DELEGATES to the Fourth Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE 4) were called to practice communion with neighbors to counter hatred last July 28 to 30 at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle highlighted the importance of communion by understanding the differences in cultures.

“If you look at the divisions, hatred and wars in the world, one of the causes is the understanding of greatness according to the kingdoms of this world. In the kingdom of heaven, the form of greatness leads to communion; and the greatest is the one who becomes like a child,” he said.

Tagle likened the communion to sharing of wounds, which allows a person to journey with his neighbor as it expands the sense of family and makes room for forgiveness.
“There is no stranger when it comes to woundedness. Entering the wounds of Jesus present in the wounds of the world helps us recover a sense of common humanity,” he said.

For Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, the Church shares in the wounds of the poor by being a voice for them in UN.

“It is our primary mission to bring all the experiences of our Church, all these moral principles of our Church into the international debate,” he said.

Auza also discussed six issues concerning the Church – war and conflicts, nuclear disarmament, human trafficking, extreme poverty, forced migration and protection of life and family – which greatly affect the poor and marginalized around the world.

The Church’s involvement in social and political issues is in line with the inward and outward sense of Church mission, Caloocan Archbishop Pablo Virgilio David said in his talk on Church as communion.

“We serve the Church so that we can serve the world as a servant church. They should just be in communion not just with those they are in common baptism but with all those with basic common humanity, basic common desire for common good,” David said.


Revitalize Christian message for the youth

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Vatican’s head for new evangelization, challenged the Church to find new language to reach out to the youth in its bid to revitalize the Christian message and ensure the Church’s future.

“The Church has a particular responsibility [to] the youth. We need to make our youth responsible for the order and the new evangelization,” Fisichella, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, said.

Fisichella also warned the youth of the dangers of irresponsible Internet use, while recognizing the importance of social media in evangelization.
“The capacity of communication is the possibility of formation; however, using this new culture [brings forth] a new question: the truth and how we read with a critical mind what we receive,” he said.

Together with other “pilgrims,” actors Alden Richards, Dingdong Dantes and Dimples Romana, Couples for Christ member Rodito Mahinay and Sr. Mary Jane Caspillo of the Medical Mission Sisters shared their faith experiences in the conference.

This year’s PCNE focused on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ declaration of the “Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities.” It featured testimonies, exhibits, Eucharistic celebrations and concurrent sessions about family, youth, parish, catechism, social justice and environment.

A total of 6,500 delegates participated in PCNE 4, with over 1,500 participants coming from the youth sector.

The next PCNE is scheduled to take place on July 20 to 22, 2018.


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