How can we welcome these extraordinary gifts into the living fabric of our local Churches? How can we accompany them pastorally in their day-to-day service to the mission of the Church so that they can be more fruitful? What can we do to avoid “extinguishing the Spirit” that is blowing so strongly today in the life of the Church? These were the basic questions that were asked during the second seminar for bishops held by the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 15 to 17 May 2008, the proceedings of which are contained in this book. There were over one hundred and fifty participants from fifty countries: bishops, founders and leaders of ecclesial movements, theologians and scholars. The seminar consisted of talks, testimonies, reports and working groups. Ecclesial movements and new communities in the mission of the Church; their insertion in local Churches; their links with the petrine ministry; discernment, welcome and accompaniment of charisms; movements and new communities as schools of Christian instruction, missionary groups, source of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, areas for the ongoing formation of priests, a providential response to the challenges to the Church from contemporary culture: these are the themes that were reflected upon and discussed. Ample space was also given to open discussions, and there was a dialogue between founders and leaders of movements and new communities and a panel discussion on the reciprocal expectations of pastors and movements in building up the Church. The thread going through this seminar - accented with interludes of deep prayer -, was Benedict XVI’s appeal to bishops to “approach the movements with a great deal of love” (Address to the Bishops of the Federal Republic of Germany on their ad limina visit, 18 November 2006).
From the Preface to the publication of the proceedings
by His Eminence cardinal Stanisław Ryłko
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Pastors and the ecclesial movements. A seminar for bishops “I ask you to approach the movements with a great deal of love” (Rocca di Papa, 15-17 May 2008), Città del Vaticano 2009 (€15).