VATICAN CITY, JUNE 22, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI met today with a group of bishops from Colombia in Rome for their ad limina visits, offering them some concrete advice on growing religious pluralism and the increasing presence of evangelical communities in the country.
The Pope cited the concluding document from the fifth general conference of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops, which observed that people often leave the Church not because of what non-Catholic groups believe, but because of what they live.
Hence, the Holy Father said, facing this challenge is "about being better believers, more pious, affable and welcoming in our parishes and communities, so that no one will feel distant or excluded."
"Catechesis must be promoted, giving special attention to young people and adults; homilies must be carefully prepared, as well as promoting the teaching of Catholic doctrine in schools and universities," he added.
All of this, the Bishop of Rome affirmed, will help to recover in the baptized "a sense of belonging to the Church and to awaken in them the aspiration to share with others the joy of following Christ and of being members of his Mystical Body."
Benedict XVI added that it is important to emphasize the Church's tradition, Marian spirituality and the rich diversity of devotion.
"To facilitate a serene and open exchange with other Christians, without losing one’s own identity, can also help to improve relations with them," he said, "and to overcome mistrust and unnecessary confrontations."
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