Cardinal Wuerl: 'The New Evangelization is Not a Temporary Moment in the Church'

Synod Fathers Vote on Final Propositions

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2012 ( Several Synod Fathers addressed the media on the final list of propositions which were presented and voted on at the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

Present alongside Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, were Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. and Relator General of the Synod, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, President of the Episcopal Conference of Poland, and Archbishop Pierre Marie Carre of Montpellier, Special Secretary to the Synod.

Cardinal Wuerl highlighted the significance of the Synod as well as the propositions, saying that one of the most important aspects was the sense of unity among the bishops in «looking forward to the New Evangelization.»

«I think that there is this sense of purpose, of unity in what the Church needs to do and where we’re going,» Cardinal Wuerl said.

Regarding the Fraternal delegates who addressed the Synod, Archbishop Michalik said the witness given by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Primate of the Anglican Church signified a «unity in our pastoral mission.»

The ‘Logic’ of the Propositions

Cardinal Wuerl told members of the media that there is a logic to the document that tries to describe what the New Evangelization is. «We did not try to define it but we tried to describe it,» he said. The Relator General of the Synod went on to say that the propositions focus on four major aspects: «how do we go about proclaiming the Gospel, the context of that proclamation, where can the Gospel be proclaimed, and who are the new evangelizers.»

«It closes the discussion with a proposition that is very significant. At the very conclusion [the document says] ‘You be my witness’; it is a summary on what’s involved in passing on the faith. That every believer may enrich or deepen their faith, that they have confidence in faith, and to share that faith,» Cardinal Wuerl said.

«The first and most important part of the proposition is to make aware that the New Evangelization is not a temporary moment. The New Evangelization is not a program but a way of seeing the world around us and how to proclaim the Gospel.»

Another significant aspect of the propositions, Cardinal Wuerl continued, was the recognition that there has to be a great deal of dialogue and communication between the scientific world and the Church. The cardinal went on to say that a number of propositions in the document speak of dialogue with specific areas in the scientific and academic community. «The Church is aware that somehow the beauty of the Gospel message has to be translated into the world in which so many people find themselves academically, scientifically and technologically,» he said.

«It is important not to just say that our Lord is good but that he is also beautiful. The Gospel is beautiful [and that beauty] is deeply rooted in the history of the Church. In Rome, we are surrounded by beauty and I think that was one of the things the Synod was trying to say. We must not lose the ability, not just in art but in music and liturgy as well; we mustn’t lose that [in order] to awaken people to the beauty that is God.»

Cardinal Wuerl concluded by saying that final propositions serve to bring the excitement in the Good News and proclamation of the Gospel to the world and to the Church. «We have a wonderful story to tell. We have the Risen Lord to introduce. Many of these propositions have to be read in this excitement to tell this story: That Jesus Christ is Lord, that he is Risen and He offers us a way of life,» the cardinal said.

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