Full Text of Interventions at Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is the Official Summary and Full Texts of yesterday’s Interventions at the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith. 

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Yesterday, Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 16:30, with the recitation of Psalm 22 (23), the Fifth General Congregation began, with the continuation of the interventions by the Synodal Fathers in the Hall on the theme of the Synod «The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith».

The President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA, Archbishop of Kinshasa (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO).

At 18:00, in the presence of the Holy Father, the President Delegate gave the floor to H. G. Rowan Douglas WILLIAMS, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and the Anglican Communion (GREAT BRITAIN).
At the end of the Congregation, the Archbishop of Canterbury was received by the Holy Father in an audience in the study of the Synodal Hall.

A time for free interventions followed.

At this General Congregation, which ended at 07:00 p.m. with the prayer of Angelus Domini, 250 Fathers were present.


At the opening of the Fifth General Congregation the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops H. Exc. Mons. Nikola ETEROVIĆ, Tit. Archbishop of Cibale (VATICAN CITY) read the List of Moderators and Relators of the Working Groups, elected in the First Session this morning.


Anglicus A
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Wilfrid Matthew NAPIER, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban (SOUTH AFRICA)

Anglicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (IRELAND)

Anglicus C
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Oswald GRACIAS, Archbishop of Bombay, General Secretary of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) (INDIA)

Anglicus D
– H. Em. Rev. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA)

Gallicus A
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Jean-Louis TAURAN, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (VATICAN CITY)

Gallicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Yves PATENÔTRE, Archbishop of Sens (FRANCE)

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Ägidius Johann ZSIFKOVICS, Bishop of Eisenstadt (AUSTRIA)

Hispanicus A
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Carlos AGUIAR RETES, Archbishop of Tlalnepantla, President of the Episcopal Conference, President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.AM.) (MEXICO)

Hispanicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Julio César TERÁN DUTARI, S.I., Bishop of Ibarra (ECUADOR)

Italicus A
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Leonardo SANDRI, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (VATICAN CITY)

Italicus B
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Angelo BAGNASCO, Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Episcopal Conference (ITALY)

Italicus C
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Fernando FILONI, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (VATICAN CITY)


Anglicus A
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph Edward KURTZ, Archbishop of Louisville, Vice President of the Episcopal Conference (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

Anglicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Bernard LONGLEY, Archbishop of Birmingham (GREAT BRITAIN (ENGLAND AND WALES)

Anglicus C
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Philip TARTAGLIA, Archbishop of Glasgow (SCOTLAND)

Anglicus D
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Kieran O’REILLY, S.M.A., Bishop of Killaloe (IRELAND)

Gallicus A
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Dominique REY, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon (FRANCE)

Gallicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Claude DAGENS, Archbishop of Angoulême (FRANCE)

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Ladislav NEMET, S.V.D., Bishop of Zrenjanin (SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO)

Hispanicus A
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Ricardo BLÁZQUEZ PÉREZ, Archbishop of Valladolid (SPAIN)

Hispanicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Santiago Jaime SILVA RETAMALES, Titular Bishop of Bela, Auxiliary Bishop of Valparaíso, General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.A.M.) (COLOMBIA)

Italicus A
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Salvatore FISICHELLA, Titular Archbishop of Voghenza, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization (VATICAN CITY)

Italicus B
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Bruno FORTE, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto (ITALY)

Italicus C
– Rev. F. Renato SALVATORE, M.I., Superior General of the Clerks Regular of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians) (ITALY)

The following Fathers intervened:

– H. Em. Rev. Card. Jean-Louis TAURAN, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (VATICAN CITY)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Pascal WINTZER, Archbishop of Poitiers (FRANCE)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Louis PELÂTRE, A.A., Titular Bishop of Sasima, Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Exarchate of Istanbul (TURKEY)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Luis Augusto CASTRO QUIROGA, I.M.C., Archbishop of Tunja (COLOMBIA)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Christopher Charles PROWSE, Bishop of Sale (AUSTRALIA)
– Rev. F. Adolfo NICOLÁS PACHÓN, S.I., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph KALLARANGATT, Bishop of Palai of Syro-Malabars (INDIA)
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Vinko PULJIĆ, Archbishop of Vrhbosna (BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph ATANGA, S.I., Archbishop of Bertoua, President of the Episcopal Conference (CAMEROON)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Sérgio DA ROCHA, Archbishop of Brasília (BRAZIL)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Ricardo BLÁZQUEZ PÉREZ, Archbishop of Valladolid (SPAIN)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Héctor Rubén AGUER, Archbishop of La Plata (ARGENTINA)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Benedito Beni DOS SANTOS, Bishop of Lorena (BRAZIL)
– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. William Charles SKURLA, Archbishop of Pittsburg of the Byzantines, President of the Council of the Ruthenian Church (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
– Rev. F. Josep María ABELLA BATLLE, C.M.F., Superior General of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians)
– H. Em. Rev. Card. Stanisław DZIWISZ, Archbishop of Kraków (POLAND)

The summaries of the interventions are published below:

– H. Em. Rev. Card. Jean-Louis TAURAN, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (VATICAN CITY)

I am referring to no. 73 of the Instrumentum laboris.
We find there: “interreligious dialogue and discussion with the great religions of the East can be an opportunity for our Christian communities to deepen their understanding of our faith, in virtue of the questions that such a discussion inspires in us”.
Christians, often ignorant of the content of their own faith and incapable because of this of living of and for it, are not capable of interreligious dialogue that always begins with the assertion of one’s own convictions: there is no room for syncretism or relativism! Faced with adepts from other religions with a strong religious identity, it is necessary to present motivated and doctrinally equipped Christians. This makes the new evangelization a priority to form coherent Christians, capable of demonstrating their faith, with simple words and without fear.
Interreligious dialogue thus becomes an occasion for deepening and witnessing one’s faith. It seems to me that today the faithful must take up three challenges:
The challenge of identity: who is my God? Is my life in harmony with my convictions?
The challenge of alterity: those practicing a religion that is not mine are not necessarily an enemy, but instead a pilgrim of truth;
The challenge of pluralism: God is at work in each person, through ways known only to Him (AG 7).
Of course, this does not mean putting our faith in parentheses, bending before persecutions and discriminations, where so many of our brothers and sisters are the victims, especially Christians. Quite the contrary, one must denounce with great vigor the violence that wounds and kills. It is all the more unjustifiabl
e when it bears the shield of a religion.
However, we must evoke the positive aspects just as much, such as daily amity which is expressed through the gestures of fraternity and proximity. The harmony between believers often contributes a spiritual dimension of life to the societies they are members of, the antidote to dehumanization and conflicts.
I think about, for example, the days we have lived in Lebanon. Most Holy Father, you recalled there that living together presupposes trust in others, the refusal of vengeance, the recognition of wrongdoings and the courage of forgiveness. Therefore, I quote, “Only in this way can there be growth in understanding and harmony between cultures and religions, and in genuine mutual esteem and respect for the rights of all” (Presidential Palace of Baabda 15.IX.12). And we heard the Mufti of the Republic state: “For us, Muslims, Christians are a treasure”. We must also mention that the television Al Jazeera broadcast practically live the various meetings of this apostolic journey, so the message could thus extend to millions of Muslim families.
Amidst so many apprehensions, it would be healthy to mention these positive signs that pave the long way that leads to serene and fruitful dialogue.
On October 28th 1965, the Council Fathers, referring to the Eastern religious traditions, did not hesitate in stating that: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions… which nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men” (Nostra Aetate, 2). We can without a doubt apply this principle to other religions.
In any case, despite the difficulties, the ambiguities and the drawbacks, none of the partners engaged in this dialogue between believers has ever questioned it! Perhaps because here or there, men and women have had the courage to persevere, thus showing that religious belief inspires peace, encourages solidarity, promotes justice and defends freedom.

