Transmit Christ Love to Others

Friday, December 22, 2006

H.H. Pope Benedict XVI: Address to the Bishops taking part in the course of formation organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples September 23, 2006

You are called to be Pastors among peoples, many of whom do not yet know Jesus Christ. As those primarily responsible for Gospel proclamation, you must therefore make a considerable effort to ensure that all are given the possibility of accepting him.

More and more, you are feeling the need to inculturate the Gospel, to evangelize cultures and to foster a sincere and open dialogue with one and all in order to build together a more brotherly and supportive humanity.

Only if you are impelled by the love of Christ can you bring to completion this apostolic task which demands the fearless zeal of men undaunted even by persecution and death for the Lord.

How can we forget the many priests, men and women religious and lay people in mission lands who have sealed with blood their fidelity to Christ and to the Church, in past centuries and in our times?

In the last few days, the oblation of Sr Leonella Sgorbati, a Consolata Missionary barbarically killed in Moga-dishu, Somalia, has been added to the number of these heroic Gospel witnesses. This martyrology, in the past and in our day, adorns the history of the Church. Even in suffering and apprehension, it keeps alive in our souls trust in the glorious flourishing of Christian faith, for as Tertullian says, "The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians".

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