Archbishop John Dew blogs from the Synod on the New Evangelisation and the transmission of the Christian Faith in Rome.
We have now had almost a full week at the Synod and today has been another long day of listening. So far about 120 of the Bishops have made interventions, which means that there are about another 130 to go and then there will be presentations from some of the others who are invited as guests ...some women and men religious, laity representing such organisations as nurses, doctors and teachers. That will take another three days and then we will start the small group discussions on all that has been spoken about in the Synod Hall. Pope Benedict is sitting listening most of the time and is remarkable in the way that he is obviously taking it all in and making notes for himself.
There have been all sorts of interventions and it is hard to say if there is any one particular theme. One of the things that has come through from Bishops from all over the world is that of the family and the need for families to be the place where evangelisation takes place and where parents teach their children what it means to be Catholic and how to live as people of the Gospel. That call is coming from many countries and it is clear that there is a real concern that family values are threatened and there is a need to find ways to help families to pray together, to reflect together on the Gospel so as to live the Gospel in daily life.
Another consistent theme is that the Gospel is about Jesus as Saviour, that the only way to be fully human is to have a real relationship with Jesus who leads us to God. Jesus Christ is the very essence of Christianity, he is the way the Truth and the Life, He is the one who leads us to God's love. This means that our Catholic faith should always be something that brings joy and hope to our lives, and that it is by being joyful and hopeful people that we are able to lead others to Jesus.
Sunday, is a free day from the synod and I think we are all looking forward to being able to relax a little and be refreshed for some more days of listening next week.
With all good wishes and every blessing