33 - 27.10.2012
- ELENCO FINALE DELLE
Secondo le norme dell’Ordo Synodi Episcoporum (cf. Artt. 15 e
39), il testo ufficiale in latino dell’Elenco finale delle
Proposizioni delle Assemblee Generali Ordinarie del Sinodo dei
Vescovi, oggetto di voto personale da parte dei Padri Sinodali, č
destinato al Sommo Pontefice, al quale viene debitamente consegnato.
Tale testo per sua natura č riservato e non viene pubblicato per
rispettare il carattere consultivo e propositivo dell’Assise
Per benevola decisione il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI concede in
questa occasione che una versione in lingua inglese, provvisoria,
ufficiosa e non ufficiale, a cura della Segreteria Generale del
Sinodo dei Vescovi, venga pubblicata nel Bollettino della Sala
Stampa della Santa Sede.
Al riguardo occorre precisare che le Proposizioni nascono
in un determinato momento del processo sinodale aperto
all’eventuale promulgazione di un Documento pontificio. Esse non
esauriscono la ricchezza degli apporti dei Lineamenta, dell’Instrumentum
laboris, della Disceptatio in aula, della Relatio ante
disceptationem e della Relatio post disceptationem e del
Messaggio (Nuntius). Il lavoro dei Circoli Minori ha
consentito l’elaborazione del consenso sinodale, in un clima di
intensa comunione episcopale cum Petro e sub Petro
attraverso la preghiera, l’ascolto reciproco, anche nella
immediatezza della discussione spontanea.
According to the norms set down in the Ordo
Synodi Episcoporum (cf. Articles 15 and 39), the Latin is the
official text of the Final List of Propositions of Ordinary General
Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops, which is submitted to the vote
of the synod fathers and destined for the Supreme Pontiff, to whom
it is dutifully consigned. By its very nature, this text is
confidenial and, therefore, not published out of respect for the
consultative character of the synodal assembly.
On this occasion, with the kind permission of the Holy Father, Pope
Benedict XVI, the provisional, unofficial English version, prepared
under the auspices of the General Secretariat of the Synod of
Bishops, is published in the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office.
In this regard, it is necessary to point out that the
Propositiones result at a determined moment in the synodal
process and may serve in a possible promulgation of a papal
document, and do not detract from the richness found in the contents
of the Lineamenta, Instrumentum laboris, the
discussion in the synod hall, the Relatio ante disceptationem,
the Relatio post disceptationem and the Message to the People
of God (Nuntius). The work of the Small Groups has permitted
a consensus at the synod, which took place in a atmosphere of
intense episcopal communion cum Petro and sub Petro,
as a result of prayer and listening to each other, even in the those
moments of free discussion.
Versione non ufficiale in lingua inglese. Unofficial English
ELENCO FINALE DELLE
Proposition 1 : THE DOCUMENTATION SUBMITTED TO THE HOLY FATHER
In addition to the entire documentation on The New Evangelization
for the Transmission of the Christian Faith related to this
synod, submitted to the Holy Father for his consideration, namely,
the Lineamenta, the Instrumentum laboris, the
Relatio ante disceptationem, the Relatio post disceptationem,
the presentations, both given in the synod hall and those in
scriptis, the Message to the People of God, the Reports of
the Small Groups and their discussions, the synod fathers have
given a certain importance to the following propositions.
The Synod Fathers also humbly request the Holy Father to consider
the opportuneness of issuing a document on transmitting the
Christian faith through a new evangelization.
Proposition 2 : SYNOD EXPRESSES GRATITUDE
The Synod Fathers recognize with gratitude the heritage of Papal
teaching, often enriching the fruits of earlier Synodal assemblies,
that is foundational to the work during these sessions of the Synod
for the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian
Faith. The reflections of the Synod draw upon documents such as
Evangelii nuntiandi of Pope Paul VI, Catechesi tradendae,
Redemptoris missio and Novo millennio ineunte of
Blessed John Paul II and Deus caritas est, Sacramentum
caritatis and Verbum Domini of Pope Benedict XVI. The
most recent example of this guidance is the Year of Faith,
proclaimed by our Holy Father at the beginning of this Synod. For
this prophetic ministry we are most grateful.
Proposition 3 : ORIENTAL CATHOLIC CHURCHES
The Oriental Catholic Churches sui juris, which are
enlightened by the Tradition that has been handed down from the
Apostles through the Fathers, are the patrimony of the whole Church
of Christ (cf. Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 2, Codex Canonum
Ecclesiarum Orientalium, 39). These Churches are part of the
Apostolic heritage through which the Good News was brought to
far-off lands (cf. Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 88).
They are thankful for the possibility offered to them to carry out
their pastoral duties towards their migrant faithful in countries
with Latin Church traditions. They also hope that their tradition
might be more fully known and respected among the faithful and
clergy of particular Churches around the world.
1 ) The Nature of the New Evangelization
Proposition 4 : THE HOLY TRINITY SOURCE OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Church and her evangelizing mission have their origin and source
in the Most Holy Trinity according to the plan of the Father, the
work of the Son, which culminated in his death and glorious
Resurrection, and the mission of the Holy Spirit. The Church
continues this mission of God’s love in our world.
Evangelization has to be understood in a broad and profound
theological-doctrinal framework as 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 evangelize and to give witness to
the Word of God with enthusiasm and courage.
The New Evangelization recognizes the primacy of God’s grace and how
in baptism one comes to live in Christ. This emphasis on divine
filiation should bring the baptized to a life of faith that clearly
manifests their Christian identity in all aspects of their personal
Proposition 5 : THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND INCULTURATION
Jesus offers the gift of the Holy Spirit and reveals to us the love
of the Father.
The New Evangelization is a time of awakening, of new encouragement
and new witness that Jesus Christ is the center of our faith and
daily life. It calls on every member of the Church to a renewal of
faith and an actual effort to share it.
It also requires discerning the signs of the times in the world that
impacts the ministry of the Church and in the different particular
Churches in their proper territories. Among these signs one needs to
recognize certainly a growing awareness of people to the changing
circumstances of life today.
Furthermore it calls the Church to reach out to those who are far
from God and the Christian community to invite them to once again
hear the Word of God in order to encounter the Lord Jesus in a new
and profound way.
The New Evangelization calls for particular attention to the
inculturation of the faith that can transmit the Gospel in its
capacity to value what is positive in every culture, at the same
time, purifying it from elements that are contrary to the full
realization of the person according to the design of God revealed in
Christ. Inculturation involves the effort to have the Gospel take
flesh in each people’s culture” (CCC, 854).
Proposition 6 : PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
God, our savior, wills everyone to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Tim 2: 4). Since the Church
believes in this divine plan of universal salvation she must be
missionary (cf. Evangelii nuntiandi, 14, CCC, 851). She also
knows that “those also can attain to salvation who through no fault
of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet
sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do
His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.”
(Lumen gentium , 16). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the
proclamation of his life and of the paschal mystery of his passion,
death, resurrection and glorification.
The Council reminds us, however, that evangelization is necessary
for the salvation of all since “But often men, deceived by the Evil
One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the
truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator
(cf. Rm 1: 21, 25). Or some there are who, living and dying
in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore
to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of
these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, ‘Preach the Gospel to
every creature’ (Mk 16:15), the Church fosters the missions
with care and attention” (Lumen gentium, 16).
Proposition 7 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AS A PERMANENT MISSIONARY
DIMENSION OF THE CHURCH
It is proposed that the Church proclaim the permanent world-wide
missionary dimension of her mission in order to encourage all the
particular Churches to evangelize.
Evangelization can be understood in three aspects. Firstly,
evangelization ad gentes is the announcement of the Gospel to
those who do not know Jesus Christ. Secondly, it also includes the
continuing growth in faith that is the ordinary life of the Church.
Finally, the New Evangelization is directed especially to those who
have become distant from the Church.
In so doing, all the particular Churches will be encouraged to value
and integrate all their various agents and capabilities. At the same
time, each particular Church must have the freedom to evangelize
according to her own traits and traditions, always in unity with the
proper Bishops’ Conference or the Synod of the Eastern Catholic
Church. Such a world-wide mission will respond to the action of the
Holy Spirit, as in a new Pentecost, through a call issued by the
Roman Pontiff, who invites all faithful to visit all families and
bring the life of Christ to all human situations.
Proposition 8 : WITNESSING IN A SECULARIZED WORLD
We are Christians living in a secularized world. Whereas the world
is and remains God’s creation, secularization falls within the
sphere of human culture. As Christians we cannot remain indifferent
to the process of secularization. We are in fact in a situation
similar to that of the first Christians and as such we should see
this both as a challenge and a possibility. We live in this world,
but are not of this world (cf. Jn 15:19; 17:11, 16). The
world is God’s creation and manifests his love. In and through Jesus
Christ we receive God’s salvation and are able to discern the
progress of his creation. Jesus opens the doors for us anew so that,
without fear, we can lovingly embrace the wounds of the Church and
of the world (cf. Benedict XVI).
In our present age, that manifests aspects more difficult than the
past, even if we are like “the little flock” (Lk 12:32), we
bear witness to the Gospel message of salvation and we are called to
be salt and light of a new world (cf. Mt 5:13-16).
Proposition 9 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND INITIAL PROCLAMATION
The foundation of all initial proclamation, the kerygmatic dimension,
the Good News, makes prominent an explicit announcement of salvation.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in
accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then
to the twelve” (1 Cor 15:3-5).
The ‘first proclamation’ is where the kerygma, the message of
salvation of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, is proclaimed with
great spiritual power to the point of bringing about repentance of
sin, conversion of hearts and a decision of faith. At the same time
there has to be continuity between first proclamation and catechesis
which instructs us in the deposit of the faith.
We consider it necessary that there be a Pastoral Plan of Initial
Proclamation, teaching a living encounter with Jesus Christ. This
pastoral document would provide the first elements for the
catechetical process, enabling its insertion into the lives of the
The Synod Fathers propose that guidelines of the initial
proclamation of the kerygma be written. This compendium would
- Systematic teaching on the kerygma in Scripture and Tradition of
the Catholic Church;
- Teachings and quotations from the missionary saints and martyrs in
our Catholic history that would assist us in our pastoral challenges
of today; and
- Qualities and guidelines for the formation of Catholic
Proposition 10 : RIGHT TO PROCLAIM AND TO HEAR THE GOSPEL
To proclaim the Good News and the person of Jesus is an obligation
for each Christian, founded in the Gospel: “Go, therefore, and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28: 19).
At the same time, it is an inalienable right for each person,
whatever one’s religion or lack of religion, to be able to know
Jesus Christ and the Gospel. This proclamation, given with integrity,
must be offered with a total respect for each person, without any
form of proselytizing.
Proposition 11 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE PRAYERFUL READING OF
SACRED SCRIPTUREGod has communicated himself to us in his Word made
flesh. This divine Word, heard and celebrated in the Liturgy of the
Church, particularly in the Eucharist, strengthens interiorly the
faithful and renders them capable of authentic evangelical witness
in daily life. The Synod Fathers desire that the divine word “be
ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity” (Verbum
The gate to Sacred Scripture should be open to all believers. In the
context of the New Evangelization every opportunity for the study of
Sacred Scripture should be made available. The Scripture should
permeate homilies, catechesis and every effort to pass on the faith.
In consideration of the necessity of familiarity with the Word of
God for the New Evangelization and for the spiritual growth of the
faithful, the Synod encourages dioceses, parishes, small Christian
communities to continue serious study of the Bible and Lectio
Divina, the — the prayerful reading of the Scriptures (cf.
Dei Verbum, 21-22).
Proposition 12 : DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II
The Synod Fathers recognize the teaching of Vatican II as a vital
instrument for transmitting the faith in the context of the New
Evangelization. At the same time, they consider that the documents
of the Council should be properly read and interpreted. Therefore,
they wish to manifest their adherence to the thought of our Holy
Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has indicated the hermeneutical
principle of reform within continuity so as to be able to discover
in those texts the authentic spirit of the Council. “There is the "hermeneutic
of reform", of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church
which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in
time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of
the journeying People of God. [...] However, wherever this
interpretation guided the implementation of the Council, new life
developed and new fruit ripened” (Benedict XVI, Address to the
Roman Curia, 22 December 2005). In this way it will be possible
to respond to the need for renewal required by the modern world and,
at the same time, faithfully preserve the identity of the Church’s
nature and mission.
