.- The prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, said this week the âGreat Continental Missionâ that will be launched at the end of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Bishopsâ Council âshould be born of our openness to the urging of the Holy Spirit and should thus constitute a new Pentecost.â
During his intervention on Thursday, the cardinal called the Conference âa unique opportunity that Jesus Christ offers us to plan a Great Continental Missionâ in Latin America, which âwill demand the decisive action of the bishopsâ conferences, of dioceses, of parishes and of all forms of associations of the faithful.â
Recalling the words of Pope Benedict XVI during his meeting with the bishops of Brazil, Cardinal Hummes said the Holy Father told them, âWe have not sufficiently evangelized those we have baptized,â and they âhave the right to be evangelized by us because when we baptized them we assume a commitment to evangelize them and lead them to Jesus Christ.â
âThus a Great Continental Mission to go in search of these poorly evangelized Catholics. Itâs not a form of proselytism or of anti-ecumenism, because weâre talking about those whom we have baptized,â the cardinal stated.
During a press conference later on, Cardinal Hummes emphasized that âthe mission must begin now. Weâll need to make adjustments, but the process should begin immediately. It has no end date. It should continue and become part of the dynamic daily life of Catholic communities. It should be something permanent.â The mission will not consist of âonly door-to-door visits, but will reach out to all of society and all sectors,â he said.
âWe should find ways for the laity to bear witness with their lives and their example, and also with their words, to coherence with the Gospel,â the cardinal continued. âWords serve to explain why a missionary acts and lives in this way. The methodology should be quite different depending on the environment,â he added. âCommunities should be born of the Eucharist, where the word of God is lived out intensely, in order to awaken the faith anew. The support of communities will be essential. We want to go in search of our baptized,â Cardinal Hummes said in conclusion.