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Aparecida Document Sent to Pontiff

Latin America Awaits Papal Approval

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2007 ( Benedict XVI has received the draft document that is the fruit of discussions at the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Pope received the document from the presidents of the May 13-31 conference, which was held near the sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil.

“We are waiting for the Holy Father to approve the document in order to be able to share it with all the communities that anxiously await his guidance to continue with the evangelizing mission in this continent of hope,” a communiqué from the Latin American bishops’ council stated.

Three cardinals gave the document to the Pope. They were Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re, prefect for the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago, Chile, and president of the Latin American bishops’ council; and Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia.

The document is divided into three parts, following the method of theological-pastoral reflection “to see, to judge and to act.”

The bishops’ communiqué explained: “It proposes to look at reality with eyes enlightened by faith and a heart filled with love. It proclaims with joy the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shed light on the goal and the path of human life.

“It seeks, through a communal discernment open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, common/shared threads of a truly missionary activity that would place the People of God in a permanent state of mission.”

The Latin American bishops are preparing their next ordinary assembly in Havana from July 10 to 13. This assembly aims to concretize the great continental mission called for by the Aparecida conference.

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