VATICAN - Pope closes the Synod: "the new evangelization is essentially linked to the Missio ad Gentes"

Monday, 29 October 2012

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – Catechesis must accompany preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, without neglecting the Sacrament of Penance; "we must ask the Holy Spirit to arouse in the Church a new missionary dynamism, whose protagonists are, in particular, pastoral workers and the lay faithful"; to make the most of one’s pastoral creativity so as to bring back those who have drifted away from faith or are seeking the meaning of life: are the three "pastoral themes" that have emerged from the Synod that Pope Benedict XVI stressed during the concelebrated Mass with the Synodal Fathers, which he presided on Sunday, October 28 in St. Peter's for the conclusion of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" .
After commenting on the Gospel passage that recounts the miracle of the healing of blind Bartimaeus, announced shortly before, the Pope pointed out that "The new evangelization applies to the whole life of the Church. It applies, in the first instance, to the ordinary pastoral ministry that must be more animated by the fire of the Spirit, so as to inflame the hearts of the faithful who regularly take part in Community worship and gather on the Lord's day to be nourished by His Word and the Bread of Life eternal."
With regards to the fact that the new evangelization is "essentially linked to the Missio ad Gentes," Benedict XVI said: "The Church’s task is to evangelize, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who still do not yet know Jesus Christ. During the Synod, it was emphasized that there are still many regions in Africa, Asia and Oceania whose inhabitants await with lively expectations, sometimes without being fully aware of it, the first proclamation of the Gospel. So we must ask the Holy Spirit to arouse in the Church a new missionary dynamism, whose protagonists are, in particular, pastoral workers and the lay faithful. Globalization has led to a remarkable migration of peoples, so the first proclamation is needed even in countries that were evangelized long ago. All people have the right to know Jesus Christ and his Gospel: and Christians, all christians - priests, religious and lay faithful – have a corresponding duty to proclaim the Good News."
Finally, during the Synod, it was emphasized that in all continents baptized people live but do not live according to the demands of Baptism. "The Church is particularly concerned - said the Pope – that they should encounter Jesus Christ anew, rediscover the joy of faith and return to religious practice in the community of the faithful. Besides traditional and perennially valid pastoral methods, the Church seeks to also adopt new ones, developing new language attuned to the different world cultures, proposing the truth of Christ with an attitude of dialogue and friendship rooted in God who is Love. In various parts of the world, the Church has already set out on this path of pastoral creativity, so as to bring back those who have drifted away or are seeking the meaning of life, happiness, and, ultimately, God. We may recall some important city missions, the "Courtyard of the Gentiles," the continental mission, and so on." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 29/10/2012)


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