Aug 16, 2014 / 09:03 pm
A deep understanding of our identity as Christians is needed to combat the modern tendency to reduce the faith to superficiality, Pope Francis told 68 bishops from 35 countries gathered during his trip to South Korea.
“Without a grounding in Christ, the truths by which we live our lives can gradually recede, the practice of the virtues can become formalistic, and dialogue can be reduced to a form of negotiation or an agreement to disagree,” he warned in an Aug. 16 address at the shrine in Haemi.
In his remarks, the Pope zeroed in on the theme of Christian identity, outlining both major threats to it in today’s society as well as ways the bishops can embrace it and evangelize more fully.
Announced by the Vatican in March, the Pope’s Aug. 13-18 trip follows an invitation from the president of the Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye, and the bishops of Korea.
During his time, the Pope traveled from the capital city of Seoul to Daejon, where he celebrated the Sixth Asian Youth Day with thousands of young people. He also visited the rehabilitation center for disabled persons in Kkottongnae, made a trip to the shrine in Haemi for a closing Mass with Asian youth.
Speaking to the bishops on Sunday, Pope Francis said that the first and most insidious threat to Christian identity lies in the “deceptive light of relativism” – which, “obscures the splendor of truth and, shaking the earth beneath our feet, pulls us toward the shifting sands of confusion and despair.” …
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