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Archbishop Rylko on New Movements
(Part 1 of 2)

Pope Is Looking Forward to Their Meeting in Rome

VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2006 (Zenit) - Benedict XVI will soon meet with tens of thousands of members of ecclesial movements and new communities to experience with them a new Pentecost.

Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, to whom the Pope has entrusted the organization of the meeting which will take place this Saturday in St. Peter's Square, says that the movements will invoke with the Holy Father "a renewed effusion of the Spirit."

In this interview with us, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity reveals some details of what Benedict XVI expects from the meeting. Part 2 of this interview will appear Tuesday.

Q: When were you asked by Benedict XVI to organize this second meeting of new ecclesial realities? What did the Pope say to you?

Archbishop Rylko: The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, expressed the desire to meet with ecclesial movements and new communities during the first official audience that he granted me as president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

It was May 14, 2005, by an extraordinary coincidence, on the eve of Pentecost! The Pope's invitation was received with great joy, enthusiasm and gratitude by all the movements. And immediately, an intense spiritual journey was initiated in preparation for this important event.

Q: What are the Pope's hopes for this Pentecost meeting?

Archbishop Rylko: The Pope has followed closely the event's preparations.

This was confirmed by his words after the Regina Caeli on Sunday, May 21: "I have present in my heart and prayer the important appointment of Saturday, June 2, eve of Pentecost, when I will have the joy of meeting in St. Peter's Square with numerous members of more than one hundred ecclesial movements and new communities, from all over the world. I know well what their formative, educational and missionary wealth -- so appreciated and encouraged by our beloved Pope John Paul II -- means for the Church."

Benedict XVI has been following these new associative realities for years and has done so with the passion of a theologian and pastor.

In the postmodern world, profoundly secularized, which effects in many a worrying erosion of the faith, these new charisms appear as important signs of hope, intense ways of living the faith, places that favor the encounter with Christ which radically transforms people's lives, enkindling in many an impressive evangelizing impulse.

These realities are the fruit of continuous new "eruptions of the Spirit in the life of the Church," interventions that no one would ever be able to plan or project. They are free gifts that the People of God must receive with profound appreciation.

And I think that, in the significant context of the solemnity of Pentecost, the Pope will not fail to launch a strong call to the whole Church to open ever more to these gifts of the Spirit, encouraging the movements to continue serving the mission of the Church with generosity and passion.

Q: What will be the principal moments of the meeting?

Archbishop Rylko: The meeting of movements and new communities with the Holy Father will be a most beautiful epiphany of the Church in the whole variety and diversity of these charismatic gifts that enrich her and, at the same time, are a testimony of profound ecclesial communion.

The meeting will have the liturgical form of the first vespers of the solemnity of Pentecost and, during the celebration, which will begin at 6 p.m., participants will be invited to renew the grace of the sacrament of confirmation.

The central moment obviously will be the Holy Father's address to those present.

While they await the Pope's arrival, beginning at 4 p.m., the participants gathered in St. Peter's Square will recollect themselves in meditation, alternating hymns and prayers. They will hear passages of John Paul II's and Benedict XVI's addresses on the movements, as well as a series of testimonies.

It is expected that a great number of representatives from more than 100 ecclesial movements and new communities will arrive in Rome from all the continents.

To facilitate communication, Vatican Radio will offer a service of simultaneous translation in French, English, Spanish and Italian. The following day, Pentecost Sunday, to crown all that was lived in the vigil, the Pope will celebrate the Eucharist in St. Peter's Square at 9:30 a.m. and he invites all to participate.

A last indication: The day before the meeting, Friday, June 2, beginning at 7 p.m., in several Roman basilicas and churches, prayer vigils will be held, prepared by the various movements to involve the whole Church of Rome in the event.

[Wednesday: Ecclesial maturity]


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Rylko, New Movements, Rome, Ecclesial, Pentecost

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