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Every Christian must evangelize, Pope emphasizes

Catholic World News - May 16, 2011

In a world with “new problems and new forms of slavery”--“both in the so-called First World, wealthy and rich but uncertain about its future, and in emerging countries,” where the “masses of the poor are increased” because of “a globalization often characterized by profit”--the entire Church has the duty of evangelize, Pope Benedict said in May 14 address.

“The mission of proclaiming the Word of God is the duty of all disciples of Christ as a result of their baptism,” Pope Benedict emphasized in his address to the superiors of the Pontifical Mission Societies on May 14. All Christians, he said, must be involved in some way in the mission ad gentes--the proclamation of the Gospel to the world’s nearly five billion non-Christians.

The Word and the sacraments, the Pontiff added, are the “lifeblood” of the ministry of a missionary. Being rooted “profoundly” in Christ and His Word prevents the missionary from caving in to the “temptation to reduce evangelization to a purely human, social project, hiding or concealing the transcendent dimension of salvation offered by God in Christ. It is a Word that should be witnessed and proclaimed explicitly.”

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