Catholic Free Press

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  • Sep
  • 8

Church must teach truth, values that save souls, the world, pope says

Posted By September 8, 2011 | 3:51 pm | Vatican
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Catholic schools and institutions need to be "genuinely Catholic" and pass on the values that support communities and the truth that saves souls, Pope Benedict XVI said. "This saving truth, at the heart of the deposit of faith, must remain the foundation of all the church's endeavors, proposed to others always with respect but also without compromise," the pope told a group of bishops from India.

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Catholic schools and institutions need to be “genuinely Catholic” and pass on the values that support communities and the truth that saves souls, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“This saving truth, at the heart of the deposit of faith, must remain the foundation of all the church’s endeavors, proposed to others always with respect but also without compromise,” the pope told a group of bishops from India.

In a country with large Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian populations, the church must continue to teach and promote the “intellectual and moral truth” to the Catholic faithful, the pope said Sept. 8 at the end of the bishops’ “ad limina” visits.

Catholics must then bear witness to God’s love for everyone and reach out to their neighbors, showing them by their words and actions that Christ is the way, the truth and the life, he said.

Through friendship, respect and love, all Catholics can strive “not to condemn the world but to offer it the gift of salvation,” he said.

The Catholic Church makes “an invaluable contribution” to all of Indian society with its many church-run schools, orphanages, hospitals and clinics, he said.

Church-run schools have been especially valuable in developing “the spiritual, intellectual and moral faculties of their students,” he said. And schools should continue to practice “sound judgment” and let students learn about “the heritage bequeathed to them by former generations, thus fostering a sense of values and preparing their pupils for a happy and productive life.”

Pope Benedict encouraged the Indian bishops to “continue to pay close attention to the quality of instruction in the schools present in your dioceses, to ensure that they be genuinely Catholic and therefore capable of passing on those truths and values necessary for the salvation of souls and the up-building of society.”

“The capacity to present the truth gently but firmly is a gift to be nurtured especially among those who teach in Catholic institutes of higher education” and those who teach seminarians, religious and the lay faithful.

He said “students have the right to receive the fullness of the intellectual and spiritual heritage of the church.” With more solid catechetical formation, church members will be better able to serve the church and society.