A Congress Focuses on New Communities

Meeting in Brazil Attracts 20,000 Participants

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CACHOEIRA PAULISTA, Brazil, NOV. 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The 12th International Congress of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships aimed to bear witness to the mission of the new groups that arose after the Second Vatican Council.



The new communities are part of the current of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. More than 20,000 people, as well as numerous bishops and some 100 priests, took part in the event, held Nov. 1-5 at the headquarters of the Canção Nova Community.

"New Communities for a New Evangelization" was the theme of the congress, attended by Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, new prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, and Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

The Pope conferred his apostolic blessing on the assembly.

He said that the meeting "indicates the urgent priority to appeal for a wide cooperation in Christian formation and a powerful proclamation of the Gospel to the world, with a marked missionary style, with concern for the poor, the suffering and the excluded."

Benedict XVI expressed his hopes in a letter that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, sent to Archbishop Rylko.

The congress's program included a forum on the theme "The New Communities in the Apostolic Concern of the Bishops." The theme was addressed by several prelates representing their regions, among them Congo, Italy, Brazil and Uganda.

The international congress was preceded by the first International Meeting of Bishops Friends of the New Communities of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Some 40 prelates participated.

The Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships is a World Federation made up of the principal historical communities of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Among its objectives is the safeguarding of the Catholic identity of the charismatic communities worldwide, maintaining close ties with the bishops and the Pope.