The Holy See Search



5-26 OCTOBER 2008

The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church

This Bulletin is only a working instrument for the press.
Translations are not official.

English Edition


20 - 14.10.2008




In the afternoon of yesterday, Monday, 13 October 2008, the Thirteenth General Congregation was held by the Synod Fathers by going in pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls on the occasion of the Pauline Year.
Afterwards, at 06:00 p.m., in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, the Synod Fathers participated, invited by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in the concert by the Wiener Philharmoniker dedicated to the Pauline Year and to the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.



Today at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, 14 October 2008, with the chant of the Third Hour, in the presence of the Holy Father, the Fourteenth General Congregation began, for the continuation of the interventions by the Synod Fathers in the Hall on the Synodal theme The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church.

President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA).

During the break at 10:30 a.m., the Holy Father Benedict XVI received the Small English Group A and the Small French Group Ain audience.

At the end of the break, when the Fourteenth General Congregation continued, the Holy Father Benedict XVI intervened with a reflection on the Synodal theme. Starting from the consideration of the work for his book “Jesus of Nazareth”, the Holy Father dwelt upon the fundamental criteria of Biblical exegesis, upon the dangers of a secularized and positivistic approach to the Sacred Scriptures and upon the need for a closer relationship between exegesis and theology.

Then, the Auditio Auditorum (II) was held.

This General Congregation ended at 12:30 p.m. with the prayer of the Angelus Domini, 241 Fathers were present.


During this Fourteenth General Congregation, the following Synod Fathers intervened:

- H. Em. Card. Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B., Secretary of State (VATICAN CITY)
- H. B. Card. Emmanuel III DELLY, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church (IRAQ)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Marian GOŁĘBIEWSKI, Archbishop of Wrocław, Breslavia (POLAND)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Petro Herkulan MALCHUK, O.F.M., Titular Bishop of Media, Auxiliary Bishop of Odessa-Simferopo (UKRAINE)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Ruy RENDÓN LEAL, Bishop Prelate of El Salto (MEXICO)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Angelo AMATO, S.D.B., Titular Archbishop of Sila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Marin BARIŠIĆ, Archbishop of Split-Makarska (CROATIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Javier ECHEVARRÍA RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Cilibia, Prelate of Opus Dei
- H.E. Most. Rev. Kurt KOCH, Bishop of Basel, Bâle, Basilea (SWITZERLAND)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph NGUYÊN CHI LINH, Bishop of Thanh Hóa (VIETNAM)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan MATOGO OYANA, C.M.F., Bishop of Bata (EQUATORIAL GUINEA)

The summaries of the interventions can be found below:

- H. Em. Card. Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B., Secretary of State (VATICAN CITY)

“My dear young friends, I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow.” This is the practical conclusion to Pope Benedict XVI’s Message to the youth of the world on the occasion of World Youth Day in 2006. This message confirms the one given at World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 and was further developed by the Holy Father during a meeting with young Christians in Saint Peter’s Square on 6 April 2006 when a young man asked what place the Bible should have in the lives of a young believer.
The three statements show a precise belief by the Pope: if the Holy Book is consulted with due attention, young believers will find an indispensable guide (compass); and that the meeting with the Bible will also become a meeting with Christ.
A moat to cross
By itself, the Bible cannot rouse particular interest and affection in the young, especially adolescents. Compared to the living testimony of a believer, a faith transmitted through the Holy Scripture largely provokes only indifference, indifference which is accompanied by a large dose of ignorance and above all by a great difficulty in perceiving its vital value. Among all those who practically never come into personal contact with the Bible (80% of Italians) the highest numbers are for teenagers between 14 and 19. Only 13% of these consider that “those who believe in God should read and meditate on the Bible and other sacred texts,” placing holy reading only 11th out of 16 activities. 7% actually “pray while reading and meditating on the Bible or other religious texts.” (Cf. La religiosita in Italia - various authors - Mondadori - Milan 1995)
Nevertheless, one notices that many of these young people show a surprising interest in the Bible when the syncrony is reached not as much, at least in the beginning, through the authority of a Biblical page called the Word of God, but by adults working who go to them as patient teachers and credible witnesses of the greatest figure, who is Jesus; in other words, people who when they say the Word of God, demonstrate it with their own life. If the adult as teacher-friend manages to persuade the youth to open their heart, then the Scripture will be seen as a gift which brings with it all the qualities of the Word of God according to Biblical codification, with special concern for the youth’s soul. In this way young people will grow and appreciate the role played by the young in the Bible, especially in the Gospels; they will put Jesus in their “diary of the soul” (we have seen many examples in young people’s diaries); they will also appreciate the many sporting images in the Bible with their original applications for the virtuous life. (Eg. Michel Quoist)
From the long address by Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square mentioned above, which astonished everyone by its clarity and certitude, we may draw up a pedagogical approach that the Holy Father summarized as follows: “I think that we should learn to do three things: to read it in a personal colloquium with the Lord; to read it with the guidance of teachers who have the experience of faith, who have penetrated Sacred Scripture: and to read it in the great company of the Church, in whose liturgy these events never cease to become present anew and in which the Lord speaks with us today. Thus, we may gradually penetrate ever more deeply into Sacred Scripture, in which God truly speaks to us today.

[00250-02.08] [NNNNN] [Original text: Italian]

- H. B. Card. Emmanuel III DELLY, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church (IRAQ)

I am a son of the land of Abraham, Iraq. I am sure that the major part of this blessed assembly wishes to have some information about the situation of Iraq, this tortured and bloodied country.
My intervention will not be a political reading, but the short flashback of a father who lives with his spiritual sons for the last half century and who sees his citizens suffering and dying. A father who feels the sacred duty to defend the rights of the Church and of her faithful and feels his own duty to admonish those responsible for the situation to follow the just paths of peace and security. Let us say the truth: we have tried everything to obtain peace and serenity for the country.
The situation in some parts of Iraq is disastrous and tragic. Life is a calvary: peace and security are lacking , just as the fundamental elements in daily life. Electricity, water, fuel continue to be lacking; telephone communication is always more difficult, whole roads are blocked, schools either closed or in a continuous danger, hospitals function with a reduced staff, the people fear for their own safety. All fear kidnapping, abduction and intimidation. What to say then about all these unjustified kidnappings that occur every day, ruining entire families and depriving them of their dear ones, despite having paid over thousands of dollars for a freedom never given. Not to mention the ever growing number of deaths caused by car bombs and kamikazes wearing explosive belts.
To live the Word of God means to us to bear witness to it to the cost of our own lives, as has occurred and still occurs till now with the sacrifice of the bishops, priests and faithful. They remained in Iraq, strong in faith and love of Christ, thanks to the fire of the Word of God. Because of this, I beg of you to pray the Lord Jesus, the Word of God, for us and with us, and share our concern, our hopes and the suffering of our wounded, so that the Word of God made flesh stay in His Church and with us as a good news and as support. Sixteen of our priests and two bishops have been kidnapped and were released after paying a very high ransom. Some of them belong to a line of new martyrs that today pray for us from the Heavens: the Archbishop of Mosul, Faraj Rahho, Father Raghid Ganni, other two priests and other six young persons.

