2009-10-19 17:08:14

Church Has Gift for Humanity, Says Pope

(October 19, 2009) The Church has a message of hope that it wants to proclaim to all of humanity, says Pope Benedict XVI. The Pontiff reflected on this message Sunday before he prayed the midday Angelus with pilgrims who had gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Father dedicated his address to consideration of Sunday’s celebration of World Mission Sunday. He called this day a "powerful reminder for every ecclesial community and for each Christian of the duty to proclaim and bear witness before all people to the Gospel, especially to those who do not yet know it." Pope Benedict recalled how the message he wrote for World Mission Sunday reflects on the light of God, "which orients the path of the nations and guides them toward the realization of a great family, in justice and peace, under the paternity of the one God, who is good and merciful. The Church exists to proclaim this message of hope to all of humanity," he said, "which in our time has 'experienced marvellous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself.'" The Church is called to continue Jesus' work, the Pope added, proclaiming the "Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which 'is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.'" He considered those who "consecrate their existence to bringing the Gospel into the world, even facing hardships and difficulties and sometimes real persecutions." In that context, the Holy Father mentioned a priest recently slain in Brazil and Michael Sinnott, a 79-year-old ailing Irish priest who was kidnapped in the Philippines a few days ago. The pope recalled that the African Synod of Bishops has spoken of extreme sacrifices made by faithful, particularly the killing of Catholics in Sudan. The Pope asked all Christians "to make a gesture of material and spiritual sharing to help the young Churches of the poorest countries."

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