Vatican City, Mar 25, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Speaking to a group of bishops from Australia who are in Rome for their “ad limina” visit, Pope John Paul II said that bishops must be “fearless prophets” of truth and hope.
The Pontiff warned that “the pernicious ideology of secularism has found fertile ground in Australia. At the root of this disturbing development is the attempt to promote a vision of humanity without God,” which has as a consequence “the undermining of family life and a drift away from the Church.”
“In the face of such challenges,” he stated, “Bishops must stand out as fearless prophets, witnesses and servants of the hope of Christ” and proclaim hope “which springs from the Cross,” leading men and women “from the shadows of moral confusion and ambiguous thinking into the radiance of Christ’s truth and love.”
Turning to the Church’s witness through worship, the Holy Father emphasized that “Sunday is the ‘supreme day of faith’, ‘an indispensable day’, ‘the day of Christian hope!’ Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship.”