AMERICA/PARAGUAY - “Speak Lord your Church is listening!”: Catholic Bishops of Paraguay launch nation wide consultation in view of new pastoral guidelines to respond to the real needs of the People of God

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Asunción (Fides Service) - After reflection born in organisms involved directly in pastoral (Coordination National of Catechesis, Liturgy, Social Pastoral, the Bible, of the Family…) and faced with the concerning national situation (marked by an accelerated process of de-Christianisation, galloping poverty, people leaving the Church, break up of families, increasing corruption and violence), the Catholic Bishops Conference of Paraguay (CEP) discussed the impact of pastoral activity on the life and the commitment of the Christian community. The conclusions of this reflection led to renewed commitment to be truly incisive in the transformation of society. The Bishops decided to hold a nation wide consultation to find out what people think about the Church and expect from the Church. On the results of the consultation the Bishops will draft guidelines for common pastoral work in Paraguay.
The initiative, preparation and realisation, is involving the entire Church, dioceses, parishes, bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral workers, groups, movements. Bishop Juan Bautista Gavilan of Coronel Oviedo said that also non Catholics are invited to take part in the consultation, the dioceses will use methods to involve them.
The purpose of the consultation is to “promote processes of Christian formation for adults and young people to render them more aware of their identity as members of the Church and able to transform society”, Fr. Roberto Zacarías, adjunct secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference told Fides.
The nation wide Consultation, which will close in September this year, will be realised by means of a document presented on the occasion of the recent celebration of the 173 plenary assembly of the Bishops’ Conference. A handbook on the Consultation, ‘Speak Lord your Church is listening’, has been distributed to dioceses and parishes. It proposes reflections and questions to enable people to participate and contribute.
The Church in Paraguay prepared for this important commitment with a working session with the Bishops, meetings with pastoral delegates and lay representative from each dioceses, meetings with executive secretaries of national co-ordination offices of the Bishops’ Conference etc. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2005; righe 29; parole 365)