Rome Newsroom, Feb 18, 2021 / 19:20 pm
In a video message to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Pope Francis said Thursday the suffering caused by the coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to change and to have greater solidarity with others.
“The pandemic has marked the lives of people and the history of our communities,” the pope said Feb. 18. “Faced with this and other realities, it is necessary to build tomorrow, look to the future, and for this we need the commitment, strength and dedication of all.”
“It is necessary to act with the style of the Samaritan,” he added, “which implies letting myself be struck by what I see, knowing that suffering will change me, and I must involve myself with the suffering of the other.”
Pope Francis’ video message was played at the opening of the four-day Religious Education Congress, which is taking place in an online format Feb. 18-21.
The first event was held in 1956 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
In past years the gathering has had approximately 40,000 attendees.
Organized by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the theme for the 2021 online gathering is “Proclaim the Promise!”
In his message, Pope Francis greeted those attending and congratulated the congress on its 65th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of a part of the congress known as “youth day.”