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French society must hear voice of Church, Pope tells bishops

November 19, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI told a group of visiting French bishops that “the voice of the Church must make itself heard ceaselessly and with determination” in their society.

The Pope spoke on November 17 to French bishops who were completing their ad limina visits. He encouraged them to speak out clearly in a society that often seems inclined to ignore religious viewpoints. He reassured them that Church leaders can influence public opinion successfully without violating any boundary of proper Church-state relations. In this respect, the Pope said, “the harmony between faith and reason gives you special reassurance,” since what the Church teaches is always compatible with the best interests of society.

Recalling the enormous contributions that the Church has made to the development of French society, the Pope spoke of the religious and especially monastic communities that “enrich the whole of society, not only the Church,” to this day. Pope Benedict reminded the French prelates of the need to educate the laity, and especially young people, in the faith. The Catholic people of France must see the need to maintain their unity of life, he said. Given the pressures in France today that threaten the sanctity of life and of marriage, the Pope said, Catholics should “deepen their awareness of the social doctrine of the Church.”


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