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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
POPE TO BRITISH BISHOPS
EXTRACTS FROM POPE BENEDICT XVI'S ADDRESS TO BISHOPS OF ENGLAND & WALES ON THEIR RECENT “AD LIMINA” VISIT TO HIM – MONDAY 1ST FEBRUARY

[…] Even amid the pressures of a secular age, there are many signs of living faith and devotion among the Catholics of England and Wales. I am thinking, for example, of the enthusiasm generated by the visit of the relics of Saint Therese, the interest aroused by the prospect of Cardinal Newman's beatification, and the eagerness of young people to take part in pilgrimages and World Youth Days. On the occasion of my forthcoming Apos-tolic Visit to Great Britain, I shall be able to witness that faith for myself and, as Successor of Peter, to strengthen and confirm it. During the months of preparation that lie ahead, be sure to encourage the Catholics of England and Wales in their devotion, and assure them that the Pope constantly remembers them in his prayers and holds them in his heart.

[…] I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church's moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others, on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them […]

If the full saving message of Christ is to be presented effectively and convincingly to the world, the Catholic community in your country needs to speak with a united voice. […] Make it your concern, then, to draw on the considerable gifts of the lay faithful in England and Wales and see that they are equipped to hand on the faith to new generations comprehensively, accurately, and with a keen awareness that in so doing they are playing their part in the Church's mission. In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church's Magisterium that sets us free.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:04 am