Maracaibo (Agenzia Fides) – On the third day, the Fourth American Missionary Congress (CAM 4) and Ninth Latin American Missionary Congress (COMLA 9) focused on the urgency of mission in the context of the new evangelization and the mission ad Gentes. The debate also highlighted another important issue: the need for an "American Church" in a permanent state of mission.
According to information sent to Fides Agency, Father Raul Biord, Provincial Vicar of the Salesians in Venezuela, developed these themes in his speech and insisted on the idea that "the Church does not have a mission, it is the mission that a church has". The Salesian priest explained that "the Church is a sacrament or instrument for that mission. There is a Church because there is a mission, not vice versa. To participate in mission means participating in the dynamic of God's love towards people, because he is the source of love". Fr. Biord explained that "the Church is sent on a mission, because God is himself a God who sends. The history of salvation is a continuous chain of missions".
The other speaker, the Colombian theologian Consuelo Vélez, pointed out that before a Church in a permanent state of mission "witnessing is fundamental" because "we have to proclaim what has been experienced, preach what one lives ... must be a witness of love for the poor, this is the commitment with reality".
Yesterday afternoon several forums were held. The Congress is being attended by more than 3000 people from 24 countries. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2013)