[00223-02.03] [IN191] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Marian GOŁĘBIEWSKI, Archbishop of Wrocław, Breslavia (POLAND)

For a number of decades the historical-critical method has been a dominant approach in Biblical exegesis. This method has led to many positive fruits in Bible Studies. It has been noted today though that this method is insufficient. This is why in the last few years other methods of research on the inspired text have been developed. Among these, linguistic methods - narrative and structural, as well as the reading of the Bible in the spirit of the psychology of the profound, become more important. The request to treat all methods as complementary and not treat any one as dominant seems reasonable. Thus the results of exegetic research will reveal to the eyes of the reader the multidimensional sense of the analyzed fragment. This will permit the discovery of many meanings and not just one. However, the duty of the exegete does not end in uncovering that multidimensional sense of the fragment analyzed (literal, historical, symbolic, allegorical and spiritual). A very practical question remains: how to connect that text whose meaning has now been discovered to the lives of each believer and entire ecclesial communities? How to pass from the text to life and from life to the text? The contemporary reader of the Bible asks exegetes and theologians to learn to draw principles and criteria from Scripture, which should be binding in the single areas of personal and community life. The most important of these would be demonstrated as being the principles and criteria of a general nature; from these more detailed principles have to be drawn, capable of answering the questions raised by bioethicists, environmentalists, doctors, psychologists, sociologists and even politicians. Movement in the opposite direction is also important: from life to the Bible. It becomes evermore a clearer request that not only does the believer read the Bible but that the Bible become the interpretive factor in his life, that is, that the Bible should “read” the human being. The believer needs to not only draw the principles for actions from the Sacred Scripture but also how to look at oneself in the Bible as in a mirror.

[00218-02.02] [IN186] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Petro Herkulan MALCHUK, O.F.M., Titular Bishop of Media, Auxiliary Bishop of Odessa-Simferopo (UKRAINE)

In my report I refer to point 21 where it is said that in light of Vatican Council II and successive Magisterium, necessary attention must be paid to and specific reflection given to Biblical senses, that is historical-literal and theological-spiritual.
A situation where those whom the word is aimed at allows us to see that one group discovers the historical-literal sense and stops, while others go on to discover the theological-spiritual sense. The main point therefore of my intervention is the theological-spiritual sense.
Saint Jerome said and Vatican II repeated; “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the same Spirit in whom it was written”... “they must be read and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit through whom they were written”..
It seems ridiculous, but sometimes it happens, that the very people called to the service of the Word can be an impediment to it. The rosary every day before Holy Mass, all year? No! There’s the month of October, you can pray the rosary then and leave it at that. Who ever did the Stations of the Cross every day of Lent? Friday is sufficient. Confession once a month? Once a year is plenty. Thus the Prayed Word and the Word that gives life, that is Confession, come to be lost.
See how topical the admonition of Saint Francis was when he said to his brothers: "the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth."They are killed by the letter who seek only to know the words that they may be esteemed more learned among others and that they may acquire great riches to leave to their relations and friends. And those religious are killed by the letter who will not follow the spirit of the Holy Scriptures, but who seek rather to know the words only and to interpret them to others. And they are quickened by the spirit of the Holy Scriptures who do not interpret materially every text they know or wish to know, but who by word and example give them back to God from whom is all good.”
Therefore, my proposition is, pay more attention not only to the official documents of the Church but above all grant the proper place in pastoral life to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Make use of it and put it to work especially in the seminaries and pastoral activities. The analysis highlights the fact that in the communities and especially in the parishes where Confession is missing, attendance drops and spirituality becomes less profound.

[00219-02.02] [IN187] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Ruy RENDÓN LEAL, Bishop Prelate of El Salto (MEXICO)

First of all, we find the Word of God in the Sacred Scriptures, when with faith and humility we receive and bring it into prayer. God speaks to us through the created works, as well as through the Liturgy, above all the Eucharistic Celebration. Other presences of the Salvific Word can be found in what is occurring in the Magisterium of the Church and in our neighbor, especially the most poor and the suffering ones.
1. Finding and listening to the Word. The Church must favor, in its Pastoral, the reading and the knowledge of the Bible. All of us, the baptized, must commit ourselves and others to be inspired to a deep encounter with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Father, to achieve a growth of the strong experience of God and a true conversion. This encounter with the Word requires attentive listening, with the heart.
2.Praying and celebrating the Word. Through different methods, in particular with the Lectio divina, the Word which is brought into prayer becomes the source of living water for us. Equally in the Liturgy of the Word, well prepared and well celebrated, of all the sacramental celebrations, the Word proclaimed with its redeeming strength is able to transform the lives of the believers.
3. Living and transmitting the Word. Contemporary society demands of us Christians that we witness what we are and what we do. It is not sufficient to call us Christian Catholics, it is not sufficient to pray and participate to the Sacrament. The witness of unity and life suitable with the Gospel should be the distinctive signs of all the baptized. The commitment to share our experience of faith will undoubtedly lead us to transmitting in our words, our works and our behavior the Word of God to others.

[00209-02.01] [IN177] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Angelo AMATO, S.D.B., Titular Archbishop of Sila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (VATICAN CITY)

Jesus says: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11:29) For more than 2,000 years men and women, old and young, wise and ignorant, in the East as in the West, applied themselves to the school of the Lord Jesus, which caused this sublime commandment to echo in their hearts and minds: “You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48). This does not mean that a man-made perfection is the goal to be reached, rather it is the heights of divine perfection. With simplicity and humility, even youth - like fourteen-year-old Domenico Savio and thirteen-year-old Laura Vicuña - have taken the Lord’s words seriously and taken up the path towards sainthood.
Their library was largely composed of the life and the Words of Jesus: blessed are the poor, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the gentle, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted. The saints, understanding that the Beatitudes are the essence of the Gospel and the portrait of Christ Himself, became their imitators.
Yesterday four new saints from three different continents were canonized,. Among these was a young nun, Sister Alfonsa Muttathypadathu, the first Indian saint, a noble figure of a joyful and strong woman. The perfection of her sanctity was also measured by the words of Jesus: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34).Sister Alfonsa accepted her physical illnesses and moral afflictions - such as incomprehension and contempt - living sine glossa her own via crucis following the Lord Jesus. At the end of her short existence, Sister Alfonsa could repeat with Saint Paul: “It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church (Col 1:24). As it was yesterday, today, too, there are countless faithful who convert the words of Christ into flesh and blood every day. And in so doing, they sanctify themselves..

[00214-02.06] [IN182] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Marin BARIŠIĆ, Archbishop of Split-Makarska (CROATIA)

The local language has been used in the liturgy in the Croatian Church since the ninth century. The Encounter between the Word of God and the local language can be reflected by the Croatian word “ posteno” - which means honest, human, sincere and just. This word comes from “po-stenju” that is to say according to the reading. The norms of human life came from attentive reading and hearing of the Word of God (Instrumentum laboris no. 27).
This human and Christian lifestyle arises from the Word of God, whose identity is reflected and expressed in the Hearing Church, the Church in Prayer and the Serving Church.
The hearing Church corresponds and responds to the Word of God, able to hear the specific problems of our times (cf. GS 1), just as it can give the Word that is apt and necessary to the world and the culture of today.
The creative and renewing power of the Word should be discovered, in a special way, in the liturgical celebration. From this source, the Word enters into daily life.
What the Church hears and celebrates is translated into the evangelizing mission. The fullness of joy that comes from obedient hearing and from the celebration of the Word of God cannot leave us dumbfounded, rather it must transform us into hopeful protagonists of the credibility of the Gospel, to live “posteno” - according to the reading.

[00215-02.02] [IN183] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Javier ECHEVARRÍA RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Cilibia, Prelate of Opus Dei

In the life of the saints the meeting with Word of God through the reading of Holy Scripture produced a radical existential change We must all, priests and lay persons, seek to have a profound thirst for Jesus Christ, living every scene from the Gospel as one character among the others. The Bible calls for the faithful interlocutor to provide a reply: the reply of prayer. It is appropriate for we pastors during the sacrament of Confession to frequently advise the faithful to read the Gospel, teaching how to participate in what is told there and urging those who confess to give the same advice to colleagues, family members and friends.
It is not enough to think upon ideas or scenes that may arouse our admiration for the truth, goodness or beauty they reflect; what all we Christians must do, like the saints, is seek to bring these texts into our daily, personal life so that it may be transformed. Men and women have ever greater and more urgent need not of vain and ephemeral words but of the Word of God, the only one capable of giving an authentic meaning to life. It would be advantageous to promote initiatives fostering the spread of this attitude of prayer and interior concentration towards the Gospel, so that real impact on our daily life can be made. Furthermore I believe it would also be appropriate to make sure that the texts of the Mass are read well, that is to say truly lived, not as rhetoric but with the certainty that God is speaking to them and to the community.

[00220-02.05] [IN188] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Kurt KOCH, Bishop of Basel, Bâle, Basilea (SWITZERLAND)

“The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord” (DV 21). In general, this orientation still was not understood enough by religious conscience, as can be seen above all by today’s four central points.
1. In Switzerland and in Europe in general, many members of the Church are baptized catechumens, to whom not only the language of faith in the Church, but also the Biblical world is foreign. Because of this, today, not only is there a need for new ways to reach the Word of God, but the entire pastoral ministry must be, in a decisive way, a pastoral ministry of evangelization and cannot continue being only a pastoral ministry of sacramentalization.
2. The Holy Scripture can be spoken about only if the Church is also spoken about as subject of the same. Thus, we touch upon the central ecumenical point. In this area, the dispute concerns the ecclesiastic institutes, such as the magisterium and the ministry itself. The controversial question is that of the relationship between the Word of God and the witnesses of those entrusted officially with this word.
3. Not only in the general acknowledgment of the faith, but also in the reflections, one perceives evermore Marcionistic tendencies, inasmuch as the unity of the Old and New Testament seems to have become fragile. However, Christianity could learn a great deal from Judaism, as for example a less forced approach to Scripture and Tradition, since for the Jews the Hebraic Bible is not merely a printed book, rather it is a living book.
4. In inter-religious dialogue, today, the Holy Scriptures of men is openly spoken of. Thus, one forgets that Christianity is not, first of all, a religion of the Book, like Judaism and Islam. In fact, the Word of God is a Person, the Son of God made man, and thereby precedes Holy Scripture. Without an intimate relationship in friendship with this Person, even the letter of the Holy Scripture remains mute. The representation of the Word of God in the life of the Church, therefore, is upheld and demonstrated with the renewal in the faith in Christ today.

[00221-02.02] [IN189] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph NGUYÊN CHI LINH, Bishop of Thanh Hóa (VIETNAM)

Last Friday, my dear Vietnamese brother, His Excellency Joseph Vo Duc Minh, gave a summarized history of the evangelization of our people. I would like to continue his report by referring to number 28 of the Instrumentum laboris, beginning with the support role of the Word of God in the history of the Church, to show how this role was achieved in the life of the Church in Vietnam.
The Gospel was proclaimed for the first time on our land at the beginning of the 16th century in the painful context of an internal war between two kingdoms ruled by brothers who were enemies. Marvelously, thanks to this coincidence, it became of great comfort for the first baptized persons and ever since, it has not ceased being the moral and spiritual support, the principle for enrichment for the Church in Vietnam, one of the most suffering ones due to bloody and consecutive persecutions. Embarking on this history, woven by hatred, ideological wars and discriminatory restrictions, our Christians are more and more convinced that only the Word of God can keep them in love, joy, peace, communion and tolerance.
It is painful for me to tell you that Vietnam, until now, is in first place concerning abortions. However, this catastrophe, paradoxically, inspired the “Pro Vita” movement among Catholics, mainly consisting in looking for the aborted babies in the hospitals, baptizing them if there is any sign of life, creating cemeteries to bury them. At the beginning, these actions were accused by the civil authorities and the hospital management as crimes, obliging the Catholics to act clandestinely. Now, it is still not authorized, but it is at least tolerated. Some film makers even made documentaries about this and reporters praise these efforts in the media. Why this progress? Answer: we better recognize the witness of the Christians, those that live the Word of God and under the light of this Word, one respects life. I would like to repeat this certitude, mentioned in Gaudium et Spes, number 44: “Indeed, the Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her”.
Another sign worthy of being mentioned to show that the Word of God continues to support the Church in Vietnam. This would be the mass conversion of the thousands of persons of the ethnic minorities shortly after the canonization of the 117 Martyrs of Vietnam in 1988. What is curious about this is that many admitted to listening to the Protestant Radio in Manila, in the Philippines, but converted to Catholicism in Vietnam. Thus, the Protestants sow the seed and the Catholics harvest. The Word of God echoing from afar, reaching their ears, has become the source of hope for these persons lost in the mountains, deprived of all and without a future.
In conclusion, I would like, as a Vietnamese Christian, to repeat the certitude that in persecutions, our greatest grace is faithfulness to the Word of God.

[00249-02.03] [IN197] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan MATOGO OYANA, C.M.F., Bishop of Bata (EQUATORIAL GUINEA)

Geographically, Equatorial Guinea occupies a favorable position which, already in the 15th century, facilitated the arrival of some missionaries. Just four centuries later, evangelists had established themselves in the country. Given the small dimensions of the country, it was very easy for them to bring the Word to all inhabitants,
Having passed this period of evangelization, we faced, as other peoples, the challenge to deepen the study of the Good News which we had received. More specifically, how were we to illuminate our cultural roots and our traditions with the light of the Gospel so as to become the “new man” to which Christ calls us. And how were we to escape, with all our brothers, from poverty and move toward better conditions of life, without fatalistic pessimism or selfish materialism, so as to live with dignity as children of Christ. In this double effort, there is no shortage of voices or realities that show the way offering various attractive options which claim to be the right solution in every moment. But their proposals follow one after another, because they immediately reveal themselves as incomplete, as ephemeral.
The Authorized Word. Being Christian, according to their own roots and cultural traditions means they must be enlightened by the Gospel. And this is possible only when the footsteps of the person who taught us to suitable privilege both sides are followed closely. And this is why He said, on the one hand, “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets..”(Mt 5:17) and on the other, “You have heard how it was said ...But I say ...”(Mt 5:21at seg)In the same way, escaping from poverty, in solidarity with our brothers, moving away as much from fatal pessimism as from egoistic materialism, implies rooting ourselves in Him who said “For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too” (Lk 12:34)
The permanent task of evangelists. We must therefore imitate the Sower who abundantly spreads the seed of Word (cf Mt 13:1 et seg.). Not only that, we must make our request of the vine dresser who seeks new opportunities and offers himself for the development of new strategies in order to more intensely support the growth of the planted seed and, consequently, to be able to await with faith the corresponding fruit (cf Lk 13: 8-9).

[00210-02.04] [IN178] [Original text: Spanish]


During this Fourteenth General Congregation, the following Auditors intervened:

- Mr. Andrea RICCARDI, Founder of S.Egidio Community (ITALY)
- Ms. Maria VOCE, President of Focolari Movement (ITALY)
- Mr. Luis Fernando FIGARI RODRIGO, Superior General of the Sodalitium Vitae Christianae (PERÚ)
- Ms. Michelle MORAN, President of International Catholic Council of Charismatic Renewal Services (I.C.C.R.S.) (GREAT BRITAIN)
- Prof. Thomas Hong-Soon HAN, Professor of Economy "College of Business and Economics", "Hankuk University of Foreign Studies" (Seoul); President of the Council for the Apostolate of Catholic Laity (KOREA)
- Sr. Evelyne FRANC, F.d.C., Superior General of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de' Paoli (FRANCE)
- Prof. Rafael Chainarong MONTHIENVICHIENCHAI, Vice Chancellor of St. John's University, Bangkok (THAILAND)
- Mr. Moysés Louro DE AZEVEDO FILHO, Founder and General Moderator of the Catholic Community Shalom (BRAZIL)
- Ms. Ewa KUSZ, President of the World Conference of Secular Institutes (C.M.I.S.) (ITALY)
- Sr. Jocelyne HUOT, S.F.A., General President of the "Les Brebis de Jésus" Movement, Québec (CANADA)
- Ms. Agnes Kam Leng LAM, President of Catholic Biblical Association of Hong Kong (CHINA)
- Ms. Teresa Maria WILSNAGH, Regional Director of the Bible Foundation "Catholic Bible Foundation" (C.B.F.) of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
- Mr. Amel Diockel SARR, Catechist in the Dakar archdiocese (SENEGAL)
- Mr. Daniele BOSCARO, Head of the Italian Catholic Scouts Association (A.G.E.S.C.I.), Padova (ITALY)
- Sr. M. Clare MILLEA, A.S.C.J., Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
- Sr. M. Viviana BALLARIN, O.P., Superior General of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, President of the Union of Superiors Major of Italy (U.S.M.I.) (ITALY)
- Ms. Natalja FEDOROVA BOROVSKAJA, Professor at the State Humanistic University in Russia and at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
- Ms. Silvia SANCHINI, National Woman'sPresident of the Italian Catholic University Federation (F.U.C.I.) (ITALY)

The summaries of the interventions can be found below:

- Mr. Andrea RICCARDI, Founder of S.Egidio Community (ITALY)

Gregorio Magno teaches: the Word grows with he who reads it. It enlightens the poor, guiding us to understand that to be close to them is to be close to Christ Himself . Thus emerges the structural dimension of the Christian: the disciple. He became this at the Sea of Galilee, listening to Jesus, before being called a Christian at Antioch. In a time of a whirlwind of words, the Word matures in silence. From this springs forth a prayer which keeps watch over the world. At times the Word is chained up by projects, protagonists, and ideological readings. Today people feel lost; they fear for their future. We speak of difficulties in evangelizing. But people want to listen. How do we help them? By nourishing ourselves on the Word of God. People sense those who love the Word.. Some Christians and ministers of the Word do not seem to be able to transmit the sense of the Word. It is enough to hear certain sermons. For everyone there is but one way: diligence in reading for a life. He who listens to the Word knows how to speak to the heart. To evangelize is not a technique, but to overflow with the Word. The Synod can be the right moment to promote a mature season of love for Scripture in the people of God.. Strengthened by a century of biblical culture, is it not time to develop devotion to the Sacred Page among the people of God? Christian men and women will thus become-as Chrysostom says-“simple with intelligence” in a complex world.

[00226-02.02] [OD003] [Original text: Italian]

- Ms. Maria VOCE, President of Focolari Movement (ITALY)

From the dawn of the Focolari Movement, Chiara Lubich, together with a small group of friends, took up a spiritual path indicated by a profound rediscovery and life of the Gospel.
The effect of this life was the birth of a community formed by those, coming into contact with each other, who began in turn to live the Gospel with commitment and enthusiasm, sharing their many surprising experiences.
The Word of God occupies a central position today as well.
The Word is experienced as a spring of God (cf. DV 7) from which to drink, with which to nourish one’s soul, in the same way as with the Eucharist (cf. DV 21).
The custom of mutually sharing experiences resulting from a life of the Word leads to the rise of evermore authentic evangelization.
Therefore, we can understand Chiara’s yearning to leave the Gospel to those who would follow her. She said: “That which remains and will remain forever is the Gospel, which is not subject to the erosion of time” (...) “thus the Work of Mary will remain on earth truly as the other Mary: all Gospel, nothing but the Gospel, and, because it is the Gospel, it will not die”.

[00227-02.03] [UD004] [Original text: Italian]

- Mr. Luis Fernando FIGARI RODRIGO, Superior General of the Sodalitium Vitae Christianae (PERÚ)

In Ecclesiam suam, Pope Paul VI pointed out the communicating dimension of the divine Revelation. This same aspect is expressed in that beautiful passage of Exodus in which we are told that “the Lord was talking with Moses face to face, like with a friend.”. Having reached the fullness of times, God pronounced His Word, which was with God since the beginning and that is God, and became flesh in the Immaculate Virgin Mary by means of the Holy Spirit.
The incarnated Eternal Word speaks a human language and manifests the mystery of God and his Plan as the mystery of the human being, the greatness of his vocation and the horizon of his personal realization.
The Word of God written by inspiration of the Spirit, questions the depths of the human being and invites him to the inspiring and indescribable encounter with Jesus the Lord.
Fundamental to this path is mastering an active silence that involves not only hearing but acting upon it in Ecclesia, which will open the heart to interiorization and following the Word of God. The listened and embraced Word inspires faith of the intellect in us, transforming our criteria into “the mind of Christ”, to awaken faith in the heart so that “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”; and promotes faith in action, conscious that those who “listen to the Word, put it into practice” are blessed.
The Virgin Mary is the model of listening and the response to the Word of God.

