Today’s answer: Alejandro Blanco Araujo, Ph.D. Member of the Schoenstatt Federation of Diocesan Priests (Schönstatt-Priesterbund), Argentina. Director for the Movement in Argentina. Pedagogical director for the Estrada Institute – City Bell (Schoenstatt school). Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at Del Salvador University, Buenos Aires •
Six months into the pilgrimage through the second century of the covenant of love….what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are and where we find ourselves in the church and in the world, and in our mission?
I dream of a Schoenstatt that liberates Fr. Kentenich’s charism for the Church and the world. A Schoenstatt that takes our Father and Founder out of exile, once and for all. The Kentenich charism carries a unique vision of man, the world and God, which (united to other currents of the time) allow the Church to be part of modernity and to enter into dialogue with contemporary culture in its entirety. This, which I see as Fr. Kentenich’s historic mission and his work, can be lost if Schoenstatt remains a movement that is merely pious.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind? In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
Obviously, Schoenstatt will have to remain faithful, in its original way of living the Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother in the shrine. But in order for its contribution to be carried out fully, Schoenstatt must “go out” (as laid out by the Memorandum of the 2015 Pentecost Congress) and “decenter” from itself (as the Pope urges in the Audience with the Schoenstatt Family in October 2014).
In order for this to be a reality, Schoenstatt should:
- Firstly, understand Fr. Kentenich’s historic mission and his “vision,” which forces it to abandon structures that are far too anchored in the “Church on the old shore” that provides “security” (from the fear of the new) at the cost of losing its pertinence as a movement of “renewal.” Some of these outdated forms, among others, are based on a style that bears the veil of authoritarian behavior, has little democracy, reproduces classic forms of “clerical verticalism” (among the laity, clergy, men or women) that are (hopefully) being overcome in Pope Francis’ Church. Schoenstatt’s federative structure should take incarnate within itself, for the Church, into an organizational form that overcomes clericalism and verticalism. Other outdated forms manifest themselves in the difficulties that Schoenstatt experiences in creating new situations that flow from family and social life and, contrary to a praxis, where mercy is the guiding principle, as highlighted in Evangelii Gaudium and Misericordiae Vultus. With regard to the latter, there is a need for a courageous and deeper revision of the ethics of sexuality in light of what Fr. Kentenich abundantly reflected on and pointed towards.
- Secondly, Schoenstatt should abandon words and gestures that are too hermeneutical and cause it to close in on itself, making it difficult to enter into dialogue with culture.
- Finally it should create a Kentenich charism on the various forums of contemporary culture. This becomes practical if Schoenstatt allows the Kentenich vision to enter into discussion (contributing and listening) to the currents of the times in academic, artistic, philosophical circles, in education and politics. Our most important contribution to the social demands of those who have been excluded requires inserting mechanisms into political life that are inspired by a different way of thinking about man, the world, God and man’s relationship to God, this is the essence the Kentenich vision.
Original Spanish; Translation – Sarah-Leah Pimentel, South Africa