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Ignorance of faith is great obstacle, Pope tells French bishops

November 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI told a group of visiting French bishops that “one of the gravest problems of our time is the ignorance of religion on the part of many men and women, also among the Catholic faithful.”

In his November 30 address to a group of French bishops who were making their ad limina visits, the Pope said that the “glorious past” of Catholicism in France should inspire hope for the future of evangelization efforts there. However, he warned, the people’s ignorance of the faith “produces an inability to understand history or to recognize themselves as heirs to this tradition, which has shaped European life, society, art and culture.”

Underlining the need for the New Evangelization in France, the Pope observed that “signs of vitality and involvement of the laity in French society are already encouraging.” He placed special emphasis on the need to advance Catholic education as a way to inform young people about the faith and to pursue the “great dialogue between faith and culture.”


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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Dec. 02, 2012 9:18 PM ET USA

    Agreed. One cannot live our Faith without a fundamental understanding of the New Testament and the Catechism. "To know Christ Jesus". Until the Faith is taken seriously and taught in comparative detail & profesionalism as is science and math, formalized Cathlic Schooling will continue to suffer. The part I cannot understand is that immortal souls are being formed by many uninformed reducing everything to God is Love / Jesus loves us. The study of the Faith is rich, deep, and meaningful.

  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 30, 2012 3:31 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father is right, most young people don't know the Faith. I would add that many older people don't know it either. Like it or not, the wave of reform that swept through the Church after VII, seemingly made many things passe or not germane. Until CCD programs become more than an hour each week, K-12 Catholic school instruction becomes more rigorous and mandatums become mandatory in universities (et al), things are likely to remain the same.