FRASCATI –– Christians don’t preach what the powerful want to hear or what will please a crowd; “their criteria is truth and justice,” even if it garners no applause, Pope Benedict XVI said during an outdoor Mass.
The pope celebrated Mass July 15 outside the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Frascati, about five miles from his summer villa at Castel Gandolfo.
Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati had worked with the pope at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, specializing in catechesis. Pope Benedict told the estimated 8,000 people gathered in the square outside the cathedral that the bishop’s “voice is very much present” in the text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The pope asked Catholics to re-read the catechism and, particularly, the documents of the Second Vatican Council as the church prepares to celebrate in October the 50th anniversary of the opening of the council.
“The council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our consciousness. So read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christian, of being church, of living as part of the great ‘we’ that Jesus formed around him to evangelize the world,” the pope said.
Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading about Jesus sending the disciples out on mission, the pope said Jesus loved them so much that he allowed them to share in his mission of preaching repentance and healing the sick.
“He knew their limits, their weaknesses, but he did not despise them; rather he conferred on them the dignity of being his envoys,” the pope said.