Italian Prelates See Need to Focus on Relationships

Say Faith Requires Grounding in Simple Person-to-Person Contact

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ROME, JAN. 27, 2010 ( In a social context of cultural disorientation and fragmented families, personal contact cannot be taken for granted, the bishops of Italy are observing. 

Hence, the next theme for their general assembly, to be held May 23-27, will be «To Introduce and Support the Encounter With Christ in the Ecclesial Community.» 

With this issue, the bishops will be addressing the pastoral guidelines on education for the decade 2010-2020. 

Monsignor Domenico Pompili, spokesman of the Italian Episcopal Conference, explained the theme in a statement. 

Since personal contact cannot be taken for granted, he said, «energy and time will have to be invested to identify ‘subjects’ and ‘methods’ that make possible genuine relationships, from which to ensure a thorough proposal of faith.» 

The prelates have approved the Final Document from last October’s 46th Social Week, which stresses that anthropological issues are linked to the social problem itself. 

Without a culture of life and for life, Monsignor Pompili explained, «the enormous economic and social difficulties will not be able to be adequately addressed and overcome.» 

In this light, special attention needs to go to seminarians, the bishops found. 

Young men studying for the priesthood today reflect «the cultural changes under way,» the monsignor noted, and they require «prolonged attention to cultivate a rigorous profile of a true and impassioned man for life, a man enamored of Christ, capable of integrating all the affective and relational dimensions in the gift of himself, a man open to fraternity and to the exercise of a ministry that is radically of a community nature.»

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