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A Doctor for the new evangelization
On June 21, in the final press conference of the CCXXIV Permanent Commission of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference (CEE), Msgr. Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, CCEE Secretary General and auxiliary bishop of Madrid, officially presented the message of “St. John of Avila, a Doctor for the new evangelization”, a brief instruction approved by the bishops during the XCIX Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference. The document opens with the announcement that the new Doctor of the Church will be proclaimed by the Pope with the question: “What can a man of the 16th century say to us living in the 21st century? What is the meaning of a figure who lived five-hundred years ago breaking into our present times?”. The five chapters offer answers contextualizing the title of Doctor of the Church in the Year of the Faith, describing St. John of Avila as an outstanding reference point for the new evangelization, a guide and a testimony of Christian life, highlighting the ongoing influence of the Saint’s figure and doctrine across the centuries, whereby the appointment as Doctor of the Church is an invitation to sanctity. This instruction, presented in the past days, adds on to the message approved in the last plenary Assembly, already published with the title “We all know that our God is love”. The message was drawn up for the declaration of St. John of Avila as Doctor of the universal Church. The permanent Commission equally approved a set of initiatives to celebrate the announcement of the new Doctor of the Church and to raise awareness of the figure of the Saint. The official proclamation of St. John of Avila Doctor of the Church will take place during the opening Mass of the Bishops’ Synod next October 7.
The Days of Church cultural heritage
On June 25 the XXXII Days of the Cultural Heritage of the Church began in Cadice (ongoing until the 29th). This year, on the occasion of the bi-centenary of the 1812 Constitution, the event is celebrated in the city in Andalucia, adding up to the events scheduled to take place in the city. The celebration of this historical event is meant to highlight Church contribution to constitutionalist development, in the framework of peoples’ social and cultural development. In this framework, the purpose of the Days organized by Spanish Bishops’ Conference is also that of highlighting Church contribution as a whole, whose evangelizing commitment gave birth to Christian culture. The Days were opened in the Oratory of St. Philip Neri on the evening of June 25 by Msgr. Jesús García Burillo, bishop of Avila, president of the Bishops’ Conference for Church Cultural Heritage.
An educational and religious film festival
Ciudad Rodrigo welcomed the 2012 Educational and Religious Film Festival (Ficee) 2012, scheduled to take place from July 9 to 14 during which will be screened 34 movies, 24 of which in the official section. The films come from Spain, Argentina, United States and Cuba. Ficee objective is the diffusion of educational and religious movie productions from world countries. Ficee is the first education and religious festival in Spain held in Ciudad Rodrigo, a beautiful historical town located mid-way between the university town of Salamanca and Portugal. The 2012 Festival is meant to consolidate last year’s success. At present, the Festival is known by the national and international movie circuit, as shown by a 30% increase in the number films presented for selection in this year’s edition. Its importance is also seen in the increased number of bodies that promote the Festival, such as a recent agreement for cooperation with the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Organizers seek the cooperation and the support of a large number of institutions, whose contribution enabled the second Festival to take place. Compared to last year, this year is marked by a number of initiatives addressed to the entire population and to all those who will convene as tourists in Ciudad Rodrigo during the celebration of the Festival. There will be several free initiatives, such as open-air screenings, movie workshops or low-price screenings, in harmony with the current period of economic crisis.