As a prolonged financial crisis continues to cripple Greece economically, Pope Francis has encouraged the nation’s bishops to transmit hope to their people and not to give in to a “so-called culture of pessimism.”
Addressing Greek bishops Thursday in the Vatican on their ad limina visit, the Pope said: “I wish to express my appreciation for the work of evangelization which, despite many difficulties, has been carried out in Greece.”
In his remarks, Francis also told the bishops how they can provide necessary support to different levels of the Church and what three things are needed to change society: dialogue, fraternal communion, and solidarity.
The Jesuit Pontiff stressed that communion between all bishops, their priests, and the Pope is especially important to Greece, which, “more than ever,” needs political and cultural dialogue in order to protect and promote the common good.
Properly carrying out the mission of evangelization in their nation, he said, is indispensable to having motivated and dedicated clergy.
While urging the bishops “to increase, with appropriate tools, vocational ministry, to address the inadequacy of the clergy,” the Pope also asked them to convey to their diocesan priests, many of whom are elderly, his affection and appreciation for their apostolic zeal, despite how little means they have available to them.
In addition to reaffirming that bishops should cooperate with Greek authorities, the Holy Father praised the contributions the nation’s bishops have made to education, their dialogue with Orthodox Christians, and in evangelization.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis imparted his blessing and entrusted them to the Blessed Mother’s protection.
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To read the Holy Father’s address, go to: