Conscious of being the repository of a message of salvation for all of humanity – salvation brought by Jesus Christ, the only Redeemer of humankind – the Church knows that faith in Jesus Christ is the most precious gift that can be given to the people who live on this continent (Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, no. 10).
This awareness and this conviction that Jesus Christ is the most precious gift for Asia was both the motive and the center of the Congress of Asian Catholic Laity, held in Seoul Korea from August 31st to September 5th, 2010. This is implicit in the theme of the Congress: “Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia today”, the proceedings of which are contained in this volume.
[…] The Congress was an initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Laity that sought to give new impulse to the lay faithful in Asia in their own unique mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
[…] Participants at this event included official delegations, mostly headed by a bishop, from twenty of the Asian countries that form part of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), together with official representation from the FABC. There were also thirty-five delegations from lay associations, ecclesial movements and new communities that are recognized at the international level by the Holy See and have a significant presence in Asia. All together, congress participants totaled some four hundred people.
[…] The proceedings begin with the Holy Father’s message, and this is followed by the conferences. In addressing our theme of proclaiming Jesus Christ today, it was necessary to first recall Asia’s two thousand years of missionary activity. Then the Congress proceeded to address current themes regarding the prerequisites, tasks and challenges of evangelizing today and the identity and mission of the lay faithful and some specific needs regarding lay formation. The speakers also pointed out the many signs of hope found in Asia today, such as the growing presence of the new ecclesial movements and communities and the courageous testimonies being offered by the laity throughout Asia today. The panel discussions offered practical insights on the Christian witness of the laity in different sectors of society through various means as well as the more delicate themes of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. We are also pleased to include homilies given during the Eucharistic celebrations, the true “source and summit” which united us around the Lord’s table and offered us daily nourishment.
From the Preface to the publication of the proceedings
by His Eminence cardinal Stanislaw Rylko
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today. Proceedings of the Congress of Asian Catholic Laity, August 31 - September 5 2010, Seoul - Korea, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2011 (€15).