DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     June 14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 114

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Over 100 Cardinals and Bishops Will Analyze New Communities

          VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11 (ZENIT).- From June 16-19, over 100 Cardinals and Bishops from all corners of the globe will meet in Rome to participate in a seminar organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in cooperation with the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The objective of the seminar is to reflect on "The Ecclesial Movements and New Communities in the Episcopal Pastoral Work."

          The seminar is very close to John Paul II's heart. On May 23 he mentioned the extraordinary meeting of the movements that took place on the Vigil of Pentecost in 1998. The Holy Father believes that these new organizations "are a real gift of the Spirit for the Church at the end of the millennium, and one of the new signs emanating from Vatican Council II."

          Recalling that meeting of communities and movements, in which 250,000 people participated in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope described it as an event "that has produced precious fruits."

          He added: "In fact, initiatives have multiplied to promote the sense of communion in the movements and communities, in the hope that cooperation will increase among them, as well as in the heart of local churches and parishes."

          John Paul II said the Bishops' seminar, scheduled for next week, "will contribute to foster further developments."

          The seminar will include Bishops invited by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The schedule allows for two sessions of frank and open discussions. On June 16 in the afternoon, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger will be available to answer the many questions the movements have evoked in some dioceses.

          On June 18 in the morning, Gerald Arbola of the Emmanuel Community, Kiko Arguello of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, Chiara Lubich of the Focolare Movement, Salvatore Martinez of Renewal in the Spirit, Bishop Luigi Giussani of Communion and Liberation, and Andrea Riccardi of the Saint Egidio Community, will answer the Bishops' questions.

          Professor Guzman Carriquiry, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and spokesman for the seminar, told ZENIT that "this meeting will focus on the relation between the Bishops and the movements. Given the dramatic challenges that must be faced at the dawn of the third millennium, it is very important that the Bishops' pastoral awareness overcome existing resistance, prejudices and difficulties."

          It is a very important meeting, as it is not easy to bring together more than 100 bishops outside of a Synod. Among the participants, there are many representatives from Latin America, including the Archbishops of Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Asuncion, as well as bishops from Peru, Mexico and Colombia. North America will be represented by Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston and Archbishop Theodore McCarrick of Newark, as well as by Canadian bishops. There will also be several African bishops, about ten Asian bishops, and many from Eastern Europe including Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and Siberia. The Middle East will send several bishops of the Eastern rite from Lebanon and Egypt, as well as the Archbishops of Tripoli and Tunis. Many are coming to request the presence of these movements in their dioceses.

          According to Carriquiry, the movements and new communities must help the Church face the present important challenges, including "the proposal of sanctity, through an encounter with Christ in a secularized and de-Christianized world," and "the building of ways of life that are more worthy of man in light of the civilization of love." ZE99061101

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 14, 1999       volume 10, no. 114


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