By Femi Owolabi
Pope Francis says social and cultural change may be threatening the existence of Christianity.
The pontiff said this on Saturday while addressing the Roman curia during the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings at the Clementine Hall at the Vatican.
He said at a time, it was easier to distinguish between two fairly defined sides; a Christian world on one hand and a world yet to be evangelised on the other.
“Now this situation no longer exists. The people who have not yet heard the proclamation of the gospel no longer live on non-Western continents only: they live everywhere, especially in the enormous urban concentrations that themselves require specific pastoral care,” he said.
“In large cities, we need other ‘maps’, other paradigms, to help us reposition our ways of thinking and our attitudes: we are not in Christian times, not anymore.
“The new culture, marked by convergence and multimedia, needs an adequate response from the apostolic see in the field of communication. Today, compared to diversified services, the multimedia model prevails, and this indicates how to conceive, think about and implement them. All this implies, together with cultural change, an institutional and personal conversion to move from working in watertight compartments – which in the best cases had some coordination – to working intrinsically connected, in synergy.
“The Church is called to remind everyone that it is not only a question of social or migratory issues but of human beings, brothers and sisters who today are the symbol of all those who are discarded by the globalised society. It is called to testify that for God no one is a ‘foreigner’ or ‘excluded’. It is called to awaken consciences dormant in their indifference to the reality of the Mediterranean Sea which has become a cemetery for many, too many.”
The leader of the Catholics said the church must beware of being tempted to assume a position of rigidity.
The rigidity, he said comes from fear of change, and ends up disseminating limitations and obstacles on the terrain of the common good, turning it into a minefield of incomprehension and hatred.