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Cardinal Sistach talks about overcoming religious illiteracy

2012-10-25

When it comes to making the New Evangelization a success, Cardinal Lluis Maria Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, says there should be a special emphasis on the artistic heritage of Christianity.

For example back in the Middle Ages, Romanesque art was an instrument of the Church, which was meant to bring people closer to God. Cardinal Sistach says the Church  should resume that role to overcome religious illiteracy. He says the Barcelona's 'Sagrada Familia' is a good starting point.

CARD. LLUIS MARIA MARTINEZ-SISTACH
Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain)

 "The architect placed two altarpieces, not inside the Church where people go in and out, but outside the Church. It dealt with the birth and Passion of Jesus. So, the question is why did he do that? Well he did it so all the passerbies would see the mystery of God our Savior. He wrote "Holy, Holy, Holy” on four towers, so that all people, both believers and non believers would look up to the sky and read those words. In doing so, they would automatically praise God our Lord.”

So the question is what can be done nowadays by average people? The Cardinal says programs like Mission Metropolis should be embraced. That program which was promoted by the Vatican was launched in 12 cities, including Barcelona. Part of it included a public reading of the Gospel of St. Mark.

CARD. LLUÍS MARIA MARTINEZ-SISTACH
Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain)

"We published 24,000 copies of the Gospel of St. Mark, half in Catalan and the other half in Spanish. We did this so that Christians would take them and give them to those who don't have faith or who have distanced themselves from the Church. But what we wanted to do is promote the attitude of Christian evangelization.”
He says one needs to go beyond churches to evangelize.

He highlighted the essential role missionaries have in spreading the Gospel in different countries, but getting the word out, out on the streets is something all Christians can do in their own communities.


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