Addressing bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful in Calcutta, India, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples emphasized the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism and the centrality of evangelization.
There are those “who not only live as if they never received baptism, but think that it is not necessary for their salvation or for a life of grace,” Cardinal Fernando Filoni said on September 14. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: ‘The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.’”
“Let us not forget that evangelization, our mission by virtue of our Baptism and for those who also received the Holy Orders, is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as the only Savior, and to those who have rejected him.” Cardinal Filoni continued. “Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face. All of them have a right to receive the Good News. All Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.”