What's the best way for the Church to evangelize in major cities where secularism is on the rise? This is what the Pope addressed as he met with the International Pastoral Congress on the World's Big Cities.
Because of his busy schedule, the Pope admitted that he didn't have much time to prepare a speech.
"I don't really have a formal speech...partly because I want to be a bit spontaneous and also because I haven't had the time to write a formal speech. With the trip to Turkey and to European institutions, I've been busy.”
There are four main challenges, he said, that Church leaders face in major cities. To make his point he spoke from his personal experience as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
"These challenges are present in places where God is calling. I think we need to pay special attention to this. I mention four challenges, but surely there are more. The first one is perhaps the most difficult. It's changing our own pastoral mentality. It must change.”
He then explained that changing one's pastoral mentality doesn't mean hiding Jesus or being ashamed of preaching God's message.
Other challenges he mentioned include multiculturalism, which should be dealt with, he said, head on and without fear. God also lives in major cities which is why promoting a spirit of evangelization is key. Finally he said the cry of the poor cannot be ignored by the Church.
He then encouraged the Church to go out of its comfort zone to share the Gospel, adding that it should not wait for people to come to them. Rather, just the opposite.