FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
TO PARTICIPANTS OF THE THIRD WORLD CONGRESS OF
ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS AND NEW COMMUNITIES
November 22, 2014
We just finished the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities here in Rome, a three-day conference. The first one was held in 1998 and the second one in 2006. In attendance were 300 participants from 100 ecclesial movements from all continents.
Pope Francis’ address affirms our life and mission.
“At the heart of your deliberations in these days are two elements which are essential for Christian life: conversion and mission.” Our mission work is to evangelize, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the goal of bringing people to conversion and renewal.
“The Movements and New Communities that you represent are moving towards a deeper sense of belonging to the Church, ….” In 2007 we moved deeper into the heart of the Church, proclaiming our Core Value of Being a Servant to the Church. In 2011 we moved even deeper, with the launch of LCSC, bringing our evangelistic ministry into the very heart of the Church.
“First, it is necessary to preserve the freshness of your charism, …. As time goes by, there is a greater temptation to become comfortable, to become hardened in set ways of doing things, which, while reassuring, are nonetheless sterile.” As our fidelity to our life and mission waned, as our evangelization stalled, as brethren became comfortable, the Lord gave us LCSC, by which our charism for massive evangelization is being renewed with an invigorating freshness.
“The newness of your experiences does not consist in methods or forms, which are important, but rather in your willingness to respond with renewed enthusiasm to the Lord’s call.” The Lord has called us to the New Evangelization through LCSC, but some are still not seeing or are resisting the call. I urge everyone to respond with renewed enthusiasm.
“One other consideration we must never forget is that the most precious good, the seal of the Holy Spirit, is communion.” We still need to work at unity of heart and mind, and unity in vision and mission. “If, on the other hand, the world sees divisions, rivalries and backbiting, regardless of the cause, how can we evangelize?” Those who cause division, engage in rivalries, and backbite, seriously affect negatively our work of evangelization. They must reform their ways.
“In addition, real communion cannot exist in Movements or in New Communities unless these are integrated within the greater communion of our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.” We are well on our way in this regard. Indeed, among the new ecclesial movements, it is CFC-FFL that has found the path of integration and greater communion with the institutional Church.
The pope also speaks of “the profound joy of proclaiming the Gospel, which is the foundation of your charisms.” Indeed, our charism is evangelization, founded on family renewal. With LCSC we are now focused on the proclamation of the gospel, the kerygma. In all this work, let us be ever joyful, knowing that we are serving Christ and his Church.
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