The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith
This Bulletin is only a working instrument for
07 - 09.10.2012
- THIRD GENERAL CONGREGATION (TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 2012 - MORNING)
THIRD GENERAL CONGREGATION (TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 2012 - MORNING)
- INTERVENTIONS IN THE HALL (CONTINUATION)
- AUDITIO DELEGATORUM FRATERNORUM (I)
- INTERVENTION OF THE SPECIAL GUEST DR. LAMAR VEST, PRESIDENT OF THEAMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
At 9:05 today Tuesday October 9 2012, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the Hour of Terce, the Third General Congregation began, to continue the interventions by the Synodal Fathers in the Hall on the Synod’s theme «The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith».
The President Delegate on duty H. Em. Card. Francisco ROBLES ORTEGA, Archbishop of Guadalajara (MEXICO).
At the opening of the Congregation, the Secretary General of the
Synod of the Bishops , His Exc. Msgr. Nikola ETEROVIĆ,
Titular Archbishop of Cibale (VATICAN CITY), ensured the
participation in prayer by the Holy Father, the Synodal Fathers and
the other Participants for the drama that the citizens of Syria are
living, hoping for a just and peaceful solution to the conflict.
The greatest obstacle to becoming a constructive theologian (or pastor), and therefore one who is efficacious from the point of view of the new evangelization is undoubtedly pride along with its natural ally - selfishness. The obsession with becoming great, original, important, reduces more than a few to being “shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep” (Ez 34: 8: cf. Saint Augustine, To Pastors), in reality becoming largely irrelevant in the Kingdom of Heaven, and counterproductive for the growth of the Church and evangelization. Since in each of us, after original sin, there is a dose of pride, we have to constantly examine our consciences as regards this and learn, at the foot of the cross, true humility and love.
All three strategies highlight the importance of our own conversion in order to be able to bring others closer to Christ and enrich them with the treasures of the Gospel.
[00032-02.10] [IN009] [Original text: Italian]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. John CORRIVEAU, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Nelson (CANADA)
Pope John Paul II teaches that communion is the mission and the prophetic response of the Church to the individualism of our age. He stresses that the Church will fulfill this mission only if it promotes a spirituality of communion (NMI, 43). A spirituality of communion is profoundly Trinitarian. When Trinitarian love burst upon the world in the incarnation, a new and vital power of relationship, of unity, was revealed to the human family. The call to communion is more than a slogan. It is a conversion of heart.
In the great missionary outburst of the Church during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, there was a great coherence between the Church's self-understanding and the spirituality which expressed it. The Church described herself as a "perfect society leading souls to God". This found expression in ascetical spirituality, a spirituality of personal perfection. It gave birth to a host of apostolic Religious Congregations and ecclesial movements which bore the gospel throughout the world.
The spirituality of communion must spawn a similar renewal in the Church today giving birth to Religious Congregations and ecclesial movements. Existing ecclesial movements and Religious Congregations must also renew their spirituality and mission in light of the communal identity of the Church. Ministers and pastoral agents as well as ecclesial movements and Religious Congregations with spiritualities shaped and energized by the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity will open new avenues for dialogue with our secularized world, making an important contribution to the new evangelization.
[00033-02.03] [IN010] [Original text: English]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Gerhard Ludwig MÜLLER, Archbishop Emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (VATICAN CITY)
We all live in a world nourished by “novelty” on a daily basis. These thousand novelties make us ask what the real novelty is. Today’s world, bewildered by many changes, is in fact without novelty, as it is a prisoner of weak thought, and is always searching for emotions as it is encumbered by many things that do not truly satisfy it. This leads to an important question: where is the true novelty? In this respect, the words of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons remain current: Christ “has brought every novelty, bringing Himself” (Adversus haereses, IV, 34, 1). Every novelty is concentrated in Him.
The new evangelization demands that we overcome certain intra-ecclesial debates in which, for many years, the same themes arise again, and to re-propose instead the Christian faith in its fullness and perennial novelty. In this fullness and novelty the collegiality between Bishops finds consistency and the force of communion, which must never become the pretext for a misunderstood autonomy. The Second Vatican Council teaches that the Lord, “in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided ... placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion” (LG 18). The new evangelization demands that we draw upon this communion, and will be effective only if it is founded on the unity of the Bishops with Peter’s Successor and among themselves. This unity is the cornerstone on which the Lord builds His Church.
