By Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas
One in a series
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
VATICAN CITY — The synod recessed on Saturday afternoon and only returned to session on Tuesday. In the interim the rapporteurs, those elected to serve as secretaries of each of the small groups, have been working hard to formulate the propositions for consideration by the synod fathers.
There were 330 propositions submitted by the small groups. Over the weekend, they were organized by the rapporteurs according to similarity of content and reduced in number. This morning, 57 propositions were presented to the synod fathers covering a wide range of recommendations.
After prayer, before the announcement of the propositions, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, announced to the body that the Holy Father had intended to send a delegation of synod fathers to Syria to show solidarity to the people suffering the ravages of war and violence, but circumstances have made it necessary to postpone that trip until a time when it can be determined how the visit could be conducted safely and with maximum effect. While disappointing, the visitation remains a hope for the near future.
Many in our country and around the world have expressed interest in this Synod on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith and hold great expectations for a renewal of faith during this Year of Faith. That expectation is moving toward reality in the formulation of the initial propositions.
Among the propositions (my summary; the official document covers 29 pages) that will now receive attention over the next two days as well as further revision by the small groups were:
- Evangelization has to be understood in a broad and profound theological/doctrinal framework reminding us that the new evangelization is not just a bunch of programs but needs to be grounded in the faith, the activity of word and sacrament emphasizing the primacy of God’s grace.
- There is a need for all Catholics to awaken their faith and to be inspired to witness that faith and share it with others. Each culture and society needs to find ways for this to happen in the circumstances of their society. (more…)