PNG Catholic National Secretary for Youth and Laity can see own concerns on newly released Vatican document
By Fr Giorgio Licini, PIME – CBC Communications. Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Catholic Secretary for Youth and Laity, Fr. Shanthi Puthussery PIME, is elated at a newly released Vatican document which includes suggestions similar to what he recently spearheaded in an open discussion paper on the Transmission of Faith.
The document in question is the recently released Instrumentum laboris (guide) for the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is due to be held in the Vatican from 7 to 28 October this year on the theme: "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith". The document was presented on 19 June in Rome by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic and Bishop Fortunato Frezza, respectively secretary general and under secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
Considering the third of the four chapters of document, "Transmitting the Faith", Archbishop Eterovic noted that "the purpose of new evangelisation is the transmission of faith. The Church transmits the faith from which she herself lives, and all Christians are called to make their contribution. ... The obstacles to the faith can be within the Church (faith lived passively or privately, refusal to be educated in one's faith, separation between life and faith) or outside Christian life altogether (secularisation, nihilism consumerism, hedonism)".
In his small booklet addressed to all Catholic faithful, but particularly to the Bishops and other diocesan leaders and pastoral workers of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Fr. Shanthi points at several obstacles in passing on the Christian and Catholic faith to young people nowadays in our two countries: lack of prayer, faith, spirituality and formation in the family, declining interest in Church activities and organizations, mass media influence and distorted understanding of personal freedom, lack of role models for the youth... Statistics show that the Catholic Church is losing numbers in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to religious sects or to outright indifference.
The document of the Instrumentum laboris, a fruit of previous worldwide consultation, serves the purpose of guiding the Synod members, mainly bishops representatives of all countries, in preparing their intervention and develop the discussion during the works of the Synod.
(News.va/CBC Communications 200612 – firstname.lastname@example.org)