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Thursday, September 8, 2011

CHURCH INSTITUTIONS MUST EXPRESS THE LOVE OF GOD

VATICAN CITY, 8 SEP 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received a group of twenty-three prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India who are currently completing their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.

Speaking to the group in English, Benedict XVI recalled how "the Church in India is blessed with a multitude of institutions which are intended to be expressions of the love of God for humanity through the charity and example of the clergy, religious and lay faithful who staff them. By means of her parishes, schools and orphanages, as well as her hospitals, clinics and dispensaries, the Church makes an invaluable contribution to the well-being not only of Catholics, but of society at large".

Among the Church's main institutions are schools which, said the Holy Father, should help pupils to develop their spiritual, intellectual and moral faculties, as well as fomenting their capacity for sound judgment. At the same time, schools should focus on "the heritage bequeathed ... by former generations, thus fostering a sense of values and preparing their pupils for a happy and productive life".

The truth of salvation must remain at the foundation of all the Church's endeavours, so that her members may "bear witness to the love of God for all humanity as they enter into contact with the world, providing a solid Christian testimony in friendship, respect and love, and striving not to condemn the world but to offer it the gift of salvation" through word and example.

Finally, the Pope focused on the work carried out by religious in India. They are, he said, "a source of spiritual fruitfulness for the entire Christian community, as they ... inspire others to respond with trust, humility and joy to the invitation of the Lord to follow Him".
AL/ VIS 20110908 (310)

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