The Catholic buzz word is the “evangelization.” It’s running the risk of becoming an irrelevant concept if we don’t take the time to really understand the contours of sharing the faith given to us by the Holy Spirit and authentically lived in the communion of the Church. Some bishops from Africa and Europe had a symposium to explore the needs and desires in living Christianity as an event from the 13-17 February. It didn’t get much press in these parts because (A) it is perceived that neither Africa and Europe are so far away from North America that what the symposium had to do didn’t impact us and (B), well Africa and Europe have little to say to us. Wrong. We are a communion of peoples; live our faith in communion with other Christians around the world not in isolation from the another group of people. What the Church in Africa does should, in fact, shed light on our life of faith. We belong to Christ, therefore to the Church and therefore each other; no Christian is alone. 

Listen to what the Pope says here.

Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council and a few months away from the Synod on New Evangelization, we wanted to look into our hearts about this theme: Evangelization today: Communion and Pastoral Collaboration between Africa and Europe. The human person and God: the Church’s mission to proclaim God’s presence and love. In this Symposium we have found the joy of reunion, and we have assessed the progress made over these eight years. Indeed, the Beatitudes are our common treasure. More and more, they make us discover our complementary nature, but also our co-responsibility and interdependence in the lives of our local Churches. It’s a question of rising to the challenges of an increasingly new Evangelization in our two continents today “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body ( …) and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12 :13-14). We have rejoiced for the progress we have made in the last decades in the relations between our two continents – the Synods for Africa and for Europe, as well as our meetings, are a testimony to this very fact.

For the full report, see The Vatican Insider