The Papal Homily (cont'd)
The abundant fruit of this evangelisation is clearly evident today. With 380,000 faithful, the Archdiocese of Port of Spain is the largest of all the dioceses of the Antilles Episcopal Conference. You have catechetical and pastoral centres, a well-equipped radio and television studio, a weekly Catholic newspaper and other important publications.
In addition there are numerous thriving lay organisations and a number of community development projects for assisting the youth and the poor. You can boast of an excellent Catholic School system and well-developed catechetical programmes, thanks to the valued contributions of your lay teachers and the zealous evangelical witness of all the religious who serve you with great generosity. Above all, you are a community united in the love of Christ and the unity of His Church. I am especially pleased to know of the ways that the laity have taken an increasingly active role in the mission of the church in this country.
What also brings special joy to my heart, is the now increasing number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. With the Regional Seminary here in Trinidad and Tobago, you provide for the formation of diocesan priests not only for your own country but for dioceses of the Caribbean as well.
As you gratefully acknowledge the fruits of evangelisation which are abundantly evident in your nation, there remain some significant problems which you must face as the end of the twentieth century draws near. So many obstacles threaten family life in countries throughout the world, and your society unfortunately is no exception. Families suffer from such evils as conjugal infidelity and divorce, while the very life of the unborn is snuffed out by the unspeakable crime of abortion. Always remember that respect for the sacredness of life is a guarantee of stability for the human community. No society can survive - no nation can last - unless all human life is honoured and protected.
The beguiling attraction of materialism and consumerism has not bypassed you either, which instead lead only to disillusionment and a loss of self-respect. Young people especially are vulnerable to the dangerous enticement of drugs, alcohol and pre-marital sex.
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