Page 5, 18th December 1953

18th December 1953
Page 5
Page 5, 18th December 1953 — THE POPE'S MESSAGE:

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Fidelity, Judgment, Resolution

IN a message to the congress, the 'Holy Father, through the ProSecretary of State, Mgr. Montini, urged Africa's lay leaders of Catholic Action to put themselves and their work under the protection of Our Lady and to pray for "fidelity, clearsightedness a n d resolution."

Mgr. Montini described "fidelity to the Church, its pastors and its holy laws" as the "first condition" for the success of the lay apostolate. lie urged that the congress should insist on the "primacy of the sanctification of personal and family life" which. as the Pope had made clear in his recent encyclical letter, is vital for facing the tasks today.

'Clearsightedness9 As regards "clearsightedness," Mgr. Montini called it "no less important to lay apostles as they tackle the problems brought to their countries by the rapid evolving of ancestral structures.

."As sons of the Church. they must give their active support to the work of missionaries for the conversion of their brothers.

"As sons of African soil they must equally labour on the professional and civic planes to bring social and political institutions in line with the principles and rules of the Gospel.

"An exact knowledge of Catholic doctrine is necessary for that. but so is a clear and sight judgment to assess concrete situations. to deounce lying propaganda. to enlighten public opinion. and to promote timely measures.

"May African laymen prove themselves worthy of the confidence placed in them by the Church. and obedient to her instructions."

Lesson of energy

About the third quality. "resolution"' Mgr. Montini said: "They will find a wonderful lesson of energy and resolution in the heroism of Blessed Charles Lwanga. recently proclaimed by His Holiness. patron of African Catholic Action. .

"The hour has come. in effect, when—at the call of her Leader--the Church invites all her sons to put on the armour of God.

"She urges them to light the good flight of Faith and Justice with }leisevering zeal. in accordance with the spirit of the Gospel."

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