This one's for my peeps

VATICAN CITY, JUN 30, 2007 (VIS) - Today, Benedict XVI received in audience prelates from the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference, who have recently completed their "ad limina" visit.

Addressing the bishops, the Pope noted how their reports had highlighted a "concern for the challenges and difficulties that have to be faced at this moment of history," because "over the last few years many things have changed in the social, the economic and even the religious field, at times opening the way to religious indifference and to a certain moral relativism which influences Christian practices and which, indirectly, also affects the structures of society."

"This religious situation," he went on, "calls out to you as pastors and requires that you remain united in order to make the presence of the Lord more palpable among mankind through joint pastoral initiatives that respond to the new realities. ... You bishops and priests in particular are called to an indispensable and profoundly committed mission: ensuring that the Church remains a place where the mystery of divine love is taught and lived.

The Holy Father then went on to recall that "priests are in the front line of evangelization" and that, for this reason, bishops' relationship with them must not "be merely institutional" but "animated above all by charity." He also called for prayers that the Church in Puerto Rico may enjoy "many holy vocations, especially at the current time in which young people often find it difficult to follow the Lord's call into priestly or consecrated life."

Turning to consider Puerto Rican society, the Pope noted "the spread of a mentality inspired by laicism which, more or less consciously, gradually leads to derision or ignorance of the sacred, relegating faith to a merely private sphere. ... A correct notion of religious freedom is not compatible with such an ideology which at times presents itself as the only voice of reason."

Another "permanent challenge," said the Holy Father, is the family which "finds itself beset by the many snares of the modern world, such as overriding materialism" or "the lack of stability and faithfulness in couples." Hence "the need to intensify ... an incisive form of pastoral care of families, to help Christian couples accept the fundamental values of the Sacrament they have received."

"The aforementioned religious indifference and the temptation of an easy moral permissiveness, as well as ignorance of the Christian tradition, ... exert a great influence over new generations. Young people have the right ... to be educated in the faith. For this reason, in the integral education of the very young, religious education must not be neglected, also in schools."

Benedict XVI concluded by recalling that Catholics, "called to concern themselves with worldly affairs so as to order them in accordance with the divine will, must be courageous witnesses of their faith in the various areas of public life. Their participation in ecclesial life is, furthermore, fundamental and, at times, without their collaboration your apostolate as pastors would not reach 'all men in all times and places'."

Bookmark and Share


Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on July 2, 2007 9:35 PM.

Ross Douthat was the previous entry in this blog.

July Papal Prayer Intentions is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.