Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father received in audience the participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. “In our time we often encounter an attitude of indifference towards faith, which is no longer considered relevant to human life”, he said. “It is important that we Christians demonstrate that we live faith in a concrete way, through love, harmony, joy, suffering, because this gives rise to questions, as at the beginning of the Church's path: why live like this? What is the impetus for our actions? These are questions which lead us to the heart of evangelisation, which is the witness of faith and charity”.
Pope Francis remarked that many people have drifted away from the Church, and in this situation “there is a need for Christians who help show God's mercy and tenderness towards every creature”. He went on to emphasise the importance of encounter, of seeking out and going towards “those who have lost their faith and the deeper meaning of life. … The Church”, he emphasised, “is sent to reawaken everywhere this hope, especially where it is suffocated by difficult and at times inhuman existential conditions, where hope cannot breathe. … We need the oxygen of the Gospel, the breath of the Spirit of the Risen Christ, to reignite [hope] in our hearts. The Church is the house where the doors are always open not only to welcome everyone in to breathe love and hope, but also so we can take this love and hope outside”.
The Pope, in this way, explained that “in the Church, this is not left to chance or improvisation”. Commitment is necessary in the diocese and in the parish to catechesis as a moment of evangelisation. He recalled that many times, for instance, he has encountered children who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross, and remarked that the work of catechists is a valuable service to new evangelisation, while emphasising that parents should be “the first catechists, the first educators in faith in their own families, by their witness and by their words”.