PROPOSITIONES VAN DE 13E GEWONE BISSCHOPPENSYNODE OVER DE NIEUWE EVANGELISATIE
(Soort document: Bisschoppensynodes)
27 oktober 2012
HOOFDSTUK 3 - Pastoral Responses to the Circumstances of Our Day
Proposition 26 : PARISHES AND OTHER ECCLESIAL REALITIES
The bishops gathered in Synod affirm that the parish continues to be the primary presence of the Church in neighborhoods, 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. In addition the Synod Fathers would like to encourage parishes to find ways to orient themselves to a greater emphasis on evangelization which could include parish missions, parish renewal programs and parish retreats. The presence and evangelizing action of associations, movements and of other ecclesial realities are useful stimuli for the realization of this pastoral conversion. Parishes as well as traditional and new ecclesial realities are called to make visible together the communion of the particular Church united around the Bishop. In order to bring to all people the Good News of Jesus, as required by a New Evangelization, all the parishes and their small communities should be living cells, places to promote the personal and communitarian encounter with Christ, experience the richness of liturgy, to give initial and permanent Christian formation, and to educate all the faithful in fraternity and charity especially towards the poor.
Proposition 27 : EDUCATION
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28, 19-20). Education is a constitutive dimension of evangelization. To proclaim the Risen Jesus Christ is to accompany all human beings in their personal story, in their development and in their spiritual vocation. Education needs, at the same time, to promote everything that is true, good and beautiful that is a part of the human person, that is to say, to educate the mind and the emotions to appreciate reality.
Children, teenagers and young people have a right to be evangelized and educated. The schools and Catholic universities respond in this way to this need. Public institutions should recognize and support this right.Schools should assist families in introducing children into the beauty of the faith. Schools offer a great opportunity to transmit the faith or at least to make it known.
The Synod Fathers are grateful for the work of education carried out by thousands of teachers, male and female, in Catholic educational institutions in the five continents.Because of the singular role of teachers, it is important that they receive ongoing formation in carrying out their responsibilities.
Schools must be free to teach. This freedom is an inalienable right. For this reason in order to ensure that our institutions are agents of evangelization and not just products of evangelization, the Synod:
- Encourages Catholic educational institutions to do all that is possible to preserve their identity as ecclesial institutions;
- Invites all teachers to embrace the leadership which is theirs as baptized disciples of Jesus, giving witness through their vocation as educators; and
- Urges particular Churches, religious families, and all those who have responsibility in the educational institutions, to facilitate the co-responsibility of lay people, offering adequate formation and accompaniment for this.
Proposition 28 : ADULT CATECHESIS
One cannot speak of the New Evangelization if the catechesis of adults is non-existent, fragmented, weak or neglected. When these defects are present, pastoral ministry faces a very serious challenge. The phases and levels of the catechumenate of the Church show how biblically, catechetically, spiritually and liturgically a person’s history and faith-journey can be understood as a vocation through a relationship with God Vgl. H. Paus Paulus VI, Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie, Over de Evangelisatie in de Moderne Wereld, Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 dec 1975), 18 Vgl. Bisschoppensynodes, fragment, Instrumentum laboris "Nieuwe evangelisatie voor het overdragen van het christelijk geloof" (27 mei 2012), 92
In all these things, the public character of the decision of faith which the catechumen makes, which gradually grows in the community and the diocese, has a positive impact on all the faithful.
Proposition 29 : CATECHESIS, CATECHISTS AND THE CATECHISM
Proposition 30 : THEOLOGY
Theology as the science of faith has an importance for the New Evangelization. Priests, teachers and catechists must be formed in institutions of higher education. The Church appreciates and promotes research and the teaching of theology. Scientific theology has its own proper place in the university where it must carry out dialogue between faith and the other disciplines and the secular world. Theologians are called to carry out this service as a part of the salvific mission of the Church. It is necessary that they think and feel with the Church (sentire cum Ecclesia
The Synod proposes that the New Evangelization be considered as an integral dimension of the mission of every theological faculty and that a department of New Evangelization studies be established in Catholic Universities.
