Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Friday, March 26, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 26, 2004 (VIS) - Bishops from Australia, in Rome for their "ad limina" visit, were welcomed by the Holy Father this morning.

  "The joy and hope of Christian discipleship mark the lives of countless Australian priests, Religious, and faithful men and women who together strive to respond to Christ's call," said the Pope. "Yet it is also true that the pernicious ideology of secularism has found fertile ground in Australia. At the root of this disturbing development is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity without God. ... Your own reports unequivocally describe some of the destructive consequences of this eclipse of the sense of God: the undermining of family life and a drift away from the Church."

  "In the face of such challenges," he stated, "Bishops must stand out as fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of the hope of Christ" and proclaim hope "which springs from the Cross, ... leading men and women from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking into the radiance of Christ's truth and love."

  Turning to the Church's witness through worship, the Holy Father emphasized that "Sunday is the 'supreme day of faith', 'an indispensable day', 'the day of Christian hope!' Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship. ... When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens."
  "Intimately linked to the liturgy is the Church's mission to evangelize," he continued. "Sent by the Lord himself into the vineyard - the home, the workplace, schools, civic organizations - disciples of Christ find no room for 'standing idle in the marketplace', nor can they be so deeply immersed in the internal organization of parish life, that they are distracted from the command to evangelize others actively."

  John Paul II then remarked on "the 'communio' that exists between a Bishop and his priests," saying this demands "that the well-being of the presbyterate be close to every Bishop's heart. ...I encourage you always to listen to your priests, as a father would listen to a son." He added that "the contribution of consecrated men and women to the mission of the Church and the building up of civil society has been of immeasurable worth to your nation," yet noted that "this deep appreciation of consecrated life is rightly accompanied by your concern for the decline in Religious vocations in your country."
  He acknowledged the bishops' "steadfast efforts to uphold the uniqueness of marriage as a life-long covenant based on generous mutual giving and unconditional love. ... Incisive and faithful explanation of Christian doctrine regarding marriage and the family is of utmost importance in order to counter the secular, pragmatic and individualistic outlook which has gained ground in the area of legislation and even a certain acceptance in the realm of public opinion. Of particular concern is the growing trend to equate marriage with other forms of cohabitation. This obfuscates the very nature of marriage and violates its sacred purpose in God's plan for humanity. ... It is the Bishop's particular task to ensure that within civil society - including the media and entertainment industry sectors - the values of marriage and family life are supported and defended."
AL/.../AUSTRALIA            VIS 20040326 (560)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service