PROPOSITIONES VAN DE 13E GEWONE BISSCHOPPENSYNODE OVER DE NIEUWE EVANGELISATIE
(Soort document: Bisschoppensynodes)
27 oktober 2012
HOOFDSTUK 2 - The Context of the Church’s Ministry Today
Proposition 13 : CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME
The proclamation of the good news in different contexts of the world — marked by the processes of globalization and secularism — places different challenges before the Church: at times in an outright religious persecution, at other times in a widespread indifference, interference, restriction or harassment. The Gospel offers a vision of life and of the world 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.
Therefore, believers must strive to show to the world the splendor of a humanity grounded in the mystery of Christ. Popular religiosity is important but not sufficient; more is needed to help recognize the duty to proclaim to the world the reason for Christian hope, to those Catholics estranged from the Church, to those who do not follow Christ, to the sects and those experimenting with different kinds of spiritualities.
Proposition 14 : THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND RECONCILIATION
In a world that is broken by wars and violence, a world hurt by a widespread individualism which separates human beings among themselves, and pits one against the other, the Church must exercise her ministry of reconciliation in a calm and resolute way. The Church in the spirit of the New Evangelization undertakes the task of reconciliation. Faithful to Jesus’ message, (Ef. 2, 14, “...he has broken down the dividing wall of hostility”), the Church has to make an effort to break down the walls that separate human beings. With the message of love, she has to preach the newness of the salvific Gospel of Our Lord, who came to free us from our sins and to invite us to build harmony, peace and justice among all peoples.
Proposition 15 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Consistent with the emphasis placed on human dignity by the New Evangelization, this Synod urges legislators, teachers and others who work in the human sciences to grant full respect to the human person both in public policy and practice.At the same time, every opportunity must be taken in various local situations and associations to articulate, uphold and guard, both in theory and in practice, those rights flowing from an adequate understanding of the human person as set forth in the natural law.
Proposition 16 : RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
The Synod Fathers reaffirm that religious freedom is a basic human right. This includes the freedom of conscience and also the liberty to freely choose one’s religion. We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, in different parts of the world, who are suffering from lack of religious freedom and even persecution.In light of the recognition of the Second Vatican Council
as an instrument for the New Evangelization and the growing need to protect the religious liberty of Christians throughout the world, the Synod Fathers propose a renewed commitment to and wider diffusion of the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae. This renewal seeks to affirm and promote freedom in religious matters for individuals, families and institutions to protect the common good of all. Such a freedom includes the right to teach the Christian faith without compromise of its tenets to children in the family and/or school.
The Synod Fathers propose that the Holy Father consider the opportuneness of establishing a commission of Church leaders representing various parts of the Church throughout the world or entrusting this task to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to address attacks on religious liberty, and to obtain accurate information for public witness to the fundamental right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Proposition 17 : PREAMBLES OF FAITH AND THEOLOGY OF CREDIBILITY
In the contemporary context of a global Culture, many doubts and obstacles cause an extended skepticism and introduce new paradigms of thought and life. It is of paramount importance, for a New Evangelization, to underline the role of the Preambles of Faith. It is necessary not only to show that faith does not oppose reason, but also to highlight a number of truths and realities which pertain to a correct anthropology, that is enlightened by natural reason. Among them, is the value of the Natural Law, and the consequences it has for the whole human society. The notions of “Natural Law” and “human nature” are capable of rational demonstrations, both at the academic and popular levels. Such an intellectual development and enterprise will help the dialogue between Christian faithful and people of good will, opening a way to recognize the existence of a God the Creator and the message of Jesus Christ the Redeemer. The Synodal Fathers ask theologians to develop a new apologetics of Christian thought, that is a theology of credibility adequate for a New Evangelization.
The Synod calls on theologians to accept and respond to the intellectual challenges of the New Evangelization by participating in the mission of the Church to proclaim to all the Gospel of Christ.
Proposition 18 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE MEANS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
The use of means of social communication has an important role to play in order to reach every person with the message of salvation. In this field, especially in the world of electronic communications, it is necessary that convinced Christians be formed, prepared and made capable to transmit faithfully the content of the faith and of Christian morality. They should have the ability to use well the languages and the instruments of today that are available for communication in the global village. The most effective form of this communication of the faith remains the sharing of the testimony of life, without which none of the “media” efforts will result in an effective transmission of the Gospel. Education in the wise and constructive use of social media is an important means to be utilized in the New Evangelization.
Proposition 19 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Proposition 20 : THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE WAY OF BEAUTY
In the New Evangelization, there should be a particular attention paid to the way of beauty: Christ, the “Good Shepherd” Vgl. Joh. 10, 11
is the Truth in person, the beautiful revelation in sign, pouring himself out without measure. It is important to give testimony to the young who follow Jesus, not only of his goodness and truth, but also of the fullness of his beauty. As Augustine affirmed, “it is not possible to love what is not beautiful” H. Augustinus, Belijdenissen, Confessiones. IV, 13.20
. Beauty attracts us to love, through which God reveals to us his face in which we believe. In this light artists feel themselves both spoken to and privileged communicators of the New Evangelization.
In the formation of seminarians, education in beauty should not be neglected nor education in the sacred arts as we are reminded in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council Vgl. 2e Vaticaans Concilie, Constitutie, Over de heilige liturgie, Sacrosanctum Concilium (4 dec 1963), 129. Beauty should always be a special dimension of the new evangelization.
It is necessary that the Church be vigilant in caring for and promoting the quality of the art that is permitted in the sacred spaces reserved for liturgical celebrations, guarding both its beauty and the truthfulness of its expression.It is important for the New Evangelization that the Church be present in all fields of art, so as to support with her spiritual and pastoral presence the artists in their search for creativity and to foster a living and true spiritual experience of salvation that becomes present in their work.
Proposition 21 : MIGRANTS
Just as many countries have greatly benefitted from the presence of people coming from other countries, so too the Church is nourished in a significant way with the witness and the evangelizing work of many of those engaged with the missionary mandate: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to all creation” (Mc. 16, 15
Given the risks and threats to the faith of the migrating peoples, it is important that the Church gives her support through a pastoral plan that includes them and their families, and reminds them of their important place as the living cell of society and the domestic Church. Parishes should help the migrants integrate themselves into society and the Christian community. The Church’s pastoral plan for migrants should not only welcome migrants and promote their human dignity, but should above all help them be integrated into the life of the Church, respecting their own ritual tradition; this plan should also help them avoid becoming lost to the Catholic Church.
Immigrants are not only recipients, but also protagonists of the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern world. In the face of the great migratory movements, it is important to insist on the centrality and dignity of the person, in particular in light of the grave phenomena of a new slavery connected to the shameful trafficking of human beings, especially children, and the selling of organs. This awareness must increase when dealing with refugees, the displaced, those on the sea, nomads and people without a fixed home.
Proposition 22 : CONVERSION
The drama and intensity of the age old clash between good and evil, between faith and fear should be presented as the essential background, a constituent element of the call to conversion in Christ. This struggle continues at a natural and supernatural level. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt. 7, 14
). Many bishops spoke of the need for renewal in holiness in their own lives, if they are to be true and effective agents of the New Evangelization.
The New Evangelization requires personal and communal conversion, new methods of evangelization and renewal of the pastoral structures, to be able to move from a pastoral strategy of maintenance to a pastoral position that is truly missionary. The New Evangelization guides us to an authentic pastoral conversion which moves us to attitudes and initiatives which leads to evaluations and changes in the dynamics of pastoral structures which no longer respond to the evangelical demands of the current time.
Proposition 23 : HOLINESS AND THE NEW EVANGELIZERS
The universal call to holiness is constitutive of the New Evangelization that sees the Saints as effective models of the variety and forms in which this vocation can be realized. What is common in the varied stories of holiness is the following of Christ expressed in a life of faith active in charity which is a privileged proclamation of the Gospel.We recognize Mary as the model of holiness that is manifest in acts of love including the supreme gift of self.
Holiness is a significant part of every evangelizing commitment for the one who evangelizes and for the good of those evangelized.
Proposition 24 : THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH
In order to advance a New Evangelization 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 Vgl. Paus Benedictus XVI, Encycliek, Liefde in Waarheid - Over de integrale ontwikkeling van de mens in liefde en waarheid, Caritas in Veritate (29 juni 2009), 15
. 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. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a precious resource in accomplishing this continuing formation.
Proposition 25 : URBAN SCENARIOS OFTHE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Church acknowledges that human cities and the culture they express, as well as the transformations that take place in them, are a privileged place of the New Evangelization. Understanding herself at the service of the salvific plan of God, the Church recognizes that the “Holy City, the New Jerusalem” Vgl. Openb. 21, 2-4
is in a certain way already present in human realities. Putting in practice an urban pastoral plan, the Church wants to identify and understand those experiences, languages and styles of life, that are typical of urban societies. She intends to render her liturgical celebrations, her experiences of communitarian life, and her exercise of charity, relevant to the urban context, in order to incarnate the Gospel in the life of all citizens.
The Church also knows that in many cities one sees the absence of God, in the many attacks on human dignity. Among them: violence related to drug trafficking, corruption of various kinds, and many other crimes. We are convinced that the proclamation of the Gospel can be the basis to restore the dignity of human life in these urban contexts. It is the Gospel of Jesus, who “came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Joh. 10, 10).
© 2012, Radio Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie in afwachting van een Nederlandse vertaling