Monday, 8 October 2012

The Synod of Bishops

Today sees the first working day of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme of the New Evangelisation.

One of the recent innovations in the working of the Synod has been the publication of a regular (in the case of the present Synod it is due to be twice daily, or at necessity) bulletin. This enables the faithful who are so inclined to follow the events in the Synod as they happen.

The bulletin covering the morning session today is here.

An innovation particular to Pope Benedict's pontificate has been the period for "free interventions" by the Synod Fathers at the end of each working day. Summaries of these, and of the other interventions are due to appear in the Bulletin.

Interesting to note two of the outside speakers who will address the Synod Fathers. Archbishop Rowan Williams will give an Anglican view of the theme of the New Evangelisation; and the president of the Pontifical Academy of Science will address the Synod Fathers on the theme of science and faith.

The scene has been set today by the "REPORT BEFORE THE DISCUSSION BY THE GENERAL RELATOR, H. EM. CARD. DONALD WILLIAM WUERL, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON (USA)" - you will need scroll a good way down today's Bulletin to find it  -  from which I quote just a small section of a lengthy intervention:
The New Evangelization is not a program. It is a mode of thinking, seeing and acting. It is a lens through which we see the opportunities to proclaim the Gospel anew. It is also a recognition that the Holy Spirit continues actively to work in the Church.  
At its heart the New Evangelization is the reproposing of the encounter with the Risen Lord, his Gospel and his Church to those who no longer find the Church’s message engaging. I believe there are three distinct, but interrelated stages: 
a) the renewal or deepening of our faith both intellectually and affectively; (cf Instrumentum laboris n. 24, nn. 37-40, nn. 118-119, nn. 147-158)
b) a new confidence in the truth of our faith; (cf Instrumentum laboris n. 31, n. 41, n. 46, n. 49, n.120) and
c) a willingness to share it with others. (cf Instrumentum laboris n. 33-34, n. 81)

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