The Holy See Search



7-28 OCTOBER 2012

The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith

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

English Edition


23 - 19.10.2012




Yesterday, Thursday, October 18 2012, the Working Groups continued their discussions. There were 250 Fathers present during the Second Session and 243 during the Third.

The first phase of the discussions of the Working Groups (with the discussion on the main points needing further in-depth study, offered by the Report after the discussion) concluded with the approval of the Reports by the Working Groups, which the Relators of the Working Groups presented in the Seventeenth General Congregation of this morning, Friday, October 19 2012.



Today, Friday, October 19 2012, at 9:05 a.m, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the chant of the Hour of Terce, the Seventeenth General Congregation began for the reading in the Hall of the Reports by the working groups.

President delegate on duty H. Em. Card. John TONG HON, Bishop of Hong Kong (CHINA).

Before the interval, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops recalled the words by the Cardinal Secretary of State about the announcement of the Delegation to Syria nominated by the Holy Father, which was published in Bulletin No. 19 dated October 16 2012.
With regards to this, he announced the opening of a bank account at the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), “Sinodo pro Siria” no. 39206003, where the Synodal Fathers can deposit a personal financial contribution, which will be added to the Holy See’s contribution.

A Fraternal Delegate and several Auditors intervened.

At this General Congregation, which ended at 12:40 am with the prayer of Angelus Domini 257 Fathers were present.


The Reports are the fruit of the discussion of the Working Groups, compiled as a collection of opinions by the majority and minority, which transparently express the converging and, if any, non converging opinions. These Reports, which have been submitted for the approval of the Working Groups in collecting all the suggestions and reflections of the members of each Group, thus form a faithful projection of the opinions of the majority as well as the opinions of any possible minority. These Reports are very important since they are the most evident and elaborate expression of the thoughts of the Synodal Fathers, involved in the discussion of the Groups and also contain the embryo of the elements for general consensus by the Synod itself. All the Reports, considered as a whole, represent in some way the first summary of the synodal work.

In the Seventeenth General Congregation of this morning, the Reports by the Working Groups, prepared by the Relators of the Working Groups, were read, in the order of their request for intervention:


- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS C: Rev. F. Renato SALVATORE, M.I., Superior General of the Clerks Regular of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians) (ITALY)

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Bruno FORTE, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto (ITALY)

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Claude DAGENS, Archbishop of Angoulême (FRANCE)

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS A: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Salvatore FISICHELLA, Titular Archbishop of Voghenza, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization (VATICAN CITY)

H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph Edward KURTZ, Archbishop of Louisville, Vice President of the Episcopal Conference (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS D: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Kieran O'REILLY, S.M.A., Bishop of Killaloe (IRELAND)


- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Santiago Jaime SILVA RETAMALES, Titular Bishop of Bela, Auxiliary Bishop of Valparaíso, General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.A.M.) (COLOMBIA)

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS A: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Dominique REY, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon (FRANCE)



The summaries of the Reports by the Working Groups are published below:


The German Language Working Group concentrated on four topics.
1. The Gospel proclaimed.
The Gospel which must be proclaimed brings hope, since it contains the promise of eternal life. It has a clear content: knowing God, made manifest in Jesus Christ; and it is a Gospel of sanctification.
2. The world in which the Gospel is proclaimed.
The world is God’s creation, our history and our culture are inscribed in the salvific history of God. We must come into dialogue with the world: with the men of today. Evangelization in the first Church has always gone searching for the seeds of the Word of God in today’s culture.
3. The places where the Gospel is proclaimed.
The parish - or the ecclesial community - is the first place for evangelization. However we can see the strong changes that are happening in the parishes, which become even larger. Therefore, new evangelization should create streets and squares of dialogue in the places where there are no contacts with the parish or with the small Christian community.
4. The men proclaiming the Gospel.
The family is a privileged place for the transmission of the faith. However, we can but notice that many unions fail, therefore families break up.
Finally it is important for the countries represented here by the Bishops in our Language Group to cultivate ecumenical contact.

[00345-02.02] [IS001] [Original text: German]

RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS C: Rev. F. Renato SALVATORE, M.I., Superior General of the Clerks Regular of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians) (ITALY)

1 - There were some interventions on what exactly is meant when we speak about “New Evangelization”: the subjects, the missio ad intra and ad gentes, in Western and other countries, and in relations with the Orthodox and Islam. It was recalled that the first aim of the new evangelization is bring a rebirth to a lukewarm faith with renewed commitment characterized by its ardor, its methods and its expression.
2 - The wish was expressed that in the synodal text the primary importance of the Bible, which Catholics mostly do not know, be underlined. This not only causes great damage to their faith, but also renders them unsuitable for interreligious dialogue. There are those who maintain that in the synodal text the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be emphasized as a theological spiritual project to be adapted to the different historical, cultural and geographical contexts.
3 - Many underlined the role of the parish in the transmission of the faith as a point for gathering together all the ecclesial realities present in its territory. The text should emphasize the task of the pastor as the first catechist in the parish (as is the bishop in his diocese). Reference was made to the possible “ministry instituted by the catechist”,as it is hoped that the ministry of lector be entrusted also to women, currently forbidden by canon law (can. 230). There are also those who would appreciate that the synodal text express support and thanks to all the other ecclesial realities (the laity, families, groups, movements, consecrated persons) for their important contribution to evangelization).
4 - Every now and then in the interventions there emerged some difficulties present within the Church, in particular at the level of the parish, between the different realities operating therein. This is a very broad issue but may be generically expressed as tension (not always negative) between hierarchy and prophecy, between institution and charisma. Greater clarity would help all those involved to relate to each other in a more fruitful manner, also for the evangelizing work.
5 - Christian politicians should be coherent with their faith without giving in to compromise, rather allowing themselves to be guided, especially in moral questions, by an upright conscience and non-negotiable values.

