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.
18 - 10.10.2001
This morning, Wednesday October 10th 2001, the Second Session of the Working Groups of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place, 221 Synodal Fathers were present, for the election of the Rapporteurs of the Working Groups and for the continuation of the discussion on the Synodal theme. The names of the Rapporteurs of the Working Groups were announced by the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops during the Fifteenth General Congregation, which was held this afternoon.
At 17:00 today, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the recital of the Pro Felici Synodi Exitu, the Fifteenth General Congregation took place, for the Audition of the Auditors II, the Second Audition for the interventions by the Auditors and for the continuation of the interventions by the Synodal Fathers in the Hall on the Synodal 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 Fifteenth General Congregation, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, H. Em. Card. Jan Pieter SCHOTTE, C.I.C.M., read the following announcement, regarding the promulgation of the Post-Synodal Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania of the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops:
I am happy to inform this gathering that the Holy Father, after much thought and consideration, has decided to promulgate the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania in the Vatican, during a private audience to take place on Thursday, 22 November 2001, at 11:30 A.M. in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the 4th Anniversary of the opening of the Special Assembly for Oceania.
Among those invited to take part in this event are Members of the Post-Synodal Council for Oceania, Members of the Roman Curia who were synod fathers for this Special Assembly, Members of the Post-Synodal Council for Asia who will be in Rome for a regularly scheduled meeting and the President and Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania. Other participants in the Special Assembly for Oceania who will be in Rome on that date will also be invited to be present for this momentous occasion which will bring to a close the work phase of the Special Assembly for Oceania.
At the present moment, I seek your prayers for the Church in Oceania who has eagerly awaited this document. The Church in this region is now called upon to welcome this post-synodal apostolic teaching in a spirit of love, to spread and implement its contents on the level of the diocese and parishes with renewed missionary zeal in response to the Holy Father’s continual call for a new evangelization, particularly at the beginning of the third millennium.
[00278-02.03] [nnnnn] [Original text: English]
Then, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops made the following communication regarding the Synod works:
A variation must be added to our calendar for Thursday, October 11th.
Tomorrow morning, during the XVI General Congregation, we will celebrate the Hour of Terce with prayers for the victims of the terrorism attacks and for peace. After, the audition of the Fraternal Delegates will take place, and finally, the general discussion in the Hall.
During the afternoon, the XVII General Congregation will take place according to the calendar, with the addition of a very important variation. In fact, towards the end of the Congregation at 18:45, a special rosary will be said as an act of our communion to impetrate peace according to the intention of His Holiness John Paul II, in pastoral charity and collegial solicitude of all the Churches.
[00279-02.03] [NNNNN] [Original text: Latin]
The Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops then read the List of Rapporteurs of the Working Groups, elected in the Second Session this morning. The List is included in this Bulletin.
Finally, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops made the following communication regarding a variation to the List of Moderators of the Working Groups.
Another vote has taken place for the substitution of H. E. Mons. Anthony Theodore Lobo, who returned to his diocese.
H. E. Mons. Michael Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi (India) was elected as the Moderator of the English Language Group B.
[00281-02.03] [nnnnn] [Original text: Latin]
This General Congregation ended at 19:00 with the prayer Angelus Domini, and 233 Fathers were present.
The following Auditors intervened:
Below are the summaries of the interventions by the Auditors:
This intervention stems from the experience that as lay faithful we live within many-faceted realities in a world where today there have been great changes.
While we feel the passion and the anxiety for the world growing in us, we more and more frequently find ourselves noticing the tearing division between faith and life, between the Gospel and cultural expressions, between the Church and the world.
The composition of these tensions could be determined, perhaps, also starting from a positive look upon the world, careful to discover the seeds of good and of the Grace of God.
In the effort to overcome the ambiguity present in human reality, we need to be helped, by our Priests, to:
-recognize the presence of the Spirit, who works and waits to be received
-to discern the signs of hope and prophesy, to embrace them, to make them fruitful and bring to fullness
-to know how to see, starting from within reality and history, the desire that God nurtures for His creation
-To grow in the awareness that reality, the world, and history are the theological places proper to the believer.
The Incarnation of the Word reveals to us the will of God who selects in a definitive way, the condition of "our humanity and fragility" (St. Francis) as His own condition. The human face of Jesus Christ reveals to us the desire that God nurtures for every man: that he may fully become himself and may complete his original vocation.
For this we must be urged, above all, by the poverty of others, by the weakness of the little ones, by the disorientation of the young, by the solitude of the weak, which is easier for us to encounter.
We are aware that only by looking at reality with the eyes of God, we will suceed in enbracing the wailing of the world not as those of agony, but as the birth pains of the new world, in which justice will find stable residence and the presence of God will be luminous.
[00259-02.05] [ud014] [Original text: Italian]
1. We all know very well how difficult it is to proclaim the Church's teaching on marriage and family in the contemporary world which often totally rejects marriage or reduces it to a transitory, pleasure based contract. Therefore --as a Catholic layman, husband and father-- I have been wondering why Christian families have not been given by our Church any example of a married couple that was official1y recognised --as a couple-- to be blessed or saintly. However, very soon --during this Synod-- we will be able to participate in the first such a beatification. Maria and Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi will be the first couple in the 2000 years long history of our Church to be beatified together. We will final1y be able to revere Christians who consciously advanced to sanctity not individually in spite of their marriage (as many married saints of the Middle Ages did), but together through their sacramental marriage. The beatification will symbolically take place in the first year of the new century and millennium. I hope that this is only a beginning. Therefore I ask all the Synodal Fathers that they engage their diocesan structures in the beatification processes of married couples with at least equal zeal to their engagement in the cases of priests. Let me say also say that I dream about a liturgical celebration of the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth taking place on 26 December. Christmas --even in the very secularised Western culture-- is the moment where family values are mostly cherished. In my opinion it would be pastoral1y extremely useful if episcopal conferences were given a right to decide on having this feast on 26 December, wherever this day is a national holiday.
2) In the communities of "Faith and Light" movement founded by Jean Vanier, which are gathered around persons with mental handicaps, I learned that the Church has got two treasures: the Eucharist and the poor. But both treasures rather seldom go together.
Just one proposal. It is a tradition in our movement that mentally handicapped persons serve as altar boys. For them it is a great honour and joy, for others it is an obvious sign that God has loved and chosen what is stupid in the eyes of this world. Wouldn't it be proper if bishops insisted on having persons with visible mental or physical handicaps as altar boys? Not instead of, but better together with those handsome and carefully dressed clerics who usually serve them...
3) In the theme of this Synod it is said about giving hope to the world. Instrumentum laboris reminds that bishop should be a prophet of hope. This is a clear reminder of the speech by the Bl. Pope John XXIII at the opening of the II Vatican Council when he spoke about prophets of hope and prophets of doom.
But how to be prophets of hope if it is necessary for bishops to be signs of contradiction to the dangerous trends of the contemporary culture, if it is necessary to criticise? From my experience as a journalist and commentator I can say that it is possible to be a prophet of hope even being at the same time a sign of contradiction.
Polish bishops wrote in their important letter on dialogue and tolerance (1995) that pain of the world should be also the pain of the Church. Therefore when Christians, bishops including, criticize the world, they should present themselves as those who are part of the world, who suffer with it, and not as external observers. The critical remarks -- if we want them to be heard and understood-- should clearly flow from inside of the world, and not from outside. It must be evident that we criticize our world, and not the world alien to us.
[00260-02.04] [ud015] [Original text: English]
Our Council is an organ of service, coordination and communion, in respect of personality, Charism and the role of each person. A hand full of lay faithful around the Episcopal Commission of the Assembly of Patriarchs and Catholic Bishops in Lebanon.
There are many obstacles: misunderstandings, conflicts, enmity, exclusion. Making the walls fall, filling the ditches, gaining trust, especially of the Bishops...
The greatest problem is young people! Disheartened by tension, hermetic language and above all the lack of trust towards them.
Visit of Pope John Paul II and the World Youth Day
An event outside the norm: the visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Lebanon.
Previous participations from 2 to 4 people. At Czestochowa a coach load of 40. For the World Youth Day in Paris our young people enthusiastic about the visit of Pope John Paul II to Lebanon and his unforgettable meeting with young people at Harissa, whence they wanted to cry out to the whole country.
The blessing by the Patriarch Cardinal Sfeir himself. A wonderful experience for the young Team of volunteers in a climate of solidarity and total transparency. Giving equal opportunity to everybody, especially to the distant dioceses of Beirut. Over 2,500 young Lebanese were in Paris to meet His Holiness Pope John Paul II and the money left over given to the young people.
The fruits of the World Youth Day in Paris
Opening towards the reality of the universal Church - Twinning with the French dioceses - Deep friendship, over 20 French delegations in Lebanon during the following summer. - Collaboration between the apostolate of the laity of our two churches. - Setting up commissions for youth around the bishops.
Above all: our commission for the young; 50 young men and women engaged in the service of the Church with enthusiasm and with remarkable seriousness and efficiency.
The Jubilee Year
We accompanied and animated all the realities of the Holy Year in our country, in Lebanon and in Rome. Thanks to our young people: 1,500 Lebanese at Tor Vergata.
