11/16/2016, 12.40
VATICAN - USA
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Pope to US Bishops, "tear down walls and build bridges"

In a video message to the bishops of the United States, Francis speaks of the Fifth National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentro. "Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to build bridges."

 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to build bridges” said Pope Francis said in a video message addressed to US bishops, who in the course of their general assembly.

In the message Francis focuses in particular on the upcoming Fifth National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentro ministry that "will begin in your dioceses next January and will conclude with a national celebration in September 2018. In continuity with its predecessors, the Encuentro seeks to acknowledge and value the specific gifts that Hispanic Catholics have offered, and continue to offer, to the Church in your country. But it is more than that. It is part of a greater process of renewal and missionary outreach, one to which all of your local Churches are called".

“Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to build bridges. The Church in America, as elsewhere, is called to “go out” from its comfort zone and to be a leaven of communion. Communion among ourselves, with our fellow Christians, and with all who seek a future of hope.

We need to become ever more fully a community of missionary disciples, filled with love of the Lord Jesus and enthusiasm for the spread of the Gospel. The Christian community is meant to be a sign and prophecy of God’s plan for the entire human family. We are called to be bearers of good news for a society gripped by disconcerting social, cultural and spiritual shifts, and increasing polarization.

It is my hope that the Church in your country, at every level, will accompany the Encuentro with its own reflection and pastoral discernment. In a particular way, I ask you to consider how your local Churches can best respond to the growing presence, gifts and potential of the Hispanic community. Mindful of the contribution that the Hispanic community makes to the life of the nation, I pray that the Encuentro will bear fruit for the renewal of American society and for the Church’s apostolate in the United States”.

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