There are 94 bishops appointed in the last two years to ecclesiastical circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples taking part in the Seminar of Study promoted by their Dicastery from September 5-17.
Forty-two Bishops are from 19 African countries; 36 are from nine Asian countries; 12 are from nine nations of America and four from two countries of Oceania.
The Study Seminar began in 1994, and it offers all the Prelates, recently appointed leaders of territories in mission at the beginning of their task, a period of time “to reflect, deepen their episcopal life and ministry, dialogue and pray.”
Well-known personalities of the ecclesial world have been invited to be speakers. Three lectures are scheduled each day, followed by a debate and work in groups.
The meeting began Monday with a Mass presided over by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation. Then Monsignor Savio Hon Tai Fai, the Dicastery’s Secretary, spoke on “Bishops as Servants of God.” In the afternoon, Cardinal Robert Sarah spoke on “The Action of the Missione ad Gentes in the Reality of the World.” Then on Wednesday, Monsignor Protase Rugambwa, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation and President of the Pontifical Missionary Works will speak on the structure, competencies and activities of this institution.
The Seminar’s program includes interventions by Cardinals Kurt Koch (Ecumenical Dialogue in Mission Territories). Angelo Amato (The Bishop’s Spirituality), Peter Turkson (The Social Doctrine of the Church and Evangelization), Lorenzo Baldisseri (Synod of Bishops and Episcopal Communion), Marc Ouellet (The Pope and the Bishops: Communion and Mission), Beniamino Stella (Paternity in Regard to Presbyters and Formation of the Clergy), and George Pell (Bishops’ Administrative Service).
Additional speakers include the Archbishops and Bishops: Paul Richard Gallagher (The Holy See and Relations with States), Juan I. Arrieta (Pastoral Programs and Diocesan Collaborative Structures/Motu proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Jesus), Vincenzo Paglia (Formation of the Laity), Angelo V. Zani (Educational Initiatives), Jose Rodriguez Carballo (Care of Consecrated Life), Charles Jude Scicluna (Clergy’s Celibacy and Ecclesiastics Accused of Sexual Abuses), Luis Francisco Ladaria (Exercise of the Munus Docendi), Artur Roche (Liturgy and Sanctification of the Church), Miguel Ayuso Guixot (Inter-Religious Dialogue in Mission Territories).
Reports will also be given by Father Joseph Koonamparampil and Professor Frank Elias (Vademecum for Bishops), Monsignor Giampietro Dal Toso (The Service of Charity), Father Hans Zollner (Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults), Monsignor Giampaolo Montini (Administration of Justice), Father Peter Gonsalves (Use of the Media in Evangelization).
On Friday, September 9, an audience will take place with the Holy Father and on the 11th the Prelates will go on pilgrimage to Assisi. The Seminar will end on September 17 with a concelebrated Eucharist at the tomb of the Apostle Peter.