DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     October 12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 194

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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CHURCH IN EUROPE WILL NOT BE SAME AFTER SYNOD

Spanish Cardinal Rouco's Report Following Assembly's Debate

        VATICAN CITY, OCT 11 (ZENIT).- "Today we begin a new stage," Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, Archbishop of Madrid, said to the Synod of Bishops for Europe, in his "report following the debate." A new stage in the technical sense, as the Synod has ended the first phase in which the general assembly heard the talks of each of the participants and must now address the proposals that will result from this ecclesial summit. But it is also a new stage in the figurative sense, because -- given the honesty, breadth and depth of the analyses presented, the Church in the Old Continent emerges from this week with a new awareness. In a certain sense, and without being demagogic, it could be said that the life of the Church in Europe will not be the same after this Synod.

        "Our brothers' word has helped us know ourselves better, it has given us light and confirmed us in faith and hope, particularly (the word) of those who have spoken as witnesses of the faith who have suffered imprisonment and torture in their own flesh for love and fidelity to the Truth that saves us. Now we shall study what was heard in smaller groups, to be able to formulate some proposals to give to the Holy Father on the situation and task of the Church at this time in Europe."

    Convergence

        The Spanish Cardinal summarized the "convergence" or "fundamental coincidences" that have emerged from the talks heard by the participants. Among the most notable and important, he pointed out, is the common perception of "the urgency of our Churches to announce and give transparent witness to Jesus Christ, to his personal and operating presence, as the source of hope that Europe needs."

        In the second place, Cardinal Rouco said that the Bishops have insisted on the need to plan the new evangelization for Europe as a lived and visible proposal of Jesus Christ, who is alive in his Church and as such, the source of hope for our contemporaries.

        In the third place, this Synod has manifested the need to undergo an ecclesial examination of conscience both in regard to the situation of European society as well as that of the Church itself.

    Proposals

        The Cardinal went on to make 20 proposals for the new evangelization that will guide the reflections of the different language working groups. Among them is ecumenical dialogue; the Church's dialogue with the political and cultural world, and new impulse to some of the sacraments, such as Confession. In addition, the Cardinal mentioned other very contemporary issues, such as charities; the presence in, and relation with, the media; the role of women; social doctrine that responds to the needs of our time, such as unemployment and immigration. He also stressed the need to update the announcement of the Gospel in the new European societies.

    Return to Origins

        Cardinal Rouco's report ended by recognizing that the Church's future is already in her origins. "The renewal of Christian life in its very sources (faith in God's Word, celebration of the sacraments, the work of charity) will bring the divine and human hope that Europe needs. Renewal comes from the encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ, who teaches us -- through his Spirit, to understand the mystery of the cross and of life, forgiveness and glory." ZE99101106

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.

October 12, 1999       volume 10, no. 194
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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