Address of Cardinal Mario Grech to the Latin American and Caribbean Ecclesial Assembly

Mexico City, 25 November 2021

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, spoke this morning at the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the session dedicated to mission entitled Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). “Try to think of the mission scenario of a non-synodal Church; a Church in which we do not walk together, proceed in no particular order, each claiming the right to mission. Evangelization would no longer be the work of the Church, but of many individuals, denominations, groups, movements, which would approach others on the basis of their own personal and exclusive gifts, not because of Christ's command”. This is one of the messages that the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops addressed to the participants in the Ecclesial Assembly and continues “…«in a model of the Church that exists "in and starting from the Churches» (LG 23), the proclamation of the Gospel must be an evident manifestation of the ecclesial communion. A missionary project can only arise from the synodal process of listening-discernment, which is, moreover, an exercise in discipleship. In this perspective, the Final Document of the Amazon Synod spoke of «missionary synodality». Quite the opposite of certain forms of self-referential evangelization, which form people into a closed membership - hopefully non-sectarian! - that risks sliding towards forms of proselytism”.

Then referring more specifically to the Synod on Synodality, which was opened on October 9-10 by Pope Francis, Cardinal Grech recalls that “A missionary conversion will not be possible if a synodal conversion is not carried out, which involves a humble and respectful listening to the other and his or her reasons; who has the courage to ask and give forgiveness; who wants unity not at the price of truth, but never identifies truth with «my» truth. Perhaps this will be the greatest effort, but it will also constitute the strongest witness, which will give substance to the gift of synodal experience that you will be able to offer to the whole Church”.

Finally, the Secretary of the Synod recalls the importance of inculturation of the Gospel as a concrete possibility to return to an evangelical style of life. “If «the People of God are incarnated in the peoples of the earth, each of whom has their own culture» (EG 115), I hope that you can «build the communion and harmony of the People of God» in this land (cf. EG 117) starting from the traditions and cultures of the continent to translate the one Gospel of Christ in a Latin American style. This, as the pope says, will not threaten the unity of the Church, but will show that Tradition is not a song in unison, a single-voice melodic line, but a symphony, where every voice, every register, every vocal timber enriches the only Gospel, sung in an infinite possibility of variations”.

The Cardinal's speech is available in English (original) and Spanish.

25 November 2021, 15:41