Josemaría Escrivá Obras

We would like to begin this interview with a subject on which opinions are highly divided: the question of aggiornamento. In your opinion, what is the real meaning of this word in the life of the Church?

Faithfulness. Aggiornamento, as I see it, means above all faithfulness. A husband, a soldier, an administrator, who faithfully fulfils at each moment, in each new circumstance of his life, the duties of love and justice which he once took on, will always be just that much better a husband, soldier or administrator. It is difficult to keep this keen sense of loyalty constantly active, as it is always difficult to apply a principle to the changing realities of the contingent world. But it is the best defence against ageing of the spirit, hardening of the heart and stiffening of the mind.

The same thing applies to the lives of institutions, and in a very special way to the life of the Church which does not follow a precarious human plan but a God-given design. The world's redemption and salvation are the fruits of Jesus Christ's loving filial faithfulness to the will of the heavenly Father Who sent Him, and of our faithfulness to Him. Therefore aggiornamento in the Church, today as in any other period, is fundamentally a joyful reaffirmation of the People of God's faithfulness to the mission received, to the Gospel.

This faithfulness should be alive and active in every circumstance of men's lives. It therefore requires opportune doctrinal developments in the exposition of the riches of the depositum fidei, as can clearly be seen in the two thousand years of the Church's history and recently in the Second Vatican Council. It may also require suitable changes and reforms to improve, in their human and perfectible element, the organisational structures and the missionary and apostolic methods of the Church. But it would be, to say the least, superficial to think that aggiornamento consists primarily in change, or that all change produces aggiornamento. One need only consider that there are people who seek changes which go outside and against the Church's doctrine and would put the progressive movement of the People of God back several centuries in history. back at least to feudal times.

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