The Holy See Search



of the Commission for information of the
30 September-27 October 2001

"The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World"

The Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops is only a working instrument for journalistic use and the translations from the original are not official.

English Edition


08 - 03.10.2001



This morning Wednesday October 3rd 2001, the discussion in the Working Groups of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops began with 233 Synod Fathers present, for the election of the Moderators of the Working Groups and for the beginning of the discussion on the Synod theme. The names of the elected Moderators of the Working Groups were made known by the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops during the Fifth General Congregation this afternoon.


At 17:05 today, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the Adsumus, the Fifth General Congregation began, for the continuation of the interventions by the Synod Fathers in the Hall on the Synod theme The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World. The President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. Ivan DIAS, Archbishop of Bombay.

At the beginning of the Fifth General Congregation, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, H. Em. Card. Jan Pieter SCHOTTE, C.I.C.M., made known the composition of the Commission for Information (reported in this Bulletin).

Then, the Secretary General read the List of Moderators of the Working Groups, elected during this morning’s First Session. The List can be found in this Bulletin.

This General Congregation ended at 19:00 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 233 Fathers were present.


Then, the following Fathers intervened:


Below are the summaries of the interventions:

H.E. Most Rev. Rodolfo VALENZUELA NÚÑEZ, Bishop of Vera Paz, Coban (Guatamala).

The situation in Guatemala: five years after the signing of the peace agreements and after 36 years of bitter fighting. Growing poverty due to economic globalization, illiteracy, political problems and corruption, the social fabric torn apart in many sectors. Indigenous peoples compose 65% of the population (about 7 million); 65% of the population is aged under 25, migratory problems etc. The bishop is mainly seen as a promoter of communion, justice and solidarity, first of all in the Church, but also in civil society.

The bishops have achieved unity through dialogue. They have participated in the reconciliation of the country. Their Magisterium takes into account the situation of poverty and exclusion. We have been encouraged by the testimony of Mons. Juan Gerardi, the bishop assassinated for his commitment to reconciliation and the restoring of dignity to the victims of the conflict. We have also been encouraged by the witnesses of the faith, priests, religious and laity.

The bishop faces the challenge of using the means of communication, access to which requires heavy investment and which has been invaded by fundamentalist cults.

People expect to see the bishop in the Church and with the Church, not separated from it or a mere administrator. They expect a figure near to them, accessible, above all to the priests, and one who also feels the need to pray and have free time, with permanent formation, able to listen to the Presbyterial Council and the Pastoral Council, abandoning the centralizing and authoritarian style of the past. He should be present whatever the number of tasks and size of his territory.

Value is placed on the relationship with the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), the headquarters of which will be established in Guatemala. We also believe that communication with the dicasteries of the Holy See should be made easier, asking them to leave more space to the Conferences, for example in the field of inculturation of the Gospel.

Attention should be paid to two problems: the religious who bring people to be formed in Rome, and the new dioceses which need the support of the Holy See.

The CAM II (American Missionary Congress) will be held in November 2003, in Guatemala. We consider this as a call to the mission ad gentes.

[00046-02.03] [in038] [Original text: Spanish]

H.E. Most Rev. Zelimir PULJIĆ, Bishop of Dubrovnik (Croatia).

The exposition will have three points: 1. Some historical background. 2. Various interpretations of popular piety. 3. The objectives for the renovation of popular piety.

Some historical background.

From the numerous causes of the growth and diffusion of popular piety I present one of the most important: The liturgy came to form, according to the tastes and spiritual and mental needs of the clerics, the monks those who will provoke, on the part of the people, the research of other devotional forms. Another important fact came from the use of the Latin language, that was not included in the new peoples. Therefore, they retained the opportunity to research elsewhere the satisfaction of their religious needs. In the liturgy everything is precise, established, without possibility and space for creativity, for the spontaneity and other eventuality, that the lay faithful may offer popular piety.

