ASIA - Like the Magi and the great missionaries to scrutinize the signs of the times: the path of the Church in Asia

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 evangelization   federation of asian bishops' conferences  

Bangkok (Agenzia Fides) - The Final Document of the General Conference of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), held in Bangkok from October 12 to 30, 2022, published today, March 15, a list of missionaries such as Alessandro Valignano, Roberto de Nobili, Matteo Ricci and João de Brito, who followed a specific approach to the mission in Asia.
The final document, titled “Traveling Together as the People of Asia” comprises 40 pages and five parts, according to five stages: walking together; looking at the emerging realities of Asia; discerning what the Spirit is saying to the Church in Asia; to offer our gifts, which are Asian culture and spirituality; opening new paths.
Cardinal Oswad Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, underlined that, in drafting the text, "we also learned from CELAM in Latin America".
In a fully synodal spirit, the Bishops of Asia reaffirm their desire to "walk together", sharing the three essential elements of a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.
The second part of the text offers an overview of the emerging realities of Asia, then relates them to the mission of the Church. The realities identified are the following: migrants, refugees and indigenous populations, often displaced from their country of origin; the family, the foundation of society; gender issues present in society; the role of women in Asian societies; young people; the impact of digital technology; promoting a fair economy in the face of urbanization and globalization; the climate crisis; interreligious dialogue.
By shedding the light of the Gospel on these macro-areas, in order to always be "builders of bridges, instruments of dialogue and reconciliation in Asia", the Churches in Asia propose "new paths" towards a "more inculturated evangelization", passing " from dialogue to synodality", which embraces non-Christian peoples and cultures.
The inspiration comes from the journey of the Magi who knew how to scrutinize the signs of the times, and from the work of Matteo Ricci who "wanted to embody the faith in a specifically Asian context and culture".
The Asian Bishops conclude and express their desires for the future - "to be everything for the peoples of Asia" - quoting the words of Saint Paul: "To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it" (1 Cor, 9, 22-23) (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 15/3/2023)