Pope calls for many more trained evangelists

 Yesterday John Paul II said there was a great need for more trained evangelists. Speaking to participants of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America he said: "to announce Christ better to the men and women of today, thus illuminating with the wisdom of the Gospel the challenges and problems that the Church and society experience in Latin America at the beginning of the millennium, the Church needs many qualified evangelizers who speak 'more and more of Jesus Christ' with new ardour, renewed enthusiasm, refined ecclesial spirit and filled with faith and hope." "The originality and richness of the Gospel, a continuous font of creativity, always inspire new expressions and initiatives in ecclesiastical life and help to identity new ways to evangelize that, in complete fidelity to the Magisterium and tradition of the Church, are necessary to announce the Gospel in faraway places to all men and women, to every ethnicity and every social class, including the most difficult sectors or those who are opposed." The Holy Father made reference to the phenomena of sects, which they discussed during the plenary, and indicated that confronting "in a decisive way this grave and insidious problem" requires "in-depth evangelization, the continuous and active presence of pastors, bishops and priests among their parishioners, and a personal relationship of the faithful with Christ." Other areas such as "young people and families and especially priestly vocations need special attention from pastors, with ample synergy, that is, with a group effort, stressing unity and communion: it is ever-more necessary 'to make the Church a home and a school of communion: this is the great challenge that awaits us in the new millennium'." The Pope concluded by recalling the "great importance of the evangelizing activity of religious, as well as that of ecclesiastical movements" for this challenge.

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