Llu Cardinal Mart Llu Cardinal Mart
Archbishop of Barcelona
Apr 29, 1937
Nov 24, 2007
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English Catholic Theology Held as Ecumenical
Dec 19, 2007
Cardinal Martínez Sistach Addresses Conference on '08 Synod.

BARCELONA, Spain, DEC. 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Catholic theology is necessarily ecumenical, said the archbishop of Barcelona, speaking at a conference in preparation for the 2008 Synod of Bishops on the word of God.

The three-day conference ended Saturday at the theology faculty of the Catalonia University.

Cardinal Luís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, closed the conference with a reflection on the importance of the Second Vatican Council and the re-proclamation of sacred Scripture as the "center of the life of the Church."

The council was a 20th-century return to Christian sources, the cardinal said, recalling how its dogmatic constitution "Dei Verbum" spoke of God communicating himself to man, wanting "to reveal himself and put his tent among men, living with them as a friend."

"This is the basis of all Christian discourse about God and his mystery," the newly elevated cardinal pointed out. "The Bible is a work written by four hands, between God and man who have worked together."

In it, he continued, "you do not find archaic words, lost in the literary archaeology of ancient times, but a Word always living and effective, which penetrates like a two-edged sword, which invades the human heart and renews it, inviting it to listen and to obedience of faith."

"Doing theology today implies taking seriously the challenge of the unity of the Christian churches," the 70-year-old cardinal continued. Catholic theology is "necessarily ecumenical" and "the dream of Christianity articulated in full communion is shared by many."

He added: "The existence of the Word in the daily life of the Church and of each Christian recalls an immeasurable fact: God has spoken, has broken the silence that many might think is typical of him, and has communicated himself personally with a humanity that has always felt nostalgia for paradise, for close and friendly dialogue with a God who converses with the people of Eden.

"The miracle of the incarnation of the Word shakes the human heart, which now witnesses the height and depth of God's love. Since Jesus Christ, nothing is the same. The Word has broken men's isolation, made them neighbors of each another, giving them the sense of fraternity, a consequence of their condition as sons."

The 2008 Synod of Bishops is scheduled to take place Oct. 5-26 in Rome.
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