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  • » 05/27/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: the Church, as a community of believers, missionary and “Roman” is born at Pentecost



    With the descent of the Spirit on Mary and the apostles, the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church emerged. Benedict XVI adds that the Church is also missionary and “Roman”, in short “faithful to its origins” and capable of embracing all peoples. Musical bands from Northern Europe present in the square.
     Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his address before the Regina Caeli prayer Benedict XVI gave a short catechesis on the nature of the Church, as is recited in the Credo, to the tens of thousands gathered in St Peters square.

    Reflecting on today's feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the the Holy Spirit on the Virgin Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Cenacle, the pope said this event marked “the solemn birth of the Church”.

    “In this extraordinary event – he continued – we find the essential and qualifying characteristics of the Church: the Church is one, as was the community of Pentecost gathered in prayer and 'agreement': ‘the community of believers was of one heart and mind' (Acts; 4,32). The Church is holy, not because of its own merits, but because it is animated by the Holy Spirit, it keeps its gaze fixed on Christ, so as to become one with Him and his love. The Church is Catholic, because the Gospel is destined for all peoples, thus from the very begining, the Holy Spirit makes it so it is announced in all tongues. The Church is apostolic, because it has been built upon the cornerstone of the Apostles, and is the faithful custodian of their teachings down through the unbroken line of episcopal succession”.

    Moreover, the “Catholic” characteristic of the Church, capable of reaching out to all peoples in all languages, also renders it “missionary”. “The Church – continued the pontiff – is in its very nature a missionary Church, and since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has ceaselessly propelled it and continues to guide it along the world's paths, to the very edges of the earth and the end of all time”.

    The pope then added a further, “essential point”: the Church is also “Roman”, not in the context of geographical limitations, but as an expression of its catholic and missionary nature : “In the Acts of the Apostles - explained the pope - … the passage of the Gospel from the Jews to the pagans, from Jerusalem to Rome is described. Rome represents the pagan world, thus all of the nations of people who are beyond the circle of God's ancient people. In fact, the Acts conclude with the arrival of the Gospel in Rome. Thus we can say that Rome is synonymous of Catholicism and Mission, it expresses faithfulness to the origins, to the Church of all times, to a Church which speaks all languages and to all cultures”.

    Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI greeted the pilgrims in various languages, among them brass bands from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who played some traditional German hymns.

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    See also

    29/05/2011 VATICAN
    Even today, evangelisation is the Church’s vocation, pope says
    Benedict XVI praises the role of mission throughout the centuries up to now, citing as examples Mother Teresa of Kolkata and John Paul II, “a great missionary”. “Wherever the Gospel arrives, life flourishes; like an arid land, irrigated by rain, it is made green.” Pope tells Poles that Card Wyszynski will be beatified very soon.

    29/04/2007 VATICAN
    Together with Mary, say “yes” to Christ, and pray for vocations
    In front of 40 thousand people, Benedict XVI, asks everyone to pray for priests, those who form them and families, so that they may nurture the seed of those called to follow Christ the Good Shepherd.

    15/04/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: My 80 years in the light of Divine Mercy
    During mass in St Peter’s square Benedict XVI thanks the entire Church and his guests – among them a special envoy from Bartholomew Ist – but above all God’s divine mercy, which accompanies and sustains him in his “weaknesses”. The “wounded God” ask us in turn “to let ourselves be wounded for Him”.

    24/03/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: missionary martyrs, an encouragement for the whole Church
    From Castel Gandolfo, where he has gone for a week's rest, the pope recalls the world day of prayer and fasting for missionary martyrs, which is observed today, and invites Christians to bear witness in an increasingly courageous way to faith and hope in Him who on the Cross defeated forever the power of hatred and violence, with the omnipotence of his love.

    23/05/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: There is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. Prayer for China
    At the Regina Caeli, Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians around the world (including Chinese Christians) to celebrate World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. The memory of Fatima and all Marian shrines: "wherever Christians gather in prayer with Mary, the Lord gives us his Spirit." The councils - especially the Vatican - and the meeting of international movements with John Paul II (1998) a "special outpouring of the Spirit."



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