Pruning of the Ranks of the Holy Roman Catholic Church"
A Letter to the Principals of
Episcopal Commissions, 1996
Constructive Action Taken by the
Catholic Church in Portugal
NOTE: The following are excerpts from a secular Portuguese
publication ("Correio da Manhá " - April 27, 1995) highlighting the
positive steps taken by the Portuguese Episcopal Conference for the
restoration of the Catholic Church in Portugal.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROTECTS
ITSELF FROM THE SECTS
Translation by The M+G+R Foundation
Six recommendations to the parishes
In a document titled "Episcopal
Pastoral Instruction on Sects-A Challenge to the Pastoral Activities of
the Church", the Portuguese Episcopal Conference recommends the
strengthening of the community dimension of the parish, a more careful
instruction of the faithful, the renewal of the expressions of popular
devotions, a greater responsible involvement of the faithful, the
renewal of the Priest's image and more joy infused in the prayers and
These proposals for pastoral renewal
are more directed to the internal life of the Church than to a direct
action toward (against) the Sects, which, in Portugal, are almost 300.
For the same reason it is necessary to
renew the image of the Priest so that he "is always seen in good
spirits, available, totally devoted to his mission by promoting unity,
communion, sanctity and the apostolic dynamism of the parish
The document is not lacking of
criticism to the Church itself which, to a certain extent, considers
itself responsible for propelling the Portuguese faithful to embrace
these Sects which are considered a "real danger" to the Christian
"...brings to mind certain
deficiencies in the pastoral action of the Church."
The Conference stresses that Portugal
was born Christian and continues to be so but admits that two and a
half centuries of rationalism and laicism have harmed the Church and
the Faith of the people.
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