[00348-02.02] [CM002] [Original text: Italian]

RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Bruno FORTE, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto (ITALY)

The Working Group responded to four questions, corresponding to the four parts of the Relatio post disceptationem: what is the new evangelization? To whom is it addressed? How is it carried out? Who are the agents and protagonists of the new evangelization? In response to the first question, the participants were unanimously convinced that the Synod has been a true grace for the Church and for the world. It has shown how from several origins there emerges the aspiration - explicit or concealed - to hear again the Good News, that in the light of living God gives hope, joy and motivation to commitment of believers, also non-practicing, and offer itself to those who do not believe in Christ as the opportunity of salvation and new life. A most authoritative expression of the Church gathered around Peter’s Successor, her confirmation in faith, the Synod has been an extraordinary occasion for sharing the experiences of pastors from all around the world, for refining analyses of the present situation, and for proposing reliable ways for an evangelization that is new, starting from the renewal of hearts in the Holy Spirit.
The following have been underlined as constitutive elements of the new evangelization: a) reference to the Word of God, heard, reflected upon, lived and then proclaimed, witnessed and celebrated in obedience to the mandate of the Lord: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to all creation...”. The Church does not evangelize if she does not allow herself to be evangelized continually in the strength of Paraclete. b) The contemplative dimension of the new evangelization, which is nurtured continually through prayer, especially liturgically, the peak and source of life of the Church and her work in the service of the Gospel. In this light it is easy to understand how the new evangelization involves the unceasing call to conversion, totally delivering oneself to God and allowing oneself to be transformed by His grace. This occurs in a particularly fruitful way in the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation, to which the new evangelization must pay special attention. c) The ecclesial communion lived in obedience to the pastors with consciousness, responsibility and faithfulness, the necessary condition for any effective evangelizing action: evangelization is not the work of solitary navigators, but of the Christian community in its entirety and of each person according to the charisma received from God and the ministry to whom they are called. The whole Church proclaims all the Gospel to the whole man, to every man!The proclamation of the Gospel in different contexts - all marked by processes of globalization - encounters not a few difficulties: at times these manifest themselves in a real and true religious persecution; at other times by widespread indifference, that makes mankind incapable of entrusting itself to a common project. In this respect the Fathers reassert that the Gospel is a complete vision of life and the world, but it contains nothing that is violent; it is, on the contrary, the good news of love and peace, that brings to fruition the truest aspirations of the human heart. In order for the Gospel to be proclaimed incisively, it is in any case necessary to present oneself to the interlocutor with sympathy and friendship. He who evangelizes must show convincingly that God has loved the world so much as to give His Son for us. In the light of this primacy of love, one may understand how important it is to proclaim the Gospel to the poor, the first recipients of the mission of the Son of God among us (cf. Lk 4:16-19 and Deus caritas est, 15). Attention must then be paid to cultural contexts in the work of the new evangelization, in the form of the relationship between families, social links and Catholic tradition. Faith is actively transmitted by affiliation to this link, often eroded by the current migratory processes. The new evangelization also requires particular attention to the inculturation of faith, which wishes to transmit the Gospel in its capacity of recognizing the value of the positive in all cultures, simultaneously purifying them of elements contrary to the full realization of the person.
With regard to the forms in which the new evangelization may be carried out, the Fathers underlined holiness as the model and means of every evangelizing force, both for he who evangelizes and as a proposal addressed to all for a full and good life according to God. Particular attention must be given to the education of the young generations, to the care of Christian initiation, to the use of means of social communication, to the dialogue between science and faith, to the so-called way of beauty, and to the ecumenical dimension. With regard to the agents of the new evangelization, the Fathers underlined how every baptized person is by vocation and mission an agent of the new evangelization. This occurs particularly in the reality of the parish, through the important educational work of Catholic Action, and the charismas called forth by the Holy Spirit in the new ecclesial aggregations. Bishops are the specific agents of new evangelization, in communion with Peter’s Successor and, below him, the presbyters and deacons. Lay Christians have a decisive task in testifying to their faith in the complex relationship with the secular realities in which they work. In particular, the family in its entirety is the decisive agent of the transmission of the faith: in this area one must not forget the important role that women have had, and have, in the transmission of the Christian faith. There are also many catechists who - supported by the Bishop’s mandate - work in the service of the Christian initiation of children and young people and in the preparation of the sacraments of marriage and the baptism of children. The consecrated life, both male and female, has offered a very important contribution to the evangelizing work of the Church throughout history: men and women Religious are asked to live faithfully their vocation, giving their full availability to to the geographical, cultural and social frontiers of the new evangelization. Finally, commitment to justice, peace and the protection of creation would appear indissolubly linked to the proclamation of the Good News and the social doctrine of the Church, up to its most recent expression in the Encyclical Caritas in veritate, where it appears to be a valuable tool for combining justice and development, respect for the dignity of workers and relationships between peoples, based on mutual acceptance in the search for the common good.

[00346-02.06] [CM003] [Original text: Italian]

RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Claude DAGENS, Archbishop of Angoulême (FRANCE)

The Report was not received before the closing of the Bullettin.

ang1033 , Titular Archbishop of Voghenza, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization (VATICAN CITY)

The group reflected, first of all, on the cultural context that presents the features of secularism as the last act in a much broader process of secularization, which possesses elements of indisputable complexity. This horizon of thought has been considered both in the serious challenges posed to the faith and as an opportunity granted to the community of believers to renew their own categories of thought and language. Benedict XVI has on a number of occasions asserted the importance of “widening reason”. This commitment becomes more necessary the more one finds oneself in a cultural context strongly marked by the progress of science and technical reason. It therefore becomes indispensable for us to elaborate new categories of theological knowledge able to express more coherently the content of mystery and communion. It is necessary to offer, furthermore, a new vision of anthropology, demonstrating the importance of the person as a relation, a source of interpersonal relationships, communion and love. It is necessary, in any case, to find the strength to reject several cultural frameworks imposed by secularism that no longer permit the recognition of the limits and contradictions of some styles of life. In this context, the NE becomes important in order to emphasize that the mission of the Church in its evangelizing role knows how to grasp the basic aspects of the human person and of creaturality as fundamental elements in which the proclamation of Jesus Christ may be allowed to blossom. Of great importance is the recognition of “dialogue” as a language specific to us that enables us to relate to one another with “courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience” (1 Peter 3:16) to those who are the receivers of our proclamation. A beneficiary to whom often our word arrives as a first announcement that reaches him in an existential situation that demands attention to the questions of meaning that reside in the heart of every man. Linked with dialogue is the emphasis on our necessary dedication to proclamation that may arrive at the level of martyrdom. In our culture, it now assumes the features of a form of marginalization and control of language to the extent of derision of the faith.
It is considered important to pay greater attention to the need to circumscribe the concept of NE. The life of the Church is expressed in its ordinary pastoral activity and in this, while it must sustain the conscience of the missio ad gentes, it is necessary that the NE is reinforced and takes on ever greater substance. It is to be addressed first to the believer who needs to rediscover the reasons for his faith and, for the same reason, the evangelizer. Furthermore, many have lost their faith and for various reasons have drifted from the life of the community: finally, many have the wish to believe and seek people able to communicate to them the joy of the encounter with Christ. We have not neglected to consider that the urgency of the NE also demands a serious examination of conscience in relation to several aspects of the pastoral that have become sclerotic over time and no longer permit the expression of the strength of the faith, its originality and the specificity of Christianity. For this, the term “pastoral conversion” becomes important again, as the awareness of a renewed need for attention to the present moment and to the questions of our contemporaries. An important chapter is that of the liturgy. The ars celebrandi can help in discovering the beauty of the mystery evoked. In this there is the great role played by the homily. The sacrament of reconciliation should return to the center of the life of the believer; it should be lived more as an experience of the encounter with God’s mercy that brings forgiveness to all. We consider it important that in every diocese there is at least one definable place (cathedral, sanctuary...) in which the faithful are certain to find a priest available to help them on their road to conversion. A further theme touches issues relating to the lifestyles of believers, to the various faces that charity may assume and the role played by different categories of people. Particular attention is due to the world of youth and the family in its irreplaceable role of transmitting the faith. We have not neglected the theme of “grandparents”, who are of valuable assistance in the transmission of the faith. A further theme is identified in the need to know how to present Christianity to our contemporary world. This is necessary to overcome the fragmentary nature of our current culture, and to rediscover the foundational unity of our belief. This apology of the faith is developed in several phases: it must first present to believers the reasons for the act of faith and the intrinsic union with the truth of its content; it must furthermore be presented to the many who have vague, distorted or false knowledge. The Creed is considered as a valuable synthesis of the faith that deserves to be studied by memory and to again become the believers’ daily prayer. In this regard, the catechesis is imposed in its full importance for the formation of believers in view of the NE. It was reasserted that the Bishop can rediscover his special activity communicating the catechism in his cathedral. Finally, the themes linked to the communication of the faith and to its different forms of expression were considered: from popular piety and pilgrimages to the most modern forms of communication.

[00347-02.05] [CM005] [Original text: Italian]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS A: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph Edward KURTZ, Archbishop of Louisville, Vice President of the Episcopal Conference (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

The Church begins the new evangelization in prayer and in simplicity and humility as she proclaims Christ to the world. This work is not simply a human work but the power of Jesus Christ alive and at work within the world. Through Christ we come to know His Father and Holy Spirit and the overflowing Love of the Trinity and are called to a communion that is Trinitarian.
Evangelizers are first called to conversion as individuals and as a Church - to turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel. For all who have been baptized in the Lord Jesus, beginning with bishops, the Sacrament of Penance is a special sacrament - the embrace of God's great forgiveness.
Called to experience Christ most deeply in the Holy Eucharist, we seek to awaken new zeal as we recall the first disciples and of the first missionaries to our cultures.
The challenges of the inward movement of secularism and loss of the sense of the sacred in some areas as well as delicate relations with those of other religions make ever urgent the task to proclaim Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Of special urgency is the need to oppose the threats to religious liberty, our first freedom - evident in virtually every society.
Concrete strategies in each diocese for evangelization require special attention to parish life, to those who are poor and hurting and to the family. Central to evangelization is the renewal of Sacramental marriage as the “two in one flesh” union of man and woman open to children.
Evangelizers need careful catechesis of evangelizers grounded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, YouCat and the Compendium of Catholic Social Doctrine.
Joined with Mary, our Mother and all the hosts of witnesses who have gone before us, we call on Christ, Light of the Nations, to give us hope, love and joy.

