River Forest, Ill. — National Catholic Reporter closed its 50th anniversary year with a celebration and conference Oct. 24 titled "New Faces, New Voices, New Ways of Being Church: An Exploration of the American Catholic Church Going Forward."
The Lund Auditorium of Dominican University, co-sponsor of the conference, was filled to near capacity for the daylong event in River Forest, a western suburb of Chicago.
Four speakers -- University of San Diego professor of religious studies Maria Pilar Aquino, Marquette University theologian Fr. Bryan Massingale, writer and NCR book editor Jamie L. Manson, and Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister -- guided the more than 750 participants through the challenges that face the U.S. Catholic church in the next 50 years.
Over the next four days, NCR will post the text of these speakers' talks and video of their presentations.
Professor Maria Pilar Aquino: Theology and Liberation: Deep Voices from the South
• The kind of Church envisioned by Gaudium et Spes is that of a universal religious body actively engaged in collaboration with other social and religious actors for the promotion of solidarity, peace, and international social justice. This is a Church committed to dialogue and respect of differences.
• Rather than pessimism or hopelessness, I declare to you that the deep voices from the South are active and alive in today’s world, and that there are reasons for hope.
• New transformative processes have emerged encompassing social and religious actors, mobilization initiatives, and theological epistemologies, strengthening together the affirmation that Another World is Possible.
• The interplay of theological, ethical-political directions that I present here is crucial to the aim of building societies, cultures, and religions based on convivencia. This is a word in the Spanish language that refers to living-together in peace and concord, in solidarity and mutual support.
Here is a video of Professor Aquino’s talk. (She begins speaking at about 22:30 minutes.) The full text of her talk follows the video and is available in PDF format.
Note: The auditorium lost electricity at about 29 minutes into this video. The screen goes blank but power is restored at about 32 minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience.