BY CINDY WOODEN IN ROME
EVEN CATHOLIC families in Romania and Moldova are falling victim “to the plagues of abortion, corruption, alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as birth control using methods contrary to the dignity of the human person”, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
Meeting the bishops of Romania and Moldova at the end of their ad limina visits to the Vatican the Pope said they must help people understand that the faith that gave them strength under Communism must continue to guide them.
Pope Benedict suggested that the bishops develop and train a network of parish-based educators who would prepare young couples for marriage, work with families and coordinate youth ministry.
“What is needed most of all is a decisive commitment to promoting the presence of Christian values in society, developing formation centres where the young can learn authentic values, enriched by the genius of your countries’ cultures, so they can give witness to them,” the Pope said.
Economic crisis and emigration are undermining traditional values, he said. Catholic minorities should work with Orthodox majorities to “defend the Christian roots of Europe and Christian values and give a joint witness on .. the family, bioethics, human rights, honesty in public life and ecology”, he said.