andando oltre la propria felicit e condizione di innocenza di fronte a Dio. La povert che arricchisce donando ci che attualmente ha il mistero di libert e di vita, del tutto contrastante con la ricchezza che non dando - impoverisce se stessa e finisce nellinerzia del volere paralizzato. Il dare che mira alla serena uguaglianza di tutti potrebbe apparire, a prima vista, come una delle conseguenze del vangelo recepito e assimilato nella vita dei credenti, dove non c bisogno di intervenire dal di fuori, essendo questo un affare di libert e di agape. La gratuit tuttavia anche un dinamismo di perdita del proprio e cos diventa un luogo privilegiato del dramma pasquale della salvezza in atto, continuato nella vita dei credenti. Questa sua caratteristica associa il dare allo stesso ministero del vangelo fino al punto di dover annunciarlo e farlo funzionare come agape donante. Proprio per questo motivo Paolo non aspetta finch si rimarginino le ferite dei dissensi corinzi, ma - avvenuta la riconciliazione - immediatamente riporta tutti i discorsi ad uno solo: quello del vangelo donato e vero se donante. Lutilit pratica della delegazione apostolica di Tito e quella interecclesiale dei fratelli non spiegherebbe a sufficienza la necessit della mediazione del dare. Se il vangelo, dono gratuito di salvezza, non diventa una stabile e naturale vita donante in chi lo riceve, lannunzio non pu essere considerato completato. Ma anche la comunit credente non pu credersi sana e vi-

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va se in qualche sua parte non circola pi (o ancora) la linfa vitale del dare. La vera agape non consiste quindi soltanto nel dare come esaurito nella consegna del dono, ma mira alla vitalizzazione del destinatario, inducendolo nello stesso dinamismo donante. Il dare completo quel dare che si rigenera nel destinatario, facendolo vivere. Questo vale per Paolo che non pu fermarsi nel suo donare il Vangelo finch non lo veda trasformato nella grazia del dare vissuta nelle chiese. Questo vale per le comunit che non possono esaurirsi nella celebrazione riconoscente dei doni di Dio se essa rimane sterile come dinamismo incarnante lamore attraverso il dare. Questo spiega la presenza dei ministri del dare (8,16-24; 9,1-5) nella tappa corinzia della colletta. Il cammino del dare che origina in Dio per raggiungere luomo diventa una storia di amore responsabile che dona e fa donare (9,6-10). Tra il donare e il far donare si situa una struttura dialogale del rapporto Dio - uomo, basata sullo scambio delle iniziative, delle attesa, delle risposta. Dio che dona la grazia del dare, non solo benedice luomo, a sua volta donante, e fa fruttificare il suo agire nella gioia dellessere autentico, ma ama la sua ilarit (9,8), con cui egli affronta il rischio della perdita prima ancora di vederne i frutti. Lilarit del donatore umano, guardata dal punto di vista di Dio, un segno della totale fiducia nei confronti del Provveditore divino. Essendo una parola umana, rispondente alla donazione divina, fiduciosa e coraggiosa, essa attira lamore divino e mette Dio in posizione di risposta. Questo scambiarsi dialogico del dare, nel clima di ilarit e di amore, diventa un linguaggio dellautentico rapporto, oltre ad essere una gara di generosit, nella quale Dio non si lascer vincere, ma luomo - appunto perch amato in quanto donante gioioso - non sar considerato sconfitto. Se la stessa modalit relazionale, dialogale-oblativa, viene vissuta tra le chiese (9,11-15), si arriva ad unulteriore dilatazione del dare verso la comunione ormai completa e, per questo, ineffabile. Il dare non soltanto si rigenera nel destinatario e, facendolo dare, continua il suo percorso divino di vitalizzazione dellumano, ma ritorna verso il donante come il legame di reciprocit cordiale, cio quella di affettuoso rapporto di amore. Questo ritorno doppio: il dono ritorna dapprima alla sua Sorgente divina, trasformandosi in lode riconoscente e aumentan-

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do la sua gloria, e, nello stesso tempo, ritorna al donante umano come risposta damore e di comunione. Il dare percorre cos tutte le vie della comunicabilit salvifica e costituisce una particolare pericoresi damore verticale ed orizzontale tra Dio e lumanit.

6. Spunti teologici sulloblativit in 2 Cor 8-9 Al livello del messaggio, come prima idea appare la dipendenza dellumano poter dare dalla grazia di Dio. Ci si verifica in un particolare caso macedone, ma - attraverso la sua eccessiva chiarezza - assume la valenza di una regola universalmente applicabile: proprio Dio, con la sua dynamis, a rendere possibile il dare in ogni contesto, anche in quello apparentemente impossibile. I Corinzi, a loro volta, potranno dare perch abbondano in ogni cosa e il loro dare non sar altro che abbondare anche in questa grazia (8,7). I Macedoni si muovono nel loro dare sotto la guida di una marcata sensibilit alla volont di Dio che li stimola verso il culmine del dare, consistente nel dono di se stessi. Questo atteggiamento sembra essere pi consono alla radicalit della loro esistenza distaccata dal possedere e dalla serenit esteriore dellessere. Nella tribolazione e nella povert acquistano valore vitale solo le cose essenziali: il rapporto con Dio e la donazione totale di s a Lui. I Corinzi, trovandosi in una situazione caratterizzata da una certa abbondanza che li porta anche ad alcuni sbandamenti dovranno essere pilotati nel dare dallamore. Si tratta dello stesso saper perdere, nel quale doveroso attenersi ugualmente alla volont di Dio. Tuttavia, il dinamismo del dare, effettuato in base allabbondanza, deve radicarsi in un senso dellaltruismo pi evidenziato. La concentrazione cristologica del 8,9 ne un fondamento e un modello insostituibile. Il dare, anche qui portato alla sua massima misura, viene letto in chiave di impoverimento arricchente per voi. Come espresso dalla formula cristologica, questo speciale processo e mistero della povert-che-arricchisce, non riguarda in primo luogo i beni posseduti da Cristo, ma il suo modo di essere. la sua stessa persona a subire limpoverimento della donazione, ma proprio questa povert ad arricchire gli altri e cos diventa il sinonimo della vera agape.

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Lincarnare questo e non un altro tipo di amore non presentato dallApostolo come una chiamata riguardante in primo luogo lindividuo donante. Il titolare umano del dare cristico il corpo dei credenti che, soltanto attraverso latteggiamento collettivo di oblativit costante, potr sperare di raggiungere luguaglianza sempre nuova di tutti. Non si tratta quindi di una occasionale colletta, ma di una statura permanente della maturit collettiva della chiesa, la quale vive dei doni di Dio e li mette in circolazione ininterrotta, senza accumulare per assicurarsi lavere in s. Il modello del popolo ebraico, peregrinante nel deserto senza nessuna scorta lungimirante del cibo conservato per un ipotetico dopo, induce Paolo a sviluppare una sorta di teologia delleconomia. In essa, la serena esistenza economica di tutti viene assicurata attraverso la precisa e puntuale coesistenza di due coordinate essenziali. La prima consiste nella fiducia illimitata in Dio che vede e provvede senza lasciarsi vincere nella generosit. Questa coordinata costante e infallibile: Dio mantiene le sue promesse, e se ha dato il massimo di S nel (lo Spirito del) Figlio, come potrebbe non garantire il resto? (cf. Rm 8,32). La seconda coordinata, dalla quale dipende il successo divinoumano di questo modello economico nella storia, si configura come la consapevolezza di assumere fino in fondo il modello cristico della povert arricchente, quale chiamata individuale e comunitaria ad essere canali della provvidenza di Dio verso i bisognosi. Una simile chiamata, vista dal lato delle direttive concrete dellApostolo, non rimane nella sfera del possibile o dellopzionale, bench la libert della risposta venga ripetutamente ribadita da Paolo. Oltre al naturale dovere di reciprocit nella memoria dellaltro e del suo dare gi adempiuto (il dono della fede, fatto da parte dei gerosolimitani verso la comunit corinzia), il dare cristiano che parte dallavere reale, viene sostenuto dalle strutture ministeriali, anchesse lette teologicamente come servizio. Insieme alla grazia del vangelo, viene quindi somministrata la grazia del dare, intesa come un sacramento dellagape e, perci, per niente marginale rispetto al dono dello Spirito e della vita nuova. Il dare paolino, nuovamente, non unattivit di natura intimistica, unilaterale, individuale e possibilista, ma profondamente comunitaria, plurilaterale, comunitaria e doverosa.

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Per questo motivo, il dare coinvolge ad ogni sua tappa la presenza esplicita dei ministri del Vangelo. proprio la loro presenza a permettere una certa simultaneit ideale del Vangelo e del dare: se non dato gratuitamente, il vangelo rimane nella sfera dellinattivit. Se non corrisposto con il dare, il vangelo si dimostra recepito falsamente. In altre parole, Paolo sembra affermare: fatemi vedere il vostro dare ed io vi dir in quale vangelo credete. Il dare, come risposta alla chiamata al vangelo, contiene quindi in s un dinamismo incarnante e verificante la stessa Buona Novella fino a tal punto, che esso stesso potrebbe essere chiamato Buona Novella. La capacit del dare, lo stile e la misura con cui esso viene effettuato, qualificano direttamente la vera identit cristiana della comunit e, indirettamente, ogni suo individuo credente. Attraverso il dono realmente fatto arrivare al destinatario, si viene evangelizzati nella misura in cui tale dono parla della memoria, dellattenzione, della sollecitudine, della prontezza a perdere per laltro, quindi della generosit altruistica e della comunione. In una parola, il dare comunitario, celebrato come servizio agapico, strutturato dalla volont di Dio, garantita dalla presenza dei ministri delle chiese, diventa lepifania dellamore. Essa, nella reciprocit delladeguato ricevere, introduce il donante e il ricevente nel mistero della pi profonda comunione, dove il passaggio pasquale del perdere donante produce una risurrezione del ricevente, causa a sua volta della felicit del donante. Lincrocio tra il vangelo dellagape e lagape donante, base della comunione, una realt tipica dellessere cristiano, insieme misteriosa e concreta, dove confluiscono e si fondono lessere e lesistere, lessere e il linguaggio, in modo da creare uninscindibile sinonimia tra di essi. La beatitudine del dare attraversa una tappa marcata dalla speranza, nella quale, da una parte, non si vedono ancora i frutti desiderati, e, dallaltra, si vive il dramma della perdita del proprio. In questo dramma si iscrive anche una possibile tentazione dellautosalvezza attraverso il risparmio di s in base al posseduto-non-donato o dato scarsamente. Alla paura del rischio e al dolore del vuoto si contrappone latteggiamento della benedizione, che fonda biblicamente la speranza dellesistenza minacciata sul Dio benedicente e sulla sicurezza della sua parola. Questa una tappa radicalmente interiore e spirituale, dove avviene un dialo-

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go vitale tra il donante, singolo o collettivo, con il Dio del dare. Questa speranza del dare apre una porta dialogale alla fede del dare, che dovrebbe avere come effetto una particolare anticipazione della comunione finale nellattuale ilarit del dare. Dio stesso, quasi in risposta a questa fede-speranza-agape ilare, si rende il garante delle risorse necessarie in ogni cosa, sempre e completamente (che non significa eccessivamente) abbondanti. Questo viene affermato da Paolo con termini escludenti ogni incertezza: Dio continua ad avere il potere di far abbondare ogni grazia in mezzo ai cristiani, con lo scopo di farli abbondare ulteriormente in ogni opera buona. Il linguaggio inclusivo per qualsiasi operare abilitato e stimolato dalla grazia, comprendente il dare. La visione della consumazione del dare, prospettata da Paolo nellultima sezione del testo, quella gerosolimitana, una specie di anticipazione ecclesiologica e teologica di ci che dovrebbe realizzarsi nella storia. Anche qui il ruolo dominante affidato alla speranza e alla fede, che animano nel credente la convinzione che lagape avr effettivamente un pieno successo evangelizzante attraverso una risurrezione del ricevente e una pi consolidata comunione delle chiese tra di esse, come quella di esse con Dio.

7. Loblativit come un ambiente teologico-morale La descrizione paolina della colletta, contenuta nel testo 2 Cor 8-9, a noi apparsa come un insieme concatenato in maniera logica e crescente verso lesclamazione finale Grazie a Dio per questo suo ineffabile dono!, ci ha offerto non pochi spunti per cogliere il significato teologico del dare in s13. Il dare storico-

Essi raccolgono i punti teologici salienti di tutto il testo 2 Cor 8-9. Vi anche qualche riferimento alla grazia-benevolenza di Cristo che divenne povero per arricchire con la sua povert. Questa espressione paradossale il fondamento della comprensione teologica del dare e di oblativit morale in genere. il nostro proposito di affrontare 2 Cor 8,9 da questo punto di vista, prospettando una terza parte del trittico che arriverebbe cos, con procedura accerchiante, al cuore delloblativit umana, redenta da Cristo.
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salvifico, essendo una grazia e, con ci, una buona novella, anche, irrimediabilmente, un dramma che si gioca tra lessere e lavere. Da questa prospettiva, il dare gratuito va visto come una morte, nel senso della perdita del proprio a favore dellaltro. La sua massima concentrazione stata espressa da Paolo come formula della povert arricchente di Cristo. Il dare si situa, dunque, non solo al livello creazionale dellessere e dellesistere, ma costituisce anche lanima dellevento salvifico della Croce. Dopo la radicale donazione di s, fatta da Cristo sulla croce, ogni dare cristiano diventa una proiezione storica del passaggio pasquale del Figlio di Dio nella sua umanit mortale. Comprendendo la risposta del Padre al dono del Figlio, la pasqua di Ges completa con la risurrezione e con il dono definitivo dello Spirito. Il dare, visto teologicamente, rispecchia la stessa struttura salvifica: un perdere radicale dellidentit del donante (definita dal titolo della possessio), un entrare nel nulla dellappartenenza nuova non ancora acquisita (ma sostenuta dallintenzionalit donatrice e dalla speranza ricevente), un susseguente risorgere del dono nellidentit rivitalizzata dellaltro e, finalmente, diventa una potenzializzazione delloblativit gratuita nella reciprocit e nella comunione. Il dare, che muore e ritorna risorto in forma della comunionalit attualizzata, si prospetta anche come la vita nuova, la redenzione culminata nella divinizzazione dellumano e nellumanizzazione del creato, pienamente personale e collettiva, attesa al di l della storia, nelleschaton della creazione nuova consumata in Dio. Ogni singolo dare cristiano, fondato sulla partecipazione delloblazione pasquale di Cristo, per lenergia propria della gratuit divina comunicata nel mistero della risurrezione e delleffusione dello Spirito, unanticipazione della promessa pienezza definitiva dellumano divinizzato, recuperato e potenzializzato nel suo essere comunionale. Nella storia drammatica del mondo che ancora sospira nelle doglie del parto dei figli di Dio, il dare continua ad apparire come una debolezza e una follia del perdere, mentre nellottica di Dio esso fondamentalmente il dono di grazia, nella quale il poter dare sinonimo del vivere-attraverso-la-morte e dellessere se stessi con e attraverso gli altri. Non desta meraviglia, se di fronte alle simili dimensioni del dare, lApostolo sia invaso dallo spirito di adorazione verso Dio, il quale, con la grazia del dare, non

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solo umanizza il denaro quale strumento della sua provvidenza, ma in definitiva divinizza lessere umano, inserendolo nella pericoresi trinitaria del dare divino. proprio qui che nasce unontologia del dono, scoperta dal pensare teologico, secondo la quale la dimensione kenotica dellessere (= il non-essere) introduce il negativo del perdere nella prospettiva del conservarsi come dono. La teologia infatti gi arrivata alla convinzione che lessere si manifesta come dono: lEssere di Dio, infinito dono di S a Se stesso e di S a ci che viene chiamato ad essere nellassoluta libert del dono; lessere delluomo infinito dono (ricevuto) e infinito donarsi [G.M. Zanghi]. Proprio per questo il Cristo crocifisso e abbandonato il cuore della comprensione del reale: e ci significa (...) che il nonessere come dono di s devessere introiettato nellessere inteso come amore14. Questo centro vitale ed ermeneutico della maturit cristiana sar avvicinato in una prossima continuazione.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00185 Roma Italy. Summary / Resumen This article continues the considerations of a previous essay (Stmor 36 [1998] 203-238), in which some ethical dimensions of oblativity in general were examined on the basis of a history of human giving. Some Pauline material was addressed too, in order to highlight how oblativity was typical of the everyday existence of early Christian communities. One particular example of giving and self-giving, witnessed by Paul in 2 Cor 8-9, is now further studied with the object of seeing how profoundly oblativity permeates the life of the believers and how it reveals itself to be a moral code, bringing the communities to soANDRZEJ WODKA C.Ss.R.

14 P. CODA, Il negativo e la Trinit. Ipotesi su Hegel, Citt Nuova, Roma 1987, 416-417.

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mething that can only be referred to as an indescribable gift of God (2 Cor 9,15). The author claims that giving embraces in a way the mystery of being as a soul of the relations in which human life is immersed. Christian oblativity appears thus to be the first gift given, the gift of giving, full of a healing power and of an animating dynamism, which bring the individuals and the communities to the real life of God. A further inquiry is envisaged to verify how true this is from the christological point of view. A third contribution plans to face the question as to what extent oblativity is essential to the nature of the new creation, realised by Christ as the New Adam, and therefore proper to any of His brothers through grace. El presente artculo prosigue las reflexiones de un ensayo anterior (StMor 36 [1998] 203-238), en el que se examinaron algunas dimensiones ticas de la oblatividad en general, sobre la base de la historia del dar humano. Trat, adems, un tema paulino para destacar cmo la oblatividad fue tpica de la existencia diaria de las primeras comunidades cristianas. Ahora estudia ms un ejemplo particular del dar y del darse, testimoniado por Pablo en la 2 Cor 8-9, para ver cmo la oblatividad impregna profundamente la vida de los creyentes y cmo se revela como un cdigo moral, que gua a las comunidades a lo que puede referirse slo como un don indescriptible (2 Cor 9,15). El autor afirma que el dar abarca en cierto sentido el misterio del ser como un alma de las relaciones en las que est inmersa la vida humana. La oblatividad cristiana aparece, por consiguiente, como el primer don concedido, el don del dar, lleno de un poder que sana y de un dinamismo estimulante que conduce a los individuos y comunidades a la verdadera vida de Dios. Para verificar qu tan cierto es esto desde el punto de vista cristolgico, surge un nuevo interrogante. Un nuevo artculo prev afrontar la cuestin de qu tan esencial es la oblatividad para la naturaleza de la nueva creacin, realizada por Cristo como Nuevo Adn, y de ser algo propio que pertenece a sus hermanos por medio de la gracia. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

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StMor 37 (1999) 35-71 TONY KELLY C.Ss.R.

GOD IS LOVE. A THEOLOGICAL-MORAL READING OF 1 JOHN

The group of believers addressed by 1 John is involved in a continuing theological quest. First of all, this comparatively isolated and beleaguered community has to make sense of itself and its faith in a new experience of limits as it suffers through the disturbing reality of internal divisions, isolation, failure and the dying out of the first generation of believers1. Secondly, in ways related to this historical situation, the very meaning of the God revealed in Jesus Christ is being reconsidered in a manner so fresh and radical that some of the boldest theological affirmations of the New Testament come to be made. While the Gospels christological narrative is presupposed, this letter focuses on the character of the God: the communitys ambiguous experience is posing a question that urgently needs an answer2. And that answer will always provoke two basic

1 For an abundance of background material, an essential reference remains RAYMOND E. BROWN, The Community of the Beloved Disciple. The Life, Loves and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1979). For a concise general commentary and bibliography, see Pheme Perkins, The Johannine Epistles, in RAYMOND E. BROWN, S.S., JOSEPH A. FITZMYER, SJ, and ROLAND E. MURPHY, O.Carm., (Eds.), The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1989), 986-993. The major commentaries remain R. SCHNACKENBURG, The Johannine Epistles. A Commentary (New York: Crossroad, 1992), and RAYMOND E. BROWN, The Epistles of John, Anchor Bible 30 (New York: Doubleday, 1982) and most recently, C. CLIFTON BLACK, The First, Second and Third Letters of John. Introduction, Commentary and Reflections in The New Interpreterss Bible, Volume XII (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998), 364-469. This latter reference is outstanding for its literary references and pastoral applications. 2 For the complex question of authorship, HANS-JOSEF KLAUCK, Der Erste Johannesbreif (Zrich: Benziger, 1991), 42-47.

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questions for Christian theologians: first, how is theology understood to be moral? Secondly, how is moral theology truly theological? The celebrated first four verses of 1 John are not only a particularly condensed summary of the Gospel, but bear comparison with the prologue itself (John 1:1-18), in the rhythmic, poetic tone of the expression, and the similarity of content:
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and has been revealed to us we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things to you that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:1-4).

Whereas the prologue served as an evocative introduction to the story of Jesus, these verses, in another historical context, are part epilogue and part prologue. For they introduce another story, that of an actual community of believers who are reading the Gospel at a later time, and probably in a more distant situation. Times have changed. Jesus has departed this world for the Father. Now the time of seeing is passed; believing is all. Though, in the ongoing history of faith, the God of the Gospel and the God of this community are in essential theological continuity, historical discontinuities have intervened, causing believers to ask in the contingencies of their experience, Where do we go from here? This moral-theological reflection will concentrate on the meaning of God in 1 John, or, more precisely, on what its author meant God to mean for the community he addresses3. Five

I am especially grateful to Francis J. Moloney SDB for his helpful suggestions. This essay is the outgrowth of a much larger work which I am writing with Professor MOLONEY, The Open Heaven. The Experience of God in
3

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headings will structure our presentation: (1) The idols that threaten, (2) The love of the true God, (3) The criteria of loves realism, (4) The three Dimensions of love, and (5) The meanings of God. This will be followed by a brief conclusion.

1. THE IDOLS THAT THREATEN The letter concludes with the words, Little children, keep yourselves from idols (5:21). The admonition is addressed to those who are already Gods children (3:1-3). Yet these early disciples are unnerved by opposition (3:1c, 13). Their community is torn with conflicts (2:9, 19-20). Its members are dealing with moral failure (2:1b;3:20; 5:16) and guilt, however unacknowledged (1:8). They have been exposed to a Gnosticism that is eroding the incarnational realism of the Gospel (4:2)4. The more conscientious among them, depressed by a world of problems, are becoming despondent at the contrast between the truth of the Gospel and the sorry reality of their situation (3:1822; 4:17-18; 5:3-5). Most of all, they are feeling a deep disaffection among themselves, with the predictable temptation to bypass the radical demands of generous love and hospitality with a more individualised and spiritual religiosity (2:4-5, 9-11; 3:10-18; 4:11, 20-21). Impatient with the long haul of a communitys Christian witness, they are tempted to settle for something less than the God whom Jesus has revealed. The great hour on which the Gospel hinged (John 13:1) now has to contend with another, darker hour of conflict (2:18). The spirit of the antichrist is abroad, operating even with the community

the Johannine Writings, by basing our theological reflections mainly on his magisterial recent work, The Gospel of John (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, Sacra Pagina Series, 4, 1998). 4 Note the strong incarnational and Johannine emphasis as it is continued in the letters of St Ignatius of Antioch: To the Trallians, ch. 10; To the Smyrnaeans, ch. 2, 7, 10; and To the Ephesians, ch. 20, in CYRIL C. RICHARDSON, ed., Early Christian Fathers (New York: The Macmillan Company) 74-87. For a summary of recent research on Gnosticism, P. PERKINS, Gnosticism, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, 1350-1353.

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itself (2:18b-19) as well as in the world at large (3:3). To a community battling to keep its poise in the face of such overwhelming odds, the idols of less disturbing gods are proving attractive5. THE IDOL OF SELF-JUSTIFICATION Yet to a potential idolatrous foreclosure on the fullness of the gift of the truth (John 1:17), the letter opposes the reality of the One True God revealed in Jesus Christ and in the ongoing testimony of the Spirit. To the idol that would leave believers undisturbed in the darkness of their sinful failures is opposed the God who is light (1:5), the Father who has given his Son for the forgiveness of sin (1:5-2:6). The true God, identified with eternal life (5:20), is set in deadly opposition to the lie, the root of humanitys delusory self-justification (1:5; 2:21-22) which is capable of projecting its own mendacity even onto God to escape its moment of truth (1:10). Although the little children(2:1, 12, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21) are already Gods children (3:1-2), they still need to confront the truth about their need for forgiveness. They must reject the self-justification that marks the children of the devil. This diabolic presence, the source of the idolatrous rejection of God throughout human history (3:8, 10), instigates murderous action against others (3:12). The devil exercises power over the whole world (5:19), and works in its desires (2:15-17). Into that bedevilled and passing world (2:17), the idolatrous lovers of which are closed to the love of the Father (v. 15b), the Fathers love has nonetheless reached. The blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses from all sin (1:7). Notwithstanding the undesirable occurrence of sin (2:1), Jesus is at once an advocate (paracltos) with the Father, and the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and also for the sins of the world (2:1b-2). Through his name sins are forgiven (2:12); and in the hopeful expectation of a future coming, believers now purify themselves (2:28). The sinless one has been revealed to take away our sins so that no

5 JULIAN HILLS, Little children, keep yourselves from idols: 1 John 5:21 Reconsidered, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 51/2 (April, 1989) 285-310.

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one abiding in him sins (3:6). Indeed, to be born of God makes sin impossible (3:9; 5:18). This unparalleled declaration will be put in its most challenging and practical context, namely, that of genuine mutual love (cf. 3:14-18). Nonetheless, the utter realism of the Fathers merciful love is the fundamental issue. In the measure that the negative reality of sinfulness is acknowledged, the positive character of Gods forgiving action is manifested. The Father has anticipated the lamentable situation of moral failure by first loving us, and in sending his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (4:10). Note that the our is inclusive: there is no room for anyone to make a self-justifying declaration of innocence and of noncomplicity in the sinful state of the world and the community. That would make the all-forgiving God out to be a liar (4:10). Furthermore, the extent of divine forgiveness is brought home in the communitys mediation of such forgiveness by praying for its erring members (5:16-17). Admittedly, the author qualifies the extent of such mediation by restricting it to sins that are not mortal. The context would suggest that the nonmortal nature of the sin and its capacity to be forgiven by intercessory prayer resides in the fact that both sinner and intercessor are united in the same world of faith. The sinner, even though grievously awry in the conduct of Christian life, is still a believer still capable of acknowledging the sinful act or condition that has clouded the consciousness of faith, still open to the truth of Gods love revealed in Christ. In that sense, the sinners concerned are still responsive to him who is true (5:20b, c). They have not become so inextricably self-deceived as to prefer the lie to the truth, and the darkness to the light (1:89). The idol of mendacious self-justification has not been erected in the face of Gods forgiveness by making the Father out to be a liar (1:10; 5:10b). The intercessory mediation of forgiveness is, therefore, a practical extension of the Fathers merciful relationship to the community, and to the world itself. THE IDOL OF LOVELESS INDIVIDUALISM As the forgiving God is opposed to the idol of spurious innocence, so the loving God is opposed to the idol of lovelessness. Though the issues of a truthful confession of sin

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and the need for forgiveness can be distinguished from the themes of divine love and the imperative to be conformed to it, the letter presents these emphases as being practically inseparable (cf. 2:9; 3:10, 14-18; 4:8, 20-21; 5:16-17). Sinfulness is most evident in hatred of others (2:9; 3:14-15); just as Gods original and abiding love is linked to the Fathers sending of the Son into the loveless situation of the sinful world, to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins... but also for the sins of the whole world (2:2; 3:5; 4:10). Nonetheless, a distinct consideration of Gods love highlights the originality of Johannine theology and brings out the unique intensity in which love is at its centre. The mutual love of the community leads to a luminous experience of God. Since God is light (1:5) and love (4: 8, 16b), to love ones fellow believer is to live in the light (2:10); and to fail in such love is to be still in darkness, to walk in darkness, to be ignorant of the true direction of life, and to suffer blindness in regard to what has been revealed (2:9, 11). Furthermore, to fail in such love is to be a cause of stumbling (2:10), thus to be a scandal within the community by obscuring the radiant, lifegiving character of Gods love for the world. The forces of loveless and murderous violence have their own perversely generative power. Not to love the brethren is to be numbered among the children of the devil (2:10). Not to be from God in love for others is to be from the evil one thus to be an agent of that life-destroying force that had been provoked into murderous envy by the Godly service of Abel: We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother... Because his own deeds were evil and his brothers righteous (2:12; Cf., Gen 4:4-7). Because of this murderous other history serving its idols with hatred, envy and violence, the community is counselled not to be astonished if the world hates you (2:13). Precluding the sober question of the extent of the believers own complicity in such a world of death after all, the state of universal sinfulness must be truthfully acknowledged (cf. above) the assurance is given: We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another (2:14a). Unwillingness to love means dwelling in the doomed domain of death (v. 14b), to be numbered among its agents: All who hate...are murderers (v. 15a). By contributing to the scandal of hatred and violence, these death-

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dealers do not have eternal life abiding in them (v. 15b). Nonetheless, death figures in the vocabulary of love, not now as inflicted on others by the loveless, nor as the condition of those who refuse to love, but as a measure of the Christ-like love to which all are called: We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us ... (3:16a). The paradigmatic measure of love is evidenced in the self-giving of the Son. But this looks to an original source, namely the love of the Father giving what is so intimately his own, in sending his only Son into the world to be the source of life (4:10). Unrestricted and unconditional selfgiving is inscribed into the very logic of loves meaning: And we ought to lay down our lives for one another (3:16b). The excessive character of the love revealed in the Sons giving of his life for others, and in the Fathers sending of his only Son into the world cannot but trouble the communitys conduct in regard to the needy in its midst: How does the love of God abide in anyone who has the worlds goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? (3:22). The language of unconditional love must be effectively realised in the human conditions of a community of haves and have-nots: ... let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and in action (3:18). Thus, love for the brethren must be understood as essential to the original message of the Gospel: This is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (3:11)6. Such love is neither an afterthought nor deduction or nor an extrinsic consideration. The mutual love of the community is intrinsic to living in the light, and repelling the darkness of the worlds violence. The commandment of loving God means at once believing in the name of his self-giving Son, and loving one another (v. 23). Faiths recollection of Jesus love in the past entails a commitment to give practical expression to such love in the present. Those so often greeted as beloved (2:7; 3:2; 4:1, 7, 11) must conduct their own lives and community relationships in the light of the love that has been shown them.

HANS CONZELMANN, Was von Anfang war , in WALTHER ELTESTER, ed., Neutestamentliche Studien fr Rudolf Bultmann zu seinem 70. Geburtstag (Berlin: Tpelmann, 1951), 194-201.
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2. THE LOVE OF THE TRUE GOD The logic of love is driven home with growing intensity in the classic Johannine theology of the fourth chapter. The beloved must love one another, because love is from God (4:7a). Love is both the generative power of true life and the irreplaceable medium of faiths knowledge of God: everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (v. 7b). Not to love is not to know the true character of God, for God is love (v. 8). Evidence of the true knowledge of God is found in the field of the communitys self-giving relationships and interactions. To the degree the community of believers is in love it has an implicit awareness of God as the source, form, measure and goal of their loving. The bold identification of God with love, while it might counter the gnostic propensity to seek the absolute truth by way of esoteric knowledge, could nonetheless suggest a legitimation of an eroticism or mere sentimentality in the life-style of the community. Hence the letter makes clear that it not love in some conventional sense that defines God. Rather, God, in a unique and originative sense, defines the vital and luminous meaning of love. Parallelling the letters christological definition of love (3:16), the author now offers two related theological or patrological explanations. GODS LOVE AND THE WORLDS DESIRE First, Gods love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world that we might live through him (4:9). The Father sends what is most intimate to himself, his only Son, into the world of deranged desire (2:16). The range of worldly desire is confined to the generativity of eros (the desire of the flesh), to judgments based on appearances (the desire of the eyes), and limited to the criteria of selfishness and worldly glory (pride in riches) which do not come from the Father but from the world (2:16c). The world, with its desire, is doomed to pass away; while those who do the will of God live forever (2:17). In contrast to the desire of the world is the Fathers will. In contrast to the generativity of the desire of the flesh is the Fathers generative gift of his only Son. In contrast to the

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worlds self-containment is the non-containment of the Father in sending of his only Son into the world. And, finally, in contrast to the death-producing nature of worldly desire is the gift of life embodied in the Son. Despite the worlds rejection of the Father through the idols fabricated by its desire for the love of the Father is not in those who love the world (2:15b) Gods love reaches into the world to offer it life. The meaning of God is love implies, therefore, the worldtranscending yet immanent reality of divine generativity (his only Son), the communication of that love in the sending of the Son into the world of false desire, and the life-giving nature of that communication. THE INITIATIVE OF LOVE And secondly, In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (4:10). God is love in an initiative and absoluteness that are unconditioned by all human conditions, be they positive not that we loved God, or negative, as in human sinfulness for he sends the Son to atone for sin. Gods loving waits on no human initiative and is blocked by no human failure. The Fathers loving is revealed in sending what he most loves, his only Son; and by making him whom he most loves an atoning sacrifice for the benefit of those who do not in fact love God. Hence the identification of God with love suggests that Gods love, while transcending all worldly measures and conditions, vitally affects the world in its state of lethal alienation from God. The very transcendence of Gods love is the source of a new lifegiving and sin-reversing immanence: the Son is sent into the world. The beloved who are thus addressed as the objects of Gods love are invited, in the logic of the love that has been shown them, to be not merely passive recipients of the gift offered them but to be active participants in the divine action. In popular idiom, they are summoned to get with it where the it is the divine reality of love: Beloved, since God loved us so much, we ought to love one another (4:10). Note that it is not merely a matter of participating in the divine love-life through the generosity of mutual help. For Gods love has an atoning

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character, as it reaches into the loveless limits of our sinful human condition. Believers, consequently, are encouraged to an active concern for the sins of others, as in praying for those whose sins are not mortal (5:16-17). Such fraternal love for the sinful will have a life-giving outcome: ... you will ask, and God will give life to such a one (5:16). THE VISIBILITY OF LOVE Though God is love, and though this love has been defined in terms of the Fathers self-giving action, No one has ever seen God (4:12a). There remains an infinite gap between the clouded capacities of human vision and the God who is light (1:5b). But while vision fails, love does not. The mutual love of the members of the community is an index of its participation in the divine love-life: if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is perfected in us (4:12b). The letter elaborates a little later (vv. 1719) on what the perfection of love means, even though obedience to Gods word (2:5) is essential7. Perfection in the living out of love implies the confidence (parresia) that love as it has been defined is, indeed, the ultimate reality: ... as he is, so are we in this world (4:17). For love to be perfected means that it moves toward its ultimate truth (the day of judgment (v. 17b) in the lived conviction that the God who will be finally revealed is not the idol which our fears might fabricate a god of dread and punishment but the God who has inspired our love because love is the original and final determination of the character of the Father (v. 18): We love because he first loved us (v. 19). Thus, the love by which the community lives and acts has no earthly source, but comes from the unseen God. The Christians way to God is the same as Gods way to them, not in the pretensions of human merit or technique, but in the activity of loving as he loves. This life of love, while focussing on the Fathers sending of the Son to be the saviour of the world (4:4), is supported by the

1 John 2:5 contains the first of the fifty-two references to agape in the

letter.

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interior witness of Gods Spirit (v. 13)8. Yet the transcendent definition, God is love is expressed within the world through the incarnation of the Son. Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh is the criterion by which Christians notions of Gods love and their own are judged (4:15): So we have known and believe the love that God has for us (v. 16a). Any possible idolatrous projection of human love onto the divine is precluded by the icon of that love incarnate in human history. THE DESTINY OF LOVE The author goes on to repeat his radical working definition: God is love (4:16b). Since God is identified with love, the believers commitment to mutual love their being in love in this communitarian sense leads to the intimacy of a mutual indwelling: those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them (v. 16). Such love is the field of communication in which God is present as the initiator and the exemplar; and the disciples are present to God and to one another as participants in the Godly activity of loving. Such a state of grace looks to its ultimate consummation. In its final moment of truth, love will unite those whose lives have been a conduct of love in the world with the one who is that love: ..as he is, so are we in this world (v. 17b). As was mentioned above, the coming to perfection of this love implies an increasing confidence in love as the all-deciding factor. Finally, and originally, it is a matter of love (cf. vv. 17-19), in a manner that overcomes all temptations to project onto God the unloving and heartless patterns of worldly exchange based on fear and punishment.

For a comprehensive treatment, see GARY M. BURGE, The Anointed Community. The Holy Spirit in the Johannine Tradition (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1987).
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3. THE CRITERIA OF LOVES REALISM THE INCARNATIONAL CRITERION Nonetheless, love must be brought down to earth. Just as the criterion of discerning the presence of the Spirit is found in believing that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (4:2. Cf. 5:4; 2 John 1:7), just as the possession of the Father is conditioned by faith in the Son (2:22-23; 5:11-12), so the criterion of love is the love of ones brethren in the world. To consent to lovelessness and hatred is to live a lie (4:20a). The ever-disturbing love of him who is the true God and eternal life (5:20c) inspires the piercing aside: for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen (4:20b). The Father who is revealed in his only Son (2:23) is made visible, thus to enter the world of human meaning and communication in the fraternal love of the Christian community. Loving God means doing what God is doing in the world: those who love God must love their brethren also (4:21). Love is anchored and tested in the concreteness of personal relationships. There is no by-passing the human reality of the all-too visible brethren by escaping into an invisible religious realm unaccompanied by ones brethren in the faith. By implication, Christians cannot go to God and leave behind the world into which God has sent his only Son as its saviour (cf. 2:2; 4:9, 14). Thus, the life of love is birth into the life of a family9 which, while transcending the scope of fleshly desire (2:16), is divinely human and humanly divine: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments (5:1-2). Faith in Jesus means entering into a love that reaches up to God and out to the community and its members. Thus, quite simply, a religious attitude that

DIETRICH RUSAM, Die Gemeinschaft der Kinder Gottes: Das Motiv der Gotteskindschaft unter die Gemeinden der johanneischen Briefe (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1993).
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legitimates either self-absorption or hatred and unconcern for ones brethren is the cult of an idol. To know him who is true (5:20a) is to be truly loving. THE CRITERION OF CONFIDENCE For the Christian community to centre its life in love means necessarily an experience of vulnerability and powerlessness. For love is not the desire of the world (2:15-17). In that supposedly real world, governed by other gods and the idols and demons of its desire, the true God seems unreal. For love to survive it must find a source of confidence and hope. Though 1 John is written to promote the joy that marks Christian existence (1:4; 2:12), the author takes nothing away from the sober realism and continuous challenge inherent in Christian life. His message is at once simple and complex, as it attempts to address the confused situation of a particular community in the midst of its problems. The bracing assurance of his writing brings together the unsurpassable originality of what has been revealed and the faltering situation in which believers find themselves. His pervading emphasis is on the revealed character of God himself: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all (1:5). Despite the chiaroscuro of Christian life, God remains what he has revealed himself to be: ... the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining (2:8). His light shines into the darkness of sin and moral failure, as the one who is faithful and just, to forgive and purify (1:7) the little children of their sins (2:12). In recognition of the diversity of the communitys experience, the Elder declares that the fathers know him who is from the beginning (2:13a,14b); that the young have conquered the evil one (v. 13b, 14c), and are strengthened by the word of God abiding in them (v. 14c); and that the children know their Father (v. 14a). Each generation has its place in the expanding communion of life. To do the will of God is to live forever, while the world and its desire are passing away... (v. 17). Despite the disruption of the community introduced in the last hour by the antichrist and its manifestations in the many antichrists (2:18) , believers have been anointed by the Holy

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One, and all of you have knowledge (vv. 20,27). Thus, they can repudiate the lie of the antichrist. Though distortions of the Gospel have been given currency by the one who denies the Father and the Son (v. 22b), believers enjoy the gift of the truth (vv. 21,27). Because they stay with the original message, they abide in the Son and in the Father(v. 24b) and receive the promise of eternal life (v. 25). In the strength of their communion (koinonia) with the Father and the Son, with the witness-author and with one another, the members of the community are not beholden to other would-be guides to the truth: so you do not need anyone to teach you (v. 27b). Dwelling in the Christ who is to come, and separating themselves from the antichrists who have already come, they can confidently expect not to be shamed in their faith and hope (v. 28). THE CRITERION OF NEW BIRTH The truth already possessed by the community, derives from the one who is true, to give the assurance of a God-given birth: If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does what is right has been born of him (2:29). Because of Gods original love, they can be truthfully called Gods children (3:1a). The worlds dismissal of the reality of their divine birth is the result of its ignorance of the Father as the source of this new life (v. 1b). Though the community has suffered the virulence of the worlds rejection, it must hold on to its real status before God: Beloved, we are Gods children now, but what we will be has not yet been revealed (v. 2ab). Even if patience, waiting and hope are the inevitable conditions of Christian life, the fact that believers have already been anointed with the truth gives its own assurance: What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (v. 2c). Consequently hope strains forward, in a practice of selfpurification, to await the full manifestation of both God and the children of God (3:3). The light of their experience turns towards its source (1:5-7); the gift of the truth relates back to the giver of truth, the true God (5:20); deeds of righteousness derive from the Righteous One; the purified look to him who is pure: the children of God turn toward the Father. What has

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been revealed entails a patient waiting on a final evidence. Yet the unfinished provisional life of faith remains founded on the fact that God has acted. Gods truth is not deferred into an indefinite future, as though the present was entirely occupied by forces that are anti-god and anti-christ: The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil (3:9). Such diabolical activity is readily experienced in resistance to the will of God, in the refusal to love, in the hatred, envy, murder and death that result (3:10-12, 14b-15). Nonetheless, so great is the destruction of the devils works that Christ has accomplished that a new order of sinless life has come into being, utterly alien to sin: Those who have been born of God do not sin, because Gods seed abides in them... (v. 9). Despite the fierce clash of opposites apparent in the communitys experience, there is a source of assurance accessible in the very practice of fraternal love: Do not be astonished ... if the world hates you. We know we have passed from death to life because we love one another (3:13-14a). THE CRITERION OF THE GREATER GOD Yet something more is needed. Measuring the authenticity of ones relationship to God by the performance of love leads to all kinds of human ambiguities in any community setting. After all, all have had to admit their sinfulness and the need for Gods forgiveness if they are not to make liars out of themselves or God! (cf. 1:10; 2:4). Believers need a more solid and objectivelygrounded assurance than one based on their own conduct or in a conscience troubled by the lofty ideal of loving unto death (3:16). Once more, the character of God is invoked:
And by this we know we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what is pleasing to him (3:19-22),

God is greater than the hearts limitations and defeats. Not the agitated zone of human conscience, but the limitless and

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compassionate knowledge of God is the ultimate criterion. In recognition of this, the conduct of the Christian life must be set in the wider context of prayer with its promise of a continual stream of divine gifts. The heart, therefore, does not fall back on itself, but lays itself open to the one who is greater. The assurance is further extended. Obeying the commandment to believe in Jesus Christ and to love as he loved leads to a relationship of mutual indwelling between God and the community members (3:23-24). Here, too, the transcendent dimension is emphasised in regard to the mutual presence in question. The necessary medium of our knowing the indwelling of the God who is greater than our hearts (v. 20b) is the divine gift of the Spirit: And by this we know he abides in us, by the Spirit he has given us (v. 24b; 4:13). The reality of God beyond us greater than our hearts is known through the gift of God within us, the Spirit. THE CRITERION OF CHRISTOLOGICAL DISCERNMENT Yet the interior gift of the Spirit is subject to christological discernment. The author allows that, in a situation troubled by the activities of false prophets and the influence of the unholy spirit of the antichrist (4:1b-3), not all spirits are to be believed: Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God (4:1). The discernment of Gods Spirit occurs in the light of a further criterion: the confession that Jesus has come in the flesh (v. 2). The exodus of false prophets into the world (v. 1b) inhabited by the spirit of antichrist (v. 3) fails to recognise the way the Son has come into the world. Through the incarnation of the Word and his commandment to love the brethren in their flesh and blood reality in an unreserved self-giving (cf. 3:16), the presence of Spirit of God is identified. By making that identification, believers are assured of being from God, and of a victory over the forces of antichrist (4:4a): for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is the world (v. 4b). The forces of antichrist are from the world, speak the worlds language and receive its approbation (v. 5). In contrast, there is another language and another communication: We are from God. Whoever know God listens to us ... (v. 6). Through

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the community united in incarnational faith and love, the Spirit of truth and the spirit of untruth are decisively distinguished (v. 7). In the context of these mutually conditioning factors, the letter declares that those who love are born of God and know God (4:7). Mutual love is at once the measure and medium of the Christians knowledge of God. The divine mystery is intimated to faith as a lived and life-giving truth. Though no one has ever seen God, through the communitys mutual loving God lives in us and his love is perfected in us (v. 12). Once more the criteria for this assurance of knowing and living in God are emphasised: the gift of the Spirit, the firsthand witness of the writer himself regarding the Fathers sending of his Son as the Saviour of the world, and obedience to the divine commandments (4:13-16,21; 5:2). Through its living out of the truth that God is love (4:16b), the selfassurance of faith expands to such a perfection of love that it can cast out all fear of divine judgment and punishment; and so overcome, as it were, the invisibility of God in this world (vv. 17-21). Even if obeying the commandments of God are essential, they are declared to be not burdensome (5:3b). The command to love as God loves, far from adding to the weight of faiths burdens in the hostile world, leads to defiant, hopeful conviction of conquering the world: for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith (5:4). Still, the promised victory over the world is not brought about by the self-convinced moral excellence of the believer. The objectivity of Gods love in sending the Son to be the worlds saviour is the governing truth: Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (v. 5). The objective christological criterion is further specified in the three (5:7) mutually supporting testimonies of the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree (v. 8). The salvific significance of the Cross has been dramatically testified to in the Gospel in reference to these three (cf. John 19:30, 3436). The community formed by the initiative of Gods love, which knows that love in its own loving, has received the gift of the Spirit of truth, celebrates its new birth in the living waters of baptism, and is nourished by the self-giving love of Jesus in

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the eucharist10. While the human testimony of the Johannine writer has been received, it remains that the testimony of God is greater (5:9a) in that the Father himself has testified to his Son (v. 9b). Thus, those who believe in the Son have the testimony of God inscribed into their own hearts (v. 10a). The faith that overcomes the world by belief in the Son (vv. 4-5) owes its victory to the truthful witness of God concerning his Son (v. 10b). Though the divine testimony is focussed on the Son, its purpose is propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem: And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life and this life is in his Son (5:11). By receiving the testimony of God, believers possess the Son, and so have life (v. 12). In writing to this community, the author is therefore joining his witness to the primary witness of God himself: so that you may know that you have eternal life (v. 13b). FURTHER ASSURANCE In this atmosphere of love and life, deep calls unto deep, and confidence grows in the enduring power of the life already being lived, and in the bounty of the love that has been revealed to, and through, the community of faith: And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (5:14). The conviction of being loved is so great that it can close the gap between the expression of a prayerful request and the answer to it: ... we know that we have obtained the requests made of him (v. 15b). The realism of both love extends into intercessory prayer. Love is a force of life for those for whom we pray, even if they are erring brethren (v. 16-17). Notwithstanding the real power of sin and its manifestations in hatred and death-dealing, the faithful are assured that the children of God do not sin (5:18a); that the Son, born of God, protects them (v. 18b); and that the evil one cannot touch them

The sacramental symbolism evokes the primary incarnational event of the life and death of Jesus, from the beginning of his ministry in the baptism of water to the end, in his death on the cross (cf. John 1:26, 29-34; 2:7-9; 3:5, 8; 4:10-15; 7:38; 13:5; 19:30).
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(v. 18c). The we know (vv. 18a, 19a, 20a) of hopeful lovegrounded faith, though unshaken in its assurance, is soberly realistic when confronted by cosmic forces that can only be defeated by the one who is greater than the world (4:4): We know that we are Gods children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one (5:19). Still we know that the Son of God has come (v. 20a), not only to give life, but understanding so that we know him who is true (v. 20a). Through Jesus his Son, we are in him who is true (v. 20b) true God and eternal life (v. 20c). Thus, believers are assured of forgiveness, light, love, life, immediate answer to prayer, truth and understanding. For that reason, they are to keep themselves from the idols (5:21) which the world serves influenced by its ephemeral desire (2:17), antichrist (2:18; 4:3), the devil (3:8, 10) and the evil one (3:11; 5:19), and in all ungodly evidences of lying (1:8-10; 2:4, 22; 4:20; 5:10), lawlessness (3:4), hatred (2:11; 3:4; 4:20), murder (3:12, 15) and fear (4:18). The assurance the letter offers is both cumulative and selfcorrecting. In the context of the many mutually conditioning aspects of authentic faith, 1 John introduces the irreplaceable elements of a necessarily continuous conversation around the nature of God and of the Godliness of Christian life.

4. THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF LOVE The consideration of density of Christian experience in terms of life, light, the confession of sins, obedience to the commandments, faith in the incarnation, the testimony of the Spirit, waiting in hope, confidence in prayer, holding to the truth and the cardinal importance of mutual love leads to a sense of God as the love-life in which the community must participate in and witness to. On the one hand, the Godly life of the community presupposes a certain triadic structure or threefold dimensionality which, in a long process of development through the three centuries to follow, would unfold into full-blown trinitarian doctrine. On the other hand, the defining meaning and value in regard to the life of God and the community is

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presented in terms of love. How are these two considerations related? THE TRIADIC PRESUPPOSITION First, with regard to the triadic presupposition: the letter is concerned to communicate the word of life (1:1). Though this life was revealed (1:2a), it remains that the eternal life that was with the Father has been revealed to us (1:2b) to unite the faithful community in a communion with the Father and the Son (1:3). Anointed by the Holy One (2:20), believers know the truth; and by confessing the Son are united also with the Father (2:23), and abide in both (2:24). Witnessing to the reality of this communion is the Spirit he has given us (3:24b; 4:13). The reality of this gift is in turn related to confessing Jesus as the Son sent into the world by the Father in the reality of the incarnation (4:2). The incarnate communicative mode of the Jesus coming is exhibited in reference to the sacramental symbols of the water and the blood (cf. 5:6-9). The incarnate presence of the Son is thus embodied in the liturgical celebration of the communitys life. Because the Spirit is the truth (5:6b), it is the primary witness, the one who testifies. In agreement with the witness of the water and the blood (v. 8), the gift of the Spirit is the interior presence of the surpassing testimony of God to his Son (vv. 9-10) as the source of life for all (vv. 11-12). Thus, the Spirit is given by the Father, dwells in the hearts of believers, and leads to the confession of the incarnate and life-giving reality of the Son. In this triadic scheme, or better, in the interplay of these three dramatis personae, the Father is transcendent source and initiator. Though invisible, he has acted in the visibility of the world, by sending his only Son into it as saviour. Jesus Christ is located in a double immanence: he is within God as his only Son, and within the world in the flesh. In sending him, God gives of himself, to reach into the dark reality of the world. God is thus beyond us as the Father, the invisible transcendent source of all, yet with us by giving what is most intimately his own, his only Son; and within us, by giving of his Spirit (4:13) to guide the interior activity of faith. The rhetoric and symbolism of the letters evocation of the communion existing

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between God and the children of God bring into play the transcendent (the Father), the historical (the incarnate Son) and the interior (the Spirit of truth) aspects of the divine presence. Far from implying a form of primitive modalism, the authors rhetoric is characterised by a sense of definite intersubjectivity, not only in regard to the inter-relationships of believers to one another, but in their relations with each of the divine three, and in the relationships existing between these three to each other11. Although such an implication of differentiated communion is a long way from the formal theological trinitarianism of later Church doctrine, the distinction of the three divine subjects is never collapsed12. Each is respectively present to the Christian community to personalise it in conformity with the love-life of God. GOD IS LOVE Secondly, in regard to the Johannine affirmation, God is love, we have already drawn attention to the manner in which the letter vigorously opposes any gnostic attenuation of the incarnate reality of both Jesus (4:2), or, indeed, of the community itself: Those who do not love a brother they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen (4:20). Behind all the Johannine writings is the great declaration of the Gospel prologue: And the Word was made flesh and lived among us.. (John 1:14a). Given such a classic statement of Christian realism so shocking to the world of classic philosophy and the techniques of gnostic illumination the Johannine writer pursues the incarnational logic of the Gospel by seeking to bring Christian thinking, as it were, back to earth. Despite the immense cosmic range of his reference, he keeps his feet on the ground. While philosophical intelligence will ever be tempted to take flight into the heavenly domain of the Logos, this letter elaborates the effective meaning of Christian Logos in terms of

11 Note the Johannine theological background, evidenced in such texts as John 3:35; 5:20; 16:12-15; 17:1-5, 26. 12 See my Trinity of Love. A Theology of the Christian God (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1988) 184-189.

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agape: everyone who loves is born of God and knows God... For God is love (4:7-8). The reality of love, revealed by the Fathers initiative in sending his only Son into the world to be the source of life and reconciliation (4:9-10), is exemplified in the selfgiving of Jesus (3:16) which, in turn, has its source in the divine Being-in-love. The loving presence of God is, as it were, the dynamic field in which believers must participate if they are to know God, live in God and enter into communion with the Father and the Son. The Spirit of truth is the God-given witness to the reality of Gods loving and our own. A PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALOGY? In effect, 1 John suggests a psychological analogy of the divine. Through their self-sacrificing mutual love, the members of the community of faith know the ultimate and original reality of God inasmuch as they are participating in it. A classic theological tradition stemming from Augustine and reaching a systematic crystallisation in Aquinas elaborated trinitarian theology in terms of the spiritual activities of knowing and willing the psychological analogy as it is usually understood in the history of trinitarian theology. Such a mode of exploration has proved of great explanatory value in the analogical understanding and systematic ordering of the Churchs trinitarian doctrines: trinitate posita, congruunt huismodi rationes13, translatable as granted belief in the Trinity, this kind of analogical thinking is of value. Through their experience of knowing and willing, believers can conceive of how there can be processions in God, how the resultant relationships constitute the reality of three distinct divine persons in their proper and respective characteristics, and so on. The sequence of ordered exposition ends with the divine missions of the Word and the Spirit, thus extending into the world of time the eternal vitality of the triune mystery of God14.

Summa Theol., 1, 32, 1 ad 1. See Summa Theol., 1,43, 1-8. For ecological and cosmological applications of the missions, see TONY KELLY, An Expanding Theology. Faith in a World of Connections (Sydney: E.J. Dwyer, 1993) 157-168.
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The Johannine approach differs from the above in its undifferentiated compactness and concreteness. Its psychological base is not that of the individual spiritual being reflecting on its experience of knowing and willing, thus to extrapolate analogically from the human case to the divine. In 1 John, the self-giving mutual love of the members of the community is the primary psychological experience. It is this that is interpreted and expanded in the light of the communitys larger historical experience as it reaches back to the selfsacrificing love of Jesus himself. Through the witness of the Johannine author, through the divine interior witness of the Spirit, through the celebration of baptism and eucharist in the water and the blood, the communitys conduct of mutual love is nourished by the paradigmatic experience of Jesus himself (3:16). Yet there is another transcendent dimension, revealed in the past and communicated in the present: God is love (4:8, 16b). This experience of the character of God is the origin, inspiration and criterion of both the experience of Jesus and that of the community of his followers. The fontal and ultimate meaning of such love resonates in faiths experience of a most intimate and radical divine communication. The intimacy of the self-gift is described in the words, God sent his only Son into the world... (4:9); whilst its radicality is expressed in terms of a communication that takes place, entirely on the divine initiative, to reach the world at is most God-less point: God loved us and sent his Son to be atoning sacrifice for our sins (4:10). To be receptive to such transcendent love is to drawn into a divine realm of self-giving life: Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another (4:11). Though God remains ever beyond the scope of human knowledge no one has ever seen God (4:12a), faith finds its truest theological analogy in the experience of loving: Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (4:7. Cf also v. 12b). Through their self-transcending love, Christians have an abiding and vital sense of union with God which is productive of its own kind of knowledge: So we have known and believe the love that God has for us (4:16a). Since God is love (4:16b), lovers, in this Christian sense, live the love-life that God is: those who love, abide in God and God abides in them (4:16b).

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By appealing to the experience of mutual love, 1 John brings together the dramatis personae divinae in a distinctive fashion even if it represents a road not taken in a more philosophically construed trinitarian theology15. Under the imperative to love one another, Christians are invited to experience the God who is love, thus to come to a new vitality and knowledge (4:7). Within this participative experience of agape, they effectively adore the Father as the originative source of their loving love is from God (4:7b). In the conduct of their love, they are acknowledging the paradigmatic Logos or Meaning of the loving character of God manifest in sending of the Son: Gods love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world.. (4:9) for, in this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son.. (4:10, 14). Thus, to confess that Jesus is the Son is to abide in God (4:15), and to abide in the love of which he is the expression on the Cross, in the water of baptism and in the blood of eucharist, and in the giving of the commandment which is given from the beginning (cf. 2:7-8). THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH Within the experience of participating in the divine love-life of the Father and the Son (cf. 2:23-25), the Spirit is the divine gift witnessing to the truth of the love that has been revealed: And the Spirit is the one who testifies, for the Spirit is the truth (5:6b). Ordered to the believers abiding in the Father and the Son (2:24b) is the anointing that you received from him [which] abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you ... [it] is true and not a lie (2:27)16. The faithful know that Jesus Christ, who commanded his disciples to love one another, abides in them through their experience of the Spirit: And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit he has given us (3:24b; 4:13). The Spirit of God is thus concretely identified in reference to the most radical self-expression of Gods love in the world. For

See my Trinity of Love, especially 135-172. For other interpretations, see Ignace de la Potterie, Anointing of the Christian by Faith, in Ignace de la Potterie and Stanislas Lyonnet, eds., The Christian Lives by the Spirit (New York: Alba House, 1971) 79-143.
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the Spirit leads faith to confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (4:2), in agreement with the witness of the water and the blood (5:8). While the spirit of the antichrist is now in the world, the faithful are assured of the transcendent validation of the way of love because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is the world (4:4), for the Spirit of truth is opposed to the spirit of error (4:6c). Compared to all human testimony, this testimony of God is greater (5:9a), as it witnesses to loves unreserved self-expression: this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son (5:9b). Those who believe in the Son experience the divine witness within them: they have the testimony of God in their hearts (5:10a) which looks to the gift of eternal life embodied in the Son himself (5:11). In the light of this witness, believers know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another (3:14). The Johannine connection of the Spirit with truth differs from a more widespread tradition stemming from the Pauline presentation of the Spirit in terms of love and freedom. Certainly, the Johannine emphasis has not been obviously integrated into the Thomistic trinitarian theology which depicts the Spirit as the amor procedens, love following on the divine generation of the Word17. Still, contrasted to the systematic elegance of such an ordo doctrinae, the Johannine approach has one clear advantage. There is less chance of love in God being treated as a theological afterthought, as though the Spirit were some kind of affective afterglow once the truth of the divine reality had been revealed. 1 John presents God not as having love, but as being love. It is not simply an attribute of the divine, qualifying ipsum esse subsistens, but the very life of God, ipsum amare subsistens: everyone who loves is born of God and knows God... for God is love (4:7b-8). Such is the vital object of the Spirit witness. Given into our hearts, the Spirit of truth opens Christian consciousness to the reality of the love-life that has entered the world to give of itself, by summoning believers both to share the gift and to be part of the giving. Thus, 1 John, in its relationship to the Gospel and from its

17

Summa Theol. 1, 27, 3-4; 36, 1-4; 37, 1-2.

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place within the New Testament as a whole, invites theology to tease out the implications of its central declaration, God is love in relation to all the mysteries of faith: God is love, originatively, in the transcendent initiative of the Father; self-expressively, through the incarnation of the Son; unconditionally, through the cross; transformatively, through the resurrection; evidentially, in the abiding gift of the Spirit of truth; processively, in the historical communities that make up the Church through time; eschatologically, as promising an ultimate consummation18.