Do not criticise, do not judge, love first of all, without expecting from the other any initiative, love the movement of the other as one’s own, the diocese of the other as one’s own. Jesus presents mutual love there where one lives: "For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them". (Mt 18:20).
Mutual love, availability, team work. "Giving one’s life for one’s friends" is the source of true communion.
To the few remaining number who will resist, we can propose an ideal which will give meaning, taste to their life, more than just seeking money, pleasure, science or power: efficient actors in the new evangelization of their country and all of the Near East.
[00261-02.05] [ud016] [Original text: French]
We often hear that the men and women of today are seduced by the idols of the 21st century: power, possession and pleasure have conquered the dreams of humanity. It is stressed that the first victims are young people. I wish to say that we are not seduced; the idols do not fill the void produced by any of the atheist materialism.
Most men and women in the world today have become poor: we are hungry for bread, but we are also hungry for God.
We wish our bishops to be sure, as Mary was sure, that the Lord loves each man and woman with infinite love, and that He is saving us. Each Bishop, before being wise and powerful, has been chosen and is anointed by God to be a sacrament for salvation, of His Love. They must be men of trust and hope. Each Bishop has been called to be a pontiff, a bridge between God and men, between them and nature, and with himself.
The lay faithful, fathers and mothers of a family are learning late what the Church has told us: it is not enough for children to be loved. It is necessary for them not only to see and hear, but also and most importantly feel that they are being loved. Only in this way it is possible to educate them and form them towards the truth and the good. This, which is valid for us, fathers and mothers of a family, is also valid for our bishops. Each child is unique and different to all the rest, and each one of them claims for himself or herself a word, a presence. Bishops must "first of all" be felt as brothers and friends before being accepted as fathers and teachers.
I have been close to many bishops. I think they all haven’t enough time to do everything they would like to do. Some would like to stop the sun in the sky so that a day would have 300 hours to work. However, even if this were possible, time would still not be enough to do good. In our own small attempt, even the lay faithful have this temptation: we would like to give our children absolute and clear certainties without thinking that in the end they are temporary and relative certainties. At times one could do one’s utmost, with a feeling of urgency, but defining priorities and in a spirit of co-responsibility so that what one does is done well, letting the Lord do the rest and He certainly does the rest in abundance.
Men and women today need believers who transmit hope through a witnessed message with conviction and enthusiasm. The vocation to holiness is a call to self-assertion and to full happiness. Renouncing sin is a call to self-denial, to egocentricity, selfishness and death. The God of Jesus Christ is the God of freedom, of justice, of life, of peace. Jesus Christ is truth and one must state this so that everybody knows it and get closer to the Father.
We would like and we need holy bishops, who try to be consistent in what they believe in, think, say and do. Bishops who are worthy, detached and free before any bond or power, and who feel at the same time that they are unworthy servants of the most humble and poor, since they cannot give them anything in exchange and that sometimes do not even succeed in acknowledging the good received.
We would like and we need bishops who listen to and love the Church, in daily matters, in reality, that they love it especially in people, starting from their brother bishops, priests, religious men and women, lay faithful men and women.
Due to growing impoverishment, the people of Ecuador now live a diaspora. The universal Church, present in all local Churches, showed itself only in one of its roles, as Mother and Teacher. It is also a sign of collegiality. I trust in the fact that my compatriots will be, starting from what has been experienced in their homes, a valid help and a new strength for the Church and the bishops who paternally listened to them.
[00262-02.05] [ud017] [Original text: Spanish]
In my intervention I would like to refer to Article 92 of Instrumentum laboris (Solicitude of the Bishop for consecrated life) read in the light of the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, particularly in the part regarding the Church as the home and the school of communion (art. 43 and 45).
Three brief reflections:
1. Instrumentum laboris speaks of the always present "instances of incrementing the mutual relations among the Episcopal Conferences, the major Superiors, and their own Conferences." What has been done up to now seems very fruitful and encouraging, even if it is not always free from uncertainty. Particularly important for the increments of these mutuae relationes is the so-called mixed bishops-religious commissions which should first of all be instruments of exchange and consultation. After many years of work, it seems that they should be able to play an even more part if the structure of these commissions were revised, giving them a more concrete approach and perhaps competences, always in respect of the precise rules of participation, but also in accordance with the spirituality of communion (NMI v. 45).
2. It would certainly be very useful also at the diocesan level to have adequate and efficient instruments (commissions, working groups and others) to foster stable and qualified contacts for the mutuae relatationes between different forms of consecrated life present in the diocese, and their Bishop. These instruments would be of particular importance for the institutes of lay consecrated life (brothers, female institutions, secular institutions), who would thus have a greater possibility to bring to the attention of the bishop their situations, which often have different nuances from the problems which clerical religious institutions experience. In consecrated people, and I am speaking in particular on behalf of consecrated women, they could reinforce even further the sense and joy in belonging to and serving the ecclesial community - our common home - where each one is listened to and has her irreplaceable position in the building of the Kingdom of God.
3. The last reflection refers to vocational pastoral work, considered as work of the whole community of believers and who sees vocation as the calling to a mature Christian life and that makes room for all the gifts of the Spirit (NMI, 46). It is urgent to pass from proposals and projects to work, especially at the diocesan and parish level. Pastoral work should be promoted by vocations marked by the upgrading in quality of which the Holy Father spoke of in his Message of 1997; pastoral work that stimulates all the baptized to take on the responsibility for their own lives as witnesses of Christ and for the life of the Church; pastoral work that reaches the parishes, the families, the young, the educational centers. Pastoral work should be done in harmony and with the collaboration of the whole diocesan community, bishops, priests, consecrated people, lay faithful; direct pastoral work that invites everyone to give a response to the calling of God, but that gives a special opportunity to those sons and daughters of their own communities who desire to give themselves totally to the cause of Jesus Christ and of His Body which is the Church, considering them a sign of maturity of the community.
[00263-02.05] [ud018] [Original text: Italian]
My name is Arnaud Devillers. I am the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, very much a new community, since we are completing our 12th year of existence this month. In spite of this youth, we have just bui1t two major seminaries, one in America and the other one in Europe. Our mother house is in southern Germany in the diocese of Augsburg and I have been living there for over a year. I am speaking in English as I am still in the via purgativa in trying to master the German language! Many here have insisted -and rightly so-- on the spiritual fatherhood of the Bishop. I would like to share my experience with you about the spiritual needs of some of your children.
For the last twelve years, I -and my fellow-priests- have ministered to a certain category of faithful. These faithful are of various ethnic origins, both rich and poor, old and young, educated or not, practicing or not, in full communion with their bishop or not, cradle Catholics or converts, but they do have one point in common, they insist, in order to practice their faith, in going or wishing to go, to a Latin Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. To do so, they do not hesitate to undergo great personal and family sacrifices. For most of them, it is not a nostalgia trip as they would be too young anyway to remember it. Their motivations are various, some legitimate, some not. For some, it is only a preference, for others, they feel much more strongly. For all of them, they seem to find in it their spiritua1 fulfillment and happiness.
In Ju1y 1988, in response to a break in the church, the Sovereign Pontiff gave Motu Proprio an Apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei Adflicta in which he declared that this "attachment to previous liturgica1 and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition" constituted some "rightful aspirations" and asked "for the support of the bishops and all those engaged in the pastoral ministry". "Moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the fee1ings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgica1 tradition, by a wide and:generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typica1 edition of 1962." Many bishops have indeed been generous regarding this call of the Holy Father and, in their diocese, the faithful may have this liturgical option. On behalf of all those faithful, I would like to thank the Holy Father and all those bishops who heeded his call.
Wherever the local bishop supports and encourages this work, the resu1ts are tru1y amazing. People who had left the faith or church practice become not only regular church goers but gradually begin to grasp more fully the mystery of the church, hierarchy and communion. Often they will become very generous with their time in various diocesan ministries for example in the prolife apostolate.
I finish these words with a plea to all those who have charge of a diocese: please respond generously to the call from our Holy Father in granting the Indult Mass to those who request it. As I traveled and visited groups of faithful, I often felt I had brought hope to them but could not help feel a haunting doubt: what if their hope is crushed? For this ministry to be successful, make sure they feel they are welcome and that you are also their father, make sure you appoint a priest who will have the empathy, time and patience to be their pastor and who will work in full communion with you and your presbyterate, and then you will see amazing effects of grace. If you cannot find such a priest, do not hesitate to call...
[00265-02.03] [ud020] [Original text: English]
I refer to numbers 28, 96 and 109 of Instrumentum laboris. Evangelization by educating the new generations is a commitment which cannot be disregarded at the beginning of the third millennium.
On these matters I share the following four convictions:
1. Educating means to make culture: In the crisis we are experiencing, the mission to educate commits us to draw up with young people cultural proposals inspired by evangelical values. The Instrumentum laboris encourages the promotion of a wide range of initiatives, such as the creation of Catholic universities, and the strengthening of Catholic schools (cf. IL 109). In this task the bishops can count on the cooperation of the lay faithful and religious — both men and women — who can offer significant contributions in the different areas of science, art, and technology in the service of truth on the human person and the destiny of peoples.
Young people involved in seeking teachers, who are above all witnesses, activate their resources in a cultural dialogue, which strengthens their faith, makes them evangelizers of their contemporaries and capable of giving reasons for their own hope.
2. Every life is a vocation: the vocational dimension, which conceives life as a gift and task, is intrinsic in Christian education and prepares to live, in the Church as communion of gifts, mutual strengthening of vocations at the service of the one mission. It involves young people in discerning the plan of God over them, supports them in fundamental choices of existence through listening, dialogue, and personalised accompaniment.
3. God created the human person in His own image, male and female he created them (cf. Gen 1:27). This conviction engages to educate in compliance with a sole-dual biblical proposal on the human person. The educational practice is still far from integrating, into fundamental equality, the prospects of reciprocity. The Trinitarian mystery revealed by Jesus projects a new light not only on the man-woman relationship, but also on the beauty of every difference — personal or cultural — when this is taken as a point of mutual strengthening in welcoming, dialogue and communion.
I wish to point out here the phenomenon of the trafficking of women and children in the sexual market. The most serious aspect consists in human deprivation of those who promote and encourage it. The effects are the loss of the meaning of human love, the splitting up of the family, the dehumanisation of culture.
The Holy Father urges the recognising of the genius of woman (cf. MD 30) in favour of life and of the humanisation of culture.
4. Educate ourselves and educate to globalize solidarity: to value a consistent and updated vision of the social doctrine of the Church is one of the most significant opportunities to offer a contribution to renew culture and a solid basis for ecumenical, interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue.
The reawakening of civil society is a recent phenomenon which strongly calls for education for the active, critical and proposing citizenship far from resorting to violence. Young people, in growing number, express their availability to commit themselves through voluntary work also in the ad gentes mission, in activities which promote respect for human rights, solidarity and peace. On being in contact with the life of the poor they recognize the fundamental value of existence, freed from the heavy influence of the consumer society.
[00266-02.05] [ud021] [Original text: Italian]
The pleas from laity.
Can the Church use human resources within each diocese - professional, retired people, to spread the Kingdom of God - by being involved in parish work in the establishment of sustainable development projects that could benefit the unemployed?
The new generation of young highly profiled who are in government position in business and self-employed; can they be brought in, can they be helped with their spiritual life? They are definitely drifting from the Church. They are rich and are self-sufficient.
[00276-02.04] [ud022] [Original text: English]
I would like to concentrate on the events of September 11th. The Synod under way is perceived as a message similar to a "sign of the times" (cf. IL 144). My testimony will be a contribution to an interpretation, expressing some "hopes" about the Christian commitment in social, political and cultural action, as well as regarding the formation of priests and the profile of the Bishop.
THE EVENT AND ITS INTERPRETATION.
It is evident that every true event shows the paradox of power, with specific rationality and perversions. The events of September 11th, whose inhuman and sinful character cannot be underrated, and provide "food for thought" for their new, challenging aspect and the need for a response in the social, economic, political, ethical and cultural spheres. The self-sufficiency of a certain type of globalization, the "end of history" of the unbridled market, a form of liberal politics and "single thought" have all been shaken, as have a certain ingenuity or insufficiency, moralistic denunciation and certain "isms". These attitudes fail to recognize that what is new is the bursting in of terror and the anxious search for safety, which require prudent political responses, in an economic universe whose materialistic logic is usefulness and effectiveness and whose ethos is the primacy of instrumental reason, reality as a self-sufficient structural process and a functional action of "subjects" without greater identity.
...FOR THE HOPE OF THE WORLD
A Catholic thinker conceived hope as hoping in Someone and hoping something. The first part is personal and personalizing; the second part, tempted by "orientation towards an object", nevertheless highlights our incarnated condition. Some "hopes": an initial one, without avoiding the prophetic denunciation, going deeply into positive proclamation and commitment in favor of organized action in the world of work; effective witness and action in the various spheres of cultural, scientific and artistic activity, rising to encounter the disqualification of politics, a particular area for humanzation and charitable deeds, and where the real evils can only be resolved with more and better politics. A second "hope", the updating and deepening of spiritual, theological and human formation of the new priests, for greater attention to the structuring of their study centers and the formation of a type of priest more in tune with the new evangelizing needs.
A final "hope" on the profile of the bishop for the new cultural situation: a man with capacity for opening to and welcoming the recognition of the new aspect produced by the Spirit of the Lord, being human in all, for the freedom by which "man infinitely goes beyond man", and in His Church, making her live in the truth of which is God and God only is "the absolute future of man".
