Vatican’s synod chief to speak at new evangelization conference in Manila

January 15, 2024 - 5:03 PM
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Pope Francis and Cardinal Mario Grech (left) attending the last day of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of bishops in the Vatican on Oct. 28, 2023. (Vatican Media)

Being a more synodal church will be the focus of a conference on new evangelization in Manila with Pope Francis’ point person on synodality among the speakers.

Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, is booked as the keynote speaker for this year’s Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) on Jan. 19.

According to organizers, the focus of his talk is on “Synodality — A synodal Church in mission.”

The PCNE will open with a Mass at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), with Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila as the presider and Archbishop Charles Brown, the papal nuncio, as the homilist.

Cardinal Grech will also preside over the Mass on the second day of the three-day conference on Jan. 20.

The Synod on Synodality, a cornerstone of Francis’ papacy, sees Cardinal Grech as a torchbearer of the pope’s vision for the Church.

The PCNE will also feature a ‘Heart to Heart’ talk between Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and the Philippine delegates who participated in the first monthlong session of the Synod on Synodality at the Vatican in October 2023.

These delegates include Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila; Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, and Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, the president and vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, respectively; as well as the lay theologian Dr. Estela Padilla.

The Vatican will hold the final meeting of the synod in October this year.

Now in its 10th year, the PCNE is the brainchild of Cardinal Tagle, the former Manila archbishop and now a pro-prefect at the Dicastery for Evangelization.

The conference will end with a Mass that will be presided by Cardinal Tagle at 4 p.m. on Jan. 21.