Saturday, June 18, 2011

Derivative Work. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Po...
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VATICAN - The Pope recalled "the unique contribution of all Religious, men and women, active and contemplative, to the mission of the Church, and their role as protagonists of evangelization"
Vatican City (Fides Service) - "Because of the unique contribution made by all Religious, men and women, contemplative and active, to the mission of the Church, and because of their role as protagonists of evangelization through prayer and supplication, education, health care, charity and other apostolates, their charisms will surely continue to strengthen the whole ecclesial community and enrich wider society". This is what the Holy Father Benedict XVI underlined in his speech to Indian Bishops of the Latin rite of the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Mylapore, Madurai, Pondicherry and Raipur, received at the hearing on June 17, during the visit Ad Limina Apostolorum.
The Pope focused in particular on the responsibilities of bishops and the clergy, religious men and women, noting that among his many duties the bishop, as pastor and father, should so "unite and mould his flock into one family that all, conscious of their duties, will wish to live and act as one in charity". Speaking of relations with the priests, diocesans and religious, the Holy Father exhorted the Bishops to be supportive towards them, and to "be attentive to their needs and aspirations, showing solicitude for their spiritual, intellectual and material well-being. They, as sons and staff are called in turn to respect your co-workers, are called in turn to respect your authority, working cheerfully, humbly and with complete dedication to the good of the Church, but always under your direction ...Moreover, the witness of the reciprocal love and service between you and your priests, without regard for caste or 
Blessed Martyrs of Nowogródek
ethnicity, but focused upon the love of God, the spread of the Gospel and the sanctification of the Church, is much earnestly desired by the people you serve. They look to you and your priests for a model of holiness, friendship and harmony that speaks to their hearts and teaches by example how to live the new commandment of love".
The Bishop must be "guidance and support" also for religious men and women religious, "the witness of your own deep love for Jesus Christ and his Church will serve to inspire them as they devote themselves with perfect poverty, chastity 

Eleven Nuns of Nowogrodek Martyrs
and obedience to the life to which they have been 
called". The Pope also stressed that "the radiant witness of consecrated life is of course a treasure also for the entire Church", and urged the bishops to close cooperation with religious Superiors, so that "members of Religious Institutes in your Dioceses live their particular charisms in their fullness and in harmony with the priests and lay faithful. In addition to ensuring that they receive a solid human, spiritual and theological foundation, see that they are provided with a thorough ongoing formation that will help them mature in all aspects of consecrated life".
In particular, Benedict XVI expressed particular appreciation of the many Women religious of the Church in India "they offer countless prayers and perform innumerable good works, often hidden, but nevertheless of great value to the up-building of God's Kingdom", asking the bishops to " encourage them in their vocation, and to invite young women to consider a similar life of fulfillment through love of God and service to others". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 18/06/2011)
The full text of the Holy Father's speech, in English

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