Aid Asked for Missions in Areas of Need or Persecution

Cardinal Sepe Addresses Assembly of Pontifical Mission Societies

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ROME, MAY 10, 2004 ( The mission of evangelization must be relaunched and supported, especially in those areas where poverty and persecutions threaten the very survival of missionaries, says Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe.

That was the message the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples delivered when he opened the annual general assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS).

Addressing 117 national directors of the organization, Cardinal Sepe emphasized that «we must help those sister Churches of ours» of which «we receive news almost daily and which we cannot forget.»

These Churches «find themselves in difficult situations and are in need of being supported with prayer and sacrifice,» including those persecuted or in need of material aid, he said Thursday.

Cardinal Sepe stressed that the «first and principal duty of every national director of the PMS is to sensitize and animate the whole People of God, so that everyone will become aware of their own radical vocation to render witness to Christ and to take his Gospel, each one according to his possibilities, to all the nations and to the ends of the earth.»

«This task of animation and missionary sensitization depends on the active and sincere cooperation of all: bishops, priests, religious and laity,» he said.

The agenda of the PMS general assembly includes calls for the revision and updating of the statutes, which date back to 1980. The assembly continues until May 14.

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