5. THE MEANINGS OF GOD Lonergans four functions of meaning19 (cognitive, constitutive, communicative, effective) can be usefully applied to the meaning of God as it emerges in 1 John. Though it would be artificial to maintain any strict sequence in the manner in which the complex meaning of God functions in this Johannine writing, I would suggest that the leading meaning is effective20. EFFECTIVE MEANING The revealed meaning of God in terms of light, love, holiness, truth, righteousness demands that it be lived. Essential to the conduct of a life of true faith is a many-sided Christian praxis. Believers must walk in the light (1:7) , confess their sins (1:9). They must obey the commandments (2:3; 5:2-3) and do the Fathers will (2:17). Hearkening to the original message (2:24; 4:6), they are to abide in Christ so as not to be put to shame at

18 See, TONY KELLY, The Creed by Heart. Relearning the Nicene Creed (Melbourne: Harper Collins, 1996). 19 BERNARD LONERGAN, Method in Theology (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1971) especially, 76-81. 20 By way of contrast, the meanings of God in Johns Gospel tend to unfold in the reverse order, beginning with a strong accent on the cognitive (e.g., 1:1-18), moving to the constitutive (e.g., 3:1-10; 4:7-27), and then to the communicative (e.g., 10:1-19; 15:1-11; 17:20-24) with the effective increasingly stressed (e.g., 8:12, 31-33; 9:35-36; 12:44-50; 13:31-35; 20:19-31).

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his coming (2:28). They are to recognise the Fathers already effective love in making them his children (3:1-2), yet look forward in hope and self-purification to a final visionary evidence (3:3). In the meantime they are to do what is right (3:7), above all through mutual love (3:11-18) characterised at once by unreserved self-sacrifice after the example of Jesus (v. 16) and by practical realism (vv. 17-18). This effective meaning is crystallised in the command to believe in name of Gods Son, Jesus Christ and to obey his commandment to love (3:23; 5:13). In the light of this focal truth, spirits are to be tested (4:1-3), and the presence of the Spirit of truth recognised. Abiding in love (4:16), the faithful are invited into a growing assurance of the true character of God through a love that expels all fear (4:18). They are to appreciate their faith as a victory over the world (5:45), as they receive both the truth of Jesus coming by water and blood (v. 6), and the God-given testimony of the Spirit (vv. 6b12). In the assurance that God hears and answers their requests, believers are summoned to be confident in prayer and intercession (vv. 14-15). In loving the Father and his children (5:1-2), the little children are warned not to love the world and the things of the world (2:15) and to keep themselves from idols (5:21). In each of these commands and exhortations, the effective meaning of the revealed God means a continuing movement of self-transcendence. Living in God means renouncing the world and its idols. It means a confession of the incarnate Son and discernment of the Spirit. It means acknowledging sinfulness and growing in hope. Above all, it means loving ones fellow Christians in self-sacrificing generosity. But to leave the matter there as though knowing God meant only a series of moral imperatives to transcend the lies, the pretensions, the lovelessness and the defeats that threaten Christian existence, would be to understand this letter merely as moral exhortation along the lines of an ethical tract. For the summons to self-transcendence is linked to an experience of a self transformed so that the ethical conformity to the will of God follows from a subjective conformity to the reality of God. The meaning of God not only inspires action but affects the roots of Christian identity itself by informing the believing consciousness with a sense of dwelling in God, and of Gods

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dwelling in it. Christians come to have a new experiential and inter-subjective identity. In this, their self-understanding is newly constituted. A word then on the constitutive function of the meaning of God. CONSTITUTIVE MEANING The features of this Godly identity can be suggested in the following summary fashion. Christian consciousness is illumined by the light that God is (1:5), so that believers walk in the light (1:7), and, by loving their fellows, live in it (2:10). In the light of him who is faithful and just (1:9), righteous (2:29) and pure (3:3), they are offered the assurance of being forgiven, cleansed, purified, justified, confirmed in sinlessness (cf. 1:9; 2:2; 3:3, 7, 9; 5:16, 18). Fundamental to Christian identity is a sense of being beloved (2:7; 3:2; 4:1, 7, 11), and a conviction of knowing the revealed truth. The root of this conviction is their reception of the christening and interior witness of the Spirit of God, who is the truth (2:20, 26; 3:24b; 5:6, 10). Hence, believers understand themselves to abide in the Father and the Son (2:24; 3:24). And so they already participate in the eternal life (2:25; 3:14; 5:11-13) which God is (5:20) and which is found in the Son (5:11-12). Even though they must live in the provisionality of hope, they are already Gods children (3:2-3) aware of Gods love manifest to them and abiding within them (3:17; 4:9-10, 16a). Consequently, they face the world as being from God, in the assurance of a final victory over all evil (4:4; 5:4). As Christians are conformed to God who is love (4:8, 16b), they are born of God, live in God and know God (cf. 4:7, 16b). In this light, they enjoy an unreserved freedom with God, in an assurance that casts out all fear (2:20; 4:18) and gives confidence in prayer (5:14). Thus, the meaning of God constitutes Christian identity by informing the believers consciousness with a new self-understanding: ... as he is, so are we in this world (4:17). As the meaning of God in 1 John is effective in inspiring a Godly way of life, just as it constitutive in affecting the consciousness of believers with a new Godly identity, so too it is formative of a new Godly communion, the koinonia which unites present believers with the witnesses of the past (... from

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the beginning (1:1; 3:11)), with communities in other places (2 and 3 John), and, most of all, with the Father and the Son (2:2324). The meaning of God is thus communicative. The field of communication in question has historical, geographical, interpersonal, inter-generational, transcendent and cosmic dimensions. A word on each of these. COMMUNICATIVE MEANING First, historical: communication takes place in history. The impact of past witnesses, voiced in the author of 1 John (cf. 2:1, 7, 8, 12, 21, 26; 5:13), affects the present community: We declare to you what was in the beginning... that you may have fellowship with us (cf. 1:1-3). From their privileged immediate contact with the word of life (1:1), these witnesses of the past are declared to be from God (4:6a), so that whoever knows God listens to us (4:6b). The fellowship of faith unfolds in history. Secondly, the communication has its own geography, as the Presbyter writes to the elect lady and her children (2 John 1) and to the beloved Gaius (3 John 1) in order that the fellowship of faith will be realised in a hospitality despite geographical separation and localised conflicts (cf. 2 John 10-11; 3 John 5-8). Thirdly, the meaning of God is communicative in that it promises and demands an interpersonal communion: if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light we have fellowship with one another ... (1:7). The insistent emphasis on mutual love produces the explosive declaration, ... those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen (4:20). Allied to the above is, fourthly, the inter-generational character of communion. The communicative meaning of God affects children, young people and fathers (2:12-14). Whether such a distinction is to be taken in a biological sense or as a metaphor for different degrees of Christian maturity is not the issue. The fact that the meaning of God unites believers in their different experiences of life or faith points to its communicative function. Fifthly, understood as the source, form and goal of

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communion in eternal life, the meaning of God that functions is communicative in a transcendent manner: this life was revealed ... and [we] declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us (1:2). Comprehending all time and space, the communion which makes all such fellowship possible is that which exists between the Father and the Son: ... and truly our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ (1:3). Eternal life means abiding in the Son and in the Father (2:23-24). Indeed, the communion which exists between the faithful and the Father and the Son results from the original life-giving communication of the Father himself: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life (5:11-12; Cf. 4:9-10). Finally, there is a cosmic or global dimension inherent in the communicative meaning of God. The beleaguered state of this particular community is obviously not conducive to a full appreciation of the universality of the divine communication. Yet the fact that the cosmic dimension figures at all points to the persistent power of the original message: God so loved the world... (John 3:16). In 1 John the cosmic scope of the divine communication is largely tacit, except for some notable asides: Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world (2:2). Despite the extremely negative evaluation of the world, given the parlous situation addressed by the author (cf. 2:15-17; 3:13; 4:4-5; 5:19), the world, for all its threat and ambiguity, is still the realm into which God has sent his only Son (4:9). As if to counter the tendency to restrict the cosmic character of Gods love, the writer voices the testimony of the original witnesses: And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world (4:14). By recalling the community to the cosmic extent of its faith, it can at least live in the world with confidence (4:4; 5:4-5). There is a cosmic significance in the meaning of the revealed God. The meaning of God, then, in the Johannine writings, is communicative. It holds in its range of discourse past witnesses, present relationships with those both near and far, communion with the Father and the Son, and, more implicitly, a relationship with the world itself.

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COGNITIVE MEANING Underpinning the effective, constitutive and communicative manners in which Johannine theology functions is the cognitive function. It expresses not only what God commands, not only a new Godly identity and community, but also the transcendent truth that God is. This has been implicit in the other three functions of meaning: the God-given commandment to walk in the light, to love, to do the deeds of righteousness, and so on, derives from the truth that God is light, love, righteous... For Christians to enter into a new self-understanding as the children of God implies an understanding of God as their Father. For the faithful to co-exist in an historical, geographical, social, theological and cosmic field of communication implies a primordial paradigmatic communion existing between the Father and the Son in which the community in time abides through the witness of the Spirit. Moving from the implicit to the cognitively explicit meaning, we observe the following: the distinctive Johannine accent falls on the truth, and the criteria for judging it; above all the truth of God is love, and the kind of love that God is and shows. The subjectivity of Johannine faith is marked with a salvific objectivity concerning the reality of God, and what is divinely revealed and willed. It is a striking instance of Lonergans axiom, objectivity is the fruit of authentic subjectivity21. In this regard, we note the vigorously objective rhetoric with which the letter begins. It recaptures the revelational language of the Gospel, and sets the tone in which the various themes of the Johannine discourse will be treated. What God has revealed from the beginning has been seen, gazed upon, touched and heard (1:1-3a) in some privileged immediate manner characteristic of the foundational witnesses: truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1:3b). The joyous conviction of the past is communicated to the present generation of faithful through the force of an original and transforming truth (1:4).
21

Method in Theology, 265, 292.

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The experience of this truth is expressed in the primal metaphor of light: God is light (1:5). The consciousness of faith is irradiated by the divine reality as it exposes sinfulness and brings forgiveness (1:7-8), and gives both sight and direction (2:11). The commandment of mutual love is both old and new, and is true in him and in you (2:8). Believers are commanded to be what God is. Both the fathers and the children of the community know the Father (2:13-14), and the young have the word of God abiding in them (2:14b). By doing the will of God, believers move beyond the ephemeral and illusory projections of mundane experience into the realm of lasting life (2:17). In their openness to the divine light, love and life, the faithful are anointed by the Holy One, and have all knowledge and know the truth (2:20-21, 27). Yet such a knowledge does not place believers in some kind of gnostic heaven; for it is always beholden to the incarnate reality of Gods only Son, Jesus Christ. To confess the incarnate reality of the Son is the essential condition for knowing and having the Father as well (2:23), for dwelling in both, (2:24), thus to enjoy the promised eternal life (2:25). Anchored in the incarnate character of the truth, the consciousness of faith, though abiding in its divine object, expands into a hope for what is yet to be revealed in an eschatological advent (parousia) (2:28). When Christian praxis is consistent with the truth of the one who is righteous, believers have an assurance of being born of God into a radical sinlessness (2:29; 3:7-9). Faith lives from the conviction that the love of the Father has already brought about a transformation: Beloved, we are Gods children now (3:2a), even as it awaits the full evidence concerning both God and his children, when we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (3:2b). The time of waiting is one of self-purification, the better to be conformed him who is pure (3:3). From the realised actuality of divine birth the dynamics of Christian conduct derive, as manifest in authentic deeds (righteousness), hope, self-purification, and resistance to error and deceit (3:7). Christian praxis is therefore the existential acknowledgement of the reality of God as light, true, pure, righteous and loving. The meaning of what God is brings about a sharp division in human history. The true children of God are revealed in their

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mutual loving judged in the light of Jesuss self-giving love; the children of the devil reveal themselves in the works of hatred, violence and murder (3:10-18). But even such a criterion does not enclose believers in their own inevitably troubled and ambiguous consciences. Judging, encouraging and assisting is the truth and the knowing that reside in God himself: By this we will know we are from the truth and will reassures our hearts before him... For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (3:19-20). A gift continues to be given to the increasingly emboldened faith of Gods children: ... and we receive from him whatever we ask (3:22). While the effective meaning of God is essentially connected to keeping his commandment to believe in the name of his only Son Jesus Christ and to live in mutual love (3:23), while such obedience leads to a relationship of reciprocal indwelling between God and his children (3:24a), the God-given Spirit is the medium and assurance of the believers knowledge of Gods indwelling presence (3:24b; 4:13; 5:6-8). This Spirit is known as coming from God and being of God as it leads to the confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (4:2). The genuineness of faiths knowledge of God is founded at one and the same time on the gift of the Spirit and the incarnational presence of the Son in the world. Thus the Spirit of truth can be objectively and cognitively distinguished from the spirit of error (4:6b). After the Johannine authors careful and somewhat complex presentation of the modes of self-transcendence that lead to the true knowledge of God, he moves to the core condition from which all else depends. Since God is love (4:8), since love is from God, the divine life can be lived and the true God can only by known by loving (4:7-8). The possibility of reducing the agapeic and properly divine extent of love to the measure of human subjectivity is carefully precluded. God has revealed the kind of love he is by sending of his only Son into the world to be the source of life (4:9). The self-revelation of the Father made through sending of what is most intimate to himself his only Son into what is most distant from him the world (cf. 2:15-17) is the result of an initiative that acknowledges no human conditions, neither those of a prior human loving search for God (... not that we

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loved God), nor even a prior innocence in those who have been so loved (... to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (4:10)). As they participate in the reality divine agape through mutual love, believers are drawn by the invisible God into the divine life; and the self-communicating love of God achieves its purpose (4:12). Once more the gift of the Spirit and the sending of the Son (4:13-15) figure in the letters presentation of the originating and life-giving nature of Gods love: so we have known and believe the love that God has for us (4:16a). Our knowing depends on Gods action; and the reality of our loving derives from Loves initiative, as the Father gives of his Spirit and sends his Son to be be the saviour of the world. The originating reality, God is love (4:16b) is the transforming truth. In its transcendent objectivity it counters the subjective projections of human fear and the distorted calculations of human justice (4:17-18), so that believers can transcend their doubts to both affirm, we love because he first loved us (4:19), and carry their love for the invisible God into fraternal love in the visible community (4:20-21). For them love becomes a way of life because in God love and life are two sides of the same truth: since God is love (4:8, 16b), and he is the true God and eternal life (5:20b). The letters various affirmations of God as light, as pure, as righteous, as love, as true, and as life accumulate in the conviction that believers genuinely know God:
We know that we are Gods children ... we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (5:19-20).

In short, for the author of 1 John the meaning of God is truly cognitive. While the effective meaning of God demands and inspires action, while its constitutive meaning informs the consciousness of believers with a new identity, while its communicative meaning unites them in a shared life and love, the cognitive meaning of God is eminently objective. God is more than the inspiration to moral action, more than a feature of human identity, more than the bond of human community.

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Though no explicit doxological formulae22 of praise and thanksgiving are found in this letter, the intentionality of its author is governed by the all-transcending objectivity in what has been revealed. The confession, God is love is a judgment of reality. Whilst its meaning is closed to those who do not believe or do not love, for those who believe and whose faith expresses itself in the praxis of love, it is the original and abiding truth. God has been truly revealed: ... the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining (2:8). CONCLUSION 1 John draws its readers into a complex web of theological meaning which can never be neatly objectified. The compactness of such meaning has been classically teased out in the great Thomistic categories of the divine missions, sanctifying grace, charity and infused wisdom23. Bernard Lonergan, basing his theological method in human consciousness as it unfolds in all its modes of selftranscendence, has worked to transpose the Thomistic theoretical inheritance into a new intentionality-based theological method which will undoubtedly prove to be a rich resource for the retrieval of the biblical, and especially, Johannine experience of God24. While a contemporary theologian lives necessarily in a larger and more varied Church than that inhabited by the Johannine communities of long ago, while the world as the domain of Gods love and action has been newly appreciated, there is much in the message of 1 John that resonates with Lonergans description of God as the field of selftranscending love:

22 I defer to the exegetes on this matter: Does 1 John refrain from doxological language because of the danger of removing God to a false transcendence? Is the doxological dimension so typically christological (e.g., John 17) that the author takes it for granted? 23 See especially, Summa Theol., on the divine missions (1, 43, 1-8), the interior law of grace (1-2, 106-108); the theological virtue of charity (2-2, 2327); and infused wisdom (2-2, 45, 1-6). 24 LONERGAN, Method in Theology, 13-20; 120-124.

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It is as though a room was filled with music though one can have no sure knowledge of its source. There is in the world, as it were, a charged field of love and meaning; here and there it reaches a notable intensity: but it is ever unobtrusive, hidden, inviting us to join. And join we must if we are to perceive it, for our perceiving is through our loving25. Lonergan has analysed the event of conversion in terms of three inter-related moments, the intellectual, the moral and the religious26. While such a distinction is, no doubt, of great value for establishing the differentiated tasks of theology and in justifying its various descriptions as systematic, moral or spiritual, the witness of 1 John recalls theology in its many and complex activities to an original simplicity. This is not to suggest the desirability of a regression to the undifferentiated first simplicity of pre-theoretical mode of discourse. But it does inspire an ongoing methodological search for a second, postcritical simplicity which will make clear that theology, while always faith seeking understanding, is ever a love seeking its most appropriate intellectual and moral expression in our respective cultures, so to be a praxis amandi in the global culture we increasingly share27. Love informs all virtues because it is the very form of God28. Where 1 John ends, theology must always begin anew: Little children, keep yourselves from idols! (5:21).
Faculty of Theology, Yarra Theological Union Melbourne College of Divinity Australia.
25 26

TONY KELLY, CSsR

Method in Theology, 290. LONERGAN, Method in Theology, 237-244; 267-271; 338, 350. 27 In this particular Johannine context, a range of further theological questions is suggested by the late Sean ORiordans essays, The Experience of God in Modern Theology and Psychology and The Sociology of Moral Theology, in RAPHAEL GALLAGHER and SEAN CANNON, Eds., Sean ORiordan: A Theologian of Development. Selected Essays (Rome: Editiones Academiae Alphonsianae, and Dublin: The Columba Press, 1998), 209-235; 275-302. 28 Summa Theol. 2-2, 23, 8. The above references to the Lonerganian categories of the four functions of meaning and the three moments of conversion suggest how St Thomas doctrine of charity as the form of the virtues can be reworked in a more intentionality-based mode. We will return to this topic in another article.

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Summary / Resumen This article aims to explore the Christian communitys experience of God in the context of 1 John. The criteria involved in the re-appropriation of the meaning of God as Love entail both a rejection of idols, and the authenticity of a fraternal praxis amandi. By suggesting the trinitarian dimensions of Gods love and by outlining four functions of theological meaning (Lonergan), the study suggests a fresh appreciation of the divine love as the basic horizon for systematic and moral reflection. Este artculo intenta rastrear la experiencia de Dios en la comunidad cristiana en el contexto de la 1 carta de Juan. Los criterios contenidos en la recuperacin del sentido de Dios como Amor, implican dos cosas: un rechazo de los dolos y la realidad de una fraterna praxis amandi. Al sealar las dimensiones trinitarias del amor de Dios y al mencionar cuatro funciones con sentido teolgico (Lonergan), el estudio propone una nueva apreciacin del amor divino como horizonte bsico para la reflexin sistemtica y moral. The author is Professor of Systematic Theology in Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne School of Divinity. El autor es profesor de Teologa Sistemtica en la Yarra Theological Union en el Melbourne College of Divinity.

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StMor 37 (1999) 73-94 RAL TREMBLAY C.Ss.R.

LA PATERNIT DE DIEU, FONDEMENT DE LA MORALE CHRTIENNE ET DE LTHIQUE HUMAINE

Le prochain nest pas celui que jaime. Cest tout tre qui passe prs de moi. EDITH STEIN

Le commandement de lamour des ennemis est le point culminant de lthique de Jsus1. En nous appuyant sur cette affirmation de Joachim Gnilka qui est faite en lien avec la sixime et dernire antithse de la version matthenne du Sermon sur la Montagne (cf. Mt 5, 44ss)2 et qui laisse entendre que nous nous trouvons en prsence de la crte o viennent se recouper toutes les autres lignes constitutives de la morale proclame par le Jsus de Matthieu, nous commenons notre rflexion sur le sujet de ces pages en nous interrogeant sur ce qui justifie une telle morale. Aimez vos ennemis, et priez pour vos perscuteurs, proclame Jsus; ainsi serez-vous fils de votre Pre qui est aux cieux, car il fait lever son soleil sur les mchants et sur les bons, et tomber la pluie sur les justes et sur les injustes (Mt 5, 45 et par.). Vous donc, vous serez parfaits comme votre Pre cleste

J. GNILKA, Das Matthusevangelium, I. Teil (HThKNT., I/1), FreiburgBasel-Wien, 1988, 187. 2 Gnilka est davis que, compares entre elles, les versions de Matthieu et de Luc (6, 27s.; 35b) ont un constitutif de base identique. Il le dcrit ainsi: [] Auf die Weisung, die Feinde zu lieben und fr sie zu beten, folgen eine Zielangabe (Kind Gottes zu werden) und eine Begrndung (die unterschiedslose Gte Gottes gegen alle) J. GNILKA, Jesus von Nazareth. Botschaft und Geschichte (HThKNT., Suppl. III), Freiburg-Basel-Wien, 1990, 228-229. Cf. aussi H. SCHRMANN, Das Lukasevangelium, I. Teil (HThKNT., III/1), Freiburg-Basel-Wien, 19822, 341-359.
1

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est parfait (Mt 5, 48 et par.). Remarquons que dans les prsents textes Jsus noriente pas directement les regards vers lui comme il le fera plus dune fois dautres moments de sa vie publique (pensons par exemple la scne du lavement des pieds raconte par Jean: cf. Jn 13, 13-15), mais quil les dirige vers le Pre qui est cieux. Cest dire quau radicalisme le plus absolu de lamour vcu correspond la perfection mme du Pre. La question se pose ici: de quelle manire cette morale des cimes est-elle relie ce sommet indpassable? Par pure imitation de la perfection paternelle, comme le laisserait entendre premire vue le texte biblique? Ou, et dans la foule de ce texte mme, par participation? Et si cest plutt de participation quil sagit, de quel type est-elle (I)? Aprs nous tre appliqus rpondre cette question, il faudra passer une autre qui se trouve comme comprise dans notre pricope vanglique. Quest-ce qui fait que le Pre fasse lever son soleil et tomber sa pluie sur les bons comme sur les mchants? Quest-ce qui explique que son amour provident semble indiffrent la bont et la mchancet des hommes? Serait-ce parce quil ne veut pas priver les bons de ses bienfaits? Ou bien serait-ce en raison du fait que, par del leur bont et leur mchancet morales, il y a en eux quelque chose de plus important encore parce que plus fondamental, quelque chose qui concerne leur identit, leur tre devant lui (II)? Aprs nous tre occups de ce problme, il faudra revenir la morale de lamour des ennemis envisage globalement dans le premier bloc de rflexion pour, la lumire de ce qui prcde, en mieux comprendre les coordonnes et, par l, toucher dautres facettes du rapport de la morale la personne du Pre. Nous le ferons en rpondant aux trois question suivantes. Quel ennemi dois-je aimer? Le frre croyant ou toute personne qui me blesse? Et puis, comment dois-je aimer? Dun amour lointain, distant, rserv ou dun amour proche, frmissant, engag jusquau service desclave par exemple, dun amour in forma crucis? Et enfin: en vertu de quoi dois-je aimer? Par les ressources de mon propre coeur ou par les sources du Coeur qui fut ouvert sur la croix pour ne plus jamais se refermer (III)? Et voici que cette question nous conduit directement une autre: qui est le fondement ultime de cette morale, le Fils ou le Pre? Dans la foule de la rplique de Jsus Philippe qui ma

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vu a vu le Pre (Jn 14, 9), nous proposerons une rponse: cest le Fils parce que cest le Pre (IV). Fort de ces quatre moments de rflexion, il nous restera, en conclusion, dire un mot sur le type de morale qui se trouve ainsi relie au Pre de Jsus comme son point dattache incontournable. Sagit-il uniquement de la morale dite spcifiquement chrtienne ou aussi de la morale intressant tout homme du seul fait quil est homme?

I. La perfection du Pre, mergence de labsolu de lamour vcu J. Gnilka a montr que le thme de lamour des ennemis nest pas propre au message de Jsus, mais quil existe pratiquement dans la plupart des grandes religions ainsi que chez plusieurs philosophes qui ne sont en rien redevables du christianisme3. En examinant ces tmoignages parfois impressionnants4 du point de vue de leur cause et de leur fin, on se rend compte que le message de Jsus a cependant une consistance tout fait singulire, quelque chose dabsolument spcifique. Au lieu dtre justifi par la pense de la brivet de la vie, par la parent dune unique nature (comme chez les stociens par exemple) ou encore par la conscience imparfaite qua lennemi de sa malice (comme dans le bouddhisme par exemple), lamour des ennemis vcu par les disciples a pour motif lappartenance Jsus. Sur ce motif englobant viennent sen greffer dautres qui prcisent encore les contours de ce proprium chrtien de lamour des ennemis et qui intressent plus immdiatement

3 Cf. J. GNILKA, Matthusevangelium, 191s; ID., Jesus, 229s. Dans lAncien Testament et le judasme hellnique, lauteur reconnat cependant que cette donne se prsente plus comme point daccrochage (Anknpfungspunkt) un commandement explicite que comme commandement explicite proprement dit. Dans le stocisme et surtout dans les religions orientales comme le bouddhisme et le taosme, la recommandation daimer les ennemis apparatrait plus clairement. 4 Par exemple les exhortations de Bouddha son disciple cites dans J. GNILKA, Jesus, 230, daprs les recherches de F. Heiler.

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notre sujet. Cest le cas du contenu de Mt 5, 45 en sa forme intentionnelle. Qui aimera effectivement son ennemi deviendra fils de Dieu. La faon dagir des enfants est celle du Pre, leur nature participe de la sienne, leur comportement ressemble au sien. la similitude dans lagir se reconnat la parent avec lui5. On trouve ici le thme de la ressemblance de lhomme avec Dieu considre sous son aspect thique en tant quelle connote lappel limitation de Dieu. Mais une question se pose ici. Estce que la filiation divine nest quune promesse venir obtenue par limitation de Dieu? Ou bien est-elle dj une ralit qui se manifeste par limitation? Les deux manires de voir les choses sont justifies. En faveur de lactualit de la filiation plaide Mt 5, 16 o il est dit que les disciples peuvent dj appeler Dieu leur Pre et quils doivent en manifester les oeuvres. En faveur de linterprtation visant lavenir en revanche, il y a Mt 5, 9 qui promet la filiation divine comme salaire de la fin des temps lors de lirruption de la rvlation du Royaume des cieux. Gnilka propose une voie mitoyenne. Il faut voir la filiation divine comme quelque chose de dynamique. Dieu a dj accueilli les disciples, mais aussi longtemps quils vivent dans le monde, ils sont soumis lpreuve. Ce nest qu la fin quils seront irrvocablement ses fils6.

propos de Lc 6, 35, Schrmann crit: Die hohe Forderung der Feindesliebe wird also [] letztlich und grundstzlich mit dem Gedanken der Nachahmung Gottes, weil bei der hchsten Forderung auch zum hchsten Motiv gegriffen werden mu. Die Forderung wird [] einfach als Nachvollzug des Verhaltens Gottes empfohlen. Wer den Vater liebt, wird es ihm nachtun, weil er ihm hnlich sein will; er bedarf nicht weiterer Motive fr sein Handeln. Der groe Gedanken der Nachahmung Gottes bestimmt hier das menschliche Verhalten o.c., 357. 6 Cf. Matthusevangelium, 193-194. Quelque chose danalogue vaut pour Lc 6, 35-36: Wenn freilich V 36 unmittelbar im Anschlu an V 35 auffordert, es der Art des Vaters gleichzutun, mu zwischen den Zeilen gelesen werden, da der Text die V 35 fr die eschatologische Zukunft verheiene Gottessohnschaft irgendwie doch auch schon als eine gegenwrtige Realitt gedeutet haben will, wie das auch Mt 5, 45 und nachklingend (s.o.) Eph 5, 1 verstanden hat. Die Gottessohnschaft der Getauften scheint sich in dieser postbaptismalen Katechese in Erinnerung zu bringen H. SCHRMANN, o.c., 356.
5

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Cette filiation divine dj donne aux disciples, consolide par limitation de la bienveillance du Pre envers les bons comme envers les mchants et appele spanouir pleinement la fin des temps est reprise en Mt 5, 48 sous langle de lappel pressant la perfection lie directement lamour des ennemis (cf. v. 46-47) et mme, ajoute Gnilka, lensemble des antithses du discours de Jsus. Cest en effet justement cette exigence qui rappelle limitation de Dieu et donc qui renvoie aux versets analyss prcdemment. En quoi consiste cette perfection de Dieu7, de votre Pre cleste (Mt 5, 48), qui se prsente ici comme mesure de lhomme? partir des diverses nuances incluses dans ltymologie du mot (le fait dtre irrprochable; sans faute; intgre: cf. Jb 1, 1; 2, 3), on pense lide du tout, de ce qui nest pas bris, fragment, de ce qui est intgral. Dans sa bont, Dieu se tourne vers les hommes sans rserve, totalement, entirement. La plnitude recherche par lhomme consisterait donc imiter ce don entier de Dieu qui nexclut personne, nexerce aucune discrimination, plnitude qui permet lhomme, insiste Gnilka, de devenir fils de Dieu8. Si Matthieu nous a fait faire un bout de chemin considrable sur la question du rapport de la morale (saisie ici en son point culminant) au Pre, est-il possible de pousser notre rflexion encore plus loin en profitant coup sr de cet acquis, mais en lapprofondissant la lumire de la thologie du Pre telle quon la retrouve dveloppe dans les stades les plus avancs du Nouveau Testament, chez Paul et Jean par exemple9? Examinons les choses de plus prs. Un premier nonc en ce sens pourrait se prsenter comme suit. Le Pre aime les bons et les mchants en tant que, comme Crateur, il ne peut pas har ou tre indiffrent ses cratures. Bien que juste, cet nonc ne recouvre cependant pas toute la conception chrtienne de la figure du Pre. Il faut aller plus loin et dire: le Pre aime les bons et les mchants parce que, dans sa
7 Signalons avec Gnilka dont nous continuons nous inspirer que weder Qumran noch das AT kennt die Rede vom vollkommenen Gott o.c., 195. 8 Ibid. 9 Cf. ` dans TWNT V, 996ss; P. GRELOT, Dieu le Pre de Jsus Christ (JJC., 60), Paris, 1994, 201ss (surtout pour s. Jean).

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libert imprvisible, il les destine, avant mme de les crer, faire partie de son intimit, tre ses fils adoptifs (cf. Ep 1, 3-5). Pour tre pleinement justifi, cet nonc doit tre complt par un autre qui part de beaucoup plus haut encore. En effet, si cette sortie libre et amoureuse du Pre vers lautre cr a une telle densit quelle fait de tout homme un candidat ou, dans les mots de Paul, un prdestin reproduire limage du Fils (cf. Rm 8, 28-30), il est ncessaire quelle tienne son origine dune sortie encore plus profonde, tellement profonde quelle soit proprement divine, constitutive de ltre paternel. Cette sortie, cest le don total de soi, lieu de lmergence ou du jaillissement dun Autre incr et divin; cest la gnration du Fils (cf. Jn 1, 1ss). Il en rsulte que le Pre aime tous les hommes, les bons comme les mchants, parce quils sont de lui et vers lui dans le Premier-n par qui il est Pre. La perfection du Pre que Matthieu dfinissait en termes damour total manifest tout homme senrichit ainsi de traits nouveaux qui la consolident en lui confrant ses assises ultimes. Lamour inconditionnel du Pre envers quiconque tient en dfinitive de lamour que le Pre a pour lui-mme en son Fils qui est lexpression parfaite de son dpouillement essentiel, de sa knose (Bulgakov/Balthasar) radicale. En consquence, la morale de lamour des ennemis rend fils de Dieu, non seulement par imitation de la perfection paternelle, mais plus profondment encore par participation son tre dans le Fils engendr par lui.

II. Par-del sa bont ou sa mchancet morales, lhomme fils de Dieu rconcili avec le Pre dans la gnration du Fils mort et ressuscit Dans le champ des rapports humains, on est habitu mesurer le comportement de quelquun laction/raction de son semblable. Le texte de Matthieu fait tat de ces relations de type do ut des. Lcriture mentionne cette espce de normalit pour la dpasser, pour la dclarer insuffisante, inadapte quand lhumanum est insr dans le divinum. En ce nouveau contexte, il faut saluer celui qui ne salue pas, aimer celui qui naime pas (cf. Mt 5, 46-47).

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Ce qui se passe au plan de lhumain nest que le dcalque de ce qui se passe au plan du divin. Le Pre fait lever son soleil aussi bien sur ceux qui laiment que sur ceux qui ne laiment pas, tomber sa pluie aussi bien sur les justes que sur les injustes (cf. Mt 5. 45). un regard superficiel, ce mode de faire paternel que le croyant est appel reproduire peut certes apparatre sduisant, attirant par lidal vhicul, mais en mme temps difficile, sinon impossible, faire sien en raison de ce que lon pourrait appeler son caractre ingnu ou, plus exactement, son inadaptation au rel concret du monde dici-bas. Du point de vue de Dieu, il possde pourtant sa pleine justification, laquelle, une fois approfondie, nous fait comprendre la grandeur incontournable de lhomme, de tout homme quel quil soit, et nous facilite laccs aux moeurs du Pre. Examinons les choses de plus prs. Nous y retrouverons des donnes dj prsentes dans le cadre de notre tude de la perfection du Pre, mais enrichies et ordonnes mettre en relief ce qui dcoule de cette perfection, entendons la conception que le Pre se fait de lhomme. Sil est vrai daffirmer que lon juge larbre ses fruits, il est aussi vrai de dire que larbre est diffrent des fruits quil produit en ce sens quil est premier par rapport eux. Sans larbre il ny aurait ni mauvais, ni bons fruits. La priorit doit donc tre accorde larbre. Sans image maintenant, avant lagir il y a ltre. Lapparente indiffrence de Dieu la bont ou la malice de lagir humain vient du fait quavant de considrer lusage que lhomme fait de sa libert, Dieu considre ltre, ltre qui ne relve pas de lhomme, mais de lui, le Crateur de lunivers. Cette priorit donne ltre sur lagir est lindice - et cela quoi quen pensent Nietzsche et ses pigones de la postmodernit10 - de la valeur primordiale et inalinable de ltre, de sa vrit, de sa

Comme les collaborateurs au livre dit par A. GARGANI (a cura di), Crisi della ragione, Torino, 1979 (particulirement la longue introduction de Gargani lui-mme, p. 5-55); G. VATTIMO/P.A. ROVATTI (a cura di), Il pensiero debole, Milano, 1983; ID., Le avventure della differenza. Che cosa significa pensare dopo Nietzsche e Heidegger? Milano, 1980, 51ss; etc.; ID., La fine della modernit, Milano, 1985, 175ss et larticle critique de A. POPPI, Una duplice infondatezza delletica debole, dans StPat 44(1997), 91-99.
10

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bont et de sa beaut. Voil un premier motif qui justifie lamour du Pre pour quiconque, bon ou mauvais, juste ou injuste. Mais cet tre, comment est-il cr? Est-il sorti du nant, jet dans ltre sans plan, sans vise? Ou bien est-il partie prenante dun dessein damour dont lorigine remonte, non seulement la volont cratrice du Pre de donner ltre plutt que de ne pas le donner - ce qui serait dj minemment positif -, mais encore sa dcision ternelle et gratuite de le faire tre pour lintroduire en son tre divin? Lcriture, surtout les dernires Lettres du corpus paulinien, nous assure que cest le second membre de lalternative qui est vrai. Voil un second motif qui autorise le Pre tre bienveillant lgard des bons comme des mchants. Mais il faut tre encore plus prcis. Si le Pre dcide dans son amour et sa libert souverains dintroduire sa crature humaine11 en son mystre et donc de sortir vers le cr pour lattirer en lui, il ne peut le faire quen cette sortie de soi primordiale, essentielle, qui le constitue Pre, ou pratiquement que dans le Fils, puisque ce dernier est justement laboutissement du dpouillement du Pre, de sa knose dans et par lAmour au point dtre constitu, comme dit lcriture, effigie, reproduction, resplendissement, empreinte exacte de la substance paternelle (cf. He 1, 3). En termes plus simples, cest dans la sortie damour ad intra que senracine la sortie damour ad extra. Autant dire que lhomme, tout homme, porte les traits du Pre travers ceux de son Fils. Voil un autre motif qui explique lamour du Pre envers tous. Il saime en ses fils qui refltent les traits de son Fils bien-aim qui a toute (sa) faveur (Mt 3, 7 et par.; 17, 5 et par.). Si cela est vrai - et ici nous faisons un pas dcisif dans notre rflexion -, ce nest pas lhomme-crature qui est premier, mais lhomme-Fils ou le Fils fait homme. Et puisque la crature cre libre pour tre unie, assimile au Fils libre, a fait un mauvais usage de sa libert, les traits humains du Fils sont ternellement ceux dun Crucifi au coeur ouvert (cf. Za 12, 10; Jn 19, 34ss; 20, 24ss; Lc 24, 36ss; Ap 1, 7), dun Agneau immol (1 P 1, 19-20; Ap

Ce qui implique, remarquons-le en passant, que la consistance propre de la crature devient la condition de possibilit de la ralisation du plan divin.
11

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5, 6), le Fils allant, par la volont aimante de son Pre, jusqu assumer les carences effectives dune libert humaine pourtant donne pour la filiation et ainsi pour le partage du mystre paternel. Cest l un autre motif de lamour universel du Pre. En tout homme - et nous le voyons plus particulirement ici -, mme dans le mchant ou linjuste, le Pre se reconnat puisque, de par son vouloir, son Fils porte depuis toujours et pour toujours12 en sa chair les morsures dune libert invertie par la ruse du Serpent des origines (cf. Gn 3, 1ss; 3, 15; Ap 12, 9). Mais les marques de la passion dans le corps humain du Fils ne sont pas que les vestiges dune libert renie par suite des intrigues du pre du mensonge (cf. Jn 8, 44). Elles sont aussi les signes dune libert redresse, les traces dune immolation ou dune donation dans lEsprit (cf. He 9, 14), dune offrande pneumatique de soi au Pre, lequel, son tour et dans lEsprit, accueille le Fils en le ressuscitant dentre les morts, en lengendrant dans sa chair (cf. Ac 13, 33) et en le rintroduisant dans lintimit paternelle dont il stait un moment loign par solidarit avec le pch de la libert indigente de lhomme (cf. Rm 8, 3; Ga 3, 13; 2 Co 5, 21). Cest l une autre justification de lamour universel du Pre. Dans le mchant ou linjuste, le Pre se reconnat dans les traits de son Fils incarn ternellement immol et rconcili avec lui. Ici-bas, aucun mchant ou injuste nest encore dtermin la seconde mort, marqu par elle (cf. Ap 20, 14); aucun nest compltement perdu, totalement antifilial et, par-l, anti-paternel, parce que dans le Crucifi ressuscit brle, comme en un buisson ardent (cf. Ex 3, 2), la flamme inextinguible de lEsprit (cf. Ac 2, 3) qui rconcilie

Je me suis expliqu ailleurs sur le bien-fond de lavant ternel de la croix: Le Pre nimpose pas son dessein ternel de filialiser lhomme en son Fils. Il loffre lhomme cr libre en vue de la filialisation. Or, cette libert a failli. Dieu a prvu la chute de lhomme et la assume pour pouvoir mettre en oeuvre, en dpit de lobstacle du pch, son plan filialisateur. Cest la raison pour laquelle lAlpha est ternellement immol (cf. 1 P 1, 19-20) et quil pourra tre, la fin, lOmga lui aussi immol, mais porteur, cette fois, de lhistoire inverse du pch R. TREMBLAY, LHomme (Ep 4, 13), mesure de lhomme daujourdhui et de demain. Pour un approfondissement de Gaudium et Spes, dans StMor 35(1997), 103. (Cest moi qui souligne).
12

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lhomme avec Dieu. Par inclusion dans le Fils mort et ressuscit, tout mchant ou injuste de ce monde porte en filigrane les traits du fils prodigue que le Pre aperoit de loin et vers lequel il accourt touch de compassion, comme dit s. Luc, pour lembrasser longuement et le reconduire dans la joie inaltrable dtre de la maison (cf. Lc 15, 21) et, par l, de retrouver sa vritable identit13. Cette allusion presque naturelle la parabole lucanienne de lenfant prodigue nous montre que lidentit de lhomme ne se mesure pas dabord, du point de vue du Pre, laune de la fidlit concrte de la libert de lhomme, de ce que lhomme fait pour Dieu, mais laune de ce que Dieu fait pour lhomme, entendons de son acte crateur englob dans lacte damour libre et gratuit de prdestiner en son Fils la filiation adoptive avant le pch mais non sans lassumer pour le dtruire. Dieu fait lever son soleil sur les bons comme sur les mchants, tomber sa pluie sur les justes comme sur les injustes parce quil a conu les hommes daprs les traits de son Fils incarn, mort et ressuscit et quil les veut fils en ce Fils, parce quen ce Fils il se considre leur Pre14. Si les croyants veulent agir comme le Pre face

Je me permets de citer ce texte de H.U. VON BALTHASAR qui vient, aprs coup, confirmer les prsentes rflexions et celles analogues faites en notre article dj cit LHomme, 99-104: Unsere vorweltliche Versetzung an seinen Ort heit demnach fr uns immer Heimkehr nicht blo zu Gott als Heimat, sondern zu uns selbst (im vollendeten Menschen Jesus Christus), indem wir vom Vatergott vorbestimmt sind, gleichgestaltet zu werden dem Bild Sohn Gottes (Rm 8,29), nicht in einer Bewegung weg von unserem Todesschicksal, sondern durch Eingestaltung, ja durch Zusammenwachsen ) mit dem archetypischen Sterben (Rm 6,5; Kol 1, 18: der ( Erstgeborene unter den Toten und Gekreuzigtwerden (Rm 6,6; Gal 2, 19), um so zur Gleichgestaltung in das archetypische gesamtmenschliche Verherrlichtwerden zu gelangen (Phil 3, 11): wir sind vorweg bestimmt, im Sohn Gottes zu Gott als Heimat und zu unserer geschpflichen Eigentlichkeit ein - und heimzukehren Herrlichkeit. Eine theologische sthetik. Bd. III/2, 2: Neuer Bund, Einsiedeln, 1969, 371. (Cest lauteur qui souligne). 14 Lire la page splendide o J. H. NEWMAN dcrit lamour concret que Dieu porte sa crature his adopted son, favoured with a portion of that glory and blessedness which flows from Him everlastingly unto the Onlybegotten Parochial and plein Sermons, San Francisco, 1997, 563.
13

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lexprience de linimiti de leurs semblables, cest donc ce critre absolument prioritaire quils doivent avoir recours, critre qui leur fera aussi se souvenir de leur statut de fils et de lurgence quil y a lui tre fidles. Cest dire que sil y a, en considration de lamour manifester aux ennemis, priorit confre ltre de ces derniers plutt qu leur agir, il y a, en considration des croyants qui aiment ainsi, priorit octroye lagir, agir qui donne, comme nous lavons signal la fin de la section prcdente, de communier ltre paternel dans le Fils n de lui et qui, par l, donne de renouer avec leur identit filiale et de laccomplir ou de la conduire terme. Mais cet agir condition de possibilit de ltre frre du Fils et enfant du Pre, comment se prsente-t-il exactement? Cest ce quil nous faut maintenant considrer de plus prs.

III. Les coordonnes de la morale des sommets ou de lamour des ennemis Une premire question nous poser cet gard touche lobjet de cet amour. Nous lavons dj formule plus haut en ces termes: Quel ennemi dois-je aimer? Le frre croyant ou toute personne qui me blesse? Dans la section qui prcde, notre rflexion inspire du texte matthen nous a orients vers une rponse o les deux types de personnes sont concerns. aimer est tout ennemi, quil soit croyant ou pas. Mais quen dit exactement notre texte biblique et son parallle lucanien? ce propos, Gnilka crit: Lennemi (auquel Jsus fait ici allusion) est lennemi de toutes sortes, lennemi personnel, ladversaire dans un procs, lennemi du groupe, du clan, le soldat de camp adverse15. cette donne plus globale, notre exgte en ajoute une autre, plus spcifique Matthieu, quil nest pas sans intrt, dans le prsent contexte, de signaler brivement. Avec dautres de ses collgues exgtes, il est davis que lvangliste concentre son attention sur lennemi caractre religieux comme le montre le commandement de prie(r) pour ses perscuteurs (cf.

15

J. GNILKA, Jesus von Nazareth, 232.

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5, 44). Comme ctait le cas dans la communaut de Qumran quil nest pas hors de propos de croire ici lhorizon de la pense, Matthieu confre comme un visage communautaire lennemi personnel en ce sens que quelquun est mon adversaire parce quil fait partie dun groupe hostile ma communaut16. Ajoutons que cette donne pouvait avoir loccasion des accointances avec des structures socio-politiques de lpoque. Maintenue avec fermet, cette dimension sociale ou communautaire du texte biblique ne doit pourtant pas, insiste Gnilka, servir de prtexte pour en affaiblir le contenu en identifiant lennemi lanonymat dun groupe plutt qu des personnes bien concrtes17. la lumire de cette exgse, on peut tranquillement reprendre les conclusions de nos rflexions antrieures: lennemi aimer, cest tout adversaire en tant quhomme, en y ajoutant quil ny a pratiquement aucune forme dinimiti qui peut faire obstacle lamour exig par Jsus18. Et cet amour, de quelle densit est-il? Deux indications importantes nous viennent du texte de Matthieu. En 5, 44, lvangliste nous dit que lon doit, cause de Jsus, appliquer le commandement de lamour du prochain lennemi, cest-dire que lon doit considrer ce dernier comme un proche, un ami, un frre. En 5, 48, lon doit imiter le Pre dont la perfection consiste dverser sa bont sur tous les hommes19. la lumire

16 Cf. J GNILKA, Matthusevangelium, 191; R. SCHNACKENBURG, Die sittliche Botschaft des Neuen Testaments, Bd.1: Von Jesus zur Urkirche (HThKNT., Suppl. I), Freiburg-Basel-Wien, 1986, 105-106; H. SCHRMANN, o.c., 345. 17 Cf. J. GNILKA, Jesus von Nazareth, 232. 18 Dans un regard densemble sur le contenu de la premire partie du Sermon sur la Montagne, Gnilka crit en rapport avec notre problme: In der Formulierung, die Feinde zu lieben, fr die Schmhenden zu beten, bleibt der Feind ohne eine bestimmte Explikation, da die Schmhung eine allgemeiner Ausdruck der Feindseligkeit ist, diese Allgemeinheit das Gebot der Feindesliebe grundstzlich Bedeutung gewinnt. Das Gebot ist in jede Freund-Feind-Situation bertragbar. Jeder kennt seinen Feind am besten, sei es der persnliche, sei es der kollektive Feind Das Matthusevangelium, 197. 19 Cf. et tour tour Ibid., 191-192; 195.

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de cette double donne, on pourrait dire que lamour requis ici de la part des croyants est de qualit maximale. Il est dabord, de par Jsus, de lordre de lamiti, de la fraternit - ces sentiments humains en eux-mmes dj si levs et encore surlevs par le monde de la foi - et il possde ensuite lintensit, le radicalisme de lamour propre au Pre qui donne tout tous. Avec cette dernire prcision, lon entend comme rsonner ce passage de Jean: Oui, Dieu a tant aim le monde quil a donn son Fils unique (Jn 3, 16) avec la consquence que la perfection du Pre ou son amour total pour tous prend en loccurrence une forme christologique, entendons se manifeste dans la personne et loeuvre de son Fils fait chair. Que cet cho johannique au tmoignage matthen ne soit pas pure invention, pure fiction, Gnilka le suggre en crivant: se comporter comme le Pre et, par l, comme fils de Dieu ne peut pas, dans le contexte gnral de lvangile (de Matthieu), tre spar de la vie et de loeuvre de Jsus Fils de Dieu qui a rendu visible la perfection de Dieu, spcialement en sa passion []. Cest pourquoi le dsir de la perfection nest rien dautre que la sequela20. Cette donne strictement scripturaire rejoint pratiquement celle dcoulant de notre rflexion thologique antrieure daprs laquelle le Fils incarn est le passage oblig, soit de la participation par communion la perfection du Pre, soit de la claire perception de ce quest tout homme. Nous aurons encore revenir sur ce Christ passage oblig de la morale chrtienne. Pour linstant, essayons de prciser encore, partir de lui, les contours de lamour chrtien des ennemis. Dans sa prire par excellence, le Notre Pre, le Fils nous fait demander: Pre, remets-nous nos dettes, comme nousmmes avons remis nos dbiteurs (Mt 6, 11). On peut dire que toute la vie terrestre de Jsus fut une grande imploration de pardon adresse au Pre en faveur des hommes. Plus prcisment encore: le Fils prie le Pre de pardonner les offenses des hommes dont il stait rendu solidaire21 comme, lui, il a

Ibid., 196. (Cest moi qui traduis). Sans prjudice videmment du fait que le Fils tait sans pch. Cf. H 4, 15; Jn 8, 46.
20 21

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pardonn les offenses qui lui furent faites. Ayant pardonn le reniement de Pierre (cf. Lc 22, 61) par exemple, il a pu demander pardon sur la croix pour ses bourreaux (cf. Lc 23, 34) reprsentants de lhumanit pcheresse laquelle il stait mystrieusement uni. Et il fut exauc (cf. H 5, 8). Pre, pardonne-leur leurs offenses comme moi22 jai pardonn ceux qui mont offens. Parler de par-don, cest parler de don en surplus, parce que le pardon est amour envers celui qui ne le mrite pas, envers loffensant, lennemi23. Parler du par-don de Jsus, cest assurment parler aussi de don en surplus, mais en outre dun don qui prend la forma crucis. Dans la fort des croix qui furent dresses sur le monde avant et aprs la croix du Golgotha, cette dernire a le sens tout fait particulier dtre le signe dun amour, dun service dont lintensit est directement proportionnelle au non-sens que la croix reprsentait dans lantiquit et dont Paul se fait lcho en parlant delle comme du renversement de la sagesse humaine, comme dun scandale pour les juifs et dune dmence pour les paens (1 Co 1, 23)24. On peut dduire cette affirmation de la knose du Fils voulue par le Pre pour lamour des hommes pcheurs (cf. Ph 2, 6-8). Par ce dpouillement de sa condition divine, le Fils sert ses ~ ). ennemis comme un esclave sert son matre ( On peut trouver une confirmation de cette donne dans la scne du lavement des pieds raconte par Jean (13, 1-20)25. En raison de ses antcdents anthropologico-culturels, ce geste tait en effet considr comme un service desclave qui, dans la logique interne du IVe vangile, est lexpression anticipe du service de

22 Tandis que le croyant sinsre dans le nous de lglise pour rendre son point de comparaison plus consistant et, ds lors, sa prire plus efficace, le Fils peut se rfrer lui-mme et tre pleinement exauc. 23 Pour plus de dtails sur la consistance du pardon, voir les rflexions substantielles et articules de J. LAFITTE, Le pardon transfigur, Paris, 1995, 49ss. 24 Pour approfondir ce point, voir mon tude paratre: Il Cristo, pienezza dell humanum. In margine a Veritatis Splendor. 25 Pour ce qui va suivre, je me rfre mon livre LHomme qui divinise. Pour une interprtation christocentrique de lexistence (BrT., 16), MontralParis, 1993, 193-209.

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la croix26. Or il est intressant de constater que Judas qui a dj dcid de trahir et de vendre son matre pour quelques pices dargent sort du cnacle aprs le lavement des pieds (cf. Jn 13, 30). Jsus, sachant tout ce quil y a dans lhomme (cf. Jn 6, 70; 13, 11; etc.)27, a donc aim son disciple coupable dune faute abyssale28 jusqu ce service suprme. Il a englob dans le service de la croix celui-l mme qui allait lenclencher en se laissant prendre aux astuces tnbreuses du pre de lhomicide (cf. Jn 8, 44). Jsus a donc aim non seulement ceux qui laimaient ou ceux qui le saluaient (cf. Mt 5, 46-47), mais aussi celui qui devait le trahir et mme le mettre sur la via crucis29. Comprenez-vous ce que je vous ai fait, dit Jsus aprs son geste? Vous mappelez Matre et Seigneur, et vous dites bien, car

` de Paul Signalons que, daprs R.H. RENGSTORF, la ~ concide exactement avec ltre- de Jsus qui constitue larrire-plan de lpisode du lavement des pieds (dans TWNT II, 281). 27 Wenn alle Evangelisten bezeugen, da Jesus die Herzen der Menschen kennt, formuliert Johannes ausdrcklich, was die andern einschluweise mitsagen; da es hier nicht um eine natrliche Gabe von Hellseherei und Kardiagnosie geht, sondern um ein Heilswissen, das die Schuldverfallenheit und die Erlsungsbedrftigkeit den Menschen im Lichte Gottes erkennt H. U. VON BALTHASAR, Kennt uns Jesus - kennen wir ihn?, Freiburg-Basel-Wien, 1980, 20. 28 Sans avoir commis le pch de Judas, les autres disciples ntaient pas, comme on peut le constater dans la suite des vnements, dun amour indfectible (abandon et reniement de leur Matre). Ils taient donc aussi des pcheurs, objets de lamour absolu de Jsus. Mais le cas de Judas est particulirement expressif du rapport ennemi/pardon ici en cause. 29 Par ailleurs, le pardon de Jsus est dune si grande intensit quil marque, pour Judas, le moment de sa sortie du cnacle. En prsence dun tel trait de Lumire (cf. Jn 8, 12), ses yeux dj habitus lobscurit du pch (cf. Jn 6, 70) ont prfr les chemins du Prince des tnbres et lalliance avec lui. Judas sortit. Il faisait nuit (Jn 13, 30) note explicitement lvangliste. Pour sa part, Schnackenburg commente: Das kurze Wort, mit dem der Bericht ber den Weggang des Verrters schliet, sammelt noch einmal alle Dunkelheit dieses Geschehens in sich - ein wirkungsvoller Abschied (vgl. 6, 71), der fr den Evangelisten aber nur zur dunklen Follie wird, von der sich das folgende Wort von der Verherrlichung Jesus abhebt R. SCHNACKENBURG, Das Johannesevangelium, III. Teil (HThKNT., IV/3), Freiburg-Basel-Wien, 19793, 38.
26

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je le suis. Si donc je vous ai lav les pieds, moi le Seigneur et le Matre, vous aussi vous devez vous laver les pieds les uns aux autres. Je vous ai donn lexemple, pour que vous agissiez comme jai agi envers vous (Jn 13, 12-15). Le geste accompli par le Seigneur doit devenir celui des disciples et travers eux celui de tout croyant. Mais attention! Jsus nexige pas seulement une imitation matrielle de son geste, mais une participation intrieure au radicalisme de lamour in forma crucis dont ce geste est la manifestation anticipe se cristallisant ensuite dans le don du commandement nouveau de lamour fraternel comme je vous aims (Jn 13, 34; cf. Mt 5, 45.48). De quelle densit doit tre lamour des ennemis, demandions-nous plus haut? Froid, calculateur, distant, ou frmissant, spontan, engag? Ici la limite de lamour est dtre sans limite puisquil sagit du dpouillement du Pre en faveur de tout homme dans le dpouillement du Fils, knose filiale moule dans les formes mondaines qui, de par leur non-sens, deviennent les plus expressives de cet oubli total de soi au profit de laim, quil soit tratre comme Judas (cf. Jn 13, 21.30) ou fidle comme le disciple bien-aim (cf. Jn 19, 26), entendons le service et le supplice desclave du lavement des pieds et du crucifiement30. Lexigence daimer est dans le prsent cas norme et dpasse largement les capacits de tout homme, croyants compris, si bien que, comme les disciples devant les exigences de la pauvret incluses dans lappel la sequela31, on pourrait rester interdit et se demander: qui donc peut tre sauv? (cf. Mt 19, 25 et par.). Fixant sur eux son regard, Jsus leur dit: Pour les hommes cest impossible, mais pour Dieu tout est possible (Mt 19, 26).

30 Cicron appelait la croix servile supplicium (In Verrem, II, 2, 169). Voir notre tude, LHomme qui divinise, 198, note 12. 31 Cf. J. GNILKA, Das Matthusevangelium, 196. Entre les exigences de la pauvret pour le Royaume et celles de lamour des ennemis ny aurait-il pas un lien en profondeur en ce sens que les unes et les autres impliquent un oubli de soi si radical quil ne peut tenir ses racines que de Dieu lui-mme comme le montre le corps nu du Fils crucifi (dont on se partage mme le peu qui lui reste) pardonnant ses meurtriers (cf. Lc 23, 34)?

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Revenant, dans la foule de ce rappel scripturaire, aux pisodes du cnacle et du Golgotha, on assiste la promesse (cf. Jn 14, 16. 26; 15, 7) et au don effectif de lEsprit (cf. Jn 19, 30)32, don que la grande Tradition de lglise a reconnu dans leau coulant de ct du Fils transperc par la lance du soldat (cf. Jn 19, 34)33. Un amour si imposant et si exigeant comme lamour des ennemis ne peut tre vcu par les hommes que par lAmour en personne jaillissant du lieu o se noue le mystre pascal ou le oui du Fils au Pre et rciproquement34, entendons le Coeur du Fils, et passant ensuite de ce Coeur ouvert aux coeurs ouverts ou de chair (cf. Ez 11, 19) des fils et mme de tout homme de bonne volont35. Cest comme si lEsprit tait lartiste qui, par la puissance de lAmour quil est, fait merger les traits filiaux enfouis par loeuvre du Pre et du Fils dans la pierre, devenue mallable comme de la chair, du coeur des hommes. Ce qui est

32 Nous suivons ici lavis dexgtes comme Hoskyns-Davey, Bampfylde, Brown, De la Potterie, etc. (par contre Schnackenburg, Lgasse, etc.) qui ~ ) de Jsus laccom ` voient dans le rendre lesprit ( plissement de la promesse faite en Jn 7, 37-39. Sur ce point, voir R. SCHNACKENBURG, o.c., 333 et S. LGASSE, Le procs de Jsus. T. II: La passion dans les quatre vangiles, (LDCom.., 3), Paris, 1995, 559 (avec bibliographie). 33 Cette eau symbole de lEsprit est ordinairement lie au baptme comme lieu de lmergence de lglise. Pour de nombreux tmoignages patristiques et mdivaux en ce sens, voir H. DE LUBAC, Mditations sur lglise (Thologie 27), Paris, 19543, 129; H. RAHNER, Symbole der Kirche. Die Ekklesiologie der Vter, Salzburg, 1964, 177-235; J. RATZINGER, Einfhrung in das Christentum, Mnchen, 19689, 196; H.U. VON BALTHASAR, Pneuma und Institution, Einsiedeln, 1974, 260. Sur ltat de la question concernant linterprtation de ce verset, voir lo.c., de S. LGASSE, 565ss. - Sur leau symbole de lEsprit Saint, voir la page splendide de CYRILLE DE JRUSALEM, Catchses baptismales, 16, 11-12.16 (PG 33, 932-936.940-941). 34 Nous avons dgag ailleurs les grandes lignes de la consistance exacte de ce mystre o les Trois sont loeuvre selon leurs rles respectifs. Voir: R. TREMBLAY, Lhomme, piphanie du Fils, dans StMor 36(1998), 47-52. 35 Comme laffirme notamment Gaudium et Spes, 22,5: Et cela (lassociation au mystre pascal) ne vaut pas seulement pour ceux qui croient au Christ, mais bien pour tous les hommes de bonne volont, dans le coeur desquels, invisiblement, agit la grce. En effet, puisque le Christ est mort pour tous et que la vocation dernire de lhomme est rellement unique, savoir divine, nous devons tenir que lEsprit-Saint offre tous, dune faon que Dieu connat, la possibilit dtre associ au mystre pascal.

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impossible aux hommes est possible Dieu. Et les aptres de lamour illimit comme le diacre tienne (cf. Ac 8, 60) et tant dautres aprs lui ont montr et montrent que les promesses de Dieu ne sont pas vaines.

IV. Le Pre dernier fondement de la morale chrtienne Avec la mention de lEsprit comme artisan immdiat de lamour des ennemis se pose la question du fondement ultime de la morale chrtienne. Peut-on octroyer ce rle lEsprit luimme ou plutt au Fils ou au Pre ou bien encore au Pre par le Fils? Un premier lment de rponse cette question merge du fait que lEsprit est celui du Fils en tant quil sourd du Coeur filial ouvert sur la croix. Plus prcisment encore, il est lEsprit du Pre et du Fils puisque, comme nous lavons peine signal, ce Coeur est le lieu de laccomplissement du mystre pascal, entendons du Pre qui, dans la force de lEsprit, ressuscite le Fils (cf. Rm 8, 11; etc.)36 qui sest offert lui sur la croix en un Esprit ternel (cf. H 9, 14). Il dcoule de l que lEsprit suscite et anime lagir moral du croyant et mme de tout homme sur la base de loeuvre du Pre et du Fils. Or en quoi consiste cette oeuvre du Pre et du Fils? Nous touchons ici la question de lidentit de lhomme appel se comporter moralement dans le monde, la question de lidentit du sujet moral donc. Car loeuvre conjointe du Pre et du Fils ad extra est dans les faits constitutive de ltre de lhomme. Comment cela? En reprenant quelques donnes voques prcdemment dans dautres contextes, on peut se figurer cette oeuvre de la manire suivante. Par pure grce, le Pre co-gnre lhomme dans la gnration du Fils constitutive de son Je paternel, le prdestinant ainsi la filiation adoptive dans le Fils envoy dans le monde pour y prendre chair et sy laisser crucifier par suite de lassomption des consquences dune libert humaine cherchant se diviniser par elle-mme (cf. Gn 3, 5).

36

Cf. F.-X. DURRWELL, Le Pre. Dieu en son mystre (Th.), Paris, 1987,

140ss.

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Si le Fils est, par sa puissance cratrice et re-cratrice, lartisan immdiat de la constitution de lhomme sans quoi il ny a videmment pas de morale, le Pre en est la source absolument originelle. En effet, cest de lui que relve ultimement la dcision, encore une fois souveraine et gratuite, de susciter, pour le filialiser, un tre infiniment distinct de lui mergeant de sa knose primordiale do vient le Fils, et cela avant le pch de la crature, mais non sans prvoir depuis toujours que le Fils, envoy dans le monde pour raliser ce dessein paternel, assume ce pch pour le dtruire. la question de savoir qui il revient dtre le dernier fondement de la morale chrtienne perue sous langle de ltre support ou source de lagir moral, lon peut maintenant rpondre que cest au Pre ou bien que cest au Fils parce que le Fils fait toujours ce que le Pre veut quil fasse (cf. Jn 4, 34; 8, 29; 10, 18; 12, 49s.; 14, 31). Cest ce que suggre sous une autre forme notre pricope matthenne lorsquon y voit Jsus proposer lamour des ennemis selon les moeurs37 du Pre qui fait lever son soleil sur les mchants et sur les bons, et tomber la pluie sur les justes et sur les injustes (Mt 5, 45).

Conclusion Avant de clore ces pages, une question comprise dans le titre de ce travail reste encore ouverte: sil est acquis que le Pre est le point dappui ou la rfrence ultime de la morale chrtienne perue ici sous langle de lamour des ennemis, lest-il aussi pour lthique humaine perue sous le mme angle? La question de concevoir le Dieu des chrtiens comme ultime instance de lhomme et, par l, de son agir moral en sa totalit a, sous des formes diverses, travaill la rflexion croyante depuis ses origines. Le Pre de Jsus nest pas un dieu parmi dautres et le Dieu de lAlliance nouvelle nest pas distinct de celui des alliances mosaque et noachique, comme le voulait, par exemple, la gnose de diverses provenances du temps de s. Irne. Le Pre de Jsus est aussi le Crateur de lunivers et
37

Telles que dcrites plus haut.

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concerne comme tel tout homme et tout lhomme, rpond en substance lvque de Lyon38. Cette question est devenue aujourdhui encore plus brlante. Par suite du phnomne actuel de la globalisation, les hommes se sentent de plus en plus proches les uns des autres, prenant ainsi une conscience plus vive dabord dappartenir, malgr leurs traits spcifiques, une seule famille, la grande famille humaine, et ensuite dtre issus dune seule Origine divine nonobstant la diversit des noms que lon peut lui attribuer. La rcente Encyclique de JeanPaul II Veritatis Splendor sest fait lcho de cette nouvelle prise de conscience de luniversalit et de lorigine transcendante de lhumanit39. Elle dveloppe en effet, comme en contrepoint une morale de la sequela Christi, une morale pour tous40, le spcifique chrtien nannulant pas lhumain en sa consistance propre, mais le respectant et le portant son plein achvement moyennant un processus de redressement ou de purification et de dpassement dont, par grce, il porte du reste en lui-mme les pierres dattente. Si nous revenons maintenant au contenu de notre expos o, pour traiter le thme confi, nous avons choisi de rflchir sur un aspect de lagir moral contenant en raccourci ou en condens lthique de Jsus (Gnilka), on a pu constater que lamour des ennemis - ventuellement nimporte quel homme sorigine l o tout le rel prend son origine, cest--dire au coeur du mystre paternel ou du dpouillement de soi do nat le Fils et, avec lui mais par pure grce, la crature humaine. Puisque rien nexiste en dehors de ce don infini, lamour des

38 Rponse qui apparat par exemple en tte de la Dmonstration Apostolique (4-6/SChr., 406, 89ss) comme premier article de la rgle de foi. Sous larrire-fond de la gnose, elle se prsente ici comme laffirmation ferme et vigoureuse de lunicit du Pre, Auteur de toutes choses, (de) notre monde et, dans ce monde, (de) lhomme. 39 Ayant par contre tendance sobscurcir en certains milieux par suite des phnomnes de la scularisation, dune critique exacerbe de la modernit et du pluralisme de la socit. Cf. E. FUCHS, Quelle universalit pour lthique dans une socit pluraliste? Une rflexion thologique, dans RThPh 128(1996), 357-366. 40 Sur ce point, voir: R. TREMBLAY, Cristo e la morale in alcuni documenti del Magistero (TMF., 8), Roma, 1996, 175-185.

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ennemis dj existant chez certains en vertu de causes et de fins humanistes y est certes assum, mais comme le moins lest dans le plus. Cest ce que dmontre le vcu des croyants lorsque lamour des ennemis implique, comme nous lavons vu, une participation ltre du Pre en celui du Fils, une perception de la valeur incontournable de nimporte quel homme par-del son comportement et enfin un engagement in forma crucis dans lAmour personnifi, lEsprit du Pre et Fils. De l, lon voit que le Pre est fondement de lthique humaine non seulement parce quil est Origine de tout, mais encore et avant tout parce quil est Pre.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00185 Roma Italy. Summary / Resumen As a contribution to the final preparatory year for the great Jubilee of the year 2000 which the Holy Father has wished to dedicate to the mystery of the Father, the author applies himself to showing how the Father as such is concerned with the point of absolute reference and final foundation, and this is true both as much for christian morality as ethical humanism. To illustrate this, he shows that the love of our enemies, the highest mark of the morality of Jesus (Gnilka) is not realisable except by first participating in the perfection of the Father, then by adopting his perception of the human person and, finally, by loving everyone according to the standard of the Son and in the power of His Spirit. Como una aportacin al ltimo ao de preparacin para el gran Jubileo del ao 2000 que el Santo Padre ha querido dedicar al misterio del Padre, el autor intenta demostrar cmo al Padre en cuanto tal, concierne el punto de absoluta referencia y fundamento ltimo, y esto vale tanto para la moral cristiana cuanto para el humanismo tico. Para ilustrarlo, explica cmo el amor a nuestro enemigos el ms grande signo de la moralidad de Jess (Gnilka), no se puede realizar RAL TREMBLAY C.Ss.R.

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sin participar primero de la perfeccin del Padre, adoptando luego su percepcin de la persona humana y, por ltimo, amando a cada uno conforme al modelo del Hijo y en el poder de Su Espritu. The author is Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor titular de moral fundamental en la Academia Alfonsiana.

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INTRODUCCIN Vaticano II aluda a la existencia en nuestro tiempo de algunos signos contradictorios: Mientras el mundo siente con tanta viveza su propia unidad y la mutua interdependencia en ineludible solidaridad, se ve sin embargo, gravsimamente dividido por la presencia de fuerzas contrapuestas (GS n. 4). Y uno de estos signos es este que observamos dentro de la pareja-familia: se pasa de la mnada del dominio del macho a la dada1 de varn-mujer en actitud de frecuente rivalidad (machismo-feminismo), y ms recientemente a la triada de padre-madre-hijo, pero sin que se logre hacer claridad sobre la relacin interpersonal correcta que debe existir. La historia nos ha hablado de patriarcado, de matriarcado, y ahora aparece el fenmeno del filiarcado2. No existe an la conciencia de un nosotros. La presencia de fuerzas contrapuestas se revela tambin en la postmodernidad con una cierta gravedad, porque ya no es tanto el dominio-sometimiento, cuanto el desinters por los dems y el afn de hacer prevalecer la llamada auto-realizacin (en clave individualista) que pretende imponerse en el ambiente social. G. Savagnone reproduce la forma como se expresan ellos y ellas ante una crisis de pareja, por ejemplo: Mi dispiace per i miei figli, ma io devo realizzarmi (me duele por mis hijos, pero debo realizarme)3.
1 Cfr. A. RICCIO, I molteplici volti della paternit, Famiglia oggi 15/59 (1992) 17-18 2 Cfr. E. MURCIA-VALCRCEL, Matriarcado patolgico, Herder, Barcelona 1997, 147-157. 3 G. SAVAGNONE, Evangelizzare nella postmodernit, LDC. Leumann (Torino) 1996, 67.

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Frente a los signos negativos que detectamos, podemos ciertamente destacar otros de corte positivo que se van insinuando sutilmente en el ambiente de la investigacin antropolgica4, poniendo en claro una anttesis entre lo que pensamos y lo que estamos viviendo. La relacin interpersonal como constitutivo del ser humano es una nota caracterstica de nuestra poca; es sin duda uno de los hallazgos ms vlidos en el campo de la antropologa la visin personalista de este fin de siglo. Nos interesa en esta ocasin hacer una reflexin sobre la conciencia de pareja, como conciencia de un nosotros especfico, como posibilidad de recuperacin de algo que ya existi en la conciencia primigenia de los hombres y que se perdi desafortunadamente en el curso de la historia. Podramos afirmar que la conciencia del hombre (varn-mujer) moderno siente nostalgia del paraso perdido cuando el primer varn se entusiasm con la idea de formar con la mujer una sola carne, un nosotros conyugal. Recuperar esta conciencia original es una necesidad que siente el hombre de hoy, es un desafo para el hombre moderno, si quiere lanzarse a la tarea de construir un mundo ms unido y ms solidario. No es frecuente encontrar estudios sobre este tema de la conciencia del nosotros. B. Hring escribi hacia el 1969 sobre la conciencia del nosotros de pareja conyugal5 y sobre la reciprocidad de las conciencias6; ms recientemente Germn Martnez escribi unas pginas sobre los elementos que dan base a un estudio sobre este argumento7. Hacia 1992 habamos
4 P. LAIN ENTRALGO, Teora y realidad del otro, Alianza, Madrid 1983; A. HORTELANO, Yo y T, Comunidad de amor, Paulinas, Madrid 1980; M. BUBER, Yo y t. Nueva Visin, Buenos Aires 1969; G. MADINIER, Conscience et amour, Essai sur le nous, Presses Universitaires, Pars 1962; M. NEDONCELLE, La Reciprocit des consciences. Essai sur la nature de la personne, Montaigne, Pars 1942; ID., Vers una philosophie de lamour, Montaigne, Pars 1946. 5 A. SUSTAR - B. HRING, Leducazione della coscienza oggi, Paoline, Roma 1969, 55-61. 6 B. HRING, Libertad y fidelidad en Cristo, I, Herder, Barcelona 1982, 276-281; II, 376-381 y III, 72 y 228; ID., Reciprocity of Consciences: a Key Concept in moral Theology, en History and Conscience (R. Gallagher, B. Mc.Convery), Gill and McMillan, Dublin 1989, 60-72. 7 G. MARTINEZ, Conciencia conyugal. Modelos simblicos fundamentales, Biblia y fe 21 (1995) 129-146.

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publicado un artculo en una revista espaola y un captulo (c. IV) en uno de nuestros libros y luego en posteriores publicaciones8. Cuando hemos tenido oportunidad de disertar sobre este tpico hemos observado el inters que suscita dicho tema. Se intuye como el alborear de algo nuevo; es indispensable que la pedagoga educativa moderna se empee seriamente en cultivar este objetivo; solo as se podr satisfacer la nostalgia de la unidad perdida. Nuestro propsito en estas pginas es intentar hacer una reflexin sobre esta conciencia de unidad de pareja, como proyecto inicial del Creador; sealar las bases culturales y antropolgicas de un tal tipo de conciencia, y sugerir algunas posibles aplicaciones en nuestro contexto postmoderno de lo que comporta recuperar esta condicin ideal de la conciencia de pareja, como conciencia de un nosotros conyugal.

1. NOSTALGIA DE LA UNIDAD PERDIDA Es muy significativa la metodologa del pueblo semita cuando quiere pensar y elaborar su propia historia. Parecera que se coloca en la perspectiva dinmica del ya s, pero todava no. Es la tensin dinmica con que describe su propio caminar en la historia: el momento de apogeo del reinado de David hizo pensar a Israel en otro momento histrico-ideal cuando se inici la historia del hombre; miraron entonces a los primeros das de la creacin del mundo y del hombre cuando el Creador vio que todo cuanto haba hecho era muy bueno!! (Gn. 1,31). El autor sagrado concibi en este contexto ideal de la aurora de la creacin la intervencin de Yav para hacer al varn y a la mujer a su imagen y semejanza; por tanto, a imagen de una Comunidad de personas que vive su relacin interpersonal en

8 J. S. BOTERO G., Hacia una conciencia del nosotros conyugal, Moralia 14/2 (1992) 177-194; ID., Per una teologia della famiglia, Borla, Roma 1992, 156-189; ID., El maravilloso misterio del amor humano, San Pablo, Bogot 1996, 87-88; ID., Las uniones consensuales. Rechazo, tolerancia, nueva regularizacin, San Pablo, Bogot 1998, 166-183.

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forma maravillosa, de modo insuperable, inigualable. El relato yavista de la creacin del primer hombre y de la primera mujer (Gn. 2,18-24) nos describe con imgenes antropomrficas la actuacin reveladora del Creador: el primer hombre pasando revista a los seres creados para darles un nombre que los distinguiera unos de otros, no encontr entre ellos uno que se le asemejara y que fuera ayuda y socorro (Gn. 2,20). Esta nostalgia que Adn manifiesta del OTRO (con mayscula), cuya imagen y semejanza es, nos hace pensar en la conciencia de relacin que tiene y que lo capacita para el dilogo de t a t con el mismo Creador. Yav viene enseguida al encuentro del sentimiento de nostalgia del primer hombre: no es bueno que el hombre est solo. Le har un ser semejante a l para que lo ayude (Gn. 2,18)9. La tradicin occidental desde el tiempo del Obispo de Hipona interpret el trmino ayuda en clave de inferioridad y de desigualdad de la mujer frente al varn. En que puede ayudar la mujer al varn si no es en el plano de la procreacin?, se preguntaba Agustn. Por este motivo se habla de matrimonio, por cuanto no otra es la razn de que la mujer se case si no es para ser madre10. Modernamente aparece otro tipo de interpretacin que a juicio de los exegetas se ajusta mejor al sentido genuino de los trminos hebreos, pues la explicacin de Agustn a juzgar por los vocablos que emplea, se inspiraba en una interpretacin funcional, de tipo social11. La interpretacin ms moderna se inspira en el anlisis de la expresin hebrea Ezer kenegdo12 (ayuda

9 Cfr. W. VOGELS, It is not good the Mensch should be alone; I will make Him / Her a Helper fit for Him / Her. Gen. 2,18, glise et thologie 9 (1978) 9-35. 10 SAN AGUSTIN, Contra Faustum 19,26, PL. 42, 385. Cfr. P. TERMES, La formacin de Eva en los Padres latinos hasta s. Agustn inclusive, Estudios Eclesisticos 34 (1960) 421-459. 11 G. DEL ESTAL, S. Agustn y su concubina de juventud, S. Lorenzo del Escorial 1996, 108-112. El autor distingue los diversos vocablos empleados para aludir a la pareja humana: connubium segn el derecho, coniugium en que prevalece la naturaleza, nuptiae, mujer que ha recibido el velo, matrimonium con clara referencia a la sociedad, matris munus. 12 J. L. SKA, Je vais lui faire un alli qui soit son homologue. Gen. 2,18.

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semejante a l); a partir de este anlisis desaparece todo asomo de inferioridad o desigualdad de la mujer en relacin al varn. Diramos que esta nueva orientacin de la interpretacin bblica a este respecto recupera en alguna forma la visin de los Padres del Oriente, de modo especial la de s. Juan Crisstomo13; precisamente este gran padre de la iglesia oriental empleaba la palabra griega (concordia) que consideraba como signo de la salud del matrimonio y como un indicio de la solidez del encuentro conyugal14. Incluso, comentando el texto paulino (I. Cor. 7,5) compara el consenso de los esposos a una sinfona ( )15. Los telogos del perodo de la Escolstica, cuando se proponan repensar la dimensin sacramental de la pareja humana, intuyeron un doble momento: un antes y un despus de la cada, lo que no deja de ser significativo para nuestro propsito. P. M. Abelln, aludiendo al fin del matrimonio antes de la cada escribe que los Fragmentos Campellenses del Liber Pancrisis nos presentan en Adn y Eva una profunda conciencia de su destino como progenitores...16. Hay que destacar que los autores de la poca escolstica dan un relieve notable al aspecto moral del matrimonio, desafortunadamente en forma un tanto negativa. No debemos olvidar que el Anglico tena una visin ms positiva cuando afirma que en la vida de la bienaventuran-

propos du terme ezer (aide), Biblica 65/2 (1984) 233-238; V. RAMEY MOLLENKOTT, Dieu au fminin. Images fminines de Dieu dans la Bible, Le Centurion, Pars 1990, 91-95; M. DE MERODE, Un aide qui lui corresponde. Lexgse de Gen. 2,18-24 dans les crits de LAncien Testament, du Judaisme et du Nouveau Testament, Rev. Thologique de Louvain 8 (1977) 329-352. 13 P. TERME, La formacin de Eva en los Padres Griegos hasta s. Juan Crisstomo inclusive, en Miscellanea bblica Ubach, Montiserrati, Barcelona 1953, 31-48. 14 Cfr. C. SCAGLIONI, Ideale coniugale e familiare in s. G. Crisostomo, en Etica sessuale e matrimonio nel cristianesimo delle origini a cura di R. Cantalamessa, Vita e pensiero, Milano 1976, 303-307. 15 Cfr. S. J. CRISOSTOMO, In Ep. I. ad Cor. Hom. 19,, 1.2. PG. 61,530-531. Cfr. C. SCAGLIONI, Ideale coniugale..., 305-306, nota 71. 16 P. M. ABELLAN, El fin y la significacin sacramental del matrimonio desde s. Anselmo hasta Guillermo de Auxerre, Colegio de la Compaa de Jess, Granada 1939, 148-153. Ver 148.

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za la felicidad repercutir sobre la parte inferior, mientras que en la vida presente sucede al contrario, que la complementacin se opera desde la parte inferior a la superior17. T. Rincn haciendo el anlisis de los telogos que se ocuparon de la teologa del matrimonio entre los siglos IX al XIII destaca la forma como en este perodo se subraya notablemente el argumento del una caro (una sola carne). Una de sus afirmaciones dice: No creemos que este hacerse una carne con el varn se refiera a la cpula carnal sino ms bien al origen carnal comn; de aqu que quien ama a su mujer se ama a s mismo porque su mujer es carne de su carne. Es, pues, el amor el que los vincula, pero un amor basado en la identidad carnal originaria18. Esta identidad carnal originaria nos dar pi para afirmar ms adelante con otros autores que siendo la pareja humana como un nuevo modo de ser, se comprenda que deba haber entre los cnyuges tambin una sintona en el pensar y en el actuar. El Doctor anglico se preguntaba si el hombre deba amar ms a la esposa que a sus padres, a lo que responda: bajo el aspecto de unin ha de ser ms amada la esposa que se une al esposo, formando una sola carne (...) La esposa es, pues, ms intensamente amada, pero a los padres se les debe un respeto mayor19. Podramos afirmar que en la historia de la teologa del matrimonio estos dos momentos (antes y despus) han infludo en forma diversa: quines han subrayado las consecuencias de la cada, quines no pierden de vista el momento inicial en que la pareja humana sale de las manos de Dios. El empleo del trminio ezer en el contexto de la creacin de la mujer es particularmente significativo: tiene una especial connotacin de tipo personalista por cuanto revela que se trata de una ayuda que va de persona a persona; es una ayuda que viene directamente de Dios para casos-lmite, y que comporta una dimensin salvfica. El OTRO (con mayscula) que es Yav mismo se revela en el otro (con minscula) que es Eva para

Cfr. STO. TOMAS DE AQUINO, S. Th. I-II, q. 3, a. 3, ad 3. T. RINCON, El matrimonio, misterio y signo. Siglos IX al XIII, Eunsa, Pamplona 1971, 45. 19 STO TOMAS DE AQUINO, S. Th. II-II, q. 26, a. 11.
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Adn, que es Adn para Eva. Eva pues, es creada como ayuda, pero no ya en funcin de la procreacin, sino y fundamentalmente para ser sacramento, para ser signo de la presencia del OTRO junto al otro. As se explica porqu el primer hombre, cuando Yav le presenta a Adn, como si fuera un padrino de boda, la mujer que haba tomado de l, escribe G. Von Rad20, este con una gran expresin de jbilo exclama esta s que es hueso de mis huesos y carne de mi carne (Gn. 2,23). Adn reconoce as que la mujer es revelacin de su ser ms ntimo; descubre la plena relacin con ella, y puede afirmar que la nostalgia del OTRO est colmada en buena medida en el encuentro con el ezer kenegdo que Yav le regala. Por esta razn, contina el relato yavista, el hombre dejar a su padre y a su madre, se unir a su mujer y los dos se harn una sola carne (Gn. 2,24). Tambin aqu la exgesis moderna abunda en detalles que revelan la profundidad de este relato. En primer lugar, el texto sagrado ha empleado un vocablo que se nos antoja afirmar como intencionalmente planeado. Se trata del verbo unirse, adherirse que ms all de una significacin de tipo material (adhesin de cosas entre s), o de unin interpersonal (unirse a alguien), tiene una connotacin teolgica: el verbo hebreo dbq (adherirse) lo us el autor sagrado en momentos-clave para expresar la forma como el israelita se adhera a Yav21. En el caso presente, Adn, unindose a su mujer, est realizando su adhesin al Creador, est colmando plenamente su nostalgia del OTRO a travs del otro. En segundo lugar, para los exegetas la expresin una sola carne tiene el sentido de relacin interpersonal, de acuerdo intersubjetivo entre varn y mujer, es una comunin. La expresin hueso de mis huesos, y carne de mi carne22 revela la

G. VON RAD, El libro del Gnesis, Sgueme, Salamanca 1977, 101. Cfr. L. ALONSO SCHKEL, Dabaq (en hebreo) en Diccionario bblicoespa 101.Trotta, Madrid 1994, 167. 22 Los vocablos hueso y carne, como tambin isch (varn) e issah (mujer) aluden a lo fuerte, lo dbil, respectivamente segn A. Mattioli en su obra Le realt sessuali nella bibbia. Storia e dottrina, Casale Monferrato
20 21

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misma unin profunda que se da en el ser humano entre el hueso y la carne. Es la unidad conyugal que realiza una adhesin posterior y superior a la que anteriormente ligaba el hombre a sus padres23. En tercer lugar, un elemento que normalmente no aparece subrayado lo bastante, y que comporta una dimensin antropolgica singular, es el verbo (en futuro= esontai) se harn una sola carne (Mat. 19,5 y Ef. 5,31). El uso del verbo en futuro - se harn - nos hace pensar en el proceso de crecimiento progresivo que realiza una pareja en su objetivo de llegar a ser una sola carne. Vaticano II pensara en este matiz cuando afirma que los esposos cristianos (...) estn fortificados y como consagrados por un sacramento especial, con cuya virtud (...) imbuidos del espritu de Cristo que satura toda su vida de fe (...) llegan cada vez ms a su propia perfeccin y a su mutua santificacin... (GS. n. 48). Ms adelante aade: Un tal amor, asociando a la vez lo humano y lo divino, lleva a los esposos a un don libre y mutuo de s mismos (...) que por su misma generosa actividad crece y se perfecciona (GS. n. 49). Juan Pablo II ms recientemente ha retomado esta idea: en virtud del pacto de amor conyugal, el hombre y la mujer no son ya dos, sino una sola carne y estn llamados a crecer continuamente en su comunin a travs de la fidelidad cotidiana... (FC. n. 19). Y aade todava: el don del Espritu Sto. es mandamiento de vida para los esposos cristianos y al mismo tiempo impulso estimulante, a fin de que cada da progresen hacia una unin cada vez ms rica entre ellos, a todos los niveles, del cuerpo, del carcter, del corazn, de la inteligencia y voluntad, del alma. Estos tres elementos (unirse, hacerse (en futuro), una sola carne) nos llevan a entrever la existencia de una conciencia

1987, 55-56; Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Eucarista y matrimonio. Fundamento de una relacin, Studia Moralia 35 (1997) 390, Nota 54. 23 Cfr. M. GILBERT, Une seule chair. Gen. 2,24, NRTh. 100 (1978) 66-89; M. J. BERERE, Deux en une seule chair, Lumire et vie 194 (1989) 71-82; E. S. GERSTENBERGER - W. SCHRAGE, Il rapporto tra i sessi nella Bibbia, Paoline, Torino 1984, 187-223; P. COLELLA, La costola di Adamo: Gen. 2,18-24, Apollinaris 87 (1994) 847-875.

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conyugal, conciencia de un nosotros conyugal ya en la primera pareja del paraso. No podemos exigir que el autor del libro sagrado emplee el vocablo conciencia que es de data tarda. Solo aparecer con la cultura griega y ser introducido por Pablo en el Nuevo Testamento. Tambin desde la experiencia negativa que nos revela la presencia del pecado ya en el paraso terrenal, podemos detectar que s hubo una conciencia de unidad, de armona, de comunin entre varn-mujer que existi al comienzo, pero que pronto se derrumb cuando vino la rivalidad a destruirla. No podramos entender la discordia que surge entre los primeros padres si no es como ruptura del dilogo, de la paz, de la sintona profunda que exista entre los dos al principio. M. Oraison describe en forma grfica la primera ruptura en la historia del hombre: El hombre se dirige a Yav. Y no responde diciendo nosotros (mi mujer y yo...). Habla de la mujer como si esta no se hallara all; o ms exactamente, la rechaza, no se solidariza con ella. Es la mujer que me has dado. Existe incluso como un matiz de reproche implcito, podramos decir... Parece ser que el hombre piensa: Yo estaba tan tranquilo solo; porqu me has dado esta compaera causante de catstrofes y que me ha hecho perder la cabeza?. Olvida de golpe no solo su soledad anterior, cuando nadie poda comprenderle, sino tambin su deslumbramiento de amor en el momento del encuentro. Algo se ha roto en la unidad de la pareja porque ya antes se haba roto la unin con Dios. Apenas se afirma el xito de pareja de una manera perfecta cuando ya se introduce su cada al dar el primer paso al frente. El hombre habla de la mujer en tercera persona y dndole la espalda... Ya no son solidarios en la alegra y el entusiasmo; aunque esta reflexin puede parecer paradjica, en adelante sern solidarios en la disputa. Incluso separados por el odio, el hombre y la mujer que se han amado permanecen unidos por el mismo fracaso de su amor, por la cuestin imborrable de dicho fracaso y la nostalgia de no haber triunfado24. Igualmente, cuando Israel experimenta la desgracia del pecado porque David ha despreciado a Yav haciendo lo que a

24

M. ORAISON, Armona de la pareja humana, Studium, Madrid 1967, 39.

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El no le agrada (II Sam. 12,9), el pueblo vuelve a pensar en un primer pecado que explica la presencia del mal en el mundo. Y esta vez encuentra tambin que el pecado se verifica en el contexto de una relacin interpersonal: el primer hombre y la primera mujer se inculpan uno a otro, y ambos al romper la armona que los una, rompen tambin su relacin con Yav. Con razn Vaticano II (GS. n. 13) y posteriormente el documento de Puebla (n. 326-327) hayan definido el pecado como una ruptura. Si observamos con atencin el libro del profeta Oseas encontraremos all el reverso de la medalla que habamos contemplado en Gnesis (2,18-24) o en el Cantar. Ahora escuchamos una serie de reproches (2,4; 2,10-11) que hace el profeta a su esposa infiel para expresar la ruptura de aquella alianza de Yav con su pueblo, cuya primera iniciativa ya se haba dado en el paraiso. Von Rad, comentando el captulo III del Gnesis, alude a una seal de la prdida de una unidad interna25. X. Thevenot detecta tambin el cambio de escenario que se opera entre los captulos II y III del Gnesis: mientras en el captulo II hay que subrayar esta comunin del hombre y de la mujer, en el captulo III el relato de la transgresin va a hacer sentir cmo el pecado del hombre lleva a cabo una profunda desestructuracin de este equilibrio vital...26 que llama des-creacin. Las ideas expuestas hasta aqu nos llevan a concebir el primer pecado como la ruptura de la relacin primigenia del hombre con su Dios que lo haba creado a su imagen y semejanza. Rota esta relacin, por el mismo hecho se rompe igualmente la relacin con el aliado que Yav le haba dado, Eva, creada tambin a imagen y semejanza de Dios. Thevenot escribe que el pecado es un acto que realiza siempre un cortocircuito en la utilizacin de las mediaciones humanas27. El pecado, aade Thevenot, es un atentado contra el proyecto de Dios, es muerte que afecta a las relaciones humanas. J. Guichard hace un anlisis sugestivo del captulo III del

25 26

G. VON RAD, El libro del Gnesis... , 103. X. THEVENOT, El pecado hoy, Verbo Divino, Estella (Navarra) 1989, 44X. THEVENOT, El pecado hoy... , 54.

45.
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Gnesis28. A partir del episodio-clave, cuando el pueblo pide a Samuel danos un rey para que nos gobierne como hacen los reyes en todos los pases (I. Sam. 8,4-21), se genera la ruptura: No te rechazan a t sino a M para que no reine sobre ellos, dice Yav a Samuel. Israel recibir un rey en la persona de Saul. Con el establecimiento de la monarqua se crearn clases dominantes, y a partir de entonces se exfumar el tipo de relacin que Yav mantena con su pueblo. Este nuevo modelo de relaciones dentro del pueblo tendr una imagen: la del dominio-sometimiento: necesitars de tu marido y l te dominar (Gn. 3,16). W. Vogels se pregunta: esta situacin es una prescripcin, o una mera descripcin?29. Este dominio-sometimiento se ha explicitado a lo largo de la historia a travs de una serie de estereotipos que describen al varn, a la mujer, pero en plan de diferencia-desigualdad30. El examen panormico de la historia de Israel nos ha ayudado a configurarla en tres momentos que representan tres etapas de la historia de la salvacin: la creacin como momento idlico de la iniciativa divina al pensar en el hombre (varn-mujer) creados a su imagen y semejanza y colocarlos en un jardn, smbolo de una situacin de armona, de paz, de dilogo. Un segundo momento lo constituye la prdida y destruccin de esta unidad y sintona originales que pone al varn contra la mujer, a la creacin misma contra el hombre. Y finalmente, una tercera etapa en que Israel aparece aorando un nuevo paraso que describe el profeta Isaas como una nueva tierra y un nuevo cielo (65,17) y que el Apocalipsis (21,1) indicar como deseo cumplido.

28 J. GUICHARD, Approche materialiste du rcit de la chute Gense 3, Lumire et vie 26/131 (1977) 57-90. 29 Cfr. W. VOGELS, The Power Struggle between Man and Woman. Gen. 3,16b Biblica 77 (1996) 197-209. Ver 198. 30 Cfr. P. VON GEMNDEN, La femme passionelle et lhomme rationnel?. Un chapitre de psychologie historique, Biblica 78/4 (1997) 457-480; J. S. BOTERO G., Dinmicas grupales de reflexin, San Pablo, Bogot 1997, 112-119; R. MUCHIELLI, Psicologia della vita coniugale. Problemi e indicazioni terapeutiche, Citt Nuova, Roma 1993, 21-41.

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2. HACIA LA RECUPERACIN DE LA UNIDAD PERDIDA Hacia una recuperacin de la conciencia de pareja como expresin de la unidad perdida es el movimiento que percibimos en el medio ambiente, como algo que emerge del fondo de un mundo convulso y contradictorio. Hay un signo muy sutil tal vez, pero decisivo: la introduccin de nuevas causales de nulidad del matrimonio en los tribunales eclesisticos nos hacen pensar en el hecho de que la justicia cannica est descubriendo nuevos factores que perturban la unidad de pareja, y que pueden revelar una predisposicin negativa de base que impide o hace muy difcil crear una conciencia del nosotros conyugal. En el mundo de lengua espaola encontramos algunos autores particularmente significativos en esta direccin: J. J. Garca Falde, L. Gutirrez M., J. L. Ysern De Arce, F. Amigo Revuelto31 quienes desde la psicologa y desde la psiquiatra estn dando valiosos aportes al avance de la jurisprudencia. Dentro de la literatura inglesa nos permitimos citar a W. J. La Due quien sugiere un elenco de 15 elementos que considera como esenciales (the esential elements of the ius ad communionem vitae)32. Dentro del mundo francs podemos sealar las publicaciones de J. Bernhard sobre la llamada consumacin existencial del

Cfr. J. J. GARCA FAILDE, La nulidad matrimonial hoy. Doctrina y jurisprudencia, Bosch, Barcelona 1994, 353-370; ID., Manual de psiquiatra forense cannica, Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1987, 33-36; L. GUTIERREZ M., La incapacidad para contraer matrimonio. Comentarios al Canon 1095 del CIC. para uso de profesionales del foro, Univ. Pontificia de Salamanca, Salamanca 1987; J. L. YSERN DE ARCE, Anomalas psquicas ms frecuentes en las causas de nulidad matrimonial. Tribunal del Arzobispado de Madrid (Aos 1990-91-92), Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1995; R. AMIGO REVUELTO, Los captulos de nulidad matrimonial en el ordenamiento cannico vigente, Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1987. 32 W. LA DUE, Conjugal Love an the juridical Structure of the christian Marriage, The Jurist 34 (1974) 36-66. Ver 51-52; Cfr. A. MENDONA (Compiled), Rotal Anthology: An anotated Index of Rotal Decisions from 19711983, Canon Law Society of America, Washington 1992; B. FRANCK, Quelques points de jurisprudence rcent des Offficialits Britanniques et Allemandes, RDC. 32/1 (1982) 186-213. Ver 203-206: Catalogue des symptmes de maturit et dimmaturit au mariage.
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matrimonio en las que da relieve particular al proceso de crecimiento de la integracin de la pareja humana33. A juicio nuestro, uno de los argumentos ms importantes, si no el ms, es la madurez (inmadurez) afectiva. Subrayamos su importancia y trascendencia por estas razones: en primer lugar, el relieve que los juristas estn dando a este elemento de la afectividad es muy notable. Bastara aludir a la literatura, muy abundante por cierto, que trata sobre la dimensin jurdica del amor conyugal34. En segundo lugar, el nfasis con que se destaca la afectividad (el amor) como elemento clave en la relacin interpersonal y en especial cuando se trata de la relacin conyugal de varn-mujer. La inmadurez afectiva es un factor que al presente muchos juristas recogen en sus estudios como causal que puede decidir la nulidad de una alianza conyugal35. Estas dos razones nos llevan a enfatizar la trascendencia del afecto, del amor humano como energa que est a la raiz de la formacin del una caro, del hacerse una sola carne. Formar pareja humana, celebrar matrimonio no es solo un acto de la inteligencia que comprende y de la voluntad que quiere, decide y se compromete; adems, y porqu no decirlo, es tambin y fundamentalmente obra de la afectividad; es la afectividad la que da la tonalidad y el colorido a la inteligencia y a la voluntad

Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Etica coniugale. Per un rinnovamento della morale matrimoniale, San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano) 1994, 112, nota 130; P. A. BONNET, De inconsummatione prouti divortii causa in jure canonico et in jure italico, Periodica 79 (1990) 119-162. Ver 140, nota 75. 34 Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Etica coniugale...., 74, nota 118; ID., La dimensin jurdica del amor conyugal. Un debate entre la actual situacin de jure condito y una propuesta de jure condendo, Laurentianum 38/3 (1997) 423444; J. M. MARTI SANCHEZ, La incapacidad para el amor conyugal y sus repercusiones jurdicas, en Curso de derecho matrimonial y procesal cannico para profesionales del foro, X, (Dir. F. Aznar Gil), Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1992, 299-312. 35 Cfr. S. PANIZO O., La inmadurez de la persona como causa de nulidad matrimonial en Curso de derecho matrimonial y procesal cannico para profesionales del foro, VIII (Dir. F. Aznar Gil), Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1989, 9-66. Ver pp. 45-61; L. GUTIRREZ M., La incapacidad para contraer matrimonio..., 50-66; J. J. GARCA FALDE, Manual de psiquiatra forense cannica..., 33-37; ID., La nulidad matrimonial hoy..., 353-370.
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para que expresen agrado o desagrado, aceptacin o rechazo. Sin la afectividad nos encontraramos en una situacin de indiferencia. El amor, escribe G. Zuanazzi, posee por su misma naturaleza una dimensin universal. El amor, de hecho, es un movimiento que lleva a salir de s, a auto-trascenderse, no para darse cualquier tipo de determinacin mundana, sino para darse a s mismo, para encontrarse con el otro36. Intentando fundamentar la reflexin sobre la conciencia del nosotros conyugal debemos sealar las races culturales y antropolgicas de esta realidad que comienza a tener un nombre propio en nuestro tiempo, pero que ya exista en los albores de la creacin del hombre (varn-mujer) como nostalgia del hacerse una sola carne. Antes de que la cultura del uno37 se impusiera en occidente los pueblos antiguos conocieron la mentalidad de la dualidad38 que explicaba la creacin en clave de una bilateralidad de elementos, entendida no en clave de dominio/sometimiento como la hemos comprendido hasta hace poco tiempo, sino en estrecha relacin y consonancia, que buscaba la comunin o integracin ms plena. R. Pizzorni alude a la concepcin que tena Empdocles del devenir del mundo como un proceso a realizarse por etapas: en una primera dominaba el amor, en la segunda y tercera se daba la lucha y la prevalencia del odio, mientras que en la etapa final volva a triunfar el amor como unidad y armona39. En la misma direccin se presenta el clebre mito del Andrgino40, cuyo retorno al mundo literario y psicolgico no es

36 G. ZUANAZZI, La sessualit umana: essere-con laltro nellamore, La coppia giovane 1 (1996) 7. La traduccin es ma. 37 Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Etica coniugale..., 21-32. Se trata de una cultura del uno en el sentido de dominio/sometimiento. 38 El autor que ha desarrollado el vocablo dualisme en la Encyclopedia Universalis V, Pars 1980, 825-828, alude a diversos tipos de dualismo: cosmolgico, metafsico, antropolgico, epistemolgico, tico... La historia de la humanidad ha entendido que se oper un triple movimiento: de unidad e integracin en un principio, de oposicin y lucha posteriormente, y hoy estamos buscando la armona de los opuestos y contrarios. 39 Cfr. R. PIZZORNI, Giustizia e carit, ESD. Bologna 1995, 19. 40 Cfr. M. ELIADE, Il mito della reintegrazione, Jaca Book, Milano 1989; B.

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arbitario, al contrario muy explicable, por cuanto responde a esta nostalgia de recuperar la unidad perdida. Las culturas antiguas del extremo oriente nos dan testimonio de la dualidad sexual de los dioses que, al intervenir en la creacin del mundo, lo impregan todo con su condicin relacional-sexual41. Zuanazzi comenta que la figura del varn y de la mujer era empleada para personificar las potencias celestes o terrenas, que en todos los mitos aparecen como masculinas y femeninas. La penetracin de la tierra por parte del cielo fue considerada como una unin sexual de la cual proceden todos los seres; era una especie de hierogama csmica42. Basten estas pocas insinuaciones de tipo cultural que podramos desarrollar con amplitud. Nos interesa desarrollar con mayor extensin la fundamentacin antropolgica. Concebir al hombre (varn-mujer) como una relacin deja ya de ser novedad para convertirse en un dato universalmente aceptado. El cambio de concepcin lo podemos condensar en unos binomios43 que representan lo que fue una cultura del pasado, eminentemente androcntrica, y lo que se vislumbra que deber ser la cultura del nosotros hoy y en el futuro: Cultura androcentrica: sexualidad-genitalidad = paternidad; paternidad = autoridad; autoridad = comunidad. Cultura del nosotros. amor = relacin; relacin = encuentro; encuentro = comunidad.

SILL, Androgynie und Geschlechterdifferenz nach von Baader. Eine Anthropologische-ethische Studie, Verlag-Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 1986; E. COSTA, Landroginia ieri e oggi, en Maschile e femminile. Dellidentit e del confondersi a cura di ARCI, Bari 1984. 41 Cfr. G. PARRINDER, Le sexe dans les religions du monde, Centurion, Pars 1986; B. GUPTA edited by, Sexual Archetypes. East and West, Paragon House, New York 1987; P. DACQUINO, Storia del matrimonio cristiano alla luce della Bibbia, LDC. Leumann (Torino) 1984, 569-571; P. GRELOT, La pareja humana en la S. Escritura, Euramrica, Madrid 1963. 42 G, ZUANAZZI, La sessualit umana..., 5. 43 J. S. BOTERO G., Comunin y participacin: presupuestos para una nueva imagen de familia, Studia Moralia 27/1 (1989) 163 y 171.

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En un contexto androcentrico la sexualidad fue identificada en buena parte con la genitalidad, y sobre esta base se quiso fundar la paternidad (masculina) y la tradicional autoridad de la sociedad patriarcal que en una estructura de dominio/sujecin redujo a la mujer al papel de la procreadora simplemente. En un nuevo contexto en que el amor irrumpe dentro de la cultura presente, se abre un nuevo espacio en que es el amor el que funda toda la gama de relaciones humanas; sobretodo la relacin varn-mujer; a partir del amor interpersonal se ilumina mejor el porqu de la relacin intersubjetiva, el porqu del encuentro y de la comunin de personas. Esta comunin interpersonal es la que da pi para que hablemos de conciencia del nosotros conyugal. Disertar sobre la conciencia de pareja comporta pues, explicitar lo que significa el amor conyugal como relacin interpersonal que lleva al encuentro de un Yo-T para crear la comunidad de amor y de vida o conciencia del nosotros conyugal, de que nos habla el Concilio (GS. n. 48). Son estos precisamente los tres pasos (relacin, encuentro, comunin) que nos ayudarn a concretar la descripcin de lo que es la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. El mito del andrgino, el relato yavista de la creacin del varn y de la mujer, a que nos hemos referido anteriormente, nos ofrecen elementos para comprender el porqu de estos tres pasos en orden a la construccin de la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. El ser humano, que siglos atrs fue comprendido solo en funcin de sus facultades intelectivas y volitivas, hoy es concebido fundamentalmente desde su afectividad. Es un signo de los tiempos. Antes se defina al ser humano desde el cogito, ergo sum; hoy en cambio lo concebimos desde el amo, ergo sum. Se trata de un tipo de relacin especfica, la relacin varnmujer; se trata de una relacin que se proyecta hacia el encuentro hetero-sexual profundo; se trata de una relacin que llegar a concretarse en ser una sola carne. De ah que debamos diferenciarla de la simple simpata, de la amistad, o de otros tipos de compromiso interpersonal. Coll explica en alguna forma este tipo de relacin, de encuentro, de comunin que es la pareja humana: En la relacin interpersonal conocemos en la medida en que amamos, pues no es un encuentro a nivel de las facultades, sino que se

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trata de una relacin de ser a ser, es decir, de un encuentro que solo puede realizarse en aquel nivel en que conocer al otro significa tambin reconocerlo, abrirse a l, tomar posicin frente a l; y en que amar al otro no es un acto secundario, no es un apetecer el bien previamente conocido por el entendimiento, sino que es el aspecto volitivo de la misma apertura originaria de nuestro ser al ser del otro. Esta apertura y toma de posicin exigen un compromiso personal, pues ponen en juego toda nuestra existencia44. La dimensin de relacin aparece en la estructura ms profunda de la persona humana como capacidad de reconocer al otro, no como un objeto a instrumentalizar, como una cosa a manipular, como algo a dominar, sino como un t personal frente al cual me descalzo cuando piso los umbrales del laberinto de su misterio personal (Ex. 3,2-7)45. Coll usa una frase muy grfica: el yo que toma en serio la alteridad y la personalidad del otro, debe dejarse destronar, debe renunciar a su papel de centro exclusivo del universo46. Zuanazzi escribe en este mismo sentido: el t nace de unas miradas que se encuentran, de un mutuo entendimiento; nace cuando yo no me coloco al centro del mundo, sino que en cambio me pongo en direccin hacia el otro, que a su vez, me abre su propio mundo47. Desde esta coyuntura se explica porqu en nuestro tiempo los juristas den relieve especial en las causas de nulidad matrimonial a las anomalas psquicas que impiden o dificultan gravemente una relacin interpersonal cuando una persona es incapaz de pensar en el otro, de preocuparse por l, de darse a l plenamente48.

44 J. M. COLL, Filosofa de la relacin interpersonal, I. PPU., Barcelona 1990, 31. 45 El autor sagrado del libro del Exodo relata la aparicin de Yav a Moiss en medio de la zarza ardiente y le ordena no acercarse porque el lugar que pisa es tierra sagrada. Muchos autores han parafraseado este texto para aludir al respeto que se merece el otro en el encuentro interpersonal. 46 J. M. COLL, Filosofa de la relacin interpersonal, I., 41. El subrayado es mo. 47 G. ZUANAZZI, La sessualit umana..., 7. 48 Cfr. J. J. GARCA FALDE, La nulidad matrimonial..., passim; J. L. YSERN DE ARCE, Anomalas psquicas..., passim; B. MONTOYA TRIVIO,

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Sto. Toms de Aquino, tratando sobre los efectos del amor, reconoce una doble forma de unin del amante con el amado y afirma que de las dos clases de amor que se dan, el amor de concupiscencia y el amor de amistad, tanto una como la otra proceden de una cierta aprehensin de unidad del objeto amado con el amante como perteneciente a su bienestar. El Anglico recoge all la sentencia de Aristfanes quien deca que los amantes desearan hacerse de los dos uno solo49. En el artculo siguiente de la misma cuestin (q. 28, a. 2) contina tratando de la mutua inhesin que produce el amor. El mismo Doctor Anglico conceba el matrimonio como una relacin, y no puede existir relacin en uno de los extremos sin que a la vez se produzca en el otro. (...) Aun cuando el acto del amante puede pasar a quien no ama, sin embargo no cabe unin entre ellos si no se aman mutuamente (mutua amatio); (...); para la amistad se precisa el amor recproco (redamatio)50. J. Goti Ordeana anota que el empleo del verbo redamare en la jurisprudencia eclesistica data de poco tiempo, si bien el vocablo como tal s es muy antiguo. La expresin affectio maritalis (equivalente en alguna forma al verbo redamare) y frecuente en el derecho romano, desapareci del lxico eclesistico por decisin de Alejandro III (s. XII) por razn de la necesidad de separar el consentimiento de la affectio maritalis, y as contribuir a que los jueces dispongan de pruebas fciles y evidentes en las causas que se les presentan...51. Blanca Castilla Cortzar encuentra la raiz de esta relacin en el relato creacional: Mediante el smbolo de la costilla extrada por Dios del costado de Adn dormido se est revelando que entre el varn y la mujer media una relacin en el origen de la que se derivan al menos dos consecuencias: en primer lugar se

Malformaciones de la personalidad y sus principales manifestaciones clnicas frente al compromiso matrimonial, en Curso de derecho matrimonial y procesal cannico para profesionales del foro, X, dir. Aznar Gil, Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1992, 63-120. ver 87-120. 49 STO. TOMAS DE AQUINO, S. Th. I-II, q. 28, a. 1. 50 STO. TOMS DE AQUINO, S. Th. Supplem., q. 47, a. 4. 51 Cfr. J. GOTI ORDEANA, Amor y matrimonio en las causas de nulidad por miedo en la jurisprudencia de la Rota Romana, Univ. de Oviedo, Oviedo (Espaa) 1978, 39.

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trata de una relacin recproca (no hay mujer sin varn, pero tampoco hay varn sin mujer); en segundo lugar, de ah se deduce que los dos trminos de dicha relacin han de ser simultneos52. Cuando afirmamos que la relacin varn-mujer (relacin hetero-sexual autntica y plena) conduce al encuentro interpersonal, queremos poner de presente que dicha relacin, para que sea relacin conyugal, debe ser eminentemente una relacin recproca. El amor de padres a hijos o viceversa, o entre hermanos, incluso el amor entre amigos, no siempre goza de esta nota de la reciprocidad, y no por esto deja de ser considerado como un rostro del amor humano53. En cambio,la relacin conyugal comporta la reciprocidad como algo esencial. Las culturas antiguas tuvieron conciencia de esta relacin con estricta necesidad de reciprocidad que designaron como dualidad y para explicar el sentido correcto empleaban la imagen de chapa (cerradura) y llave, o de las dos hojas de unas tijeras. Modernamente los autores tornan a usar este vocablo con igual sentido. Juan Pablo II habl de uni-dual (interpersonal) en alguna ocasin. Incluso jueces rotales como J. M. Serrano sealan el charactre duale del matrimonio54, o como H. Pree que habla del mismo como de una ralit relationnelle55. Sto. Toms de Aquino pensando sobre esta reciprocidad que conlleva el amor humano se preguntaba si el amor es una pasin que afecta profundamente (laesiva amantis), y responda sealando los cuatro efectos prximos del amor. Dos de ellos los presenta con una imagen sugestiva muy a propsito para iluminar nuestra idea de encuentro: es propio del amor que el apetito se adecue para recibir el bien que ama, por cuan-

B. CASTILLA CORTZAR, Antropologa de la masculinidad-femineidad, en Veinte claves para la nueva era, coord. J: M. Ortiz, Rialp, Madrid 1992, 229. 53 El documento de Puebla (n. 583) menciona cuatro rostros del amor humano: paterno, filial, fraterno, y conyugal. Nosotros preferimos enunciarlos en otro orden: conyugal, paterno-materno, filial y fraternal. 54 Cfr. G. CANDELIER, Les apports originaux de Mgr. J. M. Serrano R. dans la jurisprudence rotale, Studia Canonica 30 (1996) 437-486. Ver 468 y ss. 55 Cfr. H. PREE, Le mariage en tant que realit relationnelle. Remarques sur les dimensions individuelle et sociale du Droit Matrimonial Canonique, RDC. 35/1 (1985) 62-85.
52

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to lo amado est en el amante... (...). De aqu que la congelacin o dureza de corazn sea una disposicin incompatible con el amor. La licuefaccin, por el contrario, implica un cierto ablandamiento del corazn, que le hace hbil para que en l penetre el objeto amado56. G. Pastor Ramos emplea un trmino griego ( =homogama) para designar el encuentro que se va operando entre los novios; dicha homogama la define como la teora que se inspira en la concepcin factorialista de la personalidad humana que afirma que el atractivo entre un hombre y una mujer aumenta proporcionalmente segn el mayor nmero de coincidencias actitudinales que exista entre ambos. (...) La psicologa social predice mayor compatibilidad marital, cohesin grupal, duracin del matrimonio y atractivo interpersonal a largo alcance, entre quienes comparten un mayor nmero de actitudes semejantes y coinciden en numerosos indicadores sociolgicos57. Los dos elementos considerados (relacin y encuentro) poseen una dinmica interna, de tal forma que el uno conduce al otro y ambos desembocan en la creacin del nosotros conyugal o comunidad de amor y de vida. Es una dinmica que la prodramos retraducir con otros trminos para hacer ver en forma ms patente esta lgica del ser relacional de la persona humana. Cuando nos referimos a la dialogicidad del ser humano empleamos imgenes diversas tomadas del actuar humano; son trminos que se nos presentan con una estructura tridica: amante-amado llamada-respuesta donacin-acogida emisor-receptor yo masculino-t femenino > > > > > amor. dilogo. comunin. sintona. nosotros conyugal.

Los dos primeros vocablos encuentran una condensacin y sntesis co-creadora en el tercer trmino, en tal forma que repre-

STO. TOMS DE AQUINO, S. Th. I-II, q. 28, a. 5. G. PASTOR RAMOS, Sociologa dela familia. Enfoque institucional y grupal, Sgueme, Salamanca 1988, 212.
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sentan lo que es la relacin varn-mujer y lo que resulta de la relacin y del encuentro interpersonal: el amor en singular (no dos amores), el dilogo como recproca y autntica comunicacin, la sintona o sinfona, expresin de afinidad profunda, el hacerse una sola carne en un nosotros conyugal. La conciencia del nosotros conyugal es pues expresin de un amor indivisible; es dilogo continuado y nunca acabado; es comunin fundamentada en el ser, ms que en el tener o en el hacer; es sintona profunda que percibe la vida de uno en la vida del otro. Este juego de vocablos pensados en perspectiva dinmica nos estn indicando un hecho que corrige la historia: no es el vinculum juris el que crea el vinculum amoris, sino a la inversa. X. Lacroix en su obra Il corpo di carne dedica el captulo III al tema Dalla relazione al legame (desde la relacin al vnculo)58; porque la nostalgia de hacerse uno con el otro lleva al plano de la intersubjetividad que explica el porqu de la integracin que funda, a su vez, las notas de duracin o estabilidad, de fecundidad y de pertenencia a un organismo ms amplio an. Gustave Leclerc refirindose al matrimonio lo considera como un nuevo modo de ser59. Leclerc alude a un nuevo modo de ser en la iglesia tratndose del matrimonio como sacramento; pero creemos que se puede afirmar lo mismo del matrimonio como realidad antropolgica. Cuando B. Hring hace alusin a la conciencia conyugal se refiere a ella como al estado conyugal en el cual quien se casa queda plasmado y determinado por dicho estado en todos y cada uno de los rganos de su vida personal, de tal modo que su estructuracin personal en adelante es diversa de la de un clibe60. Despus de haber intentado descubrir las races culturales y antropolgicas de lo que hemos venido llamando conciencia del nosotros conyugal, ahora nos proponemos elaborar, ms

X. LACROIX, Il corpo di carne. La dimensione etica estetica e spirituale dellamore, EDB. Bologna 1997, 129-146. 59 Cfr. G. LECLERC, Il matrimonio sacramento come realt costitutiva di un nuovo modo di essere nella chiesa, en Realt e valori del sacramento del matrimonio a cura di A. M. Triacca e G. Pianazzi, LAS, Roma 1976, 65-79. 60 A. SUSTAR - B. HRING, Leducazione della coscienza oggi..., 57-58. La traduccin es ma.
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que una definicin una descripcin de lo que es la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. Y comenzaremos por hacer alusin a las insinuaciones que ya Vaticano II nos ofrece al respecto. El Concilio no ha empleado la expresin en cuestin, pero s que creemos que es explcito en darnos unas pistas. Queremos destacar cuatro sentencias de la Gaudium et Spes:
- el marido y la mujer, que por el pacto conyugal ya no son dos, sino una sola carne, con la unin ntima de sus personas y actividades se ayudan y se sostienen mutuamente, adquieren conciencia de su unidad y la logran cada vez ms plenamente (n. 48 a). - los cnyuges (...) se esforzarn ambos, de comn acuerdo y comn esfuerzo, por formarse un juicio recto... (n. 50 b). - entre los cnyuges (...) son dignos de mencin muy especial los que de comn acuerdo, bien ponderado, aceptan con magnanimidad...(n. 50 b). - para que (la familia) pueda lograr la plenitud de su vida y misin se requieren un clima de benvola comunicacin y unin de propsitos entre los cnyuges... (n. 52 a).

El pensamiento del Concilio a este respecto podra sintetizarse diciendo que la conciencia del nosotros conyugal es fruto de una unin ntima y profunda, que vive la dinmica de un crecimiento contnuo, para llegar a pronunciarse con un nico juicio tico, lo que exige comunicacin y unin de proyectos y de propsitos. Podemos afirmar que las sentencias del Concilio son, por lo que respecta a la conciencia del nosotros conyugal, un punto de llegada y un punto de arranque. Son un punto de llegada por cuanto aqu confluyen los esfuerzos de un siglo de reflexin. Son tambin un punto de arranque o de proyeccin porque all nace la inspiracin de muchos telogos de condensar una historia (de bienes, de fines, de propiedades del matrimonio) en una nica formula, el bonum coniugum61 (el bien de los cnyuges)

61 Cfr. J. J. GARCA FAILDE, El bien de los cnyuges, en Curso de derecho matrimonial y procesal cannico para profesionales del foro, XI, dir. F. Aznar Gil, Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1986, 139-162; M. LOPEZ ARANDA, Fundamentos de la incapacidad psicolgica relativa como causa de nulidad

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que el concilio sugiere como una nueva perspectiva (GS. n. 48). Desde el siglo pasado A. Rosmini (1797-1855) abri una brecha dentro de la filosofa personalista con su intuicin sobre la conyugalidad62. A. Autiero analizando el pensamiento rosminiano sobre el matrimonio afirma que la unin conyugal es una unin personal, es decir, llevada a cabo entre personas y con lo ms especfico de la persona humana que es la nostalgia de alcanzar la unin plena e ilimitada, construida a partir de la eleccin y decisin mediante las cuales se expresa toda la persona humana. De esta plena unidad hace derivar cuatro consecuencias que son: la indisolubilidad del matrimonio, la unicidad de los cnyuges, la comunin de vida y la comunin de bienes63. Al aporte de Rosmini se han sumado en el presente siglo otros autores, muy en especial M. Nedoncelle y H. Doms64; el primero nos aporta la reflexin sobre el nous personnel ou de lamour65; el segundo condensa su reflexin al respecto en el uso del trmino alemn Zweieinigkeit que traducimos como unidad armnica de dos. Sevilla Segovia, comentando el pensamiento de Doms, escribe que el amor conyugal tiende a la unin personal y en esta unin encuentra su ms alta expresin por el abandono total, fsico y psquico, de persona a persona66.

matrimonial, en Curso de derecho matrimonial y procesal cannico para profesionales del foro X, dir. F. Aznar Gil, Univ. Pont. de Salamanca, Salamanca 1992, 313-49. Ver 335-340; R. BERTOLINO, Gli elementi costitutivi del bonum coniugum, Monitor Ecclesiasticus 120 (1995) 557-586; E. MONTAGNA, Bonum coniugum: profili storici, Monitor Ecclesiasticus 120 (1995) 399431; E. COLAGIOVANNI, Le bonum coniugum (c. 1095 1). Les antcdents philosophiques et ecclsiologiques du personnalisme canonique, Monitor Ecclesiasticus 120 (1995) 432-448; M. DEL MAR MARTIN, Breves notas a propsito del bonum coniugum, Jus canonicum 37 (1997) 271-292. 62 Cfr. L. PRENNA, Antropologia della coniugalit. Antropologia e teologia del matrimonio en A. Rosmini, Torino 1980; A. AUTIERO, Amore e coniugalit. Antropologia e teologia del matrimonio in A. Rosmini, Marietti, Torino 1980. 63 Cfr. A. AUTIERO, Amore e coniugalit..., 41 y 62. 64 Cfr. H. DOMS, Du sens et de la fin du mariage, DDB. Pars 1937; A. SEVILLA SEGOVIA, El pensamiento de H. Doms sobre algunos aspectos ignorados del matrimonio, Pont. Univ. de Comillas, Madrid 1985. 65 M. NDONCELLE, Vers une philosophie de lamour, Aubier, Paris 1945, 137-138. 66 A. SEVILLA SEGOVIA, El pensamiento de H. Doms..., 313.

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Son un punto de arranque tambin los textos del Concilio, porque han impulsado la reflexin teolgica y jurdica de la iglesia superando los esquemas tradicionales con que se haba elaborado la teologa del matrimonio. Se trata de pensar la teologa de la pareja, no tanto haciendo nfasis sobre la institucin cuanto sobre la persona humana. Era esta precisamente la opcin que ya el concilio haba hecho desde el comienzo: Es la persona del hombre la que hay que salvar... (GS. 3). Desde esta nueva perspectiva que ha propiciado Vaticano II al insinuar implcitamente la necesidad de abonar decididamente el estudio del tema de la conciencia del nosotros conyugal se ha abierto otra perspectiva que no es ms que su consecuencia: todo aquello que contribuye, dificulta o impide en forma grave la posibilidad de crear esta conciencia del nosotros de pareja se debe considerar como factor muy importante, sea como constitutivo esencial, sea como impedimento radical. Como factor esencial creemos que debe contar el amor interpersonal recproco y la dimensin sexual. As lo entiende L. Vela67. Un detalle que nos confirma en esta conviccin es la observacin del elenco de causales nuevas que los tribunales eclesisticos han aceptado en los ltimos aos68. En el post-concilio se ha afianzado el desarrollo del tema de la conciencia conyugal, tratndolo desde diversas perspectivas: sea a nivel de publicaciones con muy slido fundamento, sea en los artculos de revistas como intentos de bsqueda; la literatura existente al respecto es abundante. Conciencia del nosotros conyugal o conciencia de pareja no es un concepto abstracto, es un dinamismo; no es un principio normativo a aplicar, es ms bien una tarea a realizar; no es tanto una novedad histrica, sino un proyecto creacional que el hombre extrope un da y que hoy queremos recuperar. Queriendo describir lo que entendemos por conciencia del nosotros conyugal lo condensamos en estos trminos: es el jui-

67

Cfr. L. VELA, Necesidad del amor sexual, Razn y fe 177 (1968) 241-

252. Cfr. F. AMIGO REVUELTO, Los captulos..., 251-254; J. J. GARCA FAILDE, La nulidad matrimonial..., passim; J. L. YSERN DE ARCE, Anomalas psquicas..., passim.
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cio inspirado por el afecto, la inteligencia y la voluntad, nacido de la intersubjetividad de varn-mujer como culmen de la vivencia de la dimensin relacional, de encuentro y de identificacin como una sola carne que lleva a la pareja a deliberar y a decidir como un yo conyugal. Si la descripcin es compleja, es porque el proceso tambin lo es. No se llega a formar este tipo de conciencia de modo sencillo, ya que implica haber realizado un camino de maduracin individual en el que cada uno recorra las etapas de la interiorizacin de la norma (conocimiento de la ley, descubrimiento en ella de un valor a realizar, jerarquizacin de los valores propuestos por la norma, y asumpcin de dicho valor como norma de mi propia conducta). Solo dos personas maduras humanamente podrn asumir esta tarea de crear la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. Ya el hecho de que la relacin interpersonal cojee, y esto puede suceder por mltiples razones, contribuye a que no se logre formar la conciencia de un nosotros conyugal autntico. Ros Gonzlez en una serie de artculos sobre los modelos relacionales de pareja69 seala un caso sintomtico que anotamos como ejemplo en el que no se logra esta conciencia. Se trata del caso de la pareja con relacin Adulta-nio (P. Ano) y la pareja con relacin Adulto-nia (P. Ana)70. Son situaciones en las que ella o l no logran un nivel de madurez en el comportamiento en tres niveles: biolgico, psico-afectivo y socializante. La dinmica de tales parejas, escribe Ros Gonzlez, aparece al exterior formada por dos miembros: adulta-madre / nio-hijo, siendo necesario desmenuzar en qu proporcin intervienen en el juego de relaciones interpersonales cada uno de estos ingredientes71. El partner adulto, contina, exige y pide lo adecuado al nivel de conducta adulta, ya sea en lo social (...), en lo afectivo (...), y en lo biolgico.... El partner infantil no pide nada de lo descrito.

69 J. A. RIOS GONZALEZ, Modelos relacionales en la dinmica de pareja I., Educadores 21/105 (1979) 749-762; II, 22/106 (1980) 101-115; III, 22/107 (1980) 245-257; IV, 22/109 (1980) 575-590; V, 22/110 (1980) 747-762. 70 J. A. RIOS GONZALEZ, Modelos relacionales en la dinmica de pareja, IV, Educadores 22/109 (1980) 584-588. 71 J. A. RIOS GONZALEZ, Modelos relacionales... IV, 585.

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Se conforma con tener el apoyo del otro, tratando a lo sumo, de ser lo que el otro quiere que sea, aunque siempre quedando muy por debajo de las necesidades del otro.... Estas insinuaciones nos hacen entender que la pareja ideal ser entonces aquella en la que la relacin se opera de AdultoAdulta (P. AA). La relacin de este tipo de pareja puede quedar descrita como madura, objetiva, realista y progresiva. Hay bases en cada miembro de la pareja para conseguir una profundidad muy rica en los planos de la adaptacin, comunicacin y contacto. Los vnculos, por su parte, se estructuran mediante intercambios en los que el juego del dar y el recibir fluye espontanea y libremente72.

3. RECUPERAR LA UNIDAD PERDIDA COMPORTA UNAS EXIGENCIAS La historia de la teologa del matrimonio se ha caracterizado por dos hechos fundamentalmente: el nfasis a la paternidadmaternidad (la procreacin era considerada fin primario del matrimonio), y el acento a un cierto individualismo que dejaba en la penumbra la solidaridad y la dimensin comunitaria. Hoy se comienza a acentuar el sentido profundo de la nupcialidad, de la conyugalidad73 y la dimensin de la comunin interpersonal o conciencia del nosotros. Desde Vaticano II se inici un movimiento de recuperacin de la doctrina del hombre imagen de Dios. Pero imagen de Dios, no como una concepcin de individuo, sino como una visin de Dios-Comunidad, de DiosFamilia, de Dios-Trinidad (GS. 12 y 24). Ya desde el comienzo de esta segunda mitad de siglo se observa un notable inters por renovar a fondo la reflexin teolgica del misterio trinitario a

J. A. RIOS GONZALEZ, Modelos relacionales.. IV, 589. Cfr. H. U. VON BALTHASAR, Gloria. Una esttica teologica, VII, Encuentro, Madrid 1989, 379-390; V. FERRER MAYER, Apuntes para una tica de la conyugalidad, Revista Teolgica Limense 28/2-3 (1994) 193-221; J. S. BOTERO G., La conyugalidad, una dimensin olvidada, Revista teolgica Limense 30/3 (1996) 330-350.
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partir de la analoga de la familia, como ya en la antigedad lo pensaron los Padres de la Iglesia Oriental74. Recuperar la nocin bblica de imagen de Dios es un primer paso para nuestro objetivo de plantear las consecuencias de la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. J. Moltmann ha sido muy enftico en urgir un replanteamiento del tratado sobre la Trinidad en nuestro tiempo: la tradicin occidental comenz por plantear la unidad de Dios y desde aqu se pregunt por la Trinidad; en un nuevo contexto preferimos iniciar la reflexin con el examen de la Trinidad y desde esta perspectiva desembocar en la unidad de Dios. De ah que hablemos de la TriUnidad75. Un segundo paso lo constituye, en esta misma perspectiva bblica, la necesidad de subrayar el hecho de que en la revelacin cristiana76 se mantiene viva la tensin, la nostalgia de recuperar la unidad perdida en el paraso terrenal. Pablo propone a los esposos como fuente y proto-tipo de su unidad la misma unidad que se nos revela en la alianza Cristo-Iglesia77, lo que el Vaticano II subraya repetidas veces (LG. 11 y 41; GS. 48, 50, 52). Un tercer paso ser indicar las notas caractersticas que esta conciencia del nosotros conyugal debe poseer: ser incluyente, gradual y pluralista. Que la conciencia del nosotros de pareja deba ser incluyente significa que deber asumir las consecuencias de ser conciencia de un nosotros, pues la identidad ontolgica y tica del yo se descubre y se comprende desde la afirmacin del otro. El documento de Puebla escriba hace unos aos que la ley del amor conyugal es comunin y participacin, no dominio (n. 582). Modernamente se exige que incluso el lenguaje interpersonal sea incluyente para corregir un modo de

74

Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G. Per una teologia della famiglia..., 5 nota 1 y 42 nota

19.
75 J. MOLTMANN, Trinit e regno di Dio. La dottrina su Dio, Queriniana, Brescia 1983, 29. Cfr. ID., La unidad convocante del Dios Uno y Trino, Concilium 197 (1985) 67-77. 76 Cfr. B. MAGGIONI, Il simbolismo sponsale nella Scrittura, Credereoggi 52/4 (1989) 18-29 77 La bibliografa sobre este tpico es abundantsima y muy rica, particularmente en estas ltimas dcadas. Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Etica coniugale..., 157, nota 57.

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hablar excluyente que conocimos, que daba prioridad a la conjuncin disyuntiva: o . Una modalidad incluyente nos apremia a emplear proposiciones de tipo conyuntivo o copulativo78: y . La formacin de la conciencia del nosotros de pareja es fruto de un proceso humano, no es algo mgico. Es un proceso en el que estn implicadas las voluntades de dos personas, como ensea Juan Pablo II, llamadas sin embargo a una armona de mentalidad y de comportamiento (...) que exige no poca paciencia, simpata y tiempo (FC. n. 34). Este proceso gradual de desarrollo de la conciencia de ser un nosotros es eminentemente dinmico ya que comporta conciencia de relacin, conciencia de encuentro, conciencia de comunin. Nunca podr decir una pareja haber culminado a satisfaccin este triple camino, y no tener por delante nuevos horizontes por alcanzar. Cuando escribimos que debe ser pluralista queremos aludir a la apertura a las culturas diversas, a los credos religiosos, a la idiosincracia de las razas, al genio propio de cada lengua, a la cosmovisin de cada persona, etc. Un elemento tpico de nuestra poca a que debe hacer frente la pareja humana es el fenmeno del conflicto. Ya desde el paraso encontramos que se di el conflicto en las relaciones de pareja. Solo que entonces y tambin hasta hace poco tiempo, se resolva unilateralmente: necesitars de tu marido y l te dominar (Gn. 3,16). Si examinamos los diccionarios de teologa moral, no encontraremos el vocablo conflicto antes del Concilio Vaticano II. Con posterioridad a l encontramos algunas referencias, pero generalmente enfocadas al conflicto social79. Desde el momento en que la mujer toma conciencia de su libertad, de su igualdad con el varn, de su condicin de persona humana,

78 Cfr. S. PRIVITERA, Dallesperienza alla morale. Il problema esperienza in teologia morale, Oftes, Palermo 1985, 24-31 y 32-42. 79 Cfr. G. DOMANN, Conflitto, en Dizionario di antropologia pastorale a cura di H. Gastager - K. Gastgeber, EDB. Bologna 1975, 214-218; A. WOLKINGER, Conflicto, en Nuevo diccionario de moral cristiana, direc. de H. Rotter - G. Wirt, Herder, Barcelona 1993, 80-82; J. B. RAUZY, Conflit et consensus, en Dictionnaire dthique et de philosophie morale, dir. Monique Canto-Sperber, Presses Universitaires, Pars 1996, 288-293.

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entonces aparece la bipolaridad y el conflicto emerge de cualquier lado. Prueba de esto es la frecuencia con que en estos ltimos aos aparece literatura sobre el conflicto80. G. Zuanazzi81 explica porqu en nuestro tiempo el conflicto entre varn-mujer se debe superar en virtud de una sana lgica. Mientras el varn representaba la ley, la norma, y la mujer la excepcin, prevaleci en el mbito social el predominio del principio normativo y la excepcin contaba muy poco o nada. Desde el momento en que se acepta la igualdad varn-mujer, desde entonces la excepcin (y con ella la benignidad, la misericordia, la epiqueya) han comenzado a tener un relieve significativo en la tica. As se entiende porqu hoy se insista en la sntesis dialctica o tensin dinmica entre ley y excepcin, entre ideal y realidad concreta, entre doctrina y vida, entre verdad y amor82. Antes hemos aludido a la dualidad (en el mejor sentido del trmino, no como oposicin, s como integracin). Precisamente, cuando se toca el tema de la conciencia conyugal halla cabida la urgencia de integrar, con una sabia circularidad dinmica, las aporas con que se suele encontrar la pareja humana: almacuerpo, objeto-sujeto, ideal-realidad situacional, trascendenteinmanente, doctrina-vida, etc. La pedagoga de la cultura del uno (excluyente), una cultura del dominio/sometimiento, nos ense a dar la prioridad al primer elemento de la apora (alma, objeto, ideal, trascendente, doctrina) dejando en el olvido, cuando no eliminando el segundo elemento (cuerpo, sujeto, realidad concreta...). La cultura

80 Cfr. D. M. BUSS - N. M. MALAMUTH, Sex, Power, Conflict. Evolutionary and feminist Perspectives, University Press, Oxford 1996; A. J. BLASI, Moral Conflict and christian Religion, Peter Lang, New York 1988; J. ALLEN, Love and Conflict. A convenant Model of christian Ethics, Lanhan, New York 1984; C. SCARPELLINI, La famiglia. Dalla sopravvivenza alla creativit, Vita e pensiero, Milano 1983, 120-133; A. MANENTI, Coppia e famiglia. Come e perch. Aspetti psicologici, EDB. Bologna 1993, 9-12; B. BARBERO, Uomo-donna: dalla conflittualit alla reciprocit, La famiglia 163 (1994) 4-17; A. H. CHAPMAN, Conflictos del matrimonio, Burguera, Barcelona 1977. 81 Cfr. G. ZUANAZZI, Temi e simboli delleros, Citt Nuova, Roma 1991, 35-54. 82 Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., El conflicto persona - ley: un tema para el dilogo ecumnico, Scriptorium Victoriense 45/1-2 ( 1998) 107-133.

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del nosotros83 ser fruto de una sabia conjugacin de estas aporas. El contexto de postmodernidad en que nos encontramos, con los valores y anti-valores que conlleva84, es un desafo serio a la formacin de la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. Sin embargo, si aprovechamos los valores que trae la postmodernidad (el nfasis de lo afectivo, el acento a la femineidad, el relieve dado a la conciencia, el posibilitar la comunicacin, etc) s que nos permitir re-crear en las parejas de hoy la conciencia de una unidad, de una armona perdidas, la conciencia de ser una sola carne.

CONCLUSIN Tratndose de un tema que an no es del dominio pblico, ya podremos imaginarnos que en este campo se presentan muchos desafos a atender. Sobretodo si tenemos en cuenta que es un tema novedoso que urge una mayor profundizacin y, mxime si miramos a su aplicacin. Se hace necesaria una pedagoga que eduque a las parejas para proceder en virtud de la conciencia del nosotros conyugal. Mientras la sociedad presente no logre superar el conflicto machismo vs. feminismo (o a la inversa), ser difcil crear la conciencia de relacin, reciprocidad, comunin interpersonal.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100 Roma Italy. J. SILVIO BOTERO G. C.Ss.R.

Cfr. J. S. BOTERO G., Etica coniugale..., 32-39. Cfr. I. F. GASTALDI, Modernidad, postmodernidad y nueva era, Medelln 23/90 (1997) 599-634; M. TIBALDI, Alle radici della crisi postmoderna, Settimana 35 (1997) 8-9; J. RUBIO CARRACEDO, La tica ante el reto de la postmodernidad, Arbor 135 (1990) 119-146; J. M. GONZALEZ RUIZ, El hombre de hoy ante la postmodernidad, Biblia y fe 15/43 (1989) 259-278.
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Summary / Sumario The consciousness of the conjugal us is a theme that has not yet been the object of reflection by scholars of human parenthood, despite its pressing necessity. The author has set himself the task of reflecting on the theme, by contemplating the consciousness of the first parents which already existed as the consciousness of being one flesh. This, however, was lost because of the rupture in the primordial relationships and it appears in the history of humanity as the nostalgia for a lost unity. A sound anthropology shows us that conjugal love, as the foundation of the relationship, of the encounter and of interpersonal communion is the principal axis for understanding the meaning of the consciousness of the us as a couple. La conciencia del nosotros conyugal es un tema que an no ha sido objeto de reflexin por parte de los estudiosos de la pareja humana, no obstante ser una necesidad apremiante. El autor se ha propuesto hacer una reflexin al respecto contemplando la conciencia del nosotros conyugal como una realidad que ya exist en la primera pareja como conciencia de ser una sola carne, pero que se perdi a causa de la ruptura de las relaciones primordiales, y que aparece en la historia de la humanidad como nostalgia de la unidad perdida. Una sana antropologa nos revela que el amor conyugal, como fundamento de la relacin, del encuentro, de la comunin interpersonal, es el eje principal para entender lo que significa conciencia del nosotros de pareja. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

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CHRISTS REDEMPTIVE JOURNEY AND THE MORAL DIMENSIONS OF PRAYER

Recent discussions concerning the relationship between spirituality and moral theology have often included a reflection on the moral dimensions of prayer. Few of these discussions, however, have done so in the context of a theology of prayer rooted in the Christ event and thought of as intrinsic to the act of theological reflection itself.1 Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399) reminds us of the close relationship between the two: If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian.2 This circular relationship between prayer

1 For example, MARK OKEEFE discusses prayer in the context of decision-making. See Becoming Good, Becoming Holy: On the Relationship of Christian Ethics and Spirituality (New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995), 113-24. CHRISTOPHER ODONNELL discusses it in the context of sharing in the intimate life of the Trinity. See Listening to God Within, in Spirituality and Morality: Integrating Prayer and Action, eds. Dennis J. Billy and Donna L. Orsuto (New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1996), 67-79. JANET RUFFING discusses it in the context of the split between religion and spirituality. See Unacknowledged Conflicts: Prayer and Morality, The Way Supplement 88(1997): 66-76. SERGIO BASTIANEL discusses the complementary relationship between prayer and the moral life. See Prayer in Christian Moral Life, trans. Bernard Hoose (Middlegreen, Slough: St. Pauls, 1988), esp. 8993. None of these treatments focus specifically on the moral implications flowing from the relationship between prayer and the redemptive action of Christ. For a discussion of the relationship between prayer and theological reflection, see JOHN MACQUARRIE, Prayer and Theological Reflection, in The Study of Spirituality, eds. Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold (London: SPCK, 1992), 584-87. See also DENNIS J. BILLY, Evangelical Kernels: A Theological Spirituality of the Religious Life (Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1993), 167-70. 2 Chapters on Prayer, no. 60 in EVAGRIUS PONTICUS, The Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer, trans., John Eudes Bamberger (Kalamazoo, MI:

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and theology demands further development, if for no other reason than that it will help us to understand and further clarify the boundaries and means of interaction between the two. In this essay, I will offer a theological basis for the relationship between prayer and the act of faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum). I will do so by rooting the act of prayer at the very center of the Christ event and by showing the ramifications such an understanding has for human action, Catholic moral theological reflection, and the Christian moral life.

Christs Redemptive Journey At the very outset, it is important to remember that, in the history of the Church, the term theology has been conceived of in different ways. One need only recall the traditional distinction between monastic and scholastic theology to see some very different kinds of theological reflection that have wielded great influence in the Churchs past.3 How one construes the relationship between prayer and theology, moreover, depends on

Cistercian Publications, 1978), 65. Cited also in The Philokalia: The Complete Text, vol. 1, trans., and eds. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware (London/Boston: Faber and Faber, 1979), 62. 3 For the different understandings of theology, see BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 1-16. See also AVERY DULLES, The Craft of Theology: From Symbol to System (New York: Crossroad, 1995), 17-21, 167. For models of theological reflection, see RAYMOND F. COLLINS, Models of Theological Reflection (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984). For the differences between monastic and scholastic theology, see JEAN LECLERCQ, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture, 3d ed., trans. Catharine Misrahi (New York: Fordham University Press, 1982), 191-35; B. P. GAYBBA, Aspects of the Medieval History of Theology: Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries (Pretoria: University of South Africa,1988), 52-57. For the ongoing relationship between monastic and scholastic theology, see JEAN LECLERQ, Monastic and Scholastic Theology in the Reformers of the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century, in From Cloister to Classroom: Monastic and Scholastic Approaches to Truth, ed. E. Rozanne Elder (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1986), 194.

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what one understands by the terms themselves and how one bases that relationship in a sound Christian anthropology. It also depends on ones understanding of God, the veritable object of our deepest spiritual longings and theological concerns.4 For Christians, these last two dimensions come together (without merging) in the person of Christ and find their greatest expression in the drama of his passion, death, and resurrection.5 In that event, the radical transformation of humanitys own selfunderstanding finds expression in the prayer of Jesus, the New Adam (Rom 5:12-21), who utters from the cross the deepest yearnings and aspirations of the human heart. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Mk. 15:33 ; Ps 22:1)? Over the centuries, theologians have explained the intensity and depth of Jesus redemptive suffering in various ways and with different degrees of success (e.g., the ransom, satisfaction, moral exemplar, and liberation models).6 Despite their depth and breadth of

For the definitions of prayer, see Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2559-65. For the fundamental principle of prayer and the possible relationships between prayer and theology, see BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 167-84. For the intrinsic relationship between ones concept of God and the act of faith seeking understanding, see N. MAX WILDIERS, The Theologian and His Universe: Theology and Cosmology from the Middle Ages to the Present (New York: Seabury, 1982), 1. For models of God, see SALLIE MCFAGUE, Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987), 91-187, esp. 181-87. For models of faith, see AVERY DULLES, The Assurance of Things Hopes For A Theology of Christian Faith (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 170-84. 5 Christology is a substantial determination of anthropology which as such must remain open. In the sense of the classical notion of analogy, we have to say that however great the similarity between anthropology and Christology, the dissimilarity is still greater. Anthropology is so to speak the grammar which God uses to express himself. But the grammar as such is still available for a great number of pronouncements. See WALTER KASPER, Jesus the Christ, trans., V. Green (London/New York: Burns & Oates/Paulist, 1976), 51. 6 See BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 95-108; GUSTAF AULEN, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement, trans. A. G. Hebert (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 143-59; J. RIVIERE, La rdemption: essai dtude historique, 2d ed. (Paris: Librarie Victor Lecoffre, 1905), 1-14, 211-372.
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theological insight, these theories have never called attention to the close relationship between the narrative substructure of the Christ event (i.e., descent into hell, rising from the dead, ascension into heaven) and the threefold spiritual movement of purgation, illumination, and union.7 A classical metaphor of the long, arduous process of an individuals spiritual ascent to God, this latter movement is significant because of the teleological orientation it gives to human existence and because of the way it can be analogously applied to the anthropological category of the human universal (i.e., what classical theology typically referred to as human nature).8 Establishing this intimate connection between an individuals spiritual sojourn and the underlying features of the collective whole conveys valuable anthropological significance that makes Christs redemptive suffering more accessible to our present sensitivities. When seen in this light, the sin of human origins can be thought of as an apt theological metaphor that addresses the violent and disturbing dissonance touching every anthropological dimension of human existence: the physical, the emotional, the

7 Some authors draw similar parallels, but none which specifically mention the threefold movement of purgation, illumination, and union. CARLOS LEGET, for example, recognizes certain structural correlations between the vita corporalis and the vita spiritualis in Aquinas treatment of the passion of Christ. See Living with God: Thomas Aquinas on the Relation between Life on Earth and Life after Death (Leuven: Peeters, 1997), 117. HANS URS VON BALTHASAR finds parallels between Christs life and human existence in his discussion of man and Christ as the language of God. See A Theological Anthropology (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1967), 239-305. JOHN NAVONE and THOMAS COOPER use narrative theology as a way of pointing out the parallels between the Jesus story and the story of his community, the Church. See Tellers of the Word (New York: Le Jacq, 1981), 246-68. For the soteriological features of narrative, see SCOTT HOLLAND, How Do Stories Save Us? Two Contemporary Theological Responses, Louvain Studies 22(1997): 328-51. 8 In proper proportionality, the analogous notion is found in its proper sense in all the analogates. See JOSEPH OWENS, An Elementary Christian Metaphysics (Houston, TX: Center for Thomistic Studies,1985), 87. For a brief discussion of the classical definition of human nature in the light of current scientific knowledge, see BENEDICT M. ASHLEY, Theologies of the Body: Humanist and Christian (Braintree, MA: The Pope John Center, 1985), 40-41.

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mental, the spiritual, and the social.9 This lack of harmony in humanitys self-experience goes deep. It can be healed only by plumbing the depths of the human condition and by asking God to restore it to a state of wholeness. The dissonance within humanitys anthropological makeup, however, prevents anyone from ever doing so on his or her own. Human beings are trapped in a web of self-deception: they hide behind masks that disguise their true identities; they are unconscious of their deepest wounds and unable to touch their deepest, most authentic selves. Worse yet, they are too proud to see their own need for forgiveness and incapable of genuinely extending it to others.10 The solution to this precarious human dilemma (the human condition as many call it) comes from within the Godhead itself. The Divine Logos assumes a dissonance-less human nature and enters our world in order to rescue us from our helplessness. Christ suffers and dies not to ransom us from Satan, or to satisfy the infinite demands of divine justice, or to teach us how to love, or to liberate us from unjust social structures, but to cleanse our wounds, to heal them, and ultimately to transform them. To do this, however, he has to embrace the human situation in its entirety, and this means plumbing the depths of human suffering, entering the darkness of the human heart, and commending his human spirit to the care of God. When seen in this light, Jesus descent into hell signifies his purgative journey on our behalf into the deepest recesses of the human heart. This descent into the depths of the human condition is the necessary prelude for his rising from the dead (the illuminative journey of healing and transformation of our broken humanity) and his ascension into heaven (our elevation to the right hand of the Father as members of his body).11 As a result, his words from the cross

See BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 65-76. For the power of self-deception over human lives, see THOMAS MERTON, No Man Is an Island (Garden City, NY: Image, 1955), 145-56, esp. 154-55. See also STANLEY HAUERWAS, RICHARD BONDI, and DAVID BURRELL, Truthfulness and Tragedy: Further Investigations in Christian Ethics (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977), 82-98. 11 This hermeneutical parallel (similar to what contemporary cognitive
9 10

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represent not only the intercessory prayer of the God-man for fallen humanity, but also the first humble utterings of redeemed humanity. As such, they represent a fragile step forward in the religious consciousness of the human race and signal a qualitatively different kind of relationship which we are now able to share with God in the depths of our hearts, i.e., of being adopted sons and daughters. Through our baptism into his death and resurrection, Christs prayer becomes our prayer: the words uttered from the cross bless the waters of the baptismal fount; they are one with those of the eucharistic consecration; they resound in the inner sanctum of our hearts, where Gods Spirit now communes with ours and intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Rom 8:26). The Spirit prays within us and for us only because Christ chose to make our suffering his own and transform it by the hidden power of his redeeming cross. Because of the Christ event, everyone now receives sufficient grace to pray. That grace is available to all, even to those who do not consciously believe in him.12

Some Reservations At this point of the discussion, it is essential that we confront some of the underlying inconsistencies of the above narrative correlation. To begin with, although the epistemological analogue for the purgative/illuminative/unitive

theorists would call pattern recognition) can be thought of as a tropological interpretation of the Christ event, i.e., the narrative sub-structure of Christs redeeming action is examined and understood in the context of its significance for an individuals spiritual journey. In keeping with the longstanding tradition of Christian allegoresis, it allows for various levels of meanings in the act of interpretation. See HENRI DE LUBAC, Exgse mdivale: les quatre sens de lcriture, vol. 1 (Lyons: Aubier, 1962), 110-18, 129-38. 12 According to classical scholastic theology, sufficient grace endows a person with the capacity to perform a salutary act. For the doctrine that everyone receives sufficient grace to pray, see ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, Del gran mezzo della preghiera, in Opere ascetiche, vol. 2 (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1962), 75. For the invisible action of grace in the hearts of all those of good will, see Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, no. 22.

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journey is personal growth in the Christian life, experience attests that this process is much more complex than the language of this three-stage movement makes itself out to be. Rarely (if ever) is there a clear-cut line of demarcation from one stage to the next. Most of human stories are not accounts of slow-yet-constant progress, but a meandering series of limited successes and sometimes dismal failures. For this reason, some authors have suggested an upward spiraling motion rather than a simple linear progression as an appropriate metaphor for a persons growth in the spiritual life.13 When seen in this light, applying the threefold process of spiritual growth to the human universal as we have done can easily reduce the whole redemptive process to a crass simplification. In his human innocence, Christ descended into the chaos of humanitys underlying anthropological dissonance; there was no way for him to escape the surreptitious plots and subplots of evil men. His temptations were as psychologically complex and as spiritually draining as any of us have ever experienced. We have to be careful, therefore, of turning the great drama of redemption into a mere childrens story. To do so, would denigrate the work effected by Christ on our behalf. It would be sinning by way of omission, i.e., simplifying the narrative of the Christ event in order to minimalize its relevance for our lives and to prevent it from truly in-forming our daily experience. Confronting this danger head-on should also make us aware that every attempt to explain the mystery of the Christ event runs this very same risk. Theological language obscures as much as it reveals. No narrative substructure, however complex, will ever do justice to the complexities of the Christ event. It is here where we must acknowledge the limits of human language and be ready to admit that, for whatever reason, there are some

13 Researchers into both psychotherapy and the stages of spiritual development today tend to agree with the spiral image of progress. See FREDRICA R. HALLIGAN, Keeping Faith with the Future: Toward Final Conscious Unity, in The Fires of Desire: Erotic Energies and the Spiritual Quest, ed. Fredrica R. Halligan and John J. Shea (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 184.

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things about the nature of the Christ event that remain known to the divine mystery alone.14 In addition to the above concerns, we also have to deal with the paradoxical already-but-not-yet character of Christs redemptive journey. That is to say we must deal with the experiential discrepancy between what Christ has accomplished for us once and for all by his threefold redemptive journey and the simple fact that most of us, as individuals, are still struggling with the anthropological dissonance at the core of our being. We have, in other words, to find a way of explaining why so many of us are lagging so far behind what Christ our Redeemer has already accomplished for us. We need to ask ourselves why we are making so little progress and why are so many of us seem actually to be losing ground.15 How can we respond to this last dilemma? To begin with, we must humbly admit that there are some dimensions that will forever elude our attempts to understand them. Secondly, we must recognize that even the classical explanations do not fully resolve the dilemma and that even the early Christians were eagerly awaiting an immediate consummation of Christs redemptive work. Thirdly, as Catholics, we must allocate some two thousand years of human history after the Christ event to the will of Divine Providence and see in the Church the continuation of Christs redemptive mission through time. Finally, we must recognize the capacity of free human beings to reject what they may even know to be beneficial to them and accept at least the possibility that personal evil exists beyond the pale of human existence. Such questions need to be raised, but will never receive completely satisfactory answers. In matters of such ultimate human concern, we need to recognize the inconsistencies of our present situation and to trust that human

For the limited nature of theological language, see DULLES, The Craft of Theology, 108. 15 For the Thomistic explanation of this discrepancy, see LEGET, Living with God, 126-30. For the outrage that many today have at the discrepancy between what is and what should be, see JOHN B. COBB, JR., The Problem of Evil and the Task of Ministry, in Encountering Evil: Live Options in Theodicy, ed. Stephen T. Davis (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981), 173-74.
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history is still unfolding according to some grand providential design, i.e., what classical theology referred to as Gods ordinary plan of salvation.16

The Role of the Spirit The great strength of what, for lack of a better term, can be termed the narrative or the journey model of redemption is its close correlation with the individuals own spiritual life. What Christ does for humanity as a whole, each person must undergo in his or her own spiritual life. That spiritual journey involves us, as it did Christ, on every level of our anthropological makeup. The main difference between them is that Christ, the New Adam, recapitulates (to borrow a term from Irenaeus17) all of humanity in his redemptive mission on earth, while we obviously do not. That is not to say that there is no real connection between Christs journey and our own, as if the two journeys merely paralleled each other in various details without ever touching. Christs redemptive journey was intensely human and personal. He experienced the dissonance of our anthropological makeup on every level of his human nature and cried out to the Father on our behalf in a way that not only reestablished humanitys inner harmonic balance, but also transformed it. His redemptive journey burst through the boundaries of time and space and attained transhistorical significance. Through the waters of baptism, we are now immersed into the mystery of his death and resurrection and become members of his mystical body. As a result, the effects of what Christ has accomplished for us as a whole now work their way into the historical framework of our own spiritual journeys. As members of his body, we now participate in his passion, death, and resurrection. The threefold movement of his

16 HANS URS VON BALTHASARS discussion of Christ as the norm of history is particularly helpful in this regard. See A Theology of History, 2d ed. (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1963), 47-75. 17 IRENAEUS, Adversus Haereses, 3.18.1; 3.18.7; 5.14.2 ; 5.21.2.

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redemptive journey has become the blueprint for our own and the underlying vivifying force that brings it about. As far as prayer is concerned, the close correlation between the redemptive journey of Christ and our own spiritual journeys helps us to see in vivid detail how Jesus imparts his Spirit to us and how, in a real way, his prayer from the cross has become our own. In his redemptive journey, Jesus human spirit shares an intimate rapport with the Holy Spirit, the Divine Pneuma, who accompanies him on every stage of the Paschal mystery. This relationship between the Holy Spirit and Jesus human spirit was not broken or in any way interrupted or disturbed during this threefold redemptive journey. Because of this, his human spirit mediates to our broken humanity the possibility of a new relationship with the Spirit of God. As a result, the Holy Spirit can now enter into a new relation with our human spirits. It groans now within our hearts, just as it groaned within Jesus heart as he hung from his cross. All of this can be explained within the bounds of the traditional Christology, where Jesus is seen as the Second Person of the Trinity with two natures one human and one divine. Jesus human nature enjoyed a close intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit; it was this relationship which survived unscathed throughout his redemptive journey and which effected the healing and the elevation of our human nature. From this perspective, the groaning of the Spirit within our hearts is a concrete sign (a sacrament, if you will) that Christs redemptive action is taking place in our midst and that we too are participating in it through our own spiritual journeys. This is not a Spirit Christology, in the strict sense of the phrase, since it preserves the traditional categories of the Churchs classical Christological formulation and remains well within the limits of the well-known principle of Trinitarian appropriation.18 It does, however, assign the Holy Spirit, a much more active and immediate role in the redemptive process brought about by Christ. It does so by recognizing the fittingness

For a discussion of Trinitarian appropriation, see WALTER KASPER, The God of Jesus Christ, trans. Matthew J. OConnell (New York: Crossroad, 1984), 275, 282-85.
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of the intimate relationship Christs human spirit would share with the Divine Pneuma and by connecting Christs redemptive journey with the reestablishment of the bond between us and it. In this respect, the outpouring of Christs Spirit touches every aspect of his redemptive journey. The more we participate in it, the stronger that bond becomes; the less we do so, the weaker. We participate in that relationship by allowing Christs Spirit to intercede on our behalf within our hearts. That is why prayer is so important for the working out of our salvation: If we pray, we will be saved; if we do not we will certainly be damned.19 As the great means of salvation, prayer deepens the correlation between Christs redemptive journey and our own individual spiritual journeys.20 It does so through the Spirit, who journeyed with Christs human spirit at every stage of his redemptive journey and who does so with ours as we find our way to God.

Prayer and Human Action The intrinsic connection between prayer and a persons journey to God helps us to see human (i.e., moral) action in a particular way. For Christians, morality can be detached from the spiritual life only in the abstract. In real life, it must be intimately connected to a living faith in Jesus Christ.21 Prayer itself is a human action made possible by the movement of Gods grace in our lives. It embraces every dimension of our

chi prega, certamente si salva; chi non prega, certamente si danna. See LIGUORI, Del gran mezzo della preghiera, 32. See Also Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2744. 20 tutti quelli che si salvano (parlando degli Adulti), ordinariamente per questo unico mezzo si salvano. See LIGUORI, Del gran mezzo della preghiera, 8. 21 The criterion of what is Christian, the distinctive Christian feature this holds both for dogmatics and consequently also for ethics is not an abstract something nor a Christ idea, not a Christology nor a Christocentric system of ideas: it is this concrete Jesus as the Christ, as the standard. See HANS KUNG, The Criterion for Deciding What Is Christian, in Introduction to Christian Ethics: A Reader, eds. Ronald P. Hamel and Kenneth R. Himes, (New York/New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1989), 127.
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anthropological makeup the physical, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual, and the social and, as such, serves three important functions: the teleological, the instrumental, and the anthropological. 1. The Teleological. Prayer helps us to focus on God as our final end. It does so by bringing this fundamental relationship of our lives to the forefront and by helping us to orient everything we do in life toward it. The more we pray, the more God becomes the focus of all we do. The Apostles injunction to pray without ceasing (1Th 5:17) reminds us of our need to allow God to be the firmly focused goal of our daily activity. Our final end, in other words, has important ramifications for how we live our lives. Prayer is the great means of salvation precisely because it helps us to focus more firmly on God as our final end. The gifts of the Spirit and the life of the infused virtues cannot be viewed outside of this underlying teleological framework. To do so, would be to totally misconstrue the ends and means of the Christian moral life.22 2. The Instrumental. If we ever wish to reach our final end, we can do so only through appropriate rational means, i.e., by living a virtuous life. We become virtuous, however, not through our efforts alone, but by cooperating with Gods grace in a long, arduous process of conversion. Prayer is essential to this process. It keeps us in a living, dynamic relation with the ground of our being, which gradually effects a conversion in us on every level of our anthropological makeup. Without prayer, we have no hope of truly discerning what to do in a given situation, let alone implementing it in an appropriate way. With prayer, we are able to both discern and implement the appropriate means for succeeding in our spiritual journey.23

22 For the dynamics of the infused virtues, see ROMANUS CESSARIO, The Moral Virtues and Theological Virtues (Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), 117-25. 23 See, for example, the connections established among the beatitudes, the gifts of the Spirit and the petitions of the Our Father in AUGUSTINE, De Sermone Domini in Monte secundum Matthaeum, 2.11.38. For commentary,

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3. The Anthropological. Prayer must involve every aspect of our lives in its teleological and instrumental functions. It does so by integrating for us the various dimensions of human existence so that the dissonance we experience deep within ourselves might be healed and one day elevated by the power of Christs Spirit. We need to pray to God, therefore, with our bodies (e.g., through gesture and song), with our emotions (e.g., by identifying and then by expressing to God exactly how we feel), with our minds (e.g., through spiritual reading and by meditating on the mysteries of the faith), with our spirits (e.g., by resting in silence before an icon or a burning candle), and with others (e.g., through shared prayer and prayer meetings). All of these dimensions of prayer come together in the Liturgy which, when celebrated properly, gives us an opportunity to offer up to God every aspect of our anthropological makeup.24 Since all of us are unique individuals, it should not be surprising for us to learn that each of us tends to favor one or more of the dimensions of our anthropological makeup (and hence type of prayer) over others. For this reason, it is important that each of us find the right rhythm that, at one and the same time, incorporates both our own personal inclinations to prayer and all the other anthropological dimensions of human existence. We must strive, in other words, to find the right balance of prayer in our lives that will address every level of our being, while at the same time remaining true to our deepest selves.25 As we do this, it is normally a good idea for us to take a look at those aspects of our anthropological makeup (and, by

see SERVAIS PINCKAERS, The Sources of Christian Ethics, 3d ed., trans. Mary Thomas Noble (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1995), 155-58. For how prayer draws us to our final end in God, see PSEUDO-DIONYSIUS, On the Divine Names, 3.1. On the efficacy of prayer, see THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa contra Gentiles, 3.95-96. 24 For the relationship between prayer and the anthropological dimensions of human existence, see BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 167-84. For the relationship between theology and worship, see DULLES, The Craft of Theology, 197-210. For the moral and spiritual dimensions of the Liturgy, see below n. 38. 25 See BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 174.

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analogy, those forms of prayer) that we tend to overlook and perhaps even purposely ignore. The more we neglect to express a side of us to God in prayer, the more difficult will it be for the Spirit to heal it and make it resonate with the other aspects of our being.26 The result would be a typically qualified expression of prayer, where we hold something back from God because we do not wish to face up to some aspect of our lives or from fear of what might be asked from us. Such qualified prayer has a detrimental effect on the teleological and instrumental functions of prayer, since it tends to blur our focus on God as our final end and withhold a part of our anthropological makeup from purview of virtuous activity.

Prayer and Catholic Moral Theological Reflection The teleological, instrumental, and anthropological dimensions of prayer have obvious repercussions for a proper understanding of the nature of Catholic moral theological reflection. Three, in particular, stand out. 1. The Right Questions. All Catholic moral theological reflection, even that dealing with the most sophisticated contemporary ethical issues needs, sooner or later, to address three basic questions: (1) Does it help us to focus on our final end, i.e., God? (2) Does it help to constitute virtuous behavior? And (3) Does it contribute to the further integration of the various anthropological dimensions of human existence? In and of itself, prayer may not be able to answer any of these questions for the Catholic moral theologian as he or she struggles with some of the very difficult ethical issues confronting todays Catholic faithful. What it can do, however, is to guarantee that these important questions are raised and kept in mind (at least

26 This insight expresses the classical Thomistic doctrine of redundantia: The union with God glorifies the soul; the glorified soul expresses itself in a glorified body; the glorified body is endowed with a glorified creation. See LEGET, Living with God, 211. See also AQUINAS, Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 4, a. 6, resp.

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peripherally) as the act of theological reflection takes place. In this respect, it provides an important moral spiritual backdrop against which the act of Catholic moral theological reflection occurs.27 2. Responding to a Call. The vocational dimensions of Catholic moral theological reflection must also be taken into account. Such reflection is done by individuals and groups entrusted with a specific task within the Church. That task has enormous responsibilities attached to it, for it requires not only that they think with the Church, but also for the very good of the Church be willing to look at the Churchs thinking with a critical eye. As Christians, Catholic moral theologians are called to submit their entire lives to God through the activity of prayer. As moral theologians, they need to orient the activity of theological reflection to the same end. Their very sanctity depends on it. Their moral theological reflection is not something they do in addition to their lives as ordinary Christians, but flows from it as one of the major means through which they will work out their salvation. For this very reason, prayer has an intimate connection with what they do. Because they fulfill a very specific task within the Church as teachers and researchers of Catholic moral truth, they need to pray for guidance and discernment as they struggle to find concrete solutions to the complex moral problems of the day. To do so adequately, they must be firmly rooted in the Catholic theological tradition, in creative dialogue with the pressing problems and challenges of the world, and people imbued with a deep spirit of prayer.28 3. A Broader View. Finally, the various dimensions of prayer underscores the interrelated nature of the human person and challenges Catholic moral theologians to widen their

27 For the relationship between prayer and the Christians moral sense, see EDNA MCDONAGH, Gift and Call: Towards a Christian Theology of Morality (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1975), 90-92. 28 For a discussion of vocation in the life of the theologian, see LYNDA ROBITAILLE, A Sense of Vocation, in Spirituality and Morality, 49-66.

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understanding of what constitutes the rational basis of moral theological reflection. From this perspective, the connatural knowledge of contemplative prayer, the theoretical and practical insights gained from spiritual reading, the emotional experience received from a prayerful use of the imagination, the body knowledge coming from such practices as fast and abstinence, and the sense of the faith imbibed by immersing oneself in the liturgical traditions of the Church, all have something to contribute to the rational process known as moral theological reflection. Theological reflection is fundamentally an incarnational activity rooted in the person and in the traditions of the religious community of which he or she forms a part. The integrating function of prayer can help theologians in general (and Catholic moralists in particular) to expand their understanding of what constitutes rational reflection in the act of faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum). It does so, first and foremost, by performing its important integrating work of turning anthropological dissonance into anthropological resonance, a process that cannot be understood apart from the underlying context of ongoing individual and communal conversion. It also does so by pointing to the great variety of prayer rhythms that help preserve the uniqueness of the individual in the face the common anthropological features shared with the rest of humanity, an insight which goes very well with the well-established notion that there is not one but a variety of models of moral theological reflection within the Catholic tradition.29

29 This variety could be easily adapted from the general models of theological reflection. See COLLINS, Models of Theological Reflection. For the variety of definitions of Christian ethics, see PINCKAERS, The Sources of Christian Ethics, 4-13. For a philosophical discussion of the rationality of traditions, see ALAISDAIR MACINTYRE, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988), 349-69. For a discussion of tradition in the context of moral theology, see B. V. JOHNSTONE, Faith and Reason in Morals: A Polyphony of Traditions, Studia moralia, 35 (1997): 261-82.

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The Moral Dimensions of Prayer The above observations on human action and the nature of Catholic moral theological reflection enable us now to outline some of the underlying moral values that a life of prayer will reinforce in a persons life. The list, while by no means exhaustive, provides us with a sense of some of the ways in which prayer can help us to be aware of the ethical dimensions of Christian living. 1. The Relational Backdrop of Christian Moral DecisionMaking. The begin with, the dialogical nature of prayer brings to the fore the relational foundations of all of Christian life. A deepened relationship with God in prayer calls a person to raise the quality of his or her relationship with others. As a person becomes more and more intimate with God, he or she begins to realize that what is really important in life ultimately has to do with relationships: within oneself, with other individuals, within community, among nations, with the environment, etc. Having a close relationship with the relational God, invites a person to examine the status and meaning of all the other relationships that touch his or her life. In this respect, the vertical dimension (i.e., human/divine) of Christian prayer is intrinsically connected to a horizontal one (i.e., human/human and human/non-human). Love of God is intrinsically related to love of neighbor (and one might also add, love of the earth). Prayer helps a person to recognize the importance of his or her relationships and of taking them into account in the concrete decisions of daily life.30 2. The Transformative Nature of Christian Moral DecisionMaking. Prayer also brings to the fore the relationship between conversion and virtuous living. Authentic prayer brings about a

30 As a man is, so he prays. We make ourselves what we are by the way we address God. See THOMAS MERTON, No Man Is an Island, 46. For the importance of relationships in moral theology and spirituality, see also KEVIN ONEIL, Forming Right Relationships, in Spirituality and Morality, 97-111: OKEEFE, Becoming Good, Becoming Holy, 75-90.

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gradual change in peoples lives. This process of change begins in the innermost sanctums of the human heart and eventually flows out into the other anthropological dimensions of a persons life. The slow movement from anthropological dissonance to resonance manifests itself in a persons deeds and inner attitudes. These, in turn, further deepen the experience of conversion and encourage a person to an even deeper life of prayer. Prayer, in other words, effects conversion which, in turn, brings about a change in a persons interior dispositions and outward actions. A deeply rooted habit of prayer not only deepens a persons relationship with God, but also helps to effect an interior change of heart that gradually brings a persons thoughts, words, and actions in conformity with Gospel values.31 3. The Narrative Basis of Christian Morality. A Christians moral decisions should flow from his or her living relationship with God, which can only be nourished by a dedicated life of prayer. The ensemble of a persons prayer experiences constitutes an important memory that has a great impact on his or her outlook on life and process of moral decision making. When taken together, these experiences form the narrative backdrop against which he or she understands the nature of what it means to live in the Spirit. The more a person brings to God the concrete problems and concerns of his or her life, the more will the process of spiritual and moral discernment be rooted in a sense of the presence of Gods providential care. In doing so, an individual begins to view his or her moral life as intimately involved with the story of his or her ongoing relationship with God. That story cannot be fully understood, however, apart from the larger narrative of the persons relationship to Gods People, the Church, and its ongoing salvific mission in the world. These interweaving histories of a persons relationship with God and with Gods People provide the Christian with the narrative context within which he or she

31

See OKEEFE, Becoming Good, Becoming Holy, 113-24.

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conceives of, approaches, and seeks to resolve the moral dilemmas of his or her life.32 4. The Relevance of Scripture for the Christian Moral Life. The centrality of Scripture for Christian prayer has an effect on a persons moral outlook. Scripture provides not only explicit content for the Christian moral vision (the decalogue [Dt 5:122], the golden rule [Mt 22:37-39], the beatitudes [Mt 5:1-12]), but also a narrative point of departure for developing a contemplative outlook on life. Well-established prayer forms such as the lectio divina encourage the person at prayer to break open the Word of God and to listen to it with the heart. Through such practices, the Scriptures mediate an experience of the Spirit in ones life and invites a person to allow that Word to grow within him or her and become flesh. A person who listens to the Word of God in the Scriptures in a contemplative manner gradually carries that outlook to the rest of his or her affairs. Since contemplation is an essential feature of happiness (even in our present imperfect state), it follows that it will have much to offer a person as he or she strives to make sense of his or her role in a quickly changing world.33 5. The Epistemological Role of Love in the Christian Moral Life. A life of prayer also gives the Christian a deeper appreciation of the epistemological role of love in his or her moral outlook. Through prayer, a person not only professes belief in a personal God, but also comes to an intimate

32 So in allowing ourselves to adopt and be adopted by a particular story, we are in fact assuming a set of practices which will shape the ways we relate to our world and destiny. See HAUERWAS, BONDI, and BURRELL, Truthfulness and Tragedy, 36. For the social dimensions of narrative and Christian ethics, see STANLEY HAUERWAS, A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), 9-35. 33 For the priority of contemplation even in the state of imperfect happiness, see THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 3, a. 5, resp. For fostering a contemplative attitude toward life, see WILLIAM A. BARRY and WILLIAM J. CONNOLLY, The Practice of Spiritual Direction (Minneapolis, MN: The Seabury Press, 1982), 46-64.

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knowledge of him. This knowledge is connatural rather than conceptual and entails not a factual knowledge of the faith, but a loving penetration into the divine mystery that sustains it. As a person persists in prayer, he or she draws closer to God in charity, i.e., through an intimate union of the divine and human wills. This union has been likened to a certain kind of friendship and bears the threefold marks of benevolence, reciprocity, and mutual indwelling. As friendship with God, charity informs the other virtues and conveys an intuitive appreciation of the faith (amor ipse nititia est). This appreciation manifests itself, first and foremost, in a deeper desire for conversion of life and a willingness to adhere more firmly to the lex nova of Christs abiding Spirit.34 6. A Broader Understanding of Conscience. The new relationship effected between the Holy Spirit and the human spirit by Christs redemptive journey allows for a broader notion of moral conscience. Rather than a two-tiered understanding of conscience as a judgment of the practical intellect (i.e., conscience) supported by an intuitive understanding of the fundamental principles of the moral law within the very structures of human moral cognition (i.e., synderesis or anamnesis), a third tier can be added by which the Spirit touches our own spirits (i.e., through grace) and confides in us through its internal promptings a deeper insight into the moral requirements of the lex nova. At this level, the distinctions between the natural and supernatural orders are maintained, but in a way that is sensitive to the eschatological (already-butnot-yet) orientation of the new creation effected by Christs redemptive action. When seen in this light, the first glimmerings

34 See AQUINAS, Summa theologiae, II-II, q. 24, a. 2, resp. For a discussion of the epistemological role of love, see GAYBBA, Aspects of the Medieval History of Theology, 32-43. For a discussion of knowledge through connaturality, see WILLIAM JOHNSTON, Mystical Theology: The Science of Love (London: Harper Collins, 1995), 50-59. For a discussion of charity as friendship with God, see PAUL J. WADELL, Friendship and the Moral Life Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), 120-41; IDEM, The Primacy of Love: An Introduction to the Ethics of Thomas Aquinas, New York/Mahwah, NJ, 1992), 63-78.

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of the new creation are found in this fundamental anthropological reorientation which Christs prayer from the cross effects in all of humanity. The Spirit, in other words, not only yearns for transcendence within the human heart, but also goads and prompts it to a deeper and more certain knowledge of the most basic of Gospel values.35 7. The Relevance of Spirituality for the Christian Moral Life. A life of prayer also enables a person to appreciate the close connections that exist between Christian spirituality and morality. Such connections come through especially when spirituality is understood as a field-encompassing discipline embracing those aspects of a persons living faith or commitment that concern his or her striving to attain the highest ideal or goal.36 When seen in this light, both spirituality and morality have the same ultimate end (i.e., God) and prayer is a significant means used by each of them for achieving that end. What is more, each can be understood as operating on three distinct (yet related) levels of legitimate inquiry: personal experience, teachings, and academic study. These parallels point not only to the complementary nature of Christian spirituality and morality, but also to their common unifying ground. Prayer shares in this unified complementarity not so much by providing explicit content for either of these fields to work on (regardless of the level being referred to), but by informing the

35 For the two levels of conscience, see JOSEPH RATZINGER, Conscience and Truth (Dallas, TX: Knights of Columbus, 1991), 23-32. For the relationship between conscience and the Holy Spirit, see SERVAIS PINCKAERS, Linstinct et lEsprit au coeur de lthique chrtienne, in Novitas et veritas vitae: aux sources du renouveau de la morale chrtienne, ed. Carlos-Josaphat Pinto de Oliveira (Fribourg/Paris: Editions Universitaires/Editions du Cerf, 1991), 213-23. 36 See SANDRA M. SCHNEIDERS, Spirituality in the Academy, Theological Studies 50(1989): 692; WALTER H. PRINCIPE, Toward Defining Spirituality, Studies in Religion 12(1983): 139; MICHAEL DOWNEY, ed. The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1993), s. v. Spirituality, Christian, by Walter H. Principe.

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process of faith seeking understanding itself in an ancillary or even intrinsic manner.37 8. The Relevance of Liturgy for the Christian Moral Life. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. Christian prayer finds its fullest expression in the Liturgy, the prayer of the Church universal. There, the Church is most at home and most deeply expresses itself to God the Father, through the action of Christ, and in the Spirit. The Liturgy, and the Eucharist in particular, lies at the very heart of the Church. There, every anthropological dimension of human existence is addressed and brought under the recreative action of Gods redemptive grace. There, all the major forms of prayer adoration, praise, thanksgiving, petition, intercession find expression and are addressed to God and offered up on the basis of the humanitys eschatological participation in the new creation. When at prayer, the Church gathers all of humanity into itself under the headship of Christ and receives not only his intercession on the worlds behalf before the Father, but also the help of his Spirit in seeking to resolve the concrete problems facing the world today. This action of the Spirit in the world is not reserved for abstract questions of an ethereal spiritual nature, but engages humanity in the most complex and perplexing dilemmas that it faces. It does so by reminding us that love, not hatred, forms the very basis of all reality and should also be at the basis of all human relationships.38 9. An Appreciation of Prayer as a Basis for Ecumenical and Interreligious Ethics. Christs redemptive journey restored

See BILLY, Evangelical Kernels, 167-70; PRINCIPE, Toward Defining Spirituality, 135-37; MACQUARRIE, Prayer and Theological Reflection, 584-87. 38 For the moral dimensions of Christian worship, see OKEEFE, Becoming Good, Becoming Holy, 91-109; JAN MICHAEL JONCAS, The Church at Prayer, 80-96; EDNA MCDONAGH, Invitation and Response: Essays in Christian Moral Theology (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1972), 96-108; DONALD E. SALIERS, Liturgy and Ethics: Some New Beginnings, Journal of Religious Ethics 7(1979): 173-89; BASTIANEL, Prayer in Christian Moral Life, 69-87; GEOFFREY WAINWRIGHT, Doxology: A Systematic Theology (London: Epworth Press, 1980), 399-434. See also DULLES, The Craft of Theology, 197-210.
37

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harmony to humanitys anthropological makeup and reestablished the bond between the human spirit and the Spirit of God. His anguished prayer from the cross resonates now within every human heart and manifests itself in the yearning of Gods Spirit within our own. When seen in this light, his deep, heartfelt yearning for transcendence is the common ground that binds all of humanity together in its common spiritual quest. It forms an important point of departure for all aspects of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and opens up new horizons for further collaboration on the development of a common religious ethic uniting all of the worlds great religions. All of this has become possible because, in Christ, theology and anthropology have now become intimately related. Gods fullest revelation to humanity is now manifest deep within the human heart. Gods heartfelt cry from the cross now resonates within every human heart where the Spirit cries out with groanings that cannot be expressed in speech (Rom 8:26).39 10. An Appreciation for the Healing and Elevating Role of the Spirit. Finally, prayer reminds us that the healing and elevation of humanity (on whatever anthropological level) ultimately comes about through the action of the Spirit in our lives. This insight is an important corrective for the traditional commandment-oriented presentation of the moral life. Placing prayer at the center of Christs redemptive journey helps us to see the moral life as an aspect of the one journey in which all of us are called to participate. It reminds us that the Christian moral life loses its character and inner dynamism once it is taken out of the context of the ongoing call to conversion. What is more, it helps us to recognize our own inability to do what the Lord asks of us in our lives and hence our need to ask for his help. Prayer helps us to get in touch with our inner weakness and to humbly ask God for a change of heart. It bids us to turn

39 For the interplay of Christian spirituality with other religions, see KOSUKE KOYAMA, Interplay with Other Religions, in the Study of Christian Spirituality, 554-61. For Christian mysticism in dialogue with the religions of Asia and the resulting ethical implications, see JOHNSTON, Mystical Theology, 120-54, 326-64.

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to God at all times and to ask for the grace to respond to promptings of the Spirit in our lives and to use its gifts for the good of others. Through prayer, the Spirit who helps us in our weakness (Rom 8:26), gives us the strength to trust in Gods promise of a new creation. The yearning of the Spirit within our hearts is the first fruits of this new creation and will gradually fill our spirits and spill out into the other anthropological dimensions of our lives. When seen in this light, the moral life becomes the way in which the Spirit helps us to live the Gospel on increasingly deeper and deeper levels of consciousness.40

Conclusion Christs prayer from the cross can be understood as an intimate part of his threefold redemptive journey that restores anthropological resonance to the weakened condition of the human universal. The reestablished bond between Holy Spirit and human spirit wrought by this journey manifests itself in a similar journey that every human person is now called to undertake through varying degrees of incorporation into Christs body, the Church. This rekindled bond has very concrete ramifications for ones understanding of the nature of human action, Catholic moral theological reflection, and the nature of the Christian moral life. If prayer flows from the center of the Christ event, it must have profound significance for every other aspect of Christian life. As an eschatological sign of the new humanity, this life has similar repercussions for all of humanity, an insight verified by the well-known theological assertion that everyone receives sufficient grace to pray and that the one who prays will certainly be saved. The moral ramifications of prayer stem from its being an action of the Holy Spirit in an individuals personal and communal life. The Spirit who groans within the human heart

40 For the healing and elevating role of the Spirit, see AQUINAS, Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 110, a. 1, resp; q. 113, a. 2, resp. For the role of the Spirit in the moral life, see PINCKAERS, The Sources of Christian Ethics, 177-82; IDEM, Linstinct et lEsprit au coeur de lthique chrtienne, 213-23.

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in sounds that cannot be expressed provides a teleological, instrumental, and anthropological orientation to human action. That same Spirit groaning in the human heart informs the very nature of Catholic moral theological reflection by helping to raise the right questions, by placing the action in the context of the theologians ecclesial vocation, and by providing a broader view of the nature of rational discourse. All of these impinge on the specifically moral dimensions of Christian prayer itself, ten of which have been referred to and briefly developed in the preceding pages. Prayer has often been looked upon as something merely ancillary to the reflective thought processes of Catholic moral theology and by extension to the Christian moral life itself. Such an understanding was due, at least in part, to the failure: (1) to establish the continuity between the individuals spiritual journey and the redemptive journey of Christ himself and (2) to place Christs prayer from the cross at the very center of the Christ event. The soteriologically based understanding of prayer presented in this essay rectifies these shortcomings and makes the Christians spiritual-moral life a visible sign of Christs redeeming action in the world. As such, it not only provides a way of talking about the unity of spirituality and morality in the context of the various anthropological dimensions of a persons life, but also accentuates the role of the Spirit in a persons attempt to reach his or her ultimate end through appropriate rational (i.e., virtuous) means. For these reasons alone, prayer has much to offer our understanding of the Christian moral life. If nothing else, it reminds us of the weakness of our human condition and of our utter need to rely on Gods gracious help at every step of our present journey.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100 Roma Italy. DENNIS J. BILLY, C.Ss.R.

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This article offers a theological basis for the relationship between prayer and the act of faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum). It does so by rooting the act of prayer at the very center of the Christ event and by showing the ramifications such an understanding has for human action, Catholic moral theological reflection, and the Christian moral life. Este artculo ofrece una base teolgica acerca de la relacin entre la oracin y el acto de fe que busca el entendimiento (fides quaerens intellectum). Lo hace fundamentado el acto de oracin en la centralidad del evento de Cristo y demuestra las derivaciones que dicho entendimiento tiene para la accin humana, la reflexin teolgica moral catlica y la vida moral cristiana. The author is an extraordinary Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es professor extraordinario en la Academia Alfonsiana.