[00102-02.02] [IN079] [Original text: French]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Pascal WINTZER, Archbishop of Poitiers (FRANCE)

The Church in today’s world has the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the men of our times. In 50 years, the notion of “world” has gone from the singular to the plural: we are most certainly in a globalized but shattered world. From this the essential stake, that of unity, of communion, of societies, of individuals and of course of the one Church of Jesus Christ.
In 2012, at least in the West, the Catholic Church is distinct from society; present in it, however without totally covering it.
Just as the Lord listens to what is said about him: “Who do people say the Son of man is?” (Mt 16:13), the Church must also hear what is said of her; she is less one that gives of herself than the one who receives: of her Lord before all else, but also of what the people say about her.
I think that the term community should not be used in an exclusive way. Among those that follow the Lord, in the Gospel, there are disciples, but there are also crowds.
The bishops can only address a small first group, in following the Lord’s example, they speak to all, especially to the others.
Community speaking seems dangerous to me and false if it is the only one in which we place ourselves.
The world has changed, and so has the Church’s place in the world; to dream of a return of Christianity is a decoy, an illusion, and rests on the sacralization of a historical form of the presence of the Catholic Church.
The Church must not fear showing herself to the world, to show expose herself to the eyes of society. She must therefore, in her institutions, finances, manner of speaking clearly, be an audible and credible witness.
This means turning forwards, to live and say what is the Church’s joy: her Lord. 

[00063-02.04] [IN040] [Original text: French]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Louis PELÂTRE, A.A., Titular Bishop of Sasima, Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Exarchate of Istanbul (TURKEY)

The Church of Turkey is in the continuity of the first evangelization of Asia Minor by the Apostles. After periods of prosperity, the fate of history at the beginning of the 20th century decreased the number of Christians to less than 1% of the population.
The recipients of evangelization today are: the small flock of practicing faithful, the mass of non-practicing Catholics, the other Christian faiths and almost the whole of the country’s inhabitants, the practicing or sociological Muslims. 
For these last ones, we are concerned by no. 74 of the Instrumentum laboris “These Churches rightly serve as a reminder that evangelization cannot be measured in quantitative terms of success”. The Redemptoris Missio no 55 and 56 clearly states that “dialogue is the path towards the Kingdom”. This is what we can see when we see inter-religious activities taking place, so that the chorale that is made up of the 5 confessions play each other’s religious chants together.
In certain circumstances, the proclamation of Jesus Christ is also possible. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was translated into Turkish as well as other publications. The young generation learns about the faith through the internet. Having practically no access to public radios or televisions, we can however use these private networks used more by the evangelical Protestants than by the Catholics.
From this the need for well-prepared and qualified workers for the harvest that awaits us. This specific apostolate cannot be satisfied by good will and improvisation alone. 

[00064-02.04] [IN041] [Original text: French]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Luis Augusto CASTRO QUIROGA, I.M.C., Archbishop of Tunja (COLOMBIA)

Heart speaks to heart. The first annunciation comes from a heart that has lived in the first person the experience of Jesus and, in different ways, reaches another heart, for whom it is a novelty and a challenge. In this process there are three indispensable steps that can be summed up in the acronym MBS.
M: the Meeting of the disciple with Jesus, a meeting of love that is surprising, transforming and personal.
B: Being like Jesus. Origen observed that the mission of the Holy Spirit is that of making us like Jesus.
S: Showing others, as good witnesses, this experience of Jesus. That is, making the private public. Communicating what is lived. Living the experience, but to describe it, to sow it not on fertile ground but arid ground, where faith in Jesus is missing.
It is up to the Holy Spirit to ensure that this first announcement is transformed into the door of faith.
This simple formula: MBS – meeting – being – showing, must be accompanied by another one: GMD – Go and Make Disciples. This is a commandment of Jesus. I have referred only to the beginning of the new evangelization, the most overlooked aspects, the most forgotten ones, to the fact that we have to turn back and listen hard. It is like the first call before anything else. It is like what Jesus said to Zacchaeus: “I am to stay at your house today”.
The first Christians, thanks to the power of the first announcement, took Jesus everywhere, but without being able to count on the support of culture, the state, religions or public opinion. This is the situation the Church finds itself in in many places throughout the world. We are called to invent, to build roads and new forms that help to sow the seed of the first announcement of Jesus in the lives of those who no longer believe in him.

[00065-02.03] [IN042] [Original text: Spanish]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Christopher Charles PROWSE, Bishop of Sale (AUSTRALIA)

Both the Lineamenta (n.19) and the Instrumentum Laboris (n.139, 140), make the distinction between the INITIAL PROCLAMATION of the Gospel and CATECHESIS. The kergymatic proclamation calls for conversion to the Risen Lord Jesus Christ through Baptism. Catechesis, in a distinct but not separate manner, promotes growth and instruction in the Christian Life. Both constitute o
ne pastoral action in two aspects.
Clearly, with the magna carta document of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, much has been done over the last 20 years to express in compendium form the teachings of the Catholic Church. This has been a particular grace of the Holy Spirit. It continues to inspire catechesis throughout the Church. 
Is it time now to attempt a similar kind of compilation on the initial proclamation of the Catholic Church? Over the centuries, how has the initial proclamation of the Gospel been expressed? What have been examples of the outpourings of the Holy Spirit in our Catholic history? What have been the great approaches to the initial proclamation expressed by the Saints and missionaries? In our own time, what examples are there of the “new” evangelization? 
On this last point, the Instrumentum Laboris (n.141-146) lists, for example, World Youth Days, the Pope’s Apostolic journeys, national and local popular missions and devotional gatherings, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and so on. Also, there is a great gift of the Holy Spirit in the New Ecclesial Movements. They assist in developing a “Culture of Pentecost”. 
Both initial proclamation and catechesis together are to sing, in perfect harmony to the world, a duet that responds afresh to the Lord Jesus’ command; “Go into the world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15) 

[00066-02.04] [IN043] [Original text: English]

– Rev. F. Adolfo NICOLÁS PACHÓN, S.I., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

A New Evangelization has to learn from the good and not-so-good points of the First Evangelization. I come from a tradition of Evangelization and Spirituality that encourages “Finding God in all things”.
I am afraid that we, missionaries, have not done it with sufficient depth and, thus, have not enriched the Universal Church as the Church could expect from us. We have looked for Western signs of Faith and Sanctity and have not discovered how God had been at work in other peoples. This impoverishes all. We miss important clues, insights and discoveries.
We have learnt from the past as effective for communicating the Gospel: the way of humility, the awareness of human limitation when it comes to expressing the Spirit, the simplicity of the message, generosity and joy in acknowledging goodness and holiness, our life as a factor of credibility, forgiveness and reconciliation, the message of the Cross in our own self-denial.

[00067-02.04] [IN044] [Original text: English]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph KALLARANGATT, Bishop of Palai of Syro-Malabars (INDIA)

The mission of the apostles and its continuation in the primitive Church remain the basic model for evangelization at all times as a mission often marked by martyrdom … (IL 35). While speaking about the new evangelization, the Syriac Church Fathers have a unique role as they represent an extraordinary world of evangelization. From the historical and cultural point of view, the Syriac Orient is directly linked to the spiritual atmosphere of the biblical world. In the formative period of Christianity they had a dynamic and creative record of service to the Gospel and to the human culture. The Syriac Fathers had a great passion for the Bible and its interpretations. Aphrahat, Ephrem, Cyrillona, etc .. have produced a mosaic of patterns in the field of evangelization. Their commentaries are genuine faith interpretations of Bible which use a wealth of symbols for conveying various levels of meaning. Their biblical commentaries are mystical, holistic, mystagogical, symbolic and allegorical. They are mainly catechetical homilies. They also made use of poetry as the best tool for evangelization. 
In the Lineamenta a few Fathers are mentioned (notes 7, and 19) whereas in the IL, there is only a passing remark “Church Fathers” (IL no. 40). It is true that the Fathers are not perennial categories but they are models. Among the Orientals there is even a saying that the Church is apostolic because it is patristic. The sense is that it is the Fathers of the Church who had revealed the real nature of the apostolic character of the Church. Without a strong patristic basis, the new methods of evangelization may de-generate into mere ploys for modernization.
Our world view has a determining role in our theological positions. For a new evangelization a re-capturing of the philosophy and world vision of the Fathers of the Church is an imperative. That will help us to go forward and prepare the future.

[00068-02.04] [IN045] [Original text: English]

– H. Em. Rev. Card. Vinko PULJIĆ, Archbishop of Vrhbosna (BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA)

We have today painful experiences of war, where half of Catholics are literally thrown out of their homes and off their lands. After the war, thanks to the games of local and international politicians, Catholics were unable to go back, and then we were inundated by European democracy and relativism, which weakened family values, to the extent that we too, today, feel a great need for a New Evangelization.
All teachings and the proclamation of the Gospel truth regularly coincide with the way of the conscience, while the family transmits the faith with its heart, life and practice. This leads along the road of faith the one who accepts with love and knows with reason.
I maintain, however, that the first success of the New Evangelization will be the return of dignity to the family, incorporating in it those values which make it a true nest of love, solidarity and unity. Here the strongest sense of evangelization will be seen. As pastor I experienced that my pastoral work is simply an addition to what the family has already built. I had success there with both the youth and children. This held true as well for the increase in new vocations, because the family was the first school of faith and truly encouraged personal encounter with Christ. The family was also the first seminary, I would say that this is my personal experience that I bring along from my life.
The New Evangelization will succeed if it manages to restore the sanctity of marriage, which is the family nest of love, in such a way that it becomes a little Church. Then, the parochial community will become a powerful motor of evangelization, because it will have strong drivers leading it toward God.
The most powerful thing in evangelization is the encounter with Christ, knowing how to love and accept Christ. This occurs by means of the deepest witness of faith. The family is the strongest witness to the faith, which it transmits with its heart. After the family, the priest is witness to faith. I can say that faith is communicated much more with that which it is than with that which it states. The truth of life is that that which is loved for itself is sacrificed and if necessary, dies. That for which one is ready to give one’s life will never die, because the power of love is stronger than death.

[00078-02.05] [IN046] [Original text: Italian]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Joseph ATANGA, S.I., Archbishop of Bertoua, President of the Episcopal Conference (CAMEROON)

A great stage of evangelization was inaugurated for our local church by the event of grace constituted by Vatican Council II and the ecclesial and pastoral horizon drafted and put into practice by the Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II up until today with Benedict XVI.
Taking on the heritage of this great Council of post-modern times, the contributions of the teachings of the Popes in the past 50 years on the urgency and permanence of the Christian mission ad intra et ad extra (Ad Gentes, Evangelii Nutiandi), on the actuality of the redemptive mission of Christ (Redemptoris Missio Christi), on the witness and demonstration of God’s love (Deus caritas est) and the works of faith (Caritas in veritate), wished to bear in mind the challenges and the trials of the gesture of this Christian faith during the Ecclesia in Africa. These challenges and stakes describe the new spaces of the mission and
of new evangelization today and for the future, in Cameroon and in Africa. It must be understood, this New Evangelization carrying the concern for the transmission of the Christian faith, taking on since then the aspects and the concrete face in this precise context of ours. This can be characterized by the indissoluble bond between the destiny of African man in the situation and adventure of the Christian faith for the one embracing it. This bond existentially corresponds to this fundamental search for life and the extreme concern on its subject in all its forms: religious, cultural, socio-economic and ethical ones.
Based on paragraphs no. 130 and 131, among others, of the Instrumentum laboris, we would like to emphasize today, in the African context of New Evangelization, where Christian faith is required to make its tests as the dynamic of a life in fullness in Jesus Christ, through a proclaimed, celebrated and lived faith.

[00074-02.03] [IN047] [Original text: French]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Sérgio DA ROCHA, Archbishop of Brasília (BRAZIL)

Catechists occupy a place of particular importance in the task of transmitting the faith and educating in the Christian life, in a way that is very special in the context of the New Evangelization. We praise the Lord for the precious “gift” that the catechists represent for the Church. At the same time we recognize with the Instrumentum Laboris (108), the need to reflect “more deeply on their task and provide them with more stable living conditions and greater training and visibility in their service”. Various factors that emerge from the present socio-cultural and ecclesial context lead us to recognize and promote, with particular attention, the value of catechesis and the pastoral service generously offered by innumerable catechists throughout the Church. We need to develop with a greater undertaking the Christian initiation as an authentic evangelizing process, underlined in the Instrumentum Laboris (131-137). Following the reflection that has developed over the last few decades, in a special way in the light of the post-Council Magisterium, it is important to find ways “of giving the catechist an instituted, stable ministry within the Church”, as suggested in the same Instrumentum Laboris (108).

[00075-02.03] [IN048] [Original text: Italian]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Ricardo BLÁZQUEZ PÉREZ, Archbishop of Valladolid (SPAIN)

Catechumens unite the personal and ecclesial dimensions of the Christian faith in a profound and clear way. In communal and assiduous participation they discover the meaning of the Church. A profound brotherhood is created which has an impact on human and social relations as well. A person feels supported by their brothers so as to live as a Christian in the midst of a society that is often indifferent and even hostile to the Christian faith and the Church.
Through the catechumenate, participants discover the fundamental reality of the Christian faith: the Creed, God’s Commandments, and with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, the prayer of the Our Father and the Psalms, the sacraments and, in particular, the Eucharist and Penance, the apostolic dimension of the Christian life. It does not depart from any special, complementary or devotional aspect but from the fundamental reality of the faith, which we can not presently consider learned. For most participants, it involves a post-baptismal catechumenate, thanks to which they rediscover the sense of the baptism already received.
The liturgical celebration is reinforced in each person through the knowledge and prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture. For a great deal of time the extraneousness of Latin concealed the ignorance of Sacred Scripture while now this lack is rising to the surface. Evangelization requires the unification of the Bible, Sacraments and Christian life.

[00076-02.04] [IN049] [Original text: Spanish]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Héctor Rubén AGUER, Archbishop of La Plata (ARGENTINA)

The theological and philosophical errors which circulate in academic centers, seminaries and novitiates and which are spread through preaching and catechesis, give rise to confusion among the people of God, and are included among the causes of the present situation of faith. The New Evangelization requires the overcoming of these defects which weaken the certitude of the faith; for this reason, the formation of pastoral agents must correspond to the Magisterium of the Church.
Faced with the urgency of this anthropological question, it is important to underline the mediation of philosophy, of a metaphysical consideration of the person which gathers and overcomes valid scientific contributions. From that point forward, through participation, access to the absolute foundation, God, is opened. In Christian thought, theocentrism and the centrality of man are blended, as an alternative to the radical anthropocentrism promoted by some contemporary currents.
It is necessary to develop a new apologetic, a discussion in favor of the Christian faith, both at an academic as well as a popular catechetic level, which may be an itinerary proposed to the intelligence and the heart of men and women of today. 

[00077-02.05] [IN050] [Original text: Spanish]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. Benedito Beni DOS SANTOS, Bishop of Lorena (BRAZIL)

Pope Paul VI, in his post-synodal letter Evangelii Nutiandi, said that evangelization is to proclaim the event of Jesus Christ, Son of God: his life, his Word, the manifestation of the Kingdom, his death and resurrection (cf. no.22). This is the permanent content of evangelization. The method varies according to the challenges posed by cultural contexts and changing realities. The evangelical mission of the Church always meets with obstacles and is faced with challenges. In the time of the Apostles – the first missionaries – the obstacles and challenges were idolatry, witchcraft, long distances and, above all, persecution. Today, the culture of the change of the age presents other challenges: the difficulty in accepting God as the foundation for human conduct, as the basis for justice, peace, fraternity; the difficulty of reconciling democratic experience and respect for moral values.
In the cultural substratum of the Latin-American peoples, in whom the values of evangelization, even the first evangelization, remain, certain unacceptable ideas have been introduced: rationalism and subjectivism which strip down natural ethics and justify the worst attacks on the dignity of the person and human life and claim to establish moral order over social consensus, without a single reference to the nature of the person and his acts. Based on this position, one finds the tarnishing of the transcendent nature of man, which is to say the exclusion of God and religion, which are consequences of secularization.
Faced with these cultural challenges, Blessed John Paul II referred to the New Evangelization as synonymous with the new missionary spirit, which is not the duty of a small circle of specialists but of all the baptized.
The New Evangelization is in the developmental phase in Latin America from the projects of permanent missions. In Brazil, from movements and new communities such as Cançao Nova and Heralds of the Gospel. In the task of evangelization, lay Christians are protagonists and have an important role. Many of them dedicate their lives to the evangelical mission of the Church. In addition to using modern means of social communication, they also make direct contact with people from different backgrounds, most of all youth. They use, in addition to music, kerygmatic preaching and visits to schools and family prayer groups. 

