Evil Is Caused by a Rejection of God's Love, Says Pope

Message to Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The refusal of God's love is the deepest cause of the world's evils, says John Paul II.



The Pope made that observation today when he received the 130 participants in the general chapter of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also known as the Dehonian Fathers, whom he invited to be "prophets of Love and servants of reconciliation."

The Dehonians are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of their congregation, founded by Venerable Father Leo Dehon (1843-1925) in St. Quentin, France.

The Pope said the congregation's charism is "marked by a constant contemplation of the Heart of Jesus, a conscious participation in his reparatory oblation, and by a zealous dedication to spreading the Kingdom of the Lord in souls and in societies, because the refusal of God's love is the deepest cause of the world's evils."

Referring to the Dehonians' commitment to evangelization through the printed media, the Pope urged them, "Never allow your fidelity to Catholic doctrine and the magisterium of the Church to weaken, so that you might render, even with your publications, an indispensable service of truth, the first form of charity."

The Dehonians number 2,393 priests and brothers serving in 38 nations.

In his greeting to the Pope, Father Jose Ornelas Carvalho, the congregation's new superior general, confirmed the general chapter's commitment to renew "its religious life based on the Gospel and the founder's spiritual experience," and a "commitment to live the ecclesial communion."