Quotes of the Week January 23

“Each of the baptised, whatever their role in the Church or the educational level of their faith, is an active agent of evangelisation.”

Pope Francis, speaking during his weekly public audience on January 15 as he continued his series on the sacraments.


“I hope that the state authorities, especially those entrusted with the task of serving people in guaranteeing their right for religious freedom in Ukraine, will be wise enough not to commence a persecution of the Church.”

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Church reacts to threats from government to revoke the Church’s registration in response to participation by clerics at recent demonstrations in Kiev against proposed links to Russia.


“We cannot carry out the apostolate of the word. We cannot even buy or lease buildings or receive donations. If a religious congregation decides to close a convent in Tunisia it cannot sell it to the archbishopric but is nationalised.”

Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi of Tunis, speaking of current difficulties for the Catholic Church in Muslim-majority Tunisia.


"We are talking about souls, human souls, not numbers or statistics. We are talking about fathers who, without warning, will not be home for dinner tonight. Parents who do not see their families for a decade. We forget that people are dying in the desert, trying to reach our borders, or women and children who are victims of smugglers and human traffickers. They are always, first and foremost, human beings.”

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles on the need for a more humane approach to America’s immigration policy during a conference on the issue.


“Ultimately, neither Church nor state can alter the reality of marriage – but we can delude ourselves about its definition. Maintaining the illusion that genderless marriage is possible comes at a cost to all of us, though. It obscures the facts that only the union between a man and a woman brings forth children and that every child has a father and a mother and deserves to know and relate to them, even though tragic circumstances sometimes render that impossible. That we would willingly deprive children of the opportunity to grow up with mother and father is especially troubling.”

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma, USA, decries a court’s judgement that the traditional definition of one man and one woman is unconstitutional.