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Quotes and news

At the end of the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 58 concrete proposals were submitted by the bishops to Pope Benedict. These are an abridged version of some of them.

Proposition 5: New Evangelisation is a time of awakening, of new en­couragement and new witness that Jesus Christ is the centre of our faith and daily life. It calls on every member of the Church to a renewal of faith and an actual effort to share it.

New Evangelisation calls for particular attention to the inculturation of the faith that can transmit the gospel in its capacity to value what is positive in every culture, at the same time purifying it from elements that are contrary to the full realisation of the person according to the design of God revealed in Christ.

Proposition 8: We are Christians living in a secularised world. Whereas the world is and remains God’s creation, secularisation falls within the sphere of human culture.

As Christians we cannot remain indifferent to the process of secularisation. We are, in fact, in a situation similar to that of the first Christians, and as such we should see this both as a challenge and a possibility.

We live in this world, but are not of this world (Jn 15:19; 17:11, 16). The world is God’s creation and manifests His love.

Proposition 9: We consider it necessary that there be a Pastoral Plan of Initial Proclamation, teaching a living encounter with Jesus Christ. This pastoral document would provide the first elements for the catechetical process, enabling its insertion into the lives of the parish communities.

Proposition 10: It is an inalienable right for each person, whatever one’s religion or lack of religion, to be able to know Jesus Christ and the gospel. This proclamation, given with integrity, must be offered with a total respect for each person, without any form of proselytising.

Proposition 13: The proclamation of the Good News in different contexts of the world – marked by the processes of globalisation and secularism – places different challenges before the Church: at times in an outright religious persecution, at others in a widespread indifference, interference, restriction or harassment.

The gospel offers a vision of life that cannot be imposed, but only proposed, as the Good News of the gratuitous love of God and of peace. The message of truth and of beauty can help people escape from the loneliness and lack of meaning to which the conditions of post-modern society often relegate them.

Proposition 15: Consistent with the emphasis placed on human dignity by New Evangelisation, this Synod urges legislators, teachers and others who work in human sciences to fully respect the human person in public policy and practice.

Proposition 19: Today it is not possible to think of New Evangelisation without the proclamation of full freedom from everything that oppresses the human person, that is, sin and its consequences. Without a serious commitment for life and justice and the change of the situations that generate poverty and exclusion there can be no progress. This is particularly true in the face of challenges of globalisation.

Proposition 24: To advance a New Evangelisation in society, greater attention should be given to the Church’s social doctrine, understanding that it is a proclamation and witness of faith, an irreplaceable means of education in the faith. This embrace of the Church’s social doctrine should permeate the content of catechesis, Christian education, formation of seminarians and religious, the continuing formation of bishops and priests, and most especially the formation of the laity.

Proposition 26: The bishops gathered in Synod affirm that the parish continues to be the primary presence of the Church in neighbourhoods, the place and instrument of Christian life, which is able to offer opportunities for dialogue among men, for listening to and announcing the Word of God, for organic catechesis, for training in charity, for prayer, adoration and joyous eucharistic celebrations.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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