The Synod defines the new evangelization
The new evangelization succeeds to the extent in which faith lived in the Church as a personal experience of Jesus of Nazareth is revitalized. This is the widespread conviction among the Synod Fathers who conveyed it in their many different ways of thinking and in the language proper to their culture of provenance. In a certain way it was the suitable starting point of the second week of the work of the assembly, spent in particular on defining what the new evangelization is and how it can be undertaken in the cultural plurality and faith of the one Christian proclamation, in situations of religious minority, in contexts of peace and war, of economic crisis or of well-being, poverty and sickness.
The Synod offered a vast panorama of the search under way, both in countries of ancient Christianity and in those in which the mission ad gentes is still being carried out; without ever neglecting to think about the challenges to the Christian faith in the lively, vibrant context that characterizes the international panorama in our day. Indeed one can say that the Synod is taking place wide open to the most sensitive crisis points for peace and for the lives of people in the different parts of the world.
In a week, in fact, three indicators have contributed to spreading a lively and watchful image of the Synod that has highlighted the importance of the primacy of faith and that of charity, expressed in a concrete sign of closeness to all who are suffering.
The week opened with an extraordinary witness of faith, and of support for the Year of Faith, with a message from 90-year old Bishop Lucas Ly Jingfeng of Fengxiang, China, who was released in 1979, after twenty years in prison during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. That same day Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announced the delegation that the Pope wished to send to Syria as a sign of closeness and solidarity with the entire population, harshly tried by the war. And the following day the Secretary of State communicated another important project of the Pope at the service of evangelization: all the Holy See's Nuncios, Apostolic Delegates and Permanent Observers are summoned to Rome next June to deepen the sense of mission of papal representatives in the circumstances of today. Benedict XVI, considering the priority of proclamation and witness above everything else, asks for this sign of consistence between words and action at all the levels of the Church.
The whole sphere of the new evangelization was investigated and described by the many interventions of the Synod Fathers, of the Fraternal Delegates, and of the religious and lay people invited. The features of the new evangelization will be explained in the final propositiones, as well as the trust to be given especially to women and young people. Due attention will be paid to the ecumenical dimension of the new evangelization, the pastoral care of health as a vast context in which to spread it, and to the innovation that the proclamation of the Gospel represents in the epoch of the new media. They are now the habitat in which people are ever more frequently living and breathing.
October 23, 2012