Pope Sees Need for Socially Committed Saints

Says Social Doctrine Is a Key Part of Christian Message

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II believes that the time has come for saints who are committed in social life.



"It is the hour of a new season of social holiness, of saints who manifest to the world and in the world the perennial and inexhaustible fecundity of the Gospel," the Pope said today when meeting participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

In addition to the members of the pontifical council, the Holy Father was heard by 300 participants from 92 countries in the 1st World Congress of Ecclesial Organizations Working for Justice and Peace.

He called the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church," published last Monday, "an instrument capable of helping Christians in their daily commitment to make the world more just, in the evangelical perspective of an authentic, solidaristic humanism."

"The social doctrine is an essential part of the Christian message and must be better known, totally disseminated, and witnessed with a constant and coherent pastoral action," the Holy Father said.

"At a time like hours, marked by the globalization of the social question, the Church invites all to recognize and affirm the centrality of the human being in all realms and in all manifestations of a social character," the Pope said.

He added: "The social doctrine of the Church implores you especially, lay Christians, to live in society as a witness of Christ Savior that opens horizons of charity.

"This is the hour of charity, including social and political charity, able to illuminate with the grace of the Gospel human realities of work, economy, politics, building paths of peace, justice and friendship among peoples."