The Jubilee Horn
Fraternal Circular Letter
Sisters, brothers, my letter this year comes out long and weighty. As befits a kind of bimillenial Jubilee Manifesto amid dreams and shouts. Because the jubilee of the Jubilee cannot be cynical in the face of hard reality, and has to be "more than a Jubilee light," in order to be Christian.
Some believe that it is already the hour to change our paradigms. And it even seems to them that martyrs disturb in this postmodern or postmilitant memorial. With an air of disappointment, friends and enemies come hurling three provocative questions: What remains of socialism? What remains of the theology of liberation? What remains of the option for the poor? I hope that we don't end up asking ourselves what remains of the Gospel...
Many congresses, manifestos, and publications are coming out inquiring about the future of the left as well as the mission of the Church today. In any case, for the Gospel and possibly also for the left it always falls to be in the opposition.
In the meantime, neoliberalism, the total market, "the geopolitics of chaos" (Ignatius Ramonet), "the economic horror" (Vivianne Forrester) are there strangling the world. The heroic Zapatistas have convoked a "Universal Encounter for Humanity and against Neoliberalism." And the Pope himself has had the courage to define the Church in this hour as "the conscience of the new poor".
This is the present conjuncture
The present conjuncture continues being tense, unjust, too worthy of this "cruel century;" a dark finale of that millennium of discoveries, lights and technical advances. An historic occasion for an examination of conscience and for a radical change.
I glean some data and revelations:
At the end of this century and millennium, 15% of the world
population possesses 79% of the riches, and 85% of that population is left with the 21%
that remains. Absolute poverty punishes 1.3 billion persons, who live (?) with less
than one dollar a day; the number of poor in the world has tripled. [We are translating "Millardo" as the USA
"billion" which in British usage is one thousand millions.]
More than half of the Latin-American employment, according to information of the ILO (International Labor Organization) is informal.
Hunger is today more than ever "the silent bomb," and more deadly. Twenty-five children in the world die of hunger every minute, 13 million a year.
Eighteen percent of humanity consumes 80% of all available energy. In two years there would not remain a tree on the planet if the whole world would consume the quantity of paper which is consumed in the United States (which represents only 6% of the world population).
The first world invests some 50 billion dollars a year in the developing countries, but obtains a superior benefit of 500 billion dollars annually, without counting the profits from the debt. The sum total of the external debt of Latin America is 650 billion dollars.
Migration stands out ever more as "an errant nightmare," as a kind of world war, of desperation on the one hand and obstruction on the other. With the new immigration law, in the United States alone 700,000 persons have been reckoned as obliged to abandon the country. In the space of a decade the number of persons gathered under the competency of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) passed from two million to 27 million. Speaking of the resistance of the first world to immigrants, Vivianne Forrester has defined very well "this hunt for a stranger" as "a hunt for the poor." A useless hunt: " No one can place borders to our hunger," protested Brahim, one of the survivors of the shipwreck of an insecure boat in the Strait of Gibralter, last September 16.
The discrimination against women continues to increase alarmingly at the end of this supposedly democratic century. This wall has not fallen. Of 100 hours of world work, 67 are done by women, but only 9.4% of the income is in their hands. The participation of women in decision making positions does not surpass 4%. Of every 100 illiterate persons on the planet, 66 are women.
From the beginning of this final decade, Africa is being condemned to inexistence. The journal Economics, eight months after the fall of the Berlin wall, published what it called "the new and exact map of the world," divided in four great regions. Sub-Saharan Africa does not appear on that map. Without citing the tragedies more or less known about the heart of Africa and the Great Lakes, during the last six years in Algeria 80,000 persons have been assassinated. "Christianisme i justicia" has published a special edition dedicated to black Africa as the great question about "the future of a shattered humanity."
Every Brazilian is born owing, through the external debt, about $1,200 U.S. dollars. Twenty-three million Brazilians over the age of six are illiterate. Fifty percent of the economically active population in Brazil does not remain more than two years in the same employment, and 57% do not have a labor contract. Eighty-two percent of Brazilian men and women do not participate in any form of social organization.
Profits continue to be perverse. After two decades of Washington's prohibition of the sale of sophisticated arms to Latin America, democrat Clinton has given the green light to reactivate this dirty business, and our countries, so poor, are rushing to buy those arms. Brazil alone plans the acquisition of at least 70 new aircraft, whose cost rounds out to about two billion dollars.
