Accompany the marginalised

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our August edition beginning with Pope Francis reminding us of our duty to accompany the marginalised.

In ACI news, we present our two new directors for ACI elected at our AGM this week and thank outgoing president Brian Lawrence for his three years of service to the institute.

Pat Branson presents his latest Gospel enquiry on the unforgiving servant while Richard Pütz reflects on the challenges of an increasingly automatised world.

We recall the 50th anniversary of the English edition of Gustavo Gutierrez's chef d'oeuvre A Theology of Liberation and we recall the centenary of the birth of Argentine martyr and jocist chaplain, Bishop Enrique Angelelli.

Our September ACI webinar will feature Fr Filip Fanchette, the Mauritian expert in the methodology of Paulo Freire, and we also have the video from my talk on Léon Ollé-Laprune last month.

With the First Assembly of the Synod on Synodality now less than two months away I analyse the alarming drop in representation of lay movements at Synods from 1987 to the present.

We congratulate former ACI director, Greg Lopez, on his appointment as assistant coordinator of the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) Asian-Pacific chaplaincy team.

And we finish with St Oscar Romero on the see-judge-act.

Lots more coming over the next twelve months!

Stefan Gigacz
Accompany the marginalised: Pope to Spanish workers
In a message for the 14th General Assembly of the Spanish Christian Workers Movement (HOAC) in Segovia, Pope Francis urged Catholics to accompany people struggling on the margins of the economy.

Pope Francis addressed his message to participants in the HOAC meeting from 12-15 August 2023, which bears the theme “Building Bridges, Tearing Down Walls: The Church in the World of Work Weaving Bonds of Fraternity”.


Accompany the marginalised: Pope to Spanish workers (ACI)
Two new directors for ACI
ACI's Fifth Annual General Meeting took place on Tuesday 22 August 2023.

Sr Michelle Nailon was our guest speaker on the theme "Ethics in the workplace."

Both candidates for the ACI board, Dr Paul Lentern and Ms Gemma Wooltorton, were declared elected as directors.

A motion of thanks to outgoing president, Brian Lawrence, was passed unanimously.

The AGM also expressed its condolences to the family and friends of the late Fr Peter Maher, an ACI member-shareholder, and also to the family and friends of Frank Purcell, a longstanding supporter of the Cardijn movements.

Full report available soon.
Gospel Enquiry: The unforgiving servant
This Gospel reading presents Jesus’ parable about the unforgiving servant, writes Pat Branson in his latest Gospel Reflection.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, when my fellow believer sins against me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, you must forgive him more than seven times. You must forgive him even if he wrongs you seventy times seven.


Being Forgiven and Forgiving (Cardijn Reflections)

50 years of Gustavo Gutierrez’s Theology of Liberation
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first English edition of Gustavo Gutierrez’s landmark book, Theology of Liberation, writes Leo Guardado, a presenter at the Cardijn Conference in Cincinnati in 2018.

“A Theology of Liberation is a significant book about the insignificant ones of history who live in insignificant worlds," Leo writes. "Insignificance is the prism for grasping what is at the heart of the book, what it points to, what it resignifies. For something or someone to be considered significant means that it is recognized as something known, confirmed as something important.

"Conversely, that which is insignificant lacks meaning, does not convey anything of importance, does not transcend itself in signification. Insignificant ones exist without leaving a mark in history, and ultimately, they lack historical presence."


50 years of Gustavo Gutierrez’s Theology of Liberation (ACI)
Greg Lopez appointed to IMCS Asia-Pacific chaplaincy team
Greg Lopez
The International Catholic Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) has announced the appointment of Dr Greg Lopez, lecturer at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, and a former ACI director, as Assistant Coordinator of its Commission of Animators & Chaplains for the Asia-Pacific region.

In his new role, Greg will be tasked with supporting Fr Jiju Kevillil SJ, the Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Commission of animators and chaplains, coordinating meetings of the chaplaincy team, assisting with the formation of current and future animators and chaplains. He will serve a two year term.


New lay chaplain for Catholic uni students (ACI)
Webinar: Training for transformation: The Paulo Freire method
Mauritian priest and social activist, Fr Filip Fanchette, will be the presenter for our next ACI webinar on Tuesday 12 September at 7.30pm AEST.

He will address the topic “Training for transformation – The Paulo Freire method.”

Fr Filip, who has trained grassroots movements around the world, worked at the Paris-based INODEP (Ecumenical Institute for the Development of Peoples), whose founder and first president was Paulo Freire.

He will join us with several of his former students and collaborators from South Africa.


Webinar: Training for transformation – The Paulo Freire method

Video: Léon Ollé-Laprune & the origin of the see-judge-act
Stefan Gigacz presented the August ACI webinar on Léon Ollé-Laprune, the French philosopher, who first articulated the method that we today know as the “see-judge-act.”

From the 1987 Synod to 2023: The gentrification of the Church?
Whereas in 1987 eighteen people from Catholic international associations and movements were present, in 2023 there is now only one person from such an association or movement. This is a staggering drop of more than 90%, writes Stefan Gigacz.

"If 'synodality' means 'walking together' as Pope Francis has emphasised on many occasions, how is the Church 'walking together' with the literally tens (possibly hundreds) of millions of lay people who have organised themselves in Church associations, movements and the like?

"On this evidence, it is difficult not to conclude that that these movements and associations, particularly international movements and associations, are being ignored or sidelined."


Stefan Gigacz, From the 1987 Synod to 2023: The gentrification of the Church? (Synodal Reflections)
Reflection: Christian discipleship in the era of autonomous tech: Richard Pütz
"Technology is driven by curiosity and imagination – it has been one of the keys to our evolutionary success and failures as people," writes Richard Pütz.

"If we begin to think of technology as a gift, do we see the core of what a gift means? Do we understand the value of a gift from the giver to the receiver? How do we begin to discern (judge) the value of emerging technology as it affects society?

"Are we naturally curious beings inclined toward exploration, experimentation, and discovery, and there we discover technology?"


Richard Pütz, How to develop a mindset for understanding societal phase change (Synodal Reflections)


Michaelangelo Buanarotti / Pexels
Blessed Enrique Angelelli, a model for a synodal Church
Last month marked the centenary of the birth of martyred Argentinian jocist chaplain, bishop, Vatican II Council father, signatory of the Pact of the Catacombs and the Pietralata Message, pioneer of Argentina’s Theology of the People, and martyr, Enrique Angelelli.

"Born on 18 July 1923, he was one of the greatest jocist chaplains," writes Stefan Gigacz. "But in the present context of preparing for the Synod on Synodality, who could be a better model for the development of a synodal Church?"


Stefan Gigacz, Enrique Angelelli, a model for a synodal Church (Synodal Reflections)
Shedding light on what we see with Oscar Romero
Saint Oscar Romero was a great practitioner of the See Judge Act.


Blessed Oscar Romero and the See, Judge, Act (Cardijn Research)
Editorial Note: The purpose of the ACI Newsletter is to share information and promote discussion. Citing or linking to articles does not imply any endorsement by ACI of the authors' views.
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