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US prelate addresses Latin American, African bishops

CWN - August 14, 2013

In recent weeks, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has spoken to meetings of the African and Latin American bishops’ conferences.

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines told 125 African bishops and other Church officials that “the Church in Africa is the fastest growing local Church in the world … Today, in many U.S. dioceses numerous priests and religious are studying and working and making vital contributions to the new evangelization in our country.”

“Despite the progress that Africa has made and the courageous efforts the Church has made to promote justice and peace, much remains to be done,” he continued. “I want to reiterate our commitment to accompany you and support you in all that you do to build justice, peace and reconciliation to all of Africa.”

Bishop Pates told Latin American prelates that Pope Francis’s “message about the poor, humility, social justice, mercy and profound personal encounter with Jesus Christ our Savior resonates powerfully in the United States. As is evident from his leadership of World Youth Day, he is inspiring many around the world to share the New Evangelization.”

The bishop then paid tribute to “the impressive priests and religious who have come from Latin America, and the ministry that they have provided. In the same way, we give thanks for all individuals of Hispanic origin who have immigrated to our country and have been a blessing for our country and our Church. The Spirit of a deep faith, along with a dedication to family and a strong work ethic, has enriched us. We are dedicated to carrying out an immigration reform in the United States that will obtain for these brothers and sisters the dignity they deserve.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 14, 2013 8:41 AM ET USA

    Bishop Pates might also have mentioned to the Latin American prelates that the SOLE reason the Church is growing in the US is immigrants from south of our border. Evangelization of our native population seems to be a failure, the numbers quite depressing. And to whose doorstep should we trace that failure? Who are those who have wasted billions of dollars recently not evangelizing, but rather repairing their own appalling mistakes? Perhaps Pates should ask the foreign prelates for some tips.

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