29th October, the last working day of the FABC General Conference, began with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by H.E. Charles Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar and President of the FABC, who celebrated his birthday today. H.E. Cardinal Bo led the representatives in the Adsumus, and the morning prayer, hosted by Kazakhstan, was led by the video prepared by Sister Irene Alberto of the Consolata Sisters.
H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Papal Envoy to the Conference and Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, spoke on the emerging context of young people today, the changing landscape of social media and artificial intelligence, and its impact on evangelisation. Highlighting how social media has changed the self-identity of youth, their feelings of belonging and empathy for others, how the speed and limits of the medium impact their ability to infer, critically analyse and empathise, the importance of deep reading, and the danger of digital crimes and the monopoly of media by businesses, H.E. Cardinal Tagle described social media as not only a means for connectedness, but a powerful tool creating a new humanity. Illustrating social media and digital communication as a world in itself that follows its own rules, H.E. Cardinal Tagle concluded with, ‘social media is a world that needs evangelisation’.
Bishop Adrianus Sunarko OFM presented the final draft of the Message from the FABC General Conference to the peoples of Asia. This was followed by a vote, and the final draft was passed.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, member of the Commission on the Final Document, presented the final draft of the Schema of the Final Document, explaining the further edits that had been made. This was followed by a round of plenary discussion.
In the afternoon, H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle addressed the Bishops privately. Final comments on the Final Document followed, and a vote passing it. Fr Bill LaRousse explained the logistics of the process by which the continental Synod would be carried out.
H.E Charles Cardinal Bo, gave the final address. Thanking God for the grace of the past days, H.E. Cardinal Bo described the Asian Church as a church of the poor, of the young, and of dialogue, and spoke of the immense progress the Church has made in the last fifty years. He thanked the host of the conference - H.E. Cardinal Kriengsak, H.E. Cardinal Gracias for his guidance, the Church in Thailand, and everyone present for all the work put in.
The evening concluded with H.E. Cardinal Gracias leading the representatives in the Litany of the Saints of Asia and the Angelus.