This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the bishops of the Dominican Republic who have just finished their “ad limina” visit. The Pope’s message for the bishops was that they must work tirelessly to ensure that the “truth about Christ and the truth about man” penetrates all levels of Dominican society.
This task, said Benedict XVI, "not without difficulties, takes place among a people whose spirit is open and sensitive to the Good News." Despite the fact that in the Dominican Republic there are evident "symptoms of a process of secularization in which, for many people, God does not represent the source, the goal, or the ultimate meaning of life, in the end, as you well know, this people has a profoundly Christian soul."
Benedict said that first and foremost the family must be evangelized. He emphasized that the Church must work to ensure that "the family remains a real environment in which a person is born, grows up and is educated for life, and in which parents, in their tender love for their children, prepare them for healthy interpersonal relationships that incarnate human and moral values in the midst of a society so marked by hedonism and religious indifference."
After encouraging the bishops to urge the State to protect the family, the Pope told the prelates that he is aware of the threats that Dominican society is faced with. Currently there are people pushing for legalization of abortion, a large number of divorces, and groups seeking the recognition of homosexual unions.
Because Dominicans society cannot be abandoned to these evils, the Holy Father explained how to evangelize the culture. "In this task we cannot overlook the social communications media: radio, television productions, videos and computer networks can be very useful for a wider diffusion of the Gospel. This task devolves particularly upon the laity."
Benedict XVI also spoke about the formation of the laity saying, "adequate religious formation, so as to enable them to face the numerous challenges of modern society,” is necessary.
"At the same time, in accordance with ethical and moral norms, [the laity] must provide an example of honesty and transparency in the management of public affairs, in the face of the unseen and widespread blight of corruption, which at times even touches areas of political and economic power, as well as other spheres of public and social life."