2) The Context of the Church’s Ministry Today
Proposition 13 : CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME
The proclamation of the good news in different contexts of the world
— marked by the processes of globalization and secularism — places
different challenges before the Church: at times in an outright
religious persecution, at other times in a widespread indifference,
interference, restriction or harassment.
The Gospel offers a vision of life and of the world that cannot be
imposed, but only proposed, as the good news of the gratuitous love
of God and of peace. The message of truth and of beauty can help
people escape from the loneliness and lack of meaning to which the
conditions of post-modern society often relegate them.
Therefore, believers must strive to show to the world the splendor
of a humanity grounded in the mystery of Christ. Popular religiosity
is important but not sufficient; more is needed to help recognize
the duty to proclaim to the world the reason for Christian hope, to
those Catholics estranged from the Church, to those who do not
follow Christ, to the sects and those experimenting with different
kinds of spiritualities.
Proposition 14 : THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND RECONCILIATION
In a world that is broken by wars and violence, a world hurt by a
widespread individualism which separates human beings among
themselves, and pits one against the other, the Church must exercise
her ministry of reconciliation in a calm and resolute way. The
Church in the spirit of the New Evangelization undertakes the task
of reconciliation. Faithful to Jesus’ message, (“...he has broken
down the dividing wall of hostility” Eph 2:14), the Church
has to make an effort to break down the walls that separate human
beings. With the message of love, she has to preach the newness of
the salvific Gospel of Our Lord, who came to free us from our sins
and to invite us to build harmony, peace and justice among all
Proposition 15 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Consistent with the emphasis placed on human dignity by the New
Evangelization, this Synod urges legislators, teachers and others
who work in the human sciences to grant full respect to the human
person both in public policy and practice.
At the same time, every opportunity must be taken in various local
situations and associations to articulate, uphold and guard, both in
theory and in practice, those rights flowing from an adequate
understanding of the human person as set forth in the natural law.
Proposition 16 : RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
The Synod Fathers reaffirm that religious freedom is a basic human
right. This includes the freedom of conscience and also the liberty
to freely choose one’s religion. We are in solidarity with our
brothers and sisters, in different parts of the world, who are
suffering from lack of religious freedom and even persecution.
In light of the recognition of the Second Vatican Council as an
instrument for the New Evangelization and the growing need to
protect the religious liberty of Christians throughout the world,
the Synod Fathers propose a renewed commitment to and wider
diffusion of the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae. This
renewal seeks to affirm and promote freedom in religious matters for
individuals, families and institutions to protect the common good of
all. Such a freedom includes the right to teach the Christian faith
without compromise of its tenets to children in the family and/or
The Synod Fathers propose that the Holy Father consider the
opportuneness of establishing a commission of Church leaders
representing various parts of the Church throughout the world or
entrusting this task to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,
to address attacks on religious liberty, and to obtain accurate
information for public witness to the fundamental right to religious
freedom and freedom of conscience.
Proposition 17 : PREAMBLES OF FAITH AND THEOLOGY OF CREDIBILITY
In the contemporary context of a global Culture, many doubts and
obstacles cause an extended skepticism and introduce new paradigms
of thought and life. It is of paramount importance, for a New
Evangelization, to underline the role of the Preambles of Faith.
It is necessary not only to show that faith does not oppose reason,
but also to highlight a number of truths and realities which pertain
to a correct anthropology, that is enlightened by natural reason.
Among them, is the value of the Natural Law, and the consequences it
has for the whole human society. The notions of “Natural Law” and
“human nature” are capable of rational demonstrations, both at the
academic and popular levels. Such an intellectual development and
enterprise will help the dialogue between Christian faithful and
people of good will, opening a way to recognize the existence of a
God the Creator and the message of Jesus Christ the Redeemer. The
Synodal Fathers ask theologians to develop a new apologetics of
Christian thought, that is a theology of credibility adequate for a
The Synod calls on theologians to accept and respond to the
intellectual challenges of the New Evangelization by participating
in the mission of the Church to proclaim to all the Gospel of
Proposition 18 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE MEANS OF SOCIAL
The use of means of social communication has an important role to
play in order to reach every person with the message of salvation.
In this field, especially in the world of electronic communications,
it is necessary that convinced Christians be formed, prepared and
made capable to transmit faithfully the content of the faith and of
Christian morality. They should have the ability to use well the
languages and the instruments of today that are available for
communication in the global village. The most effective form of this
communication of the faith remains the sharing of the testimony of
life, without which none of the “media” efforts will result in an
effective transmission of the Gospel. Education in the wise and
constructive use of social media is an important means to be
utilized in the New Evangelization.
Proposition 19 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
The Papal Magisterium in its social teaching demonstrated the
theological, anthropological and educational bonds between
evangelization and the development and freedom of both the person
Today it is not possible to think of the New Evangelization without
the proclamation of full freedom from everything that oppresses the
human person, i.e. sin and its consequences. Without a serious
commitment for life and justice and the change of the situations
that generate poverty and exclusion (cf. Sollicitudo rei socialis,
36) there can be no progress. This is particularly true in the face
of challenges of globalization.
Proposition 20 : THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE WAY OF BEAUTY
In the New Evangelization, there should be a particular attention
paid to the way of beauty: Christ, the “Good Shepherd” (cf. Jn
10:11) is the Truth in person, the beautiful revelation in sign,
pouring himself out without measure. It is important to give
testimony to the young who follow Jesus, not only of his goodness
and truth, but also of the fullness of his beauty. As Augustine
affirmed, “it is not possible to love what is not beautiful” (Confessions,
Bk IV, 13.20). Beauty attracts us to love, through which God reveals
to us his face in which we believe. In this light artists feel
themselves both spoken to and privileged communicators of the New
In the formation of seminarians, education in beauty should not be
neglected nor education in the sacred arts as we are reminded in the
teaching of the Second Vatican Council (cf. Sacrosanctum
concilium, 129). Beauty should always be a special dimension of
the new evangelization.
It is necessary that the Church be vigilant in caring for and
promoting the quality of the art that is permitted in the sacred
spaces reserved for liturgical celebrations, guarding both its
beauty and the truthfulness of its expression.
It is important for the New Evangelization that the Church be
present in all fields of art, so as to support with her spiritual
and pastoral presence the artists in their search for creativity and
to foster a living and true spiritual experience of salvation that
becomes present in their work.
