(Vatican Radio) A moment of deep discernment for the Church. That was how Fr Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See press office, described the atmosphere during the Synod of Bishops on the Family which ended here in the Vatican on Sunday. Noting how the two week meeting was part of a longer process that will conclude in October 2015, Fr Lombardi said the atmosphere of honesty and transparency was a key element which distinguished it from any other previous Synod of the Universal Church.
Among the 253 participants were also representatives of other Christian Churches, invited to share their experience of family ministry in the context of evangelisation. They included Valérie Duval Poujol, the ‘fraternal delegate’ from the Baptist World Alliance. As the daughter of a mixed Baptist-Catholic family who now works as a theologian and professor at the Catholic Institute in Paris, she has a long experience of ecumenism in action. She sat down with Philippa Hitchen to share her thoughts on a common sense of mission and the need for a new language to touch the hearts of young people today….
“I was very impressed by the good quality of exchange between the Synodal Fathers – sometimes people have a vision of the Church which is distant or cold, but I really felt the compassion of the heart of the shepherds….
A Synod is about (knowing) we have some difficulties and we try to think together about what would be the best way to speak the Gospel to our generation…
What we share most in common between Baptists and Catholics is our common concern for mission, we Baptists are really a mission Church and we felt strongly it was also the desire of the Synodal Fathers, so we encourage each other in our common mission….
Our common basis is Scripture and I was very touched by all Synodal Fathers who quoted the Scriptures in their discourses and it’s our common heritage. The more we dig together into Scripture and the more we try to connect to Jesus Christ, the more we look like him and the more we can get closer and be missionaries or witnesses to this world….”
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