The Continental Theological Congress

Day 2 of the Continental Theological Congress
New Explanations and Questions
Bulletin 3

Continental Theological Congress
Unisinos, Sao Leopoldo/RS, Brazil
 October 9, 2012

On day 2 of the Congress, the day began with an analysis led by Pedro Rebeiro de Oliveira on the current reality in Latin America and the rest of the world. He included an explanation of the social-cultural, economic and political situation in Latin America.

In the conference of Dr. Jung Mo Sung of the Methodist University of Sao Paolo, he stated that the dreams of small communities were taken by imperialism and though liberation theology is emphasizing this, these circumstances continue to persist. In the church there exists the tendency to idolize a dominant system, one that seeks to control another. This, he stated, must be seen as an ethic problem within churches.

Jung Mo Sung also mentioned the generational gap that exists between the thought of liberation theologians and that of newer theologians who live fully immersed in this modern world consuming technology. It´s necessary that these new theologians are freed from themselves so that they can understand liberation theology from the point of view of the poor. If theology is locked within the world of academia and technology, it loses its sense of freedom.

The middle of the day was filled with workshops such as “The Woman in Vatican II” in which it was said that women will not have a place in the church´s current organization unless they are allowed to become priests.
The day ended with a session led by Chico Whitaker called “Another World is Possible in the Latin American Context” who emphasized the need of a new form of politics that reflect the cultural diversity in which dominant leaders become more of facilitators. He emphasized the obligation for people to contribute to change and continue to struggle for a better world.

It is not a new congress, rather one that is renewed, celebratory, and determined in spite of Eclesial setbacks
Second Bulletin

Continental Theological Congress
Unisinos, Sao Leopoldo/RS, Brazil
October 7-11, 2012

The Continental Theological Congress began the week on Sunday, October 7th with an important audio message that represented the majority of participants from countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States. More than 700 people relived the birth of the Liberation Theology and were joined by 7 Catholic and Protestant bishops.

The Congress began with a time of reflection where the Holy Spirit was invited to enter in and impart wisdom on the participants. Later, P. Marcelo Fernandez of Aquino, a rector of the University of Unísonos welcomed the congregants; reminding them that liberation theology invites us into dialogue, discussion, reflection, and emphasizes the necessity to explore new interpretations of the Vatican Council II.

Agenor Brighenti, president of AmerIndia Continental spoke of the context under which the Congress was assembled, describing the current global situation of poverty. He paid homage to bishops (both Catholic and Protestant) and theologians who had been prophetic figures in the ecclesial Latin-American walk and had subscribed to Vatican II. Among those mentioned were Samuel Ruiz, Sergio Méndez Arceo, Hélder Cámara, Gustavo Gutiérrez, José María Pirres, Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino, and many others. He also recognized participants, those leading workshops and all members participating in the Congress.

The afternoon was concluded with a panel called “A New Congress, A Congress Renewed” led by the theologians Geraldina Céspedes and Jon Sobrino who shared their history with the liberation theology along with new challenges and needs they are facing. Geraldina pointed out the need for us to continue in the process to struggle against the injustices that are sewed into our Latin American and Caribbean history with a thread that is red with the blood of martyrs. She reminded us that we must continue to remember the martyrs whose memory encourages us and helps us say no to injustice.

Exceeding the expectations of many of the participants, the Congress started with much excitement, intensity, and a prophetic voice that built the desire to unite this theology within the communities across the continent. The coming days will include the participation of Leonardo Boff, Gustavo Gutiérrez (via video conference) and many more important participants of the liberation theology movement.


Reliving Liberation Theology in the Latin American Continental Theological Congress
 Bulletin 1

Continental Theological Congress
Unisinos, Sao Leopoldo/RS, Brazil
October 7-11, 2012

 A press conference announced the next Latin American Continental Theological Conference which will be at the Unisinos University in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, October 7th-11th, 2012. This will mark the 50 year anniversary of the inauguration of the Vatican Council II and the 40 year anniversary of the publication of the book, A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutiérrez.

Rosario Hermano, general secretary of AmerIndia Continental announced what the Congress has planned over for the 4 days. In the mornings there will be conferences and panels with theologians and specialists as well as expositions about four themes: 1) New interpretations and questions, 2). Christian hermeneutics, 3). Practice and mysticism, 4). Theological perspectives.   In the afternoons there will be two types of activities: workshops whose objective is to build on the knowledge of the participants through activities and sharing; and open panels that will be on varying themes and provide a space for an exchange of ideas and opinions. In the evenings there will be conferences open to all of the public. The speakers include Chico Whitaker, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Andrés Torres Queiruga among others.

Julian Cruzalta, a Dominican monk and partner of Catholics for Choice, emphasized that the Congress wants to pay homage to those who have constructed liberation theology but also will look towards the future. He hopes that it will encourage churches and communities to dialogue with one another from an ecumenical perspective. The Congress will ask the question: What has caused so much poverty and misery over the last 50 years? Theology must cause churches and their hierarchies to respond and ask the question: What values does the church have and should the church promote to respond the challenges of this time? Vatican II planned for a church that was more horizontal and yet we continue to be a very vertical church in which all stems from the pope, the participants of the Congress seek to bring attention to this.

In the same way, Marilú Rojas commented that the liberation theology has been fruitful in different theological perspectives: feministic theology in Latin America, Latin theology, and indigenous theology. Because of this, rather than speak of the end of liberation theology, we will be able to speak of the fruits of this theology that today are generating new lines of thought that bring diversity to this new period. Women, since Vatican II, have a gained a new ecclesial space: have left the domestic sphere and entered into the public and social spheres. This is the type of advance that the Congress looks to achieve, in which women participate in theological reflection and the promotion of social justice and human rights.

Finally Lucila Servitje, a collaborator with the Ecclesial Observatory, said that she would be celebrating with another congress in Rome on October 4th-6th, 2012, organized by the Coordinamento Teologhe Italiane called “Theologians Re-read Vatican II; Understanding a History, Preparing for the Future” ( Her main point of issue is that Vatican II—centered in evangelism and the fundamental dignity of men and women—it is giving hope to the situations that many women within and outside of the church still experience.

The Continental Theological Conference wants to mobilize theological communities and churches throughout the continent. Because of this, it wants its results to be spread more widely, using digital media to spread its message more efficiently.

Live transmission of the main conferences of the Congress can be found at:
Information on a daily basis (bulletins, interviews, photos, texts and more) can be found at:
For more information, contact Gabriela Juárez Palacios at:

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