Caracas (Fides Service) – From 26 to 31 July at the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas the 4th session of the plenary council of the Church in Venezuela will bring together about three hundred people including Bishops, episcopal and general Vicars, rectors of seminaries, local men and women religious superiors, representatives of the laity and others appointed by the Bishops Conference who will take part with a consultative vote. The Council will open with a solemn concelebration of Mass on 26 July 2003, in the hall of the Andrés Bello Catholic University. Reflection will focus on the ordained ministry; Catholic laity, builders of the Kingdom of God in Venezuela; Youth and Youth Pastoral.
The Council is an expression of episcopal collegiality. It is characteristic because it is of a consultative and deliberative nature. This means it not only offers spiritual exhortations, doctrinal and pastoral guidelines but also norms in various of church life. In this prospective the Plenary Council Venezuela, which inaugurated its activity on 26 November 2000, has as it main objective to “outline guidelines and norms to concretise the new evangelisation which the Church in Venezuela has undertaken and intends to develop. It also hopes to promote greater fidelity and donation to God, One in Three, by means of a living encounter with Jesus Christ which leads to personal and community conversion, greater ecclesial communion and extended, social solidarity particularly towards the poor,” (cfr. pastoral Letter “Guided by the Holy Spirit: Plenary Council for new evangelisation” n. II).
The first two sessions of the Council (26/11/2000 to 1/12/2000 and 28/7/2001 to 5/8/2001) focused on a series of delicate questions which in the present situation in the country, are more than ever important: “Communion in the life of the Church in Venezuela”; “The prophetic proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Venezuela”; “The Church’s contribution in building a new society ”. A fruit of the first two sessions are the following documents: The prophetic proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Venezuela; The Church’s contribution in building a new society; Communion in the life of the Church in Venezuela. The 3rd session held from 26 July to 2 August 2002, reflected on catechesis and the consecrated life and it approved three documents: Catechesis; Consecrated Life in Venezuela; Church and Family: present and future. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 25/7/2003 - Righe:30; Parole 420)