In placing ourselves again before Christ, we draw upon this novelty of life, which is able to change us profoundly. In fact, it means renewing the faith in our hearts, of “reawakening the Church in our souls” (R. Guardini). Only if renewed may we become new evangelists. From Christ resurrected the Church was born as a sacrament of His presence and the unity with God and between mankind (cf. LG 1). From Him comes the faith of the Church: a faith which is always new even if it is nourished, in all times, by the same gifts. Rooted in Christ and in the Church, we lean upon the faith of Peter, around whom we find the same solid unity that does not come from us, and is never diminished (cf. UR 4). We all belong to this unity. We wish to serve this unity “so that the world may believe” (John 17:21).
[00048-02.05] [IN011] [Original text: Italian]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Jan BAXANT, Bishop of Litoměřice (CZECH REPUBLIC)
The New Evangelization for the Czech Republic is a joyous solution and an occasion. Throughout many decades of the Communist regime, nothing positive was said about Christ, nor could He ever be mentioned.
Three phenomena of the Czech-Moravian environment:
We are searching for new evangelists, faithful and coherent followers of Christ for the new evangelization.Christian roots have not been completely torn out. Those who live close to the Christian fine arts can but perceive them and ask for answers to questions such as: “Why did our ancestors create all of this with such diligence?”
In our Czech-Moravian pastoral environment the various institutions of state and ecclesial schools, universities and scientific institutes have multiplied. It is interesting that in these institutions there is an awakened interest in spiritual values and in their study.
In these cases it is not necessary for there to be many evangelists. However, they must be evangelists full of zeal, able to to inflame others.
[00047-02.07] [IN 01] [Original text: Italian]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Alonso Gerardo GARZA TREVIÑO, Bishop of Piedras Negras (MEXICO)
In the same way many countries have highly benefitted with the presence of other persons coming from other places, the Church also nourishes herself in a significant way with the testimony and the evangelizing work of many of those committed to the missionary mandate: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to all creation”. (Mk 16:15)
Before the risks or the threats to faith that the persons who migrate profess, it is important that the Church dedicates the necessary support through a pastoral which includes them and their families, and reminds them of their primordial tasks as a living cell of the society and of the domestic Church.
The church must address not only because of the Pastoral of Migrants with a vision of aid and of human promotion, but above all must embody the immigrants in the ecclesiastical activity.
All members of the Church must see in the migratory phenomenon a call to live the evangelical value of brotherhood.
[00039-02.02] [IN013] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Gerald Frederick KICANAS, Bishop of Tucson (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
Inextricably linked to our preaching of the saving message of the Gospel, our acts of love and justice are a prophetic evangelical call. Sharing and acting on our Catholic social teaching bring people to Christ.
We will move hearts to the vision of Christ when, in this Year of Faith, we all demonstrate our faith as Catholics with renewed energy for charity and justice at home and all through the world. People will wonder at the Spirit of Christ that moves us when we stand up for the lives, dignity, and rights of the “least of these”.
This Synod can strongly and unequivocally affirm that justice and charity are at the heart of the work of evangelization.
[00038-02.03] [IN014] [Original text: English]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Gustavo GARCÍA-SILLER, M.Sp.S., Archbishop of San Antonio (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
We live in a world of great promise but also of great need, sometimes marked by darkness. As the Church seeks to respond to our world situation and to evangelize in new ways, we must also realize that we are a Church with struggles. This world reality is calling for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our Popes have called us to remember that “evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75). In order that Jesus Christ’s salvation may reach the whole world and transform it, that the Church may be renewed and holiness may flourish in it, that we Christians go forward with the New Evangelization, we need a new Pentecost. In order that this Year of Faith yield the new Pentecost that we need, I propose to you, brother Bishops, that this Synod humbly ask the Holy Father to consecrate the world to the Holy Spirit.
[00037-02.03] [IN015] [Original text: English]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Alberto Francisco María SANGUINETTI MONTERO, Bishop of Canelones (URUGUAY)
The way of celebrating the Sacraments of Christian Initiation will depend on the future face of the Christianity in the West (Ins. Lab. 131; Lin. 18). It is incorrect that the practical differentiation, which postpones Confirmation to the Eucharist, is merely a pastoral and not dogmatic (I.L. 136). On the contrary, the order of the sacraments baptism, confirmation - Eucharists, derive from the authentic Tradition from the East and from theWest. This dogmatic information must lead all pastorals.
Through baptism and confirmation we are inserted in the New Covenant for the participation in the death and glorification of Jesus Christ and the eschatological effusion of the Holy Spirit. This derives from the missions of the Divine Persons and, finally, from the Trinitarian Processions. Mass is the achievement of the glorious sacrifice of Christ and the sending of the Spirit. For this reason, the Eucharistic Communion is the fulfillment of all Christian initiation and its renewed realization.
It alters the sacramental economy to give First Communion to an unconfirmed baptized individual, who hasn’t been fully initiated. It is more violent to systematically leave Confirmation for after the Holy Communion. Confirmation should follow Baptism and precede the First Communion.
[00036-02.02] [IN016] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Nicolas DJOMO LOLA, Bishop of Tshumbe, President of the Episcopal Conference (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)
I am intervening in the name of the National Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO). My intervention refers to number 94 of the Instrumentum laboris.
During the past decades, the Church in the DR of Congo has felt the need and the urgency to proceed in what she calls an “in-depth evangelization”.
Our context, just as in many other African countries, remained and remains yet dominated by wars and violence with their disastrous consequences on man and on society. The wars and violence have de-structured the social life and individuals on the psychological, moral as well as spiritual levels. Christians and non- Christians, thus made fragile, disoriented and anguished, look for easy solutions. They may find these, paying the relative price, in recourse to the belief in sorcery as well as in sects and the so-called churches of re-awakening. These, in their proposition of the Gospel favor the battle against the evil spirits, often identified with close family members. Which destroys relationships within families even more.
Considering the aforementioned challenges, and in basing ourselves on the experience of the Church Family of God in the DR of Congo, we suggest the following:
- To insist on the re-dynamization of the experience of the living ecclesial communities at the base as places where the ecclesial sense must be stimulated, to live in a community on a human scale, which cares about the living faith, of love and of hope, which celebrates, prays.
- To recall the importance of evangelization as the process of education and of continuous formation in faith, by making the Word of God available to the evangelists thanks to the lectio divina, many times recalled by the Holy Father. This means placing the emphasis on the experiential dimension of faith, as a personal encounter with Christ through prayer, sacramental life and a life committed to the service of others.
- To pay greater attention to the family pastorals. The family is the place where the future of humanity is forged and the decisive frontier of new evangelization is concretized. The family must be transfigured by the Good News of Christ; it must become once again the place where one learns the path of brotherhood, of love, of the true human being beyond all boundaries between tribes and peoples.
- To remember the urgent need for formation, education and accompanying the young. In the perspective of a new evangelization, we must be able to develop a catechesis capable of guiding the youth towards a personal and intimate encounter with Christ. Thus formed and transformed by the forces of the Gospel, the youth will be able to contribute greatly to the emergence of a pacified, just, secure and prosperous Africa.
[00029-02.04] [IN006] [Original text: French]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Socrates B. VILLEGAS, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan (PHILIPPINES)
“Why is there a strong wave of secularization, a storm of antipathy or plain cold indifference towards the Church in some parts of the world necessitating a new wave of evangelization programs?”
The new evangelization calls for new humility. The Gospel cannot thrive in pride. When pride seeps into the heart of the Church, the Gospel proclamation is harmed. The task of new evangelization must begin with a deep sense of awe and reverence for humanity and her culture. Evangelization has been hurt and continues to be impeded by the arrogance of its messengers. The hierarchy must shun arrogance, hypocrisy and bigotry. We must punish the errant among us instead of covering up our own mistakes. We are humans among our human flock. All our beauty and holiness we owe to God. This humility will make us more credible new evangelizers. Our mission is to propose humbly not to impose proudly.
Secondly, the new evangelization must be done by new saints and we must be those saints. The great poverty of the world now is the poverty of saints. Whether we come from the first world or third world countries, everybody is looking for models to inspire and emulate. Our youth need models to inspire them. They need living heroes to ignite their hearts and excite them to know Jesus and love Him more. Our experience in the Third World tells me that the Gospel can be preached to empty stomachs but only if the stomach of the preacher is as empty as his parishioners.
Lastly, the new evangelization must be a call for new charity. We will be credible bringers of Gospel joy if the proclamation is accompanied by its twin messenger of charity. The charity of Jesus is the gift of Himself. The charity of the new evangelization must be the gift of Jesus.
The new evangelization needs a new humility; a renewal in holiness and a new face of charity for it to be credible and fruitful.
[00034-02.03] [IN018] [Original text: English]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph Edward KURTZ, Archbishop of Louisville, Vice President of the Episcopal Conference (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
“The Blessing of the Child in the Womb,” approved on 8 December 2011 by the Congregation for Divine Worship for use in the United States of America, is a pastoral moment of first evangelization of the child and new evangelization of the family. Warmly extending the love of Christ to families as they prepare for the birth of their child, this sacred gesture is both a positive and hope-filled way to announce to society the great gift of human life as well as a gracious invitation for the parents to begin steps for the baptism of their child, once born.
[00040-02.03] [IN019] [Original text: English]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Rogelio CABRERA LÓPEZ, Archbishop of Monterrey (MEXICO)
The method God Himself has chosen to meet all of us is the Mystery of the Incarnation. This method involves welcoming all humans with an original sympathy.
With the Help of the Holy Father we have joyfully rediscovered always starting anew from the living Person of Jesus Christ is only possible from within a community and disciple experience, docilely following the one Master. We are conscious that the means of evangelization and catechesis and the education of the fathers and including the experience of popular religiosity is a process that seems to slow.
For this reason, it is important to begin a new evangelization so that the Christian roots may continue to strengthen the life of the new generations. Education is necessary for acceptance evermore full of faith as a gift that coincides with the education that required of the person so that he may meet his destiny and human realization.
Education is a constitutive dimension of evangelization. Because of this, the educative emergency is an evangelizing emergency.
We are conscious that all educational models have an implicit anthropology. From there the need of a vision of the human person based on the truth revealed in Christ.
We must insist that the educational experiences must be an authentic path for the maturity of the faith in Jesus Christ.
We cannot evangelize properly if we do not educate properly. And we do not educate properly if we do not evangelize.
[00041-02.03] [IN020] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Carlos María FRANZINI, Bishop of Rafaela (ARGENTINA)
The Instrumentum laboris asks for a particularly full comprehension of priestly identity, considering the new settings for the new evangelization and the situations of crisis and scandal which affect it directly. In relation to this theme, the Latin American Bishops indicated to the Conference of the Aparecido various challenges for the new evangelization and its responses, which may be taken into consideration by the Synod. We recognize that the vast majority of priests live faithfully to their ministry in the midst of current challenges. This is a reason for gratitude and hope for all the Church. The situations of scandal relating to some of our Bishops and clergy, and the necessary measures that have to be taken to avoid a repetition of these situations, must not make us lose sight of the fact that it is also necessary to favor the development of a full and fruitful ministry for priests. A vigorous and priestly ministry demands personal commitment on the part of every priest in his permanent formation, but there is also the need for institutional proposals on the part of the particular Churches, either the same or linked with other Churches of the same region or country. The Bishops bear the primary responsibility for this task. Furthermore, it must be considered that without the enthusiastic and contagious witness of the priests, it would be futile to make any attempt at a vocational pastoral, which calls upon and motivates the young to respond generously to the calling to priestly life. It is asked that the Synod will appreciate and encourage the faithful service of the priests and that it may guide the local Churches in systematic priestly pastoral, to favor a a true renovation of life and of the ministry of priests, for those who are the “first new evangelizers”.
[00042-02.02] [IN021] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Antonio ARREGUI YARZA, Archbishop of Guayaquil, President of the Episcopal Conference (ECUADOR)
The encounter with Christ has a profoundly personal nature, characterized by friendship. Friends are the recipients of the Lord’s redemption (cf. John 15:18), to whom Jesus reveals his Father (cf. 15:15).
Jesus dedicated time and openness of heart to the cultivation of fruitful friendships, with John and Andrew, with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, etc. The results of the personal and friendly apostolic dialogue of the Lord with persons such as Zacchary, Nicodemus or the Samaritan are surprising. It can be surmised that the disciples looked among their previous friends for those they could present for the discovery of the Messiah, experienced in this way by Nathaniel, Saint James of Zebedee and Peter himself.
Pope Paul VI said that, “side by side with the collective proclamation of the Gospel, the other form of transmission, the person-to-person one, remains valid and important” (EN, 46). Experiencing the charisma of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, it was possible to appreciate the fruitfulness of the apostolic work that converts personal friendships to the service of the Gospel.
The Bishops run the risk of losing humanity and pastoral sensitivity, if among their other tasks they do not devote time to the consolidation of firm friendship.
[00043-02.03] [IN022] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX TARMOUNI, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenians, Head of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church (LEBANON)
Faith is the pivot of Christian life that this Synod wishes to transmit to the people of the ancient Christian tradition and also to those not baptized.
The Armenian people are a part of these peoples of ancient Christian tradition. In fact, God sent an evangelizer, Gregory, also called the Illuminator, because he enlightened the Armenians with the light of the Gospel, which urged them to officially adopt the Christian religion in 301, and die for it if necessary.
God has followed this people up until our days to root in them the divine treasure of faith throughout the centuries.
In 406, a monk, called Mesrob Machdots, invented an alphabet for the Armenian language, with the goal of translating the Bible into the language of the people, to make it more available to the faithful.
A difficult trial awaited the Armenian people. The King of Persia, Yazdegerd II, wishing to make an alliance with the Armenians against Christian Byzantium and not being able to convince the Armenian princes, declared war on them in 451 to impose by force the Moisten religion and detach them thus from the Byzantium.
Yazdegerd won the war; however, seeing the ferocious opposition by the Armenians, he had to renounce his project and allowed them the freedom to maintain their religion. The Armenians lost the war, but saved their Christian faith. This story, accomplished by St. Vartan and his martyr companions, marks the definitive entrenchment of the Christian religion in the Armenian people.
During the 11th and 12th centuries, the Armenian Church gave us great theologians, such as St. Gregory of Nareg, St. Nerses the Gracious, St. Nerses of Lampron and others who enriched Armenian religious literature with their writings. This period marks the blooming and the splendor of the Christian faith in the Armenian Church.
Another much harder trial hit the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, where almost one and a half million Armenians were massacred. The head of these massacred Armenians was the Archbishop of Mardine, Ignatius Maloyan. The Church recognized that these massacres were accomplished “contra fidem et in odio fidei”. Ignatius Maloyan was recognized as a martyr and proclaimed a Blessed by John Paul II in 2001. This event, known as the first Genocide of the 20th century, once again shows the attachment of the Armenians to their faith in Christ and to the Gospel, to include the flowing of blood.
From this, we an deduce that the history of the Armenian people identifies itself with the history of the battle of this people for its faith in Christ and to the Gospel, even at the cost of their lives, considering it as their greatest treasure.
God, who never abandoned the Armenian people, especially during the terrible persecutions, will not abandon them today either. This trust in God is also true for the peoples of the earth Jesus came to save.
The call of the Church to the task of spreading the faith with urgency, starting with Vatican Council II, then the Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, received new impetus from Benedict XVI with the convocation of this Synod and the proclamation of the Year of the Faith. These form a new stage, which stimulates us to double our efforts to find new and convincing means to reanimate the faith of our faithful and to attract the non-baptized through the example of life and by the proclamation of the Word of God. This is a gift of grace for our times, where fear and fearfulness have no place, because we are certain of the words of Christ, who promised to be with us for all our days, until the end of the world. (Cf. Mt 28:20).
ine [00044-02.05] [IN023] [Original text: French]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Fabio SUESCÚN MUTIS, Military Ordinary of Colombia (COLOMBIA)
The Particular Church requires a Pastoral Plan to accomplish, in specific circumstances of place and time, the saving will of God the Father who was fulfilled completely in his Son Jesus. The Bishop is the person directly responsible for the elaboration, practice and evaluation of the Plan which should be complete and commit the living strengths of the faithful community.The comparison between the situation, the Word and the doctrine leads to establish a diagnostic on the challenge that the Church must face and the opportunities to make the mandate of going and being disciples of Jesus effective.
Thanks to a world evermore globalized we can discover in all the Churches a reality of faith very similar that leads to a fundamental objective: to launch everywhere a “New Evangelization” for the transmission of faith. There is the feeling that many faithful have abandoned the faith of the Church, attracted by other religious options or infected by a secular environment which does not recognize God and rejects the Catholic Church. Ignorance, tiredness, discouragement, indifference and routine attack the spirit of both the priests and the faithful.
The diocesan missionary plan is not merely a strategy but an action of the Spirit. We live for excellence in the parish that depends directly on the Bishop and which requires a renovation, thanks to the enthusiastic action of the priests, loving Christ. Today, parishes, despite many doubts, are fundamental for a New Evangelization, which them to be not only centers of cultural and administrative services but also to being houses for the community of Christians and schools for missionary disciples. The religious communities and the apostolic movements, from their own charisma, should merge in the Diocesan Evangelizing Plan.
As Military Ordinary, on behalf of all the Military Bishops of Latin America, I wish to invite all the Bishops to the careful evangelizing pastoral of soldiers and politicians in the world, who are especially sensitive to the faith because of the natural inclination of their service to peace, to order and for the common good of the peoples.
[00045-02.02] [IN024] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. José Elías RAUDA GUTIÉRREZ, O.F.M., Bishop of San Vicente (EL SALVADOR)
My intervention refers to numbers 69, 84 and 168 of the Instrumentum laboris, which indicate the internal and external obstacles to the new evangelization. One of these obstacles is constituted by the clergy itself: loss of pastoral enthusiasm, decrease of the missionary impulse, the lack of profound spiritual experience in liturgical celebrations, a lack of joy and hope strong enough to have a bearing upon the lives of our Christian communities... (IL 69), and in the priests themselves there is a weakening in the experience of faith and pastoral works.
The new evangelization is proposed in this context as a medicine to give joy and life, against every type of fear (IL 69, 168). This requires that priestly formation is carried out in such a way as to produce fully formed priests, able to evangelize today’s world: convinced and fervent ministers of the new evangelization, faithful and passionate servants of Christ, for his mission and salvation (cf. PDV 10). To achieve this aim it is proposed that the seminary should be a school and house for the formation of disciples and missionaries, where candidates live an exemplary life of apostolic communion around Christ resurrected. (DA, 316). But before anything else, it must be a place for the formation and promotion of the life of faith, enabling seminarians to acquire “the spirit of the gospel and a close relationship with Christ” (CIC, 245). Only a solid and robust faith, such as that of the martyrs and saints, can bring spirit to such pastoral projects, can give rise to pastoral creativity and provide an impulse to the dioceses and parishes, priests and faithful, to transmit with new ardor and through the new means of social communication the Christian faith and the Gospel of Christ (Mark. 16:16; EN 5).
[00046-02.05] [IN025] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Dionisio LACHOVICZ, O.S.B.M., Titular Bishop of Egnazia, Apostolic Visitor of the Faithful of the Ukranian Byzantine Rite Residents in Italy and Spain (ITALY)
My intervention deals with the “migratory phenomenon” of the faithful of the “sui iuris” Churches, especially those that have come in great numbers from Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Empire, as well as those from the Christian Orient in general.
With this migration, new problems and opportunities arose, as was mentioned in an addendum in the section of “scenarios of new evangelization” in the Instrumentum laboris. As this document states, immigration is an opportunity, even within the Catholic Church in its major component of Latin Rite “to understand the ways in which the Christian faith expresses the religious nature of the human soul. At the same time, enrich the religious heritage of humanity with the unique character of the Christian faith” (IL 67) and correctly admits that the “meeting and exchange of gifts among the particular Churches and in the ability to draw energy and vitality from the Christian faith of immigrant communities” (IL 70), as well as the witness of those “who bear in their spirit the untold richness of the signs of martyrdom which they have personally experienced” (IL 75).
As the Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic faithful residing in Italy and Spain, I can see the marvelous fraternal welcome given by the Latin Catholic Church to these faithful, opening spaces in their churches, providing assistance with the priests of the same rite, and giving them social aid, which for many of these faithful has been the occasion that led to the re-discovery of their faith.
