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  • » 05/23/2007, 00.00


    Pope: Christians must be disciples and missionaries of Christ

    In his general audience Benedict XVI re-evoked his journey to Brazil. He highlighted the need to “recover the spirit of the early Christian community, assiduous in its catechesis, in its sacramental life and in its charitable works”, to “present the faith clearly without reducing it”, through the constant promotion of a social development which forms lay Catholics to take on responsibility in both the political and social spheres.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – An evangelization of “renewed enthusiasm, methods and expression”: which follows the guidelines set out by John Paul II to the Episcopal Council of Latin America in 1983 was the primary objective of Benedict XVI’s voyage to Brazil from the 9th to the 14th of this month.  The Pope underscored this element of his recent trip in his address to over 40 thousand pilgrims and visitors gathered in St Peter’s square for his general audience.  An evangelizing journey which, in the Pope’s own words, must be undertaken in the light of the “theological and social” aspects of a love which gives to others, as indicated in Deus caritas est.

    A central point of the voyage was the opening of the V General Conference bishops from Latin America.  Today as then, the Pope underscored the theme “Disciples and Missionaries of Christ”. “The coupling of these terms – he said – corresponds to Mathew’s Gospel where the apostles are given their mandate”. The word disciple, he added “recalls the formative dimension of the follower to be in communion with and a friend of Christ”, by being “and obedient pupil of his teachings”, while “the term mission express the fruit of the disciple-hood”, in short the shared witness of the Gospel experience. It is a case of the need to “recover the spirit of the early Christian community, assiduous in its catechesis, in its sacramental life and in its charitable works”, to “present the faith clearly without reducing it”, through the constant promotion of a social development which forms lay Catholics to take on responsibility in both the political and social spheres.

    In his address, Benedict XVI re-evoked various highlights of his journey, during which he said he aimed to impress the theme of the relationship between faith and culture, which in the Latin American continent has created history, life experiences and art.  But, he added, “Memories of the glorious past cannot ignore the shadows which accompany the history of evangelization.  We cannot ignore the suffering and injustices imposed on the indigenous populations”, as already condemned, he recalled, by theologians such as Bartholomew de Las Casas. Thus within the continent the Gospel became “has expressed and continues to express the identity of the peoples in this region and provides inspiration to address the challenges of our globalize era”.  “The Catholic identity is the most adequate because it is animated by the principals of the Churches Social Doctrine” and the Church in order to contribute to resolving socio-economic problems, “must mobilize all of its strength to converge with others who work for the common good”.  In fact, “Brazil is an example for other countries of this new model for development” and “Christian culture can animate ‘reconciliation’ between mankind and creation, starting from a recovery of human dignity in relation to God the Father”.

    A final mention went to the Youth Meeting of Sao Paolo, which he defined today as “a sign of hope for the present and future Church”. Recalling that encounter,  he reiterated that today the Church offers the commandments as a journey of education towards freedom and personal well being – adding that above all, the first commandment of love must be a constant, because without love none of the commandments make sense or lead to a full and happy life. “I invited the young people to be apostles to their contemporaries, use their rich gifts in the service of the new evangelization” and “to respect marriage”. In short he concluded “I encouraged them to invest in the tremendous wealth of their youth”.

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    See also

    29/07/2013 BRAZIL-VATICAN
    WYD Pope: Many came as disciples, you all leave as missionaries
    Francis’ final appointments in Brazil, who today returns to Rome. The memory of his first "call" from God and courage to make definitive decisions "against the trend", like the priesthood or marriage, today no longer seen as "fashionable".

    04/08/2010 VATICAN
    Pope calls on Altar servers to communicate the gift of friendship with Christ to their peers
    A festive and colourful general audience dedicated to 55 thousand altar servers from across Europe, mostly Germans. Benedict XVI appeals for people affected by natural disasters in Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    12/05/2007 BRAZIL – VATICAN
    Pope tells priests to always have a missionary fervour in their hearts
    As he recites the Rosary with priests, men and women religious, seminarians and deacons, Benedict XVI asserts that the witness of a well lived priestly life brings nobility to the Church, calls for admiration among the faithful, is a source of blessing for the community, is the best way to promote vocations, and is the most authentic way to invite other young people to respond affirmatively to the Lord’s calling. He affectionately greets all the families around the world.

    09/05/2007 BRAZIL – VATICAN
    In Brazil for a Church that defends life and the family, says the Pope
    Arriving in Brazil Benedict XVI laid out the fundamental guidelines he will present to the 5th General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops, which he is to open, guidelines which are thus destined for the entire Catholic Church.

    10/05/2007 BRAZIL – VATICAN
    Pope: Youth, do not waste your life; build a just and fraternal society
    The pope dwelt upon the need for solid formation so as not to fall prey to materialism and secularism but rather to bear witness to one’s peers and in work and study environments. “Respect” for marriage was underlined – there will be no happiness without chastity and fidelity – and for elderly people and nature.

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