Chilean cardinal outlines key points to be discussed at next CELAM meeting


The President of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM), Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago, Chile, outlined this week the key points to be discussed at the V General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will take place in May 2007 in Brazil.

During his visit to the international headquarters of Aid to the Church in Need, the cardinal said, “The title of the Conference is ‘Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ’ and it will focus on the Church’s situation in Latin America, which is much different from what it was 12 or 15 years ago.”

“The gap between rich and poor is also increasingly greater and there are other troubling social problems such as corruption, drug addiction and violence,” Cardinal Errazuriz said.  “In addition, the spread of fundamentalist sects should also be discussed.”

“The General Conference will focus on the human person, called to be a follower of Christ,” he stated.

“The Church must awaken the missionary spirit in Christians and encourage them to struggle for the culture of life,” the cardinal continued.  “The efforts of Christian communities, apostolic movements and Catholic educational institutions will bear fruit in the future,” he added.

Cardinal Errazuriz also mentioned that there would be two meetings held prior to the General Conference, as a means of preparation for the May 2007 gathering.  “One is the meeting of apostolic movements in Bogota, Colombia; the other is a Marian conference to be held in Guadalupe, Mexico.”  The conference in Mexico will focus on cultivating “devotion to Our Lady through pastoral work, in order to bear fruit for the life of the Church and society,” the cardinal announced.

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