In his post-synodal exhortation Querida Amazonia (Beloved Amazon), published on February 12, 2020, Pope Francis exposes his dreams. He has four: a “social dream,” a “cultural dream,” an “ecological dream,” and even an “ecclesial dream.” We thought that the pope was not on the throne of Peter to dream, but rather to “confirm his brothers in the faith” (cf. Lk 22:32); were we mistaken? We believed that “the reveries of a solitary walker” were reserved for Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that the disciples of Christ should neither doze nor fall asleep, but watch and pray (Mt 26:41); were we wrong?
Francis dreams, but of what does he dream? He tells us: “I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features.” A colorful, multicolored Church, not monochrome and monotonous.
Is this a prophetic dream? Rather, it is a reminiscence. The Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio remembers the legacy of the progressive Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini. Indeed, the last book by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan is titled The Dream of Jerusalem (DDB, 2009). The book consists of conversations he had with Fr. Georg Sporschill S.J., which he presents as follows: “During these interviews, we allowed ourselves to dream out loud. We knew that at night, ideas are born more easily than in broad daylight.” The book militates “for an audacious Church,” and “for an open Church.
Francis, a faithful disciple, strives to realize the dream of Cardinal Martini who stated in his book: “Vatican II bravely faced the problems of our time. It entered into dialogue with the modern world as it is, without pathetically closing in on itself. Above all, the Council has perceived where to find the many positive forces in the world who pursue the same goal as our Church, namely that of helping men, as well as seeking and venerating the one God.”
In fact, conciliar irenism is a dream. Confronted with the reality of the vertiginous fall of vocations and religious practice, this blissful dream is a lie. Today, like yesterday, St. Paul said to the Romans: “Hora est jam nos de somno surgere, it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep.” (Rom 13:11).
Fr. Alain Lorans