[00350-02.03] [CM006] [Original text: English]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS D: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Kieran O'REILLY, S.M.A., Bishop of Killaloe (IRELAND)

The group appreciated the logical framework of the document and it had served its purpose.
1. The group discussed about the New Evangelisation, what it constitutes as there was a wide variety of options. The essential message is the same but calls for new ardor, new methods in the new contexts in which the Gospel must be preached and lived. The reality is overwhelming in the first world we are wrestling with decline while in the in the 2/3 world we are managing growth with all its consequences.
2. We had a lively discussion on Secularism and secularization - positive and negative influences. with the suggestion from one member that they may be the offshoots of our own mediocre life as Christians.
3. Opportunities and challenges from an increasing presence of Muslims in the first world. However, it must also be recalled that there is also a concern about Christians in predominantly Muslim lands and their right to be able to practice their religious beliefs.
4. We spoke about Education and what we agreed in proposition form.
5. Discussion centered on the need to ensure clarity about certain terms that we continue to use in our discussions Basic/Small Christian Communities, Catechists and concept of Family. These may now involve very different meanings depending on what part of the world.
6. Consequences of the Sexual revolution for the family and the redefinition on marriage. It was noted that this stems from a rebellion to Humanae Vitae.
7. Experience of Unity of Christians in bringing the Kergyma, founded on the Lord's prayer “May they be One”. The call to Unity and the consequences for the New Evangelization needs to be developed as it is very important for the New Evangelization.
8. Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
9. Importance of Prayer Worship needs to be further developed.
10. From Atheism - to questioning - to conversion - to mission - a permanent circle. How do we get it to work practically? How do we help people to grow in holiness?
11. Not to forget that the documents of Vatican II are very important.

[00351-02.03] [CM007] [Original text: English]


This group identified the following themes and subjects as categories of the new evangelisation:
Description: The new evangelisation was described suggestively as a time of awakening, a time of new encouragement and new witness for those who profess the Christian faith. It is recognition that Jesus Christ is the centre of our faith and daily life.
Newness: However what really interested this group to begin with was the question of what was new in the New Evangelisation. It was agreed that Pope John Paul II's seminal phrase, "new in its ardour, methods and expression" (IL 45) could be used as a framework.
Call to Holiness, Conversion and Purification : The new evangelisation has a fundamental connection with the call to holiness, and requires conversion and purification in the Church on the part of Bishops, priests, religious and lay leaders, and on everyone involved in the work of evangelisation.
Participation in the life of the Trinity: Evangelisation is an activity of word and sacrament which, especially through the Eucharist, admits us to participation in the life of the Trinity, and this then arouses through the grace of the Holy Spirit the power to evangelise and to give witness to the Word of God with enthusiasm and courage.
First Proclamation: One of the new insights associated with this Synod is the particular nature of first proclamation as a unique and particularly effective aspect of evangelisation, and we have been grateful for this insight. This is where the kerygma, the message of salvation of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, is proclaimed with great power to the point of requiring repentance, conversion and a decision of faith.
The Sunday Liturgy: This group agreed that Sunday needs to be recovered for the new evangelisation according to Blessed John Paul II's teaching in Dies Domini. Sunday with its sacred and special character together with Sunday Mass should be the centre of Catholic life. Full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy on the part of the whole community is the goal.
The Word of God is the basis of all evangelisation both in first proclamation and in on-going catechesis. The centre of the Word of God can be said to be the person of the crucified and risen Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, who is encountered in authentic evangelisation.
Catechesis: Catechesis serves the new evangelisation as knowledge of the faith and of doctrine, but also as experience of the Lord. All evangelisers need to be well catechised. It was suggested by a number of voices that the catechist should be recognised as a stable ministry in the Church.
The Communion of the local Church: The communion of the local church around the bishop who is the principle of unity of the local Church is the source of any local pastoral project or plan for the new evangelisation in the diocese. Priests, Religious Women and Men, and the Lay Faithful, both men and women all work with the Bishop in the diocesan project of evangelisation. All the agents and offices of the local Church should work in solidarity and communion with the Bishop for the sake of the new evangelisation.
The Parish, as the basic unit of the local Church, is called upon to take up the challenge of the new evangelisation by the renewal of its life and pastoral activity. Many Churches represented in this group, although not all, recommend the establishment in the parish of basic ecclesia) communities and small faith communities.
Movements: Connected with the theme of the communion of the local Church is the question of the new movements. It was fully acknowledged that the new movements do facilitate new evangelisation and contact with Jesus Christ. It was suggested that movements will operate best when they are integrated into the diocesan project of evangelisation and are given specific tasks by the Bishop.
Marriage: There are significant pastoral problems around marriage. We have much to do for marriage and for married people, and this will be one of the greatest challenges of the new evangelization.
Family: The essential role of the family in the transmission of the faith is to be fully acknowledged.
Women: The essential role of the mother and of women in the transmission of the faith in the family is to be acknowledged and supported. Similarly the role of women in our parishes and communities as teachers, catechists and evangelisers and as carrying out many services and ministries is fully acknowledged.
Young People: The evangelization of young people was a particular concern for this group since young people are the future of the Church.
Seminary Formation: Seminaries should take as their focus the new evangelization so that it becomes the recurring and unifying theme in programs of human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation.
Works of Justice and Charity: Justice and works of charity are integral to evangelization, and these are a very effective witness to our faith in Jesus Christ. For the sake of the new evangelization, there needs ta be a renewed emphasis on teaching and living the Social Doctrine of the Church as a way of bringing people to Christ.
The Stewardship of Creation: The Stewardship of creation also serves evangelization in many ways. It is a witness to our faith in goodness of God's creation. It demonstrates a sense of solidarity with all those who depend for their life and sustenance on the goods of creation. It shows inter-generational solidarity with those who come after us, and is a clear witness to the responsible and equitable use of the goods of the earth.
A challenge to Secularization: A new evangelization is required in our times so that the negative consequences of secularization can be challenged.
Ecumenism: Ecumenism, underpinned by a solid ecclesiology, serves evangelization because it seeks to restore the unity of Christ's Church, thereby increasing its credibility in the world. The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first disciple and the first evangeliser, and she should be proposed to all Christians as the Star of the New Evangelization.
Inter-Religious Dialogue: nurtures respect for all religions, favours peace in the community, protects and promotes freedom of religion, and, moreover, is an authentic a place of evangelisation.
Technology: The new digital instruments and methods of social communication, which represent a new way of communicating, need to be integrated effectively and prudently into our strategies of new evangelisation, especially in reference to the evangelisation of young people.
Beauty: The new evangelisation needs to emphasise beauty, especially the beauty of the person of Jesus Christ himself.

