Santiago de Chile (Agenzia Fides) - 70,000 copies of the special issue of the magazine, “Encuentro” with an enclosed copy of the document “The Pastoral Option of Aparecida” by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, were recently distributed among the parishes of the Archdiocese. The document seeks to make known the conclusions from the 5th Conference of Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, that they may be read and reflected on by Catholics, who can in turn, renew their commitment to the challenges and guidelines presented by their Pastors.
According to the Cardinal in his presentation of the document, “Aparecida was a time of grace and a great gift from God for the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean,” and thus, “we wish to take up this gift with the openness of those who receive God’s plans and are offered the chance to collaborate in them with all the strength and heart.”
The result of the event, has been, the Cardinal said, “a document that is full of hope, based in the Bible, realistic, and with guidelines for pastoral instruction.” Although it is “ a clear and concise document in its fundamental points”...it is not “a finished document.” Rather, it has “an open path towards the future.” With that in mind, “taking up its guidelines, in a way that is accessible, and therefore applicable, to the entire Church, will form the heart of the Continental Mission.” “We can approach the Conclusive Document from the perspective of one of its themes; perhaps the one that most pertains to our daily work and interest. However, if we did so, without first taking into account the great spirit of Aparecida, we could be left with a partial vision, far from an experience of the extraordinary wealth of the 5th General Conference of Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. This presentation is an effort to help us obtain this full vision and take up these commitments, as it is part of the great pastoral task carried out by Aparecida.”
The document presents the pastoral guidelines and tasks of Aparecida, among them being the need to be and to form missionaries for Christ, the support of the human person and the fullness of his vocation, the need for pastoral instruction, support for life, the primacy of spiritual works in pastoral care, the need for an increased missionary awareness, and a continental mission. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 16/4/2008; righe 31, parole 402)