Interventions of Fraternal Delegates at Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2012 ( Here is the Full Texts of yesterday’s Interventions by the Fraternal Delegates at the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith. 

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The following Fraternal Delegates intervened:

– H. Em. LEO [Makkonen], Archbishop of Karelia and all Finland (FINLAND)
– Prof. EMMANUEL [Adamakis], Metropolitan of France, President of the Conference of European Churches (FRANCE)
– H. Em. NIFON [Mihăiţă], Metropolitan and Archbishop of Targovistis (ROMANIA)

The summaries of the interventions are published below:

– H. Em. LEO [Makkonen], Archbishop of Karelia and all Finland (FINLAND)

It is a profound privilege, honor and joy to bring you greetings from His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch. I do not address this gathering only as a representative and guest though, for the urgency of “new evangelism” is as important a topic for Eastern Christians as it is for the Great Church of Rome.
We read with joy the lineament, especially its appreciation of how the tradition, mystagogy and recent experiences of Eastern Christendom offer insight into new efforts of evangelization today. But most of all we appreciated its discernment that evangelization begins not with preaching, but listening.
It is no accident that the icon of the greatest evangelist and apostle John, known to us in the East as the Theologian, shows his finger to his lips, indicating silence. Such silence, as the lineament so eloquently states, is not predicated on weariness, fear, shame, or lack of faith: but recognition that, if we are truly to be partners “in a dialogue with the world”, if we truly wish to be “sharers in the same humanity seeking the truth about existence”, we must start where true humanity begins – in experiences of wonder that lift us to transcendence.
To be silent, to listen, and then to share the Good News – is the best way to show our love and tlinecare for the world today – even as God Himself expressed His Divine Economy in response to our failing, searching and need. Only by taking our interlocator’s problems as seriously as we recommend God’s solutions to them can we establish and rebuild trust, so our words might once again be revealed in all their life-giving power – no matter whether spoken, texted or tweeted. And now, Holy Father, Eminences, Graces, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I too shall begin to listen – as will the world.

[00159-02.03] [DF005] [Original text: English]

– Prof. EMMANUEL [Adamakis], Metropolitan of France, President of the Conference of European Churches (FRANCE)

While I was preparing this modest discourse, I asked myself about the relationship that could be established between ecumenical effort insofar as it is a mission of contemporary Christianity and evangelization insofar as it is a transmission of the Christian faith. These two dimensions draw their vital lymph from the mystery of incarnation. We cannot therefore be content with a theological elaboration, or even an intellectual one, of this mystery. It seems to me to be indispensable to understand the mystery of the incarnation in the wake of Saint Irenaeus, that is, as a power that “sums up” the whole of humankind, or rather the whole of creation. Therefore the teaching of the Fathers of the Church suggests to us we should contemplate the convergence between the theological effort and the experience of a Christianity incarnate in the world and rooted in time. This experience is not just the summary of a variety of knowledge, but in effect a new total or even holistic configuration of man as body, soul and spirit.
How, then, can we articulate ecumenism, evangelization and the transmission of faith? This is not a simple question: considerations would be required that the time limits imposed on me will not allow me to undertake. All the same, we have to recognize that, through the three terms of my initial question, we can discover a salient aspect that allows the sense to be highlighted. In fact, the heart of the problem that interests us does not refer to faith as such so much as to the answers that faith is capable of offering to the contemporary world. Definitely, what counts most in the title of this meeting is the determination of the semantic field to which the term “new” is referred. This is the only way in which we will be able to offer a suitable response to the questions of our brothers and sisters. Globalization and the consumer society are only epiphonema of a deeper problem: the transformation, the mutation of hope in the search for happiness. Our contemporaries have lost hope and seek only happiness. We can ask ourselves how this mutation came about and how we should respond to it. Restoring the attractiveness of hope consists in the definition of the relationships that exist between God and man, between different individual humans and in each person’s interior. When Christ declares he is “the way, the truth and the life”, he is not using concepts that are removed from the incarnation, but rather dynamic principles founded on the basis of the Logos. Therefore, the Logos is also a link and a relationship. And in this way happiness is transformed into hope to the extent that everyone learns to know themselves as a being in relation, not to say a being in communion. Christ is the object of communion and, at the same time, the link of communion. When it is tied to the collective destiny, that is, to the Church, individual happiness is transformed into hope under the effects of eschatology, from the coming of the last times.
Such considerations are not so far removed from my initial discourse, which seeks to understand the place of ecumenism in the framework of the new forms of evangelization. In fact, ecumenism is also the need to overcome our representations, which often take the form of simple local conflicts. All the same, behavior of this sort does not take into account the message of salvation Christ brought us. The ecumenical experience, in the way we live it in the setting of the Conference of European Churches, reflects profoundly on the way in which it is possible to reconcile the division of Christians with evangelization. This is the reason why the Churches and Christian communities which are members of the CEC have undertaken to “speak of our initiatives of evangelization with the other Churches, to reach agreements about this and thus avoid damaging competition as well as the danger of new divisions”. With these considerations in mind, it seems to me there are many paths still to explore from a pastoral point of view, which, as necessary premises for the reunification of Christians, would allow us to testify to our shared faith in a more suitable manner. I appeal to you to take into consideration in your reflections the ecumenical dimension of evangelization.

[00157-02.03] [DF002] [Original text: French]

– H. Em. NIFON [Mihăiţă], Metropolitan and Archbishop of Targovistis (ROMANIA)

Greetings of the WWC General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, to the Synod of Bishops XIII Ordinary General Assembly.

Your Holiness,
Your Eminences and Excellencies,
distinguished delegates and observers,
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified(1. Cor 2.2)
It is the living word of God, revealed to us in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the Good News, the euangellion, those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are to proclaim in all dimensions of their lives. There is a logic in the sequence of the theme chosen for the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which recalled John 1:14:The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth, and the emphasis on the new evangelization of this XIII Ordinary General Assembly. Justification in Christ, the proclamation of the Gospel and the call to holiness belong together in the fellowship of believers, members of the one body of Christ (1. Cor.12:12ff).
The Church is built up when people are being trans
formed by receiving Christ, the incarnate word of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit. People become credible and visible disciples of Christ, celebrating the Holy Eucharist, meditating on biblical texts, and witnessing to the Gospel in their homes and families, on the streets or at the workplace as workers, entrepreneurs, researchers and in so many other professions.
The Second Vatican Council stated in the Decree Dei Verbum: “The Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel resounds in the Church, and through her, in the world, leads unto all truth those who believe and makes the word of Christ dwell abundantly in them (see Col. 3:16)” [par. 8].
We remember the Second Vatican Council as an extraordinary moment of evangelical renewal of the Catholic Church. This was underlined by the Moderator of the WCC’s Central Committee, the Rev. Dr Waiter Altmann, in his address to the recent meeting of the Committee in September this year in Crete. We expressed our gratitude and joy that through the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitas Redentegratio) the Catholic Church opened up to the ecumenical movement and gave new impetus to the search for visibleunity. The decree gave hope and inspiration to Christians around the world.
The dogmatic constitutions, statements and decrees of the Council were and continue to be not only highly relevant for the renewal of the Catholic Church, but also ecumenically. The Second Vatican Council was also ecumenical in the positive receptionof ecumenical and theological research of the time, including the work of the Faith and Order Commission. Highly significant was the invitation extended to fraternal observers and the opportunities given to them to interact. Today this seems obvious. At the time of Vatican II, however, this was a remarkable sign of openness to Christians of other traditions. Their presence contributed to breaking down the dividing wall of hostility that separated us (Eph 2:14).
Inspired by my reading of the texts and the new initiatives of Vatican II, my conviction was strengthened that unity is a gift of life, given in the body of Christ where we all need one another. To work for the unity of the Church is to work for the unity of all life, and to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of life given by God, in the many cultures, contexts and languages. As the body of Christ, the Church is in solidarity with all humankind and all creation, praying to be led by God to justice and peace.
We have come a long way in these 50 years. The study on Harvesting the Fruits, which was published by Cardinal Waiter Kasper, a study on Reception by the Joint Working Group between WCC and the Catholic Church, and other similar initiatives have proven how much has been achieved, but they also point to significant tasks that remain to be addressed on the way towards visible unity of the Church in one faith and in one Eucharistic fellowship.
Remembering what was achieved in these 50 years, we also recognize how much the context has changed and so the conditions for the proclamation of the Gospel in the diverse cultures and societies of the world. The reality we are facing continues to change rapidly, is full of contradictions that resist simple generalizations and presents with new challenges. Your work on the New Evangelization and the now beginning Year of Faith will help all of us to learn more about the proclamation of the Gospel in the diverse contexts of today and will, hopefully, offer many opportunities for cooperation as sign of the unity that is already given to us in Christ and for which so many Christians are longing for.
May God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you and bless your deliberation:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ(1.Cor. 1:3)

[00158-02.03] [DF003] [Original text: English]
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