VATICAN - Cardinal Filoni meets Bishops, priests, religious and laity of Bangladesh: "We are all in a permanent state of mission"

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) – Today Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, met the representatives of the seven dioceses of Bangladesh, in Dhaka: Bishops, major religious superiors, priests and lay people, about 120 people.
The Cardinal's speech had the theme "The missionary outlook in Evangelii Gaudium: from a mission-Church to a Church in “mission” and was divided in four points: The novelty of Evangelii gaudium; the aim of this document; the Church as the agent in mission; the content of a missionary outlook.
"Evangelii Gaudium is not a pontifical document composed in the traditional manner" highlighted the Cardinal, "that is, subdivided into various sections... Moreover, it is not a document that is addressed exclusively to a single category of persons who are obliged to deal with the Gospel in a quasi-professional manner". The word "mission" is an open term, and from the very beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis suggests that a missionary outlook is intrinsic to the very life of the baptized, and comes prior to any other specific type of pastoral engagement. According to the Pope, in line with its predecessors, all of us, as baptized, priests, religious and lay people, "are all called to be agents of mission, which pertains to all of the People of God".
"The purpose of this document is to put the whole Church in a permanent state of mission - emphasized Cardinal Filoni -. Perhaps in the past, we thought about and lived the Church in a certain static way, as a consolidated reality, linked with immobility and conservation, rather than a reality connected to dynamism and motion. Pope Francis prefers a Church in motion... capable of finding new expressions, new methods, and new life". Therefore Cardinal Filoni emphasized that the whole Church is called to be the subject of mission, because "the Church is not an abstract reality, but a concrete entity. Consequently, one cannot speak about the “missionary nature” of the Church without concretely engaging all Christians".
In the last part of his speech, Cardinal Filoni highlighted that the Word of God is the prerequisite for proclaiming the Gospel, because it "continues the dialogue and encounter of God with his people". Besides the joy of faith, we are called to communicate and to witness, is born from the encounter with Christ. "The manifestation of the love of God in Jesus has a precise recipient, every person, including myself, in the experience of being saved by Jesus Christ. The experience of amazement in the encounter reveals the mystery of God’s love for me. This is where I find the reasons for the mission and its content". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2015)