Final Message of Cardinals Meeting in Consistory

Key Conclusions: Mission, Unity, Solidarity

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2001 ( Here is a translation of the final message of the cardinals, published today at the end of the extraordinary consistory.

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1. At the end of the consistory, we Cardinals, who come from all over the world, reconfirm our profound communion of faith and love with the Holy Father, Peter´s Successor.

We express our cordial gratitude to him because, as he previously convoked us in consistory for the preparation of the Great Jubilee of 2000, so now in this new consistory he has called us to reflect on the spiritual and pastoral implementation of the Jubilee grace, by studying the programmatic lines in the valuable apostolic letter «Novo Millennio Ineunte.»

2. With all the Church we thank the Lord, giver of every gift, for the river of grace, poured on the people of God and on the whole of humanity during the Holy Year.

3. Let us be convinced that the great legacy that the Jubilee offers us as a gift and responsibility is that of renewing, with heartfelt conviction and growing trust, our confession of faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, crucified and resurrected, unique and universal Savior of mankind.

Because of this, we joyfully welcome and propose to all again the task of continuing to keep their sight fixed on Christ and of contemplating his face, through familiarity with the Word of God, assiduous prayer, and personal communion with Him, [and] participation in the Eucharist, especially on the Day of the Lord; acceptance of the Father´s mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation; courageous commitment to holiness, the meaning and end of every man, and source and strength of the pastoral action of the Church. In accepting the absolute primacy of grace, the Jubilee experience will be able to inspire and direct the life of believers.

4. Prayerful contemplation of Christ, while leading to a communion of love with Him, nourishes the evangelization mission of the Church. In the face of every man´s great need for Christ, we feel urgently called not only to «talk» about Him, but also to make him «seen»: with the proclamation of the Word that saves, and the audacious witness of faith in a renewed missionary endeavor.

5. The condition, strength, and fruit of the evangelization mission is communion, the unity of disciples, for which Christ prayed.

In a world profoundly marked by lacerations and conflicts, and in a Church that bears the wounds of divisions, we feel ever more strongly the duty to cultivate the spirituality of communion: both within the Christian community, as well as in proceeding with charity, truth, and confidence in the ecumenical road and interreligious dialogue, following the exemplary impetus given to us by the Holy Father.

6. Communion drives the Church to be in solidarity with humanity, especially in the present context of globalization, with the growing mass of poor, of suffering, of those who are trampled in their sacrosanct rights to life, health, work, culture, social participation, religious liberty.

We renew our commitment to work for justice, solidarity and peace to peoples who suffer because of tensions and wars. We are thinking particularly of Africa, where numerous populations are afflicted by ethnic conflicts, endemic poverty and serious illnesses. The solidarity of the whole Church reaches out to Africa.

In unison with the Holy Father, we make a heartfelt appeal to all Christians to intensify their prayer for peace in the Holy Land, and we ask those who are responsible for Nations to help Israelis and Palestinians to live together peacefully. In recent times, the situation in the Land of Jesus has worsened, and too much blood has already been spilled. In union with the Holy Father, we entreat the parties in dispute to agree to a «cease-fire» immediately, and return to dialogue on a plane of parity and mutual respect.

7. In the face of the numerous, grave, and new challenges that the Church meets at the present turn of the epoch, the experience of faith lived during the Jubilee encourages us not to be afraid, but to go forward, placing our hope in Christ and trusting in the maternal intercession of Most Holy Mary.

While we accompany the Holy Father in prayer in his forthcoming pilgrimage to Ukraine, we wish to confirm our fraternal communion with all the Eastern Churches.

Vatican City, May 24, 2001, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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