Movements to Gather in Rome to Consider Evangelii Gaudium

3rd World Conference Will Explore Francis’ ‘Outbound’ Church, Counter ‘Throwaway Culture’

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Pope Francis wants an “outbound” Church and a conference to be held in Rome this month aims at taking on this challenge.

In a press conference held in the Vatican press office this morning, speakers presented the «3rd World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities.»

Promoted and organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on the theme “The Joy of the Gospel: a Missionary Joy,” the conference will be held Nov. 20-22 in the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College in Rome.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, explained that the novelty of this conference derives from its having sprung from the meeting with the Pope that took place at Pentecost in 2013 in the Year of Faith.

The theme of the conference, the prelate stressed, clearly expresses that “our work is guided by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium.'»

«This is the great challenge that Pope Francis presents to us. … He wants an ‘outbound’ Church, that reaches out to the geographical and existential peripheries of our world, a Church that is particularly attentive and close to all the poor, suffering and excluded, the bitter product of the ‘throwaway culture’ that dominates nowadays,» he said.

«It is precisely this,» the cardinal noted, «that is the great and fundamental challenge that the movements wish to accept during this third world congress.”

Others speaking at the presentation included Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement; and Jean-Luc Moens, president of Fidesco, young volunteers in evangelization and development projects, and a member of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Papal support

Cardinal Rylko noted that the pontifical council has seen the phenomenon of movements that are “a current of grace, a gift and a timely response from the Holy Spirit to the serious challenges that today’s world poses to the mission of the Church.”

Recalling Pope Francis’ predecessors, the prelate noted how, for St. John Paul II, movements constituted a “reason for hope for the Church and for mankind.”

Whereas Pope Benedict XVI, he said, saw them as “new incursions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, powerful ways of living faith, a healthy provocation, of which the Church is always in need, and ‘creative minorities,’ decisive for the future of humanity.”

In this respect, he continued, Pope Francis is in perfect harmony with his predecessors.

Some 300 laypersons, including founders, moderators and general delegates, representing around 100 movements and new communities that work around the globe, are expected to attend the conference. They will also be joined by a large number of pastors, bishops and priests.


On the NET:

Pontifical Council for Laity Official Site:

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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