2010-02-24 14:58:45

Pope Praises Brazilian Lenten Initiative

(24 Feb 10 - RV)On Tuesday, the Vatican published a message from Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of Brazil who have launched their Lenten campaign of fraternity and solidarity.

The Holy Father wrote the letter before beginning his annual Lenten spiritual exercises Sunday.

The theme of the 2010 Fraternity campaign is "economy and life" and its motto is "You cannot serve God and Mammon". This is the third occasion on which the campaign has an ecumenical flavour as five other Christian Churches, members of the National Council of Christian Churches in Brazil, are also participating.

Addressed to Dom Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, President of the Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Mariana, the Pope writes: With Wednesday's ashes we return to that time of favour and salvation that is Lent, with its urgent appeal: "Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor 6, 2); this cry, which should resonate on the lips of those who spread the Word of God, instructs ministers to preach to sinners that God is always ready to receive them, that his mercy is endless. These divine feelings were entrusted to the Cure d'Ars, who, in his time, was able to transform the hearts and lives of many people because he could make them feel the Lord's merciful love”.

In his Message the Pope praises the initiative undertaken by the Churches and Christian communities, "who this year have decided to unite their forces to reconcile people with God and to help them free themselves from slavery to money".
"Slavery to money and injustice have their origins in the heart of man, which contains the seeds of a mysterious coexistence with evil". Pope Benedict goes on to encourage participants in the campaign "to persevere in your witness to the love of God, to the Son of God Who became man, ... and to the only good that can satisfy the human heart".
The World Council of Churches, a group which brings together 349 Churches around the world and more than 500,000 Christians, has also expressed its support for the Fraternity Campaign.

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