Welcoming parishes don’t let Catholics go, Pope says
“People often leave the Church not because of what non-Catholic groups believe, but because of what they live”, the Pope Benedict XVI noted on Friday, 22 June as he met a group of bishops from Columbia at the end or their ad limina visit to Rome.
Hence, the Holy Father said, facing this challenge is "about being better believers, more pious, affable and welcoming in our parishes and communities, so that no one will feel distant or excluded."
"Catechesis must be promoted, giving special attention to young people and adults; homilies must be carefully prepared, as well as promoting the teaching of Catholic doctrine in schools and universities," he added.
All of this, the Bishop of Rome affirmed, will help to recover in the baptized "a sense of belonging to the Church and to awaken in them the aspiration to share with others the joy of following Christ and of being members of his Mystical Body."
Benedict XVI added that it is important to emphasize the Church's tradition, Marian spirituality and the rich diversity of devotion.
"To facilitate a serene and open exchange with other Christians, without losing one’s own identity, can also help to improve relations with them," he said, "and to overcome mistrust and unnecessary confrontations." (Zenit.org/CBC Communications 260612 – giorgiolicini@yahoo)