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Draw tourists to Church cultural treasures, Vatican document suggests

CWN - July 06, 2011

In a message for World Tourism Day, the Pontifical Council for Migrants says that healthy tourism is marked by the willingness to accept other cultures and to be enriched by them.

Such a healthy attitude toward tourism, the Vatican message says, is characterized by “desiring to discover the message within each monument, cultural manifestation, all of this being done with respect, without prejudice or exclusion, and avoiding biased readings.”

The Catholic Church has always recognized the importance of reaching out to people through cultural initiatives, the Pontifical Council observes, pointing to the tradition of evangelizing by means of “the via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty.” The document recommends that Church leaders keep this tradition firmly in mind, finding ways to appeal to tourists, for instance, by “offering visitation to the places that are most important in the religious and cultural patrimony of the diocese.”

World Tourism Day will be observed on September 27. The Vatican statement, entitled “Tourism linking cultures,” was made public on July 6.

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