Proposition 21 : MIGRANTS
Just as many countries have greatly benefitted from the presence of
people coming from other countries, so too the Church is nourished
in a significant way with the witness and the evangelizing work of
many of those engaged with the missionary mandate: “Go out into the
whole world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation” (Mk 16:
15). Given the risks and threats to the faith of the migrating
peoples, it is important that the Church gives her support through a
pastoral plan that includes them and their families, and reminds
them of their important place as the living cell of society and the
domestic Church. Parishes should help the migrants integrate
themselves into society and the Christian community.
The Church’s pastoral plan for migrants should not only welcome
migrants and promote their human dignity, but should above all help
them be integrated into the life of the Church, respecting their own
ritual tradition; this plan should also help them avoid becoming
lost to the Catholic Church.
Immigrants are not only recipients, but also protagonists of the
proclamation of the Gospel in the modern world.
In the face of the great migratory movements, it is important to
insist on the centrality and dignity of the person, in particular in
light of the grave phenomena of a new slavery connected to the
shameful trafficking of human beings, especially children, and the
selling of organs. This awareness must increase when dealing with
refugees, the displaced, those on the sea, nomads and people without
a fixed home.
Proposition 22 : CONVERSION
The drama and intensity of the age old clash between good and evil,
between faith and fear should be presented as the essential
background, a constituent element of the call to conversion in
Christ. This struggle continues at a natural and supernatural level.
“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and
those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 14). Many bishops spoke of
the need for renewal in holiness in their own lives, if they are to
be true and effective agents of the New Evangelization.
The New Evangelization requires personal and communal conversion,
new methods of evangelization and renewal of the pastoral structures,
to be able to move from a pastoral strategy of maintenance to a
pastoral position that is truly missionary. The New Evangelization
guides us to an authentic pastoral conversion which moves us to
attitudes and initiatives which leads to evaluations and changes in
the dynamics of pastoral structures which no longer respond to the
evangelical demands of the current time.
Proposition 23 : HOLINESS AND THE NEW EVANGELIZERS
The universal call to holiness is constitutive of the New
Evangelization that sees the Saints as effective models of the
variety and forms in which this vocation can be realized. What is
common in the varied stories of holiness is the following of Christ
expressed in a life of faith active in charity which is a privileged
proclamation of the Gospel.
We recognize Mary as the model of holiness that is manifest in acts
of love including the supreme gift of self.
Holiness is a significant part of every evangelizing commitment for
the one who evangelizes and for the good of those evangelized.
Proposition 24 : THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH
In order to advance a New Evangelization in society, greater
attention should be given to the Church’s social doctrine,
understanding that it is a proclamation and witness of faith, an
irreplaceable means of education in the faith (cf. Caritas in
veritate, 15). This embrace of the Church’s social doctrine
should permeate the content of catechesis, Christian education,
formation of seminarians and religious, the continuing formation of
bishops and priests and most especially the formation of the laity.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a
precious resource in accomplishing this continuing formation.
Proposition 25 : URBAN SCENARIOS OFTHE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Church acknowledges that human cities and the culture they
express, as well as the transformations that take place in them, are
a privileged place of the New Evangelization. Understanding herself
at the service of the salvific plan of God, the Church recognizes
that the “Holy City, the New Jerusalem” (cf. Rev 21, 2-4) is
in a certain way already present in human realities. Putting in
practice an urban pastoral plan, the Church wants to identify and
understand those experiences, languages and styles of life, that are
typical of urban societies. She intends to render her liturgical
celebrations, her experiences of communitarian life, and her
exercise of charity, relevant to the urban context, in order to
incarnate the Gospel in the life of all citizens. ine The Church
also knows that in many cities one sees the absence of God, in the
many attacks on human dignity. Among them: violence related to drug
trafficking, corruption of various kinds, and many other crimes. We
are convinced that the proclamation of the Gospel can be the basis
to restore the dignity of human life in these urban contexts. It is
the Gospel of Jesus, who “came that they may have life and have it
abundantly” (Jn 10: 10).
3) Pastoral Responses to the Circumstances of Our Day
Proposition 26 : PARISHES AND OTHER ECCLESIAL REALITIES
The bishops gathered in Synod affirm that the parish continues to be
the primary presence of the Church in neighborhoods, the place and
instrument of Christian life, which is able to offer opportunities
for dialogue among men, for listening to and announcing the Word of
God, for organic catechesis, for training in charity, for prayer,
adoration and joyous eucharistic celebrations. In addition the Synod
Fathers would like to encourage parishes to find ways to orient
themselves to a greater emphasis on evangelization which could
include parish missions, parish renewal programs and parish retreats.
The presence and evangelizing action of associations, movements and
of other ecclesial realities are useful stimuli for the realization
of this pastoral conversion. Parishes as well as traditional and new
ecclesial realities are called to make visible together the
communion of the particular Church united around the Bishop.
In order to bring to all people the Good News of Jesus, as required
by a New Evangelization, all the parishes and their small
communities should be living cells, places to promote the personal
and communitarian encounter with Christ, experience the richness of
liturgy, to give initial and permanent Christian formation, and to
educate all the faithful in fraternity and charity especially
towards the poor.
Proposition 27 : EDUCATION
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt
28:19-20). Education is a constitutive dimension of evangelization.
To proclaim the Risen Jesus Christ is to accompany all human beings
in their personal story, in their development and in their spiritual
vocation. Education needs, at the same time, to promote everything
that is true, good and beautiful that is a part of the human person,
that is to say, to educate the mind and the emotions to appreciate
Children, teenagers and young people have a right to be evangelized
and educated. The schools and Catholic universities respond in this
way to this need. Public institutions should recognize and support
Schools should assist families in introducing children into the
beauty of the faith. Schools offer a great opportunity to transmit
the faith or at least to make it known.
The Synod Fathers are grateful for the work of education carried out
by thousands of teachers, male and female, in Catholic educational
institutions in the five continents.
Because of the singular role of teachers, it is important that they
receive ongoing formation in carrying out their responsibilities.
Schools must be free to teach. This freedom is an inalienable right.
For this reason in order to ensure that our institutions are agents
of evangelization and not just products of evangelization, the Synod:
- Encourages Catholic educational institutions to do all that is
possible to preserve their identity as ecclesial institutions;
- Invites all teachers to embrace the leadership which is theirs as
baptized disciples of Jesus, giving witness through their vocation
as educators; and
- Urges particular Churches, religious families, and all those who
have responsibility in the educational institutions, to facilitate
the co-responsibility of lay people, offering adequate formation and
accompaniment for this.
Proposition 28 : ADULT CATECHESIS
One cannot speak of the New Evangelization if the catechesis of
adults is non-existent, fragmented, weak or neglected. When these
defects are present, pastoral ministry faces a very serious
The phases and levels of the catechumenate of the Church show how
biblically, catechetically, spiritually and liturgically a person’s
history and faith-journey can be understood as a vocation through a
relationship with God (cf. Evangelii nuntiandi, 18;
Instrumentum laboris, 92).
In all these things, the public character of the decision of faith
which the catechumen makes, which gradually grows in the community
and the diocese, has a positive impact on all the faithful.
Proposition 29 : CATECHESIS, CATECHISTS AND THE CATECHISM
Good Catechesis is essential for the New Evangelization. The Synod
calls attention to the indispensable service that catechists provide
the ecclesial communities and expresses profound gratitude for their
dedication. All catechists, who are at the same time evangelizers,
need to be well prepared. Every effort should be made within the
possibilities of the local situation to provide catechists with
strong ecclesial formation, that is spiritual, biblical, doctrinal
and pedagogical. Personal witness to the faith is itself a powerful
form of catechesis.
The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and its Compendium
are, above all, a resource for teaching the faith and supporting
adults in the Church in their evangelizing and catechizing mission.
According to the Apostolic Letter Ministeria quaedam of Pope
Paul VI, Episcopal Conferences have the possibility to request from
the Holy See the institution of the Ministry of Catechist.
Proposition 30 : THEOLOGY
Theology as the science of faith has an importance for the New
Evangelization. Priests, teachers and catechists must be formed in
institutions of higher education. The Church appreciates and
promotes research and the teaching of theology. Scientific theology
has its own proper place in the university where it must carry out
dialogue between faith and the other disciplines and the secular
world. Theologians are called to carry out this service as a part of
the salvific mission of the Church. It is necessary that they think
and feel with the Church (sentire cum Ecclesia).The Synod
proposes that the New Evangelization be considered as an integral
dimension of the mission of every theological faculty and that a
department of New Evangelization studies be established in Catholic
Proposition 31 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE OPTION FOR THE POOR
Pope Benedict XVI teaches: “Jesus identifies himself with those in
need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the
sick and those in prison. ‘As you did it to one of the least of
these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Mt 25: 40). Love of God
and love of neighbour have become one: in the least of the brethren
we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God” (Deus caritas
Today there are new poor and new faces of poverty: the hungry, the
homeless, the sick and abandoned, drug addicts, migrants and the
marginalized, political and environmental refugees, the indigenous
peoples. The current economic crisis seriously affects the poor.
Among the poorest in contemporary society are the victims of
grievous loss of respect for the inviolable dignity of innocent
The preferential option for the poor leads us to seek out the poor
and to work on their behalf so that they may feel at home in the
Church. They are both recipients and actors in the New
Proposition 32 : THE SICK
The New Evangelization must be ever aware of the Paschal Mystery of
the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This mystery sheds light
on the suffering of people who can find in the Cross of Christ
understanding and acceptance of the mystery of suffering that gives
them hope in the life to come.
In the sick, the suffering, persons with disabilities and those with
special needs, Christ’s suffering is present and has a missionary
force. For Christians, there must always be place for the suffering
and the sick. They need our care, but we receive even more from
Through the sick, Christ enlightens His Church, so that everyone who
enters into contact with them will find reflected the light of
Christ. This is why the sick are very important participants in the
All those in contact with the sick need to be aware of their mission.
We cannot forget when we build new hospitals to pay attention so
that we do not lack a consoling and supportive environment and a
place for prayer.
Proposition 33 : THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is the privileged place
to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is a place for both
personal and communal healing. In this sacrament, all the baptized
have a new and personal encounter with Jesus Christ, as well as a
new encounter with the Church, facilitating a full reconciliation
through the forgiveness of sins. Here the penitent encounters Jesus,
and at the same time he or she experiences a deeper appreciation of
himself and herself. The Synod Fathers ask that this sacrament be
put again at the center of the pastoral activity of the Church.
In every diocese, at least one place should be especially dedicated
in a permanent way for the celebration of this sacrament, where
priests are always present, allowing God’s mercy to be experienced
by all the faithful. The sacrament should be especially available,
even on a daily basis, at places of pilgrimage and specially
designated churches. Fidelity to the specific norms which rule the
administration of this sacrament is necessary. Every priest should
consider the Sacrament of Penance an essential part of his ministry
and of the New Evangelization, and in every parish community a
suitable time should be set apart for hearing confessions.
Proposition 34 : SUNDAYS AND FEAST DAYS
The Eucharist must be the source and summit of the New
Evangelization. The Synod Fathers urge all Christ’s faithful to
renew their understanding and love for the Eucharistic celebration,
in which their lives are transformed and joined to Christ’s offering
of his own life to the glory of God the Father for the salvation of
the whole world.
Even though there is a tension between the Christian Sunday and the
secular Sunday, Sunday needs to be recovered for the New
Evangelization 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 center of Catholic life. Full, active and
conscious participation in the liturgy on the part of the whole
community is the goal. The liturgical year with its feasts should be
followed by a true program of evangelization, especially at
Christmas and Easter.
Proposition 35 : LITURGY
The worthy celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, God’s most treasured
gift to us, is the source of the highest expression of our life in
Christ (cf. Sacrosanctum concilium, 10). It is, therefore,
the primary and most powerful expression of the new evangelization.
God desires to manifest the incomparable beauty of his immeasurable
and unceasing love for us through the Sacred Liturgy, and we, for
our part, desire to employ what is most beautiful in our worship of
God in response to his gift. In the marvelous exchange of the Sacred
Liturgy, by which heaven descends to earth, salvation is at hand,
calling forth repentance and conversion of heart (cf. Mt
4:17; Mk 1:15).
Evangelization in the Church calls for a liturgy that lifts the
hearts of men and women to God. The liturgy is not just a human
action but an encounter with God which leads to contemplation and
deepening friendship with God. In this sense, the liturgy of the
Church is the best school of the faith.