[00228-02.02] [UD005] [Original text: Spanish]

- Ms. Michelle MORAN, President of International Catholic Council of Charismatic Renewal Services (I.C.C.R.S.) (GREAT BRITAIN)

Commenting upon the essential relationship that exists between the Holy Spirit and the Word of God( IL.3). The Charismatic Renewal helps to foster a new openness to the graces and gifts and of the Holy Spirit. It is involved in producing resources to help people not just to have access to the Scriptures, important as this is, but also to have life changing experiences through encountering the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When people come alive in faith there is a hunger for the Word of God. Some people fail to have this hunger satisfied due to poor homiletic preaching. Undoubtedly, there is more to be done in the area of clergy training in homiletics. However, if preaching is to come alive it requires an openness and docility to the power of the Holy Spirit. I would like to suggest that all those involved in the ministry of preaching and proclamation are also offered opportunities to experience a renewal of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
In IL, part III 'the Word of God in the Mission of the Church,' before beginning his public ministry we are told that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit (LK 4:1). The Holy Spirit is therefore an essential prerequisite for effective Evangelisation and Mission. Prayerful attentiveness to the Word of God guided by the Holy Spirit will protect us from over activism and lead us into fruitful missionary engagement with the World.

[00240-02.03] [UD017] [Original text: English]

- Prof. Thomas Hong-Soon HAN, Professor of Economy "College of Business and Economics", "Hankuk University of Foreign Studies" (Seoul); President of the Council for the Apostolate of Catholic Laity (KOREA)

My intervention refers to numbers 38,39 and 41 of Instrumentum Laboris.
There is urgent need·for a solid formation of Christ's faithful on the Word of God. And this should be more than a mere transmission of knowledge. Formation in the Word of God must be "performative".(Spe Salvi, 2). It must be life-transforming and should aim at combating . "structures of sin" to create a better world to live in.
Performative Formation in the Word of God should integrate into it a solid formation in the Church's social doctrine. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church can serve as a valid instrument in this regard. We need competent educators in the field of social doctrine and in the study of the Word of God. The Church should invest human and financial resources in the formation of educators.
A performative formation in the Word of God requires that the whole Church and all its members must bear witness of actions. We must recognize that people are more persuaded by holiness of life than by intellectual argument.
The Church leaders need to make a serious examination of the lifestyles and possessions within the Church in light of the Word of God and take every measure possible to implement the social doctrine. Moreover, while making commercial contracts, the Church must ensure that principles of justice, living wages and good working conditions are included in them. Unfortunately, the Church's record has not always been satisfactory.
I hope that this Synod will establish a biblical lifestyle proper to a witnessing Church and promote a performative formation of lay faithful.

[00225-02.02] [UD002] [Original text: English]

- Sr. Evelyne FRANC, F.d.C., Superior General of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de' Paoli (FRANCE)

1. The Word of God at the heart of our lives (Instrumentum laboris no. 24, 38, 52)
The Word wakes us every morning and follows us throughout the day, in the liturgy of Hours, the Eucharist, the times of prayer and the service. It is at the same time sweet as honey and bitter as bile; it comforts and moves, makes us go forth, and disorients us.
Sharing the Word (Lectio divina) reanimates our apostolic commitment, it is the unifying factor and the way to forgiveness, reconciliation and discernment. It is even more necessary today when, in the five continents, the Sisters close to the heart and the lives of the poor, are sometimes confronted by situations of extreme difficulty. Sharing the Word then strengthens their feeling of belonging to Christ, ties them once again to the community that sends them, to the mission of the Church.
2. Proclaiming the Word through our service for the poor. (Instrumentum laboris no. 36, 39, 43, 44)
The Word moves us to serve not only to fight material hunger, poverty, it moves us to work for a world where all are respected, it moves us to denounce injustice. A dual reading of the Word imposes: to live the life of the poor in the light of Scriptures and to read Scriptures from the viewpoint of the poor. They are sacrament of Christ among us, these poor who evangelize us.
In conclusion, two words on the proclamation of the Word in the pastoral ministry of youth and popular piety.
The youth from the five continents enthusiastically answer the challenges mentioned during the World Youth Day: “You are salt for the earth... You are light for the world.” (Mt 5:13-14) in Toronto, we “have come to do him homage” (Mt 2:2) in Cologne, “you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses” (Ac 1:8) in Sydney. The young persons await these challenges from us and are ready to pick them up when we walk by their sides, living of this Word and knowing how to explain it to them.
Number 36 of the Instrumentum laboris mentions popular piety, let us give an example: The miraculous medal offered to so many persons throughout the world is a humble catechetical instrument, a summary of the history of salvation that allows the proclamation of the Word of God.
This Word, Mary, the Eucharistic woman, our model of spiritual life, fully received and shares it with us completely.

[00237-02.02] [UD014] [Original text: French]

- Prof. Rafael Chainarong MONTHIENVICHIENCHAI, Vice Chancellor of St. John's University, Bangkok (THAILAND)

The role of parents in the development of the faith in children cannot be overemphasized. In the past and present, most Catholic parents will still teach their children to make the sign of the cross and recite simple prayers - all before the children even go to school.
For most parents, unfortunately, their role decreases substantially as soon as the children go to school. Teachers become more influential than the parents, especially regarding the formation of the faith in young children.
Catholic education and dedicated catechists/teachers with effective teaching methodology can help to form a long-lasting and solid faith in their young students who naturally refer to the Word of God when times are good and apply it when trouble arises

[00242-02.02] [UD020] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Moysés Louro DE AZEVEDO FILHO, Founder and General Moderator of the Catholic Community Shalom (BRAZIL)

Through the ecclesial movements and the new communities, thousands of people have set out on the path to meet the living Jesus Christ and discovered the joy of being Church. This personal meeting with the Risen One who suffered the Cross and who breathes the Holy Spirit is the event that transforms the person into a disciple, allowing them to discover the beauty and strength of His Word.
Starting from this experience, the vital need arises in the heart of Christ’s disciple to feed on the Word of God and, at the same time, they feel impelled to meet it in a prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture, the Eucharistic Liturgy and in the missionary commitment to testify to that same Word with strength and courage, that is, with parresia.
In the experience of the Catholic Community of Shalom, the disciple follows a systematic and prayerful formative path at a personal and community level, relating to the Sacred Scriptures in the light of the living Tradition of the Church and following the indications of its Magisterium. In this way he nourishes his intelligence and his heart and the Word of God becomes the powerful force that transforms his life, at a personal, community and social level, urging him towards the mission.
We are certain that, in reality, we possess the full understanding of the Word of God when, through the power of the Spirit, we put it into practice in our daily lives and share it with others. The Word welcomed and transmitted in faith makes a witness of the disciple.
It is impressive to see how contact with a witness, nourished on the Word, prayer and the Eucharist, can transform itself into an experience with Christ Himself, in a meeting that is capable of changing lives.
Today we contemplate a multitude who hunger and thirst for the Word of God. These faces ask us to go to them and, as passionate witnesses, with parresia and creativity, to allow them to deeply know and love the Word made Flesh! And this is the only answer we can give. Thank you.

[00224-02.02] [UD001] [Original text: Italian]

- Ms. Ewa KUSZ, President of the World Conference of Secular Institutes (C.M.I.S.) (ITALY)

In this Synod, I represent the secular institutes, whose members wish to be a sign of the unlimited belonging to Christ in the world.In my intervention I would like to focus attention on man, who must embrace and live according to the Word of God. To listen to the other - be it God or man - the person must first have experienced being heard by someone. We are living in a world where too many words are spoken without being listened to, because it is almost impossible to find a silent place in which to hear them. It is a world where man listens to, above all, his own needs and tries to satisfy them.
1. Therefore, if we wish to have people listen to the Word of God, those that proclaim it must first practice it in listening to the Word. They must learn to listen to God and to men. I believe that formation in the major seminaries, but also the permanent formation of priests, should not only transmit the intellectual knowledge of Holy Scripture, but also find the time to encounter God and practice the ability to listen to His Word. Apart from the ability to communicate, above all, the availability and the ability to listen should be developed.
2. The Working Document encourages the laity to “proclaim the Good News to men in all situations of life”. I would like to underline that this “proclamation” of the Word of God by the laity often occurs without a word being said. In fact, it occurs through the simple daily witness at home, at work and in the neighborhood. This “silent” apostolate, comparable to leaven, is our main task. Only secondarily, some of us are animators in the various Bible groups in the parishes and elsewhere. Therefore, I ask that those responsible give the laity more trust, because we truly practice in our daily lives the hidden “service of the Word”. I think it is important that the experience of the laity committed in the Church should be taken seriously and together we should find proper ways of “proclamation”, since, in life we are closer to those to whom the Word is proclaimed.

[00229-02.02] [UD006] [Original text: German]

- Sr. Jocelyne HUOT, S.F.A., General President of the "Les Brebis de Jésus" Movement, Québec (CANADA)

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me [...] “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” (Jn 10:14).
These are the founding words of the evangelical movement “The Flock of Jesus” (born in April 1985). Love unveils itself, Love thirsts for us. Who welcomes this revelation of mildness and force at the same time? The child, because he thirsts to be loved. “Here I am Jesus, I am your flock. Through your Holy Spirit, lead me into the heart of the Father!” This Biblical image of the shepherd and the flock is not attained by breaking the parent-child relationship. Therefore, it offers a marvelous path of discovery of the love of God for each of us.
The entire pedagogy of the movement is based on the power of the Word of God. It is presented as the seed of life, called upon to bear fruit. It asks to be received in an open and attentive heart. Each encounter is privileged by this listening and is placed in the presence of Love.
The Word of God is also presented as the loving nourishment prepared by the Shepherd for His flock. Each evangelical experience is comparable to a banquet where the nourishment is offered to each child personally, shared and eaten in an atmosphere of joy and communion.
Finally, the Word of God is presented as a light of love. At the same time that intelligence is enlightened, the heart is set ablaze by a new flame which brings with it a missionary breath. The movement grows by the force of its witness and in the mystery of the Cross.

[00230-02.02] [UD007] [Original text: French]

- Ms. Agnes Kam Leng LAM, President of Catholic Biblical Association of Hong Kong (CHINA)

1. The Word of God for the Church to shepherd today’s people in today’s world.The Church should respond to the daily behavioural pattern of today's people, by adjusting her mode of showing forth the Word of God, so that today's people may come to know Jesus Christ, follow him, finding in him the destiny of their lives.
- Simple method for the complex world. Examples of simple method: recitation, Lectio Divina
- Reading bible is like eating, a home-made soup prepared with love and time is delicious, while fast food is tasteless.
- Strive for living out the Word of God today and invite for taking part in the life and mission of the Word of God.
- Invite the Holy Father to open a multi-language blog to shepherd today's world: daily scriptural verse with simple reflection, brief text and plentiful images
2. The Word of God for the Church to shepherd today’s faithful
Bible formation for the laity
- Drill on close listening to the Word of God: 'Reading the Bible, entering the heart of the Lord.' (Sr. Maria Ko, FMA, cf. Jn 14:20; Ph12:5)
- Basic drill on opening the Book of the Bible including formation on the attitude of Bible reading: attend to what the bible says, more than exegesis
- Survival kit on basic bible knowledge.
- In view of the demand for speed, return, variety and touch of life, try to stimulate a stable interest in Bible reading for the laity, through a basic bible program of sufficient length, so that the faithful may accustom to settle themselves at the feet of the Word of God.
Encourage Bible reading groups
- Laity needs community experience or partner support in bible reading and sharing
- Reminder on the skills and attitude of bible sharing
- Bible Pastoral Ministry Formation for the facilitators for Bible reading or sharing groups, including the development of methods for Bible sharing, should be tailor-made from or in response to local situation.
I propose to adopt “simple method for a complex world”.

[00231-02.02] [UD008] [Original text: English]

- Ms. Teresa Maria WILSNAGH, Regional Director of the Bible Foundation "Catholic Bible Foundation" (C.B.F.) of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)

Not many people are aware of the Catholic Biblical Federation who, next year celebrate their 40th anniversary. The CBF is involved in the biblical pastoral apostolate with members all over the world. Within the CBF there is a strong network of support among the members concerning the different means of bringing Scripture to all people.
Within South Africa we have developed different programmes in a creative way on how to bring the Bible to all people in an exciting way.
The word "formation" does not sit well with me - I prefer the word "empower". We give the people of all ages - from the very young to the not so young - an encounter of the living presence of God / Jesus in the Bible. Many people are afraid to open their Bible and we show them you come as you are; God speaks to us in our every day lives, God speaks to us through others & God speaks to us in His word.
I find it impossible to share Scripture with others if I had not made the word my own - internalised it myself and listened! The following comment had been made within the Synod - our lives are a witness to others, what we do is much stronger than what we say!
Our programmes incorporate simple methods of Bible study, sharing & prayer. We show people you do not need to be a scholar to hear God speaking. Within Lectio Divina, they see how they can come to text several times; read, reflect and respond to the message that God has for them through a specific text.
With the young we invite them to share in a creative way eg. song, drama, protest march etc, their understanding of a specific text. Even a simple Lectio Divina has been developed for the youth. People are encouraged to use the coming Sunday' s Gospel reading, so that when they come to Mass they have already spent some time with the Word. God speaks to them again when the Word is proclaimed and when the word is opened within the homily.
We have encountered people who can not read or write but have memorised texts; their love for the Word is powerful. We have had the occasion where we were given time within the Mass, at the time of the homily, to bring of our programme to the parishioners. As we know, for most at Mass, it is their only encounter of Scripture and many walk long distances for this opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist and the Word.
We empower people to take Scripture and make it their own; empower people to bring Scripture to others by training them in our methods so that the Word can spread even further!
The word of God is powerful, able to achieve anything it has been sent out to do. You just need to accept it in faith!

[00232-02.02] [UD009] [Original text: English]

- Mr. Amel Diockel SARR, Catechist in the Dakar archdiocese (SENEGAL)

Most Holy Father and dear Synod Fathers,
I am participating in this Synod as a Catechist auditor, proposed to the Holy See by His Eminence Cardinal Theodore Adrien SARR, Archbishop of Dakar for this assembly. Our intervention leads obviously to the Word of God, but we believe that we cannot pronounce ourselves on this Word without an allusion to those who help you in a special way to proclaim the message of the Lord: we, the catechists.
By inspiring us with Truth: “Jesus the Word of God Par Excellence”, we often tell the catechists that we are forming, that by proclaiming the Gospel (or the Word of God), in actions above all, the Catechist himself becomes gospel or word, that is to say a model.
This means that the Catechist, himself initiated in the Church and already a teacher, must be the first to respect the Word of God and live what it teaches us: he must be his own true catechist.
In catechetical pedagogy, we also say that we teach not only the catechesis between four walls, the teaching must continue in the city through the witness.
The catechists were a part of the “pioneers” during the first evangelization in many nations. Filled with our different cultures, tied to the Gospel, they were and remain the inescapable collaborators in the translation and the transmission of the Word of God.
Consequently, if we have taken the word, it is up to you to ask, dear Synod Fathers, for greater attention and support for their formation and their ministry.
Most Holy Father, on behalf of all the catechists, I wish for longevity and good health in view of the mission. We also pray for you, in union with our Bishops and our priests.

[00234-02.02] [UD011] [Original text: French]

- Mr. Daniele BOSCARO, Head of the Italian Catholic Scouts Association (A.G.E.S.C.I.), Padova (ITALY)

Scouting has among its characteristics: contact with nature, the primacy of education through experience, the spirit of community and service to our brothers. This can be translated as: the search for the traces of the Word of God to be found in the created world, in the ability to reread our history as the history of salvation, in sharing in the life of our brothers and choosing to serve them. The frame of reference is that there cannot be integral education of the person without a proposal of faith linked to it
In our experience it appears urgent that the Word of God involves the whole person passing from the head to the heart to existentially involve people in their fundamental decisions that involve their being before their doing. This means working on an integration between Faith and Life that is capable of offering an approach to the Biblical text from the perspective of the full realization of man: today God and happiness are often seen by the young generations as being disconnected thus nourishing deluded attempts at self-salvation. To head and heart we can add hands: they bring to light the need for a faith that has its natural end in the service of one’s neighbor, so that faith will be described in its acting.
What emerges as primarily necessary is a personal relationship with the Living One, and to do this starting out, once again, from the announcement of the God News. Kerygmatic and catechetical paths, especially if supported by a personal accompaniment, are capable of leading to a rereading of the history of salvation with reference to one’s own personal history. This is why, starting from the centrality of Sacred Scripture approaches to the text that aim more at the interior lives of people (dramatization, body language, games) might be useful.
For the young, the central point is that they are the young adult Christians of tomorrow and on the basis of how much the Word of God will be present in the period of their fundamental choices, they will care for it and grow into a living and passionate Church.
As for lay people and the definition we heard here of “sleeping giant”: the word giant reveals the power and visibility they might be for the Church but also how much space they need to move in. The being “sleeping” highlights the need for a wakening and, probably, the time to prepare themselves and draw up an agenda of things to do.

[00235-02.02] [UD012] [Original text: Italian]

- Sr. M. Clare MILLEA, A.S.C.J., Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

The Instrumentum laboris, with its seven specific references to consecrated life, as well as three references to community life clearly challenges our congregations and each of us personally to contribute to this ecclesial event. As religious, the following of Christ set forth in the Gospels is our supreme rule, and union with God through the profession of the evangelical counsels is our purpose for being. (Perfectae Caritatis, 2a, e).
The founders and foundresses of religious congregations were enlightened by a spark of the Word of God which the Holy Spirit ignited in their hearts, causing each charism and Rule to spring from that Word and be an expression of it. (cf. CIVCSVA, Starting Afresh from Christ, no. 24).
The charism of the Servant of God Clelia Merloni, Foundress of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has its origin in the Heart of Christ pierced on the Cross for the redemption of the world (cf. Jn. 19,34). She calls her daughters to bring to all people the Word that illuminates, the faith that saves, the example that convinces, the self-sacrifice that redeems, and the infinite and merciful love that bursts forth from the very Heart of Jesus.
In occasion of the preparation and celebration of this Synod, many of our local communities have recommitted themselves to personal and community lectio divina and are seeking ways to promote prayerful reading of the Scriptures among the people with whom they serve, particularly young people.
We have also begun a Congregation-wide campaign of solidarity to provide Bibles for youth and families who cannot afford one and who are willing to learn to read and pray Scripture along with our Sisters.
Apostles from 13 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America have been sharing with me their experiences of personal transformation through the power of the Word, even in the lives of non-Christians.
We are grateful for the Synod's encouragement and prayer for all of us who have chosen to follow Christ in the way of the evangelical counsels. We promise you our faithful and loving obedience and our joyful collaboration in the great evangelizing mission of the Church.

[00236-02.02] [UD013] [Original text: English]

- Sr. M. Viviana BALLARIN, O.P., Superior General of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, President of the Union of Superiors Major of Italy (U.S.M.I.) (ITALY)

I refer to numbers 25 and 52 of the Instrumentum Laboris.
There is a mysterious and very close bond between the Word and woman.
It is the experience of a many consecrated women who, called by name, have not resisted the attraction of the Divine Word pronounced in their lives, women who with the concern of Mary run along the paths of many human stories, carrying the Word in their bosom and extending it to those who hunger and thirst for the truth, to all, even to those who do not know how to seek it. Women, conscious and pleased to make their energies available so that hope, love, dignity, tenderness, and even beauty might live within every human heart.
In an orphaned society, turned inward onto itself, consecrated women become a living exegesis of the Word of God which continues to embody itself in the concreteness of their lives which are consigned, itinerant, filled with good works, completely dedicated, at times even to the point of martyrdom.
They are this for all people, even for those who do not recognize them, for those whom it is difficult or even dangerous to approach, those avoided. Reaching the most hidden corners of human existence, spaces or situations where homilies cannot be given, but only shouted with the power of silence which becomes presence and following, action and service, caring caress..
Many consecrated/religious women tireless witnesses, dispensers of the Word of God which is Father and mother. They live amidst school desks and prisons, hospital beds and on the streets, near the drug addicts, those suffering AIDS, women exploited by prostitution, by the elderly’s side and by abused children, close to destroyed families, or the homeless or the unemployed, close to all the sick of any sort, the tender presence in every corner of the world. This multitude of untiring women dispensers of the Word are the face of the Mother Church with their mother’s hands and heart, they are her fruitful womb, they are the place where God can meet man and man can meet his God.
That this mother’s face and heart, reflected by a passionate Love which seeks its children, may be expressed with effectiveness in the final document of the Synod of the Word of God and even more so in the daily word of the Church Herself.

[00238-02.04] [UD015] [Original text: Italian]

- Ms. Natalja FEDOROVA BOROVSKAJA, Professor at the State Humanistic University in Russia and at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)

I am a teacher of the History of art so my intervention is connected with §22d of Instrumentum Laboris where art shows us as an instrument of "a spiritual reading of the Bible". We have just listened to the beautiful reflections of the ex. bishops from Roumania and Germany about the role of art in our contacts with the Holy Scripture. For me the Christian art, especially Russian icons and Italian Renaissance painting became a route to the space of God' s life. I was born in the USSR - the country of state atheism. I've never thought about the God and nobody spoke with me about Him except the works of art, music and literature.
Today I teach the history of art. And the main question for me - what methods and conception of the teaching can help my students to meet the love of God through their studies. And it's evident: they will find their Father only if I'll be able to remain in the space of His Word. But how to stay there in the situation of lecture or seminar when it's necessary to decide the concrete professional problems? In this case three moments are important:
1. To receive the work of art in the heart like a prayer of painter. Giving a lecture to understand that you are staying in the atmosphere of this prayer like a priest for his liturgical celebration stays in the eternal prayer of Christ.
2. To look at the history of art with the spiritual attention trying to read its deep religious symbolism. I think that the Church must pray constantly for all the masters and art historians because the life of art in the world is the sacred history of God's mercy.
3. To look at the person of artist in the light of the God's love. We see that often the painter's biography is the crossway, and the content of the cross consists of his sins, mistakes and temptations, that unfortunately are too well-known. Not every painter lived like fra Beato Angelico. Why in spite of the dark circumstances of their life they could create their high-spiritual works? The concept of these phenomena is not only scientific. This is a history of art as a history of the Word of God, the history of Salvation for that the Eternal Word - Jesus Christ - is ready to suffer, to be crucified and to die in the soul of every painter for the rising in his talent that was created by the Farther like a language of His Beloved Son.

[00239-02.04] [UD016] [Original text: English]

- Ms. Silvia SANCHINI, National Woman'sPresident of the Italian Catholic University Federation (F.U.C.I.) (ITALY)

Two fundamental considerations: the importance of the Word in the lives of young people and the link between Word and life and therefore also between Word and study.
The Word can and must be a real beacon, lighting the path for young people, helping them understand, helping them to discover their vocation, especially in this difficult phase distinguished by what the Pope has defined a real “educational emergency”characterized by new forms of malaise and violence.
Study too can help in the discovery of the importance of hearing and living the Word. The Gospel and culture, faith and intelligence are not opposites. On the contrary, they can provide mutual nourishment and foster the growth of a mature and believing conscience.
I would suggest that serious and well-defined proposals are made to help promote the encounter between young people and the Word. Above all the experience of the Lectio divina, for personal and communal prayer, but also days and weeks devoted to youth Bible study - preferably in collaboration with monastic communities. My hope is that more and more young people rediscover the primacy and centrality of the Word in their life.

[00241-02.03] [UD018] [Original text: Italian]




At the Second Press Conference on the work of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on 16 October 2008, at 12.45 the following Fathers will intervene:
- H. Em. Card. William Joseph LEVADA, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (VATICAN CITY)President Delegate of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H. Em. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA)President Delegate of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H. Em. Card. Odilo Pedro SCHERER, Archbishop of São Paulo (BRAZIL)President Delegate of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H. Em. Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, Archbishop of Cape Coast, President of the Association of the Episcopal Conference of West Africa (A.C.E.A.O.) (GHANA), President of the Commision for Information of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H.E. Most. Rev. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (IRELAND) Member of the Commision for Information of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H.E. Most. Rev. Luis Antonio G. TAGLE, Bishop of Imus (PHILIPPINES) Member of the Commision for Information of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

At the Third Press Conference on the work of XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to 25 October 2008, at 12.45 the following Fathers will intervene:
- H.E. Most. Rev. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA, Archbishop of Kinshasa, President of the Episcopal Conference (CONGO R.) Special Secretary of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H.E. Most. Rev. Gianfranco RAVASI, Titular Archbishop of Villamagna di Proconsolare, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (VATICAN CITY) President of the Commission for the Message of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H.E. Most. Rev. Santiago Jaime SILVA RETAMALES, Titular Bishop of Bela, Auxiliary Bishop of Valparaíso (CHILE)Vice President of the Commission for the Message of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops


Please note that there are changes regarding the briefing locations of the Press Officers indicated in Bulletin No 2: the French Language Group will meet at the Holy See Press Office, instead of at Vatican Radio. The precise location will be announced each time.
The eighth briefing for the language groups will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 15 October 2008 at approximately 14:00, at the conclusion of the of Press Conference, in the John Paul II Hall of the Press Office of the Holy See, for the presentation of the film “Testimony”, inspired from the book “A life with Karol” by H. Em. Card. Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, and by Mr. Gianfranco Svidercoschi.
We would like to remind the Audio-Visual Operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers to request their access permits (very restricted) from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The seventh Information Pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Seventeenth General Congregation, on Friday morning, 17 October 2008.
The registration lists for the pool are available for the editors at the entrance (on the right) at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Holy See Press Office.
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 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 08:30 am, outside the entrance of the Paul VI Hall, where 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 following Bulletin No. 21, regarding the works of the Fifteenth General Congregation of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of this afternoon, will be available for the accredited journalists tomorrow, Wednesday 15 October 2008, at the opening of the Press Office of the Holy See.


During the period of the Synod, a telephone news-bulletin will be available:
- +39-06-698.19 for the ordinary daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office;
- +39-06-698.84051 for the Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops - morning session;
- +39-06-698.84877 for the Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops - afternoon session.


During the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the Holy See Press Office will observe the following opening hours:

- Tuesday 14 October: 09.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
- Wednesday 15 October: 09.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
- Thursday 16 October: 09.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m.
- Friday 17 October: 09.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
- Saturday 18 October: 09.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
- Sunday 19 October: 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
- From Monday 20 October to Saturday 25 October: 09.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
- Sunday 26 October: 09.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

The staff of the Information and Accreditation Desk (to the right of the entrance hall) will be available:
- Monday-Friday: 09.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
- Saturday: 09.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

Notice of any changes will be communicated as soon as possible and will be posted on the Bulletin board in the Journalists’ Area of the Holy See Press Office, published in the Bulletin of the Commission for Information on the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and in the Service Information area of the Internet site of the Holy See.


Return to:

- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - XII Ordinary General Assembly - 2008
  [Plurilingual, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish]

- Index Holy See Press Office
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]