Castel Gandolfo (Fides Service) – On Sunday 27 July from his Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo Pope John Paul II launched a call to all Christians in Europe to “rediscover the enthusiasm of proclaiming the Gospel and bearing witness” and he called for peace in Africa.
“The Church received from the Risen Christ the command to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth – the Pope said. On the last few Sundays I have said that this task falls in particular to the ecclesial communities of Europe. Although some regions and certain environments await even first proclamation of the Gospel, everywhere there is need for renewed proclamation. Very often in fact the knowledge of Christianity is taken for granted while in actual fact the Bible is little read or studied, catechesis is not always in depth, the Sacraments are little frequented. In this way instead of authentic faith there is a spreading of a vague and little demanding religious sentiment, which could become agnosticism and practical atheism. Europe today needs the presence of Catholics adults in the faith and missionary Christian communities who bear witness to God’s love for all peoples.”
For “renewed proclamation of Christ” the Pope stresses the necessity of deep unity and communion within the Church, sincere commitment in the ecumenical field and dialogue with followers of other religions. “The Gospel is a light which beams over the entire field of social life: family, culture, schools, universities, youth, media, economy, politics…Christ comes to meet man wherever he lives and works offering him full meaning to his life.”
After praying the Angelus the Pope launched an appeal for peace in Africa, Liberia in particular. “Our meeting today is a good opportunity to manifest our solidarity with the brothers and sisters of Africa where, besides progress and positive initiatives for peace, there are persisting pockets of deadly violence. I refer in particular to the tragic news from Liberia. Faced with the sufferings of those dear people we cannot fail to ask all those who have a weapon in their hands to lay it down and to make space for dialogue and the concerted action of the international community”. See address by Holy Father http://www.fides.org/ita/magistero/2003/angelus_270703.html SL (Fides Service 28/7/2003 EM lines 28 Words: 391)