April 8, 2011. (Romereports.com) It's no coincidence that each year 12 million people visit the Shrine of Guadalupe and 10 million at Aparecida. Latin America has always been characterized by a massive expression of popular devotion.
Taking note of this, the pope told the Pontifical Commission for Latin America that these expressions of piety are a key element in the new evangelization of the continent.
“All these, well channeled and duly accompanied, help bring about a fruitful encounter with God.”
However, the Pope said there are different forms of religiosity that can create confusion and foster a purely superficial religious practice. He warned that faith must be the basis of this popular piety and that does not lead to irrational points of view.
“The faith has to be the principal source of popular piety, in order that it not be reduced simply to a form of cultural expression within a given region.”
Benedict XVI praised the efforts of the continental mission for the new evangelization of Latin America and the Caribbean. These proposals were born in the Latin American Episcopal Conference which he inaugurated in Brazil in May of 2007.
The pope has noted that in the new evangelization, the Gospel must be the foundation of all pastoral activity.