The Bishop of Shrewsbury has issued an appeal for Catholics to be brave in professing their faith as the Year of Faith draws to a close.
In a pastoral letter which will be read out in churches on Sunday to parishioners in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Bishop Mark Davies will call on Catholics to profess their faith with “courage and constancy”.
The letter says that unless Catholics profess their faith in Jesus Christ, the Church will become little more than a charitable, non-governmental organisation. Quoting Pope Francis, it says: “When we do not confess Jesus Christ, we confess the worldliness of the Devil.”
Bishop Davies’s letter goes on to say: “I have no doubt that the future of our diocese will be decided by the courage and constancy of such faith. In my first letter to the diocese three years ago I echoed the prayer of the first Apostles who said to the Lord: ‘Increase our faith!’ (Lk 17:5). At the end of this Year of Faith I ask you to renew with me this same prayer in the Mass today where ‘the sacrifice of Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present’.
“Before Christ our Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, let us say: ‘Lord, increase our faith!’ Increase our faith so that we may go from Mass every Sunday to give our own courageous and constant witness to Christ the King.”
The Year of Faith was launched by Pope Benedict XVI last October to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
It also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.