IDC Delegates met in Rome
The meeting of the IDC Delegates in Rome was marked by the Private Audience with Pope Francis which immediately preceded it. All Delegates from all over the world arrived in Rome; only José Espinós had to cancel his participation at short notice. After a meeting between the Delegates and the Audience participants on Friday and after the moving encounter with Pope Francis, the Delegates came together on Saturday for a retrospective analysis of the successful celebration of the IDC’s 50th anniversary jubilee in Rome and Assisi as well as on the first edition of the Diakonia Prize.
IDC President Klaus Kießling gave a warm welcome to a special guest: Padre César Braga, representative of CELAM’s Department of Vocations and Ministries. The participation of the Brazilian, who is currently working in the CELAM headquarters in Bogotá, was of great service to the strengthening of the collaboration between the IDC and those in charge of the diaconate in Latin America. His presentation gave a differentiated insight into the many forms of the Diaconate in Southern America. He also pointed to the challenges that the next few years will bring.
In the coming months, the contact with the Congregation for the Clergy should be intensified in order to stimulate the discussion on the theology and future shape of the diaconate, within a Church that understands herself as diaconal. The same purpose should be served by the Study Conference which will take place in Lourdes between the 7th and the 10th of September 2017. The Delegates decided that the topic of the Conference should be “Salvation and Healing in a Diaconal Church”.
The reports of the Delegates showed a wide range of social and pastoral challenges as well as the very diverse faces of the diaconate in the different regions of the world. The average age of deacons, the resistance of priests of bishops against the ministry of the deacon or problems regarding adequate formation are but a few of the challenges singled out by the Delegates. Here you can find the reports!