Pontiff Offers Key for New Evangelization

Urges Bishop-Movement Connections

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI believes a decisive key for the new evangelization is communion between bishops and ecclesial movements.



The Pope made this comment today when meeting with prelates and friends of the Community of Sant'Edigio and the Focolare Movement, both ecclesial entities born in the last few decades.

When there is communion between bishops and ecclesial movements, the Pontiff explained, we can expect the emergence of a "a valid impulse toward the renewed commitment of the Church to the proclamation and testimony of the Gospel, of hope and charity, to all corners of the world."

Benedict XVI said: "Pope John Paul II viewed these movements and new communities as a providential gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church in order to respond in an effective way to the challenges of our time.

"And you know that this is also my conviction."

Benedict XVI continued, "It is precisely in the meeting of these charisms that both the richness of these gifts as well as the unity of faith is shown."

"How can we forget, for example, last year's extraordinary Pentecost Vigil, which saw the harmonious participation of many movements and ecclesial associations?" he asked.

"The emotion I experienced on participating in St. Peter's Square in that intense spiritual experience is still alive in me," the Pope said.

"The Holy Spirit wants the manifold nature of the movements to be at the service of the one Body of Christ, that is precisely the Church. And he accomplishes this through the ministry of those he has placed to govern the Church of God, namely, the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter," Benedict XVI insisted.

The Pope added: "In the rich Western world, in which is present a relativistic culture, as well as a wide desire for spirituality, your movements witness to the joy of faith and the beauty of being Christians."