[00277-02.04] [ud023] [Original text: Spanish]
Mr. Carl Albert ANDERSON, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Vice President in Washington D.C. of the "John Paul II" Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family (United States of America)
The theme, "The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World" has urgent relevance for the family. The Trinitarian Communion manifested by the Bishop for the unity of the particular Church has special meaning for the Christian Family. The spirituality of Trinitarian Communion has an ontological foundation. One of the most important contributions of Familiaris Consortio is its emphasis upon Trinitarian Communion as an informing principle of family life and family structure. This awareness of the Trinitarian character of the family allows us to see more clearly the ecclesial role of the family as domestic Church as envisioned by its role in the New Evangelization. If the family is to realize more fully and in concrete ways its ecclesial reality, the Christian Family will require a greater communion and solidarity with the Bishop. Thus, the question: Can the Bishop manifest Trinitarian Communion with the domestic Church in ways similar to his manifestation of Trinitarian Communion to the particular Church and the Universal Church? The ontological reality of the Trinitarian Communion informing the structure of all human relations (and especially the family) make more clear that associations, such as the Knights of Columbus, that combine concern for family life with provision for its financial security and that help the Laity realize its mission to renew society, are mediating structures, they can integrate the Laity and its mission within the daily life of the Parish when undertaken in solidarity with Bishop.
[00264-02.04] [ud019] [Original text: English]
Then, the following Fathers intervened:
Below are the summaries of the interventions made by the Synodal Fathers:
I would like to offer my reflections on a matter which, in my opinion, has not yet received sufficient attention. That is the question of the manner of our being Church in the World, and thus also of our being Bishop of this Church for the hope of this World.
When the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes was promulgated in 1965, I was stilI a young seminarian, and yet I still remember the enthusiasm which this inspiring product of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council aroused in us. The document presented a refreshing image of the Church as a community of the followers of Christ, who experience themselves as being part of and in solidarity with all mankind in their joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties, a Church that does not remain aloof, but is really incarnated in the midst of the community of mankind.
As followers of Christ, we must be a Church that is fully and intimately linked with mankind and its history. Nothing genuinely human is foreign to the Church. It is only in being a Church in solidarity with the world that we will be able to give hope to the World. In whatever part of the world we live, the Bishop with his Church community lives in the world of a larger human community which is a pluralistic and heterogeneous community of different religions and beliefs, of different cultures and languages. Is our presence as Church community a sign of hope? Are we in solidarity with and do we take part in their struggles to work for the common good for everyone, whatever their religion or belief, culture or ethnicity? The bishop should be a champion of a new human brotherhood where there is justice and peace for everybody.
And here we find the important role of our lay people. We bishops should be able to empower our laity for establishing a new human brotherhood based on genuine human values which are basically Christian values. The Great Assembly of the Catholic Church in Indonesia for the celebration of the Jubilee Year, recognizes the key role of the laity who through their presence and activities, not only within the basic ecclesial communities, but also and especially within the basic human communities of their life and work, will be able to put into practice the gospel values of justice and love, of peace and brotherhood. If this be done there will be hope for the whole world, with each one starting from their own little world where they live and work.
[00246-02.03] [IN202] [Original text: English]
In Botswana, HIV/Aids has so devastated our people that they often seem to be like people without hope. One third of our population is infected by the deadly virus and all of us are affected by it. How can one have hope when one sees many young people dying? What can you say to people in such desolate and inconsolable state? We see the example ofthe suffering Christ in these people. Has the Father abandoned them? No by no means.
There are many faithfully married people who have been infected by their unfaithful partners. These could be considered as martyrs of faith. They were faithful and innocent but were infected by another one. There are priests and other health workers who face sick people daily and are being shattered by the experience of hopelessness. They are crying out to the church to minister to them. They look up to the Bishop.
The Bishop is called upon to bring hope to the people by his presence. He is present when he visits the communities of his diocese. He can be present to them when he celebrates the Eucharist as the chief minister and when he confers the sacrament of confirmation on his people. The Bishop should also have healing services for his people to reassure them ofthe Father's love and administer the sacrament ofthe sick to them. The Bishop can be the first minister to the sick. The Bishop should establish a sort of ministry to healthcare providers. They need encouragement and hope.
The Bishop brings hope to the sick when he visits them both at home and in the hospital. This way, he brings God's compassion and consolation to them. He identifies with them in their pain. He gently leads them like a good shepherd to the green pastures of the Father's love. Some people have committed suicide when they got to know that they are HIV positive. They had lost hope and meaning in life. The Bishop helps the terminally sick to accept their condition and make peace with God. I acknowledge the great role Religious, especially women, play in this ministry of serving the sick. They take risks in serving the sick. I salute them all.
The Bishop answers the question of God to Cain: "Where is your brother?" The Bishop becomes his brother's and sister's keeper. He looks for his/her good and seeks ways to help him/her overcome difficulties.
In this context, the Bishop is seen as the promoter of hope in a hopeless situation. He is a minister of hope. He shares from his own experience of life among his people. As a man of faith, I know that even the wildest fire burns itself out and so will this pandemic. The Bishop should preach the everlasting word of hope in God's love and compassion. In the face of the dreadful scourge of the HIV/Aids in our country, people are looking up to the Bishops to provide leadership in breaking down the taboos that prevent the correct education in sexual matters, and to provide care for the sick and to help prevent new infections by encouraging behavior change. This is where the message of faithfulness to the Christian message can bring hope to the people.
[00247-02.03] [IN203] [Original text: English]
My intervention today is inspired by the third chapter of the Instrumentum Laboris. I refer to the search for different ways to highlight, promote, strengthen and help in the carrying out of the universal ecclesial dimension of pastoral care by every bishop, arising from our experience of faith and not from our talents and preoccupation in the field of organizational structures. I agree with what Cardinal Ratzinger said: we need more Spirit and less organization.
My proposal is simply to create structures of economic solidarity to help the poor dioceses of the world to invest their resources and charitable gifts they receive from other dioceses in such a way that the poor dioceses may survive globalization.
As part of its teaching on the ecclesiology of communion, as in our Instrumentum Laboris, Vatican Council II underlined the need for the dioceses and the other ecclesial communities to give part of their economic resources to the poorer dioceses, thus providing mutual help to fulfil their common mission. (Cf. LG 13, 23; CD 6; AA 10; AG 19, 29 38).
This principle has been set forth in Canon 1271, 1274.3 and above all 1275, which mentions how the richer local Churches can help the poorer ones. The Holy Father dealt with this topic in Nos. 37 and 38 of Ecclesia in America. Canon 1275 insists on the fact that the funds allocated for these programs must be administered in accordance with the regulations made by the bishops having jurisdiction. On the other hand, my proposal is not limited to concrete economic help, but is intended to add the necessary expertise to ensure the economic solidity of these funds and to survive the pace, often devastating for the poor, of today’s global economy.
At present I cannot be more explicit. I think that we could at least request that a study be made on this subject, consulting the national and regional episcopal conferences which have facilities that somehow respond to this concern.
Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that I am induced to make this proposal not due to economic or administrative reasons, but to the desire, in a globalized world, to highlight another type of "globalization" which is the City of God pilgrim in this world and which is based on the Mystery of the Trinitarian Communion of which we are part through Our Lord Jesus Christ and of which the Church is the mystery/sacrament.
Only by entering into this Mystery can we discover what it means today to be servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world.
[00237-02.04] [in197] [Original text: Spanish]
Without taking away the importance of many and various ministries that the Instrumentum laboris attributes to the mission of the bishop in the historic moment which the Church and humanity are living, we have considered it opportune to underline in a clear and clean way that the service to the poor, in many aspects, must constitute one of the biggest needs for the Priests, overall in many countries and continents where extreme poverty has spread, the social inequalities and the ignorance of dignity and inalienable rights of human persons. We believe that in this way we can follow faithfully the teachings and the examples of the Divine Teacher and the numerous references of the Magisterium of the Church, especially in the current pontificate of Pope John Paul II.
We believe that working tirelessly for the cause of the poor and marginalized (who tend to increase with the so-called "globalization" and with the so-called world "free market") is the best way to accompany our people in their journey towards a faithful way of living our Faith, aware that this attitude of the Priests consists of a clear announcement of the Good News of the Kingdom.
The Instrumentum laboris explains in these terms in different passages, adding what is said, to no. 145, the Social Doctrine of the Church, which "far from being an addition to the Christian message, is an essential part of it, because it teaches the direct implications of the Gospel on life and society." After we have remembered the teachings of the Magisterium on this matter, it ends by saying that "It is up to the local Churches, in communion with the See of Peter and among them, brings this same doctrine to concrete actualities." All this must lead us not to "pass beyond" in front of many people hurt and wounded by social injustice and by the violations of dignity and human rights, but in fact to be good Samaritans: hose who care for the many wounds that our humble people are afflicted with and, in the midst of that pain and tiredness grow. " What moves us is the charity of Christ" (cf. 2 Cor 8:14).
