In an interview with Vatican Radio, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop Stanislao Rylko, said today’s ecclesial movements are “a powerful response of the Holy Spirit to the challenges of our time and a way of responding to the phenomenon of sects in Latin America and their cheap offerings of happiness.”
On March 9 the First Meeting of Ecclesial Movements will be held in Bogota, Colombia, as part of the preparations for the V Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council. More than 40 bishops and 50 members from different movements will participate in the gathering, which will have as its theme, “Followers and Missionaries of Christ Today.”
Archbishop Rylko told Vatican Radio the new movements are a powerful response of the Holy Spirit to the challenges of our time and to the “cheap promises of happiness” made by “false preachers,” as well as being powerful tools in the formation of adults in the faith.
The spread of fundamentalist sects is a great problem in Latin America, the archbishop said, noting that “the strength of many of these sects lies in the small size of their communities and the warmth they offer. Precisely because of this our ecclesial communities are a correct and exact response to this type of challenge.”
Archbishop Rylko recalled the comments of Pope Benedict who, when he was still a cardinal, pointed out that the faithful can truly feel at home in the ecclesial movements, “without adopting a ghetto-mentality, but rather manifesting a universal openness to the entire world.” “This is the way in which our communities can and should respond to sects,” the archbishop said.