16 July 2020
16 Jul 2020

Rooted in Trinitarian communionTheological Seminar SCJ

Reactions to the conference of Fr. Stefan Tertünte in a rich debate. The Claretian Fr. Carlos Garcia Andrade proposes a theology of community life in the light of Trinitarian theology.

by  Rodrigo Arruda

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The fifth day of the Theological Seminar opened with a beautiful video (vocational video) of the Sint Unum experience from one of our communities in the Philippines. In addition to this, an interesting video about Cameroon was broadcast, since it was impossible to be physically present, as originally planned.

Better understand

The online seminar began by continuing the previous day’s reflection. In particular, the Theological Commission of Latin America raised the question of a possible “imbalance” between the horizontal and vertical dimensions in the writings of Fr. Dehon. Replying, Fr. Stefan Tertünte underlined that vertical soteriology in time of the Fr. Dehon certainly had an impact on his writings about sin. Therefore it is up to us today to better highlight the horizontal side of this reality. Other observations enriched the debate, in particular that of Fr. John van den Hengel, recalling that the three mysteries of love in Fr. Dehon are the Incarnation-Passion-Eucharist. While it was not possible to do otherwise in that epoch, we today must not neglect a good theology of the resurrection by putting all the emphasis on the Eucharist.

In the light of Christ

The seminar then continued with the conference by the Claretian Fr. Carlos Garcia Andrade, on the theme: “The community dimension of faith: a new horizon”. Trinitarian theology is the foundation of fraternal life. Through the new creation in Christ it is possible to build human relationships in the light of relationships in Christ. In support of this thesis, Fr. Garcia accompanied his contribution with historical, biblical, magisterial, theological, anthropological and cultural elements.

The Trinitarian root of fraternal life

The question about sin in human relations remains open, which opposes the Trinitarian ideal. In this regard, Fr. Carlos Garcia states: “the defeat of sin was possible because this sin was enveloped by the relationships of Trinitarian love, by divine communion”. This attitude towards sin must also be the attitude of the Christian in community life. What we find in Trinitarian relationships must be rediscovered in fraternal relationships: kenosis, total donation, reciprocity, abandonment. It is a profound conversion. Consecrated life is not a life of “good manners”; on the contrary, it contains deep roots in the Trinity: “It is not enough for consecrated persons to be respectful, kind, and welcoming of one another. We are called to live the intra-Trinitarian communion, that of the first kenosis. We must learn to give our lives fully for one another”.

Fr. Carlos Garcia also referred to Fr. Dehon. According to him, Fr. Dehon knew how to perceive the Trinitarian roots in the life of the community: “All this indicates that there is probably a divine root in the idea of the Christian community as Fr. Dehon immediately sensed ”.


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