ZENIT reports that Pope Benedict XVI has told Americans that the world is at a crossroads between great promise for the future and the breakdown of the foundations of society, and Christians are called to give witness of their hope in this context. The Pope affirmed this on 17th April to a crowd of 45,000 gathered in Washington Nationals stadium for at Mass in the U.S. capital.
Benedict XVI encouraged the faithful in an “unceasing missionary outreach,” saying that he prays that “this significant anniversary in the life of the Church in the United States, and the presence of the Successor of Peter in your midst, will be an occasion for all Catholics to reaffirm their unity in the apostolic faith, to offer their contemporaries a convincing account of the hope which inspires them and to be renewed in missionary zeal for the extension of God’s Kingdom.”
He continued: “The world needs this witness! Who can deny that the present moment is a crossroads, not only for the Church in America but also for society as a whole? It is a time of great promise, as we see the human family in many ways drawing closer together and becoming ever more interdependent. Yet at the same time we see clear signs of a disturbing breakdown in the very foundations of society: signs of alienation, anger and polarization on the part of many of our contemporaries; increased violence; a weakening of the moral sense; a coarsening of social relations; and a growing forgetfulness of God.