As hundreds of delegates arrive in Rome this weekend for a worldwide gathering on evangelisation with the Pope, a bishop attendee from England and Wales reflects on his expectations for the meeting.
Rt Rev Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and Chair of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, is attending the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to reflect on the theme of “The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. He is one of two bishops, along with Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster OSA, representing the bishops of England and Wales at the gathering from 7 – 28 October with Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Bernard Longley (Birmingham) will also be participating as a Synod Father and member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation.
Interviewed for a podcast ahead of his departure to Rome, Bishop Conry said: “I hope it will give the Church in Europe new breath. I think essentially that’s the urgency of the question because the world around us here in Europe has changed enormously in the past 50 years since the Vatican Council was first called. The way in which the world has changed, our society and culture has changed, has had an enormous impact on the Church. The way in which people listen, the way in which people perceive truth, the way in which people experience faith; all these have made a Synod gathering like this, I think, a very very important moment.”
Two lay people from England and Wales have also been invited to attend the Synod as experts: Dr Petroc Willey is Deputy Director of the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham and Dr Caroline Farey is Head of Catechetical Formation at the Institute.
You can listen and download Bishop Conry’s podcast at the top right of this page.
The Synod also coincides with the opening of the Year of Faith on 11 October, with daily ‘faith tweets’ being offered in partnership with the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk and the Bible Society at @YoFtweets.