THE MISSION NEEDS TO RENEW ITS TRUST IN THE ACTION OF GOD
"Only in Truth, which is C hrist Himself", the Holy Father said, "can humankind discover the meaning of life, find salvation, and develop in justice and peace. All men and all peoples have the right to receive the Gospel of truth. ... Jesus, the Word incarnate, is always the centre of our announcement, the point of reference for our evangelising mission and for its methodology, because He is the human face of God, Who wishes to meet all men and women so as to bring them into communion with Him, in His love".
"The mission today needs to renew its trust in the action of God; it needs to pray more intensely that His Kingdom may come. ... We must invoke light and strength from the Holy Spirit, and commit ourselves with decision and generosity so as to inaugurate, in a certain sense, 'a new era of proclamation of the Gospel ... because, after two millennia, a major part of the human family still does not acknowledge Christ, but also because the situation in which the Church and the world find themselves at the threshold of the new millennium is particularly challenging'", said the Holy Father quoting Blessed John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Asia". Pope Benedict also expressed his support for the project with which the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and the Pontifical Missionary Works are supporting the Year of Faith, a project involving "an international campaign which, by praying the Rosary,accompanies the work of evangelisation in the world and helps many of the baptised to rediscover and deepen their faith".
"Announcing the Gospel often involves considerable difficulty and suffering. The growth of the Kingdom of God in the world, in fact, frequently comes about at the cost of His servants' blood. In this period of economic, cultural and political change in