Saturday, October 27, 2007

Evangelization must penetrate culture, Pope tells students

Effective evangelization involves making the Gospel "penetrate deeply into the way people think," Pope Benedict XVI told students at Rome's pontifical universities.

Hundreds of students at the pontifical universities gathered on October 26 for a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, with Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presiding. After the Eucharistic celebration the Holy Father spoke to the congregation, emphasizing to the students that "all culture of modern man must be permeated by the Gospel."

For young people spending a few formative years in Rome, the Pope said, the city offers "eloquent Christian testimony" in the works of art, architecture, and institutions built up over the centuries. The pontifical universities have their own rich history, he added, noting that in those schools "entire generations of priests and pastoral workers were formed, including many great saints and illustrious men of the Church."

Encourging the students to diligence in both their studies and their spiritual lives, Pope Benedict told them that they should recognize their academic work as preparation for their priestly mission.

The Gospel must be proclaimed in new ways to a new culture, he said, and the ability to state ancient truths in new ways is "more pressing than ever in our post-modern age, in which the need is felt for a new evangelization, and which needs masters of faith and appropriately trained heralds and witnesses of the Gospel." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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