Final Update from the Synod in Rome

The Synod ended yesterday with a beautiful closing Liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica that Pope Benedict XVI presided over. I was asked to announce the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary, in English, as the rosary was recited before Mass began, and do the first reading at the Mass from the prophet Jeremiah. Our good friend and country coordinator from Hungary, Deacon Zoli Kunszabó, the only Deacon at the Synod, was asked to serve as Deacon at the Mass.
Yesterday, the final propositions from the Synod were voted on and I was happy to see that a couple of key areas were clarified in the final drafts. Proposition # 6 stated the teaching from Lumen Gentium 16 that my new book focuses on, which is important for clarifying a doctrinal confusion that could undermine the new evangelization. Also, the role of the lay person, which in the first draft only focused on our role in the political and economic issues of society, was broadened to include in the final draft the full teaching of Vatican II, which includes the witness of our life, the works of charity and mercy, and direct efforts to help others to come to know Jesus and grow in that relationship. It was also possible in one of the propositions to stress the need to move from a mentality of maintenance to a mentality of mission in the life of Catholic parishes.The 58 propositions themselves, which the news agency Zenit has published online and which you can find by clicking here, while not written in a particularly inspiring way, are to be presented to the Pope for his use in preparing a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the New Evangelization, which hopefully, will be both insightful and inspiring. The great good that will come from the Synod, I believe, is that the whole Church will commit herself to an emphasis on a new evangelization, which will hopefully bring many people back to the Church and many souls to Christ.It was a privilege to be here and to be able to talk to Church leaders from all over the world. It was a very tiring three and a half weeks as I needed not only to be at all the Synod sessions but also to work on the few days off, helping to translate and put into final English form a number of the propositions. Also occasionally a Bishop would ask me to draft something for him which it was a privilege to do, although it required a number of late nights and early mornings.

I return to Michigan, grateful for the time here, and more convinced than ever of the relevance and usefulness of what we are all about both at Renewal Ministries and Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
I thought I would include a few photos from the Synod in this post:

RCM Cardinal Wuerl 2
Working on the English version of the propositions with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. and Relator General for the Synod
RCM Cardinal Dolan 1
With Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York between sessions
RCM in Synod Hall 1
In the Synod assembly hall prior to a general session
The Catholic News Service did an interview with me here in Rome that I found very beautifully done. Although it’s less than five minutes long, the combination of the interview with the music and the historic footage of Vatican II is quite striking. I hope you´ll take a few minutes to view it:
The strait and narrow path of the new evangelization
The strait and narrow path of the new evangelization
Thanks for all your support and prayers. The Lord is at work!
Your brother in Christ,
Ralph Martin
President
Renewal Ministries
Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin is president of Renewal Ministries. He also hosts The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Ralph holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome and is a professor and the director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was named by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and was also appointed as a “peritus” to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Ralph is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are The Urgency of the New Evangelization, The Fulfillment of All Desire, and Will Many Be Saved? He and his wife Anne have six children and sixteen grandchildren and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.