Loading
Real faith does not impose itself, Pope Benedict teaches
Real faith does not impose itself, Pope Benedict teaches

.- Bishops and other clergy from Kazakhstan and Central Asia, a region with few Catholics, met with Pope Benedict this morning at the Vatican. The Holy Father encouraged the prelates to "keep the flame of faith alive among the Christian people" and spoke about the dangers of religious fundamentalism.

Pope Benedict began his remarks by inviting the prelates to give thanks to God that, "despite the severe pressures suffered during the years of the atheist communist regime, the flame of faith remained alight in believers' hearts thanks to the zealous sacrifice of priests, religious and lay people."

After encouraging the bishops not to lose heart even though the Catholic community is "a small flock," Benedict XVI called on them to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit and "to keep the flame of faith alight among Christian people. Conserve and draw vantage from the important pastoral and apostolic experiences of the past," he told them.

Other ways to keep this flame alive are to "Continue to educate everyone in listening to the Word of God and arouse, especially in the young, Marian devotion and love for the Eucharist. Spread the practice of the Rosary among families. Patiently and courageously, seek new forms and methods of apostolate, making it your concern to modernize them in accordance with today's needs, bearing in mind the language and culture of the faithful entrusted to you care," the Pope said.

These efforts must be buttressed by the bishops’ support for their priests and religious. This consists in having "constant recourse to God in prayer and in the constant search for unity among yourselves, and within each of your ... communities," Benedict taught.

Pope Benedict also touched on "the blight of violence and terrorism" and the "spread of extremism and fundamentalism" in the world.

The solution Pope Benedict pointed to is to fight terrorism and fundamentalism with the rule of law. "However," he warned, "the force of law must never itself become iniquity, nor can the free exercise of religion be limited, because freely to profess one's faith is a fundamental and universally-recognized human right."

In contrast with religious fundamentalists, Benedict XVI underlined how "the Church does not impose but freely proposes the Catholic faith, well aware that conversion is the mysterious fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift and a work of God, and hence excludes any form of proselytism that forces, allures or entices people by trickery to embrace it."

Addressing religious freedom again, the Holy Father explained that, "A person may open to the faith after mature and responsible reflection, and must be able freely to realize that intimate aspiration. This benefits not only the individual, but all society, because the faithful observance of divine precepts helps to build a more just and united form of coexistence."

The Pope finished his address with an expression of thanks to the priests and religious who work in the various ecclesiastical circumscriptions: Almaty, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: