The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[+]
VATICAN CITY, SEP 16, 2004 (VIS) - This morning at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received 130 French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking bishops from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas who participated in a formation seminar promoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Last year, there was a similar seminar for English-speaking bishops.
In his speech in French, the Pope expressed his joy "at the vitality of your churches. In all cultures, they are called to show the communion of the one Church of Christ, in fidelity to the Magisterium. Your first concern is to be diligent guardians of the integrity of the faith and the unity of the Church. Called to follow Christ, strive to increase communion with the Roman Pontiff and with other bishops, especially within the same Episcopal conference and ecclesiastic province."
"Be models," he said, "for the Christian community, drawing the strength to be servants of the Gospel from a spiritual life, an intense sacramental life and permanent formation."
"In order to guide the faithful to true sanctity and to express Christian hope, may each one of you make St. Paul's outlook your own: 'Evangelizing is not a reason for pride but a duty that is imposed on me. Woe to me if I do not announce the Gospel!"
After emphasizing that in a few days they will go back to their communities which are "often tried," John Paul II asked the bishops to assure their faithful that he was praying for them and for their intentions. "Tell your pastors that the Church counts on them to be witnesses with their word and their life. May Our Lady, Queen of Missions, help you in the service that has been entrusted to you." AC/EVANGELIZATION/… VIS 20040916 (300)