[00352-02.03] [CM008] [Original text: English]

RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS B: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Santiago Jaime SILVA RETAMALES, Titular Bishop of Bela, Auxiliary Bishop of Valparaíso, General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.A.M.) (COLOMBIA)

The Report was not received before the closing of the Bullettin.

RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS A: H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Dominique REY, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon (FRANCE)

During the day of October 18th, the French Language Group A first reflected on the concept of new evangelization. What is the novelty of the mission? The group discussion gave rise to a proposition of a definition: New evangelization consists in the proclamation that God, who is Trinitarian Love, gives Himself in His Son Jesus Christ to the men and women of our times.
In this reflection on new evangelization, the dimension of the proclamation of the kerygma seems to be at the center. It must give worth to the explicit proclamation of salvation as the starting point for all Christian initiation, and to make the sacrament of salvation resound first in the Church, then to the entire world. The Church wishes to be the servant of the Kingdom of God, who is already there among those who participate in charity. The Holy Spirit gives the Church the ability of astonishment at the work of grace.
Moreover, beauty could be a path for the revelation of the Mystery of God, following what has happened in the Church’s history. In an era disappointed by the profusion of speeches and where we are suspicious of all forms of dogmatism, the search for beauty could be a path towards God. Through beauty, faith is stated and proclaimed.
In putting into practice new evangelization, several members of the Working Group insisted on putting into act a Christian initiation of the catechumenal type, addressed to starting or re-starting individuals. Many of them have lost the cultural references of Christianity, This Christian initiation must give worth to Baptism as the sacramental expression of salvation. Starting with this sacrament, the itinerary of Christian initiation is deployed. In this direction, a proposition was elaborated in the group to ask the proper Dicasteries for a complete revision of the catechetical and sacramental exercises of Christian initiation.
This new evangelization concerns not only the countries of ancient Christianity, but equally the lands that have yet to hear the Gospel proclaimed. The Group intends to propose the idea of a world mission of evangelization, which will be launched by the Holy Father’s initiative and could be inscribed in the dynamism of the Year of the Faith.
Along with this globalized approach to evangelization, the group placed the emphasis on the need for an inculturation of evangelization. It takes the double form of the incarnation of the Gospel in cultures and its transformation by cultures.
Another decisive point of reflection led to the notion of communion. New evangelization originates in the trinitarian communion which is achieved in the mystery of the Church-communion: families, base ecclesial communities, parishes, religious families... “By the love you bear each other one recognizes that you are my disciples”. This communion, gift from God, includes a responsibility.
On this path of communion which attests to the charity of Christ, a special place was noted concerning the sacrament of confession. While our societies are searching for reconciliation and peace, the Church bears prophetic witness to Divine Mercy. Christ who reconciled us with the Father in the Holy Spirit makes us, through Baptism, the ambassadors of reconciliation at the heart of the world.
New evangelization must lean on new evangelists. Among these catechists may be found. In many places, in French speaking Africa notably, with exemplary generosity, they practice roles of animation of the community, for teaching, for the preparation to the sacraments... Could we not give this body of lay missionaries a stable ministerial statute, well articulated with the ordained ministry, as well as a specific solid formation?
Among the protagonists of new evangelization, the formation of the political elite is also fundamental. Exercising various degrees of responsibilities, these deciders must benefit from a good knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church and bear witness to a coherent life. This investment in formation would seem to be an urgency, to be able to promote social justice and ean economy that is respectful of man’s ecology.
Several Synod Fathers mentioned the question of dialogue towards Muslims, which is constitutive of new evangelization. This should be done in line with the Declaration Nostra Aetate, in listening and respect, and following several modalities: dialogue of life, dialogue of works, spiritual and theological dialogue.
In conclusion, the work of the French Language Group A proceeded in a fraternal climate of mutual listening. The word circulated freely in the common wish of taking an active part in the promotion of new evangelization.