[00079-02.04] [IN051] [Original text: Italian]

– H. Exc. Rev. Mons. William Charles SKURLA, Archbishop of Pittsburg of the Byzantines, President of the Council of the Ruthenian Church (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

The intervention reflects on the process of evangelization in the individual. There are stages of life before becoming a committed adult Catholic.

[00080-02.05] [IN052] [Original text: English]

– Rev. F. Josep María ABELLA BATLLE, C.M.F., Superior General of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians)

The call to the New Evangelization is above all an appeal to be joyful and responsible Christians of the 21st century, in a great fidelity to the Gospel and the people of our time as well as with a new style for the mission. We are not talking therefore about a punctual action or a series of activities but rather a “process” in which various elements play a role.
The New Evangelization always sets out from reality, observed with the compassionate heart of Jesus, since it is from the constant dialectic between the Spirit and reality that the novelty and guidelines that will direct it will emerge.
It is concentrated in the announcement of the integral mystery proclaimed by Christ, with his life and his word, that is, the Gospel of the Kingdom to all, in particular to the poor, as the integral liberation of man.
It has as its active and responsible subject the People of God, men and women, with their various charisms and ministries.
It requires, to be carried out, evangelizers who are completely centered on God the Father, called by the charity of Christ, guided by his Spirit and passionate about their brothers.
It implies therefore a powerful appeal to personal, community and institutional conversion, in the context of the signs of our times.
It requires more attention to be paid to quality rather than to quantity; to what is essential, rather than what is accidental; and it promotes a tireless dialogue.
It pushes for the renewal of the missionary dimension in the announcement of the Gospel, teaching dialogue with the cultures and religious traditions of the nations.
It makes an effort to work in networks with other people and groups who, in turn, seek the transformation of the world, according to God’s plan, that which, for us, means building the kingdom.
For all these reasons, the New Evangelization is a “spiritual adventure” that will find its expression in different apostolic choices depending on the various contexts. All the same, without a profound “evangelical sensitivity”, it will be very difficult to read the signs of the times and find suitable and credible apostolic initiatives.

[00081-02.03] [IN053] [Original text: Spanish]

– H. Em. Rev. Card. Stanisław DZIWISZ, Archbishop of Kraków (POLAND)

The Instrumentum Laboris presents the state of today’s man as that of a “prisoner of a world that has virtually eliminated from viewany question of God”. The new evangelization – the document affirms – should dare to restore this question of God and help man to emerge from this “interior desert” (cf. n. 86).
Thus is born the question of how to lead man out of this desert. One thing is certain. Science is not enough. Documents are not enough. Our Church structures are not enough. These do not quite reach the heart of man.
A characteristic sign of our times is that the Church today speaks much more effectively when she expresses herself with the message of Divine Mercy. It seems that this discussion touches more effectively the heart of the man closed in himself, enmeshed in sin and in outward self-sufficiency but in reality searching for meaning in his life and reasons to hope.
The Church of Krakow is the place and privileged center in which in the past century – marked by the dominion of totalitarian atheistic and, as such, inhuman systems -enabled the plea for mercy to be heard. God used a humble religious, Saint Faustina Kowalska, as he did a wise and holy shepherd, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla – John Paul II, so that the eternal truth of God “rich in faithful love” (Eph 2:4) would resound in a more revealing way in today’s restless world. “Humanity will not find peace until it returns to the source of mercy”, which is in Jesus (Sister Faustina, Diary, no.699). It seems that man today has managed to preserve within himself a sensitivity toward a disinterested mercy. And this itself – God’s mercy which influences his fate – makes itself heard and touches the deepest chords of the human heart.
Devotion to the Divine Mercy has become a means of formation for zealous and responsible Christians.
I speak of it and witness it in order to point out one of the proven ways of our times by which we can undertake the new evangelization. Cor ad cor loquitur. The heart of merciful God speaks to the heart of man.

[00082-02.06] [IN054] [Original text: Italian]
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