feel disillusioned and no longer identify with the
Catholic tradition. Growing numbers of parents
do not bring their children for baptism or teach
them how to pray. There is also a certain exo-
dus towards other faith communities. The caus-
es of this breakdown include: a lack of oppor-
tunity for dialogue in families, the influence of
the communications media, a relativistic subjec-
tivism, unbridled consumerism which feeds the
market, lack of pastoral care among the poor, the
failure of our institutions to be welcoming, and
our difficulty in restoring a mystical adherence to
the faith in a pluralistic religious landscape.
Challenges from urban cultures
71. The new Jerusalem, the holy city (cf.
21:2-4), is the goal towards which all of human-
ity is moving. It is curious that God’s revelation
tells us that the fullness of humanity and of his-
tory is realized in a city. We need to look at our
cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith
which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their
streets and squares. God’s presence accompanies
the sincere efforts of individuals and groups to
find encouragement and meaning in their lives.
He dwells among them, fostering solidarity, fra-
ternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and
justice. This presence must not be contrived but
found, uncovered. God does not hide himself
from those who seek him with a sincere heart,
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