Archbishop Gomez's Intervention at the Synod of Bishops

«The Intensive Encounter of Cultures Challenges the Church’s New Evangelization»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 10, 2012 ( The following is the text of the intervention of Archbishop Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, at the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday.

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Globalization is one of the “signs” of our times. The globalization process is economic and financial. But globalization is also social and cultural, as the Lineamenta (no. 6) makes clear. The patterns of mass migration in every part of the world have brought about a new encounter and a new «mixing» of cultures.

The intensive encounter of cultures challenges the Church’s new evangelization. First, it requires the Church to protect immigrant populations from being marginalized and exploited. The Church must always be a sign in our world that God is with us, and that in his loving eyes no one is a stranger to him and we are all brothers and sisters.

In a positive sense, globalization presents us with a providential moment for advancing the Church’s mission of transforming humanity into one family of God. To evangelize in this era of globalization calls us for a new proclamation of the mystery of the Church as the universal family of God.

In our new evangelization, the Church must be the “sacrament” – the sign and instrument – by which the universal family of God is realized in history. The era of globalization also calls us to draw from our rich traditions of popular piety and spirituality in our work of evangelization.

Our traditions of popular piety form a rich spiritual treasury that is part of the good news that we can offer to lead men and women to participation in his Body and Blood and to become partakers of the divine life.

We; are “called to be saints” and our mission is to use the means of grace to sanctify and to make saints – to help the men and women of our day find the pathways to holiness in their ordinary lives.

The pastoral challenge of the new evangelization is to «situate» that universal call to holiness within the realities of our “globalized” world. We have to find new methods and new ways to help the men and women of our times to practice their faith in this globalized culture. We need to better understand the impact this culture is having on our Catholic identity and Catholic practice.

We need to find the “language” that best presents the traditional means of sanctification – the sacraments, prayer, works of charity – in a way that is attractive and accessible to people living in the reality of a globalized, secular, urban society.

With our rich treasury of Catholic spiritualities – drawn from Gospel’s inculturation in “every nation under heaven,” and with our good news of God’s “family plan” for history, we possess powerful resources for our evangelization of culture in the context of globalization and the increasing secularization in our societies.

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