Synod Fathers Present Final Message of General Assembly

Members of the Commission for the Message Address the Media

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2012 ( The Synod Fathers that lead the Commission for the Message for the Synod of Bishops presented the final message of the assembly at the Holy See Press Office today. The Synod, which concludes this Sunday, examined the theme: «The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

Present at the Press Conference were Cardinal Giuseppe Bertori, Archbishop of Florence and president of the Commission for the Message; Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carre of Montpellier, France, special secretary, and Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines, secretary of the Commission for the Message. Archbishop Tagle was one of six prelates who will be raised to the designation of Cardinal at the Upcoming Consistory in November.

Speaking on behalf of the Synod, Cardinal Bertori applauded the «listening attitude» of the bishops, saying that the Final Message was «something that had really been born from the assembly and it was a concrete example of ecclesial participation.»

«[Regarding] the Synod Fathers speeches, it was always an encouraging tone to take a positive look at the challenges of the present time. And the word ‘challenge’ was always accompanied by the word ‘opportunity’.

Cardinal Bertori also remarked on the fact that the message addresses each continent saying that while globalizing conditions make some phenomenon common, it is difficult to send a single message for the diverse cultural situations that exist. «We could not level out our message; we gave thoughts for each continent. It was relevant to have all the different aspects of the new evangelization in the different continents,» he said.

A Universal Call to Holiness

Addressing the members of the press, Archbishop Tagle called being part of the Commission for the Message a «good experience.» The Filipino prelate said that while the message captures several concerns raised by bishops, experts and auditors, it also reflects those concerns faithfully. He also stated that the assembly saw the Spirit that accompanied those concerns: a return to an encounter with Jesus.

«This is an opening for everyone. The universal call to holiness is affirmed by going back to that,» he said.

«In the message we find a humble church, admitting that it does not understand everything that’s happening in the world. That it’s confused, that it has suffered, but it also admits its share in the wounds of society.»

Archbishop Tagle echoed Cardinal Bertori’s sentiment on the Message’s address to each continent saying that it was encouraging to have a Church that speaks the language of the people.

The Archbishop of Manila addressed a journalist’s concern that the Final Message may not have sufficiently addressed a strategy to call back Catholics who have left the faith in the wake of scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. «I assure you that the problems were addressed,» Archbishop Tagle replied.

«No one pretended that there were no problems. There was no such blindness; we are believers, we believe that the Spirit of the Risen Lord is the principal source of healing. The optimism [contained within the Final Message] is not a false sense of serenity, but it drives us to find ways to address those painful moments in the Church,» he said.

Responding to a question from ZENIT regarding his remarks on the need for a more «humble Church and less arrogant ministers,» Archbishop Tagle stressed the importance of humility within the universal Church. «Humility for the Church is not a strategy; it is the way of Jesus. It is how God manifested himself to us in Jesus and loved us in the form of [Christ] crucified,» he said.

«We don’t have any choice but to be humble.»

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