Various interpretations on popular piety.

A particular study of popular piety is today brought to the front by a multitude of experts, who have studied, and are studying, the questions of different points of view. Now next to the theological, doctrinal and pastoral interpretations also exists various other interpretations of popular piety. For example:- the classic-marxist interpretation according to which popular piety or popular religion "is a level of the oppressed"; -- the anticlerical-lay interpretation for which explains popular piety or popular religion is like "a protest against the official religion of the hierarchy", -- the new illuminist interpretation which affirms that popular piety or popular religion is a "expression of no culture, of no civilization of uneducated, rough and culturally undeveloped people." – There is even the "infantilistic" interpretation which explains popular piety or popular religion as "an expression of immature and infantile persons";-- the so-called etnological-romantic interpretation which affirms that popular piety is an "expression of the collective spirit of the popular genius, of the collective unconscious." Lastly, there is a socio-bourgeois interpretation which explains the popular piety or popular religion as "a religious expression of the average man in a sociologic sense." In front of a large number of diverse interpretations the Minister of the Church also is pronounced in looking to renovate and recommend popular piety, especially the Marian popular piety.

The objectives for the renovation of popular piety.

There are regions where the patron saint feasts and processions represent the most conspicuous expression of popular piety. There are those who would like to eliminate them and those who would like to have more of them. From the two extremes there is the middle position, that evades iconoclasty without, however, alluding to have resolved the problems of the new evangelization, courageously explained by Pope John Paul II his "new Areopagitics, charged with vigour and dash."

The renovation has a doctrinal motive (to be faithful to the revealed truth and to the tradition of the Church) and a pastoral motive (to avoid what is inexact and incompatible with the future of the Church as well as that which has been overcome by time), and therefore not suitable to and useless for today’s man. Next to the doctrinal and pastoral motives in looking at popular piety, in seems that it is also an actual motive. We live now in the age of so-called globalization, that which has become the symbol of a promising future of humanity for some, and constant threat on the fate of humanity for others. One of the most delicate problems is that of the impact of globalization on the philosophical concepts of man, on his worth, on religion, and on culture. Popular piety helped people for centuries to find answers to the questions that humanity had always come up against, in their own journey, the meaning of life, of suffering and death. Today they also might give a positive contribution to the process of globalization, because to be illuminated by the human dimensions present in the culture and in the faith. There is something to hope for that the faith and culture illuminate the "journey" of globalization.

One seems to find oneself in a situation similar to that which the bishops had to face in the first centuries of christianity, when, they had to tackle forms of religiousity changed from paganism, and evangelization meant "to take on, purify, elevate." Hence many people were welcomed, and "baptised", whilst others were refused without, however excessive, splits and condemnations.

[00071-02.04] [ino50] [Original text: Italian]

S. B. Michel SABBAH, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins (Arab Countries).

It is in the domain of justice and peace, where hate and death often reign that the bishop is invited to make known the love of God for all human people and all peoples without any distinction, whether strong or weak, poor or rich. However, this sometimes requires the bishop to go against the current of a regional position or even of world public opinion. Meanwhile it is required of the bishop to be a prophet who makes the right word reach as far as the oppressor as well as the oppressed. This behaviour can sometimes be difficult. That is why, he can make himself smaller in order to console the weak and show sympathy whenever he lacked courage and was afraid to resort to the necessary action against the strong in order to help him to see justice and act in accordance.

The Word of God starts from Jerusalem but also war and peace start from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the city of the roots for the whole Church, thus for all bishops. They all have the duty to make Jerusalem the centre of peace and reconciliation of men and women amongst themselves. It is the Bishop’s duty to help human society in the struggle against terrorism. It is his duty to help identify the roots of evil: to know political injustice, as for example the destiny of the people of Palestine, as for example the embargo on Iraq which makes life inhuman to millions of innocent people, all sorts of social injustice which divide the world into rich countries and poor countries. That is where the deep causes of terrorism lie and where the bishops should help the international community to have the courage to tackle the situation and find a solution.

It is the bishop’s duty, wherever he may be, to be a prophet who shows the face of God to the strong as well as to the weak, to the ‘big’ and to the ‘small’.

[00072-02.04] [ln051] [Original text: French]

Rev. Fr. Giacomo BINI, O.F.M., Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor (Union Of Superiors General).

I take the floor on behalf of the Union for Superiors General and I refer to No. 92 of Instrumentum Laboris where there is mention of Consecrated persons being "the proclamation of the Gospel of hope".

My intervention is inspired by the significant meeting between a Bishop and a believer of the thirteenth century. Here I refer in particular to Francis of Assisi, who by following the Gospel sine glossa began an original form of Vita consacrata (VC), and to his Bishop Guido of Assisi to whom Francis entrusted himself with confidence. And the Bishop, having the intuition that at the heart of this "revolution" there is the voice of the Spirit, becomes his friend; he even accompanies him to Rome, to "the Pope".

Preserve hope by preserving the foundations of the VC

The movement started by St Francis rapidly spread with surprising growth in the number of friars. This caused some difficulty and a few problems but Bishop Guido was not upset: he continued to accompany this "original" group without stifling its creativity. Having obtained the approval of the forma vitae, the friars spread throughout Italy and the world, two by two, making themselves available first of all to the bishops "fathers and lords of their souls", offering the testimony of service, reconciliation and humility experienced in fraternity.

Free hope by liberating the potential of VC

The radical character of VC is the reason why its fixed roots lie solely in God, and its nature is not to let itself be set into frameworks defined once and for all.

The Bishop, sign of hop, has the task of animating the life of the religious communities of his diocese in the direction of creativity, the acceptance of the risk of new types of presence and new ministries; of encouraging and undertaking paths along which only truly evangelical charity can move; and of stimulating religious to be present in areas of conflict, tension and division, as when Francis of Assisi went unarmed to meet Sultan Malek-El-Kamil and managed to dialogue with him while the crusader armies of all Europe were only concerned with overcoming the enemy. A prophetic gesture like this is a sign of hope for everyone in all times, since it does not offer a definitive or simplistic solution to a problem, but rather opens up new horizons which may become new paths of dialogue and reconciliation.

St. Francis is the result of this spiritual dynamism: obedient to the Spirit and the Church. Where Institution and Charism meet the miracles of God soon arrive.

Thanking all the Bishops for the service of hope they have given generously to all the Consecrated persons, as Bishop Guido did with the Little Poor Man of Assisi, I hope that the Spirit may still give today’s Church prophets and prophetic communities as signs of hope on the way to the Kingdom.

[00074-02.03] [ln053] [Original text: Italian]

H.E. Most Rev. Patrick James DUNN, Bishop of Auckland (New Zealand).

Bishop Patrick Dunn spoke of the need to develop new and effective ways for the College of Bishops to exercise their responsibility to assist the Holy Father with the care of the universal Church.

He noted that the Pope himself had spoken of the need for both the Petrine Ministry and episcopal collegiality to be "examined constantly" so that the Church could respond "promptly and effectively" to the needs of the times [Novo Millennio Ineunte 44].

Bishop Dunn suggested that it would be helpful if Presidents of Episcopal Conferences could meet every year or two with brother bishops on the Roman Curia to discuss difficulties with which many diocesan bishops struggle.

He mentioned some issues he would like to see discussed in such a forum.

These included some updated comment on the status of Anglican Orders, new ways for making the Sacrament of Penance available to people, and the loss to the Church of the divorced and remarried [and their children] who often felt they were no longer welcome in the Church.

[00075-02.03] [in054] [Original text: English]

H.E. Most Rev. John LEE HIONG FUN-YIT YAW, Bishop of Kota Kinabalu, (Malaysia).

Our coming together to reflect and share the mission of the Bishops may seem to be indifferent to the current conf1icts among some nations and groups, but in fact this gathering is a sign of the Church' s concern for contemporary humanity . As we understand our mission and ourselves better, we are offering the world the hope of a better tomorrow. This hope lies in the continuous communion of humankind with the Triune God who creates, redeems and sanctifies humanity.

I represent the Bishops' Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei. We are a little flock in the midst of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Catholics are on1y about 3.5% of a total population of 26.3 million. We are able to survive because, with God's grace, our faith thrives well in situations when it is challenged. We are conscious of who we are and what our mission is.

In Chapter Five of the Instrumentum Laboris, it mentions "Dia1ogue with persons of other persuasions." It is here that experiences of Bishops from countries where Christians are the minority may enrich the Post-Synodal document.

In the spirit of collegiality, I feel that there should be full trust and confidence given to Episcopal Conferences. In a pastoral and practical sense, it would be truly helpful to such Conferences if they were empowered to decide on certain pastoral and liturgical matters.

The high demands of the episcopacy are truly fearsome, even beyond the normal standards of leadership. Thus, I propose that bishop-elects must be given sufficient opportunities to be informed, exposed, and formed prior to assuming the Episcopal office.

There is a need to re-look at the practica1 and human needs of the bishop. It has been a tradition that the retirement age of a bishop is 75 years of age. However, it is generally experienced that people in tropical regions begin to lose vitality, both physically and mentally, by the time they reach 70 years of age. At this age, some bishops feel hesitant to make decisions or simply delay giving directions on important pastoral matters. I feel that we should be merciful in allowing Bishops to have the option to retire at 70 years.

[00076-02.02] [in055] [Original text: English]

H.E. Most Rev. Thomas MERAM, Archbishop of Urmy~ of the Chaldeans, Bishop of Salmas of the Chaldeans, President of the Episcopal Conference (Iran).

The matter dealt with in the book "Instrumentum laboris" is really what the church needs for the third millennium. In my opinion it clearly shows what's the Work and mission of the bishop, namely giving hope to his diocesans. The bishop’s presence should be the Source of happiness and hope. Christ the eternal Priest, wherever he was, He was the source of happiness and hope except for the power of the darkness which did not want Him to be. We have a living witness concerning this happiness and hope, this is the Holy Father, wherever he is present, one revives Christian or non Christian, but especially the Catholics, young or old, men or women; in his presence each one is moved and stimulated. His presence gives spiritual peace and tranquillity, and causes in every one an inner joy and hope. Why? Because you can feel the presence of Jesus Christ in the person of the Holy Father. Now this question arises: should not the presence of the bishop in his diocese be of this kind, namely that people can feel Christ's presence in Him? I asked my diocesans two questions: l- For you who is the bishop? 2 - Why should we have a bishop? The answers sounded as below: l - The bishop is father, is shepherd, he represents Our Lord Jesus Christ, he's the successor of the apostles, guide and director, the one who promotes and fosters our faith. 2 - Can a family be without a father? If so this family would be an orphan family, in our church a diocese without a bishop would be unimaginable. These answers look very simple, but tell us of very deep faith in Episcopal ministry.

[00077-02.03] [in056] [Original text: English]

H.E. Most Rev. Alois KOTHGASSER, S.D.B., Bishop of Innsbruck (Austria)

The requests made to the leaders have become more numerous, onerous and difficult. They may also be excessive. For this reason, it appears evermore urgent to directly prepare the newly-nominated bishops, according to confirmed criteria (tria munera), for their task and thereby qualifying them through permanent formation. As to the services of proclamation and sanctification, in the Instrumentum laboris is dealt with in a deep and fundamentally essential way, while with regards to the task of guidance, several aspects still need to be underlined.

First of all, the diocesan bishop must deal with and control a vast administration. To do this, a good distribution is required and at times also the redistribution of resources of personnel and financial means. To do this, processes of change must be begun and oriented. Associations and Councils must be presided over, guided with wisdom and they also require collaboration. The collaborators at the higher levels must be chosen and must be shown, in harmony with them, corresponding objectives. Collaborators must be motivated and their enthusiasm for a fruitful collaboration in the building of the Kingdom of God must be incited.

To achieve this task inherent to episcopal guidance, places, times and intermediaries having the aforementioned qualifications are needed.

Second, a particularly delicate task is the bishop’s way of presenting himself to the public, especially with the intelligent use of the mass media, to the homepage and the use of Internet. The ability to make brief, essential declarations, rich in imagery, favors the credibility and promotes the public image of the Church. The practice of dealing with different groups, often opposed, just like with the representatives of the political, economic and cultural world, often requires resistance and firmness in situations of conflict, which must be faced in the spirit and with the forcefulness of the Gospel. In fact, the Bishop must be the "Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World".

[00078-02.03] [in057] [Original text: German]

Rev. Fr. Joseph William TOBIN, C.SS.R., Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Union Of Superiors Genera).

I speak in the name of the Union of Superiors General. My point of departure is the affirmation of number 92 of the Instrumentum Laboris: "Consecrated persons everywhere live their vocation for the universal Church in a particular Church, where they express their Church membership and fulfil their important tasks". The Instrumentum Laboris assigns distinct value to the prophetic character and evangelical witness of the very lives of religious and, as a consequence, underscores the "importance of harmonious relations in diocesan pastoral activity and collaboration between Bishops and consecrated persons (Ibid.)

I can also attest to the evangelical friendship and effective collaboration that characterizes the relationship between many Bishops and religious communities. Such rapport has bountiful results in the mission of a particular Church. There can also be tension between the diocesan bishop and consecrated men and women living within his jurisdiction. Many times this tension arises from an ignorance of the meaning of consecrated life in general and the particular charism of a religious family. Problems may also occur because of a lack of opportunities for effective dialogue, which is the "new name of charity", especially charity within the Church. Without a proper understanding of the rich doctrine of the Magisterium regarding the essential role of consecrated life in the Church, there is a real risk of a type of reductionism that would identify a local Church exclusively with diocesan structures. There is also a need to continue and refine strategies that provide for "constant dialogue between Superiors and Bishops", judged by the Holy Father as "most valuable in order to promote mutual understanding, which is the necessary precondition for effective cooperation, especially in pastoral matters". Mutual trust and acceptance between Superiors and Bishops will increase, if there is a willingness to dialogue openly and respectively, not only regarding pastoral coordination but also when the issue is more sensitive, such as a problem with the behaviour of a single religious or a community .

[00088-02.03] [in041] [Original text: English]

H.E. Most Rev. Joseph Anthony FIORENZA, Bishop of Galveston and Houston, President of the Episcopal Conference (United States of America).

For ecclesial solidarity to be genuine and effective, it must incorporate appropriate subsidiarity. At the June meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops the lnstrumentum Laboris was discussed in "circuli minores." There was general agreement in the reports from our 13 regions that this Synod should discuss appropriate means for recognizing that particular Churches or regional Churches can make specific decisions which relate to local issues.

The ecclesiological reason for subsidiarity is the bond of communion between the Universal Church and the particular Churches, between the College of Bishops and its visible head, the Roman Pontiff, "a communion which is exercised in various forms of participation and collegiality" (Instrumentum Laboris n 69). This bond of communion and solidarity can embrace the principle of subsidiarity in the life of the Church, always "cum Petro et sub Petro," and not weaken the unity of the Church. There are approved diversities of ecclesial practices, which do not diminish the bond of unity that unites bishops with the Petrine ministry. I refer to the regional practice of observing the liturgical celebration of the Ascension of the Lord on the seventh Sunday after Easter. There are other ways in which the Holy See can give to particular Churches and regional Churches the authority to decide matters which do not impinge on doctrinal issues but would be an expression of communion exercised in a new form of "participation and collegiality".

Is it not timely and appropriate for this Synod to discuss again the question of subsidiarity within the Church? Is it a valid ecclesiological expression of communio and not just a sociological principle that cannot be properly adapted to the transcendent reality of the Church? If it is appropriate to the life of the Church, what are practical ways it can be applied without prejudice to the right and freedom of the Bishop of Rome to govern the Church and confirm its precious gift of unity, and prevent the spirit of nationalism or reducing the Universal Church to a federation of particular Churches?

Our Holy Father stated in Novo Millennio lneunte: "There is much more to be done in order to realize all the potential of the instrument of communion, which are especially appropriate today in view of the need to respond promptly and effectively to the issues which the Church must face in these rapidly changing times." Is one of the issues the principle of subsidiarity within the life of the Church?

[00079-02.03] [in058] [Original text: English]

H. Em. Card. Juan SANDOVAL ÍÑIGUEZ, Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico).

In His public life, Jesus Christ, the prophet who had to come, anointed by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Good News, undertook the proclaiming of the Kingdom of God with signs and prodigies.

He entrusted His mission to the Church and in a special way to the Apostles: "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you" (Jn 20:21). And he entrusted them with the task: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." (Mt 28:18).

Vatican Council II teaches that the Bishops are the successors of the apostles, and receive directly from the Lord the mission to proclaim the Gospel, and in continuity with the Council of Trent, affirming that "Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place" (LG 25).

Vatican II sets forth the exact obligations of the Bishop: a) the teaching of the faith and b) the prevention and correction of the errors which may threaten their flock (ibid.).

Pope John Paul has called the whole Church to New Evangelization, a summons applying especially to the Bishops (NMI 40)

As a result, the Bishop must first of all be a missionary, a prophet who holds the Word of God in his heart and on his lips, who announces and denounces without compromising with the false values of the world, pastor and father who generates Sons of God above all thanks to the Gospel (1 Cor 4:5).

Secularism, religious ignorance, moral relativism, attacks against life and the family and social injustice which impoverishes the multitudes require the clear and prophetic voice of all the Bishops.

We therefore ask that the Synod ensure and remind us that:

1. Preaching is the main duty of the Bishops.

2. The Bishops also have the duty to obtain skilled collaborators suited to the ministry of the Word.

3. The Bishop is the custodian of healthy doctrine, attentive in the correction of errors and warning against dangers.

4. The concrete ways for using the means of social communication for spreading the Gospel should be studied.

5. There should be an examination of implications of the call to New Evangelization for the life and ministry of the Bishop.

[00080-02.03] [in059] [Original text: Spanish]

H.E. Most Rev. Pierre NGUYÊN SOAN, Bishop of Quy Nhon (Vietnam).

The Bishops’ primordial responsibility is evangelization. But how can we evangelize our Vietnam, which has the characteristic traits of a socialist nation, to achieve fruitful results? As of today, all of the mass media is not available to us. However, we benefit, in the history of evangelization in Qui Nhon, of a talented Bishop, Mons. Etienne Théodore Cuénot Thê, from whom we may draw practical lessons for our evangelization. The situation of our era is similar to that of our diocese today: a penury of priests with a small group of Christians to begin with. The methods he used during his time are still of worth today.

1. He called upon all the members of the People of God to participate in the evangelization of the non-Christian peoples.

2. He systematically organized the three levels of catechists working and cooperating with the clergy.

a) The first level was reserved for mature men, capable of dialoguing with non-Christians.

b) The second level was for young people.

c) The third level was for male heads of families.

3. He organized Catechism tests to consolidate Christian faith. He would choose from an elite to form qualified priests capable of satisfying the needs of the People of God.

