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Educate consciences, maintain hope in secular Netherlands, Pope urges Catholic bishops

December 02, 2013

In a secularized society, the Church must “awaken, reawaken, and maintain hope,” Pope Francis told a group of visiting bishops from the Netherlands.

The Holy Father told the Dutch bishops, who were in Rome for their ad limina visits, that the “education of consciences” was their great challenge, in light of the “spiritual emptiness” evident in their thoroughly secularized society.

The Pope encouraged the bishops to maintain a presence in public discussions “in all spheres which affect humanity.” He asked them to carry out their evangelical work energetically, always mindful of the fact that “the Church enlarges not by proselytism but by attraction.”


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