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America needs New Evangelization, Pope says

Catholic World News - December 10, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called for “education to and promotion of a culture of life” in the Americas, as he spoke to participants in an international conference on Ecclesia in America, the apostolic exhortation with which Blessed John Paul II concluded the Synod for the Americas.

Pope Benedict spoke on Sunday evening, December 9, at the conclusion of an opening Mass for the conference. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, had presided at the Eucharistic liturgy.

The Pontiff listed some of the critical problems that should be addressed in American societies, asking “how can we not worry about the painful situations of migration, uprooting of peoples, or violence, especially those caused by organized crime, drug trafficking, corruption and the arms trade? What about the searing inequalities and poverty traps caused by questionable economic, political and social measures?”

The Church’s response to these problems, the Pope said, should be the New Evangelization. “This will be encouraged by suitable catechesis and a correct and ongoing doctrinal formation marked by complete fidelity to the word of God and the Church’s magisterium and aimed at offering a response to the deepest questions and aspirations of the human heart,” he said.

The Pope entrusted this effort to the “maternal and loving protection” of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas.

In his homily during the opening Mass of the conference, Cardinal Ouellet said: “The Church in America needs to hear again the call of the Synod of 1999, which has been revitalized for the universal Church by the recent Synod on the new evangelization, a call to conversion, communion and solidarity.”

Later Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, who are sponsoring this week’s conference in Rome, stressed the drive to protect marriage as a key ingredient of the New Evangelization. Anderson said that “we cannot in carrying forward the mission of the New Evangelisation, proclaim the truth about man and his dignity unless we proclaim with courage and conviction the truth about marriage and the family.”

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