Loading
Church in West suffering crisis of faith, says Pope
Pope Benedict XVI Credit: Mazur
Pope Benedict XVI Credit: Mazur

.- “The real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI told gathering of lay Catholics Sept. 24.

“We see that in our affluent western world much is lacking.  Many people lack experience of God’s goodness,” the Pope said to the Central Committee of German Catholics on the third day of his state visit to Germany.

“They no longer find any point of contact with the mainstream churches and their traditional structures.”

The Central Committee of German Catholics is an apostolate founded in 1952 as a forum for lay Catholics. It draws together individuals who hold positions of responsibility in civil society. Today’s meeting took place in the diocesan seminary in the southwestern city of Freiburg.

Using Catholicism in Germany as an example, the Pope said that while the German Church was “superbly organized” it was perhaps lacking in a “corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in a living God.”

“We must honestly admit that we have more than enough by way of structure but not enough by way of Spirit.  I would add: the real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith.”

For anybody coming from the developing world to the western world, this crisis can be seen in the “poverty in human relations and poverty in the religious sphere” brought about by “a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life,” he said.

This is observed, said the Pope, “in the inconstancy and fragmentation of many people’s lives and in an exaggerated individualism,” such that many people “no longer seem capable of any form of self-denial or of making a sacrifice for others.”  Meanwhile others “are now quite incapable of committing themselves unreservedly to a single partner.”
 
To tackle these problems at their root, the Pope explained, he had created the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization. Established last year, it has a particular mission to re-evangelize those traditionally Christian countries that have seen a decline in belief and practice in recent years. The Pope stressed, however, that without a renewal in faith “all structural reform will remain ineffective.”

Hence the need for new places where those who lack experience of God’s goodness can encounter it, said the Pope. He suggested that small communities could be one such path where “friendships are lived and deepened in regular communal adoration before God.”
 
There, said the Pope, “we find people who speak of these small faith experiences at their workplace and within their circle of family and friends, and in so doing bear witness to a new closeness between Church and society.”  Such encounters, he suggested, lead people to recognize the need for “this nourishment of love, this concrete friendship with others and with the Lord.”

He concluded by praying that God “always point out to us how together we can be lights in the world and can show our fellow men the path to the source at which they can quench their profound thirst for life.”


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
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: