ASIA – Bishop Dell’Oro: “The new Episcopal Conference will benefit the mission of the Church in Central Asia”
Karaganda (Agenzia Fides) – The new Central Asian Bishops’ Conference – which will bring together the bishops of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan – represents an opportunity for the maturation of the Church in this region. This is what Mgr. Adelio Dell’Oro, bishop of the diocese of Karaganda told Agenzia Fides: “We are very happy – he explains – with the creation of this new episcopal conference. It is the result of two years of work and will bring the Catholic presence in this land to grow and mature. We will have the opportunity to give more meaning to our mission here, to understand what it means, thirty years after the independence of these countries, to be in a territory with a Muslim or Orthodox majority. important question for the five countries. In this way, we will be able to resume a common path, in the perspective of synodality, as happened in the period immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, in 1991 there was only one Apostolic Administration based in Kazakhstan, which also included Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. This encouraged an exchange between the different realities, which met regularly. However, when the Missio sui iuris was created in the other f our countries, joint activities diminished to the point of becoming less frequent ”.
The new body, officially created following a decree of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on September 8, 2021, will make it possible to respond together to common criticisms and challenges and, at the same time, to support each other in making faced with the problems of each country: “The modus operandi requires that before meeting, each of us proposes themes that he considers important. So we try to share the experience and sometimes we come to common decisions. the different dioceses, now also takes place between the Churches of five States. This collaboration is very interesting, just as all the initiatives which will bring us to work together will be fundamental “.
Among these initiatives, there is the webinar “The mission of evangelization in Central Asia in the time of Evangelii Gaudium – Context, difficulties, perspectives”, organized by the Pontifical Missionary Union (within the pontifical missionary works) and planned for the October 12 and 13. 2021. Based on historical data and pastoral experiences, during the meeting, the different realities of the Catholic presence in the States of Central Asia will be analyzed, with an emphasis on evangelization, charity and training.
Mgr. Dell’Oro concludes, “The webinar will address many topics of interest to the life of the Church in Central Asia and therefore represent an opportunity to stimulate reflections on the current state of our mission and future perspectives. The challenges are so many: the first is certainly that of overcoming a faith which is sometimes linked only to the rites and traditions brought here by the first missionaries. We appreciate their courage very much and we owe them a lot, but now we have to take one more step and make people understand that there is a reason if the Lord wanted them here after the painful history of atheism imposed by the ‘USSR “. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 07/10/2021)