Pope Urges Students to Proclaim Christ Without Shame

Avoid Arguments and Inferiority Complex, He Says

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 26, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II told Catholic university students that they must «never be ashamed of the Gospel,» and that they should proclaim it in their realm but not impose it.

When it comes to speaking about Jesus, students must be inspired by «the clear and humble honesty of the authentic witnesses of the faith,» the Holy Father said.

«In this way, one can avoid both the tone of bitter debate as well as the risk of a kind of inferiority complex, which unfortunately creeps into the conscience of many Catholics,» the Pontiff said.

The Pope wrote these words in a message, dated today, to the Federation of Italian Catholic University Students. The group will hold its national congress from April 30 to May 3 on «Solidarity in the Network of Interdependencies.»

«Your mission consists in being ´leaven, salt and light´ of the Gospel in the realm of scientific research and professional training,» John Paul II wrote.

«In order to achieve this, it is necessary above all to cultivate an intense spiritual life, nourished by listening to the Word of God, assiduous prayer, [and] participation in the liturgy of the Church,» the Pontiff added. «Together with the commitment to study and related activities, above all the awareness of being contemplatives of the mystery of God must never be lacking.»

«May your pure and joyful Christian witness, lived in cordial communion with those who share the evangelical ideal, also in other ecclesial groups, help all of you to meet with Jesus,» the Pope continued.

«Only he can fill life with meaning and offer full and certain salvation to the heart that hungers for freedom and authentic happiness. Only in a culture inspired in Christianity can authentic human values find their integral realization,» John Paul II concluded.

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