My generation did not evangelise enough, says Pope

My generation did not evangelise enough, says Pope
By CAROL GLATZ on Monday, 29 August 2011

The Pontiff at a seminar with his former students (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Cradle Catholics have not done enough to show people that God exists and can bring true fulfilment to everyone, Pope Benedict XVI has told a group of his former students.

“We, who have been able to know [Christ] since our youth, may we ask forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he’s present and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for,” the Pope said.

The Pope presided at a Mass yesterday in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, during his annual meeting with students who did their doctorates with him when he was a professor in Germany.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, a regular participant in the Ratzinger Schülerkreis (Ratzinger student circle), gave the homily at the Mass, but the Pope made remarks at the beginning of the liturgy.

The Vatican released the text of the Pope’s remarks today.

Pope Benedict highlighted the day’s reading in Psalm 63 in which the soul thirsts for God “in a land parched, lifeless and without water”.

He asked God to show himself to today’s world, which is marked by God’s absence and where “the land of souls is arid and dry, and people still don’t know where the living water comes from”.

May God let people who are searching for water elsewhere know that the only thing that will quench their thirst is God himself and that he would never let “people’s lives, their thirst for that which is great, for fulfilment, drown and suffocate in the ephemeral,” the Pope told his former students.

However, it also is up to Christians to make God known to the world, the Pope said, and older generations may not have done their best.

“We want to ask [God] to forgive us, that he renew us with the living water of his spirit and that he helps us to celebrate properly the sacred mysteries,” he said.

The formal discussions of the “schulerkreis” this year focused on the new evangelisation.

The closed-door seminar was held from August 25 to 28 in the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo and was attended by 40 people, according to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

The Pope chose two speakers to give lectures: Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, a female German theologian and professor, and Otto Neubauer, director of the Emmanuel Community’s academy for evangelisation in Vienna.

The lectures were followed by discussion among the participants, including the Pope.

Summarising the discussions for L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Schönborn said participants felt that World Youth Day events in Madrid represented a fresh “boost of renewed hope” for the Church.

He said older generations had suffered by first living their faith at a time when Church life was thriving, and now watching parishes lose parishioners.

But today’s young Catholics seem to realise they are a minority in a secular, relativistic world and have shown their “undaunted willingness to give witness to their peers in such an environment,” he said.

Seminar participants saw the so-called “John Paul II and Benedict XVI generations” as a whole new phase for the Church. No one thought young Catholics would be so open to being in “the courtyard of the Gentiles” to evangelise, said the cardinal.

He said the meeting also reflected on how to spread the Gospel in a secular world that nonetheless “shows that it is waiting to receive anew the Gospel message.”

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3 Responses to My generation did not evangelise enough, says Pope

  1. Its really sad to hear what the Pope says. However I do not believe that the laity and the older generation have failed.If there has been a failure to show to the people that God exists, much of the responsibility must be placed in the hands of our own clergy right from the top to bottom.The clergy has been engrossed so much in church money, assests and properities that most of their supposed time which needs to be devoted to holding and bring the flock together has been wasted chasing worldly attractions. I am sure the pope is aware of this, yet like all other issues the church perferes to sweep these issues under the carpet.
    I have yet not touched the issue of sexual exsploitation of women and young children, where a section of the clergy features very high, this also has been swept under the carpet.I believe that the church needs to do a introspection, to enable the possibility to clean up all the alleged rot and muck within the administration, may be then there could be a possibility to correct the failure and show the people that God Exists.
    Any takers or those who dont believe?

  2. Anawim says:

    Material, Social and Moral corruption are only fruits of Spiritual Corruption.
    The source of this corruption is the loss or abandonment of the Living Waters for a mirage in this desert that was created by those who came as wolves in sheep clothing!
    This “mirage” is in simple terms the “new way ” of being Church. The mission of the Church is overturned in making the laity (they call it “the millenium of the laity”) dig for water in this desert!

    This is where the laity are “blindfolded” and made to drink the polluted waters that emerge from their corrupt theories and practices.

    Awake from your slumber comrades!

  3. joe anthony says:

    The clergy instead of giving the running of schools ,colleges,hospitals to the laity want to control these institutions because they get power ,a lot of muck is involved in the running of these institutions,but they love to have power instead of concentrating on their vocations(today in mumbai instead of thinking about providing housing to the needy mumbaikars they are selling of land that is scarce for a song(which has the approval of the archdiocesan finance committee),will the cardinal reveal the names of all the members of this committee (the so called experts)who approved the sale of scare land in mumbai at rs 2000 a foot (one cannot get land at rs 2000 a foot in far away vasai),was brokerage paid to any one for the sale of the said land,were legal fees paid by the cardinal to any lawyers for the land in thane(can the cardinal reveal the names of the lawyers in the thane land deal and the fees if any paid to these lawyers ),who recommended the said advocate to the church,did any one receive brokerage for the sale of the thane land,how did the party who bought the thane land approach the church,how did the party who bought the mahim land approach the church to buy land which belonged to the co-op.housing society—-INSTEAD OF CONCENTRATING ON EVANGALISATION THEY ARE CONCENTRATING ON THE SALE OF PROPERTY –THANK GOD THE EXAMINER PRESS BUILDING WAS SAVED FROM THESE PROPERTY DEALERS .

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