Archive for July, 2007

On Media Day

July 28, 2007

“Safeguard the Common Good, Respect the Truth”

VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2007 (Zenit.org).-

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I desire above all to renew my thanks to the Lord for my apostolic trip to Brazil which I undertook May 9-14 and, at the same time, I thank all those who accompanied me in prayer. As you know I traveled to Brazil for the opening of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean. But before such a great ecclesial event, I had an opportunity to meet the Brazilian Catholic community. Many faithful came to the city of São Paolo for this occasion and especially for the first canonization of a native of Brazil: Father Antônio de Santa’Ana Galvão. I plan to speak about this trip at greater length on Wednesday during the general audience. In the meantime I invite you to continue to pray for the conference that is taking place in Aparecida, Brazil and for the journey of the people of God who live in Latin America.

The World Communications Day offers another motive for prayer and reflection today. This year the theme is “Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education.” The educational challenges of today are often linked to the influence of the mass media, which competes with school, the Church and even the family. In this context an adequate formation in the right use of media is essential: Parents, teachers, and the ecclesial community are called to collaborate to educate children and young people to be selective and to develop a critical attitude, cultivating a taste for what is aesthetically and morally valid.

But the media too must make its contribution to this educational task, promoting the dignity of the human person, marriage and the family, and the accomplishments and aims of civilization. Programs that inculcate violence and antisocial behavior or that vulgarize human sexuality are unacceptable, and much more so when they are directed at the young. Thus I renew the appeal to the leaders of the media industry and workers in social communications that they safeguard the common good, respect the truth and protect the dignity of the human person and the family.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which the liturgy celebrated last Thursday, in some countries is celebrated today. Jesus, risen, returns to the Father. In this way he opens the passage to eternal life for us and makes the gift of the Holy Spirit possible. As the apostles did then, we too, after the Ascension, gather together in prayer to invoke the outpouring of the Spirit, in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary (cf. Acts 1:12-14). May her intercession obtain for the whole Church a renewed Pentecost.

The fighting between Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and the rocket attacks against the inhabitants of nearby Israeli cities, which have provoked military intervention, are bringing about a bloody deterioration of the situation and causing dismay.

Once again, in the name of God, I ask that an end be brought to this tragic violence, while to the suffering Palestinian and Israeli populations I desire to express my solidarity and assurance of my prayerful remembrance.

I appeal to the sense of responsibility of all the Palestinian authorities that, in dialogue and firmness, they take up again the difficult path of understanding, neutralizing the violent. I invite the Israeli government to moderation and exhort the international community to multiply efforts for the re-launching of negotiations. May the Lord bring forth and sustain makers of peace!

I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking pilgrims gathered here today. In the Gospel, Jesus prays that all may be one, just as he and the Father are one. He desires the world to know that he is the one sent by the Father. By working for reconciliation and peace, may Christians everywhere bear clearer witness to the Father’s love for the world, so that all mankind may come to believe in his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. God bless you!

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On Latin America

July 19, 2007

“You Have a Part to Play in Building Your Nations’ Destiny”

APARECIDA, Brazil, MAY 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before reciting the Regina Caeli at the end of the inaugural Mass of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With great affection I greet all of you who have come from the four corners of Brazil, from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as those who are listening to me via radio and television. During the celebration of Mass, I invoked the Holy Spirit, asking him to make fruitful the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, which I shall inaugurate shortly. I ask you all to pray for the fruits of this great gathering, which opens up a future of hope for the Latin American family. You have a part to play in building your Nations’ destiny. May God bless you and be with you!

I offer affectionate greetings to the Spanish-speaking groups and communities present today, and to all those in Spain and Latin America who are spiritually united with this celebration. May the Virgin Mary help you to keep alive the flame of faith, love and harmony, so that by the witness of your lives and by faithfulness to your baptismal vocation, you may be light and hope for humanity. Let us also pray that the celebration of this Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean will bear many fruits of authentic spiritual renewal and untiring evangelization. God bless you!

I warmly greet all the English-speaking groups present today. Families stand at the heart of the Church’s mission of evangelization, for it is in the home that our life of faith is first expressed and nurtured. Parents, you are the primary witnesses to your children of the truths and values of our faith: pray with and for your children; teach them by your example of fidelity and joy! Indeed, every disciple, spurred on by word and strengthened by sacrament, is called to mission. It is a duty from which no one should shy away, for nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known to others! May Our Lady of Guadalupe be your model and guide. God bless you all!

Dear French-speaking families and groups, I greet with all my heart those of you who live on the South American Continent, especially in Haiti, in French Guiana and in the Antilles. May you build, in cooperation with others, a more generous and fraternal society, taking care to help young people discover the greatness of family values.

Today is the ninetieth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. With their powerful call to conversion and penance, they are without doubt the most prophetic of all modern apparitions. Let us ask the Mother of the Church, who knows the sufferings and hopes of humanity, to protect our homes and our communities.

In a special way we entrust to her those peoples and nations that are in particular need, confident that she will not fail to heed the prayers we make to her with filial devotion. I remember in a special way those brothers and sisters who suffer from hunger. In this regard I want to mention the “March against Hunger” promoted by the World Food Programme, the United Nations agency responsible for food assistance. This initiative is taking place today in many cities worldwide, including Ribeirão Preto here in Brazil.

Our prayers are offered also for the Afro-Brazilian community, who this Sunday are commemorating the abolition of slavery in Brazil. May this celebration foster a renewed sense of missionary outreach towards this highly significant socio-cultural group in the Land of the Holy Cross.

I also extend my warm greetings, together with my sincere gratitude, to all the groups and associations gathered here. May God reward you and keep you firm in the faith.

Let us now proclaim with joy the hymn of our salvation.

May 1999

July 7, 2007

1999

July 7, 2007
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July 7, 2007