Urgently renew Church in innovative ways

Vatican News

It is urgent Catholics renew the Church in innovative ways with ideas that reform and revitalize it.

The comment was made by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga (pictured with Pope Francis) while talking with participants at the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Maradiaga is the coordinator of the council of cardinals that advises Pope Francis on the reform of the Catholic Church’s central government, while the assembly comprises 20 percent bishops, 20 percent religious, 20 percent clergy and 40 percent lay men and women.

Some participated in person, some online.

The proportion of laity “corresponds to what can be called the peripheries, so within the assembly, they will carry the voices of migrants, refugees, victims of trafficking, as missionary disciples, to vindicate their role within the Church,” Maradiaga says.

The assembly intends to find innovative ways to respond to the basic question – what are the new challenges for the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean?

The assembly’s objective is “to revitalize the Church in a new way, offering ideas that reform and reanimate,” to be an ecclesial event that is synodal, involving all roles in the Church and with a representative, inclusive and participatory methodology, Maradiaga said.

It also aims to allow for a renewed appreciation of the ideas discussed at the 2007 meeting of Latin American bishops in Aparecida, Brazil.

This will enable it to plan for the future with an eye to progress made in the past and themes that are ever-relevant today.

The assembly is part of the Latin American Church’s tradition. It meets every 15 years or so to determine the region’s major pastoral orientations.

Maradiaga hopes the current assembly will be a sign that can be shared with other continents and can help bring about fruitful outcomes.

He told participants the methodology of seeing, judging and acting is a central way to achieve greater synodality “in all areas of our Church”.

He reminded them also that the 70,000 participants in the recommended personal, community, group and thematic forums did not just consist of a collection of data and statistics.

They are also a compassionate encounter of dialogue and contemplation with the people and communities.

“Two pre-assemblies have already been held and the end of this process brought about the publication of the Document for Discernment ten days ago. It was drafted from the multiple contributions of the People of God taking part in the listening process.”

The active participation of so many people “has been a grace, a strong experience of synodality,” he said.

As the document states: “Let us walk together as pilgrims, in love with the Gospel, open to the surprises of the Spirit!”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , ,