In an article published in both La Civiltà Cattolica and L’Osservatore Romano, Father Allan Figueroa Deck, a Jesuit at Loyola Marymount University, discussed the influence of an Argentine theologian on Pope Francis.
Father Rafael Tello (1917-2002), writes Father Deck, was “a
systematic theologian, solidly Thomist, first of all convinced that all
theology is in the end pastoral.”
Urging the Church to become the “house of the poor,” Father Tello
emphasized that love consists more in deeds than in words and that the
Church needed to “a true pastoral-practical program” that attends to
human needs — from which theological reflection could then arise.
Father Tello was “obstinately faithful to the teachings and
traditions of the Church,” Father Deck adds, and was especially
attentive to the pueblo—the people of God with a shared common
life, in which the poor are “privileged mediators of the presence of
God, the face of Christ in the world.”