Inconsistency of Catholics Feeds Social Woes, Warns Pontiff

Warns of “Social Sins” in Address to Mexican Prelates

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 15, 2005 ( Benedict XVI says that it is the inconsistency between the faith and life of many Catholics that generates unjust social structures.

The Pope made that comment today when receiving a second group of Mexican bishops on their five-yearly visit to Rome.

Addressing the pastors of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions of Monterrey, Morelia and San Luis Potosi, the Holy Father mentioned the scourge of “social sins,” which have their origin in the loss of the sense of God and of moral principles.

“Mexico faces the challenge of transforming its social structures so that they are in greater accord with the dignity of the person and his fundamental rights,” Benedict XVI explained in his Spanish-language address to the prelates, with whom he has held personal meetings in recent days.

“Catholics, who still constitute the greater part of the population, are called to collaborate in this task, discovering their commitment of faith and the unitary sense of their presence in the world,” he added in the meeting held in the papal summer residence, south of Rome.

About 90% of Mexico’s 106 million inhabitants are Catholic.

Contempt for life

For the Bishop of Rome, “The separation between the faith professed and daily life of many is one of the most serious errors of our times.”

This split between life and faith had led in some places to “the deterioration of healthy forms of coexistence and public administration” and the increase of “the phenomena of corruption, impunity, infiltration of drug trafficking and organized crime,” the Pope added.

“All this leads to different forms of violence, indifference and contempt for the inviolable value of life,” he said.

The Holy Father called these phenomena “social sins,” which make manifest “a profound crisis due to the loss of the sense of God and the absence of the moral principles that must govern the life of every man.”

“Without a moral reference, one falls prey to the eagerness for unlimited wealth and power, which clouds all evangelical visions of the social reality,” he noted.

Given the situation, Benedict XVI encouraged the Mexican bishops “to propose the transcendental richness of Christianity as an event that gives true meaning to life and the capacity for dialogue, for listening and for collaboration with all.”

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