Chapter Communication - 28 May 2022
As part of the Chapter, we had the joy of welcoming Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, to greet and address us. Fr Stanley Lubungo introduced him at the beginning of the meeting and described the capitulants, their composition, countries of origin, etc.
From the beginning, Cardinal Tagle put us at ease and began by describing the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. He also announced that the new dicastery for evangelisation will be officially in operation on Pentecost 5 June. The second section of the new dicastery will correspond very much to the present Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
He then gave an overview of the many works of the Congregation throughout the world and its different types of interventions. The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples is responsible for almost two thousand ecclesial jurisdictions. It deals with the appointment of bishops, missionary institutes, catechists, formation of seminarians, religious, scholarships, etc.
I share you some points from his speech:
- It is not only the world that is changing, but also the missionary world. Now almost every country sends and receives missionaries. We are in the presence of a migrating Church, with many Christians in non-Christian countries (Filipinos in Bahrain) and non-Christians in countries with a Christian majority (Muslims in Europe). There are many African and Asian priests in France. All these realities disturb our fixed concepts of the world, the Church and the mission.
- He also alluded to the various conflictual movements, such as some aspects of globalisation, tribalism and excessive nationalism. He recalled that the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples continues its work taking into account these difficulties.
- The importance of evangelisation for the Church itself and the mission.
Some questions followed Cardinal Tagle’s intervention:
- On the meeting of the bishops of West Africa grappling with extremism sometimes within the Church and Christian communities. The violence has caused a great migratory movement within West Africa. There was a lot of talk about Fratelli Tutti and the importance of the Church’s social doctrine.
- The image of the Church is suffering a lot because of the abuse of power and sexual abuse. We are in a period where we are invited to humility. The Cardinal also insisted on the importance of the formation of priests and a change in the mentality of seminaries and houses of formation, not forgetting clericalism.
- Tribalism complicates the appointment of bishops.
- How to make the Church prophetic in West Africa? One of the most important elements is inter-religious dialogue, when people of different religious and political confessions collaborate for integral development or the solution of concrete problems for the common good.
After the conference, Cardinal Tagle presided the Eucharist. From the readings, he described how important and vital for missionary witness were the friendship and collaboration between missionaries. He invited us to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name.