Commission for Latin America to Hold a Summit

VATICAN CITY, MAR. 1, 2001 ( The Pontifical Commission for Latin America will hold a plenary meeting in the Vatican from March 20-23.

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It will address the «Realities, Problems, Perspectives and Pastoral Proposals Concerned with the New Evangelization, in Light of the Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation ´Ecclesia in America,´» the Vatican Press Office disclosed today.

John Paul II´s apostolic exhortation summarized the conclusions of the first synod of this continent, held in 1997.

About 40 cardinals and bishops of the Roman Curia and Latin America will attend the meeting, which will «analyze the present ecclesial situation in Latin America, according to the guidelines in the pontifical exhortation,» the Vatican statement explains. «Advisers and participating members will pose the pastoral questions they consider most urgent and important.»

This commission, or «ministry,» was instituted by Pius XII in 1958 and is under the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. John Paul II restructured the «ministry,» giving it new responsibilities, following his 1988 trip to Latin America.

The commission gives counsel to local churches and helps them to find answers to problems themselves.

Conclusions from the forthcoming meeting will be presented to the Pope, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and the Latin American bishops´ conferences. John Paul II will meet with the participants at the conclusion of their work.

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