Pontiff Calls for Complete Fidelity to MagisteriumSays That Doctrine Is Live-Giving, Not Prohibiting
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 5, 2010 (www.Zenit.org
).- Benedict XVI is urging prelates to call Catholics to complete fidelity to the magisterium, presenting Church teaching as a message of hope rather than a series of prohibitions.
The Pope stated this today in an audience with the bishops from Scotland who are in Rome for their five-yearly visit.
He underlined the need to focus anew on lay apostolate" so as to give "strong impetus to the task of evangelizing society."
The Pontiff added, "That task requires a readiness to grapple firmly with the challenges presented by the increasing tide of secularism in your country."
He mentioned in particular Scotland's support for euthanasia, developments in medical ethics and some practices advocated in the field of embryology, stating that these are a "cause for great concern."
"If the Church's teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner," the Holy Father said.
"Pastors of the Church, therefore, must continually call the faithful to complete fidelity to the Church's magisterium," he said, "while at the same time upholding and defending the Church's right to live freely in society according to her beliefs."
Benedict XVI pointed out that "the Church offers the world a positive and inspiring vision of human life, the beauty of marriage and the joy of parenthood."
He urged the bishops: "Be sure to present this teaching in such a way that it is recognized for the message of hope that it is.
"All too often the Church's doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed towards the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us."