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Pope says the Church is open to dialogue, but cannot renounce spreading the Gospel

ICC Note: In the midst of attempts by Christians of all denominations to work for peace in the world by promoting dialogue, this message from the Pope is a good reminder: yes, dialogue is vital, but “history needs the announcement of the Good News to all peoples and all men.” Our task to spread the Gospel of Christ is our first priority.

12/21/07 Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Church is open to dialogue, but cannot renounce announcing the Good News to the world, because it knows that through its work not only is salvation realised, but justice and peace brought to bear. This is the Benedict XVI’s reading of the principal events which have taken place in the year that is ending: from the “perennial principals” of catholic ecclesiology underlined in his Letter to Chinese Catholics – where openness to the authorities is also reaffirmed – to the hopes for serene coexistence initiated by the Letter from 138 Muslim religious leaders, as well as affirmations in favour of human rights for the protection of nature, “the Creators’ message”.

The address given to the Roman Curia as is tradition for an exchange of Christmas greetings was an occasion to reflect upon the events which have signed 2007 for Benedict 2007. Inspired by his May trip to Brazil, the Pope confronts the central theme of the entire discourse, that of evangelisation: “by coming to know Christ, we come to know God, and only by knowing God we understand man and the world, a world which otherwise remains a senseless question”. Therefore, faith “is everything; this word indicates both being with Christ and being with his justice. In faith we receive Christ’s justice, we live it in first person and we transmit it”.

“A disciple of Jesus Christ – he continues -must also be a missionary”, but “today is it still permissible to “evangelise”? Instead should not all of the world’s religions and concepts not simply seek to peacefully coexist and together try to do their best for humanity each in their own way? Well, it is beyond discussion that we must coexist and cooperate in tolerance and reciprocal respect. The Catholic Church is energetically committed to this”. But “this desire for dialogue and collaboration perhaps means at the time means that we can no longer transmit the message of Jesus Christ, no longer put forward to mankind and the world this call and the hope that is derived from it? Those who recognise a great truth, those who have found great joy, must transmit it; they cannot simply keep it to themselves”. And “in order for this to happen, history needs the announcement of the Good News to all peoples and all men”, because “through our encounter with Jesus Christ and his saints, through our encounter with God, the balance of humanity is replenished in the force of good, without which all of programmes of social order never become a reality, but – in the face of other powerful pressures from interests contrary to peace and justice – they remain simply abstract theories”… [Go To Full Story]