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      World Apostolic Congress on Mercy

World Apostolic Congress on Mercy

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  • 25 August 2014
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"Only mercy can make justice a reality", said Cardinal Salazar Gómez
Bogota - "Colombia is capable of mercy", said Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez at the III World Apostolic Congress on Mercy WACOM, held in Bogota from August 15 to 19, which was attended by 4 Cardinals, 7 bishops, 50 priests and several hundreds of religious and lay people from all over the world.
The Cardinal said in his speech that despite 50 years of fratricidal war, "only in God’s mercy the attitudes of hatred can be abandoned and one can build a country based on social justice, forgiveness and peace". During the Congress, Cuba began the meeting of the victims of the conflict with the delegations of the government and the FARC guerrillas involved in the peace talks . "It was a historic event, a meeting of silence and forgiveness, characterized by deep respect, without indifference", said Fr. Darío Echeverri Gonzalez, Secretary of the Commission for National Reconciliation who attended the event.

Upcoming World Congress on Mercy first time in Latin America!

Colombian bishops and Cardinal Schönborn, President of the Congress, expect a lot of participants from the whole world in Bogota. Video Press Conference
New entry to the Gospel

Msgr. Garcia announced that, during the meeting, « Divine Mercy will be very significant for the missionary strengths of the Church. » The South American Bishop is encharged of the preparation of the Congress by the Colombian Bishop’s Conference. After Rome (2008) and Cracow (2011), it is the first time that the World Divine Mercy Congress will take place outside Europe. Cardinal Schönborn notices the Colombian capital has been chosen for its ability to focus on the heart of the Gospel and to offer an inspiration for the Church today.

The Congress will express how the theme of Mercy is central for Christian life today. Through Divine Mercy, more and more people find a new access to the Gospel.
« Without mission, the Church dies »

« Without mission, the Church dies » Msgr. Garcia said. The missionary impulse of the christian communities is possible only on condition of a personal experience of Mercy. This personal conversion and also a pastoral conversion are determinant for the future of the Church. Mercy means, we do not wait for the people to come to us; instead, we need to go to meet them, from door to door, to bring them the message of Mercy. « If a parish is not missionary, it has got no mercy », Msgr. Garcia said. The Colombian Church expects from the Congress a strong impulse for the renewing of the Church and an input to stable peace in a wounded country (civil wars, conflicts for drug). « The way of Divine Mercy is for us a way of trust, because Colombia needs a way of peace. », the Istmina Bishop said.
Divine Mercy as a paradigm

Divine Mercy is a key-word of John Paul II’s Pontificate (1978-2005). During the Jubilee (2000), he introduced the first Sunday after Easter as Feast of the Divine Mercy and canonized Sister Faustine Kowalska (1905-1938), whose visions had a determinant incidence for the spirituality of Mercy. John Paul II, indeed, died on Divine Mercy eve. During his last pilgrimage to Poland (2002) he blessed, in Cracow, the new shrine of the Divine Mercy. At this time, he insisted: «Outside Divine Mercy, there is no source of hope for humankind. »
Common theme for the future

The idea of the Divine Mercy Congress is born after Pope Wojtylas death at a meeting of bishops and priests with Cardinal Schönborn in Cracow, willingly encouraged by Pope Benedict. The Congress will propose talks, testimonies and possibilities to meet one another, prayer, as usual, will be an essential part.

Besides the World congresses, there is also an important deployment of congresses including continental and national congresses, Father Patrice Chocholski said : “ As an example, at the end of October, the second Asian Congress on Mercy will take place in Bangkok.” The French priest points out that Buddhist communities will also participate to this three days meeting in Thailand.

As General Secretary of the World Congresses and parish priest in Lyon, he specifies : “ This indicates that Catholics, other Christians and Buddhist are convinced that Mercy is a common and determinant theme to be shared in view of the future globalization.”

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