» 10/12/2011, 00.00
Pope calls for respect for the rights of all in Egypt, especially minorities
Appeal of Benedict XVI who was "deeply saddened" by events in Cairo, "attempts to undermine peaceful coexistence." Support the efforts of the civil and religious authorities "for a society based on justice”. In his general audience, he comments on Psalm 126, which reminds us that, even in the midst of pain, "God is always present."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In Egypt, the rights of all must be respected, especially minorities. This was the appeal launched by Benedict XVI, at the end of his general audience during which he said he was "deeply saddened by the violence perpetrated in Cairo last Sunday," and expressed his support for "the efforts of Egyptian authorities, civil and religious, in favour of a society which respects the human rights of everyone, and especially minorities, to the benefit of national unity. " The Pope said he was close to the "pain of the families of the victims and the entire Egyptian people, torn by attempts to undermine the peaceful coexistence between its communities, which is important to preserve, especially in this time of transition." "I urge the faithful - he concluded - to pray that society may enjoy a true peace based on justice, freedom and respect for the dignity of every citizen."
Earlier in his catechesis, the Pope illustrated that even though our history is marked by "pain, uncertainty, moments of crisis" it is "a history of salvation," because in our history and our lives "God is already present. " This was the lesson that Benedict XVI outlined from a reading of Psalm 126, of which he spoke today, his series on prayer.
Benedict XVI described the prayer as "festive, in the joy that sings the wonders of God": "The Lord has done great things for us." It is the memory of the "exhilarating experience of salvation," "when the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion." It starts from a situation of suffering and need in which God works salvation and "restores" things as to even better than they were before.
This is what happens to the people of Israel returning to their homeland from Babylonian exile. It was the end of their deportation to a foreign land. "The fall of Jerusalem and the deportation had been a devastating experience for the chosen people. On the political and social level, but also on a religious one: the loss of the promised land, the destruction of the temple, the end of the Davidic dynasty" are perceived as a failure of the divine promises, "the people of the alliance painfully question a God that seems to have abandoned them".
"Their return indicates the new-found friendship with God," "the experience of his mercy." "We should look more often - the Pope said – how throughout the events of our life the Lord has protected us, we must be mindful of the good things that the Lord gives us, we are always attentive to the problems and difficulties and often do not perceive the beautiful things given to us by the Lord. Instead by focusing on the good things received, the memory of the good, helps us in our darkest hours. "
This, "celebration of the joy of a restored fate," in first part of the Psalm, in the second part, appears as something yet to be built, " this contradiction is explained with the difficult return home, which leads once more to the request for divine intervention ". "The consoling experience of liberation from Babylon is still incomplete, it has already taken place, but is not yet fulfilled, pending a full implementation, this is the reason for particular images that refer to the reality of life and death, redemption, joy, tears and distress.
There is "the experience that is renewed every year in the agricultural world: the difficulty of sowing and the joy of the harvest, you sow what could you throw into bread, you throw the seed but do not know where it will fall, if the birds will eat it , if it will take root, if it will become an ear of corn". "Throwing the seed is an act of trust that the farmer repeats year after year, he sows the seed and when the fields are filled with a harvest here is the joy”.
"The exile to Babylon is like pain and other situations of crisis, the apparent distance from God, but in the New Testament, the message becomes clearer: the believer through silence and the pain is like a grain of wheat, like the woman who endures the pains of childbirth in order to arrive at a new life: we must always remain open to hope and steadfast in our faith in God. "
Pope: “if we do not recognise that God became man, what sense is there in celebrating Christmas?
During the general audience Benedict XVI underlines the true meaning of God’s incarnation, who came to bring peace and justice. We ask, he adds, “that violence is defeated by the power of love, that opposition gives way to reconciliation, the will to dominate becomes desire to forgive to bring justice and peace”.
Pope: the Church accompanies Africa in the great challenges that await it
At the general audience, Benedict XVI recalls the stages of his first trip to the African continent. The presentation of the working document for the next African Synod. The need for evangelization, hope for the young, the role of women, the pursuit of interreligious dialogue with the Muslims.
Pope recalls Chernobyl and urges peace with respect for mankind and nature
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Justice is the basis of peace and respect for human rights, says Pope
In today’s general audience Benedict XVI refers to his visit to the United States. He reiterates the Church’s commitment to an international order based on the principle of responsibility and solidarity. He mentions the United States’ “healthy secularism”, saying that “religious freedom must always be defended, avoiding all forms of discrimination and prejudice”.
I will be a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land, says Pope
A message from Benedict XVI to Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians on the eve of his departure for the land where Christ lived, to “share in your hopes and dreams, as well as your pain and difficulties”.
Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization
The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).
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