Pope urges Australian Church to embrace New Evangelisation


The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, speaking from Rome during the Catholic Bishops' of Australia 'Ad Limina' with Pope Benedict XVI (10-22 October)

From Catholic News Agency

Pope Benedict XVI is urging the Church in Australia to evangelise all Australians, not simply those who are Catholic.

“It is urgent to ensure that all those entrusted to your care understand, embrace and propose their Catholic faith intelligently and willingly to others,” the Holy Father told the Australian Catholic Bishops in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on 20 October.

In this way, said the Pope, Australian Catholics will “give such an account of your faith by word and example that it will be convincing and attractive,” particularly to people of good will who, “seeing your witness, will respond naturally to the truth, the goodness and the hope that you embody.”

The Bishops of Australia have been in Rome for their “ad limina” meeting with the Pope (10-22 October). During those days, the issue of “new evangelisation” has figured in several discussions with curial officials and Pope Benedict himself.

The Holy Father said that in their efforts to reach out to the three-quarters of Australians who are not Catholic, the Church down under is building upon “two special moments of grace in recent years.”

The first was the 2008 World Youth Day gathering in Sydney. The Pope noted that “one of the outstanding consequences of the event” is the increase in the number of young people who are discerning vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.

“You should therefore continue to foster that radical attachment to the person of Jesus Christ, whose attraction inspires them to give their lives completely to him and to the service of the Gospel in the Church.”

The second special moment was the 2010 Canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first Saint.

“She is an example of holiness and dedication to Australians and to the Church throughout the world,” the Pope said.

Read full report at Catholic News Agency

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