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"The faith is alive" at Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization



(Vatican Radio) Delegates from across south east Asia have gathered in Manila for a conference on the New Evangelization.

Promoted as “the Asia gathering of faith,” the Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization seeks to re-ignite the faith of Filipinos, as well as the Church’s mission to society. The three-day conference will focus on expounding the teachings and liturgy of the church through a tripartite objective of creating an experience of God in the context of the new millennium, strengthening bonds of communion in the Philippine church, and inspiring the faithful to live by the spirit of mission.

The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, spoke with Vatican Radio about the aims of the Conference. “We realized that first of all, we have to look at the evangelizer, we have to look at all of us. We have to see whether the light of the faith has been already accepted by us – or are we just presuming that we are being guided by that light.”

Cardinal Tagle said, “If we are serious about a renewed evangelization, renewed in its ardour and its methods and expressions, if the imagination of the Filipino Catholic is to be ignited again, then we have to encounter Jesus in our life settings. And that is the first challenge that we wanted to address.”

The Conference, he said, is also focused on renewing “our being Church” – not in the sense of “reinventing the Church or creating a new church which is quite different from what Jesus has left to us. But new in the sense of being, first, a more authentic Church as the Gospels present the vision of Christ for His communities.” The Cardinal called for a Church that does not have any baggage, so that it could respond to the pressing call of mission today.” He said “A Church that is free because it has rediscovered Jesus again, will be more welcoming to people, especially the poor; and will be imaginative, creative, in responding to the opportunities that our wounded and pained world, suffering world offers to us.”

Cardinal Tagle noted the enthusiasm of those taking part in the assembly: “Finally, I would like to say that we are really surprised at the fervour of the participants . . . So, it’s an exciting moment where people just want to celebrate the faith. And during the breaks, you hear the common statement, as a refrain: ‘The faith is alive. The faith is alive! And we have encountered the Lord, and He is calling us. And we want to do more for Him, and for the Church, and for the poor.’”

The Philippine Conference for the New Evangelization began on Wednesday and will conclude on Friday.

Listen to the full interview of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle with Christopher Wells: RealAudioMP3




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