Loading
Pope opens bishops' synod with universal call to holiness
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI has formally opened the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization with a “universal call to holiness” aimed at all Christians worldwide.

“Holy men and women bloom among the generous missionaries who announce the Good News to non-Christians, in the past in mission countries and now in any place where there are non-Christians,” the Pope said in his homily for the Oct. 7 opening Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

“Holiness is not confined by cultural, social, political or religious barriers. Its language, that of love and truth, is understandable to all people of good will and it draws them to Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of new life.”

Over the next three weeks the Synod of Bishops will aim to map out a new evangelization of the contemporary world. The Pope explained that the particular focus of “new” evangelization are those people “who, though baptized, have drifted away from the Church and live without reference to the Christian life.”

“The Synodal Assembly which opens today is dedicated to this new evangelization, to help these people encounter the Lord, who alone who fills existence with deep meaning and peace,” he said. He added that a rediscovery of the Christian faith can be a “source of grace which brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life” for the re-evangelized.

Wearing green vestments, the vast majority of the 262 Synod Fathers joined Pope Benedict in St. Peter’s Square to concelebrate Mass. The Pope advised them that the synod session should be focused on “the glorious One who was crucified.”

“In every time and place, evangelization always has as its starting and finishing points Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” he told them. He identified the crucifix as “the supremely distinctive sign of him who announces the Gospel: a sign of love and peace, a call to conversion and reconciliation.”

“My dear Brother Bishops,” he said, “starting with ourselves, let us fix our gaze upon him and let us be purified by his grace.”

The Pope also reflected on the Sunday gospel reading, in which Jesus proclaimed the indissolubility of marriage: “what therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Pope Benedict recognized that “unfortunately, for various reasons, marriage, in precisely the oldest regions evangelized, is going through a profound crisis.”

He urged the synod to make marriage “not only an object but a subject of the new evangelization,” suggesting that there is “a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage.”

“Marriage is linked to faith, but not in a general way,” he said. Marriage “as a union of faithful and indissoluble love” is “based upon the grace that comes from the triune God, who in Christ loved us with a faithful love, even to the Cross.”

This statement, he explained, is “in contrast to the painful reality of many marriages which, unhappily, end badly.”

In conclusion, Pope Benedict placed the Synod of Bishops under the protection of the saints, particularly Bl. John Paul II “whose long pontificate was an example of the new evangelization” and “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization.”

“With her let us invoke a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that from on high he may illumine the synodal assembly and make it fruitful for the Church’s way ahead.”

Tags: Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI, Synod

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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14