Lived faith, service, charity keys to evangelization, says synod text
Catholics who act like their faith has nothing to do with daily life and a church structure that is more bureaucracy than service are two impediments to the church’s ability to proclaim faith in Jesus, said the working document for the next world Synod of Bishops.
“Every one of the church’s actions has an essential evangelizing character and must never be separated from the duty to help others encounter Christ in faith,” said the document that will guide the work of the synod, scheduled for Oct. 7-28 at the Vatican.
Pope Benedict XVI chose as the synod’s theme: “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
The working document, released June 19, said the bishops and other synod participants will focus on: faith in Jesus as the heart of evangelization; how changes in the world impact belief and the practice of the faith; how liturgy, catechesis and charitable activity do or should bring people to faith; and a look at particular ways Catholics evangelize and educate people in the faith.
The new evangelization, it said, “will also involve the courage to denounce the infidelities and scandals” within the church and “to acknowledge faults while continuing to witness to Jesus Christ.”
Looking within the church, the document said, “many lament the excessive bureaucratic character” of church structures, which are “perceived as being far removed from the average person and his everyday concerns.”
The synod’s working document is based on responses to a long outline and questionnaire published in March 2011. The responses came from 114 bishops’ conference, 26 Vatican offices and the international unions of superior generals of men’s and women’s religious orders, said Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the synod. [More]