Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Leading prelates speak about mounting worldwide secularization

Catholic World News - October 09, 2012

Addressing the afternoon session of the Synod of Bishops on October 8, the presidents of five continent-wide groups of episcopal conferences offered insight into the spread of secularization in their regions.

“Europe must be evangelized. It needs it,” said Cardinal Péter Erdõ, president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences. “De-Christianization is accompanied by repeated juridical, as well as physical, attacks against the visible presence of the manifestations of faith … The vast majority of cases of violence and of discrimination because of religious belief are acted out against Christians, especially Catholics, in Europe.”

“In the majority of the continent, there is a spreading of ignorance about the Christian faith,” he added. “Many of the mass-media broadcast a presentation of the Christian faith and history that is full of lies, misinforming the public as to the content of our faith as well as to what makes up the reality of the Church.”

“Another challenging factor which New Evangelization in Africa must not overlook is the actuality of Islamic fundamentalism on the continent,” said Tanzanian Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. “In regard to this, the evangelizers must face the difficulty of dialoguing with the vast majority of good Muslims who however, are mute and the small groups of fundamentalists who are not prepared to accept even objective truth which is opposed to their preconceived position.”

In addition to the five leaders of continent-wide groups of episcopal conferences, three other prelates spoke, including Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

“The phrase ‘for the transmission of the faith’ does not seem entirely adequate, because as we well know, faith is not transmitted on our part, since it comes from the grace of God, as well as from the decision of man who welcomes such a gift,” he said. “And it is precisely to invoke such grace that the Church constantly proposes to us the apostolate of prayer alongside the apostolate of action.”

Recently having reread the Book of Revelation, Cardinal Sodano said he was “able to reflect on the reality of evil in the world, as on the mystery of man’s freedom, who although he sees the light, sometimes prefers to remain in darkness. Similarly I wished to meditate on the pages of the Apocalypse that describe to us the devastating presence of Satan in human history. But it is always comforting to read in the same Book of Revelation how in the end it is the victorious power of Christ which shines over all human misery.”

“We should all carry out our work of evangelization in great humility, knowing that we are not the first to work in the vineyard of the Lord nor will we be the last,” he added. “We are not the first because others, for 2,000 years, preceded us in this pastoral undertaking. We are not even the last because others will come after us to continue this work, until the end of human history, when we will have a new heaven and new earth.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,909 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,091.48
54% 46%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 22 hours ago
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - 22 hours ago