Three data reveal the perversity of the persistent imperialism. With the excuse of the anti-drug campaign, the United States is seeking to install in Panama, when the Canal will have gone out of its hands, an anti-drug center as a new strategy to justify its military presence in Panama and in all of Latin America. The embargo against Iraq established seven years ago has already inflicted the death of a million and a half persons, 10% of the population; on account of that embargo 6,000 Iraqi children die each month. But the petroleum which Iraq has ceased to export is being exported by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. And given the instability of the zone, multimillion quantities of armaments are being bought from the United States. The CIA, the United States Central Intelligence Agency, has finally had to admit that the North American Jesuit, Fr. James Carney, heroic missionary among the campesinos of Central America, who disappeared in Honduras in 1983, had been tortured, assassinated, cut into pieces, and cast into different parts of the Patuca River in the region of Nueva Palestina. A month- long fast and pressures upon the North American Embassy by the relatives and companions of the lamented "Padre Guadalupe" obtained this shameful confession that confirms the terrorist action of the CIA also in Honduras.
Our regimes are all becoming "globalized"; the truth is that 200 transnational megacorporations control one-fourth of the economic activity of the planet.
The experts are warning us that the globalization of the privatized market economy is doing away with the laws and acquisitions of the social contract on a world level.
For its part which is the lion's part , the World Bank, speaking about the perspectives of the world economy and the developing nations in 1997, with cynic optimism notes as the cause of economic growth of Latin America, "the enormous advantages obtained with the macro- economic stabilization and the macrostructural reforms which the countries of the region continue applying." Our people know very well the extent to which the costs of this program of structural adjustment reach...
The Journal SIC of the Jesuits of Venezuela which certainly merits its 60 luminous years , in its edition of last September-October denounces "the implacable dismantling of the international forums, and particularly in the forum of the United Nations, of all that had been constructed in the previous 20 years. They stopped speaking about justice. They stopped speaking about solidarity. They stopped speaking about duties."
The last Conferences of the United Nations (Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing, and Istanbul) have referred to the so-called "soft themes" of development... because "the intergovernmental forums like the UN should not occupy themselves with the `hard themes' of the problems of commerce, of the terms of interchange, of financial flows, of official assistance for development, of the external debt, of the transferral of technologies..., because these will be taken care of by the market, or, in the worst of cases, by specialized and aptly controlled entities like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or the World Trade Organization...".
The world needs to change
"Make a world where there is room for all worlds," as Subcommander Marcos requests; "to distribute the land," as the document of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace asks. Even the General Director of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, confesses that: "we have passed from a State fundamentalism to a market fundamentalism." And, in a meeting which took place in the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he insisted in the need to "reinvent the State," that State which neoliberalism is pulverising.
Great challenges face the new millennium. In making human rights and the barely incipient rights of peoples effective realities; in inter-cultural and interreligious relations; in a sustainable economy; in an efficacious respect for ecology; in an equitable distribution of resources and riches; in the reformulation of world organisms that constitute the de facto government of the world...
It's a time to review, to make an examination of conscience and to ask pardon; but with a resolve to amend. A newsworthy best-seller has been the book of L. Accatoli, "All the mea culpas of John Paul II": the Pope asks pardon 94 times. There is not lacking someone who reacts defining that petition as a "half mea culpa," if in fact dictatorial or unmerciful actions are repeated, or the World Council of Churches and the theology of liberation are irresponsibly stigmatized. Nor does one have to wait 500 years to ask pardon; nor would it be correct to insist that only some "baptized persons did not live their faith," exempting the Church as an institution (the Papacy, the episcopacies, the Roman Congregations, the religious orders and congregations, Canon Law, theology, pastoral practice...). On the other hand, "to ask pardon for the deeds of history is absurd," according to the conservatives. One would think that that is the least we can do on the occasion of the Jubilee. Nothing excuses us. Cardinal Primatesta, the highest ecclesiastical authority of Argentina during the military dictatorship, closing the door to any possible excuse of his brothers in the episcopacy, made this public confession: "No one of us can affirm that he did not know what was happening."
And an alternative world is increasing
In the midst of this neoliberal night, many stars of alternative creativity are breaking out in the whole world. As a response of life to the system of death, which cannot be the destiny of humanity. In the face of the announced "end of history," we wish to announce the end of neoliberalism; because God is God and Humanity is God's daughter. We dream because we live: "When one does not dream one is dead," opined Freud. And, as Christians in the Jubilee, we now dream for this world of earth and of history, because God has made it God's own land and history: "We ought to seek the true cause of our miseries in the de-incardination of the Word," proclaimed Bernanos.
In the following paragraphs I am going to cite a litany of hope true blasts of the Jubilee horn of alternative dreams and initiatives, also underlining some traits of the contents of these manifestations so much our own.
In the middle of last March thirty personalities, coming from all parts of the world, took the initiative to create a World Forum of the Alternatives (WFA), at the same time as the Forum of Davos mobilized millionaires of the world around a program of runaway globalization. WFA's document is prophetically entitled: "It Is Time To Reverse The Course Of History," and proposes to do so by: "putting economy at the service of the peoples; knocking down the wall between the north and the south; rejecting the idolatrous power of money; reconstructing and democratizing the State; returning to essential collective values; "globalizing social struggles," awakening the hope of the peoples; converging "struggles, learnings, alternatives, hearts." "A time of creative and universal thinking is open before us," affirms the document. "The time of action has already begun. Today it is necessary to create a network of committed persons, popular organizations, communal centers, and centers of study"... After the first thirty signers of WFA, the list of adherents is increasing throughout the world.
Xabier Gorostiaga opportunely observes that "the new vision which underlies the alternative development is the integration of partial utopias, multiple and accumulative, based on endogenous local projects and on an ample alliance of ethical values and common values in the face of collective threats." It is "globalization from below."
From October 30 to November 2, the VI Encounter of the Continental Front of Communal Organizations (FCOC) was held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with the theme "For Humanity, Against Neoliberalism."
The Order of Lawyers of Brazil and the National Commission for Human Rights promoted in Brasilia last September, the first International Conference of Human Rights, anticipating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which happened in 1948.
"The Tribe of the Earth" was the title of the encounter celebrated in Florence last April, "against the perversity of an `englobalization' of heaven and earth into one exclusive culture, theology, economy, politics."
Parallel to the 49 th Congress of Latinamericanists, the International Colloquium of Indigenous Peoples and State in Latin America was celebrated last July in Quito, Ecuador. The Colloquium made as its basic demand, the fullest of human rights: "respect and recognition, we do not ask for more."
For our commitment it is good not to forget that we are in the midst of the international decade of Indigenous Peoples (1994-2004), proclaimed as such by the UN in 1993.
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, from August 24 - 30, 120 indigenous theologians representing 40 native peoples met together with other men and women companions of the cause for the III Latin American Encounter of Indian Theology, with the theme "Indigenous Wisdom, Source of Hope."
And in Kandy, Sri Lanka, last February and March, there was also an international Claretian meeting on "Missionary Service of the Word and Dialogue of Religions."
The mayor's office of Barcelona, Spain, has already launched the program for the Universal Forum of Cultures, scheduled to take place in the year 2004, in that Ciudad Condal, under the auspices of UNESCO, with the theme "Cultures for Peace": "Nations, Regions, Religious, Arts, Sports, and Sciences Together Seek the Culture of Peace."
Through the initiative of the Congress of Venezuela and the Latin American Parliament, an International Encounter on the External Debt at the End of the Millennium took place last July in Caracas. The document of the encounter denounces the debt not only as an economic, political and social problem, but also as an ethical one:
-because many times the debt was contracted in violation of the
laws of the countries, both of the creditors and of the debtors;
-it diminishes the capacity of internal consumer demand, and increases unemployment and poverty;
-it limits the autonomy of States;
-it excessively increases the amount of speculative financial capital;
-it obliges the sale of strategic assets of the State;
Therefore, the encounter calls for a common strategy against the debt and asks the Latin American Parliament to place that problem before the Inter-parliamentary Union, and also before the International Court of Justice. It declares that the creditor nations are debtors in the field of ecology. It commits itself to support the initiative of John Paul II, which declares the year 2000 as a Jubilee in reference to the external debt. And it proposes the creation of a forum of debtors...
Fundalatin, Latin American Foundation for Human Rights and Social Development, celebrated last October, also in Venezuela, an Ecumenical Encounter "Ethics and Democracy," previous and alternative to the VIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government.
The International Conference on Infant Labor was celebrated last October in Oslo, Norway. And this January, the World March Against the Exploitation of Child Labor is being held in Manila, Philippines, with the participation of 450 entities from 86 countries. In the world there are no less than 250 million boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 14 who are forced to labor.
Last November in Cartagena, Colombia, the First Forum of the Civil Society of the Greater Carribean was celebrated to debate especially the role of civil society in the processes of true regional integration.
On the occasion of the 30 th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara various international meetings took place about his remembrance and message. Among them the International Seminar of Rosario, Argentina, last October. And the International Encounter "XXI Century: Legacy and Validity of the Work of Che" was held in Cuba last September to underline the solidarity, anti-imperialism and ethics of Che in the face of the challenges of the third millennium and the transnational domination of disinformation and globalization. Sami Nair, professor of political sciences in the University of Paris VIII, emphasized that "the greatest originality in the mythology of Che is that it transforms a factual history into an ethical stance against injustice in the world." You will recall, no?, friends, that Che himself confessed that "the true revolutionary is guided by great sentiments of love."
Starting to take shape is the proposal of the North American economist Tobin, Nobel prizewinner for economy, for the disarmament of the financial power. The so-called Tobin Tax (a 0.1% upon transactions made in the financial markets), so a tax on capital, would collect 166 billion dollars a year: twice the amount necessary to eradicate extreme misery from the beginning of the century.
And the president himself of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, was received by the Pope together with Cardinals Etchegaray and Mahoney, to continue the dialogue of that organization together with the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development with the Holy See, in the articulation of a realistic program that would permit the fulfilment of the Pope's desire (and the exigency of the third world) to condone or nullify the deadly burden of the debt.
The Catholic Church, in preparation for the Jubilee, is convoking continental synods. On the one hand, an occasion for taking the social and ecclesial pulse of the different continents and, on the other hand, an experience more or less frustrated because of centralization and the lack of the power of decision with which these synods are being programmed. America realized its Synod for all America for the first time from November 16 to December 12. The balance is not excessively optimistic: first, because those synods come as prefabricated and are simply consultative; second, because the very preparation of the Synod stimulated very little enthusiasm and made possible very little participation; and finally because the Synod was quite closed to public opinion. It was worthwhile, possibly, as an ecclesial meeting of the two Americas. There floats in the air of our Latin America, as a bitter question mark, the founded suspicion that this type of Synod could signify the end of our General Conferences of the Latin American Episcopacy in the line of Medellin, Puebla and Santo Domingo.
The international movement We Are The Church continues growing, with its claims sensible and evangelical from my point of view for the reform of the Catholic church in the spirit of Vatican II and as a response to the historical hour which challenges us.
The manifestations of ecumenism are many, mostly at the ground level but also at the cupola, within a certain paralysis of ecumenism which many of us have lamented in these last years. The Second European Ecumenical Assembly, in Graz, Austria, from the 23rd to the 29th of July, was both a hopeful and tense expression of that ecumenism. Hopefully, Brazil is preparing to organize for the year 2000 an ecumenical "Campaign of Fraternity" which we hope will be the first of an already uninterrupted series of ecumenical campaigns.
The XIII General Assembly of CLAR, Confederation that gathers together more than 130,000 women and men religious of Latin America and the Carribean, in the face of the challenge of an epochal change has not wanted to fall into the temptation of changing its paradigm, and has proposed to dynamize "with evangelical audacity, from the experience of God and from a renewed preferential option for the poor, the religious life of Latin America and the Carribean, so that it may be a prophetic sign of hope."
Our Brazil is not left behind in the alternative effervescence of the hour. The March of the Landless, with more than 30,000 persons, invaded the esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia last April 17, first anniversary of the massacre of Eldorado dos Carajás, in the greatest demonstration for agrarian reform in the history of the country. On that occasion, the Institute IBOPE published the result of its investigations, according to which 85% of the Brazilian population supports land occupations, 94% considered justified the struggle of the March of the Landless for agrarian reform. In its turn, the XI CPT National Assembly, celebrated last August, proclaimed that land is "right and utopia," and that "land is more than land," in its fecund complexity of family, productive, cultural, and religious habitat. The Centenary of Canudos has revived in all Brazil consciousness of the northeastern cause, as a political and religious struggle for land, popular participation and community organization.
