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Plenary Assembly

The Church and the Challenge of Secularisation


Via della Conciliazione n° 5, 6-8 March 2008



Thursday 6 march 2008


09.00:    Lauds

09.15:    Welcoming and opening session: His Excellency Rt. Rev. Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture

09.45:    Report of activities: Most Rev Bernard Ardura, Secretary

10.15:    Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris: Rev. Fr. Laurent Mazas, Rev. Msgr. Franco Perazzolo

10.45:    Coffee Break


11.15:    1st session: Secularisation: theological, cultural and pastoral challenges

Constructing the City of God at the Heart of Secular Society, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Joseph Doré, Emeritus Archbishop of Strasbourg


12.00:    Discussion

13.00:    Lunch


15.00:    2nd Session: The Church and secularisation of civil society

The Church’s Pastoral Responsibility in a Context of Secularisation of Civic Institutions, His Eminence Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, Archbishop of Guadalajara

Facing the Challenge of a Crisis of Faith towards the Church, His Excellency the Most Rev.  Donal Brendan Murray, Bishop of Limerick

What kind of Democracy leads to Secularism? His Eminence Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago


15.30:    Discussion

16.00:    Coffee Break


16.30:    3rd Session: The Secularisation of Traditional Societies

A People of  Missionaries caught up with Secularisation,  His Eminence Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon

African Cultures and the Challenge of Migration: a  concern for the Church,  His Excellency the Most Rev. Anselme Titianma Sanon, Archbishop of Bobo-Dioulasso

What Pastoral Priorities for the Church in Traditional Asia?, His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

17.00:    Discussion

18.00:    Vespers


Friday 7 march 2008


09.00:    Lauds

09.15:    4th Session: Secularisation and new forms of religiosity

The Challenge of Sects and Religious of Indigenous Inspiration: the urgency of a renewed proclamation of the Gospel, His Eminence Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, Archbishop of Guatemala

The Resurgence of the Irrational in Western Culture: a challenge for the new evangelization, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Bruno Forte, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto

Are the new forms of religiosity an indication of post-secularisation? His Excellency Rt. Rev. Mark Benedict Coleridge, Archbishop of Canberra


09.45:    Discussion

10.45:    Coffee Break


11.15:    5th session: From a society without God to a society without man

The Concerns of a Christian Humanism in a Society deprived  of Transcendence, His Eminence Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč

New Ways for a Dialogue between the Church and the Sciences, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Józef Mirosław Życiński, Archbishop of Lublin

What Language should the Church employ to speak to the Heart of man devoid of religious references? His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster


11.45:    Discussion

13.00:    Lunch


15.00:    6th session: Pastoral experiences and perspectives for the evangelization of culture

The Church in Africa at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace, in the perspective of the IInd Special Assembly of the  Synod of Bishops for Africa, His Eminence Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam

Which pastoral perspectives for the evangelization of culture in Europe?, Rev. Msgr. Peter Fleetwood, Consultor of the Pontifical Council for Culture

- The formation of priests and the consecrated amidst atheism and secularisation, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Joseph Vu Duy Thong, Auxiliary Bishop of Thành-Phô Hô Chí Minh


15.30:    Discussion

16.00:    Coffee Break


16.30: 7th Session: The  strength of the faith to construct a more human world

- A Church witnessing faith and charity in a Muslim country Rev. Fr. John M. Prior, Consultor of the Pontifical Council for Culture

The Evangelization of culture at the service of reconciliation and peace, His Excellency Rt. Rev. Guy-Paul Noujaim, Maronite Patriarchal Vicar of  Sarba

Religious experience and dimension in the  process of reconciliation and peace in Africa, His Eminence Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban


17.00:    Discussion

18.00:    Vespers


Saturday 8 march 2008


08.00:    Concelebrated Mass in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina presided over by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Gianfranco Ravasi, Homily by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Mgr Fabio Duque Jaramillo, O.F.M., Bishop of Armenia


08.45:    Breakfast at the Pontifical Council for Culture

09.15:    Towards the Plenary 2010. Theme, Proposals

                   Conclusion : His Excellency Rt. Rev. Gianfranco Ravasi

                   Audience with the Holy Father requested.