July 18, 2011

When tourists visit a Catholic church or shrine to view the art or architecture, they also should get a sense of the faith that inspired the work, the Vatican said.

Catholics must welcome tourist visits as an opportunity for "the clear and explicit announcement of Jesus Christ," said a message from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers.

The message was issued to mark World Tourism Day Sept. 27.

When accepting tourists at Catholic churches and shrines, Church members must "show the true meaning of this cultural heritage born from faith and for the glory of God," the message said.