By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has urged pastors of the Asian Church to foster cooperation and fraternal exchange and to reaffirm their common responsibility in promoting the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith in their vastly diverse continent.
His words of encouragement came in a message to the participants in a Meeting of the Presidents of Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences of Asia, taking place from 15 to 18 January in Bangkok, Thailand.
Asia: vast and diverse continent
The Pope greeted the participants and noted the challenges they face in Asia that, he said, is such a vast continent that is “marked by religious, linguistic and cultural diversity, in order to reaffirm our common responsibility for the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith”.
He also encouraged them “to explore new means and methods of bearing witness to the Gospel amid the challenges of our contemporary world”.
In his message, the Pope reflected on how, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he invited the whole Church ‘to go forth.’
Need to foster cooperation
“I am pleased,” he said, “that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is actively supporting the important work of the Episcopal Conferences and especially of their Doctrinal Commissions, as they assist and foster the effective and fraternal cooperation among the Pastors of the Church in Asia ”.
The Pope concluded by assuring them of his prayers for the meeting, that it may offer an opportunity to address the concerns of the Gospel that are specific and relevant to Asia.