General Audience 5-8-1974
Saint Paul VI
On May 8, 1974, in conclusion of the international meeting in Rome at the “Domus Mariae”, about 500 participants, priests and laity, from the countries in Europe, participated in the Pontifical Audience. Paul VI addressed them with these words:
“We greet the group of priests and lay people who represent the movement – look at the fruits of the council – of the Neocatechumenal Communities, arrived in Rome from many dioceses of Italy and other countries for a meeting on the theme of Evangelization in the contemporary world, a topic that will be examined in next assembly of the Synod of Bishops. How much joy and how much hope you give us with your presence and with your activity!
We know that in your communities you all strive together to understand and develop the riches of your Baptism and its consequences for your belonging to Christ. Such effort leads you to realize that the Christian life is not another thing that a coherence, a permanent dynamism that derives from the fact of having accepted to be with Christ and prolong his presence and mission in the world.
This purpose, which for you is a conscious and authentic way of living the Christian vocation, is translated also in an effective testimony for others, in a stimulus for the rediscovery and recovery of true Christian values authentic, effective, that might otherwise be forgotten.
No! You bring them out, in emergence and you give them a truly exemplary moral splendor, precisely because this way, with this Christian spirit, you live this Neocatechumenal Community.
Living and promoting this awakening is considered by you as a form of post-baptismal catechumenate, that will be able to renew those effects in today’s Christian communities of maturity and deepening that in the early Church were made in the period of preparation for Baptism.
You do it later: whether before or after, I would say, it is secondary. The fact is that you look at the authenticity, to the fullness, to the coherence, to the sincerity of Christian life. And this has great merit, I repeat, that consoles us enormously and that suggests and inspires the omens, the vows and the most abundant blessings for you and for all those who assist you and for all of you who can with your greeting and with your message, greet for us.
We are glad to know that you help to bring awareness of this in many parishes. We are particularly happy to know that in your initiative, you are extremely attentive to the dependence on your pastors and communion with all the brothers. We encourage you for this ecclesial sensitivity, which is always a guarantee of the edifying presence of the Spirit ».