martes, 29 de mayo de 2007


Tuesday, May 22, 2007
By Harold Segura

The work of today, Tuesday, now began with the topics approved. I thought this would take a little longer, but now we have it. With 104 votes in favor and 27 against, a decision was made as to the work outline and the possible table of contents of the Final Document. Can the “seeing – judging – acting” method I mentioned earlier be recognized here? The seven topics are:

1. The present day of Latin America and the Caribbean:
1.1 The change in ages; socio-cultural situation; ecological damage; demographic situation; anthropological vision; economy and globalization; political situation; indigenous and afro-originated cultures.
1.2 The church at this time.

2. The joy of being disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ:
2.1 The initiative of God the Father; the Gift of Jesus Christ; human brotherhood; the universal destiny of material resources; creation and ecological responsibility; the Gift of the Word.
2.2 Human dignity; family; life; hope.

3. Our vocation as disciples and missionaries:
3.1 Vocation to holiness: Christ comes to meet us; being configured to Him; taking the cross and following Him; announcing the Kingdom; spirituality.
3.2 Vocations in the service of the Church and the Kingdom

4. The community of disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ:
4.1 The call to communion: Trinitarian communion; the Church as school and house of communion; gifts, ministries and charismata.
4.2 Places and structures of communion; popular religiosity; ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue; communion of the saints.

5. The itinerary of disciples and missionaries:
5.1 Trinitarian spirituality: Christ as the way, the truth and the life; docility to the Holy Spirit; places and times of encounter with Jesus Christ; spirituality and practice of justice; the Virgin Mary and the Saints;
5.2 Formation of disciples; catechesis; spiritual accompaniment; Catholic education; seminaries; ongoing formation; church movements.

6. The mission of disciples and missionaries
:6.1 General – New life in Christ, the continental mission.
6.2 Priority tasks: The family; helpless and threatened life; children and youth; justice; care for creation; the mass media; the poor and excluded.

7. Pastoral conversion and various areas of pastoral task: Church structures; pastoral plans; missio ad gentes (the mission to non-Christians); pastoral work for culture; urban pastoral work; Catholic universities.

I observe three major blocks: first, the context of mission (#1), then the subject of mission (#2, 3, 4, 5), and finally the task of mission (#6). When I observed this, I asked at the group—why so much interest in the subject of the mission, and not in its context or its task? Bishop Jiménez Carvajal (Colombia) answered that this emphasis on the Church (the subject of mission) is in fact deliberate. The intention at this Conference is to prioritize priests’ training, promotion of the laity, fraternal communion, the spirituality of disciples, the catechesis of all the faithful—in sum, to look more to the inside in order to be able to accomplish the task to the outside. This could be a return to the emphases of Puebla (1979). But let’s not go too far ahead—the list of topics is not everything. Now comes the development of sub-topics, and then we will know where the Catholic Church wants to go in the next decades.

Each one of the three observers “from the Reformation” will attend the following Commissions: Néstor Míguez will attend the one covering topic #1; Juan Sepúlveda, at topic #7, and myself at topic #6. These topics correspond to our requests of yesterday, when each participant expressed his/her topics of greatest concern. May I clarify that Ofelia Ortega traveled to Cuba on Monday to meet other urgent commitments in Cuba and Germany; something similar happened with Dr. Walter Altmann, who left last week. The representative of the Anglican Church, Bishop Dexel Wellington Gómez, was not able to attend; and the representative of the Orthodox Church, Bishop Tarasios, attended for the first few days of the Conference and then left. That’s why I now refer to “the three representatives from the Reformation.”

Well, let’s hope this outline of seven major topics will bring happy surprises. Seven is the perfect number—may it be so this time too.


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