The Church is growing in Pakistan

Vatican City, June, 21,2008 - In spite of the difficulties that the Church faces in Pakistan, it is growing, and, by forming priests and laity carefully, it is carrying forward interreligious dialogue; at the same time, by making its services available to serve the common good, it demonstrates that "the love of Christ is no mere abstraction".  Benedict XVI encourages the actions of Catholics of Pakistan, "despite conditions that sometimes hinder their capacity to take root", in his address to the country's bishops, whom he received today for their five-year "ad limina" visit. "Whenever we courageously shoulder the burdens placed upon us in circumstances often beyond our control", he told them, "we encounter Jesus himself, who gives us a hope that surpasses the sufferings of the present because it transforms us from within".

In his address, Benedict XVI emphasised among other things the importance of the example of faith that the bishops and priests should offer, especially through their love for the Eucharist.  Eucharistic spirituality embraces the entire Christian life, as shown by the vitality of the ecclesial movements in the country, which the pope particularly urged to grow in listening to the Gospel, which will increase their charitable concern for their neighbour.

This characteristic also marks Catholic institutions.  "Those who serve in Catholic hospitals, schools, social and charitable agencies respond to the concrete needs of others, knowing well that they are ministering to the Lord himself through their particular acts of charity". "Priests, religious and the lay faithful in your Dioceses, by caring for the sick, helping young people grow in knowledge and virtue, and meeting the needs of the poor, reveal the human face of God's love for each and every person".


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