ITALY: CEI ASSEMBLY, FINAL DOCUMENT ON "THE CHURCH AND THE SOUTH OF ITALY" TO BE RELEASED IN JANUARY

The final version of the statement on the "Church and the South of Italy" approved by "a wide majority" by the bishops during the last assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) will be released by the permanent Episcopal Council in the upcoming session of January 2010. As explained in the final declaration released today at the end of the Assisi assembly, the final version of the statement, prepared twenty years after the document "Development in Solidarity. The Italian Church and the South of Italy", is postponed until January to take into account the outcome of the meeting "Church in the South, Churches of the South" which was held in Naples last February and "to consider what has emerged during the talks held in Assisi". The aim is "to publish a document which will represent all the bishops so as to stress the aspect of reciprocity according to which the problems and the challenges of the country can be faced only together". "The traits specific to the South such as local religious traditions, a lively education and a well-rooted associative tradition – reads the statement – are goods that are benefiting everyone" but "we cannot overlook the signs of a decadence that is not only social and economical". Hence the "need for a strong call to conversion" so that the statement "will lead to further actions" in the framework of the "educational challenge" that is at the heart of the CEI guidelines for the next decade. ” ” ” “

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