On the Conclusion of the Synod of Bishops

"The Synod is Always a Moment of Vibrant Ecclesial Communion"

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday before and after praying the midday Angelus before the end of the Mass of the Closing of Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. 

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Dear brothers and sisters!

The 13th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was concluded with the Holy Mass celebrated in the Basilica of St. Peter this morning. For 3 weeks we dealt with the reality of the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith: the whole Church was represented and, thus, involved in this work, with will not fail to bear its fruits with the Lord’s grace. First of all, however, the Synod is always a moment of vibrant ecclesial communion, and I would to thank God for this together with all of you. He has once again made us experience the beauty of being Church, and to be it precisely today, in this world as it is, in the midst of this humanity with its toils and its hopes.

It was very significant that this synodal assembly coincided with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and so with the beginning of the Year of Faith. Thinking again of Bl. John XXIII, of the Servant of God Paul VI, of the conciliar season, was quite helpful because it helped us to recognize that the new evangelization is not our invention but a dynamism that developed in the Church in a special way beginning in the 1950’s, when it appeared that even the countries with an ancient Christian tradition had become, as is often said, “mission territory.” Thus there emerged the need for s renewed proclamation of the Gospel in the secularized societies, with the twofold certainty that, on the one hand, it is only he, Jesus Christ, the one who is truly new, who answers to the expectations of the men of every age, and, on the other hand, that his message must be transmitted in changed social and cultural contexts.

What can we say at the end of these days of intense work? For my part, I listened to and gathered many points for reflection and many proposals that, with the help of the secretariat of the Synod and my collaborators, I will try to order and elaborate so as to offer to the whole Church an organic synthesis and coherent teaching. From this moment we can say that there has emerged from this Synod a strengthened commitment to the spiritual renewal of the Church herself so as to spiritually renew the secularized world; and this renewal will come from the rediscovery of Jesus Christ, of his truth and of his grace, of his “countenance” so human and so divine upon which the mystery of God’s transcendence shines.

We entrust to the Virgin Mary the fruits of the word of this synodal meeting just concluded. May she, Star of the new evangelization, teach us an help us to bring all to Christ, with courage and joy.

[Following the recitation of the Angelus the Holy Father greeted those present in various languages. In Italian he said:]

I begin with a request.

In recent days a devastating hurricane, which struck Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas with particular violence, has caused many deaths and severe damage, forcing many people to leave their homes. I would like to assure those who have been affected by this natural that I am near to you and that you are in my thoughts and I invite everyone to prayer and solidarity, to alleviate the grief of the families of the victims and to offer help to the thousands who have been injured.

[In English he said:]

I greet all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer. In today’s Gospel, Jesus grants sight to the blind man with the words: "Your faith has saved you". As we mark the end of the Synod on the new evangelization, let us renew both our faith in Christ and our commitment to the spread of his Gospel of healing and joy. God bless you and your families!

[Concluding in Italian he said:]

I wish everyone a good Sunday and happy feast of All Saints. Have a good Sunday. Thank you!

[Translation by Joseph Trabbic]