John Paul II's Theology: An Anthropology From Perspective of Faith

Interview With Bishop-designate C.R. Berzosa Martínez

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OVIEDO, Spain, APRIL 11, 2005 ( One of John Paul II’s last episcopal appointments was that of Father Cecilio Raúl Berzosa Martínez, 47, as new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Oviedo.

A professor of theology, he was ordained a priest in Valencia in 1982. Father Berzosa highlights that the method of John Paul II’s theology is to see man from the perspective of the man-Jesus Christ, and describes it as an “anthropology of faith.”

Father Berzosa teaches dogmatic theology at the Faculty of Theology of Northern Spain. Since Jan. 14, he has also been director of the St. Jerome Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Burgos.

Q: Doctor in theology, playwright and poet: a good combination to be a bishop. Perhaps the Pope saw in you a history similar to his own?

Bishop-designate Berzosa: It would be very pretentious of me to compare myself in anything to the Pope. Advised by his usual consultors, the Holy Father must have simply intuited that a servant might serve in the episcopal ministry and invited me to accept it. To say anything else is exaggerated.

Q: What is John Paul II’s significance for contemporary theology?

Bishop-designate Berzosa: He has signified a new perspective in the “theological method.” He does not start from European theology — the topic of faith; or liberation theology — the topic of praxis; or classic apologetics — the order of the world; but rather from man as “image of God” with a natural capacity to know truth and beauty and to do good.

In a certain way, vis-à-vis classic theodicy, and the contemporary theologies of hermeneutics and orthopraxis, it is an “anthropology from faith”: Man has meaning only in the light of the man-Jesus Christ.

Q: To what degree is today’s theology at the service of humanity?

Bishop-designate Berzosa: More than ever, theology has become aware of what Cardinal Danielou expressed in his day: namely, that conciliar and post-conciliar theology should return to the genuine sources to be renewed; it should be in touch with the thought and culture of its time; and, above all, it should be very pastoral.

In this connection, the theologian should regard himself as a servant of the believing community and of humanity, to offer the only thing that is important: Christ and the Good News.

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