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Leading Latin American prelate outlines goals for meeting with Pope

July 18, 2013

The president of CELAM (the Latin American Episcopal Conference) has listed 11 goals for an upcoming meeting between its 50-bishop leadership committee and Pope Francis.

“We await with great interest the message the Holy Father Francis will offer us in order to intensify our efforts and involve the continent’s bishops in the pastoral renewal of the Church,” Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, said in an article in L’Osservatore Romano.

“We are at a crucial stage,” he added. “The challenges inherent in the epochal change we are living through demand a rethinking of attitudes, structures, and pastoral work in fidelity to Christ.”

“To this end, we must discern the signs of the times, listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Churches,” he continued as he referred to a text of the Book of Revelation. “This is a collegial task. It will therefore be of enormous interest and importance to hear the voice of Pope Francis.”

Archbishop Aguiar Retes listed 11 desired results from the meeting, the first of which is “to renew the awareness and identity of Catholics themselves and to move on from being faithful to being disciples and missionaries of Christ who are integrated into and live in communities united with each other.”

Among the other goals:

  • “to go beyond the 19th- and 20th-century labels and prejudices, acting with a view to the future rather than looking back at the past”
  • “to transmit the Church’s values in a symbolic, visual, aesthetic, and testimonial language”
  • “to step out of one’s own environment to meet society in its different sectors, especially through the lay faithful”


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