AMERICA/BRAZIL - Missionary Congress: corruption, lack of ethics, environmental devastation, call in a "Church that goes forth"

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 pontifical mission societies   missionary animation   local churches  


Recife (Agenzia Fides) - "The 4th National Missionary Congress was the meeting of brothers and sisters who shared their faith, their struggles, their anguish, their dreams, their hopes. During this time we felt the Holy Spirit, the protagonist of the mission, strengthening our conviction that being a missionary is a grace and a responsibility". This is how the Final Message of the 4th National Missionary Congress of Brazil ended on Sunday, September 10, in Recife, with over 700 participants from all parts of Brazil, gathered since 7 September. The event was organized by the PMS of Brazil, the Episcopal Commission for Missionary Animation and the Archdiocese of Olinda-Recife on the theme: "The Joy of the Gospel for Church that goes forth".
"The example of martyrs and prophets like Dom Helder Câmara helped us look at Brazil, immersed in a deep crisis that affects us and many impoverished, excluded and marginalized brothers and sisters", is written in the message, denouncing the reinforcement of neoliberal policies that restrict the rights and deteriorate the situation of workers, indigenous peoples, fishermen, and those living in other geographic and existential suburbs. Labor, security, politics and education reforms, such as the resumption of privatization, show that the government and the National Congress have turned their backs on the people. It also emphasizes corruption and lack of ethics, the political class and other sectors of society, which have led to desperation of Brazilians.
"We are angry to see the devastation of the Amazon and the degradation of nature", continues the text, which reaffirms: "This reality, far from discouraging us, imposes a vigorous missionary action on us".
In the light of the Word of God, of the documents of the Church and the words and gestures of Pope Francis, "authentic missionary prophet who animates us on the path", "we are provoked to leave our land, to take off our sandals to "walk" the sacred land of the other, as guests, here and beyond the borders". "In the mission, we are encouraged by the testimony and prophecy of so many women and men who have found their joy in the Gospel and have shared it with God's favorite in the radical gift of their lives".
It also reiterates that the missionary does not bear his message, but that of God's love, and is authentic "if he walks with other missionaries, overcoming the temptation of the monopoly of the Good News, recognizing the richness of unity in diversity and overcoming the limits of the particular Church in order to launch himself into the world".
The last part presents some commitments, first of all that "for children, teenagers and young people to be the protagonists of the mission, wherever they are". Therefore "we reaffirm the vocation of Christian laity as subjects in mission. We confirm the testimony of the consecrated, seminarians, ordained ministers - deacons, priests and bishops - who increasingly assume mission as a response to God's call.
Guided by the Holy Trinity, we live our vocation in communion, engaged as a Church that goes forth and promotes the encounter and proclaims the joy of the Gospel to all".
The missionary cannot ignore the attitude of listening.
The essential missionary formation nourishes spirituality, creates the culture of mission, and helps ensure that all baptized people take on their missionary vocation. Therefore, wherever we find ourselves, we can repeat what is engraved in our hearts: "Everything with the mission, nothing without mission." (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 12/9/2017)