|Chile – Archbishop Ezzati: a return to Christ is fundamental for Consecrated Life|
|Italy – 79th USG: revitalisation of CL and the world of the media|
|Italy – Conclusion of the Assembly of the USG|
(ANS – Rome) – “Consecrated Life in Latin America and the Caribbean: Life and Mission” is the theme of the 79th Six-monthly Assembly of the Union of Superior Generals, programmed for today, May 23, up to Friday May 25th, held in the Salesianum of Rome.
After a study in depth of the situations in Europe and Africa in the preceding assemblies, the 79th assembly is dedicated to what has been called the “the continent of Hope” . Opening the proceedings, Fr. Joseph Maria Abella Batlle, CMF, Vicepresident of the USG, read the greeting from the President, Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, SDB, which briefly recalled the social and ecclesial contexts of the assembly and the aim of the meeting.
The first address was given by the archbishop of Santiago del Chile and President of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, Mons. Ricardo Ezzati, SDB. In his address, entitled “A fire which lights other fires” , the prelate first traced the strong points of Consecrated Life in the continent: the presence rooted in the centuries, the priority given to evangelization, the mission among the indigenous peoples, the exploited and the new poor, the fruitful commitment to education…He went on to expose some weaknesses to be kept in mind, such as the danger of encroaching bourgeois life-style for religious, scandals activism and ideological divisions… all of them evils which originate from “evangelical anemia” which is produced when religious lose their zeal and passion for the person of Jesus and for the charism inherited from the founders.
In his address Mons. Ezzati focused principally on the “prophecy of the future” for Consecrated Life, that is the great challenges to be overcome to light new fires. Among the steps to be taken, the bishop stressed the revitalization of prayer; a greater care for the initial and ongoing formation of religious; an open ear to the voice of the lowest, so that Consecrated Life should be “an ecclesial launching pad in defence of life at risk”; the rationalizing of structures; sharing the mission with lay-people…
In general it is a question of accepting a change of status for Consecrated Life and religion from a dominant role to a minority dimension, which however can be very fruitful through service and a return to the roots of the consecration chosen.
After a discussion period in the hall, the work continued with the address of Prof. Roque Acosta Ortiz, Assistant Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay. After an analysis of the socio-economic context of Latin America and the situation of the Church, Prof. Acosta Ortiz dealt with the crisis in vocations, underlining in particular the role of family quarrels and so seeing the origin of the crisis in vocations in the crisis of the family. Concluding with a positive look at the challenges of the future, the speaker stressed the many reasons for which religious life is a gift of God and a blessing for Latin America.
In the afternoon the assembly continues with an address by Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD, “Impotent servants of Humanity, humble witnesses of the Kingdom. A reply.”