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"It's not Easy Being a Christian", says Pope
(08 Nov 09 - RV) In the final discourse of his visit to Brescia in the footsteps of Pope Paul VI Benedict XVI told the 300 parishioners of St Anthony’s Church in Concesio that ''It's not 'easy being a Christian”.
Speaking in the small village church were the future Pope, Giovanni Battista Montini, was Baptised more than a century ago, Pope Benedict noted that “it takes courage and tenacity not to comply with the mentality of today’s world, not to be seduced by the sometimes powerful calls of hedonism and consumerism, to face, if necessary, misunderstandings and sometimes even real persecution''.
For this reason - he added -''we should remain firmly united in the Church, even when we see some shadows and blemishes on its face'' ''loving her as our true mother'' and translating this love into concrete action ''within our communities'.''
Pope Benedict also urged believers not to yield to the temptation of “individualism 'and prejudice” rather to overcome “all rivalry and division”.
Earlier Sunday evening Pope Benedict XVI launched an appeal for the freedom for Catholics to educate their children according to their faith and tradition.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the Paul VI institute for religious studies, in the home of the late pope, Concesio Northern Italy.
Retracing his own personal bond with Paul VI, and their shared commitment to education he noted that “educating the younger generation, on which the future depends, has never been easy, but in our time seems to become even more complex”.
Pope Benedict said “a mentality and a culture that cast doubts on the value of the person, the meaning of truth and goodness..,is spreading”.
Yet he also observed that “there is a widespread thirst for hard certainties and values”.
Pope Benedict spoke of Paul VI’s involvement with the university students of his day, his promotion of an ‘intellectual charity’ that was rooted in social action in favour of the poor.
“Young people” he concluded “must be educated to regarded themselves ''as people and not a mere number in the crowd''.