DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     May 5, 1999     vol. 10, no. 88

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II on Tuesday spoke of the "formidable challenge" that faces the Church today: "the evangelization of the urban culture," as he received the Canadian bishops of Ontario on their ad limina visit to Rome.

          The Church is called to undertake "a methodical urban evangelization and with a great effort," said the Pope. He added that the phenomenon of the large city creates "a culture of discrimination and of indifference" and leads to "new forms of exploitation and of domination."

          "For many, and especially for young people, the city becomes an experience of rootlessness, anonymity and inequality, with the consequent loss of identity and sense of human dignity," he said. The result is often violence, which has its source in a "disappointment" and a "loss of confidence in institutions," in which he includes not only "political, legal, and educational institutions, but also Church and family."

          For the Holy Father, the elements of this new urban evangelization are "the catechism, the liturgy, and the organization of pastoral structures." The objective is "a new and deeper experience of the community in Christ," he said.

          He then spoke of the important role of "urban lay missionaries" and of "truly zealous priests inhabited by the missionary spirit," and asked "that seminaries and houses of formation be clearly seen as schools for the missions." In addition the parish must remain "the privileged place" for leading the faithful "to an intimacy with Christ," in showing the necessity of a "deep spirit of fraternity" between the members of the same community, to avoid "the anonymity of cities."

          Lastly, the Holy Father insisted on the role of some schools and other Catholic institutions in the evangelization of cities, to guard against. He exhorted Catholic institutions to keep their identity free from "influences linked to secularization" -- a sometimes "heavy" influence in Canada -- which risks their "Catholic identity."

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 5, 1999       volume 10, no. 88


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