07 October 2019

The civilization of love: an ongoing project and a mission to be realized

Secretary Fr. Awi Mello speaks at an international congress marking 40 years since the Puebla Conference

“Like an ideal on the horizon, the construction of a ‘civilization of love’ remains an ongoing project and a mission yet to be realized. Yet much has already been done in Latin America in this sense, and a proof of this is the strong sense of identity and connectedness between the young people and the Latin American bishops observed during the recent synodal process.” These are the words which Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, Secretary of our Dicastery, spoke during his intervention at the international congress, held in Rome at the General Curia offices of the Jesuits, on the topic of: “40 years after the Puebla Conference.”

The “long road of communication and participation” initiated by the third General Conference of the Latin American episcopate, held at Puebla (Mexico) in 1979, “is related to the discourses and proposals of the bishops and young people at the Synod,” he continued. The Secretary said he was sure that “the evangelization of young people in Latin America will not remain indifferent to the rich and participative synodal process on the topic of ‘youth, faith, and vocational discernment,’ in which for the first time the universal Church has articulated a significant reflection on issues common to young people, and from which Christus Vivit, the post-Synodal Exhortation of Pope Francis, arose.

“Pastoral work with young people,” he concluded, “continues to be a fundamental and necessary task for the Latin American Church, and it is clear that this pastoral service cannot lose sight of the Kingdom of God, that civilization of love dreamed of by Paul VI, from Puebla and from the ministry to young people in Latin America over the past forty years.”