DOCAT: New questions for better ways
A Christian, if not revolutionary, at this time, is not a Christian!
Author: José Antonio Forzán Gómez | Source: Catholic.net
A Christian, if not revolutionary, at this time, is not a Christian!
DOCAT: New questions for better ways
This book is designed to generate doubts, motivate the search, question the world as it is.
DOCAT: New questions for better roads
Before the question "what to do?", as proposed in the co-edited text by DABAR and Encounter, it is valid to ask the following question: "what to do of what?” The DOCAT, the new book published by the YOUCAT Foundation, is designed to generate doubts, motivate the search, questioning the world as it is. It requires us to show ourselves as readers before the text and continue thinking after finding the answers.
In the first instance, would we have the obligation to do something? Something of what? Don’t we do enough leading a moderately quiet life, without big ups and downs, opening time to appreciate the new television series stored in the cloud? Aren’t there enough ways to kill time just as the so-called "spectacle civilization” offers us?
Indeed, there are too many things to do. The young people, for whom this book is basically aimed for, can list multiple personal obligations: go to the gym to burn calories, walk the dog, blow off steam from the tortuous tasks to the rhythm of techno music in the fashion nightclub, register for virtual courses, attending book presentations, spearheading virtual groups in defense of endangered and expanding species, finishing final school works... what to do? We have a lot of to-do things in the notebook and on the phone books.
In addition to all, others can say, you have to rest, relax, and live in liquidity and in the lazy. There are too many things to do. Why do something else? The answer may be in this little book, although we have to search for it a little.
The DOCAT is a text that should be read from its back cover, where a sentence appears: "A Christian, if it is not revolutionary, in this time, is not a Christian!" A signature that is accompanied by the name of Pope Francis who, for Roman Catholics, represents the highest religious authority on Earth and, for many people, an important voice for mediating in international conflicts.
Why this unique Christian leader does call for a revolution? Does the Pope, a natural candidate for the Nobel Peace prize, make a call for us to radicalize, to transform, to change the world? Everything indicates yes. What the Pope has called the "love revolution" can be understood as his great proposal. The DOCAT must be framed in this urgency for social reconstruction which requires an integral response.
Because if we appeal to another statement on the cover of the book, the term "social", the call begins to focus on other directions. What to do about the social? At a time when the social implies the appearance in a magazine of colorful faces and supreme photographic tricks, the concept is diluted, lost. The social is what concerns us all, we have to be more revolutionaries here if we are attentive to the reality that surrounds us and, at times, overwhelms us.
What to do against 46% of the Mexican population in conditions of poverty, 11% in extreme poverty, according to figures of the National Council of Evaluation of the Social Development Policy (CONEVAL)? What to do with the thousands of migrants that cross our country and, in some cases, are left stranded, like the 7000 Haitians in Tijuana that the IMDOSOC reports? What to do against the 9 out of 10 silenced cases of dating violence, according to the World Health Organization? What to do against the 536 claims or grievances for discrimination by public servants in labor relations reported last year to the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED)? What to do to avoid censorship and violence against journalists, which totaled 4 to a wide list denounced by various international organizations? What to do against the countless clandestine graves in the homeland: the National Defense Secretariat counts 246 pits with a total of 534 bodies from 2011 to 2015, while the Iberoamerican University and the Mexican Commission of Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, indicate little more than 3000 records of local and national press releases of clandestine morgue cases from 2007 to 2014? The situation is alarming because, more than part of a number, each of the victims is a person, with history and infinite possibilities in his biography.
Many problems afflict us, the wanderings we would have to travel and the cases to which we would have to respond. In fact, in the presentation of the DOCAT organized a few months ago by the IMDOSOC, the editor of the work, Bernhard Messer, announced that to achieve all the goals that the DOCAT mentions would be impossible.
Class differences, migration, environmental devastation, corruption, the crisis of democracy, the advent of corporatist totalitarianism, are some elements that surpass us by the complexity involved. It requires the participation of different voices, different hands, and different minds to achieve a true change to the common good. That's why the call of the DOCAT is open, sincere. Not only does it present the answers of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to these problems, but it generates a space for shared analysis, mutual influences, and interaction.
One of the successes of this book is to put, within the reach of the readers, elements that allow communion for the transformation of dissimilar voices such as John Paul II, Teresa of Calcutta, Bernard Shaw, Fiodor Dostoevsky, Hannah Arendt, Hellen Adams Keller, Adam Smith, Leonardo DaVinci, and Fernando Savater. Solutions to social problems must be found with everyone’s participation, regardless of creeds, ideologies and times, echoing the interdisciplinary basis of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Of course, DOCAT is not a collection of phrases or disjointed elements, in the manner of an incongruous text of "personal overcoming". The specific weight is carried by the voice of the magisterium of the Church, synthesized, echoing the requirements of Pope Francis to bring the teachings of Jesus closer to social problems. For there are those who need answers to the current challenges, which require a guide to the enormous number of offers of personal and social transformation, even those that guarantee happiness without suffering.
This call for social reconfiguration requires suffering, surrender, and dialogue. This is how the text is formulated. By using the old gadget of questions and answers, the book recounts 328 microlessons ranging from: "Did God have a plan when he created us and the world?" (1) to "How can a peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims occur?" (328) in such a way that there is no escape not to find an answer to the questions, we have ever raised in life.
The text should be read with the opening that the same document shows. There is no specific condemnation, for example, to social networks, but there is a call for strong participation in political action and in organizations to defend human rights. There is an invitation to know the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, but there is no imposition of them in an ideological and reductionist way. There is a frontal condemnation of the structures of sin that lead to the strengthening of the "economy that kills" while offering the family as the guiding principle of a society in need of change.
The text can be read as a formulary, as a record of issues and ways to approach them, open randomly and finding short and powerful enunciations on contemporary challenges. It can be read in a row and understand the argumentative logic of the answers. It also serves as a basis for deepening some of the lines provided by the Social Doctrine of the Church if the acronyms and the numbers that appear at the bottom of each paragraph are followed.
Even if you are an observer, and you stop to play with the text, a character appears at the bottom of the book. A small subject that, with the running of the pages at an appropriate speed and taking advantage of what is known as retinal persistence, allows us to play and learn. The courageous character teaches us something fundamental: the Social Doctrine of the Church implies an interaction between theory and practice, between the author, the document and the reader, between you and me.
The character could not make the game if there is no participation if it remains fixed between the pages of a book, between the shelves of a bookseller, among the rhetorical skills of the presenters. You have to let the character run, let that stroke become action to find new territories.
One of the biggest challenges we face today is that these good causes, these good ideas, are just that: causes and ideas. We must do "Social Doctrine on foot", as Pope Francis would say. Go to the periphery, exit narcissistic centralism touted on telecommunication screens and intolerant political speeches.
Go to the other to build together the revolution of love. As the Pope says, it is the time of the young, it is time for them to recover that hope that we have stolen from them, to recover the critical voice but not criticize, that they realize the dreams that we need to transform Mexico and the world for the common good. Not to the individual causes that favor dissent over the consensus, not the guerrilla 2.0 against each other. Build, add initiatives, adhere rungs to a staircase to the highest to dethrone once and for all the conformity and the mediocrity. Or, to paraphrase Stephan Hessel, editor of the Declaration of Human Rights: To be indignant, yes, but also to engage.
This love revolution of love is a non-violent revolution. Retaking some enunciation attributed to Gandhi: "There is nothing more violent than non-violence". This is what touches us all and particularly young people: to change the world through peace and love.
This document, the DOCAT, is a powerful, disruptive tool. The recently deceased Lorenzo Servitje said that the Social Doctrine of the Church is the best-kept treasure of the Catholic Church. This book gives us a map to find it. Now you have to prevent other corsairs to put more sand on it: You have to buy it, read it, share it and, above all, apply it.
This small book can be a milestone, in the diffusion of the Christian message and its essential recovery. It should give time to this volume and its sequels and prequels, be it in letters and/or inactions. The DOCAT is another example of Pope Francis' commitment to this fight for a better world, as did other titans of the past century, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela.
If we look for examples, we find them. If we look for causes, it's easy to find them. If we seek voices that orient us, the DOCAT is one of them. If we seek the will and commitment to transform the world, we must look to our innerness and the relationship with the other: a virtuous relationship that involves us and concerns us to impact in a real way in concrete situations.
If there are days when we feel defeated or with few resources to fulfill our work, we can recover Christian teaching, as did another emblematic figure, Cardinal Van Team: if Christ could feed thousands with five loaves and two fish, what can we do with our limitations, with our human condition?
Recovering the initial question of this address: what to do? The answer could come if we follow the line of the Social Doctrine of the Church: To see how the world is, to judge from clear voices as those contained in the DOCAT and to act with the awareness that the road will be "long and sinuous", full of obstacles and adverse moments, but the fruits will be for everyone, even if we don't reach to see them.
A revolution like the one proposed in the DOCAT is necessary. Who will be willing, as Mario Benedetti says, "not to remain motionless on the edge of the road"? We are called to eliminate the simulations that take over the media and the institutions, we have to give back to politics its good name, allowing the others to get the bite they need, to build a better future.
It's not a minor Issue. Time is shorter and it is better to take this new path. The world needs us more than ever. Let us not close our ears to the scream of the neighbor and the anguish of the oppressed. It is time to make ourselves courageous to face our destiny with the best weapons we can: faith towards what transcends us, the love to the near and distant and the hope that change is possible if we commit ourselves to achieve it.