VATICAN - XIX Plenary - Cep 2015: "The ability to evangelize is combined with the courage to bear witness"

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 bishops   local churches   missionary animation   pontifical mission societies  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The first report of the plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP), which opened yesterday (see Fides 27 and 30/11/2015), was held by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on "Ecclesial Awareness and Evangelizing Capacity of the Young Churches". "The Young Churches, with their problems and their defects - said the Cardinal -, as well as their resources of priestly and religious vocations and their enthusiastic adhesion to the Gospel, have become agents of mission for the older Churches, particularly European, through an interchange of people and works from one continent to another".
The weighty work carried out by the CEP in view of the Plenary Assembly was greatly praised, and involved 1,120 missionary subjects, he continued: "With regard to the missionary awareness and the capacity to evangelize, the 262 circumscriptions taken into consideration from the survey highlighted the underlying, animating concepts found in the decree Ad gentes, summarizing them into six key words: mission, testimony, proclamation, catechesis, apostolate, and inculturation".
Talking about the ability to evangelize, Cardinal Bertone indicated a number of key elements to consider: affirmation of the primacy of God, the enthusiasm for making Christ known, the courage to bear witness to the Gospel, the capacity to make an option for the poor and needy, the capacity for dialogue, the capacity to make the Church visible in human development, the sense of authentic community, the good rapport between Church and State, the planning of the formation for the mission, the Episcopal collegiality, the prevalence of indigenous clergy, the sense of duty towards spreading the Gospel, the collaboration with the Pontifical Mission Societies, and the sense of belonging to one’s particular Church.
"We must combine the proclamation with an accessible and convincing dialogue and with a holy life, but, at the same time, with the complete sharing in the life of those to whom the Gospel is proclaimed" concluded Cardinal Bertone. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 01/12/2015)