The Holy See Search



of the Commission for information of the

16 November-12 December 1997

"Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ,
the Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America"

The Bulletin of the Synod of Bishops is only a working instrument for journalistic use and the translations from the original are not official.

English Edition


29 - 11.12.1997




Herewith we publish the "Presentation to the Press" of the "Propositiones", presented in the Twenty-fourth General Congregation by Relator General, H. Em. Rev. Card. Juan SANDOVAL ÍÑIGUEZ, Archbishop of Guadalajara:

At its conclusion, the Synod of Bishops, Special Assembly for America wished to present to the Holy Father, 76 Propositions which, inspired by the thematic scheme of the Instrumentum Laboris, that would integrate the suggestions, fruit of the consensus of the Synod Fathers, reached during the works and expressed in the final vote. With these, the important parameters for the new evangelization of the American continent, are indicated, to which the local Churches wish to dedicate themselves with new ardor and a renewed enthusiasm, in view of the great Jubilee of the year 2000.

The fundamental theme is that same one given by the Holy Father to the current Special Assembly: the encounter with the living Jesus Christ, which is the basis for all evangelization, and which leads to conversion, to communion and to solidarity. All men and women of the continent are invited to such an encounter: children, adolescents, youth and adults, the diverse ethnic groups and the migrants; pastoral activities must be oriented to them, among which catechesis and education are concretely highlighted, while the importance of social communications media is underlined.

Concerning conversion, the Synod Fathers have emphasized once more, the importance of holiness, to which all are called by God, while they insisted on the necessity of always developing a more solid spirituality through Christian witness, at the vertex of which one finds martyrdom, as the highest expression of the faith. They spoke of the primary role of Sacred Scripture and of the Liturgy, especially of the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, sources of faith and apostolic dynamism.

Inasmuch as regards communion, the Propositiones map out some concrete indications concerning pastoral structures and their renewal (dioceses, parishes, apostolic movements, and small ecclesial communities), concerning the diverse states of Christian life of priests, deacons, religious and the laity, with their initial and permanent formation. The Oriental Catholic Churches and their richness and complementarity in collation with the Latin Church, were not forgotten, likewise also ecumenism and rapport with differing religious expressions. Special attention was dedicated to the value of religious freedom, that is sometimes threatened by proselytism and by the phenomenon of the diffusion of sects.

Finally, the Synod Fathers, placing themselves under the guide of the Gospel and expressing their preoccupations as pastors, concentrated attention on the social reality of that immense and complex continent. Beginning with the concept of solidarity, and proposing a courageous formation of awareness - individual and community - on the basis of Christian Social Doctrine, diverse situations which painfully mark the continent were examined, such as corruption and narcotics trafficking, the running of arms, likewise the phenomenon of globalization, in its positive aspects and in its challenges. Reference was made to human rights and to the preferential and evangelical option for the poor. As regards foreign debt, the Synod Fathers, starting with their clear, ethical implications, and speaking as pastors, manifest their conformity with the invitation issued by the Holy Father through which there could arrive a substantial reduction or even a condoning, in view of the great Jubilee.

The Propositions were then offered, for consideration, to the Holy Father, in joyful expectation of His Post-Synodal Exhortation, that will serve as a sure guide to the Church on the continent, on Her way towards the Jubilee of the year 2000, and in fulfillment of Her mission of evangelization.

[00287-02.] [00000] [Original text: Italian]


Return to:

- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - Special Assembly for America - 1997

- Index Holy See Press Office
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]