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Report on

November 29, 2014

This Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities was held by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome on November 20-22, 2014. The theme of the congress was “The Joy of the Gospel: a Missionary Joy.”

The congress was participated in by 300 people from 100 movements from 40 countries in all continents, with many founders and general moderators. There were also clerics, including 3 cardinals and 7 (arch)bishops. Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, presided.

Among the significant addresses were the following:

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa on “Keeping the kerygma in the centre”

Cardinal Marc Ouellet on “Evangelising by attraction: the people of God as a people of joy”

Prof. Guzman Carriquiry on “Renewing ourselves in order to renew the Church”

Prof. Mary Healy on “The marian style: the feminine genius in evangelisation”

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson on “The social repercussions of the kerygma: paths of inclusion for the poor”

Among the significant points made during the congress are the following:

The Ecclesial Movements and New Communities (EMNCs) are a gift and wealth of the Church.

The movements are one of the most important fruits of Vatican II. They are not a threat to the institutional Church. Any authentic movement is for the building up of the Church.

Charisms are given as new expressions of Church life. They are given to an individual for the good of the Church. They bring newness of life. They have a universal character, attracting different peoples.

Movements are to be renewed by fidelity to the charism. Beware of structures that surround and inhibit the charism.

A problem in the Church: many are baptized but are not evangelized.

Of utmost importance is the kerygma, the first announcement of the gospel. What is proclaimed is a person. We preach Christ crucified. Faith depends on hearing.

Be more open to mission, especially to the peripheries. Do not be self-referential. The Holy Spirit wants a new missionary adventure. Missionary action is the paradigm for all action in the Church. All need personal, pastoral, missionary conversion.

Satan sows division and attacks communion. He hates vitality of the Church.

EMNCs are to look to the territorial dimension of service. How can they become integrated into the life and mission of the parish? How can it be that the parish is not just a host to them? Synergy between EMNCs and parishes is urgent.

We need to wake up the parishes, because the Church exists to evangelize.

The Church of the third millennium will be all the more Marian and charismatic.

There is no New Evangelization without a new Pentecost.

We are within the hour of grace. Be open to surprises of God. These are unforeseen, new, breakthroughs. They break the comfort where we take refuge. A basic question: what is the Spirit of God saying? What is God asking us to change? Woe to us if we just continue with the same. Be open to frontiers we have never seen before.

Justice is connected to the good news of Jesus. The evidence that we have heard the good news is our conduct, especially to the poor. There is a connection between evangelization and human advancement. Christ impels us to go to the peripheries. The Church is not an NGO. When the Church becomes an NGO, it loses its salt and flavor.

The Congress participants were met in audience by the Holy Father Pope Francis on the last day.

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