Catholic World News

Pope lauds fidelity of Church in Lithuania, warns of threats to family life

February 02, 2015

Pope Francis received the bishops of Lithuania in audience on February 2 and paid tribute to the “heroism” of older bishops during the era of Communist persecution.

If, in the past, the Church in Lithuania was oppressed by Communism, it now faces “other dangers, such as secularism and relativism.” The Pontiff called upon bishops to undertake a “constructive dialogue with all” and ensure that Christian communities are “always places of welcome.”

As the Church engages in “reflection on the family, its beauty, its value, and the challenges it is facing,” the Pope called on Lithuania’s bishops to contribute to this work of discernment. Quoting St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the Pope urged bishops to conduct their ministry to families in such a way that families are not “conformed to this world,” but “transformed by the renewal” of their minds.

With entrance into the European Union, the Pope continued, Lithuania is “exposed to the influence of ideologies that would introduce elements of destabilization in families, the result of a poorly understood sense of personal liberty.” Reason and faith, the Pope said, will help Lithuania confront this challenge.


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