Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The International Conference "From Maximum illud to Evangelii Gaudium", "on the urgency of the Church's missionary transformation" (see Fides, 26/11/2019) continue at a fast pace at the Pontifical Urbaniana University.
This morning's session was opened by Prof. Mauro Ceruti, of IULM Milan University, who discussed “New Horizons. Shared Destiny and Planetary Humanism”. We are participating in the birth of a planetary community - the prof. pointed out -, a dense network of interactions, extended and spread over the entire surface of the planet, deeply affects the daily life of every inhabitant of the Earth in the most unpredictable ways. The "shared destiny" of the peoples of the "great human family" is a radical discontinuity that marks the new human condition that emerged in the age of globalization. This condition brings with it new (and extreme) dangers, but also new possibilities. In the face of unprecedented dangers, humanity must "for the first time" emerge from the age of war and poverty. To this end, the construction of a new "culture of complexity" is necessary. This is a profound discontinuity in the cultural evolution of humanity. For the first time in human history, there are the conditions for overcoming history made up of wars: the powers of death, in fact, have been strengthened to such an extent as to make possible a global self-annihilation of humanity. Today the challenge is to begin to conceive and live, as necessary, as well as desirable, the positive planetary community: the challenge is to consider common belonging to a global intertwining of interdependencies as the only adequate condition to guarantee and improve the quality of life of peoples and people; the challenge is to transform the fact of planetary interdependence into the task of building a "civilization of the Earth", of inaugurating an anthropological evolution towards coexistence and peace. And the problem of peace cannot be separated from the problem of poverty, the problem of poverty cannot be separated from the problem of justice.
Father Alexandre Awi Mello, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, focused on the theme: "Baptized and Sent Forth. The Evangelizing Vocation of the Laity and of Ecclesial Movements". The lay faithful, as participants in the prophetic, priestly and pastoral mission of Christ - he reiterated - are sent in the power of their baptismal consecration as protagonists of the missionary transformation of the Church, wanted by Evangelii gaudium and already requested in Maximun illud. In times of secularization, the laity are evangelizers who are particularly suited to ensuring the adequate relationship between the Church and the world, recovered from the II Vatican. To face this challenge, ecclesial movements, with their strong lay and missionary imprint, constitute a providential opportunity and offer a precious service to the Church and to society.
Prof. Mi Jung Agnes Kim, of the Center Sèvres, Facultés Jésuites de Paris, focused on the "Synodality for mission in today's world". The prof. presented an analysis of the evolution of the Church, Mission and society in the last 100 years, in other words, the evolution of the mission paradigm from Maximum IIlud to Evangelii Gaudium through Ad Gentes. After identifying the change in society and the transformation of the Church, he illustrated which mission paradigm would be appropriate for today's world, drawing indications for this transformation of the Church from the various interventions of Pope Francis. By opening many Synods on various issues, the Pope has never ceased to highlight the horizon of a synodal Church as an ecclesial model for the third millennium. In the final part he gave some hints on how to think concretely about synodality in the mission among clergy, religious congregations and laity. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides, 28/11/2019)