Pell optimistic about Church growth

The percentage of declared believers in Australia is increasing and the Church must be ready to meet this "spiritual and religious reawakening", Cardinal George Pell said at last week's Convention on the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II decree Ad Gentes.

Cardinal Pell said: "today the situation of Catholics in Australia is stable and I am optimistic for the mission of the Church. We see a growth in vocations to the priesthood and new enthusiasm in the faith, especially among young Catholics".

The Cardinal said that to meet the needs of the people and to counter secularisation, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, Catholics in Oceania must strive to "give priority to new evangelisation proclaiming the Gospel".

"In some parts of Oceania some pastoral workers may be more inclined to give more importance to social development but the message of Ad Gentes brings us back to the central need to share with others belief in Jesus Christ and God's love", he said.

"Our task is to stop the erosion of the faith in the Catholic community, strengthen Christian identity, encourage coherence of faith and life, formation, strive to show ourselves as authentic followers and credible witnesses of Christ.

The Cardinal emphasises the importance of the media and the Internet in Oceania, saying that they "are fundamental for youth pastoral care".

The Ad Gentes convention 9-11 March in Rome was organised by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Ad Gentes is the Vatican II's Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church.

International Meeting on 40th anniversary of "Ad gentes" decree: the Church in Oceania is called "to give priority to new evangelisation proclaiming the Gospel" says Card. George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney (Fides 11/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Decree Ad Gentes

Bring the world the joyful news of Christ (Vatican Information Service 11/3/06)
Announcing the Gospel is the main service of Christians (Vatican Information Service 11/3/06)
Not just distant lands, but hearts are main beneficiaries of Church's missionary activity, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 13/3/06)
International Convention on 40th anniversary of "Ad gentes" decree: Colombian Bishop Vittorino Girardi says "Today, although the fruits are still modest, we can speak of an infectious spirit of mission in our Churches" (Fides 11/3/06)
Pope Benedict XVI addresses participants at International Convention on 40th anniversary of "Ad gentes" decree: "Proclaiming and bearing witness to the Gospel are the first service Christians can render the individual person and the whole human race, called as they are to communicate God's love to all peoples" (Fides 11/3/06)
International Convention on 40th anniversary of Vatican II ad gentes decree: "The Church in African received much from missionaries. Now Africans must be missionaries" say Catholic Archbishop of Katanga, DR Congo and Garoua, Cameroon (Fides 11/3/06)
International Convention on 40th anniversary of Vatican II ad gentes decree: challenges and prospects for mission in Asia: Reflections by newly named Cardinal Nicholas Cheong, Archbishop of Seoul and Archbishop Oswald Gracias President of the Indian Bishops' Conference
Archbishop Cordes Warns of Secularized Charity (Zenit 12/3/06)

14 Mar 2006