50 años de la Conferencia Episcopal de Medellín: Por un nuevo orden social

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Las comunidades eclesiales de base reclaman una iglesia que renueve el compromiso con los pobres y los ponga en el centro de sus debates teológicos.

Los grupos cristianos de base, en sus documentos de estudio, manifiestan que están surgiendo nuevos sujetos de cambio social, como las mujeres, los pensionados, los ecologistas, y se requiere una nueva evangelización, centrada en la humanización y la defensa de los derechos humanos

Ricardo Arenales

Estaban aún humeantes y calientes las barricadas de la vigorosa movilización estudiantil y social de la denominada revolución de mayo de 1968, cuando en la primera semana de septiembre de ese mismo año, concluyeron en Medellín las deliberaciones de la Segunda Conferencia General del Episcopado Latinoamericano, Celam, que por primera vez, a ese nivel, privilegió la opción por la iglesia de los pobres, marcando un hito en la historia de la cristiandad en los últimos años.

La conferencia de la Celam de Medellín produjo una ruptura con  las cúpulas burocráticas de la iglesia e inauguró una larga y dura confrontación con los sectores dirigentes de la iglesia católica, aliados de los poderosos, pero que terminó en persecución y martirio para las iglesias de base.

La reunión de los obispos en Medellín dio un espaldarazo a las comunidades eclesiales de base y la denominada teología de la liberación, gracias al impulso de sectores progresistas de la iglesia, que cada vez se comprometían con las causas de las comunidades pobres, de los trabajadores explotados y se unían a la lucha por la liberación nacional de los pueblos.

Iguales ante Dios

El antecedente más inmediato e importante de la conferencia episcopal de Medellín, fue la culminación, en diciembre de 1965, en Roma, del Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II, que en principio, había sido convocado por el papa Juan XXIII, para que la iglesia se abriera al mundo, a todos los hombres de la tierra y adaptara el mensaje del Evangelio a los tiempos modernos. El evento prolongó sus deliberaciones en el tiempo y fue clausurado el 8 de diciembre de 1965 por el papa Pablo VI.

La cumbre episcopal del Vaticano fue inédita, no solo por la participación de otras iglesias cristianas, especialmente ortodoxas, sino porque abordó una agenda que asumió el estudio de cuestiones cardinales como la paz mundial, los peligros de la carrera armamentista, hasta proclamar la dignidad de todas las personas, hombres y mujeres. ‘El mundo es igual ante Dios, sin distinción alguna’, dijeron en ese momento los prelados, que reclamaron además el cumplimiento pleno de los derechos humanos para todos.

La reunión de Medellín, fue más allá, y en una actitud profética, privilegió la opción por los pobres, a los que puso en el centro de su actividad pastoral. Se puede afirmar que en Medellín renació la iglesia de la cristiandad.

No a la ‘neutralidad’ de la iglesia

Examinando el legado de la Celam en Medellín, se puede afirmar que en ese escenario episcopal se miró la pobreza de los pueblos como el mayor desafío para la evangelización. Los pobres son el centro teológico-espiritual de la cumbre de Medellín. En este contexto, la opción por los pobres desató una formidable transformación de la realidad política y cultural en el continente latinoamericano al lado de los círculos cristianos comprometidos con la apertura señalada por Vaticano II.

Medellín llamó a dejar a un lado una mal concebida “neutralidad” de la iglesia frente al conflicto social, y pasar a inspirar y alentar un orden nuevo de justicia. La iglesia debe comprometerse en el cambio del modelo político social, patriarcal y antidemocrático, por otro que incorpore a todas las personas en la gestión de sus comunidades y en la decisión de su propio destino.

“Solo si aceptamos esta situación de injusticia estructural que genera una situación de dominación y opresión, podremos emprender adecuadamente la tarea liberadora de la educación para la construcción de la paz”, dijo durante su visita a Medellín el papa Pablo VI. La opción por los pobres, junto a la teología de la liberación, fue el hilo teológico y místico que dio soporte al discurso de la Celam en Medellín.

Nuevos desafíos

Medio siglo después, las comunidades eclesiales de base subsisten, aunque no en las dimensiones de 1968 y expresan la urgencia de enfrentar los nuevos desafíos del momento: la globalización, el cambio climático, la guerra, el crecimiento de la pobreza, y llaman a mantener el fuego de la esperanza.

Como en la conferencia de Medellín, las comunidades eclesiales organizadas llaman a mirar la realidad que vivimos. La indignación, aseguran, es el primer paso transformador. El mundo eclesial enfrenta la pobreza, la desigualdad y la exclusión, que siguen siendo la principal dificultad en la vida de los sectores populares. El individualismo, el mercantilismo, han dado paso a una sociedad cada vez más corrupta, más violenta, más desigual, en la que la persona cada vez cuenta menos, aseguran sectores de base de la iglesia católica en España.

El rechazo a los migrantes, la xenofobia, la discriminación racial, el auge de las ideologías de extrema derecha, cuestiones que le quitan a la persona su dignidad como seres humanos, son asuntos que deben estar en la mira de la iglesia del siglo XXI, dicen los españoles.

Generar esperanza

Vivimos una sociedad postsecularizada, en la que los nuevos ideales son el dinero y el abuso consumista de la población. El fútbol, la moda, el culto al cuerpo, parecen ser los nuevos objetos de adoración, dicen estos sectores cristianos. Y en medio de esto, “tenemos una iglesia patriarcal que sigue siendo aliada del poder, a cambio de privilegios económicos e ideológicos. Y una estructura fuertemente jerárquica y antidemocrática, con una evidente discriminación de la mujer”, con una fuerte feligresía proclive a fomentar una fe sin iglesia, por la falta de identidad con la misma.

Los grupos cristianos de base, en sus documentos de estudio, manifiestan que están surgiendo nuevos sujetos de cambio social, como las mujeres, los pensionados, los ecologistas, y se requiere una nueva evangelización, centrada en la humanización y la defensa de los derechos humanos, que incluyan y consideren a los diferentes como riqueza y no como amenaza, pues estamos llamados a crear comunidades vivas. Que generen esperanza, que se sigan formando en la fe, como creyentes que viven en su tiempo, conscientes de su incidencia en la realidad.

Estos grupos cristianos, especialmente las comunidades de base de Europa y América Latina, trabajan en la convocatoria de una encuentro mundial de iglesias de base, para el mes de noviembre próximo, en Aparecida, Brasil, población que en el pasado fue escenario de debates en torno a la teología de la liberación.

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