[00354-02.02] [CM010] [Original text: French]


The Report was not received before the closing of the Bullettin.


Several participants have located this Synodal Assembly of Bishops on the "New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith" in the continuation of the path opened by the II Vatican Council. What the Church asks herself now is to infuse the living and divine energy of the Gospel in the veins of humanity.
Evangelizing means to announce the good news, to communicate the joyful news from God. Therefore we can also perceive the signs of God and His call in the events of history. Evangelization also brings closeness and dialogue with men, so that they might listen and talk about their searches and poverty. The Lord counts on us in evangelization to transmit the faith and salvation. The Risen Jesus Christ constituted for the Church with His Spirit the universal sacrament of salvation. Instrumental mediation in evangelization demands that the Church as such, and her children, engage in permanent conversion to God. Therefore, Saints and martyrs have been precious evangelists at every juncture of history (eg. monks, mendicant orders, religious congregations, new movements). Holiness, vibrant faith, the living encounter with Jesus Christ, prayer, apostolic fervor, pastoral zeal, in transmitting faith, pedagogy, requests for charity, love for the poor and those wounded by life are attitudes that were remembered frequently in the group. New Evangelization has to keep up with new times and with rapid changes, profound and universal (globalization). Why for quite some decades, did John Paul II speak of the urgent need to undertake a New Evangelization? It may be because the events of the times were decisive in history; but also marked changes that affect us all, both the Church and humanity to which the Lord has sent us. Are we living in a new change of era? A time with many changes. Certainly we suffer crisis, which are both challenges and opportunities, which especially complicate the Christian life and transmission of faith, damage the image of the Church and obstruct the integration of many in the Christian community. We are worried about those people who are leaving the Church, sometimes in a clamorous fashion, at other times silently. What was, many years ago, sufficient in pastoral is no longer enough. We suffer imbalance, dissatisfaction and disquiet. The Church needs again to obey the Lord's missionary mandate: "Go into the whole world at all latitudes, to all sectors of humanity, in their "spiritual desert" in his riches and poverty, to proclaim the Gospel that focuses on the person of Jesus Christ, who died for us, who lives forever and accompanies us in all the paths of the world. The New Evangelization is addressed to the baptized and those who have drifted away from God and the Church. The whole Church (bishops, priests, religious, laity, dioceses, parishes, religious congregations, movements) must be evangelized, conscientiously recognizing their faults and sins, and yet must participate in evangelization. The whole Church must experience a new missionary impulse.

[00356-02.04] [CM012] [Original text: Spanish]


The following Fraternal Delegate intervened:

- Prof. Michel WEINRICH, Professor at the evangelical theological Faculty of the Ruhr University in Bochum (GERMANY)

The summary of the intervention is published below:

- Prof. Michel WEINRICH, Professor at the evangelical theological Faculty of the Ruhr University in Bochum (GERMANY)

I bring the greetings and blessings on behalf of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, especially their President Jerry Pillay and its General Secretary Setri Nyomi, to the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
The World Communion of Reformed Churches is well aware of the great importance of the great subject of New Evangelization. With this theme you delve deeper into and concretize the consultations of the XII Synod of Bishops in 2008, which dealt with the theme “The Word of eGod in the Life and the Mission of the Church”. Both themes are very familiar even to the Reformed Churches, and thus we feel certain that there are far more points that unite us rather than separate us. What could bring us closer is a confidence in the vitality of the Word of God and in the Gospel, which always originates from Him.
After the new constitution of 2010 in Grand Rapids, the World Communion of Reformed Churches have dealt particularly with the question of the basis of the community (communio), the involvement and the responsibility resulting from it. We know that it is not enough to reciprocally recognize each other as Churches, if this recognition is not reflected in our lives. Drastically speaking: contextuality and Catholicity belong together. When the contextuality of the Church is other than the respective concretization of the its Catholicity, then a serious problem arises which must be dealt with. We had to learn this once again, and now, it is important to act accordingly to the consequences.
Community peace can be well described by the Jewish word “Shalom”. There, where the Gospel is heard once again, part of this “Shalom” comes within reach. May God enable your Synod to follow the footsteps of the Holy Spirit in this direction. May God bless this Synod and its important task.

[00341-02.02] [DF013] [Original text: German]


The following Auditors intervened:

- Rev. Sister Immacolata FUKASAWA, A.C.I., General Superior of Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (JAPAN)
- Mr. Tommaso SPINELLI, Catechist of young catechumens at the Catechetical Office of the Diocese of Rome (ITALY)
- Rev. Jesús HIGUERAS ESTEBAN, Parish Priest of St. Maria de Caná, Madrid (SPAIN)
- Dr. Ewa KUSZ, former President of the World Conference of Secular Institutes CMIS (POLAND)
- Rev. Mons. Enrique GLENNIE GRAUE, Vicar General of the Archidiocese of Mexico (MEXICO)
- Bro. Alvaro Antonio RODRÍGUEZ ECHEVERRÍA, F.S.C., General Superior of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (COSTA RICA)
- Dr. Salvatore MARTINEZ, Italian President for the Renewal in the Holy Spirit (ITALY)

The summaries of the interventions are published below:

- Rev. Sister Immacolata FUKASAWA, A.C.I., General Superior of Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (JAPAN)

I was born in Japan, a non-Christian country and there I received the grace of baptism and religious vocation. From my heart flows the joy of believing and proclaiming my faith in Jesus Christ.
And now as a religious woman of feminine apostolic life, how can I give life to the New Evangelization? (Instrumentum Laboris no. 96) When thinking about this question, the four commitments confirmed in the last General Chapter come to my mind.
First commitment: let charisma be our passion which transforms it into the merciful embrace of all the pains and encourages life.
Second commitment: to live our Consecration in a more radical way.
Third commitment: Being women who generate Communion.
Fourth Commitment: Approaching young people.
These commitments today are calls to live New Evangelization from our consecration. The novelty and strength lie in how to live them. This invites us to allow our transformation for God, so that we may live our vocation in the Church, with humility, passion and dynamism.

