Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jesus must be reinterpreted: Jesuit General

In an interview with a Swiss newspaper, the Jesuit Superior General, Venezuelan Arturo Sosa Abascal, said the words Jesus spoke were expressed in a language and setting that needed to be contextualised.

Fr Sosa who is said to be very close to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was speaking to the Swiss vaticanista Giuseppe Rusconi for the blog Rossoporpora and for the "Giornale del Popolo" of Lugano.

Q: Cardinal Gerhard L. Műller, prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the faith, has said with regard to marriage that the words of Jesus are very clear and "no power in heaven and on earth, neither an angel nor the pope, neither a council nor a law of the bishops has the faculty to modify them."

A: So then, there would have to be a lot of reflection on what Jesus really said. At that time, no one had a recorder to take down his words. What is known is that the words of Jesus must be contextualised, they are expressed in a language, in a specific setting, they are addressed to someone in particular.

Q: But discernment is evaluation, it is choosing among different options. There is no longer an obligation to follow just one interpretation. 

A: No, the obligation is still there, but to follow the result of discernment.

Q: However, the final decision is based on a judgment relative to different hypotheses. So it also takes into consideration the hypothesis that the phrase "let man not put asunder" is not exactly as it appears. In short, it brings the word of Jesus into doubt.

A: Not the word of Jesus, but the word of Jesus as we have interpreted it. Discernment does not select among different hypotheses but listens to the Holy Spirit, who - as Jesus has promised - helps us to understand the signs of God's presence in human history.

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