Reverence for Life: A New Look
In his preface to this message, Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, president of the bishops' conference, says, "While the first chapter closely follows the first edition in making the Bible the essential foundation of the message, from the second chapter on, we have made major revisions, introducing such topics as nuclear power, wealth disparity and poverty, discrimination, and war and violence. However, there is no change in the conviction that we expressed nearly two decades ago: 'The world is God's, and the fulfilment of human efforts will be found only in relation to God.'"
The fact that the bishops in Japan prepared such a message is interesting in itself, but its importance goes beyond one nation.
The Japanese bishops have set a model for other bishops' conferences, especially in Asia. Evangelization requires faith in the Gospel's power to face the challenges of the real world. But, to carry that Gospel to the world requires that the Church know those challenges and make them the informed focus of its activity.
The Japanese bishops' latest message (as well as the earlier one, and even those of the once-upon-a-time U.S. bishops) should be studied as a model of what other bishops' conferences can and must do.
Fr William Grimm MM (UCANews)