Vatican City, Oct 29, 2003 / 22:00 pm
While receiving 21 Filipino bishops in their Ad Limina visit, Pope John Paul highlighted the need for an “integral evangelization” aimed at permeating society with Christian values.
After noting that the Philippines “is home to the largest Catholic presence in Asia and is one of the most vibrant Catholic communities in the world,” the Pope said that “the pledge of the Church in the Philippines to engage in renewed integral evangelization demonstrates her desire to ensure that Christian faith and values permeate every aspect of society. ... Your Vision-Mission Statement ... clearly recognizes that an essential element of this process is witness”.
“Today's world is one that is constantly bombarded with words and information. For this reason and possibly more than at any time in recent history, the things Christians do speak louder than the things they say,” the Pontiff said. “Perhaps this is the reason that the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta speaks to so many hearts. She put what she heard into action, spreading Christ's love to all those she encountered, always recognizing that 'it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do' that matters,” he added.
Obstacles to overcome
The Pope affirmed that notwithstanding notable achievements in evangelization, “there still remain various obstacles, such as the participation of some Catholics in sects which witness only to the superstitious; the lack of familiarity with the teachings of the Church; the endorsement by some of anti-life attitudes which include the active promotion of birth control, abortion and the death penalty.”