Commission for information of the
"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.
09 - 04.10.2001
Today, Thursday 4 October 2001, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Franciscan Order, Patron of Italy, in the presence of the Holy Father, in the Synod Hall of the Vatican, the Sixth General Congregation on the Synod theme The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the Worldbegan at 9.00 a.m. with the prayer of the Third Hour, for the continuation of the interventions in the Hall. The President Delegate on duty was His Em. Card. Giovanni Battista RE, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops.
On the opening of the General Congregation both the President Delegate on duty and the General Secretary intervened.
This General Congregation concluded at 12.30 p.m. with the prayer Angelus Domini; 238 Fathers were present.
At the opening of the Sixth General Congregation the President Delegate on duty offered greetings for the name day of the Synod Fathers on the occasion of today’s feast: In our prayer book The Third Hour today is indicated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
Whilst we live communion in the love and sanctity of the Church, which shines with the life of the saints and in particular of St. Francis, with everybody in the world and above all with the disciples of St Francis himself present here, we express fraternal greetings to those in this hall who have been given the name of Francis at baptism. There are about fifteen. We send all of them our love, affection and prayers.
Then, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, H. Em. Card. Jan Pieter SCHOTTE, C.I.C.M. gave the following communication:
11 October next commemorates the thirtieth day of the disappearance of those hundreds of people struck by the tragic attack on the Twin Towers of New York.
The most praiseworthy pastor of the archdiocese, H. Em. Cardinal Edward M. Egan, General Relator of this X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is eagerly expected by his people for this thirtieth day celebration in his cathedral.
He will bring with him for everybody the message of the Holy Father, including the thought of all of us here with the expression of brotherly love and prayer of our assembly.
Since our calendar has scheduled for 12 October the Relatio post disceptationem, so that our work can continue without any changes, the Holy Father, after having consulted the presidency of our assembly, appointed a Deputy General Relator in the person of H. Em. Card. Jorge Mario BERGOGLIO, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
I now invite H. Em. Card. Bergoglio to take his place at the table of the presidency. Thank you.
The following Fathers intervened:
Here below are the summaries of the interventions:
With this intervention I am referring to number 55 of Instrumentum laboris where it speaks of the sanctity of the bishop, based on evangelical spirituality. There it is affirmed that the bishop must be the teacher, sanctifier and pastor, full of virtue. Everything is true. However, it often happens that the beautiful vision of the Bishop’s ministry crumbles, when the bishop opens his calendar where there are the numerous encounters with promising people, prestigious meetings and a lot of other things. And when some priest or person comes who needs help—they do not find free time to receive them.
In this way we discover that our ministry is bound, depending on many things and does not succeed in offering hope to the people, to those in our trust. One must, however, free our work from every type of dependency tied to the mentality of this time.
The time of the service of the bishop may find its new dimension in the history of salvation. Inside all of us one discovers new time, based on the Bible that one may be called "salvific time." This time, we may discover in the words and the attitude of Jesus. He, from when he was twelve years old, was found in Jerusalem. His Mother showed her true concern. Saint Joseph lost some days, he ran some kilometers, in search of Him. These measures, however, are not accepted by the Lord. He is surprised: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" (Lk 2:49). And then, after he returned from Nazareth, "And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people." (Lk 2:52)
In in the words of Jesus we find a new measure, that is the measure of "grace" that defines the "salvific" time. According to the measures of this world: knowledge and age, Jesus adds a totally new thing: "grace before God and before mankind." With this new measure, the bishop is on the level to offer hope in every circumstance. Living in a "salvific" time, he feels free in his evangelic ministry, he feels that he is the true servant of the Gospel for the hope of the world.
[00114-02.03] [ino91] [Original text: Italian]
First of all, as the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, I would like to express, in the name of thousands of men and women who consecrated their lives to God and in the service of the Gospel, my sincerest gratitude for the support and encouragement that we have received from our Priests to fully realize the vocation and the mission to which we are called in the Church and in the world.
Coming from no. 92 of the Instrumentum laboris under the "Solicitude for the Consecrated Life", I am limited to venture certain considerations.
The precise and motivated picture that the Synod of consecrated life has offered, illuminates the relationship between the Bishop and the single religious institutes. "The Bishop is the Father and pastor of the local Church in its entirety. It is his task to recognize and respect individual charisms, and to promote and coordinate them" (VC 49). The relationship of the Bishop with every Institute is opened to a rapport of paternity, of guidance and, together, of asking so that the gift of the Spirit may also express itself in a generous priestly service. The Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrata dedicates two complete paragraphs - 48 and 49 - to explain the profound relationship that intersects between consecrated life and the particular Church in a fruitful and orderly ecclesiastical communion.
The necessity of the presence of the consecrated life in the Church is not only in the legal sense or simply pastoral, but in the theological sense, because the most important service that it offers, is that of being the ‘consecrated life’: the sacramental representation of Christ virgin-poverty-obedience, entrusted totally to the Father and brethren.
The Church needs consecrated life to be truly itself. The Apostolic Exhortation cited affirms this with particular vigor: "the consecrated life is not something isolated and marginal... is at the very heart of the Church as a decisive element for her mission" (VC 3a).
It "belongs unquestionably to its life and holiness" (cf. LG 44).
One may well affirm that the religious are members of a diocesan family (MR 36). The religious clergy "belong to, in a certain way, the clergy of the diocese" (CD 34) and "represent a spiritual enrichment for the entire diocesan presbyterate, to which they contribute specific charisms and special ministries" (PDV 31). On their part, the religious brothers, whose vocation "both for the individual and for the Church, is a value in itself, apart from the sacred ministry" (VC 60), extend with their many services the charity of Christ.
It is also interesting to recall the significance of "a true autonomy of life, especially of government, is recognized for each institute. This autonomy means that each institute has its own discipline in the Church and can preserve completely and entirely the patrimony described in can. 578" (Can. 586). However, autonomy may not be invoked "to justify choices which actually conflict with the demands of organic communion called for by a healthy ecclesial life. Instead, the pastoral initiatives of consecrated persons should be determined and carried out in cordial and open dialogue between Bishops and Superiors of the different Institutes. Special attention by Bishops to the vocation and mission of Institutes, and respect by the latter for the ministry of Bishops, with ready acceptance of their concrete pastoral directives for the life of the diocese: these are two intimately linked expressions of that one ecclesial charity by which involves everyone in the service of the organic- charismatic communion and at the same time hierarchically structured - of the whole people of God" (VC 49b).
In the documents of the church (LG,CD,MR and VC) there are descriptions, duties, and rights of the Bishops regarding consecrated life; they, in turn, have their correspondence in the duties and rights of the religious. It is important for all of them to be faithful to the ministry that Christ entrusts to each one, after the gift of the Spirit, so that the Church may achieve its mission: making Christ visible among men and following Him.
[00042-02.04] [in042] [Original text: Italian]
Number 17 of the Instrumentum Laboris states that "apart from a political, sociological and economic analysis–signs of a lack of confidence or indeed a desperation in the today’s world" weaken hope. Therefore, facing the social discontent of the poverty-riddled masses, without present or future, facing terror that wishes to intimidate and impose itself with force, nurtured by fanaticism with its fundamentalist and radical viewpoint, where dialogue does not exist, one cannot speak about hope in a simplistic way. Instead, using lively faith as a starting point, embracing the Cross is necessary so that, from His Resurrection, He may be the Hope of a new world.
This is the Bishop’s challenge, the servant of the Gospel for the hope of the world.
How to accomplish. Beginning with the Eucharist, in a world of imbalances, building a communion that produces peace and feel like one family. United with its brothers in a world with dignity for all and where hope may re-emerge, the hope of Christ dead and arisen.
