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  • » 12/06/2009, 00.00


    Pope: The Gospel is not a legend. A call to Copenhagen

    Benedict XVI recalls that Jesus was a historical figure, inserted within a specific context. The Immaculate helps the Church in its struggle "between the desert and the garden, between sin which dries up land and grace that irrigates”. In Copenhagen for the protection of creation, following the laws of God in nature, and to launch sober lifestyles respectful of the poorest.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The Gospel is not a legend, but the history of a true story" and "Jesus of Nazareth is a historical character": this was Benedict XVI’s message at the Angelus today. In a St Peter's Square overflowing with over 30 thousand pilgrims, the pope also recalled the UN climate conference that opens tomorrow in Copenhagen.

    Commenting on the Gospel of St. Luke (3:1-6) on the second Sunday of Advent, the Pope said: "The Evangelist pointed the spotlight on John the Baptist, who was the precursor of the Messiah, and traces with great precision the space-time coordinates of his preaching. " The pontiff noted that in the passage "all references to political and religious authorities of Palestine in 27/28 AD" (the emperor Tiberius, the governors Pontius Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, and the chief priests Anna and Caiaphas) are abundantly cited. He adds: "The gospel writer wants to notify all those who read or hear the Gospel that it is not a legend, but the history of a true story, that Jesus of Nazareth is a historical character inserted in that precise context".

    The abundant references also have a second reason: "After this extensive historical introduction, the subject becomes 'the word of God', presented as a force that descends from above and poses itself on John the Baptist." "The Word of God - continues the pope - is the person who moves history, inspires the prophets, prepares the way for the Messiah, calls the Church. Jesus himself is the Divine Word that was made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary:  in Christ, God has revealed himself fully, he told us and given us everything, revealing to us the treasures of his truth and mercy. Ambrose continues in his commentary: "So the Word descended so that the earth, which before was a desert, produced fruit for us" (ibid.). "

    Recalling that 8 December is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the pope added: "Mary is the Immaculate ... [but] the Church is in constant need of purification, because sin undermines all its members. In the Church there is an ongoing struggle between the desert and the garden, between sin which dries up the land and the grace that irrigates it so it may produce abundant fruits of holiness. Let us therefore pray that the Mother of the Lord will help us in this time of Advent, to 'straighten out' our paths, allowing ourselves to be led by the word of God. "

    After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI recalled the UN Conference on Climate Change, which opens tomorrow in Copenhagen, with which the international community wants to study ways to combat global warming. "I hope - said the pope - that the work will help identify actions that are respectful of creation and that will promote a a joint development based on human dignity and for the common good. The integrity of creation requires the adoption of sober and responsible lifestyles, especially towards the poor and future generations. In this perspective, to ensure the full success of the Conference, I invite all people of good will to respect the laws laid down by God in nature and to rediscover the moral dimension of human life. "




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    See also

    15/12/2009 VATICAN
    The Pope’s advice to Copenhagen
    In his message for World Day of Peace, Benedict XVI calls for a conversion because the ecological problem is a moral issue. Man and his responsibility must be at the centre of debate otherwise policies and conferences will fail.

    27/11/2011 VATICAN
    Pope: Advent, waiting for Christ in a postmodern world, where God seems absent
    At the Angelus, Benedict XVI explains the meaning of Advent which sees the beginning of the new liturgical year. In today's world, in anonymous cities, God seems to have withdrawn and man seems to be master of everything. God is not "master", but "Father and friend." An appeal for the success of the UN Commission on climate.

    05/10/2010 CHINA
    Climate talks in Tianjin as China tries to clean up its image
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    Respect for the rights of man and nature are fundamental to build peace, Pope says
    In receiving eight new ambassadors presenting their credentials to the Holy See, Benedict XVI emphasised the importance of respecting religious freedom. For the Holy Father, the Copenhagen climate conference will “test the resolve of stakeholders to forgo nationalistic or short-term alleged advantages in favour of longer-term benefits for the entire international human family.”

    27/11/2009 CINA – US – UN
    Wen, Obama and the vague promises of Copenhagen
    Washington and Beijing make grand gestures about reducing pollution, but use different criteria to do so. The Americans will cut emissions over the very high pollution levels of 2005 whilst the Chinese will reduce per capita emissions, which will allow for 50 per cent increase in overall levels.

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