[00248-02.05] [in204] [Original text: Spanish]
In developing countries, such as those of Africa, the Diocesan Bishop, being the "headand the spouse" of his particular church ( Diocese ) would not be a sign of hope to the people entrusted to him unless he involves himself fully in the struggle for the human development of his people. Indeed, the involvement of the Bishop in the integral development of his flock should in no way be considered as a hobby but rather a vocation, mission and duty to be carefully accomplished. It is a vocation from Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd who summons and urges the Bishop to join in His ministry to the people of God in a given area. Cf. Matthew ( 9:35-38 ). Indeed, I do believe that, the stated healing and Evangelization tour made by our Lord Jesus Christ in the villages and towns of Galilee during His public ministry is currently being realized in the well-to-do and poor villages of Africa, in the clean and filthy towns and suburbs of our African Countries, in the market places and streets of our cities where many of the sons and daughters of Africa, created in the same image and likeness of God are gradually being wiped out by the scourge of malaria and HIV/AIDS pandemic. For sure, the Risen Lord is struck by compassion and moved by pity and consequently appeals to us all, shepherds of the entire Church and in particular to the Bishops of Africa, for the sake of diminishing and eventually eradicating the diseases of malaria and HIV/AIDS in our respective dioceses. The Lord Himself is requesting us to seek a helping hand from His Father for He reaIizes how difficult the situation is if left to our own power and will. Cf.Luke ( 11: 9-13). Powerless as we are, let us ask, seek and knock to the Heavenly Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to be inspired to understand the specificity of this vocation by realizing that:
The Risen Lord has no other feet but ours to bring Good news to the poor - indeed how good are the feet of the one bringing Good News to the poor.
Jesus, the Risen Lord, has no other hands but ours, to confer blessing to the afflicted, anointing to the sick, healing to the wounded and assistance to the needy and poor.
Christ has no other mind but ours to survey, analyse and interpret the devastating socio-economic, politico and cultural situations and eventually come up with priorities, programs, projects and strategic plans for an effective and efficient action.
Above alI, Christ has no other heart but ours in which to love all people and consequent1y inspire hope for the people, their society and for the entire world.
By being called to the office of a Bìshop, the person concerned is not only called, as if it were, to assist or to help Jesus Christ in His work of Evangelization! Indeed, having interiorized the person, mission and vocation of Jesus Christ, with regard to the need for the integral human development of the flock, the Bishop is expected to take up this work of Christ and make it his own personal DUTY. He would then exteriorize the same mission and vocation as his duty or obligation and call upon others from within the diocese and from without to collaborate in the realization of this cherished DUTY. In conclusion, allow me on behalf of the Episcopal Conferences of AMECEA countries, as well as on my own behalf, to express our sincere gratitude for the solidarity and the support given us by our brother Bishops. By supporting us to realize our vocation, mission and duty of involving ourselves fully into the integral human development endeavour of the flock entrusted to us, you have indeed enabled us to be a sign of hope to our people.
[00249-02.03] [in205] [Original text: English]
Of the many challenges facing our Church and our shepherds, two must have our special attention.
1. The identity of our Church.
Chad is an error made by colonial history because it was created from a lot of pieces, which in part explains today’s drama. Facing Islam (51% of the Nation), our Church is called to say what she is and, by giving herself an identity, manifests her capability to draw from the Gospel of Jesus Christ the energies needed to face the situations of underdevelopment we find ourselves in. The ecclesiology of the Church-family of God contributed to giving an identity to our Church because it touches upon the search for recognition through relations allowing her a "more-being". This vision of Church-family of God places the Pope and more immediately the Bishop at the center of the life of the family. Through sacramental communion with other Bishops and as promoters of the sole mission of Christ, he must be vigilant with solicitude of the "witness of faith", cum et sub Petro.
2. The responsibility of our Church-family.
The deplorable economic situation of our dioceses constitutes a serious preoccupation for our shepherds. Number 74 of the Instrumentum Laboris suggests that relations of mutual aid be established between the large and the smaller dioceses... The pessimistic considerations and the unfavorable judgments on Africa that prevail in international relations may negatively influence the way these relations of aid will be lived. The ecclesiology of communion and unity in the mission may be erroneous... unless conversion occurs in this regard on both sides.
1. To better develop the places for the expression of episcopal communion.
2. That the elder churches may bear a "technical and multiform and programmed support" towards the younger churches to help them put into place the structures necessary for a good management of their pastoral projects or human promotion.
[00250-02.04] [in206] [Original text: French]
[00280-02.03] [nnnnn] [Original text: Latin]
The opening prayer for the Sixteenth General Congregation, of Thursday morning October 11th 2001, "for the victims of the terrorist attack in the USA" and "for peace in the world" will be broadcast live from the Synod Hall to the Holy See Press Office.
The Second Press Conference on the works of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, after the Relatio post disceptationem will take place on Friday, October 12th 2001 at 12:45 in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office.
The following will intervene:
[00267-02.02] [nnnnn] [Original text: plurilingual]
The ninth briefing for the Language Groups will take place tomorrow Thursday October 11th 2001 at 13:10 (in the locations and with the Press Officers indicated 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 eighth information pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Sixteenth General Congregation of Thursday morning, October 11th 2001.
The list for registration to the pool is 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 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. 19 will be available to the accredited journalists at the conclusion of the works of the Sixteenth General Congregation of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the morning of Thursday October 11th 2001.
Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - X Ordinary
General Assembly - 2001