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Papal legate urges Asia’s bishops to emphasize evangelization

Catholic World News - December 13, 2012

Noting that the past four decades have been “grace-filled years of evangelization in Asia,” the papal legate to the meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) called upon the assembled bishops to emphasize evangelization in the years ahead.

The meeting, which is taking place in Hanoi, is the first FABC plenary meeting since 2009, and the tenth since the establishment of the FABC in 1972.

“Continental Asia is different from the rest of the world, because again and again it has been termed as the home of the world’s great religions, and yet the first proclamation of Jesus is still awaited among its teeming billions,” said Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, the retired Archbishop of Manila.

“Even in the countries that were long ago called Christian, there is the great need for the Lord Jesus Christ to be received again, but this time in a profoundly new and lovingly welcoming way,” the legate said, adding:

And just as evangelization takes place only in Jesus, any renewal in the Church can only mean a “renewed conversion to Jesus” – through a renewal that is a turning away from evil by a heart that has been hardened by sin, but, through proclamation, can slowly learn the road back to God whose love one discovers in Jesus. We become reconciled to God in Jesus; we know the Father only in His Son Jesus …

We need not reinvent the attractiveness of Jesus; He already is “the desire of all nations.” That longing for Christ needs to be fanned, awakened to the truth that the hunger for that unknown and unnamed tranquility or peace, truly, is a yearning for a Saviour Jesus.

“Christians whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism must be helped to meet and encounter Jesus Christ again,” Cardinal Rosales continued. “They need to be approached using new language attuned to the cultures (age old or recent), always dialoguing within an attitude of friendship, but always animated by love that is rooted in God.”

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