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NEW EVANGELISATION IS NOT AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT

NEW EVANGELISATION IS NOT AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT

VATICAN CITY, 17 DEC 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received prelates from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  In his address to the group, the Pope spoke of the challenges "which are common to all of you, in spite of the many social, economic and cultural contexts in which you work". In particular, he mentioned secularism and its "significant impact on the understanding and practice of the Catholic faith. This is seen specifically in a weakened appreciation for the sacred nature of Christian marriage and the stability of the family", he said.

  "Ultimately, Christian faith provides a surer basis for life than the secular vision. ... Thus, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation was recently established. Since the Christian faith is founded on the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, the new evangelisation is not an abstract concept but a renewal of authentic Christian living based on the teachings of the Church. You, as bishops and pastors, are called to be protagonists in formulating this response according to local needs and circumstances in your various countries and among your peoples".

  Benedict XVI then reminded the prelates of the importance of caring for their priests, "especially those who are experiencing difficulties and those who have little contact with their brother priests. ... In our day young people need more assistance with spiritual discernment so that they may know the Lord's will. In a world affected by a 'profound crisis of faith', ensure too that your seminarians receive a well-rounded formation". The Pope also acknowledged the "significant contribution" made by religious to the work of evangelisation, and the contribution of the lay faithful.

  "I have had this opportunity to discuss with you the new evangelisation, I do so mindful of the recently proclaimed Year of Faith, which 'is intended to give a fresh impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead human beings out of the wilderness in which they find themselves'. May this privileged time serve as an inspiration as you join the entire Church in the ongoing efforts of the new evangelisation, for although you are spread among many islands and we are separated by great distances, together we profess 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all'".
AL/                                                                                                    VIS 20111219 (410

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