The members of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization have recommend the creation of church body to promote religious freedom. The recommendation was one of the propositions Synod members would present to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Synod concluded on Sunday with a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Basilica. On Saturday Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the relator general for the synod, held a press conference at which he outlined the final propositions.
While the recommendations touch on every aspect of church life, Synod members singled out the parish as being of particular importance because it is "primary presence of the church in neighborhoods, the place and instrument of Christian life, which is able to offer opportunities for dialogue." To ensure that parishes continue to be places where faithful can have a personal encounter with Christ, parishes should offer ways for parishioners to grow in their faith, and reach out the community in which they are located, the Synod Fathers said.
Among the 57 propositions Synod Fathers will present to Pope Benedict are:
- each diocese should establish a permanent place where the sacrament of reconciliation are available all the time
- episcopal conferences should look into creating a permanent council for the New Evangelization
- pastoral care should be given to Catholics who are divorced and remarried, the children of divorced parents, and those who have been left by their spouse.
- the church should "be vigilant in caring for and promoting the quality of art that is permitted in sacred spaces" because of the role that art can play in leading people into prayer and closer to God.
- a department of New Evangelization should be established at Catholic universities
The full list of propositions by the Synod Fathers is available on the Vatican website
Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service