By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tIn a strong missionary appeal coupled with a call for dialogue, Pope Benedict XVI today urged his flock to resist the lure of a sort of “ghetto Catholicism,” closed in on itself.
t“We have to overcome the temptation to limit ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, that’s securely ours,” the pope said.
"That would be a slow death."
Benedict XVI made thos comments during an open-air Mass in Porto, an urban area of roughly two million in northern Portugal.
tBenedict seemed almost impatient to get things moving, saying that Christ’s comforting words about being with the church to the end of time “do not excuse us from going out to meet others.”
t“How much time has been lost, how much work has been delayed, because of carelessness on this point!” he said.
tAs he has throughout his four-day trip, Benedict stressed the need for dialogue with those outside the Catholic fold.
t“Today the church is called to face new challenges, and is ready to dialogue with different religions and cultures, seeking to construct the peaceful co-existence of peoples with every person of good will.”