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Fight 'religious illiteracy,' Pope exhorts priests of Rome diocese

February 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI challenged the priests of Rome to combat “religious illiteracy” during a meeting in the Paul VI auditorium on February 23.

For his traditional meeting with the clergy of the diocese at the start of Lent, Pope Benedict presided at a lectio divina: a prayerful reading of and reflection on the Scripture. After the reading (Eph 4, 1-16), the Pope spoke about the need for priests to nourish a strong interior life so that they might—in the words of St. Paul—“walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called.”

The Pope said that priests should always be alert to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The failure to heed that guidance, he said, damages the Church.

Next the Pope said that the priests should give a high priority to religious instruction, to restore a basic understanding of the content of the faith. The “religious illiteracy” that prevails today is a grave danger, he said.


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  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Feb. 24, 2012 7:59 AM ET USA

    Am so glad that this Pope is attuned to the dreadful illiterate state of affairs in the Catholic world when it comes to Catholics knowing their faith. 40 years of lack of instruction followed Vat. II; wonder why? Are there any writings on this? The "grave danger" certainly exists in the U.S., particularly at this time.

  • Posted by: bruno - Feb. 23, 2012 11:34 PM ET USA

    And for brief moment, I get a glimmer of insight into the perplexing dilemma facing Italy. While on TV, we see the splendor and sanctity of the celebrations, the depth of the Holy Father's teaching, yet the Italian neighbors seem to be nonplussed by the tremendous presence of the center of Christianity in their midst. It is religious illiteracy that is to blame.