[00324-02.02] [UD040] [Original text: Spanish]

- Mr. Tommaso SPINELLI, Catechist of young catechumens at the Catechetical Office of the Diocese of Rome (ITALY)

The new evangelization needs substance: it needs catechesis of a certain depth that is able to say something serious to our lives, but also and above all it needs lives of substance that demonstrate through actions the solidity of the Christian. It is even more important today, now that families are disunited and often abdicate their educative role, that priests demonstrate to the young their faithfulness to a vocation and the possibility of choosing an alternative way of living, better than that proposed by society. My concern however is that these figures of substance are becoming a minority. The priest has lost trust in the importance of his ministry, he has lost charisma and culture. I see priests who adapt to the dominant thought. The same is true of the liturgy, which in the attempt to become original becomes meaningless. Priests, I ask you to find the courage to be yourselves. Do not fear because where you are truly priests, there you propose the truth of the faith without fear, we the young will follow. Indeed, the words of Peter are also ours: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life”. And we are infinitely hungry for something eternal and true.
I therefore propose:
1) an increase in the formation of priests, not only in spiritual but also cultural terms. Too often I see priests who have lost their role as masters of culture which had made them important for the whole of society. Today if we want to be credible and useful, we must return to having good cultural tools;
2) the rediscovery of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its conciliar sense: in particular the first part of each session where the documents of the Council enlighten the traditional themes. The Catechism has, indeed, the wisdom of making the premise to the explanation of the Creed an inspired part of the Dei Verbum, in which the personalistic vision of revelation is explained, the Sacrosantum Concilium prior to the Sacraments, and the Lumen Gentium, which shows man created in God’s image, before the Commandments. The first part of each section of the catechism is fundamental to enable today’s man to feel faith as something that relates to him closely, and to be able to give an answer to his most profound questions.3) Finally the liturgy: too often it is neglected and desacralized. It must be restored with dignity to the center of both the parochial and the territorial community.

[00323-02.03] [UD039] [Original text: Italian]

- Rev. Jesús HIGUERAS ESTEBAN, Parish Priest of St. Maria de Caná, Madrid (SPAIN)

For many centuries the parish has been the natural space in which to announce the Gospel, but these days, faced with the reality of the new movements, desired by the Holy Spirit, it seems, in particular in Europe, that the parish has become the seat of what we might call “Christianity of the precepts”.
Instead it is necessary to affirm the positive sense of the parish in our time to complete the New Evangelization and, so, from the point of view of a pastoral of holiness, we can recall some of its essential Above all, it is indispensable to recuperate “Eucharistic seriousness” since, too often, the celebration of Holy Mass and the Eucharistic Adoration is overlooked, and in its place we have the arbitrariness of a hypothetical liturgical creativity that fills our faithful with disgust. It is time to take up again the Ars Celebrandi put forward in the Magisterium of the Church.
Secondly, the parish has to be the natural space in which the faithful have the possibility to live the sacrament of penance as a matter of habit. It is indispensable that we priests offer the faithful the chance to meet with Divine Mercy, underlining the usefulness of spiritual direction. Furthermore, the parish is the first place in which they who are visited by death or any type of pain are listened to with love and hope. Thirdly, we have to lose the fear in our parishes of constructing the ecclesial communion which exists in the universal Church. The parish is the home of all and it is for everyone. The dioceses, the movements, consecrated life and all the ecclesial realities can unite their efforts in the parish.
We have to take particular care of priests, who often find themselves alone and disconcerted in front of a world, and even of the faithful, who question their identity. We have to create spaces in which priests know they are loved and accompanied in their search for personal holiness. We are evangelizers who have to be evangelized and we put forward with joy our personal vocation and every itinerary towards holiness in the Church.
Finally, we need Marian parishes, so that familiarity with the Mother of God is attractive for man who is searching for the beauty of redeemed humanity.

[00183-02.03] [UD004] [Original text: Spanish]

- Dr. Ewa KUSZ, former President of the World Conference of Secular Institutes CMIS (POLAND)

My vocation, like that of other members of secular institutes, sends us out to the world as the place in which we live out our vocation in all of its richness, difficulties, and drama as well as its wounds. Our duty as lay persons, even lay persons consecrated to God, does not consist in a particular pastoral activity or evangelization. The nature of our vocation lies in seeking God in all of the day’s events, in every encounter with others. It involves simply living the Gospel in our daily lives. This does not seem very impressive nor effective to the public. Nor is it suited for broadcast by the media. In my own life I see that it is not simple; rather, it would often be easier to simply proclaim the Gospel aloud rather than live it. In my work, in the environment which surrounds me, I meet wounded individuals who hunger for love, who not infrequently feel resentment or indifference with regard to God. I meet people who yearn for fullness, love, beauty and harmony, seeking it in many different places. Unfortunately, only rarely in the Church. At times, their experience of the Church, their encounter with “persons of the Church” have, for one reason or another, hurt them. What other members, of secular institutions, and I can do for these individuals is offer them our simple presence, open to encounter, offering help when it is sought. Thus, individual competence, silent prayer and not least, our nearness to Jesus Christ is needed. It involves, as the Pope summarized in his recent message to the members of secular groups, “to embrace with charity the wounds of the world and the Church”. With time, this attitude will bring hope to the live of individuals who initially, wrapped up in their own pain, found themselves facing an abyss of solitude and desperation, often without even the hope of discerning a concrete solution, or facing enormous difficulty in forgiving those who had wronged them.

