No. 843 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 26 October 2015
Pope Francis delivered his closing speech on 24 October 2015. Parts of his speech follow.
As I followed the labours of the Synod, I asked myself: What will it mean for the Church to conclude this Synod devoted to the family?
Certainly, the Synod was not about settling all the issues having to do with the family, but rather attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two-thousand-year history, bringing the joy of hope without falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said.
Surely it was not about finding exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family, but rather about seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.
It was about urging everyone to appreciate the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, based on unity and indissolubility, and valuing it as the fundamental basis of society and human life.
It was about listening to and making heard the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.
It was about showing the vitality of the Catholic Church, which is not afraid to stir dulled consciences or to soil her hands with lively and frank discussions about the family.
It was about trying to view and interpret realities, today’s realities, through God’s eyes, so as to kindle the flame of faith and enlighten people’s hearts in times marked by discouragement, social, economic and moral crisis, and growing pessimism.
It was about bearing witness to everyone that, for the Church, the Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it in dead stones to be hurled at others.
It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.
It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.
It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.
The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God.
In this sense, the necessary human repentance, works and efforts take on a deeper meaning, not as the price of that salvation freely won for us by Christ on the cross, but as a response to the One who loved us first and saved us at the cost of his innocent blood, while we were still sinners (cf. Rom 5:6).
The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn. 12: 44-50).
In effect, for the Church to conclude the Synod means to return to our true “journeying together” in bringing to every part of the world, to every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!
- DIOCESAN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, KRISKA ALAGADS
KriskaAlagads numbering 3, 413 from 26 of 27 parishes attended the 26th DGA held 24 October 2015, South Cotabato Gymnasium, Koronadal City.
Theme: “Pag-inambitaysaPulongsa Dios NagadusosaKalinawugKaangayandihasaPanimalaysaSimbahansaKabus.”
Sharing by Fr. Joel Aliligay, Diocesan Director, Christian Formation Center.
“True foundation of the life of KRISKA is Jesus Christ and his words in Scriptures.”
The Word of God nourishes the KriskaAlagad’s life.
“With Jesus and His words as source of life and strength,Kriska can bear the evils of poverty, the culture of consumerism, the culture of waste, and the throwaway culture.”
“Today Kriska stands out as a little Christian Community that confronts everything that destroys peace and harmony in our homes. It is a pastoral response to communicate the Gospel more effectively in the homes, especially of the poor families.”
Bishop Dinualdo’s homily, Lk. 13: 1-9. Call to repentance and to bear fruits – fruits of justice and love to achieve peace and harmony.
Attendance: Total 3, 413.
First 10: Marbel – 700. Dadiangas – 600. Calumpang – 550. Tampakan – 238. Lagao – 200. Bula – 150. Fatima – 100. Polomolok – 100. St. Michael – 100. Surallah – 100.