.- On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI met with bishops attending an annual meeting hosted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and exhorted them to safeguard and transmit the faith of Christ with the testimony of their own lives.
After greeting the Prefect of the dicastery, Cardinal Ivan Dias, the Pontiff dwelt upon the efforts that have to be made to ensure that the announcement of the Gospel reaches everyone, and upon the need to evangelize cultures and "encourage sincere and open dialogue with one and all, so that together we can build a more fraternal and united humanity.”
Benedict XVI told the bishops that in order to be good pastors, they need to set an example in all fields of life. It is likewise vital, he said, "that you give primary importance in your episcopal ministry to prayer and to the incessant striving for sanctity. It is also important that you concern yourselves with the serious formation of seminarians and with the permanent 'aggiornamento' of priests and catechists."
After expressing his joy at "the continual flowering of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life," in many of their churches, the Pope called on the prelates to ensure that seminaries have "a sufficient number of formators, chosen and trained with care, who must first and foremost be examples and models for the seminarians.” “It is upon the training of future priests and of all other pastoral care workers, especially catechists,” the Pontiff noted, “that the future of your communities and of the Universal Church depends."