[00089-02.03] [in065] [Original text: Spanish]
Our generation has witnessed an unparalleled expansion of the capabilities of social communications. The second industrial revolution of our times is communications. This revolution offers us unprecedented capabilities for communicating, evangelizing, and catechizing. Bishops have a serious responsibility to make effective use of the potential of modern communications in our mission of teaching and proclaiming Christ Crucified and Risen from the Dead. As a Bishop from a nation disproportionately responsible for this gratuitous and unsavory inf1uence upon the young, I acknowledge that we have not done near enough to hold the . communications empire in our nation to a higher standard of conduct and morality. Yet the world of communications offers us a two-edged sword. Not only can it be used to disperse immoral and debased information; it can be the very vehicle that promotes the truth of the Gospel and broadcasts images and messages of Hope and Faith the world continues to need so desperately. Bishops must be prepared to use this new technology and to respond to its misuse as part of our pastoral responsibility for our local church and the Church universal. Simply being unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technologies that inf1uence our entire world is fast becoming an unacceptable excuse for Pastors in the Third Millennium. The Church has always been invested in using the most ,effective means of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we Shepherds of the Third Millennium are not excused from that obligation.
[00090-02.03] [in066] [Original text: English]
As Paul exhorts: Great is our responsibility in being witnesses and agents of charity, putting ourselves on the side of the poor unequivocally and without reservations, but also without doctrinal pollution, because in us resides the grace of the Spirit and the power of Christ, who took the suffering of the world upon Himself. The Bishop has the task of proclaiming the Gospel of Hope to the poor, the ailing, the refugees, the prisoners, to all the oppressed and persecuted of the world. The Bishop must be the prophet of justice, the apostle of charity, pointing out with courage the social sins tied to consumerism, hedonism, market economy, which produces an unacceptable gap between luxury and misery (cf. John Paul II), refuting the idea that the springboard of development should be the logistics of profit. For this reason, the indications the Holy Father gave us in "Sollecitudo Rei Socialis" and "Centesimus Annus" must continuously be rediscovered and realized. As to the great themes of social justice, solidarity and socio-economic re-equilibrium, the Church is not and cannot remain neutral, just like it is not neutral on themes of peace, liberty, dialogue. The men of today, believers and non-believers, leaders and followers, must know that the Church is prudent and patient, but not silent when the rights of life, of health, of survival, the fundamental rights recognized to each and all men are in play.
The world stage, the backdrop of this Synodal Assembly, just like the first one in 1967 during the Vietnam War, warns us that the true assault was not only upon a great and industrious nation, the United States of America, but against the world economic power, against the great powers that strangle entire populations, making them go hungry at times openly, but more often in a subtle way.
The charity of the Church can be truly heard in favor of the migrates often also through sacrifices, misunderstandings and abuses, but no one will ever stop the Church in her welcoming work. For this reason, it would be comforting for this Assembly to make an invitation to the Bishops and local Churches the reception of refugees and migrates one of the more urgent works of mercy.
[00084-02.03] [in063] [Original text: Italian]
The sacramentality of the episcopate, a not yet fully received teaching of the Second Vatican Council, brings deepened understanding to the vocation of the bishop as a sign of hope for the world. Because of his episcopal ordination, every bishop is a pastor in the Church. The bishop's life and ministry are anagogic, making present the mysteries which bring the hope of eternal salvation to his people.
The sacramentaI nature of the episcopal vocation places the bishop at the center of the contemporary struggle between good and evil. In that struggle, his life is transparently conformed to Christ, his ministry unites divided minds and heals divided hearts, his pastoring unites his local Church to the universal Church and its pastor, the successor of Peter.
[00091-02.03] [in067] [Original text: English]
I would like to call your attention on the fact that the episcopacy does not belong exclusively to the Roman Catholic Church. The Decree on ecumenism of Vatican Council II is very clear on this subject. Speaking about the Eastern Christians, it says: "by apostolic succession... they are still joined to us" (RU, 15). Because of this, they "have the power to govern themselves according to their own disciplines" (RU, 16) If the Eastern discipline is legitimate with regards to the exercise of the episcopal ministry, notably the organization of collegiality, why not take into consideration this tradition recommended by such antiquity, resting often upon the first ecumenical Councils? To me, this is a source of admiring wonder, seeing that with poor means, through the vicissitudes of history, from the apostolic times, to what extent the Eastern Churches have maintained intact up to our days the repository of faith and the divine structure of the Church. Most of the time and during long periods, now was it brilliant theologians, nor a humanly powerful and organized structure that ensured this unfailing continuity. Transmission was accomplished by humble shepherds and by an ecclesiastic hierarchy faithful to the teaching of the Apostles and of the Fathers of the Church. This should urge us to sweep away all fear and not place too much trust in the wisdom of the world.
Numbers 30 and 131 of the Instrumentum Laboris deal with ecumenism, but only to underline the progress of relations between the Catholic Church and other Christian confessions. In several places, it mentions the different discipline of the Eastern Churches, but only to present this as an exception to the general discipline of the Catholic Church. This venerable tradition is never presented as a model, or an alternative, but at least as an experience that could benefit the entire Church.
[00092-02.03] [in069] [Original text: French]Union Of Superiors General).
Since Vatican II, most religious institutes have tried to implement a participative style of leadership that emphasizes closeness and fraternal communion among all members and accentuates listening, dialogue, subsidiarity, and accountability. This is a way of exercising genuine authority, but in a col1egial mode. Before decisions of some importance are made, normally al1 whose lives wil1 be affected by the decision are consulted. Councils, national and continental associations of members, and Chapters heighten our sense of communion. Perhaps our experience with such meetings could be helpful in rethinking the style of Episcopal Conferences and Synods in the life of the Church. We find this style of leadership helpful in inculturation, leading to a decentralization-in-collaboration. It al1ows us to honor and prize varying local expressions, while maintaining the unity of the entire institute. All members are general1y involved in the choice of new major superiors, through election or consultation. Once we have listened to the viewpoints of everyone, we often discover a deep spiritual wisdom, undoubtedly the work of the Holy Spirit within the group as a whole. We stress the value of working together in councils and leadership groups, honing decisions through the interaction of different personal and cultural viewpoints. These methods of leadership require personal ascesis, patience and faith. They may move slowly. Yet few of us would want to return to a more centralized and authoritarian structure. On the whole, our sense of corporate direction and communion has increased through this style of leadership, which seems fruitful for the life of the Church in today's world.
[00093-02.03] [in070] [Original text: English]H.E. Most Rev. Angelo MASSAFRA, O.F.M., Archbishop of Shkodrë, President of the Episcopal Conference (Albania).
What is the role of the bishop in Albania?
How can we face the pastoral challenges in this nation which still has deep wounds left by the communist regime, the most atheistic and dehumanizing one of the XX century?
l. In the life of the Church
In Albania the Church is a missionary Church, living in a multi-religious society that includes the four traditional faiths: Christian (Orthodox and Catholic), Islamic (the majority of the Albanians) the Bektashi, and other faiths arriving in recent years.
The bishop may only be a missionary bishop, being among people and proclaiming the Word of God, a firm point of reference not only on the ecclesial but also on the civil level. These are the tasks and challenges:
Animator of unity with and among autochtonous priests and missionaries.
Animator of a catechesis which must give evangelical contents to the Christian religious spirit which not even the most inhuman communism was able to destroy.
Promoter of catechesis at all levels in order to make the lay faithful aware of the dangers of "cults".
Tireless promoter for a "ministerial" Church, overcoming the clerical conception.
Educator of a Christian community to be a sign of hope in the social sphere.
2. In civil society
The fall of the communist regime in 1991 was not only the collapse of a political, economic and social system, but also the collapse of values and a concept of life. The "old" failed; the "new" does not yet have exact outlines and sometimes has the sad manifestation as intimidation, corruption, fast profit at any cost.
Therefore today in the hearts of many people there is strong delusion both for the promised but unfulfilled economic development, and the persisting social and political tensions causing the delay in economic development, with Albania remaining in a dependent condition.
Emigration, legal and clandestine, is an obvious sign of all this.
Another very important social phenomenon us urbanization. thousands of families have come down are still coming down from the mountains to the cities to find more acceptable living conditions, thus being overwhelmed by the process of secularization, especially in its most negative aspects.
