Vatican City, Jun 29, 2019 / 02:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis sent a 28-page letter to Catholics in Germany Saturday calling for a focus on evangelization in the face of the “erosion” and “decline of the faith” in the country.
"Evangelization must be our guiding criterion par excellence, by which we can recognize all the steps we are called to take as an ecclesial community," Pope Francis wrote in a letter published June 29.
“The current challenges, as well as the answers we give, demand a long maturation process and the cooperation of an entire people over years,” he said, noting that "seeking immediate results" can have consequences that are "fleeting because they do not correspond to the vocation we are given."
In his letter, Pope Francis issued a warning about the “synodal path,” a process announced by Cardinal Reinhard Marx. The pope said, “What this entails in concrete terms and how it unfolds will certainly require further consideration."
The German bishops’ conference decided in March that the issues of priestly celibacy, the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and a reduction of clerical power would be subject to a process “synodal progression” that could lead to a binding, but as yet undetermined, outcome.