Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In order to accomplish a new evangelization, the Church needs women, it must focus its work on the answers to the fundamental questions about the meaning of life rather than on "social issues", practise the humility of Jesus, really live evangelical poverty. Suggestions and warnings are alternating at the Synod of Bishops working session this morning, the first of the circuli minores, or study groups.
The afternoon session yesterday saw a report from Card. Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, centred on the 2010 Apostolic Exhortation 'Verbum Domini', by Pope Benedict XVI dedicated to the Holy Scriptures. "Some scientific conferences on Verbum Domini were held in Rome, in Poland, in America and it is also possible in other places, and the acts are available," The document has had a circulation of more than 200 thousand copies in several languages, worldwide. But the greatest satisfaction, for Cardinal Ouellet, is the growing enthusiasm of the faithful for the Lectio Divina, increasingly practiced in different environments. Formation courses also are offered by the diocese or by the community to support this encounter with God through the Holy Scriptures. Other positive results, continued the Cardinal, include biblical animation, especially in parishes numerous Weeks or Years dedicated to the study of the Bible, organized by local churches, as well as continuous readings of the Word of God. The cardinal also noted that "the world of academia generally reacts slowly to the interventions of the Church Magisterium but the slowness does not necessarily mean opposition or indifference".
The "female question" was raised by Andre Leonard, archbishop of Brussels. Women, he observed are two-thirds of the People of God. "However, many of them feel discriminated against. It 's time to say that, if the Church does not ordain women priests, it is not because they are less capable or less worthy! On the contrary". "It is only because the priest is not only a' minister '- he added - but also a representative of Christ the Bridegroom, who came to marry humanity. We must give thanks for the quality and specificity of the significant contribution of women to evangelization. Strong gestures are needed to clearly state this. Without women who are happy, recognized in their essence and proud of belonging to the Church, there will be no new evangelization".
For his part, Msgr. Gervas Rozeario, Bishop of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, called the "Church leaders" to "let themselves be evangelizes by the evangelical values of the poor." "Evangelical poverty", said the bishop, is "something that the Church is called to live and preach, especially in Asia. As true believers in Jesus Christ, we must learn not only to renounce material goods, but also to appreciate the simplicity and humility of the poor, their happiness in the little they have and their concern for others". "The leaders of the Church - he added - must open their hearts to let themselves be evangelized by the evangelical values of the poor. Such a culture of solidarity with the poor will certainly show us ways to address environmental justice and hunger in the world."
Tones not unlike those of the Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, for which "the Church must learn humility from Jesus" whom "we are called to imitate in showing respect for every human person: He defended the dignity of all , especially those who are neglected and despised by the world. Loving his enemies, he affirmed their dignity". "The Church must discover the power of silence: faced with the pain, with the doubts and uncertainties of the people, we can not pretend to offer simple solutions."
The Church "clearly states that Jesus Christ and his Gospel primarily provide an understanding of human life in view of the free call of God to eternal life." Was the proposal of Msgr. Mario Alberto Molina Palma, Archbishop of Los Altos in Guatemala. "In this way - he said - it answers the problem of death, which deprives human existence of meaning, consistency and value. This is the premise that allows us, from the pastoral point of view, to deal with all other human problems: in fact the central event of the saving work of Christ is His Resurrection; it is His victory over death and sin, to thereby obtain a new human life beside God. Many of the pastoral efforts of the Church in Latin America have tried to solve the biggest problems facing men and women, leaving the the fundamental questions about the meaning of life in the shadows and without resolving them. The success of Pentecostalism, Christian fundamentalism - he concluded - is partly due to the fact that their leaders have been able to identify the main area in which the meaning of life is confronted with death and sin, capturing the accession of many with a proposal that does not have the same quality as the one that the Catholic Church can offer, which is rooted in theology and spirituality. "