Loading
Pope encourages Asian bishops to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul
Pope encourages Asian bishops to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul

.- Bishops from the Asian countries of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei met with Pope Benedict at the Vatican on Friday and heard him call them to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul. The prelates must help their flock to deeply absorb faith in Christ and to guard against the pitfalls of materialism and relativism, the Pope said.

The bishops’ visit, the Holy Father remarked, comes on the cusp of the start of the Pauline Year, which starts on June 28. As he began his address to the bishops in English, the Pope invited them to follow the example of the apostle, an "outstanding teacher and courageous witness to the truth of the Gospel."

"The Church's faith in Jesus is a gift received and a gift to be shared; it is the greatest gift which the Church can offer to Asia," said the Pope quoting the Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Asia."

Referring to the parable of the sower, the Holy Father noted that, “Happily, the peoples of Asia display an intense yearning for God. In handing on to them the message that you also received, you are sowing the seeds of evangelization in fertile ground.”

Yet, there are also obstacles to the flourishing of the faith in Asia, the Pope said. One of these is the impression that some have of the faith as a “foreign import” that is seen as “alien to the culture and traditions” of Asians.

Benedict XVI again pointed the bishops to St. Paul’s example by calling to mind the “manner in which St. Paul preached the Good News to the Athenians.” In the same way, the Church should present the Christian faith in ways that “resonate with the ‘innate spiritual insight and moral wisdom in the Asian soul,' so that people will welcome it and make it their own."

Another danger that the Church in Asia must protect itself against is the separation of faith from reason that occurred in the Enlightenment.

"In particular, you need to ensure that the Christian Gospel is in no way confused in their minds with secular principles associated with the Enlightenment. On the contrary, by 'speaking the truth in love' you can help your fellow citizens to distinguish the wheat of the Gospel from the chaff of materialism and relativism. You can help them to respond to the urgent challenges posed by the Enlightenment, familiar to Western Christianity for over two centuries, but only now beginning to have a significant impact upon other parts of the world. While resisting the 'dictatorship of positivist reason' that tries to exclude God from public discourse, we should welcome the 'true conquests of the Enlightenment' - especially the stress on human rights and the freedom of religion and its practice."

"This Pauline apostolate," said Pope Benedict, "requires a commitment to inter-religious dialogue, and I encourage you to carry forward this important work, exploring every avenue open to you. I realize that not all the territories you represent offer the same degree of religious liberty, and many of you, for example, encounter serious difficulties in promoting Christian religious instruction in schools."

With the conviction that the presentation of the Gospel helps their fellow citizens observe the law ‘written on their hearts,’ the Church must also pursue “open and honest dialogue with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and the followers of other religions present in your respective countries,” the Pope added.  

If the bishops take this approach, they will reach a wide audience with the Gospel and help to promote a unified vision of the common good. This will also enable the Church to promote “religious freedom and greater social cohesion between members of different ethnic groups, which can only be conducive to the peace and well-being of the entire community," Benedict said.


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?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
27

Liturgical Calendar

August 27, 2014

Saint Monica

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 23:27-32

Gospel
Date
08/27/14
08/26/14
08/25/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Thess 3: 6-10, 16-18
Gospel:: Mt 23: 27-32

Saint of the Day

St. Monica »

Saint
Date
08/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 23:27-32

Homily
Date
08/27/14
08/26/14
08/25/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: