(Guaratinguetá, Sao Paulo, Brazil) – The 1st Redemptorist Meeting of Latin American Moral Theology was held in the city of Guaratinguetá, in the interior of São Paulo from 10 to 12 of July 2018. The organizers of the meeting, following the spirit of the decisions of the 24th and 25th general chapters that invite to continuous knowledge and formation around the themes of moral theology, have chosen to deal with the topic of Moral Theology in view of the Pastoral Practice. In this project, the Alphonsian Academy was also involved and actively participated with the presence of two of its teachers, Prof. Alphonsus Amarante and Tony Fidalgo.
The Alphonsian Academy was asked to address the issue of “Moral Theology in the Redemptorist Pastoral Practices”. The theme was addressed by Fr. Amarante who in his presentation, divided into four points, starting from the Redemptorist Constitutions, highlighted the necessary circularity between pastoral and moral issues. From the very beginning, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer has designed its pastoral care for the announcement of the ‘Plentiful Redemption’ while responding to the people’s needs. The pastoral project of the origins still stimulates us today to accompany human frailties, to form mature consciences, towards the path of holiness as full adherence to the will of God.
The historical background of the origins, allows us to highlight four dimensions necessary so that the circularity of pastoral care and morality can always show us a way to follow: the Practicality, typical of our moral proposal, capable of taking on the problems that challenge the conscience of the faithful ; Salvificity as a capacity to help and support men on the path to salvation; Ecclesiality, that is, the ability to understand the people of God in listening to the magisterium; and finally Dialogue as an indispensable means to help consciences in the true path of reciprocity.
The declared objective of the meeting was to reflect on the connection of moral theology and pastoral practice, totally achieved through concrete proposals, but it was above all a very fruitful moment of sharing among the Redemptorists of the continent of South America because many of them had studied at the Alphonsian Academy. The meeting turned out to be a moment of mutual growth.
The Alphonsian Academy was pleased to represent in this event, and subsequently the rest will be organized, and finally hopes to collaborate with other conferences on these issues. In addition to Fr Anísio Tavares, the organizing committee was formed by the missionaries: Fr Enrique López, Fr Joaquim Parron and Fr Moésio Pereira de Sousa.
Prof. Alfonso Amarante