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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
New movements and communities to meet Pope
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 At midday yesterday in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the Second World Meeting of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities which is due to take place in Rocca di Papa, south of Rome, from May 31 to June 2, on the theme: "the beauty of being a Christian and the joy of communicating this." The ecclesial movements and new communities are due to meet with Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square on Saturday June 3, the eve of Pentecost. Participating in the press conference were Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, Bishop Josef Clemens, and Guzman Carriquiry, respectively president, secretary and under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Archbishop Rylko affirmed that the meeting with the Pope on June 23 - the second such encounter following that of May 30, 1998 - "is an important sign of continuity with the Magisterium of John Paul II, who saw in these new groups precious gifts of the Spirit to today's Church, and a great sign of hope for humanity in our time." After recalling how Benedict XVI's dealings with ecclesial movements "date back to the mid 1960s when he was still a teacher at Tubingen," the president of the pontifical council highlighted the fact that the Pope "sees in these movements 'powerful ways of living the faith'," and that "his theological contribution to defining the ecclesial identity of the movements is fundamental." Furthermore, the prelate added, "since his election as Pope, Benedict XVI has not ceased to show his concern for ecclesial movements." Referring to the forthcoming meeting, organized by his Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop Rylko specified that delegates from around 100 movements and new communities would be participating, along with representatives from dicasteries of the Roman Curia and an ecumenical delegation. "At the heart of the conference's reflections," he went on, "is the question, an inevitable question for Christ's disciples: how to transmit the splendour of Christ's beauty to the modern world?" The president of the pontifical council then emphasised that "in our own time, the experience of the beauty of being Christian has found, and continues to find, a particularly fertile soil in the ecclesial movements and new communities." He concluded: "Christians must announce to the world that the Gospel is not a utopia, but a way towards the fullness of life; that faith is not a burden, a yoke to weigh down mankind, but a marvellous adventure restoring man to his full humanity and to all the dignity and freedom of the children of God; that Christ is the only answer to the desire for happiness we carry in our hearts. In a word, they must communicate the beauty that so many have found thanks to ecclesial movements and new communities." Bishop Josef Clemens said: "The three principal contributions, will be presented by Cardinals Christoph Schonborn OP, Marc Ouellet PSS, and Angelo Scola. They will consider Christological questions (Christ, the most beautiful of Adam's sons), ecclesiological questions (the beauty of being Christian), and pastoral matters (ecclesial movements and new communities in the mission of the Church: priorities and prospects). Round table discussions will provide an opportunity to consider two fundamental aspects of the activity of movements and new communities: educational work, and bearing witness to the beauty of Christ in today's world." "We have received numerous requests to join, but for logistical reasons the number of participants will be limited to little more than 300, representing more than 100 movements and new communities; in any case, more than double the number of ecclesial groups represented at the conference of 1998." Bishop Clemens continued: "The organisation of prayer vigils in Rome has been left to the initiative of the individual movements and communities. ... The Vicariate of Rome has made many of the city's basilicas and churches available, both in the centre and on the outskirts." A list of the various initiatives may be consulted at: The secretary of the pontifical council, then outlined details of the June 3 meeting with the Holy Father. "The liturgy will be preceded by a period ... of prayer and reflection," he said, "also evoking the earlier meeting with John Paul II ... in 1998, and the intervention on that occasion by the then Cardinal Ratzinger. ... A large choir composed of representatives from the various ecclesial groups will enliven this part of the meeting with songs. ... The choir will also welcome the arrival of the Holy Father and accompany him as he moves across St Peter's Square." At 6 pm, the Pope will preside over the liturgy of Vespers. Three Psalms will be sung, and "at the end of each there will be a reflection or comment from a founder or leader of the movements and new communities. This will be followed by the Holy Father's homily." It is expected that 300,000 people will participate in the event, most of them from Italy, although "30,000 faithful are on the move in Europe, of whom 4,000 from Germany. Five thousand participants are expected from Latin America, 450 from Africa, 300 from Asia and 100 from the Church in Oceania," the bishop said. At 10am on June 4, Pentecost Sunday, the Pope will celebrate Mass in St Peter's Square. A note from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff invites all the faithful of the diocese of Rome and pilgrims present in the city to attend. Source: VIS
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