Last July, São Luis do Maranhão welcomed the IX Inter-ecclesial Encounter of Basic Christian Communities, "Life and Hope in the Masses," which demonstrated a very conscious vitality of its specific contribution to our society and our Church. On that occasion, Dom Jaime Chemello, vice president of the CNBB (National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil), recognized the Basic Christian Communities as "the most Latin American way to be Church."
The celebration continues, national and by stages, of the III Brazilian Social Week, which proposes the expiation of all major social debts, and wishes "to contribute so that the celebration of the Jubilee of the year 2000 may have a social dimension, restoring hope and the prophetic sense of denunciation and announcement."
The third Cry of the Excluded was celebrated in all the country with a truly massive participation, under the theme this year of "We Want Justice and Dignity," with its red placards and derisive whistles of protest against the system. That cry, which has been taking place in Brazil annually since `95, in 1999 will happen on a continental level.
CIMI, the Indigenous Mission Council, in 1997 celebrated its 25 years of struggle on the side of Indigenous Peoples. Its XII National Assembly, from December 1 - 5, gathered together the evaluation of the "caminhada" (walk/journey) of all the regions, and in a final manifesto denounced especially the non-demarcation of indigenous lands, or the violation of them by enterprises and projects; the pretended official arbitration of indigenous action which will permit the state to wash its hands of this cause; and also the fundamentalistic aggression of certain religious missions. In the perspective of the Jubilee and the commemoration of the 500 years of the evangelization of Brazil precisely in the year 2000 CIMI renews its commitments to an evangelization oriented toward the recognition of the autonomy of the Indigenous Peoples, through dialogue and solidarity; it demands that the National Congress reformulate the statute of the Indigenous Peoples with the active participation of those same Peoples, and convokes the entire Popular Movement and all the Churches to a "pact of commitment" in consonance with the Indigenous Cause of Brazil and of the whole continent.
Twenty-five years from the so-called "Amazonic Medellin," which was the Missionary Encounter of Santarém, there has taken place in Manaus, last September 14 - 18, the Extraordinary Assembly of Regions North-1 and North-II of the CNBB, which emitted a document with this so evangelical title: The Church is Made Flesh and Pitches Its Tent in Amazonia.
On the occasion of the National Day of Black Consciousness last November, the City of Goiás convoked the encounter Xirê Iriti Lonâ (which in the Yorubá language means "meeting on the road of hope") about cultural plurality and education; an expression of black consciousness, culture, and organization.
The Pastoral of the Child in its evaluation emphasizes the activities of more than 82,000 volunteer women and men leaders. That pastoral organization, which has already even been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, is present in more than 22,000 rural and urban communities, and during only one semester attended to more than 3,135,000 boys and girls under the age of six.
And the Church?
The Church the Churches, the Church of Jesus is going to celebrate, logically, with a solemn jubilee, the 2000 th year of the incarnation of God in Jesus of Nazareth.
In the structural conjuncture of the world tragically neoliberalized, and the hope of this other emerging alternative world, feeling the Church as divided, contradictory and quite outmoded in its structures, we ought to ask: What is being asked of the church? How do we want the Church of the third millennium to be, one and plural, participative and faithful to the times of the Reign?
The master theologian Rahner divided the history of the Church into three great epochs: 1) the brief period of Judeo-Christianity; 2) the period of the Church in the cultural ambit of Hellenism and European civilization; and 3) this our own period, which opened with Vatican II, and which has or ought to have as vital space for the Church the entire world: "the Church in the world, with the world and for the world, with its diverse peoples and cultures, its pluriform political and economic structures, its diverse cosmic visions, religions and confessions" (Norbert Greinacher).
The year of grace which the biblical horn of the "yobel" used to announce every six years for Israel, as a sacred obligation to cancel its social debts, as a period of rest for the land and liberty for slaves, was proclaimed by Jesus in his first public discourse as a universal and definitive time of grace, as the Good News of Liberation. The jubilee is, then, a kairós time the hour of God in our human hour to cancel debts; also the debts of the Church; and a strong time of personal and community, social and religious conversion. Unless what is sought is a jubilee light, a simple grand festival of an anniversary.
The Church, the Churches this Church of Churches, which also we men and women are Is it disposed to convert itself, in this jubular hour? Or is it only disposed to issue some new documents and plan some new celebrations? Do we truly believe that Jesus fulfilled the ancient jubilee that had to be renewed by periods, and proclaimed a definitive and permanent jubilee that does not need to wait for the year 2000? Before the year 2000, or after the year 2000 has passed, can the Church of Jesus disinterest itself of the true exigencies of that definitive jubilee that Jesus proclaimed with his human and divine mouth, and sealed with his blood of victim and victor?
Someone already has asked: "In what measure does Christianity help humanity to enter better into the XXI Century?" (L. Boff). Because the Church is not for itself; it is for the Reign, and to be at the service of the world --violent and poor --as its teacher Jesus, who "did not come to be served but to serve." (Mt 20: 28).
Concilium (one has to continue reading Concilium to renew oneself ecclesially) noting the scandalous truth of "the Church in fragments," asks itself, in its number 271: "In search of which unity?". Because that unity is the testament of Jesus and because "to the witness of unity that Christians give is bound the future of evangelization" (John Paul II). "The unity of Christians is, has to be, the new revelation of Christianity to the world" (Lorenzo Gomis). Still more: that unity, truly ecumenical and with the macroecumenical capacity of fraternal dialogue with other religions, will be a new revelation of God to the world.
With millions of brothers and sisters of the same faith and/or of
one same humanity, and auscultating the signs of the times in the convocation of the
Reign, I permit myself to shout, with the jubilee horn, three great dreams which cannot be
I.To serve the Reign by serving Humanity, starting with the option for the poor:
a) systematically denouncing the inequity of neoliberalism as a total market, a system of exclusion, idolatry of profits, incontrollable ecocide;
b) permanently struggling for the abolition of the external debt and for the payment of the social debt accumulated against life and the dignity of the people;
c) consequently insisting upon the radical reform of the international institutions (UN, IMF, WB, G-7...) that today do not serve Humanity as such, and privilege the accumulating and exploiting countries;
d) effectively dialoguing with the different cultures among themselves, the diverse religions, the different nations or ethnic groups, always with respect for their complimentary otherness and on the basis of equality of rights and duties.
II. To really Live ecumenism:
a) passing from an ecumenism of intentions, discourses and gestures, to a mutual recognition of the Churches as the Church one and plural of Jesus;
b) overcoming certain doctrinal disquisitions that carry a cultural or philosophical burden and some historical ambitions that have nothing to do with the Gospel;
c) recognizing "only one Baptism" while receiving Communion together in the same Eucharist;
d) serving prophetically in the diakonía of "justice, peace and integrity of Creation";
e) dialoguing macroecumenically with all religions, beginning with faith in only one God and in only one human family, within a spirit of welcoming, and critical and self-critical conversion.
III. To Reform the Catholic Church and its structures of power, of ministry and of doctrinal formulation:
a) making "collegiality an exercise of decentralization" and encountering a form of a different exercise of the papacy" (Cardinal Danneels), and effectively removing the actual system of the appointment of bishops, which produces so much malaise in the Church;
b) renouncing the ambiguous condition of the Pope as chief of state, and consequently reformulating the juridic figure of the nunciatures;
c) reformulating and multiplying ministries to overcome the clericalization of the Church and the pastoral disattention to which millions of communities in the world see themselves submitted;
d) recognizing all, in equality of Baptism and for the service of the Reign as People of God in Jesus Christ, and for that reason making possible the adult and free participation of the laity in the Church, and making effective the equality of woman in the Church by her participation in all the ministries and places of decision;
e) inculturating, by the light and in the liberty of the Spirit, theology, Canon Law, all pastoral theology and practice.
Between conjunctures and alternatives and dreams, I send you then this long letter, with a fraternal embrace even longer. Let us keep journeying in the conjuncture of our daily fidelity, in the always new alternative of the Reign, in the very same dream of God for God's Creation. "To walk together without fear" was the dream declared during a Eucharist during the National Assembly of CIMI by the Indian Pataxó, companion of Galdino, the living torch. "Practice justice, love tenderly and walk humbly in the presence of the Lord" is the dream that the Word proposes to us through the mouth of the prophet Micah (6:8).
The "yobel" of the Reign proclaims the jubilee!
Entering the year 1998
São Félix do Araguaia, MT, Brasil
Translated from Spanish to English by:
Ted Cirone, cmf, Claretian United States Eastern Province
Translator's Note: The Jubilee Year was based on the Law of Leviticus 25: 8-17, 29-31. The name comes through the Greek form of the Hebrew yôb_l, horn. The beginning of the jubilee year was proclaimed by the blast of a horn.