Special Assembly for Asia - Jesus Christ the Saviour and His Mission of Love and Service in Asia: ‘...That They May Have Life, and Have it Abundantly’ (19 April-14 May 1998)

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Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops

In Session: 19 April - 14 May 1998

Synod Fathers: 191

Topic: “Jesus Christ the Savior and His Mission of Love and Service in Asia: ‘...That They May Have Life, and Have it Abundantly’ (Jn 10,10)”

In the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, the Holy Father announced his intention to call special synodal assemblies on the continental level as part of the preparatory program leading to the Jubilee Year 2000. On 10 September 1995, the Holy Father established the Pre-Synodal Council for the Special Assembly for Asia made up primarily of cardinals, archbishops and bishops from Asia. Part of their task was to assist the General Secretariat in the drafting of the Lineamenta released on 3 September 1996 and the Instrumentum laboris published on 13 February 1998.

During the Special Assembly, the Synod Fathers, keeping in mind that the Church is a small but vibrant flock on a Asian continent where the Great Religions of the World are present, focused their attention on the uniqueness of the person of Jesus as Savior and His gift of abundant life in the context of the Church’s program of a new evangelization. Of particular concern was how the Church, in a concrete pastoral plan, can continue the Lord’s mission of love and service in Asia. At the conclusion, the Synod Fathers published a Nuntius or Message to the People of Godwhich treated various points of the Synodal topic.

A Post-Synodal Council resulted from the synodal assembly. Subsequently having met at various intervals in the wake of the assembly, this Council offered assistance in analyzing the special assembly’s recommendations and contributed to the drafting of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Asia, which was signed by the Holy Father on 6 November 1999 in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, during the Synod’s celebration phase, 5-8 November 1999, in New Delhi, India. Since that time, the Post-Synodal Council had met periodically to evaluate the distribution and implementation of the document in the Church in Asia. In 2002, a report was prepared and mailed to each member of the hierarchy on the Asian continent, the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Patriarchs, Major Archbishops and Metropolitans of the Eastern Churches sui iuris, the presidents of the episcopal conferences worldwide and other interested parties.
The Special Council continues to meet periodically to continue to discuss the priority issues on the continent set forth in the report.


S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Stephen Kim Sou-Hwan, Arcivescovo emerito di Seoul (Corea)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Jozef Tomko, Prefetto della Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli (Vaticano)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Julius Riuyadi Darmaatmadja, S.I., Arcivescovo di Jakarta (Indonesia)

General Secretary

S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M. (Vaticano)

General Rapporteur

S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Paul Shan Kuo-Hsi, Arcivescovo di Kaohsiung (Taiwan)

Special Secretary

S.E.R. Mons. Thomas Menamparamil, S.D.B., Arcivescovo di Guwahati (India)


Documents of the Special Assembly for Asia  


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  • Esortazione Apostolica Postsinodale Ecclesia in Asia (1999)
  • Messaggio dell'Assemblea Speciale per l'Asia del Sinodo dei Vescovi (14 maggio 1998)
  • Assemblea Speciale per l'Asia, 1998: Instrumentum Laboris