In this social context the bishop has the duty to form consciences and communities, to heal existing divisions, to foster reciprocal trust and the sense of collaboration and the common good, starting from children and youth; furthermore, building churches and chapels, which are a sign of the return of the Lord among the people, after half a century of the communist regime which destroyed them, is a highly social and socializing sign.
Ecumenism and dialogue
The Church in Albania serenely faces and undertakes ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Relationships with Moslems and Orthodox are based on respect, acceptance and collaboration for the great ideals, as we have done in these very difficult years due to the internal situation and the war in Kossovo. In Albania the religions play an irreplaceable role for social peace, and could be said to act as "social buffers". In the very serious social problems we are called to act as mediators, such as during the social and political upheavals of March 1997. When the State collapsed, only the moral strength and pacifying intervention of the persons responsible for the religions have saved Albania from the abyss and civil war! Let us celebrate together encounters of prayer for peace! Together we have welcomed and serviced the refugees from Kossovo in 1999. In general relations are very goof, although there is no lack of small problems on the local level!
"House of the Peace"
Starting from the very fact that over the past ten years our Balkan Region has experienced and is still dramatically experiencing widespread situation of conflict and violence, in Scutari the "House of the Peace" project was recently implemented and inaugurated; it will be a laboratory of dialogue, tolerance and solidarity among the various peoples of the Balkans.
The Church in Albania is a "Martyr Church", which is reviving, purified on the cross of persecution. The memory of so many "Witnesses of the faith" killed by the communist regime will be an example and a stimulus, and we hope to soon see them raised to the altar.
[00094-02.02] [in071] [Original text: Italian]
The Instrumentum Laboris states that the Bishops should have a special care for young people. "Bishops cannot do better than construct the future with those to whom the future has been entrusted" (No. 96). Since young people can often be the best evangelizers of their own age group, it would be wise to attract these youth, who can be leaders, and have them spiritually grounded in the teachings of Our Lord and of His Church. Young people should be challenged and educated to use their God-given graces and talents now, for the greater honor and glory of the God who 1oves them and calls each of them by name.
[00096-02.03] [in073] [Original text: English]
The Bishop constitutes the Church and makes the Church visible. The Church becomes sacrament of salvation through him. With priests and the people, he is the image of the universal Church. He is the servant of truth and unity in the diocese and also in relations with the brothers divided in faith.
The Bishop has the highest level of leadership in his circle. He must collaborate with the laity according to the principle of subsidiarity. He must respect the greater knowledge the laity has regarding the secular environment.
One of the main duties is ecumenical dialogue, without pride and knowledgeable of the common path. The Catholic Church in Scandinavia is only a "small flock", which must become leaven with the Bishop’s help. He must bear witness to the Magisterium of the Church, which helps from falling into religious individualism.
[00097-02.03] [in074] [Original text: German]H.E. Most Rev. Ludwig SCHICK, Titular Bishop of Auzia and Auxiliary Bishop of Fulda(Germany).
In the Apostolic Letter for the Third Millennium "Novo Millennio Ineunte", Pope John Paul II writes: "In the first place, I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness".
Holiness means coherence with the Gospel in the life and word of every Christian. This is why, as can be read in the "Novo Millennio Ineunte", "The ways of holiness are many, according to the vocation of each individual".
Holiness is the foundation for the Apostolate and for evangelization in the Third Millennium, because the lack of holiness makes it more difficult for many persons to come close to the Church.
The Bishop must be the promoter and "Pedagogue" of holiness, promoting Bible readings and committing himself to making, once again, regular confession become a fundamental element in the life of every Catholic. Worshipping Mary will always be an irreplaceable help on the path of holiness.
Holiness makes the Christian great, beautiful and meaningful, and gives peace and joy in the Holy Spirit to Christians.
[00098-02.03] [in075] [Original text: German]
Instrumentum Laboris #77 calls for the continuous formation of bishops. This would certainly assist bishops in fulfilling their three-fold task of sanctifying, teaching and governing their local Churches in these modern times when relativism, indifferentism and short-range spirituality attract uncritical minds. The Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference mindful of the demands of effective evangelisation in these times, welcome this proposal for continuous formation. Not only should a sabbatical offer bishops refresher courses in the area of doctrine, but also expose them to those scientific and technological developments that either impinge on the nature and dignity of the human person, or affect the progress of peoples in their struggle for justice and peace in the world. Thus, bishops will be better able to evangelise more effectively with "new methodology, new expressions and new fervour." Connected with this proposed ongoing updating is the need to revisit the notion of Ministries in the Church, a development advanced by the Second Vatican Council. Expressions of this development are Diocesan Synods, Diocesan and Parish Finance Councils, and Diocesan and Parish Pastoral Councils. Might a further devolution of ministries give bishops more opportunity to concentrate on those things that are essentially associated with their three-fold task? One can cite the development of the deaconate as presented to us in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapters 6 & 8. Philip, ordained to serve at tables, is seen evangelising most effectively in Samaria and in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch. These modern times with their challenges call for "new methodology, new expressions, and new fervour" if Christ is to be presented in a convincing manner to a world yearning for genuine hope.
[00099-02.03] [in076] [Original text: English]
From the beginning of his pontificate the Holy Father John Paul II has been exhorting the Bishops to launch programs of deep renewal at the level of the local churches, in the light of the second Vatican Council. The objective of this renewal was "in order to be able to take up her evangelizing ministry with fresh enthusiasm. " (NMI)
The Federation of Asian Bishops at its plenary Assembly in 1990, it proposed the "New way of being Church." "The Church in Asia will have to be a Communion of Communities where laity, Religious and Clergy recognize and accept each other as sisters and brothers."
This calls for a participatory church, in which the gifts, of the Holy Spirit given to all the faithful, are recognized and activated and the members become men and women strong in God - experience. This involves on our part, bishops, an atmosphere of trust in the faith and initiative of the laity. The Bishop must demonstrate in his own life the new spirit of communion a non-dominating but shepherding leadership. The small Christian Communities are the training ground for participation both in the life and mission of the Church. Our policies are to be liberally open to the voice of the laity. The whole Church as a body is at the service of the Kingdom. Meeting around the Word of God, the members of the Church become Kingdom oriented. Through their working together in the neighborhood in small Christian Communities they wil1 be ready to work together with the fol1owers of other religions to build a world better for all. The privileged occasion for the Bishop is the pastoral visit to his people. It is when the Bishop comes to know his people at the grass-root level of their daily life and share in their joys, sorrows, aspirations. He thus becomes a sign of hope in his pastoral charity after the model of the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:14-16). The Bishop as the animator and facilitator of the "New way of being church" is called also "to a new way of being Bishop."
[00100-02.03] [in077] [Original text: English]
One of the primary tasks of the bishops is to promote the holiness of the laity and their apostolic activity. "The apostolate of the laity is a sharing in the church’s saving mission. [...] Every opportunity should therefore be given them to share zealously in the salvific work of the church" (LG 33).
Besides the individual apostolate in the service of all, which is irreplaceable, community forms are of particular importance, not only for anthropological and social reasons but for ecclesiological reasons. The community apostolate is the "sign of the communion and the unity of the Church" (AA 18.23; cf. Christifideles laici 29).
Among the various forms of secular community apostolate, the associations and the Catholic Action movement have had a special place in the appreciation of the Church, especially recommended by the Council of Bishops (CD 17). This form of social apostolate with the four notes made by the Council (AA 20) is still necessary, though under different names. Paul VI spoke about it saying that it "already belongs to the constitutional framework of the Church" (cf. 25.7.1963; 8.12.1968). Our Holy Father John Paul II mentions it in the exhortation Church, as mystery, communion and mission (Christifideles laici, chap. I-III) . It must ensure the presence of the Christifideles laici no. 31. This form is called upon to express, in its life, the being and life of the Church in places far from the Gospel. It is undoubtedly a gift of the Holy Spirit to the People of God that we bishops must cultivate.
