Vatican City, Dec 10, 2012 / 11:36 am
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, opened an international meeting on the Catholic Church in the Americas with a homily encouraging creative unity to advance new evangelization across two continents.
"(T)here will not be a radiant and missionary Church in America without a solidarity that is more concrete and creative between the North and the South of the continent," the cardinal said in his homily at a Dec. 9 Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
Cardinal Ouellet invoked famous American statues like Christ the Redeemer on Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado mountain. That statue's outstretched arms, he said, "beckon us to remain faithful to the courage of the missionaries, to the perseverance of the saints and to the blood of martyrs who have made America a sacred land."
The Mass opened the international congress "Ecclesia in America." The summit marks the 15th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's 1999 apostolic exhortation of the same name, which he delivered in Mexico City in response to a special synod of bishops on the Catholic Church in the Americas.