Proposition 36 : SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The principal agent of evangelization is the Holy Spirit, who opens
hearts and converts them to God. The experience of encountering the
Lord Jesus, made possible by the Spirit, which introduces one into
the Trinitarian life, welcomed in a spirit of adoration,
supplication and of praise, must be fundamental to every aspect of
the New Evangelization. This is the “contemplative dimension” of the
New Evangelization which is nourished continually through prayer,
beginning with the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, source and
summit of the life of the Church.
Therefore, we propose that prayer be encouraged and taught from
infancy. Children and youth should be educated in the family and in
schools to recognize the presence of God in their lives, to praise
Him, to give thanks for the gifts received from Him, and to ask that
the Holy Spirit guide them.
Proposition 37 : THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION IN THE NEW
All the Christian faithful are entrusted with the mission to
evangelize, due to the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Here
the faithful are sealed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and are
called to participate in the mystery of Pentecost. Through
Confirmation, all the baptized receive the fullness of the Holy
Spirit, his charisms, and the power to give witness to the Gospel
openly and with courage.
It is important that mystagogical catechesis accompany the grace of
filial adoption received at Baptism, underlining the importance of
the gift of the Holy Spirit which enables one to fully participate
in the Eucharistic witness of the Church and its influence in all
the spheres of life and human activity.
Hence proper and systematic catechesis prior to the reception of
these sacraments is of prime importance.
Proposition 38 : CHRISTIAN INITIATION AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Synod wishes to state that Christian initiation is a crucial
element in the New Evangelization and is the means by which the
Church, as a mother, brings forth children and regenerates herself.
Therefore we propose that the traditional process of Christian
initiation, that has often become simply a proximate preparation for
the sacraments, be everywhere considered in a catechumenal
prospective, giving more relevance to permanent mystagogy, and thus
becoming true initiation to Christian life through the sacraments. (cf.
General Directory of Catechesis, 91).
In this perspective it is not without consequences that the
situation today concerning the three sacraments of Christian
initiation, despite their theological unity, are pastorally diverse.
These differences in the ecclesial communities are not of a
doctrinal nature but differences of pastoral judgment. This Synod
however requests that what the Holy Father has affirmed in
Sacramentum caritatis, 18, become a stimulus for dioceses and
episcopal conferences to review their practices of Christian
initiation: “Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice better
enables the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the
center, as the goal of the whole process of initiation” (Sacramentum
Proposition 39 : POPULAR PIETY AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Popular piety is a true place to encounter Christ, and also express
the faith of the Christian people in the Blessed Virgin Mary and the
Saints. The New Evangelization recognizes the value of these faith
experiences and encourages them as ways to grow in Christian virtue.
Pilgrimages to shrines and sanctuaries are an important aspect of
the new evangelization. Not only because of the millions of people
who continue to make these pilgrimages but because this form of
popular piety at this time is an especially promising opportunity
for conversion and the growth of faith. It is important therefore
that a pastoral plan be developed that properly welcomes the
pilgrims and, in response to the deep desire of the pilgrims,
opportunities be offered so that the time of the pilgrimage can be
lived as a true moment of grace.
Proposition 40 : THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE NEW
The Synod is grateful to the Holy Father for establishing the
Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization as an
instrument at the service of the particular Churches, and asks that
this Dicastery carry on the synodal discussions in further study and
in the development and promotion of the New Evangelization.
It also requests that consideration be given in each episcopal
conference to the establishment of a commission in order to promote
the study and diffusion of the pontifical Magisterium relative to
the themes that are a part of the New Evangelization. In this way,
there can be created a strong collaboration among the particular
Churches and therefore greater effectiveness in implementing the New
4) Agents / Participants of the New Evangelization
Proposition 41 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE PARTICULAR CHURCH
The particular church, led by the bishop, who is helped by priests
and deacons, with the collaboration of consecrated persons and the
laity, is the subject of the New Evangelization. This is so because
in each place, the particular church is the concrete manifestation
of the Church of Christ and as such initiates, coordinates and
accomplishes the pastoral actions through which the New
Evangelization is carried out.
In the Church the call to holiness, directed to all the baptized,
rings out, inviting them to follow Christ and turn with love and
goodwill towards all people, in order to discern the action of the
Holy Spirit in them. “As I have loved you, that you also love one
another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you
have love for one another” (Jn 13:34-35). For the first
Christian communities, communion was a constitutive element of the
life of faith and necessary to evangelization: they had one heart
and mind. The Church is communion, that is to say, the Church is the
Family of God.
The Church enables each of her members to be aware of their
responsibility to be like leaven in the dough. In this way, “faith
working through love” (Gal 5: 6) will become a contagious
witness for the world in all her dimensions, offering to every
person the possibility of meeting Christ and becoming evangelizers
in their turn.
It would be desirable if each particular church, whatever
difficulties occur, developed a sense of mission among her faithful
by cooperating with other particular churches.
Proposition 42 : INTEGRATED PASTORAL ACTIVITY
Each particular Church is the primary community of the Church’s
mission. It must animate and lead a renewed pastoral activity able
to integrate the variety of charisms, ministries, states of life and
resources. All these realities must be coordinated within an organic
missionary project, capable of communicating the fullness of
Christian life to everyone, especially to those who feel themselves
far from the Church’s care. Such an endeavor must arise from the
dialogue and cooperation of all diocesan components, including:
parishes, small Christian communities, educational communities,
communities of consecrated life, associations, movements and
individual faithful. Every pastoral program must transmit the true
novelty of the Gospel, and be centered on a personal and living
encounter with Jesus. It should also be ordered to eliciting in all
people a generous embrace of the faith, and a willingness to accept
the call to be witnesses.
Proposition 43 : HIERARCHICAL AND CHARISMATIC GIFTS
The Holy Spirit directs the Church in her missionary evangelization
“with various hierarchical and charismatic gifts” (Lumen gentium,
4). In fact the dioceses are “a portion of the people of God under
the pastoral care of the bishop, helped by his presbyterate” (Christus
Dominus, 11), where the diverse charismatic realities recognize
the authority of the bishop as integral to their own proper action
in service of the ecclesial mission. The Bishop has the
responsibility for “judging the genuineness of these gifts and
guiding their ordinary use” (Lumen gentium, 12), as an
authentic resource for the life and mission of the Church. The
hierarchical gifts and the charismatic gifts, flowing from the one
Spirit of God, are not in competition but rather co-essential to the
life of the Church and to the effectiveness of her missionary action
(cf. John Paul II, Message to Participants at the World Congress
of Ecclesial movements, May 27, 1998). The consecrated life
occupies a special place in the charismatic dimension of the Church
(cf. Mutuae relationes, 34, Rispartire da Cristo, 32);
as such, fully inserted into the ecclesial communion, they
contribute with their own proper gifts to missionary evangelization.
