.- Speaking to the sixteenth assembly of the 11th General Synod of Bishops yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, Leonardo Casco, President of the Honduran, "Alianza Para la Familia" group, urged priests and bishops to joyfully encourage the faithful to live lives of "demanding and robust faiths", particularly in this time of overwhelming ignorance of Church teaching.
"Given", he lamented, "that reality tells us that a huge number of Catholics in the world today have no exact knowledge of the doctrinal principles of the faith they profess, living what could be called (to use a fashionable term) 'light' Catholicism, it would appear indispensable, 40 years after the conclusion of the Vatican Council II, to find ... a formula giving the lay faithful basic doctrinal, ethical and moral formation."
He also encouraged a new "awareness of the importance of belonging to the unique Church of Christ and the pride, in a positive sense, of being Catholic."
Casco stressed that he considers it "equally necessary that bishops and priests should have no hesitation in joyfully proposing to the lay faithful a life of demanding and robust faith," saying that this would not only refer to "insisting on attendance at Sunday Mass, but also in recommending daily practices of piety, ranging from the offering of works in the morning, to praying the Angelus and the Holy Rosary, to - and why not? - daily Mass whenever possible."
"On the basis of my personal experience," the head of the family group said, "I can say that when these practices of piety are continually proposed and carried out, without respite and without fatigue, the fruits are harvested almost immediately, leading the lay faithful to live in an atmosphere of faith which improves them as much in their personal as in the supernatural lives."
Casco summarized his address to the assembly, labeling it "a call to infuse, with renewed enthusiasm, the lay faithful with the committed spirit of the early Christians, that is to say: recourse to prayer and sacrifice, the daily practice of fundamental norms of piety, and insistence on the duties and rights of all those faithful to apostolate."