Vatican City, 22 July 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity will hold its third world congress of ecclesial movements and new communities from 20 to 22 November 2014, entitled “The joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy”, based on Pope Francis' Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The event, to take place at the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae in Rome, Italy, will be attended by delegates from international associations with the most widespread presence all over the world, already recognised as international associations of the faithful or in constant dialogue with the aforementioned dicastery.
Before the Angelus prayer on 19 May 2013, the Sunday of Pentecost during the Year of Faith, the Holy Father addressed the new movements and new ecclesial communities, encouraging them to continue in their work: “You are a gift and wealth for the Church! Always carry forth the strength of the Gospel! Do not be afraid! Always keep alive your joy and passion for the communion of the Church!”. After this encounter, the Pope presented the Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, “a true vademecum for ecclesial movements and new communities” that has as its main objective the need for a renewed evangelical phase in the life of the Church in our times.
Starting from this assumption, the Pontifical Council for the Laity has consulted with the movements and new ecclesial communities regarding the organisation, logistics and main themes to be considered in the Congress. The registration of delegates at the Congress is formally open and so far members have enrolled from ecclesial movements and new communities from all continents and from more than eighty international associative entities, which will be accompanied by various bishops from the diocese and organs of the Roman Curia.
In addition, more than fifty-five founders and general heads of various communities from around the world have already enrolled. The superiors of the dicastery dedicated their annual meeting of 27 June 2014 to ecclesial movements and new communities, in preparation for this important event, and to hearing the participants in the meeting from over thirty international associations of the faithful.