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Archbishop Rylko on New Movements
(Part 2 of 2)

"A Gift of the Spirit"

VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2006 (Zenit) - The upcoming meeting of ecclesial movements and new communities in Rome will provide a chance for them to reflect on the "ecclesial maturity" of the organizations.

So says Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who has been entrusted with the organization of the meeting on the eve of Pentecost in St. Peter's Square.

In the second part of this interview with Catholic Online, the archbishop spoke about how the movements and communities are finding their place in the Church.

Part 1 appeared Tuesday on Catholic Online.

Q: Before the Pope's meeting with Movements, there will be another important event related to the latter: the 2nd World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, organized in Rocca di Papa from May 31 to June 2, by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. What will it consist of?

Archbishop Rylko: Three hundred people will take part in the congress, among them the delegates from 100 movements and new communities, several invited personalities and fraternal delegates from other churches and Christian communions.

The theme of the congress, "The Beauty of Being Christians and the Joy of Communicating It," is inspired by the words spoken by Benedict XVI on the day of the inauguration of his pontificate: "There is nothing more beautiful than to have been touched, surprised by the Gospel, by Christ. Nothing more beautiful than to know him and to communicate friendship with him to others."

Well then, in the present secularized world of today, the new aggregative realities generated by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church give witness of this beauty in a strong and persuasive way.

Today, as John Paul II reminded us, it is not enough to talk of Christ; he must be made to be seen by others through a Christian life lived with coherence.

In this context, the participants will be invited to reflect together on the "ecclesial maturity" of the movements, a path pointed out to movements and communities by Pope Wojtyla eight years ago, during the unforgettable meeting of May 30, 1998.

It will be a congress of dialogue, witness, profound ecclesial communion and listening to what the Spirit says today to the Church. And it will all be centered on Christ, "the most beautiful of the sons of men."

Q: What are the most frequent difficulties in the insertion of new ecclesial realities in the Church?

Archbishop Rylko: Pope Benedict XV, when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, underlined that when the Spirit intervenes he always leaves us astonished with the unexpected novelty of his gifts.

Therefore, one must not be surprised if the new charisms also at times cause a certain disconcert in the consolidated pastoral praxis of dioceses and parishes. There are pastors and lay people for whom it is difficult to understand the true meaning of these gifts. And still today there is no lack of mistrust and resistance of different kinds.

Moreover, the movements and communities themselves are exposed to risks derived from a condition that Cardinal Ratzinger described, because of certain aspects, as "adolescent," as an exuberance of neophytes, the taking of unilateral positions, the risk of absolutizing their own existence.

To meet these dangers on one hand and the other, John Paul II gave an important rule in the encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" in which he addresses an invitation to the movements to insert themselves with a posture of humble service in the living fabric of the local Churches, and to pastors to accept them with paternal cordiality.

And Cardinal Ratzinger recommended, in turn, to movements and pastors, to always allow themselves to be educated and purified by the Spirit.

What is important is that the movements be truly seen in the Church as a gift of the Spirit and not only as a problem. And the experience of the Pontifical Council for the Laity enables one to say that in the Church of today this awareness of gift has grown much among the pastors.

Q: Is it significant that the date chosen is again Pentecost? Will there be a new Pentecost for the Church in 2006?

Archbishop Rylko: I am certain that the meeting of the movements with Benedict XVI will be, as that of May 30, 1998, with the Servant of God John Paul II, an important milestone in the life of these aggregations and a strong sign of hope for the whole Church.

On June 3, St. Peter's Square will be like an open-air cenacle in which, gathered around the person of the Successor of Peter, the movements will invoke together with him a renewed effusion of the Spirit on the Church of our time, "so that he will fill the hearts of the faithful and proclaim to all the message of the love of Christ, Savior of the world," as Benedict XVI said after the Regina Caeli on Sunday, May 21.


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Rylko, New Movements, Rome, Ecclesial, Pentecost

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