Redouble evangelization to counter losses, Pope asks Austrian bishops
January 31, 2014
Acknowledging a sharp decline in the number of Catholics in Austria, Pope Francis said that the trend “should not find us inactive, but should encourage our efforts for the new evangelization that is always needed.”
Speaking to a group of Austrian bishops who were concluding their ad limina visits, the Pope said that the work of the Church is “not a philanthropic idea, not a vague humanism, but a gift from God, that is, the gift of being sons and daughters that we have received in Baptism.” He urged the bishops to emphasize that understanding of Christian life in their evangelical efforts.
Pope Francis reminded the bishops that “the holy Church is always in need of being purified.” He urged the bishops to emphasize the use of the sacrament of Penance, as the best available means of purification. The Pontiff also asked the Austrian bishops to pay careful attention to the welfare of the family, which is “located at the heart of the evangelizing Church.”