Pope pledges action on consistory outcomes
John Paul II has promised to draw "opportune operative indications" from the proposals offered by last week's cardinals' consistory, to address the Church's great challenges.
The Holy Father made his promise at the solemn closure of the sixth extraordinary consistory of his pontificate. Over three days, 155 cardinals spoke spontaneously about the situation and needs of the Church.
"Today the Church must face enormous challenges, which test the confidence and enthusiasm of those who proclaim her message," said the Pope during his homily at the closing Mass of the consistory. "It is not just [a question] of quantitative problems, due to the fact that Christians represent a minority, while the process of secularisation continues to erode the Christian tradition even in countries of early evangelisation," the Pope warned.
The problems are "even more grave," and "stem from a general change of the cultural horizon, dominated by the primacy of experimental sciences inspired by the criteria of scientific epistemology," the Holy Father explained. "Even when it shows itself to be sensitive to the religious dimension, more than that, seems to rediscover it, the modern world at most accepts the image of God the Creator, but finds it difficult to accept the 'scandalum crucis,' the scandal of a God who enters history out of love, becomes man, dies and resurrects for us."
In addition, the Pope said, globablisation poses further challenges to the Church's evangelisation efforts.
He thanked the cardinals for their contributions and promised "to draw operative indications from them, so that the pastoral and evangelising action of the whole Church will grow in missionary tension, fully aware of today's challenges."