Studies should be undertaken at both diocesan and interdiocesan
levels to see how both the charismatic and hierarchical gifts are
able to cooperate in the pastoral action and in the spiritual life
of the Church.
Since Vatican II, the New Evangelization has greatly benefited from
the dynamism of the new ecclesial movements and new communities.
Their ideal of holiness and unity has been the source of many
vocations and remarkable missionary initiatives. The Synod
recognizes these new realities and encourages them to utilise their
charisms in close collaboration with the dioceses and the parish
communities, who in turn, will benefit from their missionary spirit.
Proposition 44 : NEW EVANGELIZATION IN THE PARISH
The parish, in and through all of its activities, should animate its
members to become agents of the New Evangelization, witnessing
through both their words and their lives. For this reason, it is
important to remember that the parish remains the usual environment
for the spiritual life of the parishioners. The Synod therefore
encourages parish visits to families as a way of parish renewal. It
sometimes happens that the parish is seen as only a place for
important events or even as a tourist center.
Along the same line, “pastoral agents” in hospitals, youth centres,
factories, prisons, etc., have to bear in mind that the New
Evangelization should find a home in these places. The Church should
in fact be present in such places, since Christ showed his
preference for the persons found there. As much as lies within their
power, all Churches are therefore exhorted to be open to this
mission, wherever they are.
Proposition 45 : THE ROLE OF THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE NEW
The vocation and the mission proper to lay faithful is the
transformation of worldly structures, to let all human behavior and
activities be informed by the Gospel. This is the reason why it is
so important to guide the Christian laity into an intimate knowledge
of Christ in order to form their moral conscience through their life
in Christ. The Second Vatican Council identifies four main aspects
of the mission of the baptized: the witness of their lives, works of
charity and mercy, renewing the temporal order and direct
evangelization (cf. Lumen gentium, Apostolicam
actuositatem). In this way, they will be able to give witness of
a life truly coherent with their Christian faith, as individual
persons and as a community.
The laity cooperate in the Church’s work of evangelization, as
witnesses and at the same time as living instruments they share in
her saving mission (cf. Ad gentes, 41). Therefore the Church
values the gifts that the Spirit is making to every baptized for the
construction of the body, and should provide adequate encouragement
and training to foster their apostolic zeal in the transmission of
Proposition 46 : COLLABORATION OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
The Church appreciates the equal dignity of women and men in society
as made in the image of God, and in the Church based on their common
vocation as baptized into Christ.
The Church’s Pastors have recognized the special capacities of
women, such as their attention to others and their gifts for nurture
and compassion, most especially in their vocation as mothers.
Women together with men witness to the Gospel of life through their
dedication to transmission of life in the family. Together they help
to keep the faith alive.The Synod acknowledges that today, women (lay
and religious) together with men contribute to theological
reflection at all levels and share pastoral responsibilities in new
ways, thus carrying forward the New Evangelization for the
transmission of the faith.
Proposition 47 : FORMATION FOR EVANGELIZERS
This Synod considers that it is necessary to establish formation
centers for the New Evangelization, where lay people learn how to
speak of the person of Christ in a persuasive manner adapted to our
time and to specific groups of people (young people, agnostics, the
elderly and so forth).
Trinitarian Christocentricity (cf. General Directory of
Catechesis, 98-100) is the most essential and fundamental
criterion for presenting the Gospel message in all three moments of
evangelization, whether for initial proclamation, catechesis or
on-going formation (cf. GDC, 60-72). All teaching and
resources are to be evaluated in this light.
Proposition 48 : THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
Established by the sacrament of matrimony, the Christian family as
the domestic Church is the locus and first agent in the giving of
life and love, the transmission of faith and the formation of the
human person according to the values of the gospel. In imitating
Christ, the whole Church must dedicate herself to supporting
families in the catechesis of children and youth. In many cases the
grandparents will have a very important role.
At the same time the New Evangelization should strive to address
significant pastoral problems around marriage, the case of divorced
and remarried, the situation of their children, the fate of
abandoned spouses, the couples who live together without marriage
and the trend in society to redefine marriage.
The Church with maternal care and evangelical spirit should seek
appropriate responses for these situations, as an important aspect
of the new evangelization.
Every pastoral plan of evangelization should also include a
respectful invitation to all those who live alone, to experience God
in the family of the Church.
It is necessary to educate people in how to live human sexuality
according to Christian anthropology, both before marriage as well as
in marriage itself.
The Synod notes with appreciation those families who leave their
homes in order to be evangelizers for Christ in other countries and
Proposition 49 : PASTORAL DIMENSION OF THE ORDAINED MINISTRY
The Synod Fathers encourage bishops and priests to know the lives of
the people they serve in a more personal way. People are looking for
authentic and credible witnesses in their bishops and priests who
live and model the faith and the New Evangelization. The bishop is
an evangelizer who leads by example and shares with all the baptized
the blessings of being called to evangelization.
Ongoing formation for clergy on the New Evangelization and methods
for evangelization in the diocese and parish are needed in order to
learn effective means to mobilize the laity to engage in the New
Evangelization. We invite the Bishops, those principally responsible
for the whole pastoral work of the Church, to develop a plan that
animates and accompanies in a direct and personal manner the
pastoral work of the presbyterate, the decisive leadership core of
the New Evangelization.
Confronted with the scandals affecting priestly life and ministry,
which we deeply regret, we propose nevertheless that thanks and
encouragement be given to the faithful service of so many priests
and that pastoral orientations be given to the particular churches
on a presbyteral pastoral plan that is systematic and organized,
that supports the genuine renewal of the life and ministry of the
priests, who are the primary agents of the New Evangelization (cf.
Pastores dabo vobis, 2).
So that priests will be adequately prepared for the work of the New
Evangelization, the Synod wishes that in their formation, care is
taken to form them in a deep spirituality, solid doctrine, the
capacity to communicate in catechesis and an awareness of modern
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 in the ars
celebrandi, in homiletics and in the celebration of the
sacrament of Reconciliation, all very important parts of the New
The Synod recognizes and encourages the work of deacons whose
ministry provides the Church great service. Ongoing formation
programs within the diocese should also be available for deacons.
