An Indian archbishop was among the 27 participants who addressed the 11th general congregation during the Synod of Bishops in Rome on Monday.
Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão of Goa and Daman spoke about the importance of small Christian communities in the process of new evangelization.
He said that through these communities, the faithful of a neighbourhood reflect collectively on the Word of God, pray together and act in solidarity for the integral development.
The prelate urged pastors to form the laity as evangelizers inspired by the truth of Christ.
He said that a new type of leadership is needed, especially from priests.
Priests should shun all forms of dominating and arrogant attitudes and follow Jesus in humble, self-emptying, animating and encouraging leadership, he added.
Bishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, apostolic administrator of Lahore in Pakistan, highlighted the problem Christians face due to the blasphemy law in that country.
He said that in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation, Christians form only about 2 percent.
Bishop Shaw thanked Pope Benedict XVI for “intervening and saving the life of Asia Bibi,” a Christian woman charged with blasphemy and who continues to be in prison.
He said what is essential for the New Evangelization is a healthy sense of human relationships as it was with Jesus.
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