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Pope Francis: to Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, “Let us come out of our enclosures” to avoid atrophy

“Let us come out of our enclosures, let us emigrate from the territories where we are at times tempted to take refuge. Only then will we be able to walk and sow, further and further”. Pope Francis said this towards the end of his address to the members of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, who were thanked by the Pope for their work of “missionary animation and cooperation, with which you remind all Churches of the risk of atrophy and death if they close their horizons”. “The Church lives and grows by going out, by taking the initiative and becoming a neighbour”, Pope Francis remarked. “This is why you encourage your communities to be generous even in moments of vocational crisis”. Speaking of the “missio ad gentes”, the Pope said that “the dawn of a new day is already visible” in young Churches which “know how to give, not just to receive”. “The first fruits – Pope Francis explained – are their willingness to allow their priests to serve sister Churches in their country or continent, or to serve Churches in need in other regions of the world”. This implies a change in the Church geography: “Cooperation is no longer only along the north-south axis. There is also a movement in the other direction, of giving back the good received from the first missionaries. These too are signs of maturity”, Pope Francis said.

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