Doctrine and pastoral care go hand-in-hand, Pope Francis reminds theologians

Vatican City, Sep 4, 2015 / 12:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Church’s teaching and her pastoral ministry are not opposed, Pope Francis said in a video message on Thursday, even though this false dichotomy is frequently made.

“Not infrequently an opposition between theology and pastoral ministry emerges, as if they were two opposite, separate realities that had nothing to do with each other,” he said Sept. 3 to the International Theological Congress. “False opposition is generated between theology and pastoral ministry, between Christian reflection and Christian life.”

“We not infrequently identify doctrine with conservatism and antiquity; and on the contrary, we tend to think of pastoral ministry in terms of adaptation, reduction, accommodation, as if they had nothing to do with each other,” he lamented.

“Doctrine is not a closed, private system deprived of dynamics able to raise questions and doubts. On the contrary, Christian doctrine has a face, a body, flesh: He is called Jesus Christ and it is his life that is offered from generation to generation to all men and in all places.”

–Pope Francis

What an excellent observation. In Christ, the pastoral and the doctrinal are united. It is something to be kept always in mind.

Does this have anything to do with the shadow council that promotes changing the practice but not changing the doctrine? Does this point to the shadow council that makes the pastoral care inconsistent with theology?

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