Proposition 31 : NEW EVANGELIZATION AND THE OPTION FOR THE POOR
Pope Benedict XVI teaches: “Jesus identifies himself with those in need, with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison. ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Mt. 25, 40
). Love of God and love of neighbour have become one: in the least of the brethren we find Jesus himself, and in Jesus we find God” Paus Benedictus XVI, Encycliek, God is Liefde, Deus Caritas Est (25 dec 2005), 15
Today there are new poor and new faces of poverty: the hungry, the homeless, the sick and abandoned, drug addicts, migrants and the marginalized, political and environmental refugees, the indigenous peoples. The current economic crisis seriously affects the poor. Among the poorest in contemporary society are the victims of grievous loss of respect for the inviolable dignity of innocent human life. The preferential option for the poor leads us to seek out the poor and to work on their behalf so that they may feel at home in the Church. They are both recipients and actors in the New Evangelization.
Proposition 32 : THE SICK
The New Evangelization must be ever aware of the Paschal Mystery of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This mystery sheds light on the suffering of people who can find in the Cross of Christ understanding and acceptance of the mystery of suffering that gives them hope in the life to come.In the sick, the suffering, persons with disabilities and those with special needs, Christ’s suffering is present and has a missionary force. For Christians, there must always be place for the suffering and the sick. They need our care, but we receive even more from their faith.
Through the sick, Christ enlightens His Church, so that everyone who enters into contact with them will find reflected the light of Christ. This is why the sick are very important participants in the New Evangelization.All those in contact with the sick need to be aware of their mission. We cannot forget when we build new hospitals to pay attention so that we do not lack a consoling and supportive environment and a place for prayer.
Proposition 33 : THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is the privileged place to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is a place for both personal and communal healing. In this sacrament, all the baptized have a new and personal encounter with Jesus Christ, as well as a new encounter with the Church, facilitating a full reconciliation through the forgiveness of sins. Here the penitent encounters Jesus, and at the same time he or she experiences a deeper appreciation of himself and herself. The Synod Fathers ask that this sacrament be put again at the center of the pastoral activity of the Church.In every diocese, at least one place should be especially dedicated in a permanent way for the celebration of this sacrament, where priests are always present, allowing God’s mercy to be experienced by all the faithful. The sacrament should be especially available, even on a daily basis, at places of pilgrimage and specially designated churches. Fidelity to the specific norms which rule the administration of this sacrament is necessary. Every priest should consider the Sacrament of Penance an essential part of his ministry and of the New Evangelization, and in every parish community a suitable time should be set apart for hearing confessions.
Proposition 34 : SUNDAYS AND FEAST DAYS
The Eucharist must be the source and summit of the New Evangelization. The Synod Fathers urge all Christ’s faithful to renew their understanding and love for the Eucharistic celebration, in which their lives are transformed and joined to Christ’s offering of his own life to the glory of God the Father for the salvation of the whole world.Even though there is a tension between the Christian Sunday and the secular Sunday, Sunday needs to be recovered for the New Evangelization according to Blessed John Paul II’s teaching in “H. Paus Johannes Paulus II - Apostolische Brief
Over de heiliging van de zondag
(31 mei 1998)
”. Sunday with its sacred and special character together with Sunday Mass should be the center of Catholic life. Full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy on the part of the whole community is the goal. The liturgical year with its feasts should be followed by a true program of evangelization, especially at Christmas and Easter.
The worthy celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, God’s most treasured gift to us, is the source of the highest expression of our life in Christ Vgl. 2e Vaticaans Concilie, Constitutie, Over de heilige liturgie, Sacrosanctum Concilium (4 dec 1963), 10
. It is, therefore, the primary and most powerful expression of the new evangelization. God desires to manifest the incomparable beauty of his immeasurable and unceasing love for us through the Sacred Liturgy, and we, for our part, desire to employ what is most beautiful in our worship of God in response to his gift. In the marvelous exchange of the Sacred Liturgy, by which heaven descends to earth, salvation is at hand, calling forth repentance and conversion of heart Vgl. Mt. 4, 17
Vgl. Mc. 1, 15
Evangelization in the Church calls for a liturgy that lifts the hearts of men and women to God. The liturgy is not just a human action but an encounter with God which leads to contemplation and deepening friendship with God. In this sense, the liturgy of the Church is the best school of the faith.
Proposition 36 : SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The principal agent of evangelization is the Holy Spirit, who opens hearts and converts them to God. The experience of encountering the Lord Jesus, made possible by the Spirit, which introduces one into the Trinitarian life, welcomed in a spirit of adoration, supplication and of praise, must be fundamental to every aspect of the New Evangelization. This is the “contemplative dimension” of the New Evangelization which is nourished continually through prayer, beginning with the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church. Therefore, we propose that prayer be encouraged and taught from infancy. Children and youth should be educated in the family and in schools to recognize the presence of God in their lives, to praise Him, to give thanks for the gifts received from Him, and to ask that the Holy Spirit guide them.
Proposition 37 : THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
All the Christian faithful are entrusted with the mission to evangelize, due to the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Here the faithful are sealed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and are called to participate in the mystery of Pentecost. Through Confirmation, all the baptized receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, his charisms, and the power to give witness to the Gospel openly and with courage.
It is important that mystagogical catechesis accompany the grace of filial adoption received at Baptism, underlining the importance of the gift of the Holy Spirit which enables one to fully participate in the Eucharistic witness of the Church and its influence in all the spheres of life and human activity.Hence proper and systematic catechesis prior to the reception of these sacraments is of prime importance.
Proposition 38 : CHRISTIAN INITIATION AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Synod wishes to state that Christian initiation is a crucial element in the New Evangelization and is the means by which the Church, as a mother, brings forth children and regenerates herself. Therefore we propose that the traditional process of Christian initiation, that has often become simply a proximate preparation for the sacraments, be everywhere considered in a catechumenal prospective, giving more relevance to permanent mystagogy, and thus becoming true initiation to Christian life through the sacraments. Vgl. Congregatie voor de Clerus, Algemeen directorium voor de catechese (15 aug 1997), 91
In this perspective it is not without consequences that the situation today concerning the three sacraments of Christian initiation, despite their theological unity, are pastorally diverse. These differences in the ecclesial communities are not of a doctrinal nature but differences of pastoral judgment. This Synod however requests that what the Holy Father has affirmed in Paus Benedictus XVI - Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie
Het Sacrament van de Liefde - Over de Eucharistie, bron en hoogtepunt van het leven en de zending van de Kerk
(22 februari 2007), become a stimulus for dioceses and episcopal conferences to review their practices of Christian initiation: “Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice better enables the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the center, as the goal of the whole process of initiation” Paus Benedictus XVI, Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie, Het Sacrament van de Liefde - Over de Eucharistie, bron en hoogtepunt van het leven en de zending van de Kerk, Sacramentum Caritatis (22 feb 2007), 18.
Proposition 39 : POPULAR PIETY AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Popular piety is a true place to encounter Christ, and also express the faith of the Christian people in the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. The New Evangelization recognizes the value of these faith experiences and encourages them as ways to grow in Christian virtue.Pilgrimages to shrines and sanctuaries are an important aspect of the new evangelization. Not only because of the millions of people who continue to make these pilgrimages but because this form of popular piety at this time is an especially promising opportunity for conversion and the growth of faith. It is important therefore that a pastoral plan be developed that properly welcomes the pilgrims and, in response to the deep desire of the pilgrims, opportunities be offered so that the time of the pilgrimage can be lived as a true moment of grace.
Proposition 40 : THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The Synod is grateful to the Holy Father for establishing the Pauselijke Raad ter Bevordering van de Nieuwe Evangelisatie
as an instrument at the service of the particular Churches, and asks that this Dicastery carry on the synodal discussions in further study and in the development and promotion of the New Evangelization.It also requests that consideration be given in each episcopal conference to the establishment of a commission in order to promote the study and diffusion of the pontifical Magisterium relative to the themes that are a part of the New Evangelization. In this way, there can be created a strong collaboration among the particular Churches and therefore greater effectiveness in implementing the New Evangelization.
© 2012, Radio Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie in afwachting van een Nederlandse vertaling