The 5th American Missionary Congress (CAM 5) represents one “of the significant stages in the missionary endeavor in this great Continent,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Pope Francis’ Special Envoy to the Congress’ celebrations. The Cardinal stressed that the gathering “is called to pick up Pope Francis’ vision, presented in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium so that the whole Church is in a state of permanent evangelization. The Congress is called “to make its own and to adapt to the rich variety of existing situations on the American Continent.”
It’s what Cardinal Filoni explained in his opening address given on Thursday morning, July 12, 2018, at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, where the continental missionary event is taking place, reported the Vatican agency Fides.
In his address, the Cardinal mentioned the three areas of action, at the heart of the work of evangelization, pointed out by Pope Francis: the pastoral for the spiritual and moral growth of believers, baptized persons not living according to the exigencies of their Baptism and the ad Gentes mission addressed to those that don’t know Christ or have rejected Him. “These three areas are present in the whole of the Americas and they represent the greatest challenge for the Church today,” he said.
“God has the same design, in particular, on this American continent,” stressed the Cardinal, “which as Saint John Paul II often highlighted to them, the Church gave a great missionary elan in the course of the second part of the last millennium.”
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples also wished to put on guard against the danger that “the freshness of the Gospel and the enthusiasm of the missionary vocation,” be lacking. “We must guard against the logic of the algorithm, considering that the efficiency of solutions is the true logic to follow,” he warned. Nor is the problem, for example, of missionary vocations resolved by lowering the level of generosity. Rather, it must be addressed by reinforcing a genuine missionary pastoral, a generous sharing of apostolic personnel between the richer Churches and the poorer Churches.”
On concluding his address, Cardinal Filoni stressed the fact that “genuine ministers of the Gospel are necessary in numerous parts of America.”