ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
DURING THE FINAL GENERAL CONGREGATION
OF THE XIII ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Before expressing my gratitude I would like to make an announcement. In the context of the Synod of Bishops’ reflections on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” and by way of concluding a path of reflection on the topics of seminaries and catechesis, I am pleased to announce that I have decided, after prayer and due reflection, to transfer the supervision of seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education to the Congregation for the Clergy and the supervision of catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
The pertinent documents will follow in the form of Apostolic Letters Motu Proprio in order to define the areas of supervision and respective faculties. We pray that the Lord will accompany the three dicasteries of the Roman Curia in their important mission with the assistance of the whole Church.
Already having the floor, I would also like to express my most cordial best wishes to the new Cardinals. My intention, with this little Consistory, to complete the Consistory in February, precisely in the context of the new evangelization with a gesture of the Church’s universality, showing that the Church is the Church of all peoples, speaking all languages. She is always the Church of Pentecost; she is not the Church of a continent but the universal Church. It was precisely my intention to express this aspect, this universality of the Church; it is also the beautiful expression of this Synod. I feel it has been truly edifying, comforting and encouraging to see here the mirror of the universal Church suffering, threatened, imperilled and with her joyful experiences of the Lord’s presence even in difficult situations.
We have heard how the Church grows and is alive today too. I think, for example, of what we were told about Cambodia, where the Church and the faith are being reborn; or about Norway and many other places. We see how today too, even where it was unexpected, the Lord is present and powerful and at work through our endeavours and our reflections.
Even if the Church feels contrary winds, nevertheless she feels the wind of the Holy Spirit who helps us, who shows us the right road; and so, we are on our way, it seems to me, with new enthusiasm, and we thank the Lord for granting us this truly catholic gathering.
I thank everyone: the Synod Fathers, the auditors with their often truly moving witness, the experts, the fraternal delegates who have helped us. And we know that we all wish to proclaim Christ and his Gospel and to fight, in this difficult time, for the presence of Christ’s truth and his proclamation.
Above all, I would like to thank our presidents who have guided us gently and decisively and the Relators, who worked day and night. I think it is somewhat against natural law to work at night too, but if they do it spontaneously they can be thanked and we must be grateful; and, naturally, I would like to thank our Secretary General, who was indefatigable with a wealth of ideas.
Now these propositiones are a testament, a gift, given to me for us to draw up in a document that comes from life and must generate life. Let us hope for this and pray for it; in any case, let us go forward with the Lord’s help. I thank all of you. I will see many of you again in November at the Consistory. Thank you.
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