Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Evangelization needed to combat sects in Brazil, Pope tells bishops

Catholic World News - September 10, 2010

Meeting on September 10 with a group of bishops from Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Catholic Church has always been a crucial part of the Brazilian identity. But that identity is now challenged, he said, by the rapid rise of Evangelical sects.

The Pope remarked to the Brazilian bishops, who were finishing their ad limina visits to Rome, that Brazil has always been marked by “harmonious coexistence among people from different regions and cultures.” What is remarkable about recent changes in that country, he said, is the growth of influences that were “practically unknown just a few decades ago.”

The rise of Protestant sects, the Pope continued, testifies to “a widespread thirst for God.” But at the same time, the fact that so many people who were raised as Catholics now seek religious support elsewhere suggests that the evangelization efforts of their Catholic pastors has been “sometimes superficial.” “In this context it is necessary, first and foremost, for the Catholic Church in Brazil to commit to a new evangelisation which spares no efforts in seeking out lapsed Catholics and people who know little or nothing of the evangelical message, bringing them to a personal encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ Who is active in His Church,” the Pope said.

The Pontiff went on to say that Catholics must recognize the new influence of other Christian groups, and establish an ecumenical dialogue with them. Otherwise, he said, “the lack of unity is a cause of scandal” that inhibits evangelization. He cautioned, too, that true ecumenism should be characterized not by “doctrinal indifference” but by mutual respect and a shared commitment to serve Christ.

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 five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($17,660 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,340.48
50% 50%
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!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Obregon - Sep. 11, 2010 12:49 PM ET USA

    Already John Paul II was speaking forcefully on this issue in the 1980s so the problem of Protestant sects and their gain among the Catholic population has been here for years. Poor catechesis or no catechesis at all, dissent within the Church, and a cultural invasion is responsible for this situation not only in Brazil but throughout Latin America.

  • Posted by: raghanger - Sep. 10, 2010 10:07 PM ET USA

    I spoke to a person today who is from South America. This person, about 60 years of age, was raised as a Catholic and continues to be very religeous except not in the CAtholic Church. I asked why. The short response was that the focus of the church there was not so much on God and Jesus but on icons, statues and prayers to them. I did not get to talk about the Mass. They had as a result, when they became a US citizen, left the Church for the Protestant environment. There a problem here.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 6 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 7 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20