Hereafter a few ideas for thought proposed by Cardinal Schönborn to the Cardinals of the Patronage Committee on November 22 in the Secret Archives Hall in the Vatican.
« We can consider the speech by John-Paul II in Cracow in 2002 as a testament. There the Pope informed us of the urgency to make known to all mankind the Divine Mercy. He confided the world to Mercy. He has invited all of us to become witnesses and apostles of Mercy.
Clearly, the Lord has given an impressive reply to this request. He called John-Paul II to him on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. It was like a signature, a seal.
At the International Retreat in Lagiewniki in 2005, 150 priests came from all over the world. And we asked ourselves this question : how to answer this universal call ? How to continue ?
The idea for a world congress developed and was welcomed in an international way at all levels, creating a great popular, theological and spiritual interest. »
Thereby, the World Congress in Rome, and following this successive local congress, mean to be an universal ecclesial reply to the request of John-Paul II in Cracow (in the perspective of Deus est Caritas). The whole Church is called to elaborate pastoral programmes in terms of Mercy.
From this, the continental and national committees in place all over the world, around co-ordinators, very often chosen directly by the Episcopal conferences, are called to make this call and this invitation reach everyone, to all the realities of the Church, becoming all for all men. Therefore the co-ordinators, in recalling an expression by Cardinal Rylko, must guarantee the universality.
In this the spirit of poverty of Saint Faustina should inspire all of us : to become servants of a plan which is beyond us all.
Often the co-ordinators are situated in a particular reality of the Church : they are religious, they belong to an association, a movement … What richness ! …However they know how to give importance to every other reality and put all of them in value, in spite of their own sympathies : parish, diocesan services, institutes of the consecrated, new communities, associations … None come first but all are called to collaborate, for Mercy is the Treasure of the whole Church.
Evidently, nobody, nor any group, can pretend to have the exclusivity. The co-ordination committees have a universal heart. Not one will profit from its role by primarily benefiting his own group. Mercy is credible providing it is not monopolized. What a splendid example of Mercy in the favelas of Sao Paolo ! What marvels amongst the poor children in Bengalore ! What a lesson for us, from the parochial groups in Manilla, living in the poorest quarters ! Mercy is lived, it becomes tiny and poor, it restores the dignity of our brothers in humanity, it procures a new type of communion, it dynamizes the mission.
Thereby, the aim of the Congress is to receive and partake the Gift of God with everyone, to marvel at the experiences of Mercy in others and to offer it to all, by being witnesses. It is not to create a federation of groups, which by the way would exclude others. Mercy is for all. We wish to become more conscious .. We want to be more motivated by it, in all our activities, in all our projects !…
This Congress will truly be the feast of the Church, the Epiphany of the unconditional Love of God, of his engagement for humanity ; it will be the ferment of communion and dynamism for the mission, enrichment of the charisms and ministries. One understands the words of Don Stanislao Dziwisz (Cardinal Archbishop of Cracow) : this Congress, it was the dream of John-Paul II !…
That the Lord may come therefore into our lives with his fullness : Mercy.
Happy Christmas to all in every continent !
Father Patrice Chocholski