FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS AND NEW CHARISMS
November 25, 2014
Pope Francis says the new charisms “are not a closed patrimony, consigned to a specific group to guard it; they are rather gifts from the Spirit integrated into the ecclesial body, attracted towards the centre that is Christ, from where they are channeled into an evangelical impulse.” This exactly fits CFC-FFL today. Whereas CFC before was like a closed patrimony, guarding its borders, running parallel to the institutional Church, looking to its own interests (like recruitment of new members), being self-referential, CFC-FFL today, through LCSC, has opened its doors wide, enabling us to be integrated into the ecclesial body that is the Catholic Church. We may be the only ecclesial movement, among the 300 lay associations, that has done so.
Pope Francis has appealed for missionary conversion. We in CFC from the very start have been evangelistic and missionary, moving to massive worldwide mode in 1993, and working to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization with LCSC since 2011.
So our Church is calling for the new phase in the life of the new charisms, of ecclesial movements, and move on to “the phase of ecclesial maturity.” The movements need to be at the “service of the single body that is the Church.” By the grace of God and the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we in CFC-FFL/LCSC are already well into that direction.
(Note: My wife Gerry and I, representing CFC-FFL, participated in the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities mounted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity this November 20-22 in Rome)
Third Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities Begins in Rome
Over 300 Members of Lay Associations Reflect on The Joy of the Gospel
ROME, November 20, 2014 (Zenit.org) – The Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities began in Rome today. Organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the meeting is a response to the appeal for missionary conversion launched by Pope Francis to all Christians in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.
The congress – the third of this type following those held during the pontificates of St. John Paul II in 1998 and Benedict XVI in 2006 – is being attended by more than 300 members of lay associations from 40 countries, gathered to explore the theme “The joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy”.
The congress was inaugurated by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who recalled the rich teaching of the last three pontiffs on what St. John Paul II defined as “the new season of associations of the faithful”.
The cardinal emphasized that St. John Paul II closely followed and guided the rapid development of ecclesial movements and new communities, accompanying them with his clear and enlightening words … and indicated a new phase in the life of new charisms, which would necessarily have to follow their initial flourish – the phase of ecclesial maturity”.
For Pope Benedict XVI, he continued, “the multiple forms and the unity of charisms and ministries are inseparable in the life of the Church. The Holy Spirit desires the multiplicity of movements in the service of the single Body that is the Church”.
Pope Francis, who knows well the reality of ecclesial movements, insists that the new charisms “are not a closed patrimony, consigned to a specific group to guard it; they are rather gifts from the Spirit integrated into the ecclesial body, attracted towards the centre that is Christ, from where they are channeled into an evangelical impulse”.
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