Malaysian Vatican representative suggests initiatives for dioceses to explore during the special year
JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYSIA – The Vatican representative in Malaysia has encouraged the region’s bishops to use the media to evangelise during the Year of Faith.
Msgr Marek Zalewski suggested to the bishops of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei that they can use “television and radio transmissions, film and publications” to highlight “the faith, its principles and content”.
The Charge d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Kuala Lumpur was speaking at a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, held from July 23-27 in Majodi Centre, Plentong, Johor Bahru.
Msgr Zalewski also urged the bishops to look at the “quality of catechesis”, saying that efforts in this area will involve examining “local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches” to ensure “their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church”.
At the level of dioceses, the Year of Faith is expected to provide an occasion for “renewed creative dialogue between faith and reason” among both the academic and artistic communities, said Msgr Zalewski.
In the local parishes, it is hoped that there will be a focus on the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, since in it the “faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and strengthened”.
Msgr Zalewski also urged the bishops to send information about the initiatives they have undertaken for the Year of Faith to a special website which has been developed for the facilitation and exchange of initiatives carried out in the Churches in mission territories.
This website is a place where one can find and share useful information related to the Year of Faith, he said.
The Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI, will last from Oct 11 this year to Nov 24 next year.
The special year is a “response to the general crisis of faith in the world today” said Msgr Zalewski.
He noted that there will be “various ecumenical initiatives” aimed at forging unity among all Christians during the Year of Faith.
During the meeting, the bishops discussed issues such as migrants, human trafficking, interfaith dialogue, vocations, social communications, sexual abuse of minors, and justice and peace.
The bishops also met with the Conference of Religious Major Superiors of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CRMS), who were having their meeting from July 23-25.
Speaking on the sidelines, outgoing CRMS president, Gabrielite Br Dominic Yeo Koh, said the group is “looking at the relations” between the bishops and the Religious “in the dioceses and countries”.
“We want to see how we can make consecrated life better known and maybe also to celebrate the consecrated life in a different way from what we have been doing the past number of years,” he said.
He said the CRMS wants to involve the parishes and hopes to explore this matter with the bishops.
By Vincent D’Silva