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Friday, March 4, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 4 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, this morning presented in the Holy See Press Office the "Lineamenta" (Guidelines) for the XIII General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held at the Vatican from 7 to 28 October 2012, on the theme of "The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith".

  The "Guidelines", or first draft on the theme of the Synod, is published in eight languages: Latin, French, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and German, and consists of a prologue, an introduction, three chapters and a conclusion. The text includes a general questionnaire regarding the issues under examination. Responses -71- are to be submitted to the Secretary General of the Synod by 1 November 2011, the Solemnity of All Saints. The summary of the responses shall constitute the "Instrumentum laboris" or working document of the Synod.

  In the Preface, explains the Archbishop Eterovic, "a distinction is drawn between evangelization as a regular activity of the Church; the first approach "ad gentes", to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ, and the new evangelization which is directed towards those who have moved away from the Church, those who have been baptized but not sufficiently evangelized".

  "In the Introduction it is emphasized that the XIII Synod Assembly takes place within the context of the renewed ecumenical commitment to evangelization undertaken by the Church following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council".

  The first chapter, entitled "Time for a "New Evangelization", is described as "the birth of the concept of new evangelization and its diffusion throughout the Pontificates of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI".

  This section lists the "six sectors" which the Church has to confront in order to be "equal to the challenges posed to the Christian faith by today's social and cultural context". These six sectors are: secularization, immigration, communication, the economic sector, scientific and technological research and the political sector.

  "Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ" is the title of the second chapter, which asserts that "the aim of evangelization and more specifically of the new evangelization is the proclamation of the Gospel and the transmission of faith. The Gospel is to be understood not as a book or a doctrine, but rather as a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who made himself a man".

  The third chapter, "Initiation into the Christian experience", "reinvites", says the Secretary General of the Synod, "reflection on the tools of the Church for introducing the faith and, in particular, Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Communion".

  Finally, the Conclusion reaffirms that "the new evangelization should aim to revive in the original enthusiasm in Christians, a new mission that should involve all members of God's Community".

  Furthermore, Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of Synod of Bishops, reiterated that "the very name 'synod' (synodos) means journey in communion" and  underlined the responsibility of the Synod to proceed "with the sign of the times, with the discernment and dynamism appropriate to the Church, the faith and the Works of faith and pastoral care".
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