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All Christians share the obligation to spread the Gospel, Pope says

October 04, 2010

All Christians have an obligation to spread the Gospel, Pope Benedict XVI said in an October 4 meeting with a group of visiting Brazilian bishops.

The Holy Father praised the Brazilian prelates—who were in Rome for their ad limina visits—that their efforts to bring “the Good News of Jesus to all corners of the Amazon jungle.” He recognized that these efforts are difficult for dioceses “often lacking the necessary means.”

Preaching the Gospel is never a question of “imposing” the faith, or violating the religious freedom of native populations, the Pope said. “To present Christ and His kingdom in a respectful way, more than a right, is a duty of evangelization,” he said.

Every Christian shares in that duty, the Pope insisted. While recognizing that God can arrange the salvation of his children in many different ways, the Pontiff observed, the ordinary means of salvation are found in the Church, and the faithful have a solemn duty to help others discover those means. He said: “Man may be saved by other ways, thanks to God's mercy, without the announcement of the Gospel. But can I be saved if through negligence, fear, shame or erroneous ideas, I fail to announce it?"


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  • Posted by: richard.clarke1185 - Oct. 05, 2010 12:55 PM ET USA

    and to borrow a paraphrase from Saint Francis ... "preach the Gospel always and use words if necessary"