EMMOCT2019: International Congress "From Maximum illud to Evangelii Gaudium. On the urgency of the missionary transformation of the Church (27-29 novembre 2019)

The Conference "From Maximum illud to Evangelii gaudium. On the urgency of the missionary transformation of the Church" opens in Rome on Wednesday, November 27 at the Pontifical Urban University, promoted and supported by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The conference, which will continue until November 29, was designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum illud (November 30, 1919) which represents an impressive demonstration of the Universal Church's awareness of having to "evangelically requalify" its mission in the world. By invoking missionary ecclesial renewal, Benedict XV also devoted particular attention to supporting the role played by the Pontifical Mission Societies. 

Intuitive and proposed at the beginning of the 20th century, and vigorously relaunched by the Second Vatican Council and by the post-conciliar Magisterium, the missionary conscience of the Church, and in the Church today, finds itself facing a historical turning point. 

In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium Pope Francis motivates the need to start again "from the heart of the Gospel," to bring about a "missionary conversion" to all of its structures, to implement "an ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred," to nourish with new enthusiasm the community's commitment of witness and proclamation ad intra and ad gentes, and to create the formative conditions "for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized."

Hence the specific purpose of the conference: to offer a reflective contribution on the urgency of advancing the Church's path of missionary transformation in light of the changed perception of the same missio ad gentes and in the context of the global and regional transformations already in place. We wish to reflect on the biblical, theological and pastoral foundations of missionary action, seeking to know the continental/regional contexts of mission in view of the concreteness of the challenges they face, as well as the prospects of hope they open.