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PARTIE

Pour chacune des annes prparatoires au Jubil de lan 2000, Jean-Paul II, dans sa lettre apostolique Tertio millennio adveniente1, proposait une personne de la Trinit, un sacrement et une vertu thologale sur lesquelles centrer notre rflexion. Pour 1999, il sagit, comme on le sait, du Pre, de la Pnitence et de la charit. Comme nous le verrons, une telle proposition ne manque pas daudace. Un ouvrage rcent, publi prcisment dans le cadre de lanne du Pre, commence par linterrogation et la remarque suivantes: Peut-on encore parler de Dieu le Pre, comme JeanPaul II nous y invite, pour clore notre millnaire, en 1999? On se le demande. Cela peut paratre une provocation, car notre civilisation moderne est ne sous le signe de la mort du pre: de 1789 Freud2. La provocation est en quelque sorte redouble par le choix du Pape quant au sacrement redcouvrir en lien avec la paternit de Dieu en cette dernire anne prparatoire au Jubil. Sil nest pas surprenant quil associe la charit, source et terme de toutes les vertus3, au Pre, la source et lorigine de toute la

Abrviation: TMA. R. LAURENTIN, Au-del de la mort du pre, Dieu notre Pre, Paris, Fayard, 1998, p. 13. La rponse vidente que constitue lavalanche de publications rcentes sur Dieu le Pre nenlve rien au caractre de provocation que peut prsenter pour le thologien la proposition de Jean-Paul II, de mme que pour le monde la rponse du thologien qui, ne se contentant pas de cder la fivre ditoriale, sefforcera doffrir une rflexion vraiment thologique et vraiment contemporaine. 3 Catchisme de lglise Catholique, 1827 (Abrviation: CC).
1 2

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divinit4, le lien de convenance napparat pas aussi spontanment entre la personne du Pre et le sacrement de Pnitence. On aurait pu sattendre ce que soit propose ici lEucharistie, source et sommet de toute la vie chrtienne5, sommet aussi du septnaire sacramentel, mais le thme de lEucharistie a t rserv pour lanne jubilaire elle-mme. Le choix du Pape prend cependant vraiment le caractre dune provocation si lon considre lappellation sacrement de Pnitence, alors que celles de sacrement du pardon ou sacrement de la Rconciliation auraient trs bien pu tre utilises. Dans les pages qui vont suivre, je voudrais prendre acte de la provocation que reprsente aujourdhui le thme de la paternit de Dieu, spcialement quand il est associ au thme de la pnitence, et tenter dy esquisser une rponse6. Dans cette optique, je ne mintresserai pas seulement, ni mme principalement, au sacrement de pnitence en tant que sacrement, mais plutt la pnitence en gnral dans son contexte de pardon-rconciliation7. Dans un premier temps, jessaierai de prciser la problmatique qui fait de lassociation du thme de la pnitence avec celui de la paternit de Dieu une provocation (1). Fixant ensuite le regard sur le Christ, et spcialement en son mystre pascal, nous y trouverons le fondement de toute rflexion thologique sur le rapport entre filiation (rapport au Pre) et pnitence (rapport au pch) (2). la lumire des rsultats obtenus, jessaierai de dgager quelques pistes de rflexion utiles pour une juste comprhension de la place et du sens de la pnitence dans la vie chrtienne (3) et, dans le contexte de la prochaine anne jubilaire, de la pratique des indulgences (4).

4 CC, 245, citant le Concile de Tolde VI (cf. Denzinger-Schnmetzer, 490) [Abrviation: DS]. 5 Lumen gentium, 11 1. 6 Comme nous le verrons, le thme de la charit trouvera sa place essentielle lintrieur de cette rponse. 7 Un autre motif de cet largissement de perspective se trouve dans la proximit de lanne jubilaire qui mettra en relief un aspect extrasacramentel de la pnitence: celui des indulgences.

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Comme on le voit, plusieurs thmes (paternit de Dieu, pch, pnitence, etc.) seront traits ensemble, qui mriteraient chacun une tude beaucoup plus dtaille. Mon propos nest mme pas ici dexposer adquatement les bases dune tude thologique de chacun deux. Il ma sembl quune rflexion sur la connexion de ces thmes entre eux mritait dtre faite. Je laisse au lecteur le soin den juger pour lui-mme la pertinence8. Ltude de la pnitence mamnera utiliser certains termes (ceux de satisfaction, de punition, de peine, par exemple) qui, outre le fait dtre devenus obscurs au plan conceptuel, pourraient tre explosifs par leur charge motive, moins que pour se mettre labri dune telle charge on ne les ait dj classs comme dsuets, dfinitivement dpasss. Jinvite donc le lecteur tre attentif non seulement au parcours dlucidation conceptuelle que je lui propose, mais aussi aux ractions quil pourra provoquer en lui.

1. Une provocation 1.1. Pour affronter thologiquement la crise de la paternit Avant daborder la question du lien entre paternit de Dieu et pnitence, revenons un instant sur le phnomne culturel quon pourrait appeler crise de la paternit, voqu plus haut en rfrence des ralits qui pourraient sembler dj lointaines (Rvolution franaise, Freud). Sans mtendre ici sur la description de ce phnomne, il me semble opportun den montrer lactualit, spcialement en contexte ecclsial9. Un

On pourrait objecter que ltude approfondie de chacun des thmes ici mentionns devrait prcder celle de leur connexion. Pour sense que soit cette remarque, elle ninvalide pas, me semble-t-il, lopportunit de la dmarche oppose, qui peut savrer complmentaire en prservant demble la rflexion thologique dun cloisonnement trop tanche en ses divers secteurs. 9 Cette crise de la paternit est aussi dactualit en milieu laque. En tmoigne un article rcent dE. SCALFARI intitul Il Padre che manca alla nostra societ (dans le journal romain La Repubblica, en date du 27 dcembre 1998, pp. 1. 10). Il est remarquable que lauteur voie dans
8

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tmoignage venant de lun des mouvements actuels de renouveau ecclsial me semble assez loquent. Parlant du Projet de Renouveau de lglise, promu par le Service dAnimation Communautaire du Mouvement pour un Monde meilleur, don Gino Moro (directeur de ce Service) affirme:
La phase durant laquelle lexprience du Mystre tait immerge dans la civilisation patriarcale est termine. Cest de l que lEsprit est en train de nous faire sortir. Et maintenant nous vivons un peu tous un dpaysement et une difficult de nous retrouver, de rveiller lintrieur de nous les grandes nergies qui proviennent de la Trinit mme, travers le ct transperc du Christ ressuscit. Dans la culture prcdente, cette conomie divinisatrice se mouvait autour de la figure symbolique du pre: Dieu au-dessus de tous et son image dans le chef de la famille, de la socit, de lglise. Mais cest justement cette figure rcapitulative du pre-chef qui aujourdhui nexerce plus de fonction vitale. Nous sommes en train dmigrer du pre-chef et de la maison paternelle []. Le Projet Pastoral [] veut construire un Visage dglise qui trouve son coeur et son centre de gravitation et dquilibre dans lexprience du DieuCommunion. Non dun Dieu comme pre-chef dans le sens psychosocial du terme, un Dieu qui plus ou moins prolonge et absolutise la figure patriarcale de domination, en haut et audessus de nous, mais dun Dieu qui, dans le balbutiement de la foi et de la prire, soit peru intuitivement lintrieur de

lmancipation de la femme et la perte de la transcendance (qui sont pour lui deux lments fondateurs de la modernit et de la lacisation) les causes les plus essentielles de la vritable rvolution institutionnelle quest la disparition du Pre. Mme sil considre que de ce point de vue [de la modernit et de la lacisation] la disparition du pre serait un fait positif et non rversible, au moins dans ses formes archaques bases sur le commandement et sur lautorit exerce de droit divin (p. 10), il nen reconnat pas moins que la lacune de paternit est lune des causes non marginales de la perte didentit et de la nvrose diffuse qui afflige les dernires annes du sicle mourant et que le vide structurel de la socit moderne occidentale provient de labsence du pre (p. 1). Cest moi qui traduis de litalien.

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nous et devant nous comme Relation Subsistante. Cest le Dieu Trinitaire10.

Dans ce texte, Dieu est nomm comme Mystre, Communion et Trinit. Mais lon pourrait avoir limpression quil sagit dune Trinit sans Pre. Des trois personnes de la Trinit, seuls en effet lEsprit et le Christ ressuscit y sont prsents comme figures positives dans le cadre de lconomie divinisatrice. Dans sa rticence rfrer Dieu comme Pre, lauteur prend du moins la prcaution de prciser que cest lide dun Dieu comme pre-chef dans le sens psychosocial du terme quil soppose. On se demande tout de mme quelle thologie trinitaire chrtienne reste possible si, au-del de la dimension ngative de lexprience psychosociale de la paternit (et par consquent aussi de la filiation11), une rflexion anthropologique ne parvient pas affirmer et mettre en vidence une valeur positive de la relation pre-fils12. En thologie, la voie ngative et la voie dminence sont intrinsquement lies la voie affirmative, reposant sur lanalogie. Si lon se situe sur le plan de la conception de la vie chrtienne correspondant limage de Dieu propose dans le

10 G. MORO (a cura di), Chiese in Divenire. Spazio alle esperienze, Leumann (Torino), Elledici, 1998, p. 8-9. Cest moi qui traduis de litalien. Dans le prsent article, sauf mention contraire, les soulignements sont de lauteur cit. 11 Selon M.-J. LE GUILLOU, le mouvement idologique au sens moderne du mot est un refus de la filiation. Le problme de lglise aujourdhui est de restaurer dans sa profondeur limage du Pre. Lglise, lumire dans notre nuit (Parole et silence), Paris, Cerf, 1997, p. 160. 12 Notons en passant le lien quaffirme lvangile de Luc entre lexprience de la paternit-filiation humaine et le rapport du peuple avec Dieu, et ce, spcialement dans un contexte o il sagit de conversion. En Lc 1,17, lange apparu Zacharie prophtise en effet au sujet de Jean Baptiste: Il ramnera de nombreux fils dIsral au Seigneur, leur Dieu. Il marchera devant lui avec lesprit et la puissance dlie, pour ramener le coeur des pres vers les enfants et les rebelles la prudence des justes, prparant au Seigneur un peuple bien dispos. Le texte de Malachie quil cite ajoutait la mention du retour du coeur des pres vers leurs fils: et le coeur des fils vers leurs pres, de peur que je vienne frapper le pays danathme (Ml 3,24).

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texte cit de Gino Moro, il semble difficile de la mettre en valeur comme vie filiale. La valeur centrale prsente dans ce texte est celle de lmigration de la maison paternelle13. Dans le mme contexte, lauteur fait rfrence la figure dAbraham14 et parle du Dieu de lexode15. Notons le contraste avec la parabole du fils prodigue (Lc 15) o lloignement de la maison paternelle est symbole du pch. Ce contraste nous invite ne pas absolutiser aucune des deux symboliques et nous provoque par ailleurs en approfondir le sens. juste titre on peut proposer au chrtien une spiritualit de lExode16 dont on peut trouver un fondement (au-del mme de lexprience historique dexode du peuple lu et de la figure dAbraham) ds les premires pages de la Gense: Lhomme quitte son pre et sa mre et sattache sa femme (Gn 2,24; cf. Mt 19,5; Mc 10,7). Lenjeu du dpart, de l migration est toujours de communion et de fcondit (avec ce quelles impliquent de responsabilit). Mais la question est de savoir sil sagit simplement de laisser derrire soi (pour les dpasser) lexprience filiale et la rfrence au pre, ou bien sil sagit dune transformation de lexprience filiale laquelle convie le Dieu Crateur, le Dieu dAbraham et de Mose. On peut trouver une indication dans le sens du second

13 Lmigration, ou encore la situation spirituelle et symbolique de lmigrant, est prsente comme cl de lecture de lme du Projet de Renouveau de lglise (appel aussi Projet Pastoral). Cf. G. MORO (a cura di), Chiese in Divenire, p. 5-6, et plus gnralement les pp. 5-12 qui dveloppent cette thmatique de lmigration. 14 Quitte ton pays, ta parent et la maison de ton pre, pour le pays que je tindiquerai. Je ferai de toi un grand peuple, je te bnirai, je magnifierai ton nom Gn 12,1-2, cit dans G. MORO (a cura di), Chiese in Divenire, p. 8. Au lieu du texte italien cit, je reproduis ici le texte de la Bible de Jrusalem. 15 G. MORO (a cura di), Chiese in Divenire, p. 6. 16 Cf. R. TREMBLAY, LExode, une ide matresse de la pense thologique du Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger?, in R. TREMBLAYD.J. BILLY (d.), Historia: Memoria Futuri. Mlanges Louis Vereecke (70e anniversaire de naissance), (Quaestiones Morales, 5), Roma, Edacalf, 1991, p. 435-461 [repris dans R. TREMBLAY, LHomme qui divinise. Pour une interprtation christocentrique de lexistence, (Brches Thologiques, 16), MontralParis, d. PaulinesMdiaspaul, 1993, p. 77-104.

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membre de lalternative dans le fait que le pays vers lequel tous sont convis, qui est finalement le Royaume de Dieu, peut encore tre dsign par rfrence un pre: il sagit dune patrie. En tmoigne explicitement la Lettre aux Hbreux:
Cest dans la foi quils moururent tous sans avoir reu lobjet des promesses, mais ils lont vu et salu de loin, et ils ont confess quils taient trangers et voyageurs sur la terre [cf. Gn 23,4; Ps 39,13; 119,19]. Ceux qui parlent ainsi font voir ]. Et clairement quils sont la recherche dune patrie [ sils avaient pens celle do ils taient sortis, ils auraient eu le temps dy retourner. Or, en fait, ils aspirent une patrie meilleure, cest--dire cleste (He 11,13-16).

Le mouvement dexode nest donc pas une rupture par rapport la symbolique paternelle17 mais une transformation de cette symbolique. La rfrence paternelle doit passer des pres de la terre au Pre du Ciel. Il faut admettre que Moro, dans louvrage mentionn, voque la Patrie cleste et mme parle du Nouveau Peuple de Dieu, plerin dans lhistoire et dj en possession des arrhes de lultime Patrie Cleste18. Mais il faudrait parler non seulement de la Patrie cleste comme du terme de notre plerinage historique, mais nommer explicitement la personne du Pre cause de qui cette destination peut tre appel patrie. De plus, la connaissance de ce Pre et la relation lui nest pas rserve pour le moment de notre arrive dans lultime Patrie, mais est le fondement permanent de lexistence chrtienne. Ce nest pas le lieu de montrer de faon exhaustive comment tout cela se ralise dabord en Jsus. Quon se contente dvoquer, pour ce qui est du rapport entre paternit terrestre et paternit cleste, lpisode o Jsus est perdu et retrouv au Temple, lge de douze ans. Jsus y exprime clairement le motif de son loignement de son pre et de sa mre: Il me faut tre

Je dsigne par l lensemble des relations vcues de type pre-fils et leur signification pour la vie de la personne humaine. 18 G. MORO (a cura di), Chiese in Divenire, p. 8.
17

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chez mon Pre (Lc 2,49)19. Plus tard, Jsus affirme clairement la place unique du Pre cleste dans la vie des disciples: Nappelez personne votre Pre sur la terre: car vous nen avez quun, le Pre cleste (Mt 23,9). Cette affirmation suit immdiatement celle de lgalit fondamentale de tous: Pour vous, ne vous faites pas appeler Rabbi: car vous navez quun Matre, et tous vous tes des frres (Mt 23,8). Dieu lui-mme se fait notre frre en Jsus, le Fils ternel, mais nul ne devient jamais le frre du Pre ternel. Sa paternit est absolue, essentielle. Et notre rapport lui est foncirement filial. Dieu Pre ternel nabolit pas cependant les diverses formes de paternit dans lhistoire; il les fonde plutt, en les appelant tre comme un sacrement (cest--dire le signe et linstrument), de diverses manires, de sa paternit unique et essentielle. En tous temps, le pre de famille a eu et a encore un rle important dans la ralisation progressive de la relation Dieu de chacun de ses fils. Que la rfrence de Jsus enfant son Pre du ciel nabolisse pas le rle de son pre de la terre, la suite du texte dj cit (lpisode du recouvrement de Jsus au Temple) le suggre explicitement: Il redescendit alors avec eux et revint Nazareth; et il leur tait soumis (Lc 2,51). Outre la paternit naturelle, dautres rles sont porteurs de la symbolique paternelle. Linstitution de la royaut est un exemple qui a travers lhistoire des peuples et qui est prsent

~ ~ ~ Texte grec: ~ . Jutilise ici la traduction de la TOB qui vite le terme de maison du Pre, employ par la Bible de Jrusalem qui traduit: Je dois tre dans la maison de mon Pre, traduction qui peut se dfendre, si lon tient compte de la remarque de H. SCHRMANN: ~ la risposta di Ges data Certamente lespressione ~ nel tempio si riferisce a questo tempio come propriet e luogo della presenza (cf. Mt 20,21) del Padre. Il vangelo di Luca. Parte prima, (Commentario teologico del Nuovo Testamento III/1), Brescia, Paideia, 1983, p. 266. Voir aussi les pages suivantes de Schrmann sur le rapport entre les liens de parent terrestre de Jsus et son lien avec son Pre cleste. ~ Lexpression tre chez mon Pre (utilisant linfinitif prsent ) en Lc 2,49 voque dj lide de linhabitation mutuelle permanente du Pre et du Fils, qui sera affirme plusieurs fois dans lvangile de Jean (cf. Jn 10,38; 14,10.11.20). Ce qui nempche pas Jsus daller vers le Pre (cf. Jn 13,1; 14,12.28; 16,17.28; 17,11).
19

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aussi dans lAncien Testament. Dans la Nouvelle Alliance, un rle paternel revient la hirarchie (tymologiquement origine sacre)20. Le rejet justifi dune conception de la hirarchie sur le modle de la monarchie ne justifie pas le rejet dun rle paternel de la hirarchie dans lglise. Ce qui est requis nest pas le dpassement de la symbolique paternelle, mais son ajustement (impliquant une conversion continuelle) la rvlation trinitaire, ce qui comporte llimination du paternalisme et de lautoritarisme. Toute paternit intrahistorique doit recevoir son rle, tre mesure (et critique au besoin) en fonction du Pre de qui toute paternit, au ciel et sur la terre, tire son nom (Ep 3,15) et dont Jsus est le Rvlateur. 1.2. De la paternit de Dieu aux exigences de la pnitence En gardant prsent lesprit le contexte culturel dj voqu de crise de la paternit et les premiers lments que nous venons de tirer de la Parole de Dieu pour clairer la question, voyons maintenant comment, partir du contenu de la foi chrtienne, le Pape nous prsente, dans sa lettre TMA, les thmes qui retiendront notre attention, ne se contentant pas de les juxtaposer, mais traant un parcours qui va de lun (paternit de Dieu) lautre (pnitence des fils). Le thme de la paternit de Dieu est dabord reli lide dun largissement de perspectives:

20 Cf. le dcret Christus Dominus du Concile Vatican II, sur la charge pastorale des vques dans lglise, no 16: Dans lexercice de leur charge de pre et de pasteur, que les vques soient au milieu de leur peuple comme ceux qui servent, [] de vrais pres qui simposent [latin: praestant] par leur esprit damour et de dvouement envers tous et dont lautorit reue denhaut rencontre une adhsion unanime et reconnaissante. De mme le Concile invite les prtres avoir de leurs fidles [] un souci paternel Lumen gentium, 28 4. Le rapport pre-fils nlimine dailleurs aucunement le fondamental rapport fraternel. On le voit bien ce que les vques sont exhorts considrer les prtres la fois comme des fils et des amis (Lumen gentium, 28 2; Christus Dominus, 16 3) et comme des frres et des amis (Presbyterorum ordinis, 7).

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Lanne 1999, troisime et dernire anne prparatoire, servira largir les horizons des croyants selon la perspective mme du Christ: la perspective du Pre qui est aux cieux (cf Mt 5,45), par qui il a t envoy et vers qui il est retourn (cf Jn 16,28)21.

La rfrence Mt 5,45 o le Pre qui est aux cieux est celui qui fait lever son soleil sur les mchants et sur les bons, et tomber la pluie sur les justes et les injustes suggre la fois la porte universaliste de llargissement de perspectives dont il sagit et le caractre inconditionnel de lamour de Dieu qui en est le fondement. Dj on aperoit une orientation de la pense vers les thmes de la misricorde et du pardon. Dun mme mouvement, le Pape souligne que cet largissement dhorizon selon la perspective du Pre, loin de supposer un dpassement de la perspective du Christ, consiste prcisment dans la perspective mme du Christ22. Il semble que la correspondance de la perspective du Christ avec la perspective du Pre, ici exprime, signifie avant tout quen ce qui concerne le Dessein de salut pour lhumanit ce

TMA, 49 1. Le texte latin se lit comme suit: Annus MCMXCIX, tertius et postremus praeparatorius annus, prospectum mentis fidelium dilatare debet ad ipsam Christi mensuram, quae est mensura Patris qui est in caelis (cf. Mt 5,45), a quo missus est et ad quem rediit (cf. Io 16,28). Notons que, contrairement la traduction franaise, le texte latin lie le terme prospectum non pas directement au Christ ni au Pre, mais aux croyants, en le traduisant par horizon. Le sens est toutefois respect. La mesure du Christ et celle du Pre sont en fait la mesure de la perspective du Christ qui est la mesure de la perspective du Pre. Lampleur de perspective est ici corrlative de lampleur de lamour. 22 Dans son article intitul La paternit de Dieu, fondement de la morale chrtienne et de lthique humaine (dans le prsent fascicule de Studia Moralia, 73-94), R. TREMBLAY, partant du texte de Mt 5,44s comme expression du comportement (mores) du Pre envers tous mais par ailleurs sans aucune dpendance de TMA arrive mettre en vidence la perspective du Pre comme justification dune morale de lamour des ennemis. Poursuivant la rflexion, il prsente ensuite la correspondance entre le Pre et le Fils, au-del de lidentit de leurs perspectives, au plan de leur oeuvre commune ad extra, oeuvre qui savre constitutive pour ltre du sujet moral humain.
21

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quenvisage le Christ est exactement ce quenvisage le Pre. Cette affirmation peut trouver un appui dans certains textes de Jean. Ainsi, quand Jsus parle de ce quil a entendu auprs de son Pre et qui est devenu sien de telle sorte quil peut le communiquer ses disciples (Jn 15,15). De mme, en ce qui concerne la perspective de son action, lorsquil affirme que le Fils ne peut rien faire de lui-mme, mais seulement ce quil voit faire au Pre et que le Pre aime le Fils et lui montre tout ce quil fait (Jn 5,19-20). La formulation du texte pourrait aussi laisser entendre que la perspective du Christ est le Pre ou du moins est centre sur le Pre, dtermine par lui. Une telle interprtation complmentaire pourrait mettre en valeur la rciprocit de la relation Pre-Fils. Le Fils verrait toutes choses filialement, en fonction du Pre, de mme que, pourrait-on ajouter, le Pre verrait toutes choses paternellement, en fonction du Fils. Cette interprtation trouverait possiblement un appui dans la suite immdiate du texte du Pape, o il ne sagit plus de partager lunique regard (perspective) du Christ et de son Pre, mais o lun et lautre sont dabord prsents comme objets de connaissance, pour situer ensuite dans le Pre lorientation ultime de la vie et du coeur humains:
La vie ternelle, cest quils te connaissent, toi, le seul vritable Dieu, et celui que tu as envoy, Jsus Christ (Jn 17,3). Toute la vie chrtienne est comme un grand plerinage vers la maison du Pre, dont on retrouve chaque jour lamour inconditionnel pour toutes les cratures humaines, et en particulier pour le fils perdu (cf Lc 15,11-32). Ce plerinage concerne la vie intrieure de chaque personne, il implique la communaut croyante et enfin inclut lhumanit entire. Le Jubil, centr sur la figure du Christ, devient ainsi un grand acte de louange du Pre23.

Comme on le voit, la suite du texte, travers lvocation de la parabole du fils prodigue et la mention explicite de lamour

23

TMA, 49 2-3. Suit la citation de Ep 1,3-4.

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inconditionnel du Pre pour tous, confirme lorientation de la pense vers les thmes de la misricorde et du pardon. De plus, les implications de la perspective du plerinage vers la maison du Pre sont diffrencies selon trois niveaux: chaque personne, la communaut croyante, lhumanit entire. Cest dans ce contexte que Jean-Paul II introduit le thme de la pnitence, travers celui de la conversion:
En cette troisime anne, le sens du cheminement vers le Pre devra nous pousser tous parcourir, dans ladhsion au Christ, Rdempteur de lhomme, un itinraire de conversion authentique, qui comprend un aspect ngatif de libration du pch, et un aspect positif de choix du bien, exprim par les valeurs thiques comprises dans la loi naturelle confirme par lvangile. Cest dans ce cadre quil convient de redcouvrir et de clbrer avec ferveur le sacrement de la Pnitence, dans son sens le plus profond. Lannonce de la conversion comme exigence indispensable de lamour chrtien a une importance particulire dans la socit actuelle, o les fondements mmes dune conception thique de lexistence humaine semblent souvent perdus de vue24.

Notons tout de suite ce qui peut apparatre comme un contraste: la mention de lamour inconditionnel du Pre pour tous travers lvocation de Mt 5,45 et de Lc 15,11-32 (parabole du fils prodigue), suivie de laffirmation de lexigence de conversion dont laspect ngatif est dailleurs explicit (en rapport avec le pch) et laspect positif mis en rapport avec la loi naturelle confirme par lvangile. Un peu plus haut dans la mme lettre TMA, Jean-Paul II parlait de la conversion comme de la condition prliminaire de la rconciliation avec Dieu pour les personnes comme pour les communauts25. Cest l le cadre26 qui convient, affirme le Pape, pour redcouvrir et

TMA, 50. TMA, 32. Cest moi qui souligne. 26 Le terme latin est prospectus, le mme utilis pour dsigner la perspective du Christ et celle du Pre, laquelle sont invits sajuster les croyants, au dbut de TMA, 49.
24 25

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clbrer avec ferveur le sacrement de la pnitence. Le terme de pnitence lui-mme, qui nest pas sans voquer les ides de culpabilit et de peine (au double sens de pnible et de pnal)27 accentue ce contraste. La sotriologie ne sest-elle pas employe en grande partie au cours de ces dernires annes exorciser le spectre dun Dieu cruel, qui exige une compensation pour loffense reue, dun Dieu dont la justice assombrit le visage et relativise la misricorde. Associer Dieu Pre la pnitence (alors quon aurait si bien pu parler de pardon ou de rconciliation), nest-ce pas desservir la difficile opration (thologique et aussi pastorale) de rhabilitation de limage paternelle de Dieu dans la culture contemporaine? Disons tout de suite quune rponse qui soit vraiment thologique ne pourra se contenter de montrer que la pnitence est ncessaire mme si Dieu est Pre, ou encore que Dieu est Pre, mme sil exige la pnitence. Il nous faudra montrer comment lexigence de la pnitence contribue nous rvler positivement le visage du Pre (je dirais mme la beaut du visage du Pre) et comment en retour une juste comprhension thologique de la paternit de Dieu rvle la vrit profonde (et la beaut) de la pnitence. Si cela savrait impossible, il faudrait mettre de ct le terme pnitence en le considrant comme dsuet, inutile et mme dangereux28. 1.3. Le sacrement de Pnitence, quest-ce dire? Pourquoi, dans TMA, Jean-Paul II utilise-t-il le terme pnitence pour dsigner le sacrement qui porte aussi les noms de rconciliation et pardon? Le Catchisme de lglise

Mme sil ne semble pas que les notions de peine (pna) et de pnitence (pnitentia) soit tymologiquement relies (voir larticle Pnitence in Dictionnaire de thologie catholique, vol. 12, col. 722-723), il reste que la notion de pnitence inclut, comme nous le verrons, un rapport aux peines du pch. 28 Je ne veux pas dire quil faille mettre de ct inconsidrment des termes dont lusage est consacr par une longue tradition. Mais leur valeur devrait faire en sorte quil soit possible en tout temps den lucider le sens salvifique, cest--dire den confirmer la permanente utilit pour exprimer quelque aspect du Mystre du salut.
27

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Catholique peut nous aider rpondre cette question. On y lit en effet:


I. Comment est appel ce sacrement? [1423] Il est appel sacrement de conversion puisquil ralise sacramentellement lappel de Jsus la conversion (cf. Mc 1,15), la dmarche de revenir au Pre (cf. Lc 15,18) dont on sest loign par le pch. Il est appel sacrement de Pnitence puisquil consacre une dmarche personnelle et ecclsiale de conversion, de repentir et de satisfaction du chrtien pcheur. [1424] Il est appel sacrement de la confession puisque laveu, la confession des pchs devant le prtre est un lment essentiel de ce sacrement. Dans un sens profond ce sacrement est aussi une confession, reconnaissance et louange de la saintet de Dieu et de sa misricorde envers lhomme pcheur. Il est appel sacrement du pardon puisque par labsolution sacramentelle du prtre, Dieu accorde au pnitent le pardon et la paix (Ordo poenitentiae, formule de labsolution). Il est appel sacrement de Rconciliation car il donne au pcheur lamour de Dieu qui rconcilie: Laissez-vous rconcilier avec Dieu (2 Co 5,20). Celui qui vit de lamour misricordieux de Dieu est prt rpondre lappel du Seigneur: Va dabord te rconcilier avec ton frre (Mt 5,24).

Lensemble de ces appellations manifeste le caractre dialogal du sacrement, incluant une dmarche humaine et une action divine. Les trois premiers noms rfrent principalement la dmarche humaine, les deux derniers principalement laction divine. Principalement, dis-je, car dune part, cest sous laction de lEsprit Saint que lhomme se convertit29, et dautre part, lamour de Dieu qui rconcilie rend lhomme prt se rconcilier avec ses frres30. Parmi ces nombreuses appellations du sacrement, deux

29 Cf. CC, 1448. Sur le rle de la grce dans la conversion et la pnitence, cf. aussi nos 1428, 1432, 1458, 1460. 30 Cf. CC, 1424. Seul le terme pardon rfre exclusivement loeuvre de Dieu, en ce sens que lon ne peut pas dire que lhomme se pardonne.

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semblent privilgies: celles de Pnitence et de Rconciliation. Ces deux seuls noms sont en effet utiliss conjointement pour dsigner le sacrement dans le titre mme de larticle du CC portant sur ce sacrement, ainsi que dans le soustitre VI du mme article31. Il sagit des deux termes les plus englobants respectivement des lments de la dmarche humaine et de laction divine. On peut dire en effet que la rconciliation inclut le pardon. Quant la pnitence, le CC exprime son caractre englobant par rapport la dmarche humaine implique dans le sacrement tout dabord par lindication de son double caractre personnel et ecclsial et ensuite en la dcrivant laide de trois termes: la conversion, le repentir et la satisfaction (cf. n 1423). Il ne sagit pas strictement parler dune numration des parties intgrantes de la pnitence, puisque la conversion inclut le repentir et la satisfaction, de mme que laveu (cf. n 1448), et prend ds lors un caractre aussi englobant que le terme pnitence luimme qui comprend les mmes lments (cf. n 1450, 1480). Il reste signaler lexistence dune acception plus restreinte du terme pnitence, mentionne explicitement par le CC, et dsignant la satisfaction sacramentelle (cf. n 1459, 1494). Tenant compte de cette dernire prcision, lon peut penser que le sacrement dont il sagit ici est dsign du nom de Pnitence quand on veut souligner quil implique et consacre une dmarche personnelle et ecclsiale de conversion (cf. n 1423) incluant un aspect de satisfaction (ce dernier lment motivant la prfrence par rapport au terme sacrement de conversion).

31 Il en est de mme dailleurs dans lincipit et le titre de lExhortation apostolique post-synodale Reconciliatio et paenitentia de Jean-Paul II (2 dcembre 1984) sur la rconciliation et la pnitence dans la mission de lglise aujourdhui. Dans TMA, 32, Jean-Paul II affirmait que, dans la prparation du Jubil, il serait bon de placer de nouveau au premier plan ce qui a constitu le thme du Synode des vques de 1984, cest--dire la pnitence et la rconciliation. Dans lart. du CC portant sur le sacrement de Pnitence et de Rconciliation, cette appellation double est utilise 3 fois, celle de sacrement de Pnitence, 20 fois, sacrement de Rconciliation, 4 fois, alors que les autres appellations ne sont utilises chacune que 2 fois.

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1.4. Misricorde et pnitence tant soulign cet aspect de satisfaction inhrent la conversion, le contraste mentionn plus haut entre laffirmation de lamour inconditionnel du Pre pour tous (cf. Mt 5,45; Lc 15,11-32) et celle de la conversion comme condition prliminaire de la rconciliation avec Dieu pour les personnes comme pour les communauts32 est en quelque sorte accentu. Il risque de ltre encore davantage si lon prend en considration une autre notion mentionne par le CC dans le cadre de la doctrine de la Pnitence: la notion de peine33. Je reprendrai maintenant la provocation ainsi prcise en confrontant la paternit misricordieuse de Dieu successivement avec les exigences de la conversion, de la satisfaction et de la peine. Lon peut dj anticiper en affirmant que la rponse fondamentale ces trois lments de provocation rside dans la dignit de la libert humaine. Le pourquoi qui nat spontanment la pense de ces exigences pnitentielles est lcho dun pourquoi plus fondamental qui traverse toute existence humaine: le pourquoi de la mort et de la souffrance34. Cette dernire a certes un enracinement naturel: Personne nchappe lexprience de la souffrance, des maux dans la nature qui apparaissent comme lis aux limites propres des cratures35. Mais, la suite de S. Paul, lglise a toujours enseign que limmense misre qui opprime les hommes et leur inclination au mal et la mort ne sont pas comprhensibles sans leur lien avec le pch dAdam et

TMA, 32 Elle est mentionne la premire fois propos de la contrition imparfaite (n 1453), puis propos de lexcommunication (1463) et enfin propos des indulgences. (1471-1479; 1498). La synthse finale en parle aussi propos des effets du sacrement de Pnitence (1496), alors que dans le texte principal correspondant (1470), il y est fait seulement allusion travers lide de jugement. 34 Jean-Paul II traite de cette question la lumire de la Rvlation dans sa Lettre apostolique Salvifici doloris (11 fvrier 1984), spcialement au chapitre III intitul Recherche de la rponse la question sur le sens de la souffrance. 35 CC, 385.
32 33

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le fait quil nous a transmis un pch dont nous naissons tous affects et qui est mort de lme (cf. Cc. Trente: DS 1512)36. Outre ce pch originel proprement dit (origin), le pch dAdam (originant) a eu pour consquence la perte de la justice originelle pour lui et tous ses descendants. Cette justice originelle comportait une amiti avec son Crateur et une harmonie avec lui-mme et avec la cration autour de lui37, de telle sorte que tant quil demeurait dans lintimit divine, lhomme ne devait ni mourir (cf. Gn 2,17; 3,19), ni souffrir (cf. Gn 3,16)38. Comme nous le verrons au cours de lexamen successif des thmes de la conversion, de la satisfaction et de la peine, cest chaque fois dune faon diffrente que se prsente le pourquoi de la souffrance, que nous devrons confronter la paternit misricordieuse de Dieu. Ce sera aussi loccasion de mettre en vidence le rle essentiel de la charit en rapport avec ces exigences. 1.4.1. La conversion Concernant lexigence de conversion, il faut noter quelle nest pas prsente comme condition prliminaire du pardon (au sens de lattitude bienveillante et misricordieuse de Dieu) mais bien de la rconciliation, ce terme impliquant en effet non seulement le pardon offert mais le pardon reu et ainsi le rtablissement de la rciprocit de la relation de lhomme avec Dieu. Ce rtablissement ne serait pas ncessaire si Dieu ntait pas absolument Pre de lhomme, en tant que Crateur et Divinisateur, si lhomme pouvait vivre en tranger de Dieu, sil pouvait avoir (ou plutt tre) en lui-mme sa propre source dtre et de vie, sil pouvait se raliser et trouver le bonheur hors de sa vocation dernire [ qui] est rellement unique, savoir divine39. Le pch nimplique pas en effet un changement en Dieu dont leffet ngatif sur lhomme viendrait de lextrieur, de

36 37 38 39

CC, 404. CC, 374. CC, 376. Gaudium et spes, 22 5.

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sorte que le retour de la bienveillance de Dieu ne ferait que laisser lhomme la batitude de son autosuffisance40. Non, cest de lintrieur que le pch affecte lhomme: cest son amiti avec Dieu qui est perdue, et cela nest pas sans consquence sur son tre: sur la dimension ontologique de son rapport surnaturel avec Dieu, et mme sur sa nature qui reste blesse, incline au mal41. La souffrance implique dans la conversion peut se comprendre par une application analogique de la loi dinertie, selon laquelle les corps tendent garder leur tat. Tout changement implique une dpense dnergie, un effort. Cest la mme structure fondamentale que lon retrouve en ce qui concerne la croissance et la diminution des vertus et des vices en tant quhabitus. La restauration du lien damiti avec Dieu rencontre dans lhomme la rsistance dun mouvement contraire: La conversion Dieu est essentiellement amour, car cest par son amour quune personne sordonne Dieu; mais quand le point de dpart est le contre-amour quest le pch, lamour prend cette forme douloureuse et mortifiante quest lamour pnitent avec ce quil comporte ncessairement de mort soi-mme42. Lexigence de conversion lve le voile sur la profondeur damour laquelle se situe la paternit de Dieu envers lhomme. Elle est limage de sa paternit envers le Fils ternel. Et la filiation divine par grce est limage de lengendrement ternel du Fils par le Pre au sein de la Trinit immanente, qui nest jamais sans le consentement ternel du Fils son engendrement. Lhomme, cr limage de Dieu qui est Amour, est cr pour tre amour. Il est cr particulirement limage du Fils; son amour envers Dieu sera foncirement amour filial. Alors que limage de Dieu est ralise en lui par cration et est inamissible, la ressemblance est remise son libre

Cette batitude illusoire nest pas trangre, me semble-t-il, celle que recherche une certaine conception superficielle de la misricorde qui consisterait en ce que Dieu mvite la culpabilit, me laisse tranquille, quels que soient mes choix. 41 CC, 407; cf. 405. 42 J.-H. NICOLAS, Synthse dogmatique. De la Trinit la Trinit, Fribourg (Suisse) Paris, ditions Universitaires Beauchesne, 19913, 509.
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consentement43. Alors que le Fils ternel est engendr, non pas cr, les fils adoptifs sont engendrs et non seulement crs; ils sont crs limage du Fils pour pouvoir participer eux-mmes par grce la pleine ralisation de la ressemblance du Fils. Ainsi, quand la ressemblance filiale est altre par le pch44, ce nest pas sans le consentement de lhomme que Dieu veut la restaurer (par la conversion qui implique la fois prvenance de la grce et effective rponse de lhomme). 1.4.2. La satisfaction tant admise la ncessit de la conversion, avec ce quelle comporte de pnible, pour retrouver lamiti de Dieu perdue par le pch, lon peut se demander ce que signifie lexigence de satisfaction. Il faut reconnatre que ce terme est ambigu. Il pourrait voquer limage dun Dieu insatisfait, proccup de sa propre satisfaction, de son propre bien, ft-ce aux frais de lhomme. Selon le CC, la ncessit de la satisfaction est lie au fait que labsolution enlve le pch, mais [qu]elle ne remdie pas tous les dsordres que le pch a causs45. La satisfaction consiste dans la rparation de ces dsordres. Il y a dabord des torts visibles causs au prochain que la simple justice exige de rparer; le CC en donne quelques exemples: restituer des choses voles, rtablir la rputation de celui qui a t calomni, compenser des blessures. Mais en plus, le pch blesse et affaiblit le pcheur lui-mme, ainsi que ses relations avec Dieu et avec le prochain. Les dsordres inhrents la personne mme du pcheur ont dj t voqus au paragraphe prcdent

Sur la distinction et la relation (remontant lAntiquit) entre image et ressemblance de Dieu en lhomme, cf. L.F. LADARIA, Antropologia teologica, (Piemme Theologica), Casale Monferrato, Piemme, 1995, p. 154. Ladaria cite Irne de Lyon, Tertullien, Clment dAlexandrie et Origne. Il rappelle que cette distinction est la racine de lenseignement, commun dans la thologie catholique, de la permanence de limage de Dieu dans lhomme, mme aprs le pch, bien que soit perdue la ressemblance (p. 154). 44 Cf. Gaudium et spes, 22 2. 45 Toutes les citations de ce paragraphe sont tires de CC, 1459.
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propos de laspect pnible de la conversion. On peut noter simplement ici que ces dsordres ne sont pas ncessairement tous rpars aprs la dmarche fondamentale de conversion consacre par le pardon sacramentel: relev du pch, le pcheur doit encore recouvrer la pleine sant spirituelle. Quant aux dsordres qui concernent les relations du pcheur avec Dieu et avec le prochain, au-del des torts visibles dj mentionns, il faut, pour en mesurer la porte, considrer la nature de lordre qui est perturb par le pch. Le CC en parle propos de la loi morale dont cet ordre est le fondement: La loi morale suppose lordre rationnel tabli entre les cratures, pour leur bien et en vue de leur fin, par la puissance, la sagesse et la bont du Crateur46. En plus de ce lien de lordre de la cration et qui sexprime donc dans la nature des tres, il faut tenir compte du fait que par un mystrieux dessein de la bont de Dieu, les hommes sont unis entre eux par un lien surnaturel en vertu duquel le pch de lun nuit galement aux autres, de mme que la saintet de lun profite galement aux autres47. Sur cette base, on peut en outre affirmer que le fait que toutes les consquences du pch (et de tout acte humain) ne soient pas directement discernables est li au caractre historique de la libert humaine, et ce, selon deux dimensions. Tout dabord, tout acte humain a un effet non seulement sur la personne qui le pose et sur les choses quelle domine, mais aussi sur dautres personnes libres, et mme, quoique mystrieusement, avec toutes les autres personnes humaines, avec qui elle a communaut de nature et de destin (dimension communautaire de lhistoire). Ensuite, les consquences de tout acte humain ne sont pas toutes immdiates mais se dploient dans le temps, de telle sorte que son auteur nen a un contrle que trs partiel. La prvision des consquences de lacte humain fait partie de la moralit et relve en particulier de la vertu de prudence. Une exigence de satisfaction ou rparation qui aille au-del des torts visibles et par consquent au-del de la mesure et du contrle du pcheur qui se convertit, peut donner limpression

CC, 1951. Cest moi qui souligne. PAUL VI, Constitution apostolique Indulgentiarum doctrina, 4, rfrant s. Augustin, Du baptme contre les Donatistes, 1, 28 (P.L., XLIII, 124).
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damoindrir la misricorde. Un Dieu tout-puissant et toutmisricordieux, en effet, ne pourrait-il pas simplement annuler le poids inutile et mme crasant des consquences des pchs passs, pour permettre lhomme de recommencer zro? Mais que serait alors lhistoire des hommes? Une suite dinterventions miraculeuses o Dieu annule les consquences des actes peccamineux et ne laisse subsister que les consquences des actes bons? Mais alors la libert perdrait sa dignit qui consiste notamment tre causa sui. Certes, aucune libert finie ne peut tre absolument causa sui. Mais dans la dpendance de lunique source de toute libert, cest--dire de la Libert divine qui ne devient jamais concurrence ou domination de celle de lhomme, prcisment parce quelle est libert paternelle qui engendre, qui communique la vie, la libert humaine est rellement voulue par Dieu comme causa sui. Dieu ne trie pas parmi les actes de lhomme ceux qui comptent et ceux qui ne comptent pas, ceux auxquels il pourrait laisser ce pouvoir de la libert dtre dterminants pour lhomme lui-mme et son histoire, et ceux auxquels par une intervention extrieure il devrait retirer ce pouvoir. Dieu ne veut pas dune marionnette humaine, mais dun vritable partenaire dalliance48. Il faut ajouter que ce partenaire dalliance nest pas seulement chaque personne mais aussi lhumanit comme telle appele tre lpouse du Christ. Corrlativement, cette dignit dtre causa sui dont on a parl, on pourrait lappliquer lhumanit comme communion des liberts. Nest-ce pas pour honorer cette dignit que le Sauveur de lhumanit nest pas seulement Dieu, mais Dieu fait homme, le Fils incarn? Une rconciliation qui ninclurait pas lexigence de satisfaction, cest--dire la responsabilit permanente de lhomme dassumer les consquences de ses actes et de rparer ses pchs, comme individu et comme communaut (dans un quilibre dont la mesure revient Dieu), une telle rconciliation rduirait en quelque sorte lhomme un patient de la mdecine

48 Il y aurait lieu de complter la conception de la dignit de la libert humaine comme causa sui en considrant cette dignit comme capacit de rponse Dieu, ce qui conduirait enrichir corrlativement la notion de satisfaction.

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divine dont lunique activit, en ce qui concerne son pch, serait de consentir sa thrapie. Il suffit dajouter avec le CC: Mais notre satisfaction, celle que nous acquittons pour nos pchs, nest que par Jsus-Christ: nous qui, de nous-mmes comme tels, ne pouvons rien nous-mmes, avec laide de Celui qui nous fortifie, nous pouvons tout (Ph 4,13)49. Ainsi, par Lui, avec Lui, et en Lui, la mesure de ce que chacun peut rparer dpasse ce quil peut imaginer. 1.4.3. La peine Il nous reste explorer le sens dune autre notion dont la compatibilit avec la misricorde divine peut apparatre problmatique, une notion que lon pourrait pour cela penser dsute: celle de peine, particulirement au sens de pnal, sans exclure laspect pnible quelle comporte. De toute faon nous y serons confronts durant lanne jubilaire, puisque cette notion est implique dans la dfinition dogmatique des indulgences. Lindulgence est en effet dfinie comme la rmission devant Dieu de la peine temporelle due pour les pchs dont la faute est dj efface (n 1471)50. La doctrine et la pratique des indulgences dans lglise, affirme le CC, sont troitement lies aux effets du sacrement de Pnitence (n 1471). Jy reviendrai plus loin. Pour le moment, ce quil importe de noter et que le CC affirme aussi, mais implicitement cest que la doctrine des indulgences est troitement lie aux effets ou consquences du pch. De mme que labsolution sacramentelle ne remdie pas tous les dsordres que le pch a causs (n 1459), de mme il est dit quelle ne remet pas ncessairement toute la

CC, 1460, citant Cc. Trente: DS 1691. Cette dfinition reproduit textuellement celle donne dans la Constitution apostolique de Paul VI Indulgentiarum doctrina, la Norme 1. Mais la doctrine des indulgences avait dj reu une explicitation dogmatique dans la Bulle jubilaire Unigenitus Dei Filius (27 janvier 1343), du Pape Clment VI (cf. Denzinger-Hnermann, 1025-1027) [Abrviation: DH], dans le Dcret Cum postquam, du 9 novembre 1518, du pape Lon X Cajetan de Vio (cf. DH, 1448), de mme que dans le Dcret du Concile de Trente sur les indulgences (cf. DH, 1835).
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peine temporelle due pour les pchs (n 1471), bien que le sacrement de Pnitence (et non la simple absolution) le fasse, au moins en partie (cf. 1496). Mme si lon accepte que les exigences de conversion et de satisfaction sont dabord des exigences de dignit de la libert humaine et quune misricorde qui en ferait fi ne changerait pas radicalement la condition misrable de lhomme, il ne va pas de soi de considrer les consquences du pch (du moins certaines dentre elles), comme peine, cest--dire comme punition ou chtiment51. Le faire implique en effet que lon conjugue la causalit de Dieu avec celle du pch dans la comprhension de ces consquences du pch. Et cela rend encore plus problmatique la perception de la misricorde divine. La notion de peine appartient au domaine du droit. Les notions juridiques, parce quelles relvent de lordre de la libert, ncessitent, pour tre utilises en thologie, une purification peut-tre plus ardue que celle requise par les notions relevant de lordre physique. Mais les disqualifier a priori ne conduirait qu priver le langage humain dune partie de ses ressources dans son entreprise dexpression, toujours imparfaite, du mystre. Inversement, la considration de lordre rationnel tabli par Dieu entre les cratures de mme que la Rvlation du mystre chrtien devraient contribuer purifier non seulement le langage mais la ralit du droit humain. Je laisserai de ct ici ce deuxime aspect du rapport entre droit et thologie. Jessaierai simplement de chercher comment la notion de peine peut tre utile dans la thologie des rapports entre Dieu et lhomme. La notion de peine est lie celle de lordre social. En rapport avec cet ordre, le droit distingue deux types de peines: la peine vindicative et la peine mdicinale, la premire visant

Quelle que soit la diversit de charge motive lie chacun de ces mots, ils sont fondamentalement synonymes, et cest en recourant des complments ou des pithtes quon peut en indiquer clairement des variantes de sens. Le terme peine a lavantage de dsigner explicitement la fois le sens de ce qui est pnible et de ce qui est pnal. Mais le caractre pnible, souffrant, est de toute faon inclus dans lide de punition ou chtiment.
51

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principalement la protection et rparation de lordre, la seconde lamendement du coupable52. Au plan thologique des rapports entre Dieu et lhomme, lordre auquel la peine rfre est fondamentalement lordre rationnel tabli par Dieu entre les cratures53, et la distinction entre peine vindicative et peine mdicinale recouvre pratiquement celle que fait le CC entre peine ternelle et peine temporelle54. En effet, lon peut dire que de la part de Dieu la seule peine qui soit absolument vindicative soit lenfer puisque cest le seul cas o la situation du coupable est irrmdiable. 1.4.3.1. La peine ternelle de lenfer ce sujet le CC rappelle que Dieu ne prdestine personne aller en enfer55 et dfinit mme lenfer en termes dautoexclusion:
Mourir en pch mortel sans sen tre repenti et sans accueillir lamour misricordieux de Dieu, signifie demeurer spar de Lui pour toujours par notre propre choix libre. Et cest cet tat dauto-exclusion dfinitive de la communion avec Dieu et avec les bienheureux que lon dsigne par le mot enfer56.

Mais alors quen est-il de la toute-puissance de la misricorde? cette question, la vritable rponse nest pas thologique, elle est thologale: cest lesprance. Non seulement nous pouvons, mais nous devons esprer pour tous les hommes, et cela sans nier que lenfer est une relle possibilit57. En crant un tre libre, Dieu limite en quelque sorte sa toute-puissance.

52 Bien dautres types de distinctions existent, mais qui ne nous intressent pas ici. 53 Cf. CC, 1951. 54 Cf. CC, 1472. 55 CC, 1037. 56 CC, 1033. 57 Voir ce sujet les deux ouvrages de H.U. VON BALTHASAR: Esprer pour tous, Paris, Descle de Brouwer, 1987, 151 p.; Lenfer. Une question, Paris, Descle de Brouwer, 1988, 93 p.

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Mais nest-il pas plus sage de penser que cette limite mme est une expression de sa toute-puissance comme toute-puissance de lAmour (ou encore du tout-amour de sa puissance) que de le croire impuissant crer un tre vraiment libre? Si ce qui est faiblesse de Dieu est plus fort que les hommes (1 Co 1,25), ne faut-il pas laisser Dieu remettre en question notre notion de toute-puissance? Si laffirmation de la possibilit (au sens dventualit) de lenfer nest pas une bonne nouvelle en soi, elle donne loccasion de mettre en vidence un autre trait de la dignit de la libert humaine: elle est appele lternit qui est un aspect de lauthentique rciprocit laquelle Dieu lappelle dans la participation sa propre vie. Ce qui apparat en ngatif comme caractre irrmdiable de la peine est le revers du caractre inamissible du bonheur auquel lhomme est appel. De plus, la connaissance de la possibilit de lenfer, tout en manifestant lhomme la profondeur de sa libert, peut en outre tre salutaire:
Les affirmations de la Sainte criture et les enseignements de lglise au sujet de lenfer sont un appel la responsabilit avec laquelle lhomme doit user de sa libert en vue de son destin ternel. Elles constituent en mme temps un appel pressant la conversion58.

Cet appel la responsabilit et la conversion continue est trs clair dans la Deuxime Lettre Timothe, dans un texte qui met par ailleurs en vidence lengagement de Dieu dans la ratification de la libert humaine, par opposition une simple passivit qui ne ferait que constater les consquences du pch:
Elle est sre cette parole: Si nous sommes morts avec lui, avec lui nous vivrons. Si nous tenons ferme, avec lui nous rgnerons. Si nous le renions, lui aussi nous reniera.

58

CC, 1036.

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Si nous sommes infidles, lui reste fidle, car il ne peut se renier lui-mme (2 Tm 2,11-13).

Laffirmation Si nous sommes infidles est la justification de la prcdente (Si nous le renions). premire vue, lon aurait pu sattendre au parallle Si nous le renions, lui ne nous reniera pas. Mais la finale (Car il ne peut se renier lui-mme) donne la cl de linterprtation: si nous sommes infidles et le renions, ne pas nous renier reviendrait se renier lui-mme. Cest que notre libert nous situe au plan de laffirmation de Dieu comme Dieu. Cest en laffirmant, lui (en tant fidles), que nous pouvons tre affirms par lui (rgner avec lui). Lvangile de Matthieu nest pas moins clair: Quiconque se dclarera pour moi devant les hommes, je me dclarerai moi aussi pour lui devant mon Pre qui est aux cieux; mais quiconque me reniera devant les hommes, je le renierai moi aussi devant mon Pre qui est aux cieux (Mt 10,33; cf. Lc 12,8-9). Mme dans le cas o se vrifierait la rprobation dfinitive dun tre humain, la part de la volont de Dieu dans cette rprobation peut tre apprcie positivement comme exercice dune responsabilit paternelle qui se soucie de lcologie59 de son Royaume, ny laissant entrer rien ni personne qui soit dfinitivement contraire lAmour. 1.4.3.2. Peine mdicinale et providence Il nous faut maintenant considrer lautre type de peine: la peine mdicinale qui, comme nous lavons vu, au plan thologique, est toujours temporelle. Il y a une certaine ambigut dans le CC sur le sens prcis du terme peines temporelles du pch. Dune part, ce terme signifie les consquences du pch personnel inhrentes la personne du pcheur et qui peuvent subsister mme aprs la mort; il sagit de

59 Pour employer un mot contemporain qui, tout en rejoignant le sens dans lequel jai utilis le mot ordre, en vite peut-tre certaines connotations ngatives (celle de contrainte, par exemple). On pourrait utiliser aussi le terme harmonie.

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lattachement malsain aux cratures60 qui exige purification. Le CC dsigne aussi du terme de peines temporelles du pch les souffrances et les preuves de toute sorte [ de mme que] la mort61 qui ne peuvent pas tre considres simplement comme peines du pch personnel, mais plutt comme consquences de la condition de pcheur et fondamentalement peines du pch originel. Avant de considrer les peines temporelles du pch au plan thologique, il ne sera pas inutile de rflchir sur lexprience humaine de la punition comme peine mdicinale. Son rle est de provoquer une conversion62 celui qui a commis un acte moralement mauvais. Elle suppose que cet acte mauvais ne soit pas le fruit dune simple erreur (dans ce cas serait requise une instruction et non une punition), mais plutt dune volont coupable, ce qui suppose attachement dsordonn certains biens au mpris dautres biens. La punition remplit son rle en associant de lextrieur lacte coupable une souffrance (soit en infligeant un mal ou en privant dun bien) qui joue en quelque sorte par substitution et anticipation le rle dissuasif que pourrait avoir lensemble des consquences ngatives de lacte mauvais si ces dernires taient susceptibles dtre exprimentes immdiatement. En provoquant la conversion, la punition vise viter le mal plus grand que causerait en dfinitive la persistance dans une conduite moralement mauvaise. Outre la lgitimit de lautorit qui limpose, la punition suppose en outre chez cette autorit la prudence, cest--dire sa comptence valuer le mal viter, proportionner le mal inflig (de sorte quil ne soit pas plus grand que le mal viter), de mme qu en mesurer lefficacit dissuasive. Le rle de lautorit est de providence, cest--dire quil repose sur sa capacit de voir plus loin et plus en profondeur que celui dont elle a la responsabilit. Mais il sagit dune responsabilit de

CC, 1472. CC, 1473. 62 Il nest pas exclu que pour la personne qui na pas lexercice de la libert de choix, la punition se limite produire un conditionnement du comportement.
60 61

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supplance envers une libert dfaillante, supplance laquelle sapplique (ou devrait sappliquer) le principe de subsidiarit63, en ce sens que lautorit qui exerce la punition doit avoir le souci de promouvoir la libert de lindividu et non seulement den conditionner les comportements en vue de protger lordre. Lexercice de lautorit par la punition est dun maniement extrmement dlicat. Cest probablement parce que son exercice est gnralement expriment comme injuste (et de fait il lest trs souvent) que sa valeur morale est si conteste. Mais de labus, on ne peut conclure linadmissibilit de lusage. partir de lexprience malheureuse de la punition, on ne peut conclure quil ne convient pas dutiliser cette notion en rapport avec Dieu. Il faudra videmment la purifier et la transposer analogiquement. Le CC donne dj une indication en ce sens quand il affirme: Ces deux peines [la peine ternelle et la peine temporelle du pch] ne doivent pas tre conues comme une espce de vengeance, inflige par Dieu de lextrieur, mais bien comme dcoulant de la nature mme du pch64. Cependant, il ne faudrait pas non plus rduire lide de peine celle de pure consquence, au sens o on entend le terme dans le domaine de la causalit physique. tant pose sa cause (le pch), la peine serait alors une simple fatalit, rpondant un dterminisme absolu. Non, la peine est une consquence dun

Le principe de subsidiarit, lment important de la doctrine sociale de lglise, est formul comme suit: Une socit dordre suprieur ne doit pas intervenir dans la vie interne dune socit dordre infrieur en lui enlevant ses comptences, mais elle doit plutt la soutenir en cas de ncessit et laider coordonner son action avec celle des autres lments qui composent la socit, en vue du bien commun (CC, 1883, citant Centesimus annus, 48, avec rfrence Quadragesimo anno). Aprs en avoir cit la formulation, le CC en fournit le fondement thologique qui nous permet de lappliquer au rapport de toute autorit lindividu: Dieu na pas voulu retenir pour Lui seul lexercice de tous les pouvoirs. Il remet chaque crature les fonctions quelle est capable dexercer, selon les capacits de sa nature propre. Ce mode de gouvernement doit tre imit dans la vie sociale. Le comportement de Dieu dans le gouvernement du monde, qui tmoigne de si grands gards pour la libert humaine, devrait inspirer la sagesse de ceux qui gouvernent les communauts humaines. Ils ont se comporter en ministres de la providence divine (CC, 1884). 64 CC, 1472.
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autre type. Bien qutant consquence du pch de lhomme, et bien quelle ne soit pas voulue de Dieu comme mal (elle serait alors le fruit dune volont de Dieu mchante et vengeresse), elle maintient un lien de dpendance de la volont de Dieu qui persiste maintenir lordre des choses contre lequel sest insurg le pch. La peine provient de la volont de Dieu qui rsiste lefficacit destructrice du pch. Cela ne relativise en rien la misricorde de Dieu, puisque cet ordre qua troubl le pch nest pas voulu par Dieu pour luimme mais seulement comme partie prenante du don quil veut faire de lui-mme une multitude de fils. Si la peine ntait quune consquence dordre physique, elle ne pourrait avoir de fcondit, elle serait un pur passif auquel il faut de toute faon se rsigner. Mais puisquelle est lie la volont de Dieu, en lacceptant, je ne mouvre pas seulement la volont de Dieu en tant quelle maintient lordre en contradiction avec le dynamisme du pch inscrit en moi, mais aussi en tant quelle maintient cet ordre au service du salut des hommes, et donc aussi du mien, contre mon pch. Dans sa misricorde, Dieu ne traite pas le pcheur comme un incapable, il lui redonne sa confiance et continue de le vouloir comme vritable partenaire: il lui ouvre la possibilit de participer lui-mme la victoire divine sur le pch65. On pourrait dire que, dune certaine faon, Dieu croit en lhomme plus que lhomme ne croit en lui-mme, parce que lhomme est port mesurer ses possibilits sans Dieu alors que Dieu envisage les possibilits de lhomme en alliance avec Lui. Un texte de la Lettre aux Hbreux atteste trs clairement la pertinence de lide de punition ou correction dans linterprtation de nos rapports avec Dieu, et prcisment en lien avec le thme de la paternit-filiation:

65 Dans un ouvrage sur lActe doffrande lamour misricordieux, de Thrse de Lisieux, M.-D. PHILIPPE affirme: Le Pre veut aller jusquau bout de la misricorde, et aller jusquau bout de la misricorde, cest permettre la crature sauve par la Croix dtre unie Jsus au point de devenir sauveur avec lui. LActe doffrande. Retraite avec la petite Thrse (Spiritualit contemporaine), Versailles, d. St-Paul, 1997, p. 96.

