Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - "We are Catholic Christians from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, who grieve about the erosion of the Catholic faith that Pope Francis speaks of. We are aware of the fact that our home countries have become mission territories. We are ready for mission. We wish that our countries may find Jesus". Thus we read in the preamble of the initiative "Mission Manifest" launched by the National Directorate of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Austria and by various Catholic organizations and realities, especially the youth world, who intend to commit themselves to helping the Bishops with basic local initiatives to respond to the call of Evangelii Gaudium for the "conversion" of the current pastoral structures, so that they become "more mission-orientated" and to inspire pastoral workers a constant desire "to go forth".
Among the 10 points that "Mission Manifest" proposes to those who want to join, we read: we want mission to be the top priority; we wish to address all people in our countries, without making distinctions; we need to rediscover the contents of our faith and proclaim them clearly and boldly; we want to evangelize, not indoctrinate; to be missionary is Christ’s commission to everyone who is baptized, not just meant for certain non-Christian countries, cultures and/or religions; we have to convert ourselves to the joy of the Gospel in order to be able to lead others to Christ.
The "Mission Manifest" project, launched at the beginning of this year, was presented to Pope Francis during the general audience on May 2, by the National Director of the PMS of Austria, Fr. Karl Wallner, and by other promoters. "The Pope encouraged us", comments Fr. Wallner, who explains: "Mission Manifest is not a collection of signatures, it wants to gather good forces and gather missionary initiatives to move forward with the Church. Pope Francis intends mission as a Church that goes forth". "All the missionary initiatives have one thing in common: to share the joy of our faith in Jesus Christ" concludes the National Director of the PMS.
About 4,000 signatories have already joined the project, including Bishops, priests, religious and lay people from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. (MS) (Agenzia Fides, 14/05/2018)