Evangelization more than strategy, cardinal-elect says

A new cardinal-elect said he was encouraged by the recent bishops’ synod in Rome, which emphasized an encounter with the risen Christ as the basis of all evangelization.

What “caught my attention in the synod was the desire of everyone to make evangelization not so much a strategy but a living encounter with the living Lord,” Archbishop Luis A. Tagle of the Philippines told CNA Oct. 29.

“I guess in the past decades or so we were so focused on how to do things all over the world – churches were trying to strategize. In itself it is not bad. But we might forget that faith is not a product of a strategy.”

“Faith might bring forth new strategies. But if it is not rooted in friendship with Jesus Christ and the following of Jesus Christ, then what kind of evangelization will happen?”

Archbishop Tagle attended the Oct. 7-28 new evangelization synod in Rome, during which it was announced that the Manila prelate was among the six bishops to be appointed cardinal. The group will be elevated at a consistory to be held Nov. 24.

“It is a real calling, a real mission,” he said, “to share…in the universal mission of the Holy Father.”

Archbishop Tagle will be appointed to the Congregation for Catholic Education upon his elevation. At 55, he will become the world’s second youngest cardinal.

“It came as a total surprise to me,” said Archbishop Tagle of the appointment. “But what consoles me is this: The announcement came three days after the canonization of the second Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod, a young catechist who joined the Jesuit missionaries to Guam and…witnessed to Jesus to the offering of his own life.”

On the recently ended synod, Archbishop Tagle said the new evangelization presents questions not given to easy answers.

“There are many opportunities for spreading the Good News and of the Lord and his salvific presence in our midst,” he said.

“But maybe because some of them are relatively new, we’ve not yet been able to grasp fully the impact of all of these.”

“Some are worried, some are concerned. But we realize, too, that being concerned is OK so long as we don’t jump or are moved to pessimism. We have to affirm our faith that our Lord is risen, he is here, he is very much present, we have to listen to him.”

This complexity “led us in the synod to humility,” he said, adding that the lack of concrete measures by the synod as an opportunity “for exploration.” [More]

SOURCE

CNA/EWTN News