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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Brazil's to-do list

    Like any good boss, they give you more to do than one could possibly handle... and expect it to get done.

    I wonder why there are so few Priests in Brazil?


    Catholics who have abandoned the church – drifting toward religious indifference or attracted by the "aggressive proselytizing of the sects" – are people who were never sufficiently evangelized in the first place, he said.
    "They are easily influenced because their faith is weak, confused, easily shaken and naive, despite their innate religiosity," he said.
    The church today needs to go after fallen-away Catholics by sending missionaries, lay or religious, into their homes and engaging them in honest dialogue, he said.

    The pope denounced the huge gap between rich and poor in Brazil and said the church needs to address such inequalities, but always from the viewpoint of human dignity, which "transcends the simple interplay of economic factors."
    He said the church should work untiringly to form honest politicians and business leaders, so they can give the economy a "human and compassionate face."

    The pope said it was important to promote education in the faith "as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its accompanying compendium. He said Catholics also need a more correct implementation of liturgical principles to "restore to the liturgy its sacred character."

    But he said aggressive proselytism by sects had made ecumenical dialogue more problematic. He said there was a need for deep doctrinal awareness among Catholics, so they could better know the specific identity of Christian communities, the elements that divide them and the possible areas of cooperation.

    The pope did not mention the relatively low number of ordained ministers in Brazil, where many Catholics go weeks or months without seeing a priest. Brazil has more than 8,000 Catholics for every priest, one of the highest ratios in the world.

    He said there were problems inside the church, including a misunderstanding of the priesthood. People are questioning the value of the priestly commitment to God through celibacy and the priest's primary service to souls, seeing priestly ministry instead in terms of "ideological, political and even party issues," he said.
    "How can we not be deeply saddened by this?" he said.


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