Pastors and Movements: Better Together

Bishops Conclude Congress on New Charisms

ROCCA DI PAPA, Italy, MAY 18, 2008 ( Bishops and lay movements must work together to find effective answers to the secularization of society, according to the founder of the lay movement Communion and Liberation.

Julián Carrón was among the 150 participants of a seminar of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on movements titled “I Ask You to Go Out and Meet the Movements With Much Love.” The meeting was held May 15-17 in Rocca di Papa, Italy. The participants, the majority of which were bishops, were received by Benedict XVI on Saturday morning.

Speaking at a concluding roundtable session Saturday, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, summarized what pastors expect from movements — commitment on the frontiers of evangelization, solid faith and concrete ecclesial communion, and attention to the signs of the times.

Bishop André-Mutien Léonard of Namur, Belgium, in outlining the relationship between bishops and movements, recalled that the personal sensibility of the bishop cannot be the definitive criterion for discernment, and that the new charisms — like the those of the past — already serve the local Church by their existence.

Carrón stressed that pastors and movements find themselves faced with the same challenge, that of de-Christianization, or, put in other terms, the marginalization of faith to the point of it being considered useless for human life itself.

He noted in this regard that the challenge for everyone is not to give the “right” answers, but “effective” ones.

Moysés Louro de Azevedo Filho, founder of the Catholic Community Shalom in Brazil, affirmed that one of these answers is the continual blossoming of new ecclesial realities, in Latin America in particular.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said that “God has passed among us in these days. The real work now begins.”

“Let us return to our dioceses and bear witness to what we have experienced,” he said, “strong in what we have received from the Holy Spirit, and confirmed in the word and teaching of the Successor of Peter.”

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