Asian Continental Synodal Assembly began in Bangkok on February 24, with the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD, Archbishop of Tokyo, Japan, Secretary General FABC, presided over the opening mass.
“Church should be at the centre of producing hope; Church should not be source of despair and sadness,” said Archbishop Kikuchi in his homily.
The Secretary General FABC welcomed all the participants in the name of Cardinal Charles Bo, the President of the FABC and expressed the hope that ‘we will be able to walk together as the people of Asia despite all the differences of languages and cultures.’
Recalling his experience in Ghana and Congo as a missionary from 1987-95, Kikuchi told that “Indifference kills, we need the magic of solidarity to produce hope.”
He was referring to what he called the ‘Ghana Magic,’ the conviction of the people of Ghana, that ‘in difficulties, no one is forgotten by others, someone will always care about you.’
In these times of uncertainty, “we have to be source of hope because we have the Gospel of life and the Gospel of hope,” he continued.
He concluded by saying that ‘walking together on the path of synodality’ means for the Church in Asia ‘to walk in solidary’ with all the peoples of Asia, especially, the marginalized, abused and the poor at the periphery.
Synodal process is not a onetime event, but an ongoing process of making synodality the foundational nature of church, through a change of attitude of entire people of God.
The goal of the Continental Assembly is to lay a strong foundation for coming years.
Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi is a Japanese Roman Catholic bishop, and a member of the Divine Word Missionaries. He was ordained priest in 1986, and was appointed bishop of Niigata on September 20, 2004. Prior to that he served in Ghana, in Western Africa as a missionary.
In 2017, he was appointed as the Archbishop of Tokyo. Kikuchi also serves as the President of Caritas Japan as well as a member of Caritas Asia. He is a member of the Representative Council of Caritas Internationalis. Archbishop Kikuchi was named the secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) on July 22, 2021.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.