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Pope labels 'self-service' religion a 'trap'

On Friday, Pope John Paul II spoke of what he called 'self-service religion' as a 'trap'.

He was speaking in support of the work of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

The Holy Father told the missionaries' superiors that "the spirituality of communion is the most genuine witness you can give the world".

"I am thinking, for example, of the emergence of new planetary views like globalisation, ethnocentrism, the temptation to design a 'self-service' religion," he said. "I am thinking of the opposition of many countries to the presence of missionaries carrying out direct evangelization."

"New evangelisation is also needed in countries formerly evangelised," he said.

PIME, one of the Church's largest missionary organisations, has 569 religious, including 496 priests. Its members are dedicated exclusively to the missions, primarily in Asia and Africa.