ASIA/JAPAN - "Is the Gospel needed in Japan?"

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Tokyo (Agenzia Fides) - "A question remains carved in our minds and in our hearts. A question that Cardinal Fernando Filoni provocatively left us during his pastoral visit: Is the Gospel needed in Japan? Where and how to evangelize? This is the challenge that remains for our Church, especially for us Bishops": says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Isao Kikuchi, a Verbite missionary, at the head of the diocese of Niigata and President of Japanese Caritas, recalling the days of the pastoral visit which the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples just concluded in Japan (September 17-26).
The Bishop recalls: "The Cardinal met many faithful, priests, seminarians, religious, bishops. His presence and words are a real, concrete encouragement for us all. They ask us to sow and witness the Gospel in our society today".
Mgr. Kikuchi recalls a particularly significant moment of the visit, linked to the present: "The Cardinal visited Hiroshima and also that part of the city that still today, 60 years after the disaster, is empty because at the time it was heavily contaminated. Cardinal Filoni recalled the importance of the supreme good of peace, therefore we need to pray and act. Today we must in any case ward off a new nuclear conflict in Asia", he notes.
The central theme that every moment of the visit went through was that of evangelization: "It is up to us - the Bishop recalls - to proclaim and witness the joy of the Gospel to mankind today. The grace of Christ sustains us and guides us in this journey. We will talk about it in a forthcoming meeting in October, missionary month, in Tokyo, by the Commission for the New Evangelization, at the Bishops' Conference. There will be delegates from each diocese and lay representatives. As Bishops, representing the entire Catholic community in Japan, we have a strong impetus to put the theme of the mission at the center of our pastoral work. The love of Christ drives us toward the wounded humanity of our time. The little flock of Japanese Catholics, that listens to the will of God, is ready to offer the country its humble evangelical witness". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/9/2017)