Pope Francis has called on Christians to ‘reorient’ their faith in the aftermath of the global crisis of faith and the Church’s historic inability to provide the social and economic security needed to cope with it.
In a statement released by the Vatican on Monday, the Pope said he had spoken with “a large number of people of faith” over the past few days and had “heard a great deal of concern, concern, and pain”.
“I also heard of many great sorrows in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, referring to the Gospel recorded in the Bible.
“The world is a terrible place, and we are all suffering, but I also heard many great joys in this Gospel.”
The statement was issued just hours after Pope Francis announced that he had given an address at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will host the annual gathering of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS).
In the address, the pontiff also announced that the Vatican would soon release a new set of guidelines for the handling of the crisis of religious faith and social exclusion in the United States.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the creation of a new position of the Holy Office, which is to be headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the American College of Catholic Bishops, to develop and implement the new guidelines,” he wrote.
“They will be presented to bishops of all churches, with an eye to sharing the Gospel with them in ways that will be respectful of the Church as a whole, not to discriminate on the basis of the faith of any particular person or group.”
This office is also responsible for creating a framework for dialogue between religious leaders, with a view to building on the great progress made over the last two years.
“The new position will work to ensure the Church “is not just one body, but a body of people who care deeply about their neighbors, who are also their neighbors and who care for one another”.
Pope Francis said he was inspired by a letter he had received from a group of young people in Mexico who had fled from the violence that engulfed the country.”
I can only imagine the joy and relief in their hearts when they saw that they too were living in a country where the whole world is struggling,” he told reporters.”
For a number of them, I can imagine the loneliness and the pain and the sorrow and the confusion that they had faced in their homeland, where they had to make a difficult decision.”‘
I can’t wait to be back’: Pope says the US ‘is the most religious country in history’The pontiff’s comments came just hours before the US Conference of CatholicBishops (USCCB) released a statement calling on the government of President Donald Trump to “refocus the Church” on “giving all Americans the hope they need for the future”.”
While the crisis in faith and community continues, the United Kingdom is now the most Catholic country in Western history,” the statement said.”
We are committed to doing everything we can to re-orient the Catholic Church and all of our society so that it serves as the bridge for the world to come together and live together in peace.””
In the meantime, we hope that the Pope will take a long and difficult look at the American people and their situation and their experience of the recent events,” the USCCB statement said, adding that the pontiffs ‘spiritual needs’ and ‘personal circumstances’ would “remain of greatest concern to the Church”.
The USCCF also called on Pope Francis to “make public what is best for the Church and to be as open as possible about these things”.
The Pope also took the opportunity to address the plight of those in the US who have lost jobs, homes, and their livelihoods in recent months, saying the “loss of faith has been felt in every corner of this country”.”
We have lost hope,” he added.”
And we have lost faith that we can continue on the path of salvation and hope for the Gospel.
“And I can’t think of a better way to help our fellow Americans to regain faith in their own lives than to offer them a hope and a path to salvation.”
“I hope the world will remember the words of St John Paul II, ‘We are all in this together, for this is a church of love, and not of fear.'”
The pontiffs remarks came just a few hours after the US Congress approved legislation to expand the nation’s faith-based aid program, and to provide $1 billion in grants to states and cities that had struggled with the loss of faith following the global pandemic.
In his address, Pope Francis said that “our children are dying” in the “world’s most violent conflicts”, citing a report by the United Nations that found that “the number of children dying in conflict is now higher than