Patriarchate priest participates in New Evangelization Synod
Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI appointed 45 Experts to the upcoming Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome from October 7 to 28. Among them is Msgr. Rafiq Hanna Khoury, a priest of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and professor at the Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala. In a recent interview he shared the following:
1) What is the origin of your appointment as the expert of the Synod?
It seems to me that it is my theological studies and pastoral catechesis and my experience in this field that determined my appointment. As the theme of the upcoming Synod is eminently pastoral and catechetical, diocese proposed my name for this service to the universal Church.
2) What will be your role?
The role of the expert is stated in the statutes of the Synod: to follow the work of the Synod to assist the Synod Fathers in drafting reports on the ongoing discussions and help formulate proposals to be submit for the Holy Father’s Exhortation that he will promulgate as a result of the Synod.
3) What are your expectations of this Synod as a priest of the Holy Land? And as a professor at the Patriarchate seminary?
I expect that the Synod can create a dynamic awareness of the need for a new evangelization in all parts of the world for the renewal of faith. As a priest of the Holy Land, I would like the new evangelization to be a priority in our pastoral commitment, according to our needs and the actual situation of our Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
As a seminary professor, I would like the Synod an encouragement and motivation for us to be thinking about it. Such a reflection primarily concerns those preparing for the priesthood. We must prepare new priests to be driving the future of this new evangelization in various parts of our diocese.
4) Will formation of seminarians in the Patriarchate Seminary include the new evangelization?
Obviously. Last year, the course of pastoral theology included a long reflection on this subject from our real and existing situation in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
5) What is the message that the Holy Land can give for this new evangelization (and the Holy City of Jerusalem)?
The message of the Holy Land for the new evangelization is very strong. We must not forget that the message of Jesus was proclaimed for the first time in this blessed land. It is to rediscover the message of Jesus as the Good News that gives the joy of being Christian.
As for the Holy City of Jerusalem , we must not forget that the heart of the Christian message is the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is in Jerusalem that this mystery took place. Jerusalem sent a message of hope, based on the Paschal mystery to the Christians of the Holy Land, to Christians around the world and all mankind, despite all the difficulties we face.