[00101-02.05] [in078] [Original text: Spanish]
The Dominican tradition offers a system of good government that respects individuals, acknowledges gifts and gives room for expression, allowing the Spirit to speak through individual and community. The Church's faithful have a right to be governed in hope and freedom. Contrary to hope, there is presumption - God saves regardless of Church and individual - and fatalism -'nothing I do will make any difference'. Hope opposes these by empowering the aimless and providing a future. There are three aspects to the bishop in his diocese governing with hope:
l. Debate must be allowed to take place in the spirit of communion. Rather than feeling threatened by contrary opinion, we, like St Thomas Aquinas, should learn from our opponents' arguments. In our seeking, the God of truth reveals himself.
2. The laity are filled with hope when they are formed in faith and enabled to become valuable members of church and society.
3. Governance with hope builds a confident Church that offers hope to the world. By sharing faith, our suffering world comes to know and love Christ better, becoming a more hopeful place.
[00102-02.03] [in079] [Original text: English]Ñl of the Latins (Poland).
The good shepherd must be identified with Jesus Christ, looking to be a guardian of the sheep that he has trusted in a truly faithful manner to offer his life. And today we do not want for the shepherds called to give their lives for their communities, in a particular way in their countries, where the faith is persecuted. Giving thanks to the Lord for their testimonies of the faith and not forgetting them in our prayers. The faith of man of our times must grow in communion with the bishop of Rome and in the internal life of the Church. Today, the faith must continually trust the new situations that are challenged in today’s world that propose different lifestyles that are not always supported on Christian principles. In this light it becomes even more true the law of the Pope to give an end of suffering, of abuses and of exploiting man in the contemporary world. Our silence in question is a sign of the lack of sensitivity or fear. We must defend even the worth of the word, of which today’s world is always losing more its principal role of communicating the truth and sustaining different types of manipulation. In times of communist propaganda Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski encouraged the priests in Poland to proclaim the Gospel with simple words, not insisting a lot on the form, but on the value of the evangelic message. I see a particular danger that involves the post occupied today the means of communication in the life of man. The fear of being judged on TV or even in newspapers may not paralyze us. The truth does not knee down in front of the mass media. One must appreciate their work and their role in society, but we may not seek popularity at every cost. Today there is a strong need for the unity of thought and courage of all the bishops of the Church to teach the truth in the faith and in revealing lies, it that will help to protect with effectiveness those weak and oppressed. The conscience and the heart of the bishop cannot be conditioned to public opinion. For years I have been amazed at the determination of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla and of John Paul II in defending the weakest man, just conceived. The fight for life is only one of the numerous problems that we ask for courage from the shepherd—the prophet of the changing world.
This difficult reality asks again a special unity between shepherds of the Church and the people that are driven. The importance of such bond they have well understood is the focolarini that with courage they remember the call of the Lord: The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11). The realization of this mission must be accompanied by a diligent, humble and faithful prayer.
[00103-02.01] [ino80] [Original text: Italian]
The theme for reflection of this tenth Synod of Bishops is particularly important for us, Bishops of North Africa(Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia): the ministry of the Bishop "for the hope of the world" is not only considered from a point of view of the Christian community, which is a minority, but also in relation to the Muslim society. No. 443, para.4 of CCC, underlines that the baptised have also been entrusted by the Lord to the pastoral zeal of the Bishop, who should be the sign of the universality of the love of God for the whole of mankind.
The Bishop, in his pastoral life as in exercising his ministry, must put into practice a gift of the Holy Spirit which is not only destined to the Christian community but concerns the whole of society called by God to conversion of the heart, to a deepening of the life of faith, of hope and charity. During the difficult times characterised by social crisis (extremism, terrorism) which some of our countries are going through, the Bishop must be for all the servant of hope: the wisdom of his advice, serenity and patience in suffering make him the rock on which men and women put to the test can find a grip to hold onto. The ministry of hope in the defence of truth can lead the Bishop to the gift of his own life, following the example of Christ, as asked to my predecessor, Mons. Pierre Claverie.
