Vatican City (Fides Service) – The work of the congress “John Paul II: 25 years of Pontificate- The Church at the service of mankind” promoted by the Pontifical Lateran University moved from the university to the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican on Friday 9 May for an audience with the Holy Father. Among those who addressed the participants while awaiting the Pope’s arrival was Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples who spoke on the theme “Mission and the Young Churches”. In his address the Cardinal emphasised Pope John Paul II’s constant concern for the evangelisation in young Churches which has become a constant of the Pope’s ministry and Magisterium. Cardinal Sepe described these 25 years of Pontificate as a continual going out, on the part of the Pope “aware that he is the first to be responsible for the universal mission of the Church”. Cardinal Sepe stressed that John Paul II is the Church’s first missionary, “not only because he personally announces the Gospel to the nations, but also because he has devoted, with profundity of thought and knowledge of the matter, significant pages of his teaching to the subject of mission”.
The urgency of missionary activity, the theological aspect of inculturation of the faith, formation, holiness of life are the challenges facing the Church today in her fundamental task of mission, mainly in relation to the young Churches. AP (Fides Service 10/5/2003 EM lines 22 Words: 263)