[00182-02.04] [UD003] [Original text: German]

- Rev. Mons. Enrique GLENNIE GRAUE, Vicar General of the Archidiocese of Mexico (MEXICO)

The event of the apparition of Maria de Guadalupe to the Indian Juan Diego in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization, with an influence that goes beyond the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent.
Immediately after the apparition there was an incredible mass of conversion both for the indigenous and the Spanish. A concrete sign of the importance of the Guadalupe event was this conversion and devotion to the Virgin and through her to Jesus Christ that we find up to our own days with the presence in the sanctuary of over 20 million people each year.
Like any redeeming event, the Guadalupe event transcends borders, cultures, peoples, customs, etc, and reaches the depths of the human being. This is a saving event that causes the conversion of the heart and moves man to true repentance, to meeting with God, having fulfilled a life change that is full and complete.
This saving event manifests, visibly, the intervention of God in evangelization led by Mary, the first disciple and missionary of Love.
Put simply, the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe manifests - right up to our own day - as a true evangelization; it can be observed that the Guadalupe event allows an understanding of the essence of the Gospel and moves souls in that way, the evident demonstration of conversion to ineJesus Christ. This allowed to carrying out the evangelization of a people who were being born. In fact, then begins a devotion that no one can stop and that deepened and extended to the present day, not only in Mexico, but in the most varied countries, who are guided by the hand by the Star of evangelization to its Redeemer in a perfectly incultured evangelization.
In summary, we can affirm that - as in the Guadalupe event - the New Evangelization also requires an authentic 'inculturation'.
Evangelization, if it succeeds, must give rise to the phenomenon of inculturation, understood as presence and fruit of faith within a particular culture. I believe this is a major challenge of the New Evangelization.

[00185-02.03] [UD006] [Original text: Spanish]

- Bro. Alvaro Antonio RODRÍGUEZ ECHEVERRÍA, F.S.C., General Superior of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (COSTA RICA)

Personally, I maintain that the new generations, without distinction of continent or cultural differences, must be the privileged field of action for the New Evangelization, not only as passive receivers of it, but rather as active agents, recalling the words of John Paul II, when he affirmed that the young are the best apostles to the young. Their presence and their word in the Synod would probably have enabled us to have a more far-sighted vision of the future.
For our part, it is important to recognize their world and to make an attempt at enculturation within them. To recognize their needs, their worries, questions, aspirations and hopes and offer them the Gospel which is always Good News. It is important to begin with life, so that the young will not lose interest in the Christian message because it has been presented to their intellect as an idealogy imposed upon them in an authoritarian way or, inferentially, has originated from principles that have no relation to their real life. This is why our principal role is to help every young person feel loved, appreciated, blessed, important and necessary for others.
The New Evangelization for our youth and for those who accompany them must be a call to return to the Gospel and to discover that the central nucleus of our faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ which leads us to become a community of disciples. Our mission with regard to the young is that of being companions in the search, humble guides who help them to discover a journey and give meaning to their lives. Rather than masters who teach from on high or judges who judge or condemn from the outside, we are called to be brothers and sisters who accompany from within. The young are the new news for the world, but we must ask ourselves how to go about it so that the Good News of Jesus will be good news for them. In a time such as ours in which the young search for something more and are open to spirituality, we must educate them toward a personal, intimate encounter with God which will fill their existential void and allow them, like Jesus, to see the reality, to be moved when faced with it to commit themselves to a transforming action.

[00190-02.05] [UD004] [Original text: Spanish]

- Dr. Salvatore MARTINEZ, Italian President for the Renewal in the Holy Spirit (ITALY)

No. 39 of the Instrumentum laboris states that: “Many particular Churches request that the Synod determine whether the lack of effects in evangelization today ... is primarily the result of ecclesial and spiritual factors”. The Servant of the Lord Paul VI forty or so years ago said: “What do we need, first and last, for this, our blessed Church? The Church needs her perennial Pentecost: she needs fire in her heart, the Word on her lips, prophecy in her gaze” (General Audience, November 29th 1972). New men are needed for a new evangelization. Where there is the Spirit of God, there is the future! Where His presence is invoked and His charismas welcomed and put into practice, the Church flourishes again, prayer becomes proclamation, joy knows no fatigue and the service of man reveals the charity of God. Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have indicated the new evangelizing energies that many of the lay faithful are putting to the service of the Church, thanks to the new pedagogies of faith experienced through the different charismas of the ecclesial Movements and the New Communities. The mother of all the crises we suffer is spiritual. It is urgent that we return to the Holy Spirit, praying more than theorizing, ensuring that the dogmatic faith is always accompanied by charismatic faith. The new evangelization is better prepared in community life and with trust in fraternity rather than with planning and revision.

[00314-02.03] [UD034] [Original text: Italian]


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