Despite all of this, in some realities, sometimes without realizing it, with the understandable attempt of the immigrants to integrate in the social and ecclesial framework of the welcoming company, this ecclesial welcome of the faithful belonging to the sui iuris Churches can become problematic, because a process of Latinization could occur which would be very harmful to the faithful, as has been demonstrated by some painful historical facts, which record even the passage of these faithful to other non-Catholic confessions or to the abandonment of their own faith.
[00049-02.03] [IN026] [Original text: Italian]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Catalino Claudio GIMÉNEZ MEDINA, dei Padri di Schönstatt, Bishop of Caacupé, President of the Episcopal Conference (PARAGUAY)
The presence of Mary in her innumerable devotions in the first Evangelization of Latin America and the Caribbean have been fundamental.
As Mother of the Church we cannot fail to acknowledge in the New Evangelization her original role as messenger of the Word and of the Spirit, transmitting joy.
Highlights of the Visitation: 1) The figure of Mary as first missionary laic woman with active leading participation (DA, 553s). 2) The immediate reaction of Mary: to listen to the Word and to act (Lc. 8,19-21; 11,27s). 3) Her stay with Isabel speaks of love, patience, dedication and spirit of service (Lc.1,56). 4) as Mary visits today her sons, transmitting to Christ (DA,553,s). 5) A New Evangelization with works and not only with words, with its three-month stay enabled a prolonged encounter with Isabel in her home environment with the Word made flesh in daily life. 6) It is a simple model (paradigm) of a new Church in Permanent Mission, that appears more maternal, more welcoming, more humble, poor and helpful, through her sons, on a path with the People of God, teaching to live in Communion (DA, 362).Today Mary is the protagonist of a New Visitation to the homes of our people. This New Visitation shall be welcome, like the Isabel's reaction of humility and joy when she went out to receive Mary, wondering “Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord?” (Lc. 1,43). The persons who visit home by home are being well received in those parishes where the Permanent Mission is performed in this method. (DA, 370). This approach brings new passion. It is an ecclesial expression that awakens life. It is like an expansive wave, that alone is able to make its way into the neighborhoods.
[00050-02.02] [IN027] [Original text: Spanish]
- H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Claude DAGENS, Archbishop of Angoulême (FRANCE)
This Synod is a favorable occasion to answer the decisive question made by Jesus to His disciples: “What are you looking for?”
We are looking to be more numerous, to gather more faithful for the Eucharist, to manifest more strongly the Catholic presence in our secularized societies.
However, we cannot be satisfied by these quantitative perspectives. We are also called upon to a task of internal renewal of our Christian life, which has three necessities:
First necessity: an act of discernment on these times we are living. They are trying times for the Christian mission because of the effects of secularization. However, in the midst of these challenges, we can also see spiritual expectations being manifested, which lead to questions about life and death. It is up to us to answer.
Second necessity: a commitment to progress in our knowledge of the living God, by purifying our faith from what burdens it and in daring to speak to God about the others that we meet, before speaking to them about God.
Third necessity: to understand the goal of the Church, which is not the Church but the encounter of men with the living God. Therefore it is not a question of being present in the world, but being of Christ in the world.
These three necessities were deeply studied and practiced by Madeleine Delbrêl, a French woman who understood what a new evangelization commits us to.
[00051-02.03] [IN028] [Original text: French]
AUDITIO DELEGATORUM FRATERNORUM (I)
The following Fraternal Delegate intervened:
- H. Exc. Simo PEURA, Bishop of Lapua (FINLAND)
The summary of the intervention is published below:
- H. Exc. Simo PEURA, Bishop of Lapua (FINLAND)
1. The role of Christianity is changing remarkably in traditionally Christian countries. Therefore the topic of the Synod of Bishops, Evangelization, is crucial for all Christian churches. We recognize the need for the renewal of the church and its members in the communion of Lutheran churches, too. We are thirsting for fresh spiritual life and new strength of faith. For this reason we are grateful to have an opportunity to walk with you the way, on which we shall find together the joy of believing.
2. Christian faith is an encounter between a human being and Jesus Christ. “When the Church proclaims the Gospel and takes care of the sacraments, it creates possibilities for this encounter of persons. This personal encounter with Jesus Christ through his Spirit transforms us: it affects metanoia in us; it makes us partakers of divine life; it creates in us love towards other Christians and the suffering world; and it gathers us together and calls us to witness for Christ and his mercy”. It has been very encouraging to see how strongly the study document of the Synod emphasizes lectio divina and listening to the Word of God. It is “for both the believer and the Church a simple but powerful means of evangelization and renewal in the grace of God”. (cf. IL 28-32, 97)
3. Instrumentum laboris calls us back to the basics, and leads us in this way forward. One of the basics of Christian faith is the sacrament of baptism.
Today's world challenges us to argue for baptism as the firm foundation of Christian life. It is baptism and faith which unite us with Christ and the church. For this reason we are sad to see that too many baptized parents do not bring their children to baptism and to Christ. It is our common task to speak for infant baptism and encourage parents when they hesitate.
4. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was published 20 years ago. It includes four major parts: the Creed, the sacraments, the commandments and the Lord's Prayer (100). The Synod should also discuss how to devise a program of catechesis which is basically able to transmit fully the core elements of the faith (104). Exactly these were the questions which Martin Luther also faced almost 500 years ago.
He created the Small and the Large Catechism in which major chapters were the same as in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Since then we Lutherans have updated the catechisms. However, for example in my own church the new catechism corresponds to the one of Luther. The core elements of Christian faith are explained in a short but full way and learned by heart. The basic way to read and comprehend Christian faith and dogma is a spiritual one.
5. Instrumentum laboris emphasizes togetherness of faith and love, if we want to evangelize the world. "Just as faith is manifested in love; so love without faith would simply be philanthrophy. For the Christians, faith and love are essential to each other; one supports the other." (123) I am very grateful that in this point, i.e. in the doctrine of justification, the Catholic and Lutheran Christians have reached such a consensus that we do not have to condemn each other any longer.
The Joint Declaration helps us to give a common witness so that the world can believe and our following of Christ is credible. "What unites Christians is much stronger than what divides them." (125)
6. Only a church which is a missionary one, is a living church in future, too. It is easy to agree with Pope Benedict XVI when he said what "all the Churches living in traditionally Christian territories need is a renewed missionary impulse." (85) From Lutheran point of view it includes witnessing for Christ as well as diakonia and advocacy for justice. To become aware of the fact that the missionary task of the church continues, is the way which hopefully leads churches to deep, inner renewal.
The Second Vatican Council gave many impulses to other churches. From this Synod of Bishops 1'm expecting something similar. It is my wish that it could offer new stimulus and a direction for the ongoing renewal of Christianity. "Increase our faith!" (Lk. 17: 5) is our common prayer to the Lord Jesus.
On behalf of the Lutheran World Federation I wish you all and to this Synod of Bishops the Blessing of the Triune God.
[00069-02.03] [DF001] [Original text: English]
INTERVENTION OF THE SPECIAL GUEST DR. LAMAR VEST, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
This is a wonderful moment to be celebrated. Today the American Bible Society, the global Fellowship of United Bible Societies and the Roman Catholic Church are well joined. Working side-by-side, we have made important strides - new Bible translations, new programs of biblical investigation and global renewal for the practice of Lectio Divina.. Together, we have produced 10 languages for Missio Metropolis evangelization events, held in 10 major European cities. Together, we have embraced the central and fully animating roles of God's Word for renewed mission in the world.
Our hopes, our prayers and our desires are to join with you in a rediscovery of the heart of evangelization: the experience of Christian faith - the encounter with Jesus Christ, God the Father's Gospel to humanity - which transforms us. That mission lies at the heart of the Bible Society cause.
My prayer for you and for us in this fresh season is new boldness and new listening - evangelization inviting new methods and new means. But this remains ever the same: the transmission of faith rooted in an encounter with Christ by means of Sacred Scripture and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. At the deepest level of our commitment to the Christian faith, we all agree that the Word of God is the foundation of our common work - the witnessing for Christ in our world.
This I also know: as much as our world changes, the big, sweeping narrative of the Bible remains our largest hope and aspiration. It is here that the powerful exhortation of your last Synod continues to resound with me as I recall the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI, that any “personal and communal relationship with God depends on our growing familiarity with the word of God” (VD 124).
May the Lord, the Source of All Life, grant us all the grace of being His faithful messengers.
[00070-02.04] [NNNNN] [Original text: English]