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For Rome with trust and determination

· A talk with Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini on the eve of the Diocesan Conference ·

Trust and determination in facing the present challenges and in confronting the inevitable difficulties and pitfalls of the future. On the eve of the diocesan conference - a traditional pastoral event prior to the summer break - which opens Monday evening, June 13, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran with a talk by Benedict XVI, the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini talks to the Osservatore Romano about some of the important points of the ecclesial meeting and the sentiments of the entire diocesan community which will be called to address the fundamental theme of Christian initiation. It is a theme which is an integral part of the educational emergency that the Holy Father has spoken of many times. According to the Cardinal, “trust” and “determination” are the words of the day; the ideal way to approach pastoral work.

Cardinal Vallini underscores that, “even Rome, the diocese of the Pope, participates in all of the cultural changes which affect the entire Western society. With all of the well-known consequences brought by the phenomena of secularization and globalization.” Obviously, it affects families and religious practice but also relations between people in a society which is becoming ever more violent and experiencing the emergence of new types of poverty, economic insecurity and especially a sense of insecurity and fear of the future.

In this sense, even Rome has become for some time now a missionary land. “The teaching of Benedict XVI, like that of Blessed John Paul II, continually calls us to commit ourselves without reserve. We need to constantly revise our pastoral efforts. This is why our diocese in the last three years is involved in reviewing our pastoral efforts of the last decade in such fundamental areas as: the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, the witness to charity, Christian initiation, and family and youth pastoral care,” he said. Last year, the first two areas were examined and next Monday with the pastoral conference 2011, in the presence of the Holy Father, the examination on Christian initiation: The joy of generating the faith in the Church of Rome will begin and conclude with the 2012 conference. It will be an occasion to ask ourselves, “how our Church and in particular the parishes transmit the faith to new generations. We will do it on the basis of detailed experience which takes into consideration a complex reality. In short, the challenges of the moment are demanding, but the ecclesial community meets them with trust and determination.”

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