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Pope Francis encourages Hispanic ministry in North America

Pope Francis addresses the executive committe of CELAM at the apostolic nunciature in Bogota, Sept. 7, 2017. / Alvaro de Juana/CNA.

Denver Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

In a video message on Thursday, Pope Francis encouraged the Pontifical Commission for Latin America to continue its mission at the service of the Church in Latin American Church and of Hispanic ministry in the United States and Canada.

The pontifical commission is called to “a service, a diakonia, which should mainly show the affection and attention that the Pope has for the region” and explained that this consists in a “service that helps the various dicasteries to act in synergy and better understand the Latin American social and ecclesial reality,” the pope said May 26 to the plenary assembly of the dicastery.

In addition, the Pope urged the members of the pontifical commission to continue promoting “Hispanic pastoral car in the United States and Canada, in communion with the universal Church.”

“I am convinced that … the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean has made ‘the path by walking,’ that is, it has shown that a correct interpretation of the conciliar teachings implies relearning to walk together,” the pope affirmed.

Likewise, Pope Francis indicated that the Pontifical Commission for Latin America “is not called to be a customs office, which controls things in Latin America or the Hispanic dimension of Canada and the United States, no. Its existence as an instance of service is justified by the peculiar identity and fraternity that the nations of Latin America live.”

The Holy Father underlined the importance of ecclesial communion and stated that the synodal process is called to remember the universal call to holiness because “we are all disciples called to learn and follow the Lord. We are all co-responsible for the common good and for the holiness of the Church.”

“Synodality should lead us to live ecclesial communion more intensely, in which the diversity of charisms, vocations and ministries are harmoniously integrated animated by the same baptism, which makes us all sons in the Son. Let us beware of one-person protagonism and let us bet on sowing and encouraging processes that allow the people of God, who walk in history, to participate more and better in the common responsibility that we all have to be the Church”, the pope stated.

He noted recent lay appointments to the commission, which he made “to help us all to generate new dynamics and uninstall us a little bit of some of our clerical uses and customs, both here in the Curia and in all places where there are Latin American communities.”

The pontifical commission, “through all its members, must promote true synodality as widely as possible,” he said. “Communion without synodality can easily lend itself to a certain undesirable fixity and centralism. Synodality without communion can become ecclesiastical populism.”