Pope Tells Greek Bishops to Transmit Hope to Their People

Warns Against Giving in to So-Called Culture of Pessimism

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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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On ZENIT’s website:

To read the Holy Father’s address, go to: 

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-the-episcopal-conference-of-greece

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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