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Quotes and news

More quotes from the Synod of Bishops being held at the Vatican on The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

State’s Trojan horses

Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, said: “Schools and universities are ever more submitted to the control of State. The contents of teaching (are) imposed by the State, not only through the programmes but also by means of textbooks…

“The Trojan horse through which States appropriate the intelligence of students is the formation of professors. In many countries professors are trained in State universities, and those who wish to teach must have the State qualification conferred in accordance with the training course established by the States and by State examination. De-Christianisation of the West has occurred through the de-Christianisation of schools and universities.”

Power of the media

Fr Robert Prevost, Prior General of the Order of St Augustine, said: “The human imagination concerning re­li­gious faith and ethics is largely shap­ed by mass media, especially TV and cinema. Mass media are extraordinarily effective in fostering public sympathy for beliefs and practices at odds with the Gospel.

“But overt opposition to Chris­tianity by mass media is only part of the problem. The sympathy for anti-Christian lifestyle choices that mass media fosters is so brilliantly and artfully engrained that when people hear the Christian message it seems cruel by contrast to the ostensible humaneness of the anti-Christian perspective.”

Women, lay ministers

Bishop Brian Dunn of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, said: “Change certain structures of the Church and the mentality, attitude and heart in the ways of working with lay people.

“These could in­clude the appointment of pastoral teams consisting of clergy and laity, official recognition of lay ecclesial ministers, systematic involvement of wo­men at all levels of Church life, such as permitting women to be instituted as lectors and acolytes and the institution of the ministry of catechist.

“When this happens, the Gospel will be heard anew, our faith will be passed on more effectively, we will be renewed in our faith and our witness will become more authentic in our contemporary world.”

‘Faith too complicated’

Patriarch Grégoire III Laham, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, said: “Our beautiful Christian faith is too complicated: the terms, content and explanation. We bathe in an ensemble of dogmas, of mysteries: the Holy Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption, Sacra­ments.

“These dogmas must be interpreted in a form capable of touching daily life, human aspirations, happiness, the realities of our faithful. From this, we can see the importance and need for the New Evangelisation to create a concise, precise and clear text on our Faith.”

Divorced and remarried

Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, said: “The offspring of divorced and remarried parents are rendered strangers to the sacraments by the non-participation of their parents. Here, a decisive turning point is needed in terms of pastoral care.

“It will also be necessary to initiate reflection on the methods and time necessary for the recognition of the nullity of the matrimonial bond: as a bishop and moderator of a regional ecclesiastical tribunal, I must admit that some requirements (such as the need for the conforming double sentence, even if there is no appeal) seem to many people with problems who wish to resolve their situation to be difficult to comprehend.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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