Proposition 50 : CONSECRATED LIFE
The Consecrated life, of both men and women, has made a very
important contribution to the Church’s work of evangelization
In this moment of new evangelization, the Synod asks all men and
women religious and members of secular institutes to live their
identity as consecrated persons radically and with joy. The witness
of a life which manifests the primacy of God and which, by means of
the common life, expresses the humanizing force of the Gospel is a
powerful proclamation of the Reign of God.
Consecrated life, fully evangelical and evangelizing, in profound
communion with the pastors of the Church and in co-responsibility
with the laity, faithful to the respective charisms, will offer a
significant contribution to the New Evangelization.
The Synod asks Religious Orders and Congregations to be fully
available to go to the geographical, social and cultural frontiers
of evangelization. The Synod invites religious to move toward the
new aeropaghi of mission.
Because the New Evangelization is essentially a spiritual matter,
the Synod also underlines the great importance of the contemplative
life in the transmission of the faith.
The age-old tradition of the consecrated contemplative life in its
previous forms of stable community life of prayer and work continues
to be a powerful source of grace in the life and mission of the
Church. The Synod hopes that the New Evangelization will move many
more faithful to embrace this form of life.
Proposition 51 : YOUTH AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
In the New Evangelization, the youth are not only the future but
also the present (and gift) in the Church. They are not only the
recipients but also agents of evangelization, especially with their
peers. The youth are in the stage of searching for truth and meaning
in life that Jesus who is the Truth and their Friend can provide.
Through exemplary Christian adults, the saints, especially the young
saints, and through committed youth ministers, the Church is visible
and credible for the youth. Wherever they are, at home, in school,
or in the Christian community, it is necessary that evangelizers
meet the young and spend time with them; propose to them and
accompany them in following Jesus, guide them to discover their
vocation in life and in the Church.
As the media greatly influence the physical, emotional, mental and
spiritual well-being of the youth, the Church through catechesis and
youth ministry strives to enable and equip them to discern between
good and evil, to choose Gospel values over worldly values, and to
form firm faith convictions.
The World Youth Day celebrations and YOUCAT are special instruments
of the New Evangelization.
Proposition 52 : ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE
The ecumenical dimension of the engagement for the New
Evangelization should be highlighted. This corresponds to the prayer
of the Lord Jesus “so that they may all be one” (Jn 17, 23).
The credibility of our service to the Gospel will be much greater if
we can overcome our divisions. While upholding Catholic identity and
communion, the New Evangelization promotes ecumenical collaboration,
which demonstrates how much the faith given in Baptism unites us.
The Synod Fathers are grateful for the progress in ecumenical
dialogue since the Second Vatican Council. Despite past
difficulties, this dialogue was particularly shown in this Synod by
the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams and of the fraternal
delegates. The Synod Fathers express their desire that the Church
continues her efforts in this path of unity and charity.
Proposition 53 : INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
The dialogue with all believers is a part of the New Evangelization.
In particular, the Church invites Christians to persevere and to
intensify their relations with Muslims according to the teaching of
the Declaration Nostra aetate. Despite difficulties, this
dialogue must continue. It always depends on the partners having an
adequate formation, an authentic ecclesial foundation as Christians
and an attitude of respect for the conscience of people and for
religious liberty for all.
Faithful to the teaching of Vatican II, the Church respects the
other religions and their adherents and is happy to collaborate with
them in the defense and promotion of the inviolable dignity of every
Proposition 54 : THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND FAITH
The dialogue between science and faith is a vital field in the New
Evangelization. On the one hand, this dialogue requires the openness
of reason to the mystery which transcends it and an awareness of the
fundamental limits of scientific knowledge. On the other hand, it
also requires a faith that is open to reason and to the results of
Proposition 55 : COURTYARD OF THE GENTILES
The ecclesial communities open a kind of Courtyard of the
Gentiles where believers and non-believers can dialogue about
fundamental themes: the great values of ethics, art and science, and
the search for the transcendent. This dialogue is directed in
particular to “those to whom religion is something foreign, to whom
God is unknown and who nevertheless do not want to be left merely
Godless, but rather to draw near to him, albeit as the Unknown”
(Benedict XVI, Address to the Members of the Roman Curia, 21
December 2009). In a particular way, Catholic educational
institutions could promote such a dialogue which is never separated
from the “initial proclamation”.
Proposition 56 : STEWARDSHIP OF CREATION
The Stewardship of creation also serves evangelization in many ways.
It is a witness to our faith in the 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, our common home.
Proposition 57 : THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
“You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). From the very
beginning the Church has understood her responsibility to pass on
the Good News. The task of the New Evangelization, following in this
apostolic tradition, is the transmission of the faith. The Second
Vatican Council reminds us that this task is a complex process which
involves the faith and life of every Christian.
This faith cannot be transmitted in a life which is not modeled
after the Gospel or a life which does not find its meaning, truth
and future based on the Gospel.
For this reason, the New Evangelization for the transmission of the
Christian faith calls all believers to renew their faith and their
personal encounter with Jesus in the Church, to deepen their
appreciation of the truth of the faith and joyfully to share it.
Proposition 58 : MARY, THE STAR OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Vatican Council II presented Mary in the context of the Mystery of
Christ and of the Church (cf. Lumen gentium, 52-68). Pope
Paul VI declared her the “Star of Evangelization.” She is therefore
the model of faith, hope and love. She is the first helper who
brings disciples to the Master (cf. Jn 2). In the Upper Room
she is the Mother of the believers (cf. Acts 1:14).
As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary becomes a witness of God’s love. She
freely fulfills God’s will. She is the strong woman, who along with
John, remains at the foot of the Cross. She always intercedes for us
and accompanies the faithful in their journey as far as the cross of
As Mother and Queen she is a sign of hope for suffering and needy
peoples. Today she is the “Missionary” who will aid us in the
difficulties of our time and with her nearness open the hearts of
men and women to the faith.
We fix our gaze on Mary. She will help us to proclaim the message of
salvation to all men and women, so that they too may become agents
of Evangelization. Mary is the Mother of the Church. Through her
presence, may the Church become a home for many and Mother of all
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