VATICAN - Cardinal Filoni in Lahore: "Being fully Christian and being fully Pakistani are not contradictory perspectives"

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "It is with immense pleasure that I can meet you all today; I would say that, through you, I meet the entire Church of our beloved Country", said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in his homily during the Eucharistic celebration presided over this morning in the Cathedral of Lahore, where there were also Bishops, priests, men and women religious, seminarians, catechists and representatives of the diocesan community present. The Prefect of the Congregation, who tomorrow will preside over the ordination of the Bishop of Faisalabad (see Fides 30/10/2013), continued: "It is my desire that these sentiments of mine should reach all our brothers and sisters in the Faith, and that they never have the sense of being left alone. You are the most noble part – given especially the circumstances and the difficulties - of the Universal Church, like other communities in the world that every day courageously bear witness to their own faith in Christ and in the Church".
Reflecting on the readings of the day, the Cardinal pointed out that "in every circumstance and on every occasion, Christ is our point of reference... even amidst hardships and in the throes of persecutions" as taught by the Apostle Paul, and added: "I also wish, with these words, to reinforce your perseverance and to encourage you to always carry on in goodness and in peace". Therefore the Prefect of the Congregation pointed out that "being fully Christian and being fully Pakistani are not contradictory perspectives. In this land of many ethnic nationalities, of multiple cultural and linguistic expressions, where Islam is the predominant religion, the Christian is at home, and finds not opposition, but richness of life in such diversity; uniformity, in fact, impoverishes, while diversity motivates".
Christians are called to be salt and light in every circumstance and place, Cardinal Filoni then emphasized, who explained : "Salt is no substitute for food, but it makes it taste; neither does the light change the reality that it illuminates. Having within ourselves a clear vision helps us to comprehend your vocation, the reason for your being here, your work, and the mission entrusted to you by Divine Providence". At the end of the homily the Prefect of the Congregation addressed the diocesan community of Lahore summarizing in a few words the sense of vocation and mission: "peace , understanding, fidelity, dialogue, charity, pardon, mercy and salvation". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2013)