Latin American Bishops
CELAM wraps up with final message and issues lengthy document

.- The Fifth General Conference of Latin American bishops, inaugurated May 13 by Pope Benedict XVI at the Brazilian Marian shrine of Aparecida, ended today with the reading of a final message, the approval of a lengthy document, and the announcement of a “Continental Mission.”

After 18 days of meetings, discussions and voting sessions, the Latin American bishops approved a final document that will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI on July 11. The vote of approval was 127 votes in favor and 2 against.

Documents from previous Latin American Conferences did not receive formal Vatican approval, but only “authorization for its publication,” thus making clear that they do not constitute official Magisterial teaching.

Nevertheless, the more than 200 page book is aimed at providing a guide for pastoral options to the Latin American Bishops.

“Faced with the challenges posed to us by this new era, we renew our faith, proclaiming with joy to all men and women of our continent: we are loved and redeemed by Jesus,” says the four page “Message to the People” released today and read by the Bolivian Archbishop Edmundo Abastoflor at a final press conference.

“The call to be disciples and missionaries demands of us a clear choice for Jesus and his Gospel, a coherence between our faith and our life... and even to be a sign of contradiction in a world that promotes consumerism, which distorts the real value of human beings,” the final message also says.

The message ends by affirming that, “We hope to be a lively Church, faithful and credible, nurtured by the Word of God and the Eucharist.” The bishops also commit themselves and the Church to, “promote missionary action,” “form lively communities,” “promote a mature laity,” “promote the active participation of women in society and the Church,” “keep our preferential and Gospel-inspired option for the poor,” “strengthen our family and life ministry,” “value and respect our indigenous and Africa-American people,” “promote interreligious dialogue,”  turn “our  continent into a model of reconciliation, justice and peace,” and “take care of creation, the house of all.”

The final document will be made public sometime in September after the Vatican has reviewed it. The document is divided into three main parts: the first section analyzes the social, political, economic cultural and pastoral reality of the region, the second section proposes an analysis of the “theology of discipleship,” and the third presents a wide range of pastoral suggestions.

According to Bishop Norberto Strotmann from Chosica (Perú) “the risk of the document is that, by trying to include too many options, we end up making no real options at all.”

“It obviously has the virtues and the limitations of a consensus text,” Bishop Strotmann also explained.

The Fifth General Conference of Latin American Bishops also concluded with the call to a “Continental Mission,” a region-wide pastoral initiative described by the final message as “a new Pentecost that will send us in search of the lapsed Catholics and for those who know little or nothing about Jesus Christ.”

The concrete aspects of this mission, which “has to reach to all, be permanent and deep,” were not discussed at Aparecida.
Details will be worked out in July by the presidents and delegates of all the Latin American  Bishops’ conferences in Havana, Cuba.

At the same meeting, a new president for the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM,) will be elected.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: