VATICAN - The Pope to the Bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands: "In the work of evangelization ... continue to apply the eternal truths of the Gospel to the customs of the people whom you serve "
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The attention for the poor, the marginalized and the sick, especially those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and speaking publicly "as an objective moral voice on behalf of those in need ... in order to contribute to the common good ", were praised by the Holy Father Benedict XVI during an audience with the Bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, received on June 9 on the occasion of their visit ad limina Apostolorum. The Pope encouraged the Bishops "to continue to dialogue and to work with the civil authorities so that the Church may be free to speak and to provide for the common good in a manner fully consonant with Gospel values." Quoting therefore the pastoral efforts of the local Church for the evangelization of culture, the Holy Father stressed the importance, recalling "the essential role of culture in salvation history," and that "while acknowledging the respective contribution of each culture and at times calling upon its resources in fulfilling her mission, the Church has been sent to preach the Gospel to all nations, transcending man-made boundaries. " So he urged the Bishops: "in the work of evangelization ... continue to apply the eternal truths of the Gospel to the customs of the people whom you serve, in order to build upon the positive elements already present and to purify others when necessary."
In this aspect of evangelization, "the family has a key role to play, since it is the basic unit of human society and the first place where faith and culture are appropriated" the Pope recalled, he then continued: "it is now necessary to pay special attention to religious, social and moral goods of fidelity, equality and mutual respect that must exist between husband and wife ... In this regard, I commend your efforts to give pastoral priority to the evangelization of marriage and the family in accordance with Catholic moral teaching. " An example for all married couples comes from Blessed Peter To Rot, "who shed his blood in defense of the sanctity of marriage". After recalling that "the work of evangelization involves all members of the Church of Christ," Benedict XVI urged the Bishops to make every effort "to provide proper formation programs and catechetical programmes for the clergy, men and women religious and the lay faithful, so that they may be strong and joyful witnesses of the faith they profess as members of the Catholic Church." "A key element for effective formation and catechetical programs is the example of holy witnesses - said the Pope -. These witnesses and those they teach, with your guidance and support, will help to ensure that the Church in your countries will continue to be an effective instrument of evangelization, attracting those who do not yet know Christ and inspiring those who have become lukewarm in their faith." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 11/6/2012)