Katoļu diakoni kultūru plurālisma pasaulē. Prasība pēc diakoniskā primāta misionāriskajā Baznīcā - PDF

Catholic Deacons in a Culturally Plural World. A Plea for the diaconal primate of a missionary Church Katoļu diakoni kultūru plurālisma pasaulē. Prasība pēc diakoniskā primāta misionāriskajā Baznīcā Klaus

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Catholic Deacons in a Culturally Plural World. A Plea for the diaconal primate of a missionary Church Katoļu diakoni kultūru plurālisma pasaulē. Prasība pēc diakoniskā primāta misionāriskajā Baznīcā Klaus Kießling, Dr. habil. theol., Dr. psych., Dr. h.c. at LCA (Germany) Report of Dr. Klaus Kießling has been delivered on the International Study Conference of International Diaconate Centre (IDC, Germany) in 2013 at Velehrad near Brno, place of pilgrimage in Moravia (Czech Republic) closely linked to the tradition of the two Apostles of the Slavs St. Cyril and St. Methodius (Velehrad has been the See of the first Archbishop of Greater Moravia, St. Methodius), therefore the First part of the article draws attention to the mission work in the European lands of Apostles of Slavs today, as they in their mission work united the processes enculturation, mission and ecumenism. How can a Church be missionary in a culturally plural world, and to which extent can a missionary Church appear as a diaconal Church, a Church of the poor? Second part shows the transition from Western Church to Universal Church, discussing various Apostolic & Pastoral Constitutions, Decrees on the mission of the Second Vatican Council. Third part discusses the processes of encountering the alterity as a missionary quality, as a diaconal quality, and as a task set by the Council for a diaconate in a culturally plural world. Fourth part presents the historic examples of Protestant and Jesuit activities in the field of mission and diaconia acted together. Fifth part addresses challenges of mission today, showing examples of some deacons in the world, and expanding mission along the path of interreligious dialogue, inculturation, and as the option for the poor. In the context of inculturation, deacons are assigned the role of a bridge-builders between society and Church. Closing part defi nes mission as indispensable activity today instead of mission impossible firstly, in solidarity and representation, where Universal Church advocates the poor, and deacons act as incentivators of solidarity, secondly, by virtue of being child of God (baptism), and thirdly, not from itself and not for itself not out of fear of losing members, but in favor of those whose dignity has been violated and who are in most need of our solidarity. Thus showing the mission as interplay of the option for the poor, challenges of inculturation and interreligious dialogue. Key words: Universal Church, deacons, mission, inculturation, interreligious dialogue, advocating the poor, culturally plural world. Proceedings Klaus Kießling (Germany) I. In the land of the Apostles of the Slavs: Mission: Impossible? Mission: Impossible is the title of an American spy thriller whose plot takes place not far from the venue of our conference 1 : a CIA mole comes across a list of code names of CIA agents in Eastern Europe. However, he does not have a list of their real names, which he wants to steal from the US Embassy in the Czech capital of Prague. This calls for the involvement of a special unit called IMF; IMF stands for Impossible Mission Force. Mission: Impossible is not only the title of a well-known movie but also perhaps the conclusion drawn by a person who wants to turn his back on religious zealots imposing their threatening messages much in the same way as crying market vendors on those who would otherwise be lost (at least in the eyes of those same missionaries ). Mission: Impossible is perhaps also the conclusion of a person who wrangles with a mission history tainted by abuse of power, conqueror s attitude and violence perpetrated on those who if required were to be driven to their happiness by force. Mission: Impossible is perhaps the conclusion of a person who, in Central Europe, sees the sanctioning power of the church diminishing and to whom, therefore the very act of thinking, let alone speaking about mission in a religious sense, seems ridiculous. There is a good chance that in doing so he will trigger defensiveness and lack of understanding and that the effects will be painful (see Bucher, 1988, 303). It is even more astonishing for me to see the ease with which today every company publishes its mission statement on its website and politician s go on peace missions. In those areas at least, the notion of mission lives on without triggering allergic reaction. Mission: Impossible is perhaps the conclusion of a person who does not want to be confused with those who believe in a fundamentalist way in everything under the sun in this word or that ceremony but not in the living God who are therefore driven more by their own fears than by an option for the poor, that is, an option for people that they could eventually enter a relationship with perhaps in such a way that the option for the poor themselves would at last begin to matter. But with that it is an alternative understanding of mission, which suggests itself. Nevertheless, how can a Church be missionary 2, without imposing itself upon others, upon those who would like to be left alone from a religious point of view? How can a Church be missionary in a culturally plural world, without becoming guilty of breaking the peace in the house from a religious point of view? (see Collet, 2004, 309) Would this not also beg the conclusion of Mission: Impossible? Moreover, to which extent can a missionary Church appear as a diaconal Church, a Church of the poor? (see Köß, 2003) What is the task of the diaconate in all this? It is these questions that I would like to explore with you here in this shrine in the jubilee year of the 1150 th anniversary of the mission of the apostles of the Slavs Cyril and Methodius. With these two saints, this place of high spirituality also becomes a programme: they started some processes, which we now call inculturation, mission and ecumenism. We are going to address these topics naturally from a diaconal perspective. II. From Western Church to Universal Church an epoch making change by the Council s Church Most Christians today live in the southern regions of planet Earth; this fact alone compels the Church to take leave of its former understanding of itself as a Western Church, which would impose its own theology, liturgy and structures as a norm for the whole world. In this sense, we can still speak of Mission: Impossible. 284 Latvian Christian Academy Catholic Deacons in a Culturally Plural World. A Plea for the diaconal primate of a missionary Church: pp For even if, within the context of colonial history Christianity spread worldwide, with this universalization as a Western Church, no Universal Church took shape 3. For the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council represents the first official self-concretion as a Universal Church and with that the breakthrough towards a Christianity rooted in a plural culture. Apostolic Constitution Lumen gentium on the Church This epoch making change from a Western to a Universal Church could take place because the Council offers a new outline of a relationship between the Church and the world. For the dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium the Church is a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race (Lumen gentium, 1). She receives the mission to proclaim and to spread among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God (Ibid., 5). The Council also formulates a position on the difference between the Church and the Kingdom of God: Until there shall be new heavens and a new earth (..), the pilgrim Church (..) has the appearance of this world which is passing and (..) dwells among creatures that groan and travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the sons of God (Ibid., 48). The Constitution on the Church then goes on to express its missionary claim and gives it a Trinitarian basis: As the Son was sent by the Father, so He too sent the Apostles (cf. John 20:21), saying: Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world (Matt 28: 18-20). The Constitution specifically says: The obligation of spreading the faith is imposed on every disciple of Christ, according to his state (Lumen gentium, 17). The Church starts from the universality of the Gospel and cooperates in giving shape to the cultural change (see Sievernich, 2004, 21sq; Collet, 2006a, 117). Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes The Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes is called pastoral because it seeks to present the Church s relationship to the world and to the people of today (Rahner, 1985, 449). In this sense, the text becomes a sort of follow up to the Constitution on the Church and a call to scrutinize the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel (Gaudium et spes, 4), as well as a signal of a readiness to learn and to dialogue on a worldwide scale, inasmuch as the Church recognises that all men, believers and unbelievers alike, ought to work for the rightful betterment of this world in which all alike live (Ibid., 21). If the Council does not only turn to the faithful but to all people, the missionary habitus manifests itself as the main attitude of a Church that strive to make valid in practice God s universal promise of salvation (see Bünker, 2007). Decree Ad gentes on the mission The Vatican Council s decree on the Church s missionary activity Ad gentes understands the Church as a universal sacrament of salvation (Ad gentes, 1). She seizes her sacramentality inasmuch as she lives her universal mission: The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature (i.e., on a journey, to which she was sent) (Ibid., 2) 4. The Council explicitly recognizes means of salvation outside the Church if and because God in ways known to himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find (..) faith (Ibid., 7). The sacramentality of the Church for the world, into which she is sent, is not, therefore, exhausted in the mere increase of the number of her members. Proceedings Klaus Kießling (Germany) She counts on the mystery of her faith, on the action of God, which escapes the understanding of the Church and at the same time sets free the missionary action of the Church and relieves her from the burden of exaggerated conversion expectations. Apostolic letter Evangelii nuntiandi The Council s intentions regarding the mission are reflected in the Apostolic Letter Evangelii nuntiandi, in which Pope Paul VI sets new accents in the notion of the Church s mission with the notion of evangelization : Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity 5. As bearer of the evangelization the Church is herself borne by the Gospel and she is supposed to evangelize herself. The mission is to be understood also as a moment of the Church s self-criticism, as she has not to set herself above but under the message about the Kingdom of God. A pilgrim Church does not simply have the Gospel but is herself a seeking Church. It is important to notice that Evangelii nuntiandi closes with a chapter on the spirit of evangelization. The perspective is thereby widened by the power of the Spirit whose action is not limited to the boundaries of the Church. From Him comes a valorisation that is given to believers, non-believers and other believers alike, to one s own and to other religions to one s own and to other cultures, to the familiar as well as to the yet unknown. III. Encountering alterity as a missionary quality Encountering foreign people and alterity does not only happen when people are sent out into the wide world as we are to Velehrad. No, we encounter alterity in the very heart of the Christian faith, in the quest for God (see Bucher, 1988, 303). God is the last word, before we become silent, faced as we are with the mystery of our own life, and with the opening towards the ineffable mystery (Rahner, 1976, 60) it is something entirely different and entirely unknown which is opened. In faith we do not therefore enter a relationship with alterity in a retroactive fashion, but we are permanently confronted with the acceptance of alterity (Bucher, 1988, 304). Whoever denies that, betrays alterity, betrays the people who are different and in doing so betrays faith and himself. In this sense the Christian action doesn t acquire a missionary quality only if people go to continents other than their own but also when they look for alterity in their own country, in their own Church and in their own relationship to God and the world (see Müller, 2004, ); if they go outside of themselves and find themselves outside, inasmuch as they let themselves be touched by alterity and by other people and they expose that which is their own and the reality which is theirs to alterity and to the risk of alienation; if they allow for the way people change each other thanks to visible and tangible differences, if they allow for the way change adjusts itself and takes place, if they allow for the way in which what is my won becomes strange for the way that which is strange touches me, for the way that which is strange remains so. as a diaconal quality (..) I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35 and, with a reversed sign Matt 25:43), we hear in the speech about the last Judgment. Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Matt 25:40 and accordingly Matt 25:45). 286 Latvian Christian Academy Catholic Deacons in a Culturally Plural World. A Plea for the diaconal primate of a missionary Church: pp Moreover, I would add sisters. The love for one s neighbour as a primary act of the love for God refers really to the neighbours and, once you re outside your familiar environment, the farthest become the nearest. Jesus is already there where we need to bring him but he wants us to find him there among our fellow humans (Wanke, 2001, 30). But seeking the other does not qualify merely the missionary action, but at the same time with it the diaconal action. Missionary and at the same time diaconal attempts to enter a relationship with alterity and with other people find their radical intensification in the confrontation with God as mystery of our life. Primarily and ultimately they lead to the incomprehensibility of God who does not allow himself to be appropriated and literally does not allow himself to be grasped, who comes close and escapes, as the one who is near remains at the same time distant and extraneous. as a task set by the Council for a diaconate in a culturally plural world Against this background one should not be astonished that it is precisely in the Decree on Mission (see: Ad gentes, 16) that the reinstatement of permanent diaconate is referred to 6. I understand diakonia to mean the ecclesial action, which Christ sets on equal footing with the love for God, i.e., the love for one s neighbour. This is not only the duty of permanent deacons, but they incentivize every Christian to it for everyone carries everyone else, everyone is responsible for everyone else and everyone matters for everyone else, even in the order of salvation (Rahner, 1967, 226). Moreover, from the more recent studies 7, a closeness emerges between diaconal and missionary tasks. They assign to the deacon some actions of transmission, which suppose a commissioning (Hentschel, 2007, ) e.g., the proclamation of the Gospel or the conveying of news or collections as we see in St. Paul s letters (for instance, 1 Cor 3:5; Col 1:7, 23-29; 2 Cor 3:5sq and 8:19; 1 Thess 3: 1-13; Rom 16:1sq). The characteristic activity seems to be one of a messenger who sees himself as bound to carry out a missionary kind of proclamation and, as a Go-Between acts as an intermediary as the Australian John Neil Collins never ceases to phrase it 9. IV. Mission and diakonia - the examples of a Protestant and a Jesuit Johann Hinrich Wichern As early as 1848, in the very first Day of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, held in Wittenberg, Johann Hinrich Wichern (see Seebaß, 1999) gave the fi rst impulse to the so-called Inner Mission of his Church. This formula would indicate both a missionary and a diaconal responsibility and therefore a connection, which characterizes also the City Mission, the Railway Station Mission and the Sailors Mission. Others followed this example offered by a Protestant, the first one being that of a Jesuit. Alfred Delp, SJ 10 For almost one century later, but in a very impressive fashion, Alfred Delp stresses the connection between missionary and diaconal action, oriented towards the Gospel on the one hand and towards social need on the other hand. In 1944, i.e., in the very year that he was executed by Nazi Germany, he stated: We became a mission country and a mission territory may be entered only with a true wish to be a missionary (..) defensive is a loss and surrender that which is essential to us (Delp, 1984, 319). Delp urges to a missionary dialogue with our times (Delp, 1985, 280) and stakes on Proceedings Klaus Kießling (Germany) a radically diaconal Church: Nobody will believe the message about salvation and about the Saviour, as long as we haven t spent ourselves up to shedding our blood in the service of the physically, psychologically, socially, economically, morally or otherwise ill person (Delp, 1984, 319). In his text written in a Berlin prison, Delp writes about a return to diakonia: By this I mean to follow the human being, to accompany the person s journey, to be at the side of the human being in the very moments in which he is surrounded by moral corruption and error. Go out into the whole world said the Master and not sit and wait here for somebody to come (...) it makes no sense to be satisfied with a preaching or religious permit with a parish priest s or prelate s salary and to leave humanity to its fate (Delp, 1984, ). Alfred Delp s warning against ecclesial self-sufficiency applies to all those who arrange themselves with the world in its current state and are quite comfortable with it. Do we carry out our mission in the name of God or in the name of commodity? V. Mission today the example of some deacons around the world I would like to sketch the mission today and explain it by means of some examples taking three different paths. Mission along the path of interreligious dialogue The aim of the mission is not to clericalize or to repair an old building but to make effective, across all borders, God s universal promise of salvation and to fulfil it in a diaconal way. Inasmuch as the Church goes beyond her own borders and at the same time finds herself outside, she remains and becomes herself. She goes beyond herself because her mission does not allow for anything else (see John, 2001). In this way mission does not risk being cut to the size of mere internal Church goals, so that the growth of the Kingdom of God be could and should be reduced to the number of Church members. Quite to the contrary, this would lead to the growth in the trust in the fact that God acts before the missionary and that also those who don t belong to the Church are connected to the Kingdom of God in mysterious ways. This trust turns mission into interreligious dialogue. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the Pro Diakonia project, with which I was entrusted as I was still a deacon in secret. This project wishes to strengthen the diaconal characteristic of our Catholic Church, as is being done by Pope Francis for the last few months (see Fürst, 2013, 14-15), and show the face of the diaconate with very clear features. Pro Diakonia went on from Europe to Latin America, from Southern Africa to India (see Kießling, 2012a; Kießling, 2012b, Kießling & Wagener, 2012) to the Small Christian Communities (see Penha, 2011) in that country. Perm
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