Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,784 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope exhorts laity: fight 'insidious' threats to human life, marriage

Catholic World News - May 14, 2010

Attacks on the dignity of human life and on marriage are "some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good," Pope Benedict XVI said during a Mass at Fatima on May 13.

Preaching to a congregation of well over 100,000 at the Marian shrine, the Holy Father emphasized the need for Christian involvement in public life to build up a civilization of love. This activism, he said, "is the proper realm of the lay faithful, who are called to promote justice and the common good."

To be effective in bringing the Gospel to the world, the Pope said, Christians need proper spiritual formation. Without a strong foundation in faith, he said, the laity can be prone to the influence of the dominant secular culture: "The pressure exerted by the prevailing culture, which constantly promotes a lifestyle based on the law of the strongest, on easy and attractive gain, ends up influencing our ways of thinking, our projects and the goals of our service, and risks emptying them of the motivation of faith and Christian hope which had originally inspired them."

The Pontiff offered his praise for initiatives that defend human life and "promote the reconciliation and healing of those harmed by the tragedy of abortion." He gave his endorsement to all "initiatives aimed at protecting the essential and primary values of life, beginning at conception, and of the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman." While he spoke in general terms about the defense of marriage, the Pope's words were obviously directed toward efforts to bring legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Portugal.

Later in the evening the Pope met with the bishops of Portugal, and told them that "the times in which we live demand a new missionary vigor." The intellectual elites of the modern world, he said, "contain many believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism, which raises barriers before Christian inspiration." Church leaders must combat that tendency, he said.

Nevertheless, the Pope continued, the proclamation of the Gospel is not merely an intellectual exercise; even an accurate recitation of Christian doctrine "does not penetrate to the depths of people's hearts." What attracts people to the Church, he said, is "the encounter with believing persons who, through their faith, draw others to the grace of Christ by bearing witness to Him."

In that regard, the Pope encouraged the Portuguese bishops to encourage the "new movements" in the Church, while guiding them to "help the movements to find the right way, correcting them."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,163 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,837.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 9 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 13 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6