Charity as “ecclesial friendship” in Thomas Aquinas
Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 65, Issue (January-June), 2016, pages 201-222
This article proposes an analysis of the understanding of friendship in the ecclesial context as an expression of charity that unites the members of the Church and introduces a specific project of ecclesial life. The caritatis amicitia establishes the coordinates of life ad intra of the Church. In the first part of the article will be described the elements of friendship, especially important for the ecclesial friendship as communicatio, benevolentia (benefecientia) and this form of expression of unity that Thomas calls the consensus Ecclesiae. In the second part, we will explore the expressions of ecclesial friendship that becomes visible in attitudes (such as empathy, consolation, confidence) and fraternal language (the famous question of fraternal correction). All of this factors conduces to a kind of “ecclesial perichoresis”, following the example of the Trinity.
Friendship, reciprocity, benevolence, fraternal charity.