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​Collegiality and mission

· Papal message for the meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the European Episcopates ·

Facing several doctrinal and pastoral difficulties with a spirit of collegiality in order to arouse in the faithful missionary zeal. This is the goal which Pope Francis pointed to in his message to the participants in a meeting of the superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the presidents of Episcopal Conferences in Europe, which opened on 13 January in Esztergom, Hungary. The following is a translation of the message written in Italian, which was read aloud at the meeting.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

on the occasion of the meeting of the Presidents of Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Esztergom, in the religious heart of Hungary, on 13-15 January 2015, I would like to send you my cordial greeting.

I thank Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for this opportune initiative, which aims to value local Episcopates, and in particular the Doctrinal Commission, who have the responsibility for unity and integrity of the faith, as well as the transmission of the faith to younger generations. As I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, taking up the teaching of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council, “episcopal conferences are in a position 'to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit'” (n. 32). I hope that your encounter will contribute to facing in a spirit of collegiality the several doctrine and pastoral difficulties which the European continent is facing, with the aim to arouse in the faithful missionary zeal and a greater opening to the transcendent dimension of life, without which Europe risks losing the “humanistic spirit” which it loves and defends (cf. Address to the European Parliament, 25 November 2014).

In entrusting your work to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, model of all believers, I give you my heartfelt blessing.

From the Vatican, 9 January 2015.

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