Skip to comments.Pope invites Christians to join in 'new, intense evangelization'
Posted on 01/26/2010 3:20:46 PM PST by NYer
.- In his homily during the celebration of Vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls on Monday evening, Benedict XVI outlined the essential elements of convergence between all Christian faiths. He also called for a "new, intense evangelization" to respond to important issues in the world today.
"In a world marked by religious indifference, and even by a growing aversion towards the Christian faith, a new, intense evangelization is necessary, not only among people that have never known the Gospel, but also among those in which Christianity has been spread and is a part of their history," Pope Benedict said emphatically.
Referring to the history of Christianity and the issues affecting the unity of all its branches, Pope Benedict explained, "Unfortunately, there is no lack of questions that separate some from others and we hope that they can be overcome through prayer and dialogue."
But, he added, "there is a central content of Christ's message that we can announce together: the paternity of God, the victory of Christ over sin and his death with his cross and resurrection (and) a trust in the transformative action of the Spirit."
"While we are on the path towards full communion, we are called to offer a shared witness against the ever more complex challenges of our time, including secularization and indifference, relativism and hedonism, the delicate ethical themes regarding the beginning and end of life, the limits of science and technology, dialogue with other religious traditions," Benedict XVI urged.
The Holy Father expressed the necessity of a united effort amongst all Christians to extend unity into other areas and that "from now on, we must give a shared witness (to) the protection of Creation, the promotion of the common good and peace, defense of the centrality of the human person, commitment to defeating the misery of our time, including hunger, poverty, illiteracy, unequal distribution of goods."
Joining members of the Roman Curia, bishops and religious in attendance at Vespers were members of various Christian Churches and ecclesial communities from throughout the city of Rome.
How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.
Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.
We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceipt from truth.
We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith - only faith - that creates unity and is fulfilled in love.
HOMILY OF HIS EMINENCE CARD. JOSEPH RATZINGER
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"there is a central content of Christ's message that we can announce together: the paternity of God, the victory of Christ over sin and his death with his cross and resurrection (and) a trust in the transformative action of the Spirit."
Agreed — this sounds very solid, and that’s great! The gospel changes lives, and it is good to express it to those who haven’t yet heard.
Let’s pray this doesn’t turn into an argument about the peripherals of our faith, the things that divide us, and instead promote Christ, who unifies us.
Post-christian Europe tops the list. It is a mission field as much as anywhere in the world.
I've got no room to talk; so is my street.
This is a good Pope, courageous and focused.
Yes, I like this guy; I have from the start.
Thank you. I appreciate your gracious comment.
Cool... so which flavor of the Gospel are we to carry as we Evangelize the world?
Should we tell people what the Bible says - Salvation by Grace, through faith... that none may boast?
Or do we say that salvation comes from some mix of both what God does, and what we can do/earn?
Or do we carry a “to do” list of sacraments necessary for eternal salvation?
Do we tell them they are eternally secure, as long as their profession was real? Or do we tell them not to hiccup or have a dirty dream or they may lose that security?
Acts 4:12 tells us that there is no salvation in any other name... Yet some denominations hold that there are really many ways and many names to get you to heaven...
How can one, unchanging and eternal God, “need” so many different variations on the Gospel? Answer - HE doesn’t. The different messages developed from prideful men (and women) who decided they knew better even than God’s Word. Very dangerous.
So - while I firmly believe that we Christians have a responsibility (if you don’t agree- read Matthew 28 again - especially the last few verses) to be the ambassadors of Christ to the lost and dying world, there is a lot of danger in ecumenical attempts - as they render more confusion than true converts.
Evangelicals call unbelievers to repentance and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ...an acceptance of His atoning work on the Cross...once for all time...for unbelievers to be "born again" - to be saved.
What message do Roman Catholics present to the unbeliever?
This is a sincere request - not an opportunity to bash anyone.
“...commitment to defeating the misery of our time, ...unequal distribution of goods.”
Sounds like socialism to me. Sorry Pope, no way.
Holy Father Ping.
It is socialism; no doubt.
It is socialism; no doubt.
It is socialism; no doubt.
I like the sound of this.
If you are talking to an unbeliever, what would you ask them to do?