03/03/2011, 00.00
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Dialogue with other religions a "high priority" for the Church, says Pope

Receiving a group of Philippine bishops, Benedict XVI speaks of respect for everything that is good in other religions. The importance of the formation of the laity and priests. For the latter accompanying the elderly very useful at the beginning of the pastoral work of priests.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Dialogue with other religions is a "high priority" for the Church, as is the formation of priests and laity. This was underlined by Benedict XVI this morning as he received a second group of bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines, who are making their quinquennial visit ad Limina Apostolorum ".

"While the Church - the Pope said - .proclaims without fail that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (cf. Jn 14:6), nevertheless she respects all that is true and good in other religions, and she seeks, with prudence and charity, to enter into an honest and amicable dialogue with the followers of those religions whenever possible. In doing so, the Church works toward mutual understanding and the advancement of the common good of humanity."

"I encourage you , by means of the dialogue that has been established, to continue to promote the path to true and lasting peace with all of your neighbors, never failing to treat each person, no matter his or her beliefs, as created in the image of God "

The issue of formation was addressed by Pope Benedict XVI from the consideration that "the deep personal piety of your people need to be nurtured and supported" by a proper understanding "of the Church's teachings on faith and morals." hence the recommendation to have a particular focus on families, especially for the parents as primary educators of their children's faith. "This work - he added  is already evident in your support of the family in the face of influences which would diminish or destroy its rights and integrity".

As for the formation of priests, "one of the most important duties" of the bishop, Benedict XVI said that "the priests of all ages" are in constant need of it. The Pope said he hoped that when young men leave the seminary to begin their pastoral life that they be given them the support of retired priests. "It is helpful for them - he said - it is also helpful for them to be assigned mentors from among those older priests who have proven themselves to be faithful servants of the Lord. These men can guide their younger confrères along the path toward a mature and well-balanced way of priestly living".
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