Bogotá (Agenzia Fides) – To make known the Church’s activity and missionary work in society the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Colombia is organising an event called Expocattolica, to take place 7 to 10 March in the new modern Ágora Exposition Centre in Bogotà. "Let us walk together with Pope Francis" is the title of the event involving 170 exhibitors including dioceses, parishes, religious communities, associations, universities, schools and professional training centres. Present also publishers, media, new technologies, religious tourist agents, artists and craftsmen to present their experience of faith and work of human promotion to an expected 20,000 visitors.
"The challenge is to show the works of the Church and her evangelisation in a context in which with the immense quantity in circulation today the news about the Church which makes the headlines consists mostly of scandals, bad news and gossip", Fides was told by Mauricio Pinzón, young Catholic entrepreneur general coordinator of the initiative . "In Colombia the faith is still strong - continues Pinzón – and has still a certain importance in decision making on social, educative and cultural issues. The church has the support of society in general but if we consider the present wave of negative news about the Church we are aware of the considerable challenge to make known the extraordinary variety and capillarity of her evangelisation activity".
This is why Pinzón stresses efforts being made to organise various activities at Expocattolica: formative, artistic, cultural, and also spirituality prayer, and the promotion a " culture of encounter, a joyous encounter with Christ and brothers and sisters ". "In this event exhibitors will have a chance to offer a model of creative inclusive and participated economy, focussed on the human person".
The title chosen, "Let us walk together with Pope Francis ", is the same call expressed by the Holy Father on leaving Colombia at the end of his apostolic visit in September 2017. At that time the motto was "Let us take the First Step", referring to the beginning of a new season, despite many difficulties with the national process of peace and reconciliation, after decades of fighting. The culture of encounter – the Bishops of Colombia conclude – is the culture of alliance, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace which signifies real development for all Colombians. Expocatólica 2019 is the new areopagus for credible signs of the encounter which leads to Christ and to solidarity". (SM) (Agenzia Fides 1.12.2018)