Our presence in the land of Islam will be possible, desired and authentic only if we are humble servants of the gratuitous love of Jesus of whom we are the disciples.
[00104-02.04] [ln081] [Original text: French]Joseph Henry GANDA, Archbishop of Freetown and Bo, President of the Episcopal Conference Sierra Leone).
Globalization is an aspect that is briefly mentioned in the Instrumentum Laboris -Paragraphs 16 and 18. In commenting on this new phenomenon, which also affects the prospects and challenges of the Church's Mission of Evangelization,- the main work of the Bishop, the Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World.
I want to highlight the reasons that are seriously affecting the work of Evangelization in the Church, because of this new phenomenon. One of the main advantages of Globalization is the bringing together of different cultures, religions and ethnic groups by the use of information. However it does not facilitate critical discernment and mature synthesis of moral values. It also gives a relativist attitude to life and secular things. One of the main negative aspects of Globalization, which affects the Church, is its failure to promote conjugal life and the family. It is our hope that this Synod will establish some guidelines as regards a pastora1 approach to Globalization. Another subject, not unconnected with Globalization is the necessity of practical solidarity with Particular Churches, especially in the Third World in difficult circumstances of wars, violence, military coups and religious and ethnic tensions which take both the Church and people by surprise and last for some time, during which there is loss of life and property. In these countries, the Bishops, priests and religious are sometimes seriously affected. They need not only prayers but personal and visible signs of solidarity by visits and assistance from their Sister Churches around or afar. These gestures can be a great consolation to those who have suffered.
[00105-02.03] [in082] [Original text: English]
In reference to No. 12 of the IL it reads: "It is thus solely, in union with Christ... that the bishop becomes the prophet of hope."
The bishop must become the prophet of hope, always when, kneeling under the weight of his position, he has the impression that all his horizons are closed. He must hope against every hope.
Each one of us knows that we live in a world that is always more complicated and in which man, prisoner of his inventions, overall his sophisticated weapons, lives in a climate of fear. The recent horrible and inhumane attacks that took aim on the symbols of economic, military and political power from the largest world power has plunged them into worry.
Separated from God, man is condemned to become prey to worry. Saint Augustine expressed this idea well. From which the necessity to re-evangelize many countries that are called Christians, to raise Christian values, promote human rights, give stability to the family, the first cells of a basis for a harmonious human society. This mission, Christ confided in his Church and consequently, the Bishop. Prince of unity, defender of the city, prophet of hope, Good Shepherd, he who would give his life for his flock.
The is the role of the Bishops in Lebanon. He searches to give back hope and lighten the morale of the humble faithful, the oppressed, deprived of a national dignity. They do not have any other decision, they hide in the refuge of immigration. And this that in the last ten years a million Lebanese, youth overall, for the most part graduates, left. Their region, where Christ is born, remains without any Christian witnesses?
We are certain that we are not alone. We will win every discouragement. Christ - God made man- live near us.
[00106-02.01] [ino83] [Original text: French]
The fourth briefing for the language groups will take place tomorrow Friday, 5 October 2001 at 1:10 p.m., at the end of the Eighth General Congregation held in the morning (in the briefing locations and with the Press Officers indicated in Bulletin No. 2).
The audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) are kindly reminded that they must apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for their entry permit (very restricted).
The fourth Information Pool for the Synod Hall will be created for the prayer at the opening of the Eighth General Congregation, Friday morning, 5 October 2001.
The lists for applying to the Information Pool are available to the editors at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Holy See Press Office (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 at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications to participate in the Information Pool at 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 by an officer of the Holy See Press Office or from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The next Bulletin, No. 10, regarding the works of the Seventh General Congregation of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of this afternoon will be available to the accredited journalists tomorrow Friday 5 October 2001, at the opening of the of the Holy See Press Office.
Tomorrow morning, Friday 5 October 2001, a revised and updated version of the List of participants will be available in Bulletin 01-B of 5 October 2001. It will replace Bulletin 01 of 29 September 2001.
Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - X Ordinary
General Assembly - 2001