mass media… As a result, the negative aspects
of the media and entertainment industries are
threatening traditional values, and in particular
the sacredness of marriage and the stability of
the family”.
63. The Catholic faith of many peoples is now-
adays being challenged by the proliferation of
new religious movements, some of which tend
to fundamentalism while others seem to propose
a spirituality without God. This is, on the one
hand, a human reaction to a materialistic, con-
sumerist and individualistic society, but it is also
a means of exploiting the weaknesses of people
living in poverty and on the fringes of society,
people who make ends meet amid great human
suffering and are looking for immediate solu-
tions to their needs. These religious movements,
not without a certain shrewdness, come to fill,
within a predominantly individualistic culture, a
vacuum left by secularist rationalism. We must
recognize that if part of our baptized people
lack a sense of belonging to the Church, this is
also due to certain structures and the occasion-
ally unwelcoming atmosphere of some of our
parishes and communities, or to a bureaucratic
way of dealing with problems, be they simple or
complex, in the lives of our people. In many
places an administrative approach prevails over
a pastoral approach, as does a concentration on
II, Apostolic Exhortation
Ecclesia in Asia
(6 November 1999), 7: AAS 92 (2000), 458.
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