"As members of the college of bishops, you must always have particular care for the universal Church, especially by promoting and defending the unity of the faith. ... This is a particularly important in our own times, which call on you courageously to invite mankind of all degrees to meet Christ and to strengthen the faith".
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The Catholic Church’s commitment to dialogue and a growing common witness with others churches and ecclesial communities must also serve the new evangelization. Authentic dialogue promotes the conversion of heart that opens us to a relationship with others where the message of the Gospel can be more clearly expressed and more fruitfully received.
Dr Rowan Williams has told Pope Benedict XVI and the Synod of Bishops that evangelisation is not a project, but the natural “overflow” of an experience of Christ and his Church that transforms lives, giving them meaning and joy.
I took part in last week’s launch of the much-anticipated “Catholic social networking site” Aleteia. The event took place at a bookshop a stone’s throw away from the Vatican – a far cry from the original venue announced for the event, the HQ of Vatican Radio.
Evangelisation is not the work of a small number of specialists but of the entire People of God under the guidance of their pastors. Each member of the faithful, with and within ecclesial communion, must feel the responsibility to announce and bear witness to the Gospel".
Creating wealth is a noble calling but many businessmen feel pressurised to adopt different moral values at work and home. Four years or more after the crisis broke, we are still talking of the lessons to be learnt – but not much nearer identifying what exactly they are, let alone applying them.
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortion "Ecclesia in Medio Oriente" is the document elaborated by Benedict XVI based on the forty-four final propositions of the special Synod for the Middle East, which was held in Vatican City from 10 to 26 October 2010 on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and witness. 'The company of those who believed were of one heart and soul'".
Pope Benedict XVI is known to have a special place in his heart for young people. Following his meeting with government officials, he delivered an address to young people gathered on the square in front of the Maronite Patriarchate at Bkerke.
"In Russia, possibly for the first time since the (1917 Bolshevik) revolution, the rule of the Church's separation from the state, proclaimed as a result of the October Revolution, is being followed quite closely," Kirill said in an interview with Polish media before a visit to Poland.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he has no plans to relax the rule which means that no more than half of places in free schools may be reserved for Catholics, regardless of demands from Catholic parents hoping to take advantage of the new scheme.
Thirty years ago, its 400 pupils were all Catholics, many of them first or second-generation Irish. Now all but 10 per cent are Muslims, yet their parents are apparently happy for them to sit through lessons taught by a largely Christian staff and taken from a Catholic syllabus. “What can I say?” exclaims 72-year-old Fr Kelly. “It’s their choice. We make no imposition on them to change their religion.”
MORE THAN 5,000 churches have opened in Britain in the last 30 years, and there are many examples of “substantial and sustained church growth” across the country, according to new research. “Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present” found substantial growth among black, Asian and ethnic-minority churches, and among churches that are less than 100 years old, such as those in the Pentecostal movement.
Any church that cannot hand on its faith and values to its own younger generation has reason to be fearful. Until young people can enter into a dialogue with the Church, neither the Church nor young people can be fully renewed on their faith journey.
The Synod Fathers "will reflect upon the transmission of Christian faith, one of the great challenges facing the Church which will be examined in the context of new evangelisation. ... The work of the Synod will be enriched by its association with the Year of Faith", which begins on 11 October.
The Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in Britain strongly reject the coalition Government’s plan to introduce legislation that would allow same-sex marriages, and so redefine marriage. Leaders of most other religious communities too, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh, also oppose the plan which Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to push through.
"The fundamental condition in order to be able to speak about God is to speak with God, increasingly to become men of God, nourished by an intense life of prayer and moulded by His Grace. We must allow ourselves to be found and seized by God so as to help the people we meet be touched by the Truth.The old and new mission facing us is that of introducing the men and women of our time to a relationship with God.
The Church in America, the Pope said to the bishops, "is called to embrace, incorporate and cultivate the rich patrimony of faith and culture present in America's many immigrant groups, including ... the swelling numbers of Hispanic, Asian and African Catholics. The demanding pastoral task of fostering a communion of cultures within your local churches must be considered of particular importance.
Faith in the defence of creation. The Episcopal Conference of South Korea has created a handbook for the Catholic environmentalist. Published by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, “Catholic Teachings on the Environment” is a compendium of Catholic thought on the ecosystem and its development.
The Vatican Council promised an open and dialogical Church - that was the overall emphasis at that time; that seems to be particularly missing in the Catholic Church now. What we have seen especially in the last 30 years is a resiling from the reforms of the Vatican Council - and a conservative interpretation put on them.