A few reflections for today

1. Evangelization is the bishops’ responsibility and, at the same time, the responsibility of all Christians.

2. Young people should be formed, making them capable of proclaiming the Good News to all communities.

3. Studying Catechism and exercising the Word of God must be a priority of youths.

4. The concern for education is a trait characteristic to Catholicism. We should not forget this.

5. The diocese needs qualified priests that are capable of adapting to today’s society, to today’s era, to be able to integrate the Word of God into the environment they live in.


In a world indifferent to God, full of complexities, aggressiveness and unmotivated hostility towards the Church, we would like to present a new loving and precious face of the Church to our society, a Church destined to render service to others, to love, to join the people for her elevation. This can be achieved only if the Church knows how to proclaim, live and be full of the Word.

[00081-02.03] [in060] [Original text: French]

H.E. Most Rev. Jean-Baptiste PHAM MINH MÂN, Archbisho (Vietnam).

In the course of the past three years, as the Archbishop of Hô Chi Minh City, I was struck by a rather general phenomenon in my diocese: of the very large amount of faithful belonging to the most diverse social stratum who ardently wish to return to their bishop.

This phenomenon has obliged me to ask myself: Is it true that the Bishop is hope, the answer to the aspirations of all?

This questioning places the bishop at the head of numerous responsibilities:

-The responsibility to listen to the aspirations of men,

- The responsibility to direct hope towards God which is the beginning and the end of all things;

-The responsibility to intensely live in the hope of the risen Jesus Christ.

It is only by listening to the hopes of men, in directing their hopes towards God and in intensely living one’s own hope in the risen Christ, that he may be the minister of hope of mankind.

[00082-02.03] [ino61] [Original text: French]

H.E. Most Rev. Juan Abelardo MATA GUEVARA, S.D.B., Bishop of Estelí (Nicaragua).

I am intervening as delegate of my Episcopal Conference and interpreting its thought. My intervention is based on nos. 47, 64, 124, 133 of the IL. There cannot be a new world without new men; similarly, there cannot be a new Church without new priests. The Church, as missionary communion, needs reform and renewal in her structure and life, in her being and action.

We are in a situation like the one after the Council of Trent: in Italy, and immediately after in France, the renewal of priests and seminaries took place, and consequently a profound renewal of the Church. Now, after Vatican II, the apostolic exhortations and the subsequent Synods, as well as the latest encyclicals and apostolic letters, a similar situation occurs, a ‘Kairós’ of God to renew the Church, especially for the renewal of priests, starting from us Bishops, considering that our episcopal ministry comes within the ecclesiology of communion and mission, which generates working in communion, a spirituality and style of communion (IL 64). Which aspects of this ‘renewal’ should we stress in the light of today’s complete Magisterium? I will refer to just two of these.

1. Life in common

In Pastores dabo vobis (no. 42) there is an ideal profile of the diocesan priest, who is exhorted to live in a community of apostolic life according to the model of the Early Church. Has the time not come to ask the Bishops to recover the early sense of "episkopion" involved in life together with other priests? We should not forget that the Lord Jesus has invited His disciples to go on their mission leaving everything, but not without a companion (cf. Mk 6:6-13).

2. Kerigmatic proclamation

In Ecclesia in America no. 36 we read that "It is up to the Bishop, with the help of the priests, deacons, religious and lay people to implement a coordinated pastoral plan, which is systematic and participatory, involving all the members". Nos. 18-25 of the Catechesi Tradendae are especially important for specifying the meaning of ‘kerigma’ and catechesis (cf. IL nn. 102, 104; RM n. 44). The laity reached by our evangelizing missions are formed doctrinally for subsequent commitment to the apostolate. The kerigmatic proclamation creates integrated evangelizing parishes, the ministry of youth who are illuminated and accompanied in their vocational discernment, evangelized before entering the seminary, just as, immediately afterwards, new seminarians are not limited to academic formation and habitual acts of devotion, but rather form the authentic disciple of Jesus, the committed missionary, the pastor dedicated to the service of God.

[00083-02.03] [in062] [Original text: Spanish]


Below is the complete composition of the Commission for Information:

Nominated Members:

  • H.E. Most Rev. John Patrick FOLEY, Titular Archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican City) - President of the Commission.
  • H.E. Most Rev. Telesphore Placidus TOPPO, Archbishop of Ranchi (Ranchi, India) - Vice President of the Commission.
  • H. Em. Card. Miloslav VLK, Archbishop of Prague (Czech Repucblic).
  • H.E. Most Rev. Joseph Eric D'ARCY, Archbishop Emeritus of Hobart (Australia).
  • H.E. Most Rev. Paul KHOARAI, Bishop of Leribe (Lesotho).
  • H.E. Most Rev. Raymond John LAHEY, Bishop of Saint George’s (Canada).
  • H.E. Most Rev. Gregorio ROSA CHÁVEZ, Titular Bishop of Mulli and Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador (El Salvador).

Ex-ufficio Members:

  • H. Em. Card. Jan Pieter SCHOTTE, C.I.C.M., Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops (Vatican City).
  • Mons. Marcello SEMERARO, Bishop of Oria (Italy).

Ex-ufficio Members and Secretary:

  • Dr. Joaquín NAVARRO-VALLS, Director of the Holy See Press Office (Vatican City).


Anglicus A

  • H. Em. Card. William Henry KEELER, Archbishop of Baltimore (USA)

Anglicus B

  • H.E. Most Rev. Anthony Theodore LOBO, Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi (Pakistan)

Anglicus C

  • H. Em. Card. Cormac MURPHY-O'CONNOR, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Episcopal Conference (England and Wales)

Gallicus A

  • H.E. Most Rev. Jean-Pierre RICARD, Bishop of Montpellier (France)

Gallicus B

  • H.E. Most Rev. Georges Edmond Robert GILSON, Archbishop of Sens (France)

Gallicus C

  • H. Em. Card. Paul POUPARD, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture (Vatican City)


  • H.E. Most Rev. Ludwig SCHICK, Titular Bishop of Auzia and Auxiliary Bishop of Fulda (Germania)

Hispanicus A

  • H.E. Most Rev. Jorge Enrique JIMÉNEZ CARVAJAL, C.I.M., Bishop of Zipaquirá (Colombia), President of the Latin American Episcopal Councils (C.E.L.AM.)

Hispanicus B

  • Em. Card. Juan Luis CIPRIANI THORNE, Clergy of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, Archbishop of Lima (Peru)

Hispanicus-Lusitanus C

  • H. Em.Card. Cláudio HUMMES, O.F.M., Archbishop of São Paulo (Brazil)

Italicus A

  • H. Em. Card. Camillo RUINI, Vicar General of His Holiness, President of the Episcopal Conference (Italy)

Italicus B

  • H. Em. Card. Dionigi TETTAMANZI, Archbishop of Genoa (Italy)



The third briefing for the Language Groups will take place tomorrow, Thursday October 4th 2001 at 13:10 (at the locations and with the Press Officers mentioned in Bulletin No. 2).

We would like to remind the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) to request the access permit (restricted) from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The third pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Sixth General Congregation, Thursday morning October 4th 2001.

The list for registration to the pool is available to the editors at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Press Office of the Holy See (at the entrance, on the right).

We would like to recall that the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are kindly requested to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications to participate in the information pool for the Synod Hall.

We would also like to remind the participants in the Information Pool that they are kindly requested to be at the Press Area at 8:30 a.m., outside the entrance of the Paul VI Hall, when they will be called by name to enter the Synod Hall, always accompanied respectively by an officer of the Holy See Press Office and from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The next Bulletin No. 9 will be available for the accredited journalists at the end of the work of the Sixth General Congregation of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, tomorrow morning, Thursday October 4th 2001.


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