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Vous avez oubli lexhortation qui sadresse vous comme des fils: ]66 du Seigneur, Mon fils, ne mprise pas la correction [ Ne te dcourage pas quand il te reprend. Car le Seigneur corrige celui quil aime, Il chtie tout fils quil accueille67. Cest pour votre ducation que vous souffrez. Cest en fils que Dieu vous traite. Quel est en effet le fils que son pre ne corrige pas? Si vous tes privs de la correction, dont tous ont leur part, alors vous tes des btards et non des fils. Nous avons eu nos pres terrestres pour ducateurs, et nous nous en sommes bien trouvs; nallons-nous pas, plus forte raison, nous soumettre au Pre des esprits et recevoir de lui la vie? Eux, en effet, ctait pour un temps, selon leurs impressions, quils nous corrigeaient; lui cest pour notre profit, en vue de nous communiquer sa saintet. Toute correction, sur le moment, ne semble pas sujet de joie, mais de tristesse. Mais plus tard, elle produit chez ceux quelle a ainsi exercs, un fruit de paix et de justice (He 12,5-11).

Laffirmation nous avons eu nos pres terrestres pour ducateurs, et nous nous en sommes bien trouvs ne pourrait gure servir aujourdhui dargument comme cest le cas pour lauteur de la Lettre aux Hbreux. Notons seulement que, aux dires dEugenio Scalfari cits plus haut68, labsence de nos pres terrestres na pas fait que nous nous soyons trouvs beaucoup mieux. De toute faon, la conclusion de la Lettre aux Hbreux ( plus forte raison) reste valable. Mais elle suppose une donne qui semble trs peu prsente la conscience morale des hommes daujourdhui, celle de la foi et de la confiance effective en la divine providence dont la sollicitude [] est concrte et immdiate, elle prend soin de tout, des moindres petites choses jusquaux grands vnements du monde et de lhistoire69.
66 La TOB indique en note: Dans les vv. 5 8, la correction atteste la filiation. Lpreuve devient ncessaire. 67 Le texte en italique est une citation de Pr 3,11-12. 68 Cf. supra, note 7. 69 CC, 303.

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Lhomme moderne a prtendu tre arriv lge de la majorit. Auguste Comte a mme vu dans les tapes de croissance de lindividu humain un paradigme de lhistoire de lhumanit. La culture qui convient lge de la majorit serait celle dun humanisme athe. Tout cela nest pas sans lien avec le rejet de la figure paternelle, historiquement lie labsolutisme de la monarchie qui heurtait labsolutisme de la raison. Lhomme postmoderne nabsolutise plus la raison; il se complat dans le fragmentaire et le relatif. Mais nest-ce pas une autre faon de mnager sa propre prtention labsolu, sa prtention la majorit par laquelle il nie lopportunit de la paideia de Dieu Pre? Au fond, cette attitude nest-elle pas plutt infantilisme, cest--dire refus de responsabilit? Lhomme rduit la ralit ses dimensions (dabord celles de sa raison, puis celles de sa subjectivit) pour pouvoir mieux prtendre la contrler. Mais on voit dj ce que cela produit au plan cologique, par exemple. Lhomme nest pas le matre absolu du rel. On peut mme se demander si le progrs de la matrise technique de lhomme sur lunivers naugmente pas (au lieu de lliminer comme on pourrait le penser premire vue) le besoin de la Providence paternelle de Dieu de la part de lhomme. Ce nest quen apprenant tre fils quil peut vivre sa matrise sur lunivers comme participation la paternit de Dieu, et ce nest quen apprenant tre fils pnitent quil peut le faire sans rien renier de son histoire et de sa dignit, en assumant tout par les nergies de la charit. Le temps est venu de tourner notre regard vers le Christ pnitent, celui qui a port tout le pch du monde et qui comme tel est lhomme responsable, lhomme majeur, lHomme parfait, celui qui sait vivre en fils, parce quil est le Fils, unique, ternel, Celui qui peut nous rvler le Pre, unique, ternel. ( suivre)
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100 Roma Italy. JULES MIMEAULT, C.Ss.R.

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God the Father and Penance (including satisfaction and its relation with the punishments of sin): those topics, proposed by John Paul II for the last year of preparation for the Jubilee, seem to the author provocative in todays cultural context. In this first part of the article (to be concluded in a second part), he confronts the cultural reluctance to those themes, especially if they are connected, and shows their relevance through a theological investigation in which the dignity of human freedom emerges as a key value.

En el contexto cultural actual, el autor considera provocadores los tpicos Dios Padre y Penitencia (incluyendo satisfaccin y su relacin con el castigo por el pecado), propuestos por Juan Pablo II para el ltimo ao de preparacin al Jubileo. En esta primera parte del artculo (que concluir con una segunda parte), el autor confronta la desgana cultural por dichos temas, especialmente si estn vinculados, y pone de manifiesto su fuerza por medio de la investigacin teolgica en la que la dignidad de la libertad humana emerge como un valor central. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

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StMor 37 (1999) 185-214 MARTIN MCKEEVER C.Ss.R.

POSTMODERN WITH A DIFFERENCE: SIMONE WEILS ETHICO-THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE OF TOTALITARIANISM IN LENRACINEMENT

In terms of the interface between political philosophy and theological ethics, the problem of the century, of the millennium and, arguably, of all time is totalitarianism. If totalitarianism refers to that kind of political system which assumes complete control of a society and brooks no opposition, then it runs like a bloody thread through all of human history and has taken on incredibly vicious forms in our time. The task of ethical thought, whether christian or otherwise, is not simply to moralistically lament these horrors but to try to understand why and how they occur and explain as adequately as possible just what is wrong with the political system which produces them. One of the more positive contributions to ethics of that sprawling and uneven body of literature we know as postmodernism has been to attempt to analyse the origins and nature of totalitarianism. The current phase of postmodernist thought tends to be associated mainly with French scholars writing in the 1970s, although the intellectual debts of these scholars to Nietzsche, Heidegger and the members of the Frankfurt School are often noted.1 From the beginning, a strident ethical critique of modernism, particularly in its more totalitarian forms, has been a prominent feature of this line of thought. Christian readers of authors such as Lyotard, Foucault and Levinas may find themselves in agreement with much of the critique of modernist culture which these writers articulate, while at the same time

1 See the relevant sections of T. DOCHERTY (ed.), Postmodernism, A Reader (Cambridge: University Press, 1993) for a useful anthology of seminal articles by such authors as Lyotard, Habermas, Jameson, Bauman, Rorty and Baudrillard.

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remaining dubious about the basis (or lack of basis) of this critique and unimpressed by the alternatives being proposed. Such readers may share, in a particular way, postmodernist horror at totalitarianism, but wish to base their own critique of this power system on a different vision of society and politics. The problem is to differentiate between the elements of the postmodern critique which are ethically compatible with, and enriching of, a christian vision and those which are in conflict with, and possibly destructive of, that vision. An encyclical such as Fides et Ratio (September, 1998) offers a number of useful general indications about the relationship between philosophy and theology which can guide an investigation of this kind. First among these is the recognition of the importance of philosophy and the positive contribution that it can make to the christian understanding of life in a changing world (5, 19, 27, 36, 61, 77, 98, 104). The encyclical reminds us that, in turn, philosophy can benefit by attending to the truths proclaimed by christian revelation (9, 13, 25, 73, 105). This raises the delicate and controversial problem of the autonomy of philosophy2 with regard to theology. Fides et Ratio insists that respecting the necessary autonomy of philosophy does not mean that the two sciences must operate in hermetically sealed worlds and that a legitimate autonomy does not exclude mutual enrichment and correction (34, 44, 50, 68, 75). In line with this principle, the encyclical asserts unequivocally that there is much in contemporary philosophy which indeed contradicts fundamental truths and values of the christian faith, specifying in particular the tendency in contemporary philosophy toward scepticism and nihilism (5, 46, 48, 54, 82, 87, 90). Fides et Ratio includes one extended reference to postmodernist philosophical thought (91) which recognises both its ambiguity and its importance.3 Taking these

2 For a severely critical reading of Fides et Ratio in this regard see P. FLORES DARCAIS, Aut fides aut ratio, MicroMega 5 (1998) 187-206. 3 One thing however is certain: the currents of thought which claim to be postmodern merit appropriate attention. According to some of them, the time of certainties is irrevocably past, and the human being must now learn to live in a horizon of total absence of meaning, where everything is

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general indications as a guide, and the reference to postmodernism as a stimulus, let us return to the specific problem alluded to above: what particular aspects of the postmodern critique of totalitarianism are of value to christian ethics? The specific and limited purpose of this article is to propose Simone Weils4 Lenracinement as a valuable and largely unrecognized resource for christians in the important task of answering this question. Such a proposal may well seem strange since Weil wrote this work in the early 1940s, she was never baptized a christian and she is not generally thought of as a postmodernist writer (her writings are rarely mentioned in the major postmodern writers or the prolific secondary literature5). Despite these anomalous factors, it will be argued here that the substance of the postmodern ethical critique of totalitarianism is to be found in Lenracinement, indeed it is articulated here with a force and a lucidity which later writers often lack. Having examined the postmodern quality of Weils thought on this point, it will then be argued that her underlying theological, anthropological and ethical vision constitutes at one and the same time a devastating critique of postmodernism. It is precisely this feature of Weils thought which makes it so valuable to contemporary christian thought: endowed with an extraordinarily trenchant mind, she both decapitates the monster of totalitarianism as an ideology and truncates the tentacles of the nihilism which tend to invade the postmodern mind.

provisional and ephemeral [...] Even so, it remains true that a certain positivist cast of mind continues to nurture the illusion that, thanks to scientific and technical progress, man and woman may live as a demiurge, single-handedly and completely taking charge of their destiny. (91) 4 For a brief biographical note on Weil, as well as an overview of her thought, see I. SERRA Simone Weil in Novecento filosofico e scientifico. Protagonisti. Vol. IV, (Milano: Marzoratoi, 1991) 701-714. 5 One interesting exception is A. DAL LAGO Letica della debolezza. Simone Weil e il nichilismo in G. VATTIMO, P.A. ROVATTI (a cura di) Il pensiero debole (Milano: Feltrinelli, 1983). Dal Lago is sharply taken to task by F. DI MIERI for a too facile association of Weil with this vein of thought in Simone Weil e il pensiero debole Sapienza, 40\2 (1987) 197-206.

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Hermeneutical Considerations Such a rereading of Weils Lenracinement in the wake of subsequent postmodernist thought involves a number of complicating factors of a hermeneutical nature. The most obvious of these has already been alluded to, namely the fact that Weil neither thinks of herself as a postmodernist nor as a critic of postmodernism. For this reason a contemporary interpretation of the work must be careful not to project ideas and intentions into her text which belong to the subsequent debate about modernism and postmodernism. This said, however, there is no reason why we cannot allow Lenracinement to contribute to our contemporary discussion of totalitarianism by studying the manner in which it anticipates the key elements of the postmodern critique or offers an alternative basis for such a critique. Various aspects of the text itself render a faithful interpretation of Weils thought difficult: the title and subtitle of the work, its unusual structure, its literary genre, its style and tone. To these we might add its inherent intellectual density and profundity, based on what the postmodernists would disapprovingly dub its foundations. This latter feature involves a backdrop of philosophical and mystical ideas which are so audacious that they risk being rejected out of hand by the contemporary reader as archaic relics of an ancient world. Other factors, more external to the text, but of vital importance to our discussion, are the historical context of its composition and Weils purpose in writing. Without entering into detail on any of these matters it will be worth alluding to them in turn before broaching a reading of the text, noting briefly the significance of each for the project in hand. The title of the book is a metaphor which is gradually introduced in the course of the argument, without ever being fully elucidated. It becomes apparent that Weil thinks of modern society, particularly of modern France, as being like an uprooted tree, an organism cut off from its natural source of nourishment and stability, an organism in mortal danger. Throughout the book, Weil plays with the image of the toppled tree and by association develops a range of imagery associated with

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nutrition and regeneration; on occasion she mixes these metaphors with that of a sick person in need of medicine or surgery. The whole argument of the book depends on an appreciation of the significance of this imagery in the context of Weils critique of totalitarianism in modern culture. This is a matter to which we must return in some detail in due course. The elusive, but extremely important, subtitle of the book reads Prlude une dclaration des devoirs envers ltre humain. One might be forgiven on a first reading of Lenracinement for wondering about the connection between the title and the subtitle. Upon closer and repeated reading the links become clearer, even if one could argue that they are never quite happily integrated. It is important to note, however, that Weil considers this work a prelude, that is a preliminary treatment of a problem to be addressed elsewhere. The elsewhere involved would seem to be the project of formulating a declaration of obligations. Drawing on the phraseology of documents such as the 1789 Dclaration des droits de lhomme et du citoyen (the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations had not yet been made), Weil consciously places obligations and rights in apposition and plays with the consequences of making obligations primary.6 This crucial and important point will also require closer attention in our reading of the text. The structure of Lenracinement is equally perplexing, not least because Weil offers no explanation thereof, leaving it to the reader to see the metaphorical and logical connections between the different parts. Part One comprises a brief opening section in which the authoress expounds vigorously her conviction concerning the priority of human obligations over against rights, and then proceeds to enumerate the vital human needs from which these obligations derive. Part Two introduces the metaphor of an uprooted tree to describe the plight of modern society in which the basic human needs noted earlier are denied or met with harmful substitutes, particularly in the case of

6 Weil explicitly charges the men of 1789 with the mistake of inverting this order in their Declaration, see Lenracinement, 10.

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industrial and agricultural workers; this section includes a long historical extrapolation on the idolization of the national state as an Ersatz for these needs. Part Three is a dense exposition of the fundamental theological, ethical and political vision needed in order to construct a civilized and just society. The argument thus moves from a particular anthropological vision (the human needs outlined in Part One), through a social critique of various forms of totalitarianism in France and elsewhere, to the articulation of the kind of fundamental change that is required if modern culture is to be constructively transformed. In terms of the metaphor of roots, this same structure can be expressed as follows: a descriptive account of the roots which feed the tree we know as human society, a narrative of the destructive violence that has been done to that tree in modern times and a prescription of the treatment necessary if the tree is to be restored to health and vitality. While this description corresponds to the general structure of the book, it should be emphasized that Weils thought is anything but linear in that themes from each section are repeatedly taken up, revisited and reshaped as the argument unfolds. As regards its literary genre, Lenracinement is decidedly sui generis. A list of the disciplines and sciences which underlie the study would have to include at least the following: philosophical anthropology, ethics, history, political philosophy, epistemology, literary criticism, sociology and theology. In fact, one of the characteristics of Weils writing (also close to the heart of many postmodernists) is that she refuses to stay within the academic compartments into which thought and knowledge have been divided in modern times. She refuses to make ethics one subject and history a distinct subject. A list of the specific literary genre in which these disciplines find expression in different parts of this work would be equally imposing: philosophical dialogue, social tract, narrative history, prophetic proclamation, mystical tract, political manifesto, handbook of education and religious apologia. A description of the literary genre of the resulting book as a whole might be something like: an ethico-theological prolegomenon to a political manifesto based on an epistemological revolution aimed at radically reconstructing human society in conformity with the demands of justice; (written, to complicate matters, in London, in the middle of a

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world war, by a female French philosopher, of Jewish origin, with a predilection for mysticism, who had previously worked in factories and had participated in the Spanish Civil War!). It should come as no surprise to us that such a book, by such a person does not make easy reading. The style and tone of the text are more easily characterized. The book oscillates between a trenchant, polemical mode in which Weil denounces just about everything in modern culture and a more deliberated, analytical mode in which she attempts to explain the grounds of her wrath. Another marked feature of the book is what might be described as its physical realism in the sense of its attention to what the human body feels and suffers. Although her thought is highly sophisticated and her argumentation at times quite turgid, Weil earths her position in what happens to human beings in their bodies. Her time spent on the production lines and on the battlefield give a particular authority to this aspect of her writing. The historical context of Weils thought is vital to an understanding of the book. She has recently come to London from New York, where her family had fled for fear of Nazi persecution. France is still reeling from the humiliation of the German invasion. To the humiliation of military defeat is added the disgrace of a collaborationist stance by the Vichy government and the active collaboration of sections of the population. Weils purpose is to respond to this tragic situation at different levels. On the one hand she has an immediate strategic aim, which extends to considering the most effect methods of sabotage. Her deeper purpose, however, is not the liberation of France from Germany, but the liberation of France from France in the sense of radically reconceiving French culture.7 In fact, Weils purpose in this work is no less than to
7 Weil offers this description of the qualities needed in those who aim to inspire France in this difficult situation: ...un intrt passionn pour les tres humains, quels quils soient, et pour leur me, une capacit de se mettre leur place et de faire attention aux signes des penses non exprimes, un certain sens intuitif de lhistoire en cours daccomplissement, et la facult dexprimer par crit des nuances dlicates et des relations complexes.(171) It would be difficult to think of anyone who more closely responds to this description than Weil herself.

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inspire the French nation toward a more worthy form of civilization. In the light of this list of considerations it will be clear why the project of reading Lenracinement with a view to clarifying the relationship between postmodernist philosophy and Christian ethics on the issue of totalitarianism is a difficult and delicate one. The method to be employed here will involve two stages: first, a reading of the text which will demonstrate the affinity between Weils critique of totalitarianism and that of the postmodernists, then a second reading which will focus more sharply on the ethical basis of this critique. In this way it should be possible to appreciate better the points of convergence and divergence between Weil and later postmodern thinkers.

Lenracinement as a postmodern critique of totalitarianism Keeping these various hermeneutical considerations in mind, we may now broach our first reading of Lenracinement . The method to be employed here attempts to reduce Weils critique of totalitarianism to three central tenets which can be seen to converge in considerable measure with the postmodernist position:
i. The modernist myth of the progress of civilization is a dangerous illusion which masks totalitarian tendencies ii. The modern political articulation of totalitarianism is the institution of the national state iii. Totalitarian political systems are ultimately based on an absolutist conception of modern science

For reasons of brevity and coherence, in our examination of these tenets Weils position will be illustrated with close reference to the original text, while references to postmodernist authors will be limited to the notes.

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The modernist myth of the progress of civilization is a dangerous illusion which masks totalitarian tendencies One of the hallmarks of a postmodern critique of modern culture is the charge that it is based on the illusion of progress and leads to totalitarian abuses. A number of caustic comments on modern civilization drawn randomly from Lenracinement will suffice to show Weils general affinity with this position: The idea of progress has only gradually become secularized, it is now the poison of our age(196)8; The modern superstition of progress is a by-product of the lie by which christianity was made into the official religion of the Roman Empire(195); ... the influence of the Encyclopdistes, all of them uprooted intellectuals, obsessed each one by the idea of progress...(99); For centuries now, white men have been destroying the past everywhere, destroying it stupidly and blinding, at home and abroad.(52). If the writer of these statements does not qualify as one who rejects the modernist metanarrative of progress it is hard to imagine who does! The convergence of Weils thought with postmodernism becomes even more apparent if we focus more closely on her critique of totalitarianism. As noted above, the primal metaphor which Weil employs to express her horror at totalitarianism is the violent image of the uprooted tree. This image is repeatedly woven into a narrative account9 of various forms of totalitarianism, particularly in Part Two of Lenracinement. We will examine the specific case of France in the context of the second tenet, focussing for the moment on the myth of progress in more general terms. Weils critique of totalitarianism in terms of the myth of progress is articulated in two main moments: the background

8 (Page numbers quoted in brackets in the text of this article refer to S. WEIL, Lenracinement, Prlude une dclaration des devoirs envers ltre humain. (Paris: Librairie Gallimard, 1949); where it is considered appropriate the original French text is quoted in the footnotes, the translations thereof in the body of the article are mine.) 9 It is fascinating that Weil, whose thought at times is marked by a quality of searing abstraction, anticipates the postmodernist methodological predilection for narrative. See in this regard J.F. LYOTARD, La condition postmoderne, (Paris: Les ditions de Minuit, 1979).

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myth of the advance of civilization in the spread of the Roman Empire and the contemporary myth of progress in a society dominated by industrial capitalism. Weils invective against Roman imperialism has its origin in her horror at the destruction of Greek civilization. She vigorously contests that version of history which portrays Roman expansion as a process of civilizing primitive peoples (122-126; 188). Such an account of history is distorting not just because it is told by the conquerors, but because it damages the winners themselves, creating in them illusions of grandeur and smothering their legitimate need for true greatness (111). The history of conquest, in her view, is better understood as a destructive process of uprooting peoples and depriving them of their primary sources of cultural nourishment.10 Her fundamental critique of modernism in general, and of totalitarianism in particular, is the worship of force,11 expressed with prophetic passion in the concluding paragraph of the book:
Today, science, history, politics, the organization of work and religion itself in so far as it has been contaminated by the imperialism of Rome, offer nothing to the consideration of the human mind but brute force. That is our civilization. It is a tree which is bearing the fruits which it deserves.12

Weil does not limit her critique of totalitarianism to militaristic regimes, whether ancient or modern, but notes the same destructive effects in capitalist culture.13 Her chosen point of departure is the experience of contemporary industrial and

Il y a dracinement toutes les fois quil y a conqute militaire, et en ce sens la conqute est presque toujours un mal. Lenracinement, 45. 11 See SERRA, Novecento filosofico., 702. 12 Aujourdhui, la science, lhistoire, la politique, lorganisation du travail, la religion mme pour autant quelle est marque de la souillure romaine, noffrent la pense des hommes que la force brutale. Telle est notre civilisation. Cet arbre porte les fruits quil mrite. Lenracinement, 249. 13 Mme sans conqute militaire, le pouvoir de largent e la domination conomique peuvent imposer une influence trangre au point de provoquer la maladie du dracinement. Lenracinement, 46.
10

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agricultural workers. She rejects the myth of progress in a form of civilization which has deprived such workers of a vision of their work which is meaningful.14 Technical advance which reduces the quality of life15 of both the worker and the manager is a bogus form of progress.16 Weil is scathing both on the technocrats who shape the world of workers without ever considering their well-being as persons, and on factory owners who neglect the proper formation and safety of the workers.17 The history of modern industrial society is the story of how agricultural and industrial workers have been uprooted from their soil and left undernourished and perishing. Weils verdict on the myth of progress is unequivocal:
Four obstacles above all separate us from a form of civilization of any value. Our false idea of greatness; the degradation of a sense of justice; our idolatry of money; the absence in us of religious inspiration (187).

Du jour au lendemain il (louvrier) devient un supplment la machine, un peu moins quune chose, et on ne se soucie nullement quil obisse sous limpulsion des mobiles les plus bas, pourvu quil obisse. Lenracinement, 54. 15 Works such as D. HARVEY, The Condition of Postmodernity (Cambridge Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1989) and M. FOUCAULT, Archivio Foucault. 2. Poteri, Saperi, Stategie (Milano: Feltrinelli, 1997) share Weils indignation at the plight of urban workers in capitalist society. 16 It is beyond the scope of this article to elaborate upon the remarkable convergence between Weils thought on human work and the way this theme is treated in the social encyclicals of John Paul II. The following quotation gives some sense of this common vision: Notre poque a pour mission propre, pour vocation, la constitution dune civilisation fonde sur la spiritualit du travail [] Cest parce que nous navons pas t la hauteur de cette grande chose qui tait en train dtre enfante en nous que nous nous sommes jets dans labme des systmes totalitaires. Lenracinement, 87. 17 Consider the following typical comment: Rien ne montre mieux la carence essentielle de la classe captialiste que la ngligence des patrons lgard de lapprentissage. Elle est de lespce quon nomme en Russie ngligence criminelle.Lenracinement, 60.
14

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The modern political articulation of totalitarianism is the institution of the national state. This tenet can be thought of as a case in point of what has just been said about the totalitarian tendency of modernism, that is to say, it is not so much a separate issue as a concrete historical instance of the general tendency described above. Weil narrates the evolution of totalitarianism in France at two levels, the internal level at which the various regions of France are gradually subjected to centralized authority and the external level at which France embarks upon a programme of territorial expansion. For the sake of clarity we will examine each level separately despite the fact that in Weils narrative they are often intertwined. The former process has its origin in the Roman conquest of Gaul and is interpreted as an imitation of that same form of domination, culminating in the bloody repression of the Paris Commune in 1871. The modern history of France as a national state is traced, telegraphically but tellingly, from the time of Charles V, through Richelieu and Talleyrand, to the French Revolution and its Napoleonic and imperial aftermath (102114). The conception of the State as a centralized, totalitarian system of power18 is attributed primarily to Richelieu, well before the historical appearance of Napoleon, Hitler or Stalin. Weil outlines a process in which the State continually extends its control in terms of taxes, policing and repression, until it usurps the role of every other human collectivity such as family, town, locality, region etc. Whereas formerly fidelity and patriotism were focussed in a more diffuse manner on these various collectivities (126), they are now arbitrarily concentrated upon a new creation known as the national state:
For a long time now the nation alone has been playing the role which constitutes the mission par excellence of the

Numerous postmodernist writers have focussed on the State as the organ of repression in capitalist culture: see, by way of example, A. TOURAINE, Critique de la Modernit (Librairie Arthme Fayard, 1992).
18

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collectivity with regard to the human being, that is to assure in the present a tie between the past and the future. (90) For, when it became manifestly clear that the illusion of national sovereignty was indeed an illusion, it could no longer serve as an object of patriotism; on the other hand, the royalty were like plants which had been cut and cannot be replanted; so patriotism had to change meaning and orient itself toward the State. (99)

The problem for Weil is that such a cold, bureaucratic structure as the State cannot inspire genuine fidelity and thus the people are cut off from the nourishment they need. The effect of this new patriotism is to create the illusion of interior cohesion, but the price is fanaticism.19 The focal point of Weils critique is the rupture of the French Revolution, a rupture so severe as to truncate vital contact with the past and make such a recent date as 1789 seem like ancient tradition (168). She is severe on what she likes to call men of 1789 in that, despite their highsounding ideals (166), their programme offers no genuine alternative to the totalitarianism of State power, which now finds new expression in the imperialism of the workers (133). The French Revolution also marks the turning point between internal expansion of State power and external imperialism. The ideals of the Revolution, argues Weil, are gradually abandoned as the young bourgeoisie rejects the original aspiration of the Revolution toward universal justice and settles for conquest:
On the other hand the humiliation of the defeat turned the thought of the young bourgeosie, by way of reaction, to the most mediocre conception of national grandeur. Obsessed by the conquest and losses she had suffered, France no longer felt itself

Aujourdhui il ny a gure que ladhsion un systme totalitaire brun, rouge au autre, qui puisse donner, pour ainsi dire, une illusion solide dunit intrieure Lenracinement, 209.
19

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capable of a vocation higher than that of conquest.20

The passion with which Weil rejects the forms of totalitarianism which she believes have existed in France since the Bourbons and before, is brought out by the fact that she almost fears liberation as much as she detests the occupation. She agrees with Bernanos (146) that the Nazis represent the return of pagan Rome, and yet she is prepared to consider Nazism a coherent lie (205) in comparison to the incoherent lies which have been told to the people of France in modern times. It will be well to note in passing under this tenet that Weils critique of the totalitarianism of State power in the Soviet system is even more severe. From the outset she has noted the link between party politics and totalitarianism21 and is unequivocal in her rejection of it as practised in Russia.

Totalitarian political systems are ultimately rooted in the absolutist claims of modern science. Having engaged in a narrative account of the political history of modernity, and having roundly denounced the totalitarian drive within modernity both in theory and in practice, Weil turns her mind to the origins and consequences of this tendency. It is useful to recall at this point Weils overall project: she is convinced that France is in mortal danger, she believes its ailments are largely self-inflicted and so she

20 Dun autre ct, lhumiliation de la dfaite orientait la pense de la jeunesse bourgeoise, par raction, vers la conception la plus mdiocre de la grandeur nationale. Obsde par la conqute quelle avait subie et qui lavait diminue, la France ne se sentait plus capable dune vocation plus haute que celle de conqurir. Lenracinement, 169. 21 ...lexprience ayant montr que les tats totalitaires sont tablis par les partis totalitaires, et que les partis totalitaires se forgent coups dexclusions pour dlit dopinion. Lenracinement, 34. For a much more extensive and technical critique of Soviet totalitarianism in the context of Marxist theory see S. WEIL, Rflexions sur les causes de la libert et de loppression sociale. (Paris: ditions Gallimard, 1955) 13-40 .

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desperately tries to explain how things have fallen into such a disastrous state. How have human beings been reduced to such a primitive level? Her controversial conclusion is that science, in the restricted sense of the modern physical and positive sciences, or more precisely the way in which this kind of science understands itself and is construed in modern culture, is a primary cause of the present malaise:
The modern conception of science is responsible, along with the modern conception of history and of art, for the barbarities of our day, and must also be fundamentally changed before one can have any hope of seeing a better civilization.22

Weils objection is not to empirical science as such, a subject in which she had a certain competence and an active interest,23 but in the tendency to ascribe to modern science a monopoly of truth.24 She ridicules a culture which is suspicious of everything but which mindlessly bends the knee before science (203). Conscious that such views will be unpopular in a world dominated by science, she calls for the intellectual courage to admit to the contradiction which exists between science and humanism.25 The fundamental problem for Weil is the idea that science can operate independently of ethics and politics:

22 La conception moderne de la science est responsable, comme celle de lhistoire et celle de lart, des monstruosits actuelles, et doit tre, elle aussi, transforme avant quon puisse esprer voir poindre une civilisation meilleure. Lenracinement, 202. 23 See S. WEIL, Sur la science (Paris: ditions Gallimard, 1966). 24 For an interesting anthology of studies on science and knowledge in a postmodern perspective see J. APPLEBY and other editors, Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective (New York and London: Routledge, 1996). 25 Au cours des derniers sicles, on a confusment senti la contradiction entre la science e lhumanisme, quoiquon nait jamais eu le courage intellectuel de la regarder en face. Lenracinement, 205.

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Since the Renaissance - more precisely, since the second half of the Renaissance - the very conception of science is of a study which has for its object something which is placed beyond good and evil, and more particularly beyond the good.26

Like all human activities, science requires mobiles, that is motivations or reasons which are capable of moving people into action. These are reduced in the modern conception of science to utilitaristic applications or, worse still, personal reputation and vanity. What is missing is the declaration of worthy aims for engaging in this activity.27 The tragedy of modern science is to close itself into self-contained compartments and so cut itself of from sources of knowledge which might inspire such aims.

Conclusion From the texts of Weil that have been cited as an illustration of her thesis, and from the echos which these find in the works of postmodernist writers, we can conclude that Weils critique of totalitarianism converges in considerable measure with that of postmodernism. It is moot point whether or not these texts justify applying the nomenclature postmodernist to Weil. It is a name which one suspects she would find both silly and dangerous: silly because so vague and open-ended, dangerous because so likely to instill illusion.28

Lenracinement, 216. Les techniciens tendent toujours se rendre souverains [] Quand on les laisse faire, cest toujours uniquement faute davoir toujours prsente dans lesprit la conception claire et tout fait prcise des fins particulires auxquelles telle, telle et telle technique doit tre subordonne Lenracinement, 176. 28 Il serait vain de se dtourner du pass pour ne penser qu lavenir. Cest une illusion dangereuse de croire quil y ait mme l une possibilit. Lopposition entre lavenir et le pass est absurde. Lenracinement, 51.
26 27

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Lenracinement as the antithesis of postmodernism If Lenracinement is postmodernist, it is certainly postmodernist with a difference. The difference in question is not the kind of difference which postmodern thinkers relish and promote, that is to say, difference construed as burgeoning, pluralistic diversity.29 It is rather a kind of difference with which they are much less at ease, namely the difference which consists in convinced dissent from what they consider to be obvious. In Weils case, as we have just seen, this dissent cannot be dismissed as another modernistic illusion or another act of collusion with capitalism. Despite the fact that Weil and the postmodernists agree in their rejection of totalitarianism, the ethical vision which underlies this rejection is completely different. In fact at this level they differ so radically that one is forced to locate oneself between two poles of ethical reasoning, each diametrically opposed to the other. It is beyond the scope of this piece to attempt to synthesize postmodern ethical thought, even assuming that such an enterprise were possible.30 It must suffice to note two striking features of same. One is the axiomatic manner in which postmodern thought eschews any attempt at articulating the foundations of a given ethical position, much less a given ethical system.31 Such a project seems to be equated ipso facto with a relapse into the rationalistic illusions of modernity. The other striking feature of postmodernist thought is its, apparently contradictory, preoccupation with ethics,32 even when it does

29 See I. HASSAN, The culture of postmodernism in Theory, Culture and Society, 2 (3), 119-132. 30 One of the few postmodern texts which attempts a full scale account of ethics is Z. Baumanns Postmodern Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1993). 31 A critical reading of Baumans seven postmodernist marks of moral condition (Postmodern Ethics, 10-15) is enough to make one aware of the chasm which separates his understanding of ethics from anything approaching a coherent system. 32 A few sample texts which show a passionate, if at times obscure, postmodernist concern with ethics are E. LEVINAS, A. PEPERZAK, Etica come filosofia prima (Milano: Edizioni Angelo Guerini e Associati, 1989) 47-60;

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not use that word. In ethical terms the stance of postmodernism is highly relativist and tends toward nihilism in that it retains that the good can only be known locally, ephemerally and subjectively. In technical ethical terms the postmodern stance can perhaps best be described as emotivist, pragmatist, relativist and utilitarian.33 Weils critique of totalitarianism, by contrast, is based on a vision of the human good and the progress of society which is anything but vague and relativist. Drawing her inspiration from classical Greek philosophy, the Gospel and her unique variety of social radicalism, she bases her rejection of totalitarianism on ethical convictions about human beings in society. She does not, however, present her ethical vision in a systematic way, we must glean it from her disparate observations on human obligations, human needs, cultural traditions, history, oppression, science and truth. In the previous section, the substance of Weils critique of totalitarianism was articulated in three tenets in such a way that the convergence of her thought with that of contemporary postmodernists became evident. In this section we will attempt to articulate the ethico-theological vision which underlies that critique in the study of three further tenets:
i. The true measure of a civilization is the degree to which it facilitates human beings in their fulfilment of their obligations toward one another ii. The right use of political power is to inspire and institute justice iii. The good is one and is to be loved as the object of all truth, including scientific truth

If the tenets earlier formulated could have been taken directly from texts composed by contemporary postmodern
J. DERRIDA, Donner le temps. 1. La fausse monnaie (Paris: Galile, 1991); M. FOUCAULT, Archivio Foucault. 2. Poteri, Saperi, Strategie. A cura di A. DAL LAGO (Milano: Feltrinelli, 1997). 33 For a facetious but devastating exposure of the illusions and contradictions inherent in postmodern ethical and political thought see T. EAGLETON, The Illusions of Postmodernism. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996).

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authors, these tenets, as understood by Weil, constitute the very antithesis of postmodernism. A careful study of them will offer useful guidance to the christian who wishes to base his or her critique of totalitarianism on something more solid than postmodernism is able to offer.

The true measure of a civilization is the degree in which it facilitates human beings in their fulfilment of their obligations toward one another. In order to understand the full significance of this basic principle of Weils ethical and political thought it is necessary to examine more closely the link between the recurring metaphor of uprooting and the treatment of obligations and rights at the beginning of the book. The opening paragraphs, in fact, are so dense and so fundamental to a adequate understanding of the entire work, that it will be worth quoting from them here at some length:
The notion of obligation precedes that of right, this latter term being subordinate to, and derived from, the former [...] the effective realization of a right depends not on the one who possesses it, but on those who recognise themselves as bound by obligations toward the one who has the right... It makes no sense to say that on the one hand people have rights and on the other they have obligations. These words express nothing more than a difference of perspective. Their relation to one another is that of object and subject. A human being, considered in himself, has only got obligations, among which are to be numbered some obligations to himself. Others, considered from his point of view, only have rights. Such a person has rights when he is considered from the point of view of others, who recognize themselves as having obligations toward him. A person who was on his own in the universe would have no rights, but he would have obligations.34

34 La notion dobligation prime celle de droit, qui lui est subordonne et relative. Un droit nest pas efficace par lui-mme, mais seulement par

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As has been observed by Andr Naud,35 this intuition of Weil regarding the relationship between obligations and rights does nothing less than attempt to turn Western culture on its head. The hallmark of modern, liberal political thought is, at best, to move from rights to obligations.36 Weil dissents in a most radical fashion from this way of construing the relations between human beings in society. In the text quoted above, and in subsequent texts of Lenracinement, there is a deliberate correspondence between what is said about obligations and what is normally said about rights, regarding, for example their inalienable and universal nature. Behind Weils understanding of obligations and rights is a whole anthropological vision which forms the basis of her critique of totalitarianism. Weils point of departure is the human duty to respond to anothers pressing physical need for food. By extension, she develops a list of other vital needs of human beings,37 which are

lobligation laquelle il correspond; laccomplissement effectif dun droit provient non pas de celui qui le possde, mais des autres hommes qui se reconnaissent obligs quelque chose envers lui [] Un homme, considr en lui-mme, a seulement des devoirs, parmi lesquels se trouvent certains devoirs envers lui-mme. Les autres, considrs de son point de vue, ont seulement des droits. Il a des droits son tour quand il est considr du point de vue des autres, qui se reconnaissent des obligations envers lui. Un homme qui serait seul dans lunivers naurait aucun droit, mais il aurait des obligations. Lenracinement, 9. 35 A. NAUD, Dclaration des droits de lhomme ou dclaration de ses obligations? propos dune intuition de Simone Weil in Droit et morale, valeurs ducatives et culturelles: actes du 22e congrs annuel de la Socit canadienne de thologie tenu Montral du 18 au 20 octobre 1985 (Montral: ditions Fides, 1987) 173-186. 36 The centrality of the concept of rights in such classical texts of liberal political philosophy as Lockes Two Treatises on Civil Government or Kants Metaphysik der Sitten is striking. The theme has recently been amply treated in the secondary literature, perhaps best of all by R.TUCK in his Natural rights theories, their origin and development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1979) 1981), which is particularly informative as regards the use of rights language by such agencies of human oppression as the slave traders. 37 The list of needs included in the first part of the work comprises: order, freedom, obedience, responsibility, equality, hierarchy, honour, punishment, freedom of opinion, security, risk, private property, collective property and truth. Lenracinement, 15-41.

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not physical needs but which are considered vital because if they are not met the human being falls into a kind of vegetative state (12). It is the pressing, vital necessity of these needs which grounds the concept of human obligation toward others.38 Weil does not spell out the specific obligations which derive from these needs (this would be the task of the proposed Declaration), but she does insist that the proper criterion (10,11) for measuring the quality of a civilization is the degree to which it facilitates human beings not in the pursuit of their own rights but rather in fulfilment of their obligations toward others. To the inventory of specific human needs Weil adds, at the beginning of Part Two, the overarching and supreme need for roots (lenracinement):
To be rooted somewhere is perhaps the most important and the least understood need of the human soul. A human being has a root in so far as he has a real, active natural participation in the existence of a collectivity which conserves alive certain treasures from the past and certain presentiments concerning the future [...] He has to receive almost all his moral, intellectual and spiritual life through participation in the milieux of which he naturally forms part.39

From this text it is clear that the metaphor of roots is Weils way of talking about being inserted in a tradition,40 a term she at times uses in this sense. The ethical basis of her critique of

Cette obligation tant la plus vidente, elle doit servir de modle pour dresser la liste des devoirs ternels, envers tout tre humain. Lenracinement, 12. 39 Lenracinement est peut-tre le besoin le plus important et le plus mconnu de lme humaine. Cest un des plus difficiles dfinir. Un tre humain a une racine par sa participation relle, active et naturelle lexistence dune collectivit qui conserve vivants certains trsors du pass et certains pressentiments davenir. Lenracinement, 45. 40 The theme of modernism as the abandonment of tradition has, of course, been the flagship of philosophical thinkers such as A. MACINTYRE and J.TAYLOR for years. The implications of their thought for theology has been developed in B. JOHNSTONE, Faith and Reason in Morals: a Polyphony of Traditions Studia Moralia 35 (1997) 261-282.
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modernism, particularly in its totalitarian tendencies, is the damage it does to human beings and human societies in that it cuts them off from their social and cultural roots, thus depriving them of the nourishment of their vital human needs. What is wrong with modernism, in other words, is not simply that it does not work or does not feel right, but rather that it is based on a false understanding of who human beings are, what they need in order to thrive and how their relations with one another should be structured. It offers people false forms of greatness, such as money and imperialistic nationalism, as a poor Ersatz for their real needs.41 Totalitarianism, as a political system, commits the ultimate crime in that it ends up eating the people it is supposed to nourish (14). The logical corollary of the claim that the modernist myth of progress is an illusion is the claim that it is possible to know a less illusory, more real, world. Weil wishes to insist that despite modernist illusions, the truth about the world can be known and that human beings can shape the world in accordance with the truth. These themes will emerge more clearly in our study of the other two tenets.

The right use of political power is to inspire and institute justice Weils account of Roman imperialism, French Statenationalism and Soviet collectivism leaves one in no doubt as to her repudiation of totalitarian regimes. This general repudiation takes on a passionate and vigorous form in her horror at what has happened and is happening to France at the hands of the Nazis. The urgency and extremity of the immediate needs of France focus her mind on the abuses of political power in human society and on the possibility of a right use of such power. Having rejected the modern illusion of progress and having unmasked the totalitarian tendencies of the modern State, Weil poses herself the question: how can a people be

41

Lenracinement, 187.

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inspired to leave behind these aberrations and construct a just society? (161). In trying to answer this question Weil reiterates again and again that the present way of understanding and using political power is ethically unacceptable. Her primary objection is that it treats power as an end in itself and not as an instrument to be used for defined purposes, other than the preservation of power itself (163, 186). The ethical evaluation of a political system, she insists, cannot be measured merely by the duration of its survival42 but must be measured in relation to its declared purposes (Politique en vue de quoi? 131). In the absence of higher purposes, the preservation and extension of State power becomes an end in itself and tends toward totalitarianism, as amply illustrated in the case of France. The ethical foundation of Weils objection to this understanding of politics is ultimately theological in nature in that she sees it as a form of idolatry.43 In so far as the State becomes invested with absolute value and becomes the supreme point of reference in human society, it becomes an idol:
Among all the contemporary forms of the malady of being uprooted, the uprooting of a culture is among the more alarming. Generally speaking, the first consequence of this sickness is that, in every domain of human life, precisely because the relations between things have been truncated, each thing is regarded as an end in itself. Being uprooted leads to idolatry.44

42 One recalls Machiavellis admiration for Rome, Venice and Sparta in his Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio precisely because these cities managed to survive for centuries. For Weils sharply contrasting view of Livys narrative see Lenracinement,196. 43 Weils harshest words, as usual, are reserved for Rome: Ctait vraiment un peuple athe et idoltre; non pas idoltre de statues faites en pierre ou en bronze, mais idoltre de lui-mme. Lenracinement, 124. 44 Parmi toutes les formes actuelles de la maladie du dracinement, le dracinement de la culture nest pas le moins alarmant. La premire consquence de cette maladie est gnralement, dans tous les domaines, que les relations tant coupes chaque chose est regarde comme un but de soi. Le dracinement engendre lidoltrie. Lenracinement, 65.

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Human beings have a need to love and serve something (103) and if they are cut off from their religious, cultural and patriotic traditions, they will incline toward idolatry. The modernist, totalitarian understanding of politics is ethically wrong not just because of the horrors of injustice it inflicts on its victims, but also because it cuts off the perpetrators themselves from their own true good, who is God.45 Apart from being idolatrous, Weil maintains, totalitarianism is also a lie. At the core of totalitarianism is a distorted concept of brute force as the only force (188). In this regard, Hitler serves as an example of someone who lived out the consequences of this lie to the full.46 For any State to claim that it has complete power, or that it is beyond the sway of all other powers, is simply and factually not true because all human life is subject to various natural necessities (246). The truth, according to Weil, is that the supreme sovereign power of this world is not brute force but what she calls impersonal Providence or the very order of the world:
Faith in Providence consists in being certain than the universe in its totality is in conformity with the will of God [...] that is to say that in this universe good prevails over evil47

All of history, then, even the most barbarous actions, ultimately falls under the rule of Providence. Apart from the extremes of militaristic dictatorship, Weil notes that modern politics commits a similar error in attributing absolute importance to other controlling mechanisms such as the market, history or utility. Lenracinement bluntly challenges the reader to decide between the rival claims that the world is indeed

45 Weil writes of Richelieu: Ce cardinal, en posant comme un absolu une chose dont toute la ralit rside ici-bas, commettait le crime didoltrie. Lenracinement, 103. 46 Les grands fauteurs de violence se sont encourags eux-mmes en considrant comment la force mcanique, aveugle, est souveraine dans tout lunivers. Lenracinement, 16. 47 La foi dans la Providence consiste tre certain que lunivers dans sa totalit est conforme la volont de Dieu [...] cest--dire que dans cet univers le bien lemporte sur le mal. Lenracinement, 229.

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subject to brute force and that it is subject to Providence.48 Alongside such ethical objections to totalitarianism, Weil formulates, admittedly in a rather sketchy fashion, a series of deliberations on the right role of politics. She likens politics to a creative art form, requiring all the originality, concentration and ability of any other art. The object of this art is justice.49 Politics is thus intrinsically and essentially ethical in nature in that it is an instrument to be used toward a defined good (171), namely the production of a milieu in which justice can flourish:
Politics also is an art governed by composition on various levels. Whoever finds himself with political responsibilities, if he has within him a hunger and thirst for justice, must desire to receive this ability to compose at different levels. With time, he will inevitably receive it. (185) Power is not an end in itself. Of its nature, in its essence, by definition, it is exclusively a means. It is to politics what a piano is to musical composition [...] Wretched as we are, we have confused the making of a piano with the composition of a sonata. (187)

In such texts Weil distances herself definitively from the modern penchant for separating politics and ethics,50 and proposes an audacious alternative vision. Her thought on this point is often reminiscent of Platos Republic in its focus on the link between pedagogy and politics (163,170, 199).

48 Si la force est absolument souveraine, la justice est absolument irrelle (206); Si la justice est ineffaable au coeur de lhomme, elle a une ralit en ce monde. Cest la science alors qui a tort. Lenracinement, 207. 49 Mais pourquoi la politique, qui dcide du destin des peuples et a pour objet la justice, exigerait-elle une attention moindre que lart et la science, qui ont pour objet le beau et le vrai. Lenracinement, 185. 50 For a more detailed study of the exercise of power within industrial capitalism in a ethico-theological see J. MILBANK Theology and Social Theory, Beyond Secular Reason. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1990) 259-325.

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The good is one and is to be loved as the object of all truth, including scientific truth. Any self-respecting postmodernist thinker who has not already disassociated himself or herself from Weil on the basis of the first two tenets, will certainly have to do so in the light of this third! We are confronted here with an extraordinarily audacious vision of the world which, if it is tenable, implies the need for a revolutionary revision of both modernist and postmodernist thought, not to mention various premodern schools. The tenet is based on a unitary vision of the world, anathema to postmodernist dogma, which involves a series of epistemological, anthropological, ethical and theological convictions of a highly abstract and profound nature. Weil alludes to these at various points in Lenracinement, often without seeking to justify them or explain their relationship to one another in a systematic way. It would be presumptuous indeed to try to do here what Weil herself does not do, that is attempt to present a comprehensive account of this world-view. At the same time, however, the ethical basis of Weils critique of totalitarianism is intrinsically connected to this background vision. So it seems best to at least sketch the worldview in question and then examine the key texts which express and elucidate this third tenet. In many ways Weils world-view corresponds to that of classical Neoplatonic philosophy, tempered mysteriously with the classical christian theological and ethical traditon.51 While often employing her own metaphors, Weil depicts a world (or, rather, two worlds) which has much in common with christian Neoplatonism: God, the supreme good, reigns over all in his Wisdom and Providence; the human being who can know the good by means of his reason and love the good by free choice of his will; human society as a collective effort to live justly, dogged by human vice.
Weil is quite explicit in her acknowledgement of Plato as a primary source, but does not acknowledge the Augustinian influence in her theological position. For a study of a key Augustinian text in which we find an ethico-theological vision almost identical to that of LEnracinement see M. MCKEEVER The Cardinal Desiderative Power of the Self-Ordering Subject. An ethical exegesis of voluntas in Augustines De libero arbitrio (Diss. Roma, Accademica Alfonsiana, 1995).
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The most fundamental aspect of this world-view which underpins the above tenet is Weils conviction about the relation (logos) between truth, justice and the good. From the outset, truth had been included in the list of basic human needs.52 As the work unfolds, truth is conceived as an active, inspirational force (215) capable of moving human beings toward their true good:
Love of the truth is an improper expression. The truth is not the object of our love. The truth is not an object. What we love is something which exists, something which we think, and by that very fact can be an occasion of truth or of error.53 Faith is above all the certitude that the good is one. To believe that there are various distinct and mutually independent goods, such as truth, beauty and morality constitutes the sin of polytheism, and not allowing the imagination to play with Apollo and Diana.54

Weil considers such convictions de rigeur for christians and the only alternative to the malaise of modern totalitarianism, in its militaristic, collectivist or capitalist forms. The ethical significance of this stance is that it provides a criterion by which human actions, personal and collective, are to be judged: those actions are good which inspire55 and move human beings toward the good (41). The only right human response to the good is the desire to know and unite oneself to that good. The problem with idolatry of the State or of money, in fact, is presented, in a manner which is reminiscent of Augustines ordo amoris, as the
Lenracinement, 38, 62. Amour de la vrit est une expression impropre. La vrit nest pas un objet damour. Elle nest pas un objet. Ce quon aime, cest quelque chose qui existe, que lon pense, et qui par l peut tre occasion de vrit ou derreur. Lenracinement, 215. 54 La foi est avant tout la certitude que le bien est un. Croire quil y a plusieurs biens distincts et mutuellement indpendants, comme vrit, beaut, moralit, cest cela qui constitue le pch de polythisme, et non pas laisser limagination jouer avec Apollon et Diane. Lenracinement, 214. 55 Weil is at pains to point out that the inspiration is not a vague aspiration but leads to a dynamic, effective, physical movement. See Lenracinement, 170.
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love of a lesser good in the place of the supreme good. It is against this backdrop that Weil makes her daring claim concerning modern science. When she comes to articulate more fully the ethical basis of her objection to the modern understanding of science, she declares:
For two or three centuries people have believed at one and the same time that force is the unique master of all natural phenomena and that human beings can and must base their mutual relations on justice, as this latter can be known reason. It is an obvious absurdity.56

On the basis of her conviction about the sovereign role of impersonal providence, examined under the second tenet, Weil insists that either all the world (including human beings ) is under the rule of force or all the world is under the rule of providence. Her ultimate challenge to the illegitimate absolutist claims of totalitarianism is a legitimate absolutism, the absolute supremacy of divine Providence. The corollary of this is that science should be the study of the beauty of the world, with a view to promoting the human good within the world. Thus one of the most audacious and original aspects of Weils critique of totalitarianism is the claim that science itself should be a quasi religious appreciation of the universe:
The spirit of truth can reside in science on condition that the scientist is motivated by a love of the object of his study. The object of his study is the universe in which we live. What can one love in the universe but its beauty? The true definition of science is the study of the beauty of the world.57

56 Depuis deux ou trois sicles on croit la fois que la force est matresse unique de tous les phnomnes de la nature, et que les hommes peuvent et doivent fonder sur la justice, reconnue au moyen de la raison, leurs relations mutuelles. Cest une absurdit criante. Lenracinement, 205. 57 Lesprit de vrit peut rsider dans la science la condition que le mobile du savant soit lamour de lobjet qui est la matire de son tude. Cet objet, cest lunivers dans lequel nous vivons. Que peut-on aimer en lui, sinon sa beaut? La vraie dfinition de la science, cest quelle est ltude de la beaut du monde. Lenracinement, 222.

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Conclusion As explained at the beginning of this article, the philosophical debate between modernists and postmodernists poses certain challenges to the reflective christian. It is hoped that these two readings of Lenracinement might have served to offer some orientation in this regard on the crucial ethical question of totalitarianism. Like Simone Weil, the contemporary christian will often agree with the postmodernists on the illusions of progress, the totalitarian tendencies of the modern State and the dangers of reducing all knowledge to empirical science. The vigour and lucidity of her critique can be a help in discerning what is of most value in postmodernist writings. Weils more important contribution, however, is surely the manner in which she articulates a decidedly different vision of the human being in society from that offered by either modernists or postmodernists. The passionate social vision and engagement of Weil prevents her thought becoming simply a repetition of classical values regardless of cultural change. This vision offers the christian a place to stand, as it were, in order to evaluate postmodernism, without falling back into a reactionary mentality. It is a perfect example of what Fides et Ratio portrays as the cross-fertilization that is possible between philosophy and theology. If the test of a classic is its ability to speak afresh to new cultural contexts, then Lenracinement shows itself a true classic in that it can be reread with profit in the context of current debates. Few christians will have the philosophical acumen or the profound faith of Simone Weil, but if the argument of this piece is valid, all christians interested in contemporary philosophy can benefit from a closer reading of this extraordinary work.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100 Roma Italy. MARTIN MCKEEVER C.Ss.R.

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Fides et Ratio has recently reminded us of the value and importance of philosophy for theological thought in general and for christian moral reflection in particular. The encyclical explicitly notes the importance and the ambiguity of postmodernist thought, particularly in terms of its sceptical and ephemeral quality. The present article argues that Simone Weils classic Lenracinement is a precocious example of a postmodern critique of totalitarianism. When, however, the ethical basis of Weils argument is analysed more deeply, it proves to be the very antithesis of postmodernism. A critical reading of Weils text can thus enhance our appreciation of what is best in contemporary postmodernism and alert us to its underlying philosophical weaknesses. Fides et Ratio mencion recientemente el valor e importancia de la filosofa para el pensamiento teolgico en general y para la moral cristiana en particular. La encclica destaca la importancia y la ambigedad del pensamiento postmoderno, sobre todo en su aspecto escptico y efmero. El artculo afirma que Lenracinement clsico de Simone Weil es un ejemplo anticipado de una crtica postmoderna del totalitarismo. En todo caso, cuando la base tica del argumento de Weil es analizada con mayor profundidad, se demuestra que es la verdadera anttesis del postmodernismo. Una lectura crtica del texto de Weil puede incrementar as nuestra apreciacin de lo ms valioso del postmodernismo contemporneo y nos alerta sobre la debilidad filosfica que le subyace. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

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BIOETICA E TUTELA DELLA PERSONA

Negli ultimi anni, grazie ai progressi delle invenzioni biotecnologiche la nostra societ affronta i difficili problemi a tutti i livelli della nostra vita sociale, politica, morale, culturale, religiosa e privata. I membri dellAccademia Nazionale dei Lincei, sotto legida del loro Presidente E.Vesentini, avendo la coscienza dei questi problemi bioetici, hanno organizzato il Convegno Internazionale sul tema Bioetica e tutela della persona a Roma, il 4-5 dicembre 1998. Il Convegno stato organizzato con il contributo dellAssociazione degli Amici dellAccademia dei Lincei. Il Convegno stato diviso in tre sessioni. Ogni sessione ha avuto il suo titolo-tema che ha raggrupato gli adequati sottotitoli in sotto forma dei comunicati ed interventi. In questo articolo vorrei tracciare e descrivere gli obiettivi principali e linee fondamentale di questo Convegno biomedico.

1. Biotecnologie e tutela della persona I progressi nelle biotecnologie molecolari e cellulari hanno potenziato i metodi di analisi genetica ed hanno creato nuove possibilit per la prevenzione e la correzione dei difetti genetici. Interventi di tipo diagnostico e terapeutico possono essere effettuati sul genoma durante il ciclo vitale delluomo, dal gamete alladulto (Luigi De Carli, Interventi diagnostici e terapeutici sul genoma umano). I principali interventi diagnostici come analisi del DNA e dei cromosomi possono essere eseguti prima del concepimento sulla cellula uovo in maturazione (prelievo del globulo polare), sullembrione allo stadio di 8 cellule (biopsia blastomerica), sullembrione prima dellimpianto allo stadio di blastocisti, quando possibile distinguere lembrione vero e proprio dalla componente extraembrionale; su villi coriali (CUS), sul sangue fetale (FC), sulle cellule sospese nel liquido amnioti-

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co nel periodo di vita fetale dall8a alla 17a settimana di gestazione (villocentesi, cordocentesi e amniocentesi); infine, sui diversi tessuti del neonato (analisi molecolari, biochimiche e citogenetiche sul sangue periferico, screening neonatali) e delladulto (identificazione individuale mediante profili del DNA, determinazione di genotipo e cariotipo patologico, mediante analisi del DNA con marcatori biochimici, immulogici ed esame dei cromosomi, diagnosi individuali e di popolazioni a rischio di malattie genetiche o esposte ad agenti genotossici, analisi genetiche e citogenetiche di tumori). Le indicazioni per la diagnosi riguardano situazioni di rischio per varie patologie a base ereditaria o congenita, ad esordio precoce o tardivo. Le analisi individuali possono essere estese a intere popolazioni o a gruppi di soggetti a rischio genetico o esposti a fattori genotossici di origine ambientale dando luogo a progammi di screening generalizzati o specializzati. I principali interventi terapeutici come modificazioni a livello molecolare o cellulare possono essere indotte a fini clinici o di ricerca con effetti sulla discendenza (terapia genica germinale sullo zigote: trasferimento genico per microiniezione, per elettroporazione con microproiettili; sullembrione: clonazione per scissione, per trapianto nucleare, trasferimento genico con metodi meccanici, fisici e chimici) o su specifici organi o tessuti (terapia genica somatica, terapia fetale media o chirurgica). Oltre al trasferimento genico ed alla selezione embrionale pu essere considerata, in via ipotetica, la clonazione per scissione e per trapianto nucleare, recentemente sperimentata sugli animali. Le tecniche di biologia molecolare e poi le biotecnologie hanno rivoluzionato tutta la ricerca biologica e medica e successivamente la ricerca e le applicazioni oncologiche (Giancarlo Vecchio, Rilevanza delle biotecnologie in oncologia). I risultati ottenuti dalle applicazioni di queste nuove tecnologie spaziano dalle nuove acquisizioni sui meccanismi patogenetici molecolari di molti tipi di tumori umani, alla diagnostica dei tumori, fino alle nuove strategie terapeutiche utilizzate. Per quanto riguarda il primo punto, cio la comprensione dei meccanismi patogenetici molecolari, basti pensare che fino a poco pi di dieci anni or sono, mentre si conoscevano moltissime cause dei tumori umani (sostanze chimiche e cause fisiche) si ignorava quali fossero i bersagli molecolari allinterno delle

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cellule dove quelle cause agissero. Oggi, grazie alla applicazione di molte tecniche biotecnologiche, per esempio il clonaggio molecolare o la tecnologia dei topi trangenici e knock-out, stato possibile individuare due categorie di geni che rappresentano i bersagli molecolari di agenti chimici e fisici cancerogeni. I primi, oncogeni, hanno un ruolo attivo nel processo di cancerogenesi, nel senso che stimolano la proliferazione cellulare. I secondi, geni oncosoppressori, hanno il ruolo di controllare in senso negativo la proliferazione cellulare, quando vengono alterati o inattivati perdono questa funzione di controllo negativo e quindi il risultato finale della loro inattivazione , analogamente allattivazione degli oncogni, uno stimolo alla crescita cellulare. Anche nellambito della diagnostica oncologica, le biotecnologie hanno avuto un ruolo anche molto importante. A titolo esemplificativo basti pensare, da un lato, alluso della tecnologia degli anticorpi monoclonali che hanno permesso di visualizzare cellule tumorali ai primi stadi della proliferazione e quindi alla possibilit di intervenire precocemente su di un processo tumorale iniziale, e, dallaltro, allutilizzazione di tecnologie quali la PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) che permette di individuare anche solo due o tre cellule cancerose presentati nel torrente circolatorio e quindi di mettere in evidenza i primi stadi del processo di metastatizzazione tumorale, che rappresenta la false pi pericolosa e difficilmente controllabile del tumore maligno. Infine, progressi straordinari sono stati raggiunti grazie allapplicazione delle biotecnologie sulla ricerca di nuove strategie terapeutiche. Per esempio la tecnologia degli anticorpi monoclonali che vengono utilizzati per individuare le cellule tumorali e distruggerle direttamente o indirettamente veicolando su di esse sostanze radioattive o tossine vegetali o batteriche. Esistono rischi elevati per le nuove biotechnologie? La sicurezza delle biotecnologie un problema che coinvolge sia la dignit della persona umana e la salute umana che la tutela dellambiente (Giovanni Chiefffi, Il problema della sicurezza delle biotecnologie). Anche se auspicabile una terapia genica delle cellule germinali, intesa ad eliminare difetti genetici, esistono rischi elevati per i possibili danni di tipo fisiologico e di tipo genetico, questi ultimi ovviamente trasmissibili alla discendenza. La terapia genica delle cellule somatiche rappresenta invece un

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normale intervento terapeutico per curare gravi malattie che non possono essere trattate con i mezzi convenzionali. Finora non sono stati osservati effetti collaterali n insorgenza di tumori conseguente alla mutazione del vettore transgenico (retrovirus, adenovirus, complessi liposomi/DNA). La salvaguardia dellambiente dalluso delle biotecnologie un problema molto sentito anche per i riflessi sulla salute umana. Le biotecnologie cosiddette innovative hanno avuto una vasta applicazione nel campo farmaceutico e agroalimentare. Esse hanno in comune, come prodotti finali o intermedi, materiale organico o organismi geneticamente modificati. Sebbene la sicurezza delle biotecnologie sia confortata dallassenza di effetti negativi della produzione di organismi geneticamente modificati in ambienti confinati, non da escludere che la loro liberazione nellambiente sia altrettanto priva di pericoli per la destabilizzazione degli ecosistemi e la riduzione della biodiversit. Come si presenta il problema delluso delle biotecnologie nel suo aspetto etico? In un primo momento - ha constatato padre prof. E.Chiavacci nel suo intervento intitolato Certezze e incertezze della riflessione etica - si accenna alla compessa relazione tra natura, ragione ed etica. La ragione umana deve riconoscere la realt e la verit della natura delle cose i cui obiettivi luomo deve rispettare (etica). Luso delle nuove invenzioni biotecnologiche tocca direttamente lintegrit della persona umana e conseguentemente la sua dignit della persona umana. Secondo la dottrina morale della Chiesa la terapeutica psicofisica e la chirurgia estetica sono accettabili ma tutti gli esperimenti sulle embrioni, la fecondazione in vitro (FIVET), la modificazione del patrimonio genico non sono accettabili in nome della difesa della dignit, integrit e finalit della persona umana. Infine si considera il complesso rapporto fra le biotecnologie e il mondo del capitale, con particolare riferimento allallocazione delle risorse nel quadro della famiglia umana. Il capitale controlla la ricerca biomedica, fa la selezione e decide limmissione sul mercato delle invenzioni biotecnologiche. Da questo aspetto del profitto economico nascono i importanti e gravi problemi morali; per esempio ci sono i soldi per la ricerca biotecnologica, ma non ci sono i soldi per comprare lantibiotico per gli ammalati in Africa. I nuovi problemi che sono nati nel campo della bioetica pon-

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gono non soltanto molte e importante domande etiche ma anche alternative teoriche e pratiche. Innanzi a queste sfide noi dobbiamo - secondo il prof.Chiavacci - migliorare la condizione e la situazione della famiglia in tutti i suoi aspetti possibili, assumerela tutela della persona umana nella sua integralit e cercare un sano equilibrio. Inoltre valutata, secondo il prof. L.De Carli, lacccettabilit bioetica dei vari tipi di intervento pu essere alla luce dei principi etici fondamentali della dignit della persona, della beneficialit e dellequit, e in riferimento alle diverse linee di pensiero sullorigine dellidentit umana individuale. Il rischio biologico ed ecologico troppo grande. Gi adesso non possiamo controllare tutto, soprattuto i microrganismi modificati e gli oncogeni. Alla luce dei principi etici dobbiamo rispettare il diritto alla vita, alla salute, allambiente ed anche minimizzare le consequenze negative. La necessit di definire i confini di liceit etica prima ancora che giuridica della ricerca biotecnologica nei confronti della persona, lesigenza di arrivare a formulazioni che rappresentino un punto di incontro fra i diversi interessi in gioco (per esempio: libert di ricerca scientifica e libert di iniziativa economica o mercato, progresso culturale dei popoli o discriminazione genica) e i diritti inalienabili delluomo (il rispetto della vita, della dignit, della salute) sono state oggetto di esame da parte degli Organismi internazionali che hanno posto le basi di una disciplina per la tutela delluomo, sia individuale che collettiva, nei confronti della biotecnologia, della medicina, della genetica o dellembriologia (Adriano Bompiani, Adriana Loretti Begh: Utilizzo delle invenzioni biotecnologiche e tutela della persona in recenti documenti internazionali). La professoressa A.L.Begh ha esaminato e commentato i contenuti dei Documenti internazionali pi significativi emanati recentemente a livello mondiale dallUNESCO nella Dichiarazione universale sul genoma umano e i diritti delluomo; a livello europeo dal Consiglio dEuropa nella Convenzione europea dei diritti delluomo e la biomedicina, ed infine a livello comunitario nella direttiva sulla Protezione giuridica delle invenzioni biotecnologiche del luglio 1998. Il principio generale sancito nella normativa comunitaria della brevettabilit del materiale biologico che costituisce brevettuale, la distinzione fra scoperta e invenzione, il divieto asso-

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luto delle invenzioni il cui sfruttamento commerciale possa essere contrario allordine pubblico o al buon costume, il risultato di un bilanciamento di interessi sociali, economici e tecnologici posti a fondamento dellatto comunitario che si proposto di realizzare due principi diversi e complementari: uno rivolto a salvaguardare una inderogabile esigenza di ordine etico, e altro volto a sostenere, tramite il brevetto di invenzione, la ricerca scientifica. I documenti esaminati non sono del tutto esaustivi dei problemi che si pongono oggi, n sono comparabili per la forza giuridica e la obbligatoriet delle norme sancite in quanto alcuni strumenti enucleano solo principi di grande spessore etico ma non sono dotati di valore vincolante come ad esempio quelli enucleati, a livello mondiale, dalla Dichiarazione sul genoma umano e i diritti delluomo. comunque importante rilevare che la problematica dei valori nel processo di ricerca di una etica nella scienza della vita e la protezione delluomo inerenti alla sua dignit non possa essere risolte dagli stati con una legislazione esclusivamente nazionale. In unera di globalizzazione non solo delleconomia ma anche della ricerca scientifica e tecnica una riposta esclusivamente nazionale favorirebbe la delocalizzazione ed il trasferimento di pratiche proibite da un paese ad un altro ove non sancita alcuna costrizione.

2. Trapianti di organi e tutela della persona La cultura occidentale riconosce la liceit del prelievo di organi a fini di trapianto solamente attraverso un atto di disposizione. Il termine donazione, se accolto nel suo significato giuridico, improprio e spesso fuoriviante. Il dono di organi fatto alla collettivit e non ad un destinatario preciso, e non ha per oggetto un bene patrimoniale (Cosimo Marco Mazzoni, Libert e solidariet nel dono di organi). La parola dono, specie se riferita al contesto del prelievo di organi, pu trovare un significato pi ampio e diverso, secondo il quale esso diviene costitutivo di rapporti sociali e di obblighi di restituzione. Il dono di organi fatto a sconosciuti e proprio lanonimato consente che esso circoli su legami di socialit, pri-

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maria, di solidarismo. Chi lo riceve fa parte di un sistema anonimo di circolazione nel quale lorgano ricevuto non come dono ma come merce, come un qualsiasi altro trattamento medico. Consentendo il dono tra estranei la societ contemporanea stabilisce un ciclo di reciprocit sociale: il dono serve il solidarismo, crea obblighi reciproci. Oggi molti paesi hanno adottato leggi che consentono il prelievo di organi direttamente dalla persona deceduta senza la necessit del consenso. Chi in vita non ha vietato il prelievo dei propri organi si presume donatore. Lo spirito di libert acquista il significato di un legame necessario tra chi dona un proprio organo e chi lo riceve attraverso la mediazione della collettivit che si rende garante delleticit dei fini e del buon esito dellatto di libert. Non possiamo essere totalmente daccordo con questa conclusione di prof. Mazzoni, perch il consenso del presunto o non-presunto donatore o la legge che si rendono garante delleticit dei fini dei trapianti di organi non sono da soli sufficienti. Solo laccertamento della morte con criteri neurologici rende possibile la donazione di organi da cadavere a cuore battente e costituisce, pertanto, il presupposto indispensabile per far fronte ad una richiesta di trapianti che appare in continuo aumento (Corrado Manni, Tutela del potenziale donatore). Deve essere chiaro a tutti che il trapianto lunica terapia possibile di molte patologie a prognosi infausta: cardiomiopatia, dilatativa, cirrosi epatica, epatiti fulminanti, tossiche o virali. E evidente che lattesa dei molti pazienti che vedono nel trapianto lunica speranza di vita genera inevitabili pressioni sui medici ed il timore che possano essere lesi i diritti del potenziale donatore, anche se a fin di bene. Timori che riguardano soprattutto due aspetti: laffidabilit dei criteri neurologici utilizzati per accertare la morte e le procedure utilizzate per ottenere il consenso alla donazione. Per quanto concerne il primo problema, il concetto di morte encefalica, occorre descrivere i criteri per il suo accertamento nella speranza di eliminare dubbi e perplessit conseguenti alla continua evoluzione delle conoscenze scientifiche. Laccertamento della morte con i criteri neurologici si fonda sulla certezza diagnostica e il tempo di osservazione previsto dalla legge pi che sufficiente per evitare possibili errori. Al momento

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attuale esiste un drammatico squilibrio tra domanda e disponibilit e non possiamo certamente negare che, tra le cause che sono alla base dellinsufficiente reperimento di organi, dobbiamo annoverare il mancato consenso alla donazione. Questo mancato consenso non pu essere superato con atti imposti bens deve essere ricercato ed ottenuto mediante specifici programmi di educazione sanitaria. Di fatto il valore etico del trapianto - quale atto terapeutico rivolto a salvare la vita o, comunque, a migliorarne la qualit non giustifica, di per s, un consenso alla donazione comunque ottenuto. Dopo una rassegna dei problemi etico-deontologici e medico-legali ancora aperti sul tema inesauribile del trapianto di organi, di tessuti o di pi elementari organizzzazioni biologiche prelevati da persona vivente o da cadavere, viene sottolineata, nella perdurante latitanza del legislatore italiano, la straordinaria importanza del fatto che la questione dei trapianti ed altre ancora, che nelle varie nazioni alimentano dubbi o ostacoli dogni genere, in buona parte legittimi ma talora surrettizi, trovi nelle sedi sovranazionali europee un faticoso ma sereno componimento, che particolarmente si esprime nella Convenzione di Oviedo (1977) e nei protocoli aggiuntivi (Mauro Barni, I problemi medico-legali del trapianto da vivente e da cadavere). Nella perdurante incertezza giuridica sulla esperibilit di una legislazione europea sembra particolarmente positivo lorientamento presente nella Convenzione diretto a privilegiare i prelievi da cadavere ed a valorizzare a tal fine lautonomia della persona piuttosto che la volont dei parenti e, per contro, il superiore interesse pubblico. Che cosa dice la Constituzione Italiana sui trapianti di organi tra vivi o da cadavere? In entrambi i casi il valore costituzionale che viene principalmente in considerazione quello che risulta dal principio di tutela dellintegrit della persona, nel suo aspetto di integrit del corpo umano, ma esso ha una forza assai diversa a seconda che sia riferito ad una persona vivente, ovvero al cadavere di una persona defunta (Alessandro Pizzorusso, I trapianti di organi: limiti costituzionali). Nel caso della persona vivente ci troviamo di fronte ad un soggetto giuridico, del genere delle persone fisiche, che titolare di diritti per cui tali diritti sarebbero direttamente lesi da uneventuale violazione del-

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lintegrit fisica della persona. Dato il carattere fondamentalmente indisponibile del diritto allintegrit fisica, inoltre, neppure il consenso pu di regola giustificare la lesione della persona del donante che il trapianto comporta. Perch tale lesione possa ritenersi giustificata occorre che una valutazione positiva risulti bilanciata fra i contrapposti valori costituzionali che vengono presi in considerazione, a cominciare dal principio di solidariet di cui allart.2 Cost. La regola stabilita, anteriormente alla Costituzione, dallart.5 del codice civile, e che vieta gli atti di disposizione del proprio corpo quando cagionino una diminuzione permanente dellintegrit fisica, o quando siano altrimenti contrari alla legge, allordine pubblico o al buon costume risulta quindi conforme ai principi costituzionali, nella parte in cui si riferisce agli atti di questo tipo riferibili alla persona vivente, laddove sia intesa come una regola assoluta per qualunque attondi questo genere che avvenga senza il consenso della persona stessa e come una regola derogabile, in presenza del consenso validamente prestato, soltanto sulla base di una valutazione del legislatore che, con riferimento ad una determinata ipotesi normativa, giudichi prevalente lesigenza della solidariet rispetto a quella della tutela dellintegrit. Nei casi di trapianti da cadavere i valori costituzionali che vengono in considerazione sono molteplici. La legge regola gli interventi che si rendono necessari per stabilire le cause della morte in vista di eventuali accertamenti giudiziari o amministtrativi richiesti a vari fini, ma tali interventi non hanno alcun rapporto di causalit con la decisione di utilizzare parti del cadavere per realizzare trapianti. Lutilizzabilit del cadavere a fini di trapianto in tutti i casi in cui non sia stata espressa una contraria volont si fonda daltronde sul principio di solidariet, che comporta una regola nel senso dellutilizzabilit delle parti staccate del cadavere per realizzare trapianti a vantaggio di persone viventi, in vista del miglioramento della loro salute. un fatto che la richiesta di trapianti appare in continuo aumento. Basti pensare che 50.000 persone sono ancora in vita grazie al trapianto. Negli Stati Uniti la lista di attesa per un trapianto aumentata del 75% (da 13.153 a 23.500). In Europa dal 1990 al 1994 vi stato un aumento del 32% dei pazienti in lista di attesa per un trapianto (da 11.021 a 14.585) ed una riduzione delle donazioni di organi del 4% (da 1.615 a 1.544). Negli ultimi

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anni vi stato un aumento del succeso degli allotrapianti (stessa specie) e dei trapianti autologhi (della stessa persona). Risultati sperimentali incoraggianti sono ottenuti da diversi gruppi di ricecatori nel campo degli xenotrapianti (diverse specie) anche tra specie discordanti (Gianni Marone, Prospettive e limiti della immunologia dei trapianti; David M.Harlan, A new paradigm for the prevention of the transplant rejection). Il principale problema immunologico degli xenotrapianti lassenza di una efficace prevenzione e terapia del rigetto iperacuto dovuto essenzialmente agli anticorpi naturali xenoreattivi. Il maiale appare il donatore ideale per gli xenotrapianti in quanto possono essere realizzate tecnologie transgeniche e pi difficilmente si possono trasmettere delle zoonasi alluomo (cellule isolate o organi isolati). Le prospettive terapeutiche del rigetto iperacuto prevedono la rimozione di anticorpi naturali, la selezione di animali con bassa espressione antigenica, limmunosoppressione combinata con pi farmaci, etc. Non prevedibile quando gli xenotrapianti passeranno dalla fase sperimentale alla applicazione clinica. Diversi e complessi aspetti etici del paziente critico, del personale sanitario e dei diritti degli animali, problemi legislativi, psichici, religiosi, enormi interessi finanziari andranno esaminati al di fuori del sensazionalismo pseudo-informativo e scientifico che la trapiantologia tende a suscitare.

3. Futuro della bioetica e tutela della persona Quasi tutti siamo daccordo che le nuove biotecnologie hanno rivoluzionato la ricerca biologica e medica. Per esempio la nuovissima terapia genica, ancora non applicata nelle sue straordinarie potenzialit, ma che si enuncia come una vera terapia del futuro in quanto permette di attuare, cos come la terapia con immunotossine, il progetto pi difficile in terapia oncologica, e cio quello di avere a disposizione dei farmaci capaci di colpire soltanto le cellule tumorali, lasciando intatta la grande maggioranza delle cellule presenti nellorganismo ammalato di tumore, e cio le cellule normali, obbiettivo per adesso ancora non raggiunto dalle terapie convenzionali (G. Vecchio). La tecnica di clonaggio aperta le nuove dimensioni della

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modifica del genoma umano, della terapia genica germinale e somatica, ed anche per copiare e riproduzione le meglie specie dei pianti e degli animali (Ian Wilmut: Dolly: the age of biological control). Ma non tutti principali partecipanti di questo Convegno sono stati cos entusiasti e ottimisti delle nuove e future conquiste della biomedicina. Giovanni Berlinguer nel suo intervento sotto molto significativo titolo Il corpo umano: dal mercato schiavistico al mercato tecnologico ha constatato, che nel campo cosidetto bioetica giustificativa si tende ad affermare che tutto cio che reale non solo razionale, ma anche morale, e quindi a legittimare sul piano filosofico la compravendita di parti del corpo umano, che diverrebbe, appunto, la merce finale. Alcuni bioetici hanno addotto come argomento a favore lo squilibrio crescente fra domanda e offerta (di organi, per esempio), altri largomento dellanalogia: se accettiamo la prostituzione, la vendita della forza-lavoro, la sperimentazione umana retribuita, perch non possiamo accettare che uno venda o affitti, e un altro compri o usi, una parte rinnovabile o non rinnovabile del corpo altrui? Dopo aver cercato di confutare questo argomento nessuno aveva preso - secondo G.Berlinguer - come termine di confronto la pi grande e duratura esperienza di mercato umano vissuta nella storia: la schiavit. Non necessario documentare le stragi e le violazioni dei diritti umani che ha comportato lesistenza della schiavit e il mercato degli schiavi. Parto dalla considerazione che luso del corpo come merce ha come presupposto, nel passato e nel presente, la valutazione dellessere umamo come una cosa: un instrumentum vocale, secondo gli antichi, oppure oggi un serbatoio (reservoir) di organi, tessuti, gameti, liquidi organici per uso retribuito da parte di altre persone. Gli argomenti principali a sostegno della schiavit si sono basati sulla sua naturalit, sui suoi vantaggi per leconomia, sulla sua indispensabilit o insostituibilit per il bene comune. Anche per il mercato tecnologico lespressione to buy or to die, che si usa nel caso dei trapianti, implica che non esiste altra strada, che se si vuole la salvezza bisogna accettare la compravendita. La domanda che sorge, per il passato come per il presente, quanto lesistenza stessa di un mercato umano sia stata e sia motivo di stagnazione e di regressso, cio un ostacolo rispetto allavanzare di altre soluzioni. Esiste un forte allarme per la persistenza, in

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molte aree del mondo di forme arcaiche di servit e perfino di schiavit, e per la crescita di altre forme di sfruttamento fra cui il lavoro dei minori e la prostituzione minorile e infantile. Oltre alle possibilit e ai problemi che derivano dalluso separato di parti del corpo, si aperto il capitolo della clonazione umana. Con la clonazione lipotesi si avvicina alla realt, ma si possono aprire altri campi alla produzione di esseri umani predeterminati. Se questa produzione fosse ammessa, sarebbe difficile evitare la nascita di nuove forme di subordinazione di viventi della nostra specie e si dovrebbe riproporre il tema della libert e delluguaglianza fra gli esseri umani. Oltre alle nostre idee, le biotecnologie hanno modificato le nostre convizioni e passioni pi profonde (Remo Bodei, Biotecnologie e tutela della persona). La nozione di famiglia, in quanto legata ai rapporti di sangue, la concezione di identit personale in quanto connessa agli inizi dellio o al trapianto di organi, i sentimenti associati alle fasi pi solenni dellesistenza (concepimento, nascita, morte), il ritmo dei cicli vitali: tutto muta, sia sul piano della realt che su quello dellimmaginario. Ai vincoli di sangue, involontari, tendono sempre dalla natura divente oggetto di scelte, acuendo la consapevolezza di un maggiore dominio della specie umana su se stessa e, insieme, langoscia di chi chiamato a prendere decisioni dagli esiti talvolta imprevedibili1.

Conclusione Diventata un campo di battaglia tra opposte visioni del mondo e delluomo, la bioetica riporta lattenzione sulla persona umana e sulla sua corporeit, ma cerca soprattutto di sciogliere i dilemmi e i paradossi introdotti dalle nuove biotecnologie. Il Convegno Internazionale nellAccademia dei Lincei ha tracciato unampio ventaglio dei vari e complessi problemi biomedici e bioetici collegati con queste biotecnologie. Ha evidenziato che i progressi delle scienze biologiche e mediche pongono interroga-

1 LAutore ha utilizzato gli abstracts non ufficiali distribuiti durante questo Convegno.

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tivi, provocano luomo e la societ, perch producono nuove domande e nuove esigenze sociali, culturali, giuridici e politiche. Ogni scienziato, credente o non credente, ha fatto riferimento ai valori umani nel suo intervento. Questi riferimenti non sono stati sulla base di un concetto antropologico strettamente e rigorosamente definito (ad eccezione di padre professore E.Chiavacci) ma soprattutto sulla base dei documenti internazionali e nazionali concernenti luomo come soggetto e oggetto degli interventi biomedici. Ha sottolineato la mancanza della regolazione giuridica nel campo della biomedicina e la necessit di inquadrare il progresso scientifico-tecnologico in una visione etico-umanistica dellagire umano che si imposta di fronte ai traguardi raggiunti attualmente dalle scoperte scientifiche e alle loro applicazioni tecnologiche. Questo vale sia nel campo della biologia, soprattutto della genetica ed embriologia sia nel campo della medicina, specialmente della medicina sperimentale. Le scoperte della biomedicina e le relative applicazioni alluomo come persona umana hanno posto ancor pi in emergenza il problema bioetico. Le nuove biotecnologie rendono urgente il discorso della tutela della persona umana e pongono linterrogativo di fondo se tutto quello che tecnicamente possibile debba anche esssere ritenuto eticamente lecito.
Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100 Roma Italy. EDMUND KOWALSKI C.Ss.R.

Summary / Resumen A recent international congress of the Accademia dei Lincei outlined a wide range of the various and complex biomedical and bioethical problems which are concerned with the dignity of the human person, with health issues and the conservation of the environment. This article gives an appraisal of the congress. In the light of ethical principles, all people, but especially those responsible for social and political life ought to respect the right to life, to health, to the

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environment and to minimize the negative consequences in the use of the new technologies. Un reciente congreso internacional en la Accademia dei Lincei, ha trazado un amplio abanico sobre los diversos y complejos problemas biomdicos y bioticos que se refieren a la dignidad de la persona humana, a su salud y a la conservacin del ambiente. Este artculo hace una apreciacin del congreso. A la luz de los principio ticos, todos los hombres, especialmente los responsables de la vida social y poltica, deben respetar el derecho a la vida, a la salud, al ambiente y minimizar las consecuencias negativas en el uso de las nuevas tecnologas. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

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INTRODUCCIN

La Academia Alfonsiana nace y crece al culminar el segundo milenio y el llamado siglo breve, cuando se producen eventos tan significativos como el Concilio Vaticano II, la conquista espacial, el progreso tecnolgico y la globalizacin econmica, entre otros. Surgen nuevos problemas, que se constituyen en autnticos desafos para quienes se dedican al estudio y orientacin en el campo de la tica y de la moral. La mejor forma de comprender la Academia Alfonsiana, asegura De la Torre, es verla como un segmento del crecimiento dinmico de la teologa moral, colocarla dentro del ciclo histrico de una humanidad que, tambin desde el punto de vista de la moral, busca su autorrealizacin en interaccin con la globalidad de factores del desarrollo histrico.1 Articulando esta idea con los hechos, creemos que san Alfonso de Liguori y sus hijos, los redentoristas, se guiaron por intuiciones que les permitieron convertir un proyecto en realidad.

0.1 Las intuiciones de Alfonso La experiencia pastoral y docente de Alfonso de Liguori, y sus largos aos de estudio de la moral, le permiten verificar que el sacerdote necesita una constante preparacin y conocimiento de la moral. Ningn confesor debera dejar de las manos los

1 Julio DE LA TORRE, La moral social en la enseanza de la Academia Alfonsiana, en StMor 20 (1982) 123.

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libros de moral. Pues siendo los asuntos de esta ciencia tan variados y dispares, sucede que muchos de ellos (aunque ya estn estudiados) llegan, con el tiempo, por ser cosas que rara vez suceden, a echarse en el olvido. De ah la necesidad de repasarlos de continuo.2 Se requieren no slo confesores para aplicar penitencias, sino pastores que sepan ejercer el oficio de padre, mdico, maestro y juez. En la Congregacin del Santsimo Redentor -CSSR-, dice Alfonso, los jvenes estudian la teologa y la moral con mucha exigencia.3 Entre sus 110 escritos, la Teologa Moral ocupa el primer puesto.4 Cuando le reconocen el ttulo de Doctor de la iglesia en 1871 y el de Patrono de

2 Sanctus ALPHONSUS M. DE LIGORIO, Praxis Confessarii ad bene excipiendas confessiones, cura et studio P. Gabrielis Mariae Blanc, Typis Pol. Vaticanis, Romae 1912, p. 32-33, n. 18; cf. Gulielmus GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 7: De Academia Alfonsiana (Romae, 15 martii 1955), in Analecta 27 (1955) 76; Cornelio FABRO, Attualit di santAlfonso, in LOsservatore Romano [OR], Citt del Vaticano, 25 novembre 1960, 3. 3 Al sacerdote D. Vincenzo di Maio, professore allUniversit di Napoli, Nocera, li 5 maggio 1776, in Lettere di S. Alfonso Maria de Liguori..., parte prima, vol. II, Societ S. Giovanni et al., Roma s.d., 370; cf. Domenico CAPONE, S. Alfonso e Paolo Cafaro primi lettori di teologia nello studentato redentorista nel 1743-1749, in SHCSR 29 (1981) 73-107. San Alfonso ense teologa moral a los estudiantes de Deliceto, siendo as el primer profesor de esta materia entre los redentoristas. 4 Cf. Opera moralia sancti Alphonsi Mariae de Ligorio Doctoris Ecclesiae, Theologia Moralis, 4 vol., cura et studio P. Leonardi Gaud, ex typographia Vaticana, Romae 1905-1912; D. CAPONE, LAccademia Alfonsiana: Istituto di Teologia Morale. 1. Fondazione e finalit, in La Pontificia Universit Lateranense. Profilo della sua storia, dei suoi maestri e dei suoi discepoli, PUL, Roma 1963, 310: Egli, per lo pi, noto ai moralisti per la sua opera di casista e per il suo sistema morale. Ma la Chiesa lo ha sempre celebrato e proposto agli studiosi per la integralit della sua dottrina quale doctor salutis, doctor zelantissimus. Ed in realt egli era preoccupato non tanto della vis dialectica di questa o di quella dottrina pi o meno discutibile tra i teologi, ma del valore salvifico della Verit Morale. [...] Anche la sua disputa sulluso della probabilit in sede di coscienza obbed alla medesima sollecitudine pastorale [...]. Ci sembra che i teologi e gli storiografi di teologia debbano distinguere nettamente tra casistica legalista e casistica sintetica. Quella di S. Alfonso casistica sintetica, permeata tutta dal principio di valore dellamore di Dio da assicurare alle anime in ogni atto morale, sicch egli esamina la verit degli atti umani, tipizzati nel caso, col criterio del medico e del pastore delle anime.

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confesores y moralistas en 1950, se tena en cuenta, sobre todo, su doctrina moral. La trayectoria histrica de la Academia y su origen alfonsiano, determinan las profundas intuiciones que constituyen otras tantas apuestas por valores bsicos: valor de la persona, valor de la verdad, valor de la libertad.5

0.2 Las intuiciones de la CSSR Los redentoristas secundaron las directrices de su fundador y desde el ao 1871 incrementaron el estudio y la formacin teolgico-moral. Para ello, publicaron manuales para estudiantes y confesores, la edicin crtica de la Theologia Moralis (Leonard GAUD) y otros escritos de san Alfonso; escribieron biografas del Santo; multiplicaron estudios sobre doctrina alfonsiana; y crearon algunas estructuras acadmicas. Siendo los Captulos Generales el mbito en el que se ponen sobre el tapete los asuntos principales de la CSSR, los capitulares intuyen la conveniencia de una estructura acadmica propia para difundir la doctrina alfonsiana. En el Captulo General de 1894 piden que san Alfonso sea presentado a los estudiantes redentoristas como su principal maestro y doctor, que se defienda su doctrina, se escriban manuales y se erija en Roma una Schola Superior Generalis para sacerdotes jvenes de la Congregacin.6 A Roma fue llamado Guillermo Van Rossum en

Marciano VIDAL, refirindose a la conferencia de Vereecke, Congreso internacional de biotica, en StMor 26 (1988) 289; cf. ID., La moral catlica en el siglo XIX y la figura de san Alfonso, en Moralia 8 (1986) 259-272; ID., Del rigorismo a la benignidad. Significado histrico de la moral alfonsiana, en Moralia 10 (1988) 157-191; ID., S. Alfonso de Liguori moralista. Significato storico e messaggio attuale, in Studia Moralia 28 (1990) 363389; Jos-Romn FLECHA, Pastoralidad de la moral alfonsiana, en Moralia 10 (1988) 305-322; Raphael GALLAGHER, The moral method of St. Alphonsus in the light of the Vindiciae controversy, in SHCSR 45 (1997) 331-349; Fabriciano FERRERO, Gnesis y condicionamientos de la actividad literaria de San Alfonso como moralista, en Moralia 10 (1988) 125-156. 6 Cf. X Capitulum Generale anno 1894 Romae celebratum, sesin 19 (28 marzo), n. 1342, 1344 y sesin 23 (2 abril), n. 1354, in Acta integra
5

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1895,7 para que, en colaboracin con Juan Bautista Favre y otros, dirigieran la Schola Maior. Esta fue inaugurada slo el 5 de noviembre de 1909, pero surgieron dificultades que la hicieron clausurar en 1914.8 Despus de la primera guerra europea (1914-1918), el Captulo General CSSR de 1921 orden que se mantuviera el nombre de Colegio Mayor San Alfonso, con estudios de especializacin fuera, pero con clases internas sobre san Alfonso y sobre la historia de la CSSR.9

Capitulorum Generalium Congregationis SS. Redemptoris ab anno 1749 usque ad annum 1894 celebratorum, ex typ. della Pace, Romae 1899, 668, 671-672. En 1894 ya se haban publicado los manuales de los redentoristas Anton KONINGS (holands, 1821-1884), Theologia moralis novissimi Ecclesiae doctoris S. Alphonsi, in compendium redacta, et usui venerabilis cleri Americani accomodata, Typis Patricii Donahoe, Bostoniae 1874; Josef AERTNYS (holands, 1828-1915), Theologia moralis secundum doctrinam S. Alphonsi Mariae de Ligorio, 2 vol, H. Casterman, Tornaci 1886-1887; Guillermo VAN ROSSUM (holands, 1854-1932) colabora en las ediciones 3, 4 y 5, Cornelio DAMEN (holands, 1881-1953) la adapta al nuevo cdigo de derecho cannico (desde la 9 a la 15 edicin), y Jan VISSER (holands) la actualiza en las ediciones 17 y 18. Tambin se conocan de Clment MARC (francs, 18311887), las Institutiones Morales Alphonsianae seu Doctoris Ecclesiae S. Alphonsi Mariae de Ligorio doctrina moralis ad usum scholarum accomodata, 2 vol., ex typogr. Pacis, Romae 1885. 7 Cronica della Casa Generalizia del Santissimo Redentore, I, ms, Roma 1855, in Roma, AGHR, 10 diciembre 1895, p. 405; cf. Le Cardinal Van Rossum, dans La Sainte Famille 37 (Fontainebleau, 1911) 652; In memoriam Eminentissimi Cardinalis Gulielmi Marini van Rossum, C. SS. R., in Analecta 11 (1932) 368-369. Van Rossum lleg a Roma el 10 de diciembre de 1895; en 1896 fue nombrado consultor de la Congregacin del Santo Oficio; particip en el Captulo General de 1909 y en 1911 fue nombrado cardenal. 8 Cf. Acta integra Capituli Generalis XI Congregationis SS. Redemptoris Romae celebrati anno MCMIX, sesin 14 (17 mayo), n. 1459, Cuggiani, Romae 1909, 23; in Roma, AGHR, DG Collegium Maius: en 1909-1910 haba 26 estudiantes en la Schola Maior; Chronica Domus Generalitiae C. SS. R. ad Sancti Alphonsi de Urbe a die 29 Octobris anni 1909, II, liber 5 (1909-1919), ms, in Roma, AGHR, p. 3, 5 y 192; Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 29 (1957) 234; Academiae Alfonsianae cursus scholasticus die 21 Octobris 1951 a Sua Paternitate inauguratus, in Analecta 33 (1951) 151. 9 Cf. Acta integra Capituli Generalis XII Congregationis SS. Redemptoris Romae celebrati anno MCMXXI, sesin 31 (6 junio), n. 1554-1555, Cuggiani, Romae 1922, 68-70.

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La comisin de formacin creada dentro del Captulo General de 1936, propone que el gobierno general CSSR erija cuanto antes en Roma un Instituto de moral alfonsiana para preparar profesores redentoristas y no redentoristas. Muchos superiores religiosos y obispos haban manifestado el deseo de enviar a este centro sus futuros profesores de teologa moral.10 El Captulo acept el postulado, pero no se dieron pasos concretos, y la segunda guerra europea (1939-1945) cerr el paso a este y otros proyectos. No es fcil decir hasta qu punto estaba interesado en realizar el postulado Patricio Murray, superior General desde 1909, que convoc al Captulo General para 1947 y en l present su dimisin. El Captulo General de 1947 pide que se cumpla lo decidido en 1936 erigiendo el Instituto de teologa moral y que comience a funcionar en 1948, pues mientras los estudios sociales avanzan, la teologa moral casi no ha progresado y no existe un Instituto especializado.11 Leonardo Buijs, elegido superior General en este Captulo, explic el alcance de la facultad de teologa moral alfonsiana y el significado de academia: se trataba de profundizar con especialistas y no simplemente crear una

10 Postulata ad Capitulum Generale a. 1936, pars III: De formatione nostrae iuventutis, s.e., s.l., s.f.; Acta integra Capituli Generalis XIII Congregationis SS. Redemptoris Romae celebrati anno MCMXXXVI, sesin 7 (4 mayo), n. 1598, Cuggiani, Romae 1936, 19-20; sesin 11 (9 mayo), n. 1605, p. 25: Murray manifest que era muy difcil, pero no imposible, crear dicho Instituto; el director del Colegio Mayor, Cornelio Damen, fue encargado de buscar informaciones; Academiae Alfonsianae cursus scholasticus..., 151. 11 Cf. CAPITULUM GENERALE (Romae 1947), Postulata, De Facultate Theologiae Moralis Alphonsianae instituenda, in Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, K 14,3, copia, dactilografiado, folio 009; AGHR, DG Collegium Maius: postulado de Damen al Captulo de 1947: entre otras razones figuraban las de exponer la doctrina de San Alfonso e investigar los problemas morales de nuestro tiempo sobre todo los que emergen del ministerio pastoral; Aliquae Capituli Generalis a. 1947 declarationes, in Analecta 19 (19401947) 196, n. 31: el Captulo alab la iniciativa; San CANNON et AL., Relatio, dactiloscrito, Roma, 25 marzo 1981, in Roma, Archivio dellAccademia Alfonsiana, p. 1-10; F. FERRERO, Espiritualidad y testimonio del Instituto de S. Alfonso M de Ligorio, en Hilario RAGUER y OTROS, 23 Institutos Religiosos, hoy (espiritualidad y testimonio), E.P.E.S.A, Madrid 1974, 274.

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escuela para dictar clases. Los capitulares la aprobaron con gusto.12


Hay que subrayar observa Capone el paso del concepto de scuola, con lecciones de tipo institucional, al de accademia, con un carcter de especializacin. Es verdad que no se usa este trmino, pero s est claramente implcito lo que significa en el programa de estudio para conseguir un conocimiento profundo una vez adquiridos los grados acadmicos. Tngase presente que hasta el Concilio Vaticano II no slo no se hablaba de especializacin, sino que, de ordinario, para ser profesor de teologa moral se preparaba uno estudiando derecho cannico. Adems, los manuales estaban dominados por la casustica. Esto haca que la teologa moral no tuviera identidad. Con el concepto de academia se trataba de establecer una investigacin sistemtica sobre tal identidad especial. A este fin concurra tambin la otra idea: ampliar el concepto de teologa moral afirmando su continuidad con la vida espiritual o asctica y su funcionalidad en orden a la pastoral. Esto, por otra parte, estaba de acuerdo con el espritu de S. Alfonso que haba sido siempre contrario al minimalismo tico y que, adems de una teologa moral de los pecados a no cometer y del mnimo legal a observar, haba escrito y trabajado por una vida integralmente cristiana para todos, tanto en el estado laical como en los estados de perfeccin. Naturalmente, en el concepto de academia, adems de la bsqueda de la identidad propia y especfica de la moral, caba una instancia de profundizacin en las nuevas dimensiones que ofreca el descubrimiento de la identidad de la moral.13

12 Leonardo Buijs (1896-1953) fue superior General CSSR de 1947 a 1953; cf. Acta integra Capituli Generalis XIV Congregationis SS. Redemptoris Romae celebrati anno MCMXLVII, sesin 15 (20 mayo), n. 1658, Cuggiani, Romae 1948, 45; De Academia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XV (Romae 1954), Opuscula, en Roma, Biblioteca del AGHR, k 15,5, s.e., s.l. 13 D. CAPONE, Historia, in Academia Alfonsiana, 1957-1982. A pontificia approbatione XXV anniversarium, [curante Roger Roy], Pisani, Isola del Liri 1982, 74-75.

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1. Primera Etapa (1949-1960): La Academia Alfonsiana, un proyecto de la CSSR

1.1 Fase de tanteos En la dcada de los 40 funcionaban en Roma varios Colegios donde residan estudiantes universitarios religiosos y diocesanos. En 1951 se funda en la Gregoriana el Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y otro igual en el Angelicum en 1955; el Marianum, despus de una experiencia de cinco aos, es erigido definitivamente en 1955; el Anselmianum en 1961.14 Los redentoristas se encontraban en crecimiento vocacional y enviaban sus estudiantes a la Ciudad Eterna para diversas especializaciones. Leonardo Buijs haba enseado teologa pastoral desde 1933 y la entenda como la parte prctica de la teologa.15 Tambin fue profesor de teologa moral, sociologa y asctica. Como primera autoridad de la CSSR, emprendi la creacin de la Academia Alfonsiana, recurriendo a dilogos, propuestas, visitas, cartas y reuniones.16 El hilo conductor fue la renovacin de la teologa moral como ciencia que orienta a la prctica de la vida cristiana.17 Cuando la creacin de la Academia es un hecho, Buijs

Cf. Analecta 28 (1956) 144; 34 (1962) 170-171. Cf. Henricus BOELAARS, R.mus P. Leonardus Buijs, cultor Theologiae Moralis et Pastoralis, in SHCSR 4 (1956) 444-445. 16 Consultationes generales [CSSR], VIII, 24.X.1947-10.III.1952, 23 junio 1948, en Roma, Secretariado General CSSR, p. 36: Si versus Pentecostem 1949, convocaturum in Helvetia congressum peritorum ad ordinandam Academiam Alfonsianam; cf. SOCII REDACTIONIS, In piam memoriam R.mi Patris Generalis Leonardi Buijs CSSR, in SHCSR 1 (1953) 34: De hoc instituto romano, studiis theologiae moralis excolendis destinato, R.mus Pater in suis peregrinationibus, propitiis occasionibus oblatis, libenter et diserte cum PP.bus in re competentibus collocutus est, nec omisit, epistolis datis et receptis, cum iis maxime tractare, quos professores instituti elegerat. 17 Cf. San ORIORDAN, Il teologo moralista nellAccademia Alfonsiana, in StMor 33 (1995) 46-51; I. VISSER, Academia Alfonsiana. Sermo inauguralis anni academici 1957-1958, in Analecta 29 (1957) 239.
14 15

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comunica que ser inaugurada en 1950.18 Se puede decir que la Academia nace imperceptiblemente, sin decretos ni publicidad. Capone seala el 9 de febrero de 1949 como la fecha de fundacin de la Academia Alfonsiana.19 Y siendo la seleccin de profesores de prioritaria importancia, se designaron los primeros a comienzos de 1949: Germain Livin, Domenico Capone, Paul Hitz y Louis Vereecke;20 poco despus ste dictaba sus dos pri-

18 L. BUYS, carta a los provinciales y viceprovinciales, Romae, 4 augusti 1949, en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, carpeta Buijs: Uti scitis [...] iterum in memoriam revocare intendo id quod in Analectis nostris huius anni iam nuntiatum est circa Academiam Alfonsianam quam speramus inauguraturum fore anno 1950. Itaque, si quidam iuniores Patres destinantur ulteriori studio Theologiae Moralis, expedit ut iam hoc anno Romam mittantur. Oportet enim ut prius licentiatum in Theologia vel Iure Canonico obtineant. 19 D. CAPONE, Historia, 74: El 9 de febrero de 1949 el Rmo. Padre Buijs ejecutaba el mandato del captulo, en gran parte inspirado por l, y fundaba la Academia Alfonsiana como instituto privado; ID., Ratio studiorum. Academia Alfonsiana qua Instituti Superioris Theologiae Moralis, in Academia Alfonsiana 1957-1982..., 95: In Academia Alfonsiana, erecta Romae 9 februarii 1949, post biennium activitatis deminutae, experimenti causa, die 21 octobris 1951 cursus organicus de theologia morali inauguratus fuit; cf. A. SAMPERS, Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, in Studia Moralia, II, Descle & Socii / Editores Pontificii, Roma et al. 1964, 328; LAccademia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII (Romae 1973), Relatio ad Capitulum de statu Congregationis, folio 82: LAccademia Alfonsiana stata fondata nel 1949 dal Rev.mo P. L. Buijs, in esecuzione delle disposizioni dei Capitoli Generali C. Ss. R. del 1936 e del 1947. 20 De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 21 (1949) 9: Hoc grave negotium R.mus P. Generalis statim post capitulum naviter aggressus est, deliberando cum viris peritis, et huic novae Academiae Alfonsianae idoneos Professores quaerendo. In praesenti res in tantum maturata est, ut cum certitudine dici possit, Deo ita volente, fore ut proximi anni 1950 mense Octobri haec Academia plene inaugurari possit. [...] Nemo enim ad hanc Academiam Alfonsianam admittetur, nisi sit Doctor vel saltem Licentiatus in theologia vel iure canonico. Licentiati possunt eodem tempore et lauream parare et cursus Academiae sequi. Intra annum scholasticum 1949-1950 iam nonnulli cursus habebuntur; cuius rei gratia ad minimum 4 Professores Romae erunt, saltem per aliquam anni partem, videlicet RR. PP. Livin, D. Capone, Hitz, L. Vereecke; cf. Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 29 (1957) 235: lo primero que Buijs pidi despus del Captulo, fueron profesores aptos; se dieron algunos cursos en 1949-1950; D. CAPONE,

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meras clases sobre historia de la teologa moral.21 El primer bienio (1949-1951) se dedic a las experiencias iniciales y el segundo (1951-1953) se articul en forma de curso. El 8 de noviembre de 1950, Buijs hizo una leccin inaugural sobre la Academia Alfonsiana en la sala de reuniones del Colegio Mayor. Indic su finalidad y naturaleza, y present el programa para 1950-1951. Wuenschel, Livin, Capone, Vereecke e Hitz daran algunas clases.22 El contexto era favorable, pues 1950 fue el ao de la concesin a san Alfonso del ttulo de patrono de moralistas y confesores. Ao acadmico 1951-1952 El ao acadmico 1951-1952 comienza con un discurso pronunciado por Buijs el 21 de octubre de 1951, en el que traza el programa y el mtodo de la Academia. Los estudios morales, deca el superior General, irn creando una nueva teologa moral en conexin con la teologa pastoral y la espiritual. Ante todo, se trata de formar profesores y de profundizar los estudios de teologa hechos en universidades. Hay que separarla del derecho, complementarla con ejercicios prcticos y conseguir grados acadmicos. Entendida la doctrina moral como el conjunto de la doctrina cristiana, hay que incorporarle la teologa moral positiva (bblica y patrstica), la sistemtica (Santo Toms) y la casustica (san Alfonso), con un mtodo integral. Santo Toms y san Alfonso sern los dos guas. Sern profesores ordinarios: Germain Livin, Cornelius Moonen, Bernhard Ziermann, Domenico Capone, Jan Visser, Bernhard Hring, Louis

Historia, 74; Accademia Alfonsiana, in Orbis 8/36 (1976) 3: Vereecke nombrado profesor de la Academia el 6 de febrero de 1949. 21 Cf. Cronaca della Casa Generalizia per lanno 1946, II, liber 9 (19461950), ms, in Roma, AGHR, agosto de 1949, folios 10, 95, 116 y 117; De Collegio Maggiore, in Analecta 21 (1949) 192. 22 Cronaca della Casa Generalizia per gli Anni 1950-59, II, liber 10, ms, in Roma, AGHR, p. 17; cf. A. SAMPERS, Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, 332-334; Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 29 (1957) 235.

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Vereecke, y Joseph Owens. El grupo de estudiantes estaba conformado por once redentoristas y algn externo.23 Ao acadmico 1952-1953 Tambin en este ao Buijs hizo otra leccin inaugural durante la apertura de la Academia Alfonsiana. Figuran los profesores Moonen, Hring, Livin, Capone, Ziermann, Owens, Harte, y Vereecke. Los estudiantes de la Academia eran 21: 4 externos y 17 redentoristas que estudiaban en diversas universidades.24 El 27 de junio de 1953 mora prematuramente Buijs en Innsbruck, el mismo ao en que falleca Cornelio Damen, otro de los artfices de la Academia. Siendo Buijs el principal animador, era natural que sta se sintiera como hurfana y a la deriva. Por eso qued suspendida temporalmente. 1.2 Fase de estabilizacin El Captulo General nmero XV se rene en 1954 y elige a Guillermo Gaudreau, norteamericano, como nuevo superior General de la CSSR. Al abordar el tema de la Academia Alfonsiana, se recuerda a los capitulares que en Roma no existe otro Instituto de esta naturaleza y que muchos han pedido su restablecimiento. Se puede solicitar un diploma a la Congregacin de Religiosos; los estudiantes tendrn que dedicarse por completo a la teologa moral y los profesores a las publicaciones cientficas.25 El Captulo aprueba la reapertura de

23 Cf. Academiae Alfonsianae cursus scholasticus..., 152-155: I. VISSER, Academia Alfonsiana. Sermo inauguralis..., 239; D. CAPONE, LAccademia Alfonsiana: Istituto di Teologia Morale. 1. Fondazione e finalit, in La Pontificia Universit Lateranense. Profilo della sua storia..., 310312; ID., Historia, 75; SOCII REDACTIONIS, In piam memoriam..., 34-35. 24 Cf. Collegium Maius Anno Accademico 1951-52, in Analecta 23 (1951) 160-161; Curia et domus generalitia, in RIS 3 (1951) 133; 4 (1952) 177. 25 Cf. De Academia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XV (Romae 1954), Opuscula...; Postulata et documenta, en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, Series, De Academia Alfonsiana redintegranda, dactilografiado, K15,2, p. 42-44; Acta integra Capituli Generalis XV Congregationis SS. Redemptoris

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la Academia. El superior General deber interesarse por ella, nombrarle regente y definir las relaciones con el Colegio Mayor. Gaudreau y su consejo ponen manos a la obra, con tanto o mayor empeo que Buijs, y delinean cuatro tareas precisas:26 a) El nombramiento de una comisin preparatoria presidida por A. Pohl y con la participacin de E. Wuenschel, J. Visser y A. Sampers,27 los cuales tuvieron su primera reunin en Wittem (Holanda), del 27 al 30 de agosto de 1955; participaron 33 redentoristas que abordaron el tema de la estructuracin interna de la Academia.28 La segunda reunin se efectu en Bonn, del 31 de agosto al 1 de septiembre de 1956 y se defini el programa y los profesores para el bienio 1957-1959.29 b) La segunda tarea fue la construccin de un nuevo edificio, que comenz en octubre de 1957 y termin en septiembre de 1958. El cardenal Valerio Valeri lo bendijo el 13 de noviembre de este ao, e inaugur el curso con 26 alumnos con derecho a diploma.30 c) El nombramiento de profesores era el tercer compromiso. El 25 de marzo de 1956, Gaudreau presenta la lista de cursos y profesores: teologa moral sistemtica (Cornelius Moonen,

Romae celebrati anno MCMLIV, n. 1690 et 1699, tip. della Pace, Romae 1954, sesiones 15 y 19 (23 y 25 febrero 1954), p. 32-33; I. VISSER, Academia Alfonsiana. Sermo inauguralis..., 240. 26 Cf. G. GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 7..., 75-76. 27 Cf. Notitiae officiales, in Analecta 27 (1955) 70; G. GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 7..., 77; ID., Communicanda n. 15: Iterum de Academia Alfonsiana (Romae, 25 martii 1956), in Analecta 28 (1956) 50; ID., Communicanda n. 18 (Romae, 8 decembris 1956), in Analecta 28 (1956) 226; nombrado Juan Visser regente. 28 Cf. A. S[AMPERS], Primo convegno dellAccademia Alfonsiana tenuto a Wittem, Olanda, dal 27 al 30 Agosto 1955, in SHCSR 3 (1955) 461-467. 29 Cf. A. S[AMPERS], Notizie dellAccademia Alfonsiana, in SHCSR 4 (1956) 500-502. 30 Cf. Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 30 (1958) 365-370: requisitos para el diploma; D. CAPONE, Historia, 77; O[reste] G[REGORIO], Inaugurazione dellAlfonsianum a Roma, in SHCSR 6 (1958) 493-494: inscripcin en mrmol cerca al Arco de Galieno o Puerta Esquilina; Valeri salud a la Academia como una nuova gemma, che viene a coronare glIstituti superiori ecclesiastici che adornano lUrbe (p. 494); Domus generalitia, in RIS 9 (1957) 385; 10 (1958) 453, 458-459.

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Bernhard Hring, Hans Huber); teologa moral bblica (Alphonse Humbert); teologa moral patrstica (Nol Charlier); teologa pastoral (Viktor Schurr, Paul Hitz); antropologa teolgica (Josef Endres); historia de la teologa moral (Luois Vereecke); temas especiales y doctrina moral de san Alfonso (Domenico Capone); filosofa moral moderna (Tho Fornoville); metodologa cientfica (Andreas Sampers).31 d) Y finalmente, la solicitud de aprobacin. El 25 de marzo de 1957, la Congregacin de Religiosos reconoci a la Academia Alfonsiana como Schola interna pblica, a tenor de la constitucin apostlica Sedis Sapientiae, n. 8, y de los estatutos anexos a sta, artculo 41. No era Universidad, pero los estudios deban ser superiores al ciclo universitario.32 Reapertura de la Academia El 15 de octubre de 1957 se haca la reapertura de la Academia Alfonsiana. Monseor Arcadio Larraona, secretario de la Congregacin de Religiosos, explic el sentido del decreto, el carcter de enseanza superior de la Academia y el hecho de ser el primer Instituto de ese tipo en la Iglesia.33

31 G. GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 15..., 51; cf. A. S., Notizie dellAccademia Alfonsiana, in SHCSR 4 (1956) 501-502; ACADEMIA ALFONSIANA, Kalendarium 1957-1958, Di Salvi & C., Perugia s.d., 5; EADEM, Kalendarium 1958-1959, 5, 24-25, 27-28. 32 Cf. SACRA CONGREGAZIONE DEI RELIGIOSI, carta a Guillermo Gaudreau y decreto de aprobacin de la Academia Alfonsiana (Romae, 25 martii 1957), Circa Academiam Alfonsianam, in Analecta 29 (1957) 39; G. GAUDEAU, Communicanda n. 15..., 51-52; D. CAPONE, Historia, 76; A. SAMPERS, Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, 328-329; ID., Academiae Alfonsianae chronica anni academici 1966-67, 371. 33 G. GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 7..., 76-77; cf. D. CAPONE, Historia, 76-77; Cronaca della Casa Generalizia per gli Anni 1950-59, II, liber 10, ms, ottobre 15, folios 356-360: asisten obispos, autoridades acadmicas, el prncipe Alfonso de Liguoro de la familia de San Alfonso y los 20 alumnos que inician el curso. Visitan el saln de clases, en el primer piso, primera sala a la derecha, segn se sale de la sacrista. Vi sono stati posti 25 piccoli eleganti tavolini, oltre la cattedra e la lavagna; Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 29 (1957) 238: el 15 octubre de 1957 se inaugur el curso en la Academia con una misa, al final de la cual los profesores hicie-

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Jan Visser pronunci un discurso en el que subrayaba las exigencias del Instituto Superior pblico de teologa moral y pastoral en orden a la especializacin. El objetivo era llenar el vaco en el estudio de la teologa moral, por medio de: a) el anlisis y solucin de los problemas actuales en el campo de la moral. Los principios generales son inmutables, pero su elaboracin cientfica, formulacin, argumentos, manera de expresarlos... se pueden y deben modificar segn los tiempos; b) la renovacin de la teologa moral plasmada en la formacin de investigadores y profesores. Se har un programa que incluya las materias fundamentales, para que los alumnos adquieran ciencia y mtodo slidos. El mtodo se ir enriqueciendo. Es alfonsiana, no porque repita o defienda toda la enseanza y las soluciones de san Alfonso, sino porque promueve los estudios de moral, y no slo los alfonsianos. Interesa toda la teologa moral catlica que responda a la actual situacin, a los hombres de hoy y a los problemas ms recientes. La teologa moral se cultivar en la Academia: a) con espritu apostlico y pastoral cientfica; b) con la formulacin de normas concretas de vida cristiana;

ron la profesin de fe y el juramento antimodernstico. A las 5 de la tarde se reunieron en el comedor con varios huspedes, como monseor Arcadio Larraona. Carlos Szrant, en nombre del superior General ausente, ley dos documentos de la Santa Sede: el decreto de la Congregacin de Religiosos y la carta del cardenal Valeri, prefecto de la misma. Despus, el regente de la Academia, Visser, habl sobre la historia y fin de la Academia, sobre el mtodo y la forma de proceder segn el espritu de San Alfonso (texto, p. 239245). Larraona explic por qu la Congregacin de Religiosos quiso aprobar la Academia, ut nempe in Ecclesia conserveretur doctrina moralis et pastoralis quam toti Ecclesiae reliquit S. Alfonsus. No se trata de cursos ordinarios, sed ut Institutum vere superius ad studia specialia facienda de re morali et pastorali. Et est primum Institutum huius generis approbatum ad normam statutorum Generalium Constitutioni Sedes Sapientiae adnexorum. Votum Secretarii S. Congregationis pro novo Instituto erat: Vivat, crescat, floreat ac bonos fructus faciat; O. G[REGORIO], Inaugurazione dellAccademia Alfonsiana, in SHCSR 5 (1957) 424-425; A. SAMPERS, Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, 328-329.

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c) con todo lo que lleva a la perfeccin = el mtodo de la misericordia; d) con acatamiento fiel al magisterio eclesistico y a la Santa Sede.34 Doce profesores dieron 17 clases semanales a 24 alumnos en 1957-1958, y a 40 alumnos en 1958-1959. El tercer ao acadmico se inaugur el 16 de octubre de 1959, durante el cual 14 profesores impartieron clases a 56 alumnos.35 La Congregacin de Religiosos autoriza a la Academia para conferir un diploma en teologa moral y pastoral, con valor de grado privado.36 El 20 de mayo de 1959, Visser es confirmado regente por dos aos, mientras que Sampers es secretario desde octubre de 1958. Durante el trienio de 1957 a 1960, la Academia funcion normalmente y recibi comentarios favorables. En 1958 muri Po XII y le sucedi Juan XXIII. El anuncio de un Concilio Ecumnico sacudi al mundo. Si en la Iglesia crecan las expectativas por el prximo Concilio, en la Academia se despertaban ilusiones por su futuro. Su programa era apto para formar profesores de moral. El proyecto concebido por la CSSR se encauzaba por rieles seguros. Quedaba un reto por resolver: los estudiantes que aspiraban a un doctorado no lo podan obtener en la Academia y tenan que conformarse slo como oyentes extraordinarios.

Cf. I. VISSER, Academia Alfonsiana. Sermo inauguralis..., 240-244. Cf. Kalendarium 1957-1958, 21-38: ensearon en el primer semestre: Moonen, Fornoville, Hring, Hitz, Huber, Humbert, Sampers, y Vereecke; en el segundo semestre: Capone, Charlier, Endres, Schurr, Moonen, Humbert, Fornoville y Hring; Pr. MEERSCHAUT, De Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta 29 (1957) 238; O. G[REGORIO], Inaugurazione ..., 425; Academia Alfonsiana, in RIS 9 (1957) 389; A. SAMPERS, LAcademia Alfonsiana, 19571959. Sommario dellattivit svolta nel primo biennio, in SHCSR 7 (1959) 452-458: en 1957-1958, los profesores fueron: Moonen, Hring, Huber, Humbert, Hitz, Vereecke, Fornoville, Sampers, Endres, Schurr, Charlier, Capone; al ao siguiente se incorporaron Hortelano, Garca Vicente, y ORiordan; ID., LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1959-1960, in SHCSR 8 (1960) 489. 36 SACRA CONGREGATIO DE RELIGIOSIS, Decretum (Romae, 28 iunii 1958), Circa Academiam Alfonsianam, in Analecta 30 (1958) 343.
34 35

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2. Segunda Etapa (1960-1969) La Academia Alfonsiana, un proyecto universitario

2.1 Incorporacin al Laterano Para conceder grados, la Academia tena que vincularse a una Universidad Pontificia. Visser hizo las gestiones. La Pontificia Universidad Lateranense pareci la ms conveniente. El 17 de junio de 1960, el cardenal Valeri, prefecto de la Congregacin de Seminarios y Universidades, dio el visto bueno, pues se ajustaba bien al artculo 46, 4 de la constitucin Sedis Sapientiae. El 2 de agosto de 1960, dicha Congregacin promulg el decreto por el que se reconocan los estatutos de la Academia y su incorporacin a la facultad de teologa del Laterano con derecho a conceder el doctorado en teologa, con especializacin en ciencias morales. Adems, poda seguir confiriendo el diploma autorizado el 28 de junio de 1958.37 El 17 de octubre de 1960 se comenz el ao acadmico con la leccin inaugural de Bernhard Hring sobre la actualidad de la teologa moral de san Alfonso. Alfonso fue moderno para su tiempo, pero no podemos quedarnos con su doctrina literal; la genuina alfonsianidad implica enfrentarse a los nuevos problemas morales con celo pastoral, aprovechando el desarrollo de la teologa y de las ciencias auxiliares.38 El 29 de octubre de 1960, los profesores de la Academia fueron invitados a la apertura del ao acadmico del Laterano.

37 G. GAUDREAU, Communicanda n. 40..., 208-209; D. CAPONE, Historia, 77-78; cf. SACRA CONGREGATIO DE SEMINARIIS ET STUDIORUM UNIVERSITATIBUS, Decreto Fidei morumque aedificationem (Romae, 2 Augusti 1960), in AAS 52 (1960) 835-836; D. CAPONE, Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1-I-1960 al 31XII-1963, ms, in Roma, AGHR, p. 30-31, 33; Circa Academiam Alfonsianam, in Analecta 32 (1960) 224-231; A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1959-1960, in SHCSR 8 (1960) 490-498: texto del decreto Fidei morumque de incorporacin al Laterano, texto de los estatutos vigentes por cuatro aos, palabras de recibimiento del rector Piolanti; ID., Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, 329-330. 38 Cf. A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1959-1960, 499-500; D. CAPONE, Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1-I-1960 al 31-XII-1963, p. 34-35.

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Estuvieron presentes 18 cardenales, muchos arzobispos y obispos, el padre General CSSR con algunos miembros de la curia, miembros de otras familias religiosas, profesores, representantes diplomticos y alumnos. En el aula magna hablaron el gran canciller cardenal Clemente Micara y el rector de la universidad, Antonio Piolanti. Este anunci la incorporacin de la Academia Alfonsiana a la facultad de teologa del Laterano, como nico Instituto de teologa moral, el primero en su gnero en toda la historia de la Iglesia, y que se propona profundizar en el estudio de los problemas de la vida moral contempornea. Hubo congratulaciones y palabras de elogio para los redentoristas y para san Alfonso, quien entraba triunfante al Laterano.39 La incorporacin reportaba ventajas para la Academia, ya que aumentaba el nmero de alumnos y se garantizaba suficiente libertad. Se trataba de una iniciativa modesta, pero estudiar en la Academia era una fortuna, pues su mtodo y contenidos eran muy serios.40 A la incorporacin al Laterano se aada otro factor determinante: la impostacin conciliar.

Cf. D. CAPONE, Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1-I-1960 al 31-XII1963, p. 36-38, 29 ottobre 1960; ID., Historia, 78; La Pontificia Universit Lateranense in onore del Sommo Pontefice, in OR, 31 ottobre - 1 novembre 1960, 5; Circa Academiam Alfonsianam, in Analecta 32 (1960) 279-280. 40 F. LAMBRUSCHINI, LAccademia Alfonsiana e gli studi morali, in OR, 5 gennaio 1964, 7: Nelle Pontificie Universit romane a indirizzo prevalentemente dommatico, linsegnamento della morale fa la parte della cenerentola. [...] [NellAccademia Alfonsiana] Si tratta di una iniziativa quasi nascosta, di un seme pi modesto dellevangelico granello di senape, perch per sopravvivere ha dovuto appoggiarsi ad un organismo robusto quale la Facolt Teologica del Laterano, di cui rimane una emanazione, senza nulla perdere di autonomia nellorientamento e senza nulla sottrarre al prestigio delle Universit romane. [...] I fortunati che hanno avuto la fortuna di frequentare i corsi, si sono fatti spontaneamente banditori della seriet degli studi promossi dai Redentoristi e la fama daltronde meritata dellAccademia Alfonsiana si sta allargando in cerchi concentrici, come quelli provocati dalla caduta di un sasso sulla superficie limpida e tranquilla di un laghetto. [...] La teologia morale viene studiata, sotto langolo della pastorale, nelle fonti, nei principi e nelle applicazioni, avendo come guida la pi sana tradizione, commisurata ai problemi attuali secondo un metodo rigoroso.
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2.2 Renovacin conciliar El Concilio Vaticano II (1962-1965), ha sido el evento eclesial ms importante de los ltimos siglos. Sus aires renovadores oxigenaron los estudios eclesisticos. Durante la fase antepreparatoria, el regente de la Academia fue invitado a presentar sus propuestas a las Congregaciones de Sacramentos, del Concilio y de Propaganda Fide, y Bernhard Hring fue nombrado consultor de la comisin de teologa. Hring, Visser, Murphy y Connell figuran como peritos del Concilio, y su aporte se plasma en la constitucin Gaudium et spes y en el decreto Optatam totius.41 La Academia, que desde 1949 ofreca pistas renovadoras para la teologa moral, vivi muy de cerca la dcada de Juan XXIII y de Pablo VI y continu su lnea en armona con el magisterio eclesistico y las aspiraciones del Concilio.42 Se hicieron los cambios oportunos, reformando el programa acadmico, seleccionando profesores y pasando de la impostacin manualstica a la teologa del Concilio. Aunque surgen

41 Cf. Padri Redentoristi al prossimo Concilio Ecumenico, in SHCSR 8 (1960) 505-506; IOANNES XXIII, Motu proprio Superno Dei nutu (Romae, 5 Iunii 1960), in AAS 52 (1960) 433-437; Domus generalitia, in RIS 12 (1960) 512; 14 (1962) 639; Nomine, in AAS 54 (1962) 784; 55 (1963) 965; Circa Concilium Vaticanum II, in Analecta 34 (1962) 47, 179-180, 262; A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1960-1961 578; ID., LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1961-1962, 480; ID., Academiae Alfonsianae chronica anni academici 1964-65, 440; Aliae Notitiae officiales, in Analecta 36 (1964) 47; S. ORIORDAN, Il teologo moralista nellAccademia Alfonsiana, 51; L. VEREECKE, Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta sin vol. (1984) 189. 42 Cf. A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1961-1962, 475-476; ID., LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1965, 417-418: il Reggente parla della posizione che lAccademia intende prendere in mezzo allodierno movimento di rinnovazione, suscitato particolarmente dal Concilio Ecumenico. LAccademia si rallegra della fama di progressivit che ormai ha conquistato nel mondo della teologia morale. [...] In mezzo alle ondate di opinioni progressive e conservative, alle quali assistiamo oggid, lAccademia intende mantenere una giusta via di mezzo, seguendo in questo le orme di S. Alfonso stesso, il quale venne lodato ufficialmente dalla Chiesa appunto perch ... inter implexas sive laxiores sive rigidiores sententias tutam straverit viam, per quam Christifidelium animarum moderatores inoffenso pede incedere possent.

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diversos criterios en temas de moral, se mantiene la impostacin teolgico-pastoral.43

2.3 Funcionamiento de la Academia Alfonsiana La compleja marcha de un organismo acadmico tena que adaptarse al nuevo modelo. La autoridad, que hasta este momento era autnoma, pasa a ser compartida por el gran canciller y el rector magnfico del Laterano, el superior General CSSR y el regente o presidente. A nivel acadmico, se conserva la posicin jurdica obtenida de la Congregacin de Religiosos. Por esto, aunque los alumnos coinciden materialmente en las clases y seminarios, formalmente se les exigen diversos requisitos para la obtencin del diploma y del doctorado. Entre 1960 y 1969, los profesores trabajaron para la Academia, pero tambin ofrecieron clases y conferencias en otros centros: Schurr en Rottemburg, Murphy en la Universidad de Roma, Hortelano en Medelln y Regan en Australia. Hring dio conferencias y clases en Pars, Bamberg, Ratisbona, Colonia, Dsseldorf, Bruselas (Lumen Vitae) y Frankfurt; llama la atencin el nmero de sus conferencias en Estados Unidos y en Canad: 150. Adems, predic ejercicios espirituales al papa y a la curia romana.44 Hitz, Endres, Vereecke, ORiordan, Koch...

43 Cf. S. ORIORDAN, Il teologo moralista nellAccademia Alfonsiana, 48-54; Alberto ROSSO, Principi ispiratori di un rinnovamento in teologia morale, in Rivista di Teologia Morale 2/5 (1970) 29-53; M. VIDAL, Nuevos enfoques y orientaciones en la Moral, en Pentecosts 7 (1969) 142-165; ID., Diez aos de teologa moral, en Moralia 12 (1990) 129-138; ID., Rasgos para la Teologa Moral del ao 2000, en Moralia 20 (1997) 153-170; M. VIDAL - F. FERRERO, 25 aos de reflexin moral (1970-1995), en Moralia 19 (1996) 141-174; Javier QUEREJAZU, Las cristalizaciones de la teologa moral postvaticana. Un panorama, en Moralia 14 (1992) 295-320. - La Ley de Cristo. La teologa moral expuesta a sacerdotes y seglares, de HRING, se difundi desde 1954; Libertad y fidelidad en Cristo, del mismo autor, desde 1979; sobre esta obra vase Brian V. JOHNSTONE, Bernhard Hring: an appreciation, in StMor (1998) 587-595. 44 Cf. D. CAPONE, Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1-I-1960 al 31-XII1963, p. 95, 135, 137-138.; ID., Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1 Gennaio 1964 al 31 Dicembre 1967 (= Cronica Domus Generalis, liber 12, 1964-1967),

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tambin actan en otros sitios. En el primer congreso nacional de teologa moral (Madrid, 13-16 octubre 1964) Hortelano y Hring dictaron siete conferencias. La leccin inaugural de un profesor sobre un tema especfico durante la apertura de curso, se tuvo de forma continua hasta 1970 y se retom ltimamente. Los ttulos son bien significativos: La Academia Alfonsiana: finalidad y naturaleza (1950, Leonardo BUIJS); La Academia Alfonsiana: programa y mtodo (1951, Leonardo BUIJS); La Academia Alfonsiana (1952, Leonardo BUIJS); La Academia Alfonsiana: exigencias (1957, Jan VISSER); San Alfonso, Doctor de la salvacin (1958, Domenico CAPONE); San Antonino, moralista (1959, Louis VEREECKE); Actualidad de la teologa moral de san Alfonso (1960, Bernhard HRING); La observancia de los mandamientos en la primera carta de San Juan (1961, Alphonse HUMBERT); La salud fsica y mental del sacerdote (1962, Juan GARCA VICENTE); La imitacin de Dios en la moral del Antiguo Testamento (1963, Robert KOCH); Teologa moral, laicos y vida moral (1964, Antonio HORTELANO); Tesmo y atesmo. Problema filosfico (1965, Tho FORNOVILLE); La enseanza de la teologa moral (1966, Sen ORIORDAN); Para una teologa moral antropolgica (1967, Josef ENDRES); Juramento y secularizacin (1968, Enricus BOELAARS); La tradicin en la doctrina moral de la Iglesia (1969, Francis Xavier MURPHY); La infalibilidad pontificia en los Concilios Vaticanos I y II (1970, San ORIORDAN); Actualidad de san Alfonso en la tica teolgica del 2000. Relectura de Domenico Capone (1997, Dalmazio MONGUILLO); El dilema tico-poltico de los derechos humanos en la cultura actual (1998, Martin MCKEEVER). Cuatro profesores comenzaron en 1949, catorce en 1957 y catorce en 1963. En 1966 aumentan los estudiantes a 160 y los profesores apenas llegan a 16. En el ao 1967-1968 comenz a trabajar en la Academia el primer profesor no redentorista, monseor Pietro Pavan, docente en el Laterano y futuro rector del mismo.

ms, en Roma, AGHR, p. 9 e 25; Attivit culturale del RP. Hring, in SHCSR 8 (1960) 505-506; A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1960-1961, 578; ID., LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1961-1962, 479-480; ID., LAccademia Alfonsiana 1963, 465; P. Bernardus Hring, in RIS 16 (1964) 711.

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El nmero, cada vez mayor, permite observar la procedencia geogrfica de los alumnos, que ya en 1964 eran de los cinco continentes. Las directivas se preocupan de que la cantidad no vaya en detrimento de la calidad. Tambin hay equilibrio entre clero diocesano y clero religioso. Las mujeres que por primera vez se inscribieron en la Academia, fueron dos religiosas escolapias espaolas, para el ao 1968-1969.45 Inclusive, una asociacin de estudiantes, llamada Dilogo, apareci en 1965 y dur unos cinco aos. Entre 1957-1967, pasaron por la Academia 52 alumnos redentoristas.46 Durante el bienio, los aspirantes al doctorado deban tomar 20 materias (14 en el primer ao) y dos seminarios (tres los que aspiraban al diploma), y hacer la tesis. Los cursos se distribuan de la siguiente manera: 1. Cursos introductorios; 2. Teologa moral positiva (teologa moral bblica, teologa moral patrstica, historia de la teologa moral); 3. Teologa moral sistemtica (teologa moral fundamental, teologa moral especial); 4. Teologa pastoral; 5. Disciplinas auxiliares (filosofa, psicologa, medicina, ciencias sociales).47 Las tres primeras tesis para el doctorado en teologa moral, fueron defendidas en el ao acadmico 1960-1961.

Accademia Alfonsiana (Corso 1968-1969), in Orbis 1/9 (1968) 13. Cf. COMMISSIO CENTRALIS TECNICA, Postulata minora 5, 1966-1967, en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, K 17C,5, orig, ms, firma autgrafa, folio 1218; CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII CSSR (Roma 1967), sesin 12 (14 octubre 1967), en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, k 17E,4, orig, dactiloscrito. 47 A. SAMPERS, LAcademia Alfonsiana, 1964, 413: afirmaba el regente Visser: Il nostro Istituto si fatto conoscere, e diciamolo pure apprezzare, per il suo carattere pastorale, in quanto non si limita alla pura speculazione astratta delle verit morali, ma tiene dinanzi agli occhi sempre le necessit delle anime del nostro tempo nella loro ascesa a Dio nel Regno di Dio sulla terra. [...] Il carattere scientifico del lavoro del teologo esige che adoperi un linguaggio preciso ed esatto, senza equivoci o espressioni approssimative; che adoperi argomenti strettamente probativi e non confonda i concetti, mischiando testi della S. Scrittura, dei Padri, dei documenti ecclesiastici, o pie meditazioni che non costituiscono precisi argomenti; cf. ID., Quaedam de Academia Alfonsiana notitiae, 331-332.
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Hasta 1968, haban recibido el doctorado 96 estudiantes de la Academia Alfonsiana.48 Studia Moralia nace en 1963 y es la publicacin oficial de la Academia. Los diez artculos del primer nmero, escritos por los profesores de la Academia, abordan los temas fundamentales de teologa moral y pastoral: 1. Estudio cientfico de la teologa moral; 2. Principios de la vida moral prctica; 3. Temas de teologa pastoral.49 La Academia, como todos los centros eclesisticos de formacin, reciba el pan caliente del Concilio. Ms difcil fue aceptar plenamente la doctrina de la encclica Humanae Vitae (1968). El aggiornamento era una realidad obligante. Profesores y estudiantes deban subir en el nuevo tren. Visser propona nuevas experiencias acadmicas, coloquios y discusiones.50 La ubicacin de la Academia favoreca los encuentros con padres conciliares, profesores, peritos e investigadores. Entre otras iniciativas, cabe destacar la de las clases vespertinas de teologa moral que algunos profesores de la Academia ofrecieron para el pblico en general en 1968. A la etapa entre 1960-1969 podra llamrsela conciliar, pues

Cf. Res Romanae, in RIS 13 (1961) 591; A. Sampers, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1960-1961, in SHCSR 9 (1961) 570-571; Tesi difese nellAccademia Alfonsiana dallinizio al dicembre 1996, in ACCADEMIA ALFONSIANA, Catalogo delle tesi difese, Accademia Alfonsiana, dattiloscritto, Roma 1997,1; D. CAPONE, Cronaca della Casa di S. Alfonso dal 1-I-1960 al 31XII-1963, p. 41 y 67; A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1966, 454; las condiciones para obtener el diploma se suavizaron. As lo comunic la Congregacin de Seminarios y de Universidades el 12 de julio de 1967, y as aparece en el Calendarium 1967-1968, 9-10, n. 8; Accademia Alfonsiana, anno 1967-1968, in Orbis 1/6 (1968) 28: Fino allanno scorso i requisiti per ottenere il diploma erano gli stessi che per conseguire il Dottorato. Dal luglio del 1967 questo cambiato; lesperienza di dieci anni ha dimostrato che era esigere troppo; Il nuovo anno nellAccademia Alfonsiana, in OR, 21 novembre 1968, 4; Gradus academici, in Academia Alfonsiana, 1957-1982. A pontificia approbatione..., 312-362. 49 F. LAMBRUSCHINI, LAccademia Alfonsiana e gli studi morali, 7: alude al valor de Studia Moralia, con sus autores y lneas programticas; cf. Studia Moralia, in Academia Alfonsiana, 1957-1982. A pontificia approbatione..., 365-375. 50 Accademia Alfonsiana, anno 1967-1968, in Orbis 1/6 (1968) 28.
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el Instituto de moral afianz el rigor cientfico,51 aumentaron las disertaciones, disminuyeron los requisitos para el diploma y se rebajaron los cursos obligatorios.52 El proyecto le dio tnica de renovacin y le permiti ver plasmadas las intuiciones que de tiempo atrs abrigaba la CSSR. Tena razn Pablo VI al definir la Academia Alfonsiana como el fruto ms reciente de los redentoristas.53 Joven an, con 18 aos de vida, el Alphonsianum se aprestaba a recibir el documento de mayora de edad.

3. Tercera Etapa (1969-1999) Consolidacin de la Academia Alfonsiana

3.1 Ambiente cultural


De acuerdo con la historia y la ndole de la Congregacin dedquense de manera especial los congregados al estudio de la
51 A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1960-1961, 571-572: Dio ci guardi diceva Visser da un lento o rapido scivolamento verso una vita universitaria comoda, che dovrebbe servire soltanto di strada verso titoli onorifici con un minimo di spese e di sforzi. [...] Inoltre se vogliamo assicurare un felice successo ai nostri sforzi nel campo della teologia morale, dovremo mantenere quellindirizzo generale che sin dallinizio stato dato allAccademia: cio il duplice carattere scientifico e pastorale. 52 Cf. A. SAMPERS, LAccademia Alfonsiana, 1967, in SHCSR 15 (1967) 386-387. Los cursos pasaron de 20 a 16, pero se aadieron cuatro recensiones; los alumnos eran 24 en 1957 y 163 en 1966. 53 PAULUS VI, Ad Sodales Congregationis Sanctissimi Redemptoris, qui Romam convenerunt, ut Generali religiosae suae communitatis Consilio interessent, in AAS 59 (1967) 960-963; Voti del Sommo Pontefice ai Padri Capitolari della Congregazione del SS.mo Redentore, in OR, 24 settembre 1967, 1-2: invita a seguir las huellas de San Alfonso, cultivando la caridad pastoral y el estudio de la teologa moral; cf. Acta integra Capituli Generalis SS. Redemptoris Romae celebrati anno MCMLXIII, sesin 51 (1 abril), n. 1761, Typis della Pace, Romae 1963, 99-100: postulados 34 y 35; CAPITULUM XVI [CSSR] (Romae 1963), I: Folia distributa, en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, K 16,4, folio 093: los capitulares pedan que se incrementaran los estudios de teologa moral, se prepararan profesores en este campo y se diera ms estabilidad a la Academia.

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teologa moral y pastoral y tambin al de la espiritualidad. Con este fin se ha erigido en la Ciudad Eterna la Academia Alfonsiana, que ha de ser sostenida y favorecida por todo el Instituto, puesto que sus objetivos estn en ntima conexin con el fin de la Congregacin.54

Por ello, como afirmaba Vereecke en 1973, aparece como signo de unidad y de influjo en muchos pases. Los cursos de moral sistemtica tienen un carcter eminentemente pastoral.55 La visin cristocntrica de la moral, responde a las propuestas de Buijs en 1951 y a la doctrina de san Alfonso.56 Su intuicin ha seguido activa. La Academia ha llegado a su madurez. Quienes ms han colaborado para hacer realidad este proyecto son los superiores Generales y los profesores que la han llevado a presentarse con rostro propio:
[...] Pero la realidad ms significativa en este sentido fue la fundacin de la Academia Alfonsiana de Roma como Instituto Superior de Teologa Moral. A pesar de las dificultades iniciales, se convirti en algo de la Congregacin con un influjo en el campo moral muy semejante al que ejerci S. Alfonso a principios del siglo XIX. Los futuros historiadores de la moral tal vez no encuentren entre los redentoristas de hoy muchas personalidades, obras o teoras extraordinarias desde el punto de vista cientfico. Pero nunca podrn prescindir del espritu que el equipo de profesores del Alphonsianum ha ido infundiendo en confesores, profesores y escritores de moral.

Constituciones y Estatutos de la Congregacin del Santsimo Redentor, estatuto 023, PS, Madrid 1983, 125. 55 Cf. LOUIS VEREECKE, Pro memoria sur [sic] lAccademia Alfonsiana, in CSSR CAPITULUM GENERALE XVIII (Roma 1973), Acta Sessionum, 1, en Roma, Biblioteca del AGHR, K18J,1, copia, dactiloscrito, folios 53-54. 56 Roger ROY, Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1978-1979, in StMor, XVII, Isola del Liri 1979, 284; cf. Con una solenne concelebrazione, inaugurato il nuovo anno allAccademia Alfonsiana, in OR, 24 ottobre 1975, 4; Inaugurato con una solenne concelebrazione il nuovo anno di studi dellAccademia Alfonsiana, in OR, 20 ottobre 1976, 4.
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Por otra parte, si miramos este hecho, no ya desde la historia de la moral sino desde la historia de la Congregacin, la Academia Alfonsiana est dando al Instituto un rostro con el que tendrn que contar cuantos en el futuro se ocupen de l.57

Por este tiempo (1969-1979) se incorporan como docentes del Alphonsianum: Julio de la Torre, Francisco Lage, Peter Lippert, Andreas Resch, Roger Roy, Henry Sattler, Livia Corradi, Giovanni Velocci, Francesco Chiovaro, Antoon Roosen, Santino Raponi, Wolfdieter Theurer, Johan Schermann, Emilio Stanula, Marcello Bordoni, Fabriciano Ferrero, Nella Filippi, Salvatore Melis, Marian Nalepa, Giancarlo Vendrame, Lorenzo Alvarez, Giuseppe Orlandoni, Ral Tremblay, Sabatino Majorano, San Cannon, Bruno Hidber, Bruno Giordano y Basilio Petr. Tambin la CSSR ha abierto ms ventanas, facilitando la apertura de Institutos de teologa moral en Sao Paolo (Brasil), en Asuncin (Paraguay) y en Madrid (Espaa). Con ocasin del centenario del doctorado de san Alfonso, se inaugur el Instituto Superior de Ciencias Morales de Madrid el 18 de octubre de 1971, para responder al inters de los redentoristas por el estudio de la teologa moral, a su disponibilidad de profesores y de estructuras. La revista Moralia y el plan para licenciatura y doctorado, son una muestra del nivel de dicho centro.58 El 20 de mayo de 1968, la Congregacin para la Educacin

57 F. FERRERO, Perspectivas histricas de la problemtica actual sobre la Congregacin del Santsimo Redentor, en SHCSR 21 (1973) 393. 58 Cf. Instituto Superior de Ciencias Morales - Madrid, en Boletn de la Provincia Espaola 12 (1972) 302-306; Nuovo Istituto di Morale [a] Madrid, in Orbis 5/26 (1972) 56-59; LAccademia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII (Romae 1973), Relatio ad Capitulum de statu Congregationis, folio 86: LAccademia non dovrebbe essere considerata come il solo centro di Teologia Morale. La Congregazione dovrebbe incoraggiare la creazione e lo sviluppo di altri simili centri di studio e ricerca come lIstituto di Teologia Morale di Madrid; M. VIDAL, El Instituto de Moral renueva el convenio con la Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, en Noticiario Espaol Redentorista NER-, n. 429, junio 1998; F. FERRERO, Para la historia del Instituto Superior de Ciencias Morales en Madrid (1971-1996), en Moralia 19 (1996) 175-208. - La revista Moralia se public desde 1952 a 1963, Pentecosts de 1963 a 1978, y Moralia desde 1979.

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Catlica public el rescripto Normae quaedam, lo que signific un profundo cambio para el Laterano y para la Academia. Se supriman las licenciaturas generales y se creaban tres ciclos: el 1 o institucional (bachillerato), el 2 o de especializacin (licenciatura, 2 aos), y el 3 o de doctorado (2 aos). La Academia, a tenor del rescripto del 22 de octubre de 1969, conserv su propio modelo que era bastante apreciado, acomodndolo al segundo y tercer ciclos. Adems, poda inscribir a los que tenan slo el bachillerato, conferir el diploma a alumnos que no queran grados y a los que hacan el bienio seminarstico; poda expedir certificados a los que asistan a conferencias y a cursos de cultura teolgico-moral. En 1969, el profesor Pietro Pavan fue nombrado rector magnfico de la Universidad Lateranense, y Domenico Capone sucedi a Jan Visser en la Academia no como regente, sino como presidente.59 Cuando se observa el panorama de las tres ltimas dcadas (1969-1999), hay que reconocer que la Academia s ha consolidado su rumbo. Sera dispendioso detallar los elementos que le han ayudado a crecer, pero, en lneas generales se destacan su carcter cristocntrico y pastoral,60 y su actividad cientfica

59 Cf. D. CAPONE, Historia, 79-80; ID., Nueva organizacin de la Academia Alfonsiana, in Orbis 3 (1970) 11, 77-78; R. ROY, Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1969-70, 468; ID., Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1970-71, in StMor, IX, Perugia 1971, 360: explica Capone: La spcialisation que poursuit lAcadmie Alphonsienne est tout entire oriente vers la thologie morale, mais articule de manire que la thologie dogmatique, biblique, patristique, la liturgie, lhistoire, lanthropologie philosophique et scientifique, la sociologie, lconomie, lhermneutique sont toutes reprises en fonction de la thologie morale. 60 Nuova organizzazione dellAccademia Alfonsiana, in Orbis 3/14 (1970) 11: LAccademia nella sua attivit, pur mantenendo il suo carattere rigorosamente scientifico, conserver la sua caratteristica cristocentrica e pastorale che la Congregazione ha ereditato da S. Alfonso e che caratterizza lo scopo della sua attivit nella Chiesa. I quasi mille alunni che hanno frequentato finora le aule dellIstituto Accademico Redentorista riconoscono la validit scientifica e pastorale dei loro studi e sono una testimonianza della presenza attiva della nostra Congregazione nella vita della Chiesa.

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reflejada en publicaciones, congresos, jornadas de estudio, conferencias, encuentros y reuniones. Los profesores han sido el cerebro de libros, artculos y apuntes de clase.61 Studia Moralia, que comenz como anuario en 1963, se transform en revista semestral en 1980. Quaestiones morales: es una nueva coleccin que se inicia en 1983 y la publica Edacalf = Ediciones de la Academia Alfonsiana. Las tesis y tesinas son una cantera de aportes cientficos que hay que reconocer tanto a estudiantes como a moderadores. En el seno de la Academia se han realizado diversos congresos como los de: Moral y Redencin (10-13 noviembre 1982),62 Problemas de moral y medicina (5-8 abril 1988)63 y La recepcin del pensamiento alfonsiano en la Iglesia (5-7 marzo 1997).64 Con ocasin del centenario de la proclamacin de san Alfonso como Doctor de la Iglesia (1871-1971), el cardenal Garrone, prefecto de la Congregacin para la Educacin

61 Cf. Bibliographia, in Analecta 33 (1959) 118: dispensas de Capone, Endres, Fornoville, Humbert, Moonen, Murphy, ORiordan; D. CAPONE, Historia, 82; Opera a professoribus Academiae Alfonsianae publici iuris facta, in Academia Alfonsiana, 1957-1982. A pontificia approbatione..., 117234: lista de publicaciones de los profesores de la Academia; R. ROY, Accademia Alfonsiana, in Orbis 12/47 (1979) 31: Libri e articoli dei professori e in particolare le dispense (corsi scritti) costituiscono un abbondante materiale che attraverso gli studenti ha influsso e arricchisce nel mondo linsegnamento della teologia morale. 62 Cf. Morale e Redenzione, a cura di Lorenzo Alvarez Verdes e Sabatino Majorano, = Quaestiones Morales 1, Editiones Academiae Alphonsianae, Roma 1983. 63 Vase la apreciacin de M. VIDAL, Congreso internacional de biotica, in StMor 26 (1988) 285-290; Congrs internatinal de Biothique. Acadmie Alphonsienne, Rome, in C.Ss.R. Communicationes, N 62, Rome, juin 1962. El congreso suscit diversas reacciones; no se publicaron las actas; la Academia vivi su etapa de tensiones. Un dato curioso: el 13 de noviembre de ese ao 1988, el papa Juan Pablo II visit el aula magna de la Academia, no para tratar cuestiones de moral, sino para hablar a los nios de la parroquia de San Vito. 64 Este congreso fue organizado por una comisin central. Cf. La recezione del pensiero alfonsiano nella Chiesa. Atti del Congresso in occasione del terzo centenario della nascita di S. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, Roma 5-7 marzo 1997, in SHCSR 45 (1997) 5-684.

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Catlica, pronunci un discurso sobre San Alfonso Doctor y el moderador general de la Academia otro, destacando el celo pastoral de san Alfonso; la Academia es la continuacin de su magisterio.65 El 23 de marzo de 1972, el profesor Helmut Thielicke, de la universidad de Hamburgo, tuvo un encuentro con los profesores del Alphonsianum, sobre las relaciones de la teologa sistemtica con la tica social; lo que esperan los jvenes de la teologa y de la predicacin; y las experiencias teolgicas en Africa. La siguiente lista da una idea de la pluralidad de temas que se han tratado en jornadas de estudio y conferencias en la sede de la Academia. Sobre la penitencia (primavera de 1970, 3 das); Los Santos Padres son moralistas o educadores de la fe? (5 mayo 1972, Adalberto Hamman); Teologa moral y metodologa (27-29 diciembre 1977, Asociacin de telogos moralistas de Italia); La verdad que hace libres (27 marzo 1979, Hring); Qu es la teologa moral y cmo hacerla actualmente? (27 abril 1979, Capone y de la Torre); Opcin nuclear, energa nuclear y responsabilidad moral (18-20 mayo 1979, Movimiento internacional de reconciliacin); Hombre y mujer unidos para la construccin de la ciudad (25-27 septiembre 1980, Asociacin de telogos moralistas de Italia); San Agustn (28 mayo 1981, cardenal Michele

Cf. Gabriel Marie GARRONE, Saint Alphonse Docteur, mais quel Docteur?, in StMor, IX, Perugia 1971, 9-23; Il centenario della proclamazione di S. Alfonso a Dottore della Chiesa, in OR, 27 novembre 1971, 4. Se preguntaba Garrone, si San Alfonso, despus de haber ejercido tanto influjo con su doctrina en la Iglesia durante el siglo XIX y comienzos del XX, an tena algo que decir como maestro en la fe para nuestro tiempo. Responde: definitivamente s, y est presente como lo estuvo para los hombres de su tiempo: Alfonso non tratta di idee, prese in se stesse, neppure delle sue idee, del suo pensiero, tanto meno di se stesso: egli tratta di Dio, trasparente attraverso il velo delle idee, della sua arte pastorale, della sua persona; sicch il fedele prende contatto diretto con Dio, con le fonti autentiche della fede; lo propone como doctor de las misiones; Il centenario della proclamazione di S. Alfonso a Dottore della Chiesa, in OR, 27 novembre 1971, 4: Amaral dice que la Academia Alfonsiana, in ventidue anni di attivit, con quasi 1.200 alunni, ha sviluppato la specializzazione in teologia morale, alla luce del mistero di Cristo, come aveva fatto s. Alfonso, raccogliendo frutti che hanno riscosso il compiacimento di Vescovi e superiori religiosi.
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Pellegrino); El pluralismo como problema puesto a la Iglesia y a la teologa (21 mayo 1984, cardenal Joseph Ratzinger); El problema de lo nuevo en teologa moral (4-6 marzo 1985); La Iglesia y los derechos humanos (28 abril 1989, arzobispo Renato R. Martino); John Henry Newman (12 diciembre 1990, Giovanni Velocci); San Alfonso humanista (1992, Ezio Marcelli); San Alfonso jurista: La formacin jurdica y su influjo en la moral (1993, Louis Vereecke); La vida en Cristo: la tercera parte del Catecismo de la Iglesia Catlica. Anlisis y valoracin, en relacin con la encclica Veritatis Splendor (25-26 noviembre 1993: sobre el Catecismo de la Iglesia catlica: profesores de la Academia); La familia en la vida y en el pensamiento de san Alfonso (1994, Marciano Vidal); La vocacin del telogo moralista hoy (17 febrero 1995, profesores de la Academia); La correspondencia epistolar de san Alfonso y su significado historiogrfico (3 mayo 1995, Giuseppe Orlandi); La relacin entre teologa moral y ministerio sacerdotal, segn san Alfonso (23 abril 1996, Sabatino Majorano); sobre la Gaudium et spes (28-29 noviembre 1996, varios profesores); El Espritu Santo y la moral cristiana (4-5 marzo 1998, varios profesores). Los profesores de moral redentoristas han tenido recientemente diversos encuentros para analizar, reflexionar y proponer ideas concernientes a la moral: - del 26 al 30 de junio de 1989: primer encuentro en Aylmer, Qubec, Canad, para: 1) analizar el estado de la teologa moral en los cinco continentes, 2) reflexionar sobre el papel del telogo moralista CSSR en la Iglesia, y 3) hacer propuestas para el futuro. Se concluy que la causa de los pobres debera ser la perspectiva fundamental de la reflexin teolgico-moral redentorista actual;66 del 29 junio al 4 de julio de 1992, segundo encuentro en Manresa Loyola, repblica de Santo Domingo. Se escogi el lugar y el ao, aprovechando la celebracin del quinto centenario de la evangelizacin de Amrica. El tema fue Solidaridad: implicaciones para la tica social. Objetivos: 1) enfocar la solidaridad en los 5 conti-

66 Rencontre de moralistes rdemptoristes - Meeting of Redemptorist Moralists (Aylmer, Qubec, Canada / 26-30 juin-June 1989), Actes / Acts, = Studia Moralia / Supplement 1, Editiones Academiae Alphonsianae, Roma s.d.

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nentes, 2) analizar los sistemas dominantes (liberal y socialista) y la ubicacin de los catlicos, 3) orientar al telogo moralista y aplicar a la vida redentorista la perspectiva de la solidaridad.67 El tercer encuentro se tuvo en Pattaya, Tailandia, del 2 al 8 de julio de 1995; se abordaron la formacin de la conciencia y el dilogo intercultural e interreligioso.68 Para este ao 99, se prepara el cuarto encuentro en Cracovia que tratar sobre la responsabilidad moral cristiana. Adems, los profesores redentoristas de la Academia Alfonsiana y del Instituto Superior de Ciencias Morales de Madrid, se han reunido en 1995 y 1998, para intercambiar ideas y experiencias sobre los dos Institutos. En el ltimo, abordaron los Problemas, aspectos y criterios para una teologa moral orgnica. Siempre en el mbito cientfico, la Academia tom la iniciativa y confiri el ttulo de Doctor honoris causa en teologa moral a Franois-Xavier Durrwell, reconocido telogo redentorista.69 Estos son apenas algunos eventos ms destacados, puesto que el ambiente cultural hay que entenderlo como el conjunto de elementos, en los que estudiantes y profesores dedican su tiempo y energas a producir cultura. El funcionamiento, que hace marchar la mquina, a veces de modo imperceptible, es otro aspecto que se debe sealar.

67 Cf. Dennis J. BILLY, The second international congress of Redemptorist moralists, in StMor 30 (1992) 337-338; S. CANNON, Accademia Alfonsiana 1991-1992, in Analecta s.v. (1994) 47-48. 68 Proceedings of the third international Congress of Redemptorist Moral Theologians / Acta del tercer congreso internacional de telogos moralistas redentoristas, s.e., s.l., s.d. 69 Cf. RAL TREMBLAY, La relazione filiale delluomo con Dio e il suo impatto sulla morale cristiana, in OR, 8 dicembre 1996, 10: LAccademia Alfonsiana conferisce al P. Franois-Xavier Durrwell il titolo di Doctor honoris causa per il suo contributo teologico. Ms informacin en StMor 35 (1997) 231-255.

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3.2 Funcionamiento de la Academia Captulos y comisin de consulta Los profesores proponen al Captulo General de 1969 que se mantenga la finalidad de la Academia como un Instituto para la formacin de profesores de teologa moral en seminarios y universidades, y para la promocin de los estudios cientficos en el campo de la teologa moral. Adems, se requeran con urgencia algunas adaptaciones en la planta fsica.70 En el Captulo General de 1973, se informa que se ha hecho una nueva entrada y se ha ganado ms espacio fsico para la Academia.71 En el Captulo General de 1979 se reitera la idea de que la Academia es la nica obra comn de toda la Congregacin en la que se abordan las cuestiones morales en orden a la pastoral en la lnea de la tradicin alfonsiana. Pero existen dos problemas: el econmico y la falta de profesores.72 Es verdad que la Academia pasaba por un momento muy difcil. Algunos capitulares, con ms prejuicios que conocimiento, proponen suprimirla si no se resuelven de una vez por todas los problemas. Se hace un diagnstico y se sugiere nombrar una comisin que analice la administracin econmica, la vida universitaria romana y la teologa moral.73 Solucin: el Captulo pide al gobierno general

Cf. A. SAMPERS, Academia Alfonsiana. Quarta riunione dei professori per lanno acc. 1967-68 tenuta l8 marzo 1968, ore 19-20, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII (CSSR, Romae 1969), sesin 62 (14 mayo 1969), en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, K17E,12, copia, dactiloscrito, folios 2857-2860. 71 Cf. Relatio ad Capitulum Generale. Academia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII (Romae 1973), Relatio ad Capitulum de statu Congregationis, en Roma, biblioteca del AGHR, K18H,1, offset, folios 80-81; Josef Pfab, Communicanda 6: Accademia Alfonsiana (Roma, 27 marzo 1974), en Roma, Secretariado General CSSR: desde su fundacin en 1949, el trabajo en la Academia es considerado un apostolado cientfico de toda la CSSR; los profesores que empezaron ya estn ancianos; se necesitan jvenes que asuman los cursos de moral sistemtica y bblica. 72 CSSR - CAPITULUM GENERALE XIX (Roma 1979), Acta sessionum, 2, en Roma, Biblioteca del AGHR, K19M,2, sesin 15 (7 septiembre 1979), copia, dactiloscrito, folio 236. 73 Cf. Ibid., K19M,4-5, sesiones 43, 45-46 (28 sept., 1-2 oct. 1979), dactiloscrito, folios 653-655, 753-755.
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CSSR que establezca la comisin de consulta que servir tanto al gobierno como a la Academia, y cuya tarea se centrar en buscar soluciones. Los miembros no sean redentoristas, excepto uno; sean peritos en administracin econmica, vida universitaria y teologa moral.74 La comisin fue creada en agosto de 1980. La integraron Edward J. Gilbert, CSSR, rector del estudiantado redentorista de Esopus (USA) como presidente; Frans Verwimp, CSSR, ecnomo de la Provincia de Bruselas Norte; Simon Decloux, jesuita, profesor de la Universidad Gregoriana; y Alfred Wilder, dominico, profesor de la Universidad Santo Toms en Roma. Jos de Sousa, CSSR, haca de secretario.75 Por peticin del moderador general de la Academia, se publica un informe resumido para toda la CSSR, de lo realizado por la comisin. sta hizo cuatro reuniones: 1) noviembre de 1980: se eligi la metodologa, se tuvieron encuentros con la direccin de la Academia por medio de un comit interlocutor (Capone, Hidber, Roy, Tremblay, Cannon) que estudiaba la cuestin desde dentro; 2) abril de 1981: la comisin pidi que se elaborara un nuevo programa acadmico, se instituyera un consejo de administracin internacional, se reelaboraran las finanzas para que la Academia pudiera funcionar con presupuesto propio; 3) mayo de 1981: encuentro con el gobierno general y con todos los profesores, recomendaciones; 4) septiembre de 1983: la comisin da por terminado su trabajo, pues ya se haba creado el consejo de administracin de la Academia, Vereecke haba sido nombrado nuevo presidente de la Academia y Cannon vicepresidente; los pareceres de expertos en teologa moral eran positivos (aunque manifiestan preocupacin por el nmero y edad de los profeso-

74 Cf. Instrucciones del Captulo XIX, in Analecta s. v. (1980) edicin espaola, 33-34; Instrucciones del Captulo General XIX, en Boletn de la Provincia Espaola 16 (1979) 101-102. 75 J. G. PFAB, Communicanda 54: De Academia Alfonsiana (Romae, 24 Augusti 1980), in Analecta s.v. (1980) edicin espaola, 100-101; cf. ID., Communicanda 50: Secretariados y Comisiones (Roma, 26 febrero 1980), in Analecta s.v. (1980) edicin espaola, 64; Ordinatio et Operositas Gubernii et Curiae Generalis, en Ibid., 118-119, 129; R. Roy, Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1980-81, 283.

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res). Pedan, adems, que el superior General preparara un informe para el Captulo General. Los miembros de la comisin concluan diciendo que la Academia deba continuar su servicio a la Iglesia con la formacin de los 200 estudiantes que atenda cada ao. Recomendaba proveerla de profesores necesarios de la CSSR o recurrir a profesores de fuera.76 Las Normae quaedam y la Sapientia Christiana hicieron necesaria la reelaboracin de los estatutos y del plan de estudios de la Academia.77 Por eso, dos comisiones trabajaron en la redaccin de nuevos estatutos,78 que aprob la Congregacin de Seminarios el 15 octubre 1988. El consejo acadmico de la Academia aprueba el 27 abril 1992 el reglamento ad experimentum por un ao, que entra en vigor en 1993. Las autoridades y profesores Las autoridades al servicio de la Academia Alfonsiana en este perodo han sido: los Cancilleres de la Universidad del Laterano: cardenales Angelo DellAcqua (1968-1972), Ugo Poletti (19731990) y Camilo Ruini (1991); los Rectores del Laterano: Pietro Pavan (1968-1974), quien no obstante su cargo, continu dando clases en la Academia, Franco Biffi (1975-1982), Pietro Rossano (1983-1991), Umberto Betti (1991-1995) y Angelo Scola (1995);
76 Cf. Relazione conclusiva della commissione al Capitolo Generale sullAccademia Alfonsiana, novembre 1983, copia, dactiloscrito, 19 p., en Roma, Archivo dellAccademia; J. G. PFAB, Communicanda 91: De la Academia Alfonsiana (Roma, 1 marzo 1985), in Analecta s.v. (1985) 73-78. 77 Cf. IOANNES PAULUS II, Constitutio apostolica Sapientia christiana (15 Aprilis 1979), in AAS 71 (1979) 469-499: De Studiorum Universitatibus et Facultatibus Ecclesiasticis; SACRA CONGREGATIO PRO INSTITUTIONE CATHOLICA, Ordinationes ad constitutionem apostolicam Sapientia christiana rite exequendam, in AAS 71 (1979) 500-521. 78 Cf. PONTIFICIA UNIVERSITAS LATERANENSIS. ACADEMIA ALFONSIANA. INSTITUTUM SUPERIUS. THEOLOGIA MORALIS, Statuta 1995, s.e., Roma s.d., 3: texto de aprobacin de la Congregacin de Seminarios (15 octubre 1988), 3: aprobacin de la Congregacin de Educacin Catlica (30 marzo 1995), 7-54: texto de los 88 artculos; PONTIFICIA UNIVERSITAS LATERANENSIS. ACADEMIA ALFONSIANA. INSTITUTUM SUPERIUS. THEOLOGIA MORALIS, Regolamento 1995, s.e., Roma s.d., 1-20: 105 artculos.

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los Moderadores o superiores Generales CSSR: Tarcisio Ariovaldo Amaral (1967-1973), Josef Georg Pfab (1973-1985), Juan Manuel Lasso de la Vega (1985-1997) y Joseph William Tobin (1997); el Regente y los Presidentes: Jan Visser (19571969), Domenico Capone (1969-1983), Louis Vereecke (19831989), San Cannon (1989-1995) y Bruno Hidber (1995). Encabezados por el presidente, funcionan: el Consejo de profesores, responsable de la administracin inmediata de la Academia, y el Consejo acadmico, con representacin ms amplia. Durante esta etapa, se expande la Academia y los profesores ocupan las habitaciones que tena el gobierno general CSSR, dejando espacio para aulas y librera. Se incorporan profesores no redentoristas, que aportan su valiosa experiencia. En 1973 dan clases 22 profesores (dos no redentoristas), de los cuales diez estn habitualmente en Roma. Al cuadro ya existente, se han agregado treinta profesores entre 1984-1999: Terence Kennedy, Martin Benzerath, Manuel Cuys, William Bueche, Jos Silvio Botero, Alfred Widler, Valentino Salvoldi, Dennis Billy, Narciso Cappelletto, Joseph Fonseca, Brian Johnstone, Marciano Vidal Garca, Pedrinho A. Guareschi, Michael Naickanparampil, Josef Rmlet, Ignacio Gonzlez Alvarez, Alvaro Crdoba Chaves, Raphael Gallagher, Maurizio Faggioni, Sebastiano Viotti, Luigi Padovese, Joachim Ntahondereye, Sabino Palumbieri, Ignacio Sanna, Martin Joseph McKeever, Jules Mimeault, Andrzej Wodka, Stephen Th. Rehrauer, Edmund Kowalski y Giovanni Sassi. En 1978-79, subi a 30 el nmero de los profesores que dieron 30 cursos y 18 seminarios; en 1980-81 eran 32 los profesores; 34 en 1987-1988; 39 en 1988-1989 entre emritos, ordinarios, extraordinarios, estables, asociados e invitados; 36 en 19921993; 35 en 1997-1998 (6 ordinarios, 2 extraordinarios, 1 asociado, 19 invitados y 7 emritos). Comienza la promocin de algunos, la representacin de los invitados en el consejo de profesores y la consejera por grupos lingsticos.79

79 Joseph FONSECA, Academia Alphonsiana. Chronicle of the Academic Year 1988-1989, in StMor 27 (1989) 804; cf. ID., Academia Alphonsiana. Chronicle of the Academic Year 1989-1990, in StMor 28 (1990) 604-605; ID., Academia Alphonsiana. Chronicle of the Academic Year 1990-1991, in

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Adems de su trabajo interno, algunos profesores han dictado clases en varios centros universitarios, preferentemente sobre temas de moral; en Roma han enseado en: el Laterano, Gregoriana, Angelicum, Teresianum, Anselminanum, Urbaniana, Marianum y Regina Mundi. Pavan recibi el ttulo de cardenal en 1985 y muri en 1994. Giuseppe Orlandoni, quien ense en la Academia durante 22 aos, fue nombrado obispo de Senigallia (Italia), en 1997. De los profesores que han trabajado en el Alphonsianum, han fallecido: Bernhard Ziermann, Vctor Schurr, Edward Wuenschel, Germain Livin, Wolfdieter Theurer, Thomas Harte, Paul Hitz, Enrique Boelaars, Roger Roy, Noel Charlier, Jos Endres, Cornelius Moonen, Jan Visser, Augustin Regan, Giancarlo Vendrame, Roberto Koch, Pietro Pavan, Domenico Capone, Hans Huber, San ORiordan, Peter Lippert, Bernhard Hring, Julio de la Torre y Andreas Sampers. El 24 de febrero de 1984, el consejo de profesores nombra cinco comisiones permanentes: programa, Edacalf, Studia Moralia, actividades culturales, finanzas, y en 1989-90 la de biblioteca. Los alumnos Al llegar a Roma, los estudiantes de los llamados colegios, se distribuyen en las diversas facultades que orientarn su estudio. En los primeros aos de la Academia, muchos se inscriban en ella como alumnos extraordinarios para cursos libres; pero esta modalidad ha disminuido notablemente, porque la mayor parte siguen los cursos regulares para obtener un ttulo. De 1957 a 1973, se haban defendido 185 tesis para doctorado, 92 tesinas para licenciatura y 78 trabajos para diploma en teologa moral80. Como en la etapa anterior, el nmero aument moderadamente; los nmeros hay que relativizarlos ya que se trata de una sola facultad y de especializacin. Desde 1957 a 1984, la Academia

StMor 29 (1991) 398; Danielle GROS, Accademia Alfonsiana. Cronaca relativa allanno accademico 1995-1996, 465. 80 LAccademia Alfonsiana, in CAPITULUM GENERALE XVII (Romae 1973), Relatio ad Capitulum de statu Congregationis, folio 83.

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tuvo un total de 2460 estudiantes (1669 ordinarios, 791 extraordinarios). No tenemos estadsticas, pero s informes parciales sobre la ocupacin de muchos ex-alumnos. Algunos son obispos, otros sacerdotes, religiosos, laicos, docentes, investigadores, periodistas... Los redentoristas han tenido una reducida participacin.81 En 1979-1980 los cinco continentes estaban representados en el Alphonsianum: Europa 88, Amrica 53, Africa 25, Asia y Oceana 24. Desde 1957 hasta 1984, haban ingresado a la Academia estudiantes provenientes de 85 naciones, 1155 del clero diocesano, 1215 de institutos de vida consagrada, 37 religiosas y 53 laicos.82 Ha habido equilibrio numrico de los dos cleros. La participacin de la mujer ha sido muy escasa. Slo en 1986 obtuvieron el doctorado la hermana Anna Maria Vissani y la seorita Lilia Sebastiani. A los estudiantes se le brind la oportunidad de ser elegidos para el consejo acadmico a finales de la dcada de los 80; la primera vez eligieron a dos seglares. Futuros profesores frecuentaron las aulas de la Academia: Juan Carlos Vendrame, Silvio Botero, Raphael Gallagher, Basilio Petr, Terence Kennedy, Joseph Fonseca, William Bueche, Joachim Ntahondereye, Sebastiano Viotti, Maurizio Pietro Faggioni y Martin McKeever. El plan acadmico y la Secretara Es obvio que los materias o cursos son como la estructura, el engranaje de un edificio, y a la larga, los que ms huella dejan y ms trabajo requieren. La Academia ha brindado buena calidad. En el ao acadmico 1972-1973, por ejemplo, la carga acadmica se distribua de esta manera: en el segundo ciclo se tomaban 20 cursos que sumaban 40 crditos, dos seminarios, cuatro anlisis de obras, el curso obligatorio de metodologa, dos discusio-

81 Cf. Accademia Alfonsiana 57-77. Bilancio di 20 anni di Professori e alunni Redentoristi, in Orbis 10/44 (1978) 34-38; Accademia Alfonsiana. Relazione dellanno accademico 1987-1988, in Analecta s.v. (1988) 86. 82 Cf. L. VEREECKE, Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta s.v. (1984) 190191. - En 1999 suman sesenta los obispos y un cardenal, que han frecuentado la Academia Alfonsiana.

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nes de tema ante dos profesores durante 50 minutos, y la tesis de licencia; en el tercer ciclo haba que tomar cursos que sumaran ocho crditos y hacer un seminario intenso. La articulacin pastoral y cientfica de los diversos cursos se ha atendido constantemente.83 Tal estructura ha continuado hasta hoy. Siendo notable la deficiencia de las lenguas clsicas y del italiano en los ltimos aos, se establece desde 1992 el examen de italiano. Y en cuanto a los gastos por cada estudiante, han sido moderados.84 La Secretara ha sido atendida eficientemente por los secretarios generales: Andreas Sampers (1957-1969), Francisco Mullaghy, secretario adjunto (1964-1965), Jorge Wadding, secretario adjunto (1966-1968), Nilton Fagundes, secretario adjunto (1968), Roger Roy (1969-1986), William Bueche, vice-secretario ad interim (1986-1988), Jos Fonseca (1988-1991), Miguel Ceschini (1991-1995), y Danielle Gros (1995--).85 En 1982 se crea el Consejo de administracin de la Academia integrado por un consejero general y cinco superiores provin-

Cf. D. CAPONE, Relazione dellanno accademico 1972-1973, in CSSR CAPITULUM GENERALE XVIII (Roma 1973)..., fo. 59-60; R. Roy, Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1973-74, in StMor, XII, Perugia 1974, 356-357; R. ROY, Academia Alfonsiana. Chronique de lanne acadmique 1975-1976, in StMor, XIV, Isola del Liri 1976, 389: L. VEREECKE, Academia Alfonsiana, in Analecta s.v. (1984) 190: de 1960 a 1984 fueron presentadas 356 tesis, de las cuales 194 fueron publicadas total o parcialmente; de 1970 a 1984 fueron conferidos 542 ttulos de licencia. 84 Calendarium 1961-1962, 13: por la primera admisin se pedan 2.000 liras y 3.000 por los exmenes anuales; las 14.000 de la defensa de tesis incluan el diploma; cf. CALENDARIUM 1970-1971, 29; Ordo Anni Academici 1998-1999, Multistampa, Roma 1998, 27-28. 85 Accademia Alfonsiana 1969-1970, in Orbis 3/7 (1970) 78; W. BUECHE, Academia Alphonsiana. Chronicle of the Academic Year 19871988, 270: comenz la computarizacin de la Secretara; S. CANNON, Accademia Alfonsiana 1992-1993, in Analecta s.v. (1994) 65: En 1992-1993 trabajan: Danielle Gros en la secretara general, y Mara Elena Arriz de Lpez en la oficina del presidente; ID., Academia Alphonsiana. Chronicle of the Academic Year 1994-1995, 388: Danielle Gros, Secretaria de la Academia; D. GROS, Accademia Alfonsiana. Cronaca relativa allanno accademico 1995-1996, 465: despus de la renuncia de M. Ceschini, la seora Danielle Gros es nombrada Secretaria General el 15 de mayo de 1996. Stella Padelli sucede a Mara E. Arriz como secretaria del presidente. - Si los profesores son el cerebro, los administradores son el motor, deca
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ciales redentoristas, el presidente, un profesor, el ecnomo y el director ejecutivo para el desarrollo de la Academia. Para esta ltima funcin fue nombrado recientemente Juan Vargas, el cual ha llevado a trmino varios proyectos, como la reforma del aula magna y la dotacin de aparatos modernos para la docencia. El aporte financiero de la CSSR, de Norteamrica y de otros pases ha sido muy eficaz. Patrick ONeill es nombrado ecnomo de la Academia el 15 de enero de 1988. La biblioteca ocupa un puesto central en la cultura; desde el siglo XIX hubo quienes se preocuparon por dotarla de las fuentes que San Alfonso haba usado al escribir su Teologa moral. Desde la creacin de la Academia, se ha ido completando de tal modo, que es verdaderamente una biblioteca especializada en moral. Desde 1991 se le aadieron dos secciones nuevas, nueva sala de lectura, instalacin elctrica y aire acondicionado.86 La biblioteca de la Academia fue admitida como socio de la Unin Romana de Bibliotecas Eclesisticas -URBE-,87 y utiliza las modernas tecnologas para hacer ms asequible la consulta. Han sido directores: Andreas Sampers, Thomas Landtwing (--1974), Martin Benzerath (1974-1989), Marian Brudzisz (1989--) y bibliotecarios: Albert Breitenmoser, Paul Sindermann y las seoras Mannon Handele Cardone, Antonella Orfino, Stella Padelli y Francesca Romana Coltellacci. La librera, atendida por el hermano Gaudenzio, ofrece un valioso servicio cultural y bibliogrfico. Durante la primavera de 1977 se habilita una nueva sala de profesores. Entre 1991 y 1993, se adelanta la reestructuracin de la oficina del presidente y algunos arreglos en la secretara.
Bruno Hidber el 21 mayo 1998, destacando la colaboracin eficiente que ha recibido. 86 Cf. D. CAPONE, Relazione dellanno accademico 1972-1973, in CSSR CAPITULUM GENERALE XVIII (Roma 1973)..., folio 60; MARTIN BENZERATH, Intervention dans le debat sur lAccademia Alfonsiana, in CSSR CAPITULUM GENERALE XIX (Roma 1979), Acta sessionum, 5..., folio 756; Accademia Alfonsiana, in Orbis 7/33 (1975) 35; ID., La bibliothque de lAccademia Alfonsiana, in Academia Alfonsiana, 1957-1982. A pontificia approbatione..., 377-381: historia de la biblioteca. 87 UNIONE ROMANA BIBLIOTECHE ECCLESIASTICHE -URBE-, Un progetto diventa realt. La realizzazione della rete informatica tra le biblioteche delle Istituzioni Accademiche Pontificie Romane, Tip. Don Bosco, Roma 1994, 19.

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CONCLUSIN Es verdad que al telogo de la moral se le presentan hoy retos muy grandes. Los problemas se multiplican y son cada vez ms complejos. Derechos humanos, liberacin sexual (sida, prostitucin, homosexualidad, pedofilia, pornografa...), matrimonio y familia (desintegracin, control de la natalidad, divorcio, trabajo infantil), problemas de biotica, violencia (criminalidad organizada, mafia, camorra, guerrillas, secuestros, torturas, genocidios, esclavitud, racismo...), estupefacientes, enriquecimiento ilcito, miseria, ecologa, etc., son fenmenos donde el telogo pone a prueba su capacidad de investigacin y de bsqueda de soluciones. De l se espera orientacin, seguridad, seriedad. Las solas intuiciones personales no bastan; tendr que confrontarlas y confrontarse con sus colegas y con sus estudiantes, con la doctrina de la Iglesia y con la pastoral encarnada, con las fuentes de la teologa y de las ciencias interdisciplinares..., para, finalmente, poner las conclusiones al servicio de la verdad. San Alfonso ser siempre un buen punto de referencia; l fue capaz de estudiar pacientemente y reproponer diversos puntos. Con razn deca: He estudiado moral durante 40 aos y siempre encuentro cosas nuevas. El telogo de la Academia Alfonsiana debe rehacer su proyecto de base a la luz de la complejidad del llamado mundo postmoderno. La secularizacin y el pluralismo estn causando muchos cambios en la vida de la Iglesia.88 Cincuenta aos de la Academia Alfonsiana significan historia, renovacin, muchos pasos adelante y algunos atrs, aportes significativos y modestos, vistosos y annimos, pero siempre

88 S. ORIORDAN, Il teologo moralista nellAccademia Alfonsiana, 5455: Guardate di essere moderni (teologia del tempo), disse PAOLO VI ai teologi moralisti redentoristi nel 1973. Ma essere moderni oggi ha necessariamente un significato diverso da quello che aveva nel 1973 e diverse sono le sfide socio-culturali, cognitive ed ecclesiali che la scienza morale deve affrontare oggi. Non si tratta solo dei tanti nuovi problemi particolari, ad esempio quelli della bioetica, che sono venuti fuori ora: si tratta anche e prima di tutto della rifondazione della teologia morale in quanto scienza dellattuazione e concretizzazione della Parola di Dio nellesistenza umana.

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con un objetivo: hacer realidad las intuiciones de los redentoristas y de su fundador en el campo tico-moral. Lo expresa muy bien su actual presidente, invitndonos a mirar el futuro con realismo y esperanza:
El trienio que estamos por comenzar [1998-2001] nos llevar a un nuevo milenio. Tengo la sensacin de que la Academia Alfonsiana afrontar el desafo ms grande y ms bello: difundir en este nuevo milenio la teologa moral catlica segn la tradicin y el espritu de nuestro fundador y patrono San Alfonso de Liguori.89

Quiero concluir recordando a los cinco profesores del Alphonsianum fallecidos en 1998 (ORiordan, Lippert, Hring, De la Torre y Sampers), y citando uno de ellos:
La moral tiene mucho camino que andar todava para llegar a los problemas reales en un tiempo en que el destino de la especie se presenta crtico [...]. La metodologa de la moral tiene todava mucho que avanzar hasta conseguir aquella aptitud que le permita afrontar en cada tiempo con discernimiento los caminos tortuosos de la accin moral. Las dificultades epistemolgicas de la teologa moral nacen de una doble fuente, del tener que interpretar, al mismo tiempo, la Palabra de Dios en cada contexto histrico y del tener que analizar los modos racionales de la accin del hombre en cada momento de la historia. [...] Es perfectamente esperable que el futuro de la Academia Alfonsiana ser digno de su pasado. Hasta el momento, la Academia Alfonsiana ha sido un centro de reflexin teolgica que ha testimoniado acerca del valor de una especializacin cientfica. La convergencia de temas, de perspectivas cognoscitivas multilaterales, de vocaciones heursticas personales han producido un resultado netamente positivo y ha dado a la Academia Alfonsiana un movimiento interior que ha seguido los saltos dialcticos de los problemas reales y le ha permitido substituir

Bruno HIDBER, Relazione sullAnno Accademico 1997-1998, in ACCADEMIA ALFONSIANA, Inaugurazione dellAnno Accademico 1998-1999, s.e., s.l., s.a., 12.
89

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ALVARO CRDOBA CHAVES

las estructuras fijas del pensamiento escolstico por los procedimientos de invencin.90 Via Merulana, 31 C.P. 2458 00100Roma Italy. ALVARO CRDOBA CHAVES C.Ss.R.

Summary / Resumen The Alphonsian Academy is completing fifty years of its life. The present article is a synthetic description of its precedents, creation, first steps, university character and consolidation. The Redemptorists, the Lateran University, the professors, the students and the administrative personnel have all been decisive for the development of this Institute which directs its energies to the study and renewal of moral theology. Its distinguishing mark is the conciliar aggiornamento and its intimate connection with a renewed pastoral theology. La Academia Alfonsiana cumple 50 aos de vida. La presente es una descripcin sinttica de sus antecedentes, creacin, primeros pasos, carcter universitario y consolidacin. La CSSR, el Laterano, los profesores, los estudiantes y el personal administrativo, han sido determinantes en el desarrollo de este Instituto que orienta sus esfuerzos al estudio y renovacin de la teologa moral. Se destaca su aggiornamento conciliar y su ntima conexin con la pastoral renovada. The author is an invited Professor at the Alphonsian Academy. El autor es profesor invitado de la Academia Alfonsiana.

90 J. DE LA TORRE, La moral social en la enseanza de la Academia Alfonsiana, 141.