• Press conference on the World Meeting of Popular Movements

VATICAN - Cardinal Filoni’s visit in Congo: "Thanks to the admirable collaboration of the laity and their pastors, the local church is alive, dynamic and missionary"

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - A grateful thanks to the commitment of the Congolese laity at the service of the Church was expressed by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, during his meeting with members of the National Committee of lay and representatives of the Commissions of the Laity, held in Kinshasa yesterday afternoon, July 5. "Thanks to the admirable collaboration of the laity and their pastors, the local church is alive, dynamic and missionary - said the Cardinal -. To all you lay people, who have contributed to the proclamation of the Gospel yesterday and today, I want to make a well-deserved tribute, with a special mention for the catechists. " There are many lay people who offer "an excellent example of faith and charity, through their engagement in the political, economic and cultural field", and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples encouraged them to continue their service, especially in the political field, indicating key challenges to face in the social and ecclesial field, above all the evangelization of culture. "Conflicts, unhealthy rivalries, ethnic and tribal divisions, fetishism and witchcraft, the abandonment of the Church in favor of other sects or independent churches, all these evils are the sad event of a lack of depth of faith in a certain number of Christians - said the Cardinal -. And so it is urgent to change these attitudes and behavior contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. " Another area in need of attention and pastoral commitment is the family, plagued by a weak adherence to Catholic moral law of marriage, from divorce, polygamy. The Cardinal urged the laity to take an active part in family ministry and to promote family spirituality, to defend the family and family values. " Education regarding values for peace, justice and reconciliation begins in the family - said Cardinal Filoni -. It is also a commitment that the recent Synod for Africa has identified and prioritized for the Church in Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo, given the socio-political context of the Country affected by war, armed conflict, by struggle for power, by the displacement of population, social injustices and violations of human rights. The challenge here is to make the Church-Family of God, a true place of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace." The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples concluded his speech by urging the Congolese laity to coherently witness in their lives the faith professed and to strive for holiness, cultivating a deep spiritual relationship with God (SL) (Agenzia Fides 06/07/2012)