VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The church must evangelize in the world’s big cities “without fearing pluralism” or ceding to discrimination, said Pope Francis in his message to an international evangelization conference in Barcelona, Spain.
“The church has the mission to bring the good news of Jesus Christ and his saving love to diverse contexts, without fearing pluralism and without falling into any form of discrimination,” he said. His message was read Nov. 25 at a Liturgy of the Word, held in Barcelona’s most renowned church, La Sagrada Familia.
Everyone living in “large urban centers, which are always in expansion … need to feel the closeness and the mercy of God, who does not abandon them,” the pope said. “God always knows how to make himself known. He takes the initiative to offer the true meaning of life to those who are alone, disoriented or suffering from the wounds often brought on by a frenetic society that does not demonstrate solidarity.”
The liturgy was part of the second series of meetings of the International Congress on Ministry in Big Cities Nov. 24-26. For two days, 23 bishops from some of the world’s largest cities, including San Francisco, gathered to discuss the challenges and approaches to ministry in large urban centers. They reflected on a 30-page document, produced after the first series of meetings in May, which had called together sociologists, theologians and ministry experts.
In his message, the pope said he was pleased with the discussions to date and encouraged congress participants to continue their reflection “in a creative way.” The church “does not consider it wasteful to go to the peripheries and to change the usual plans, when it serves,” he said.
Rather, the church is “like a mother” interested only in what is good for her children, he continued. “Without holding back any efforts and sacrifices,” the church must offer people “the welcome to feel they are integrated in a community” and the light of the Gospel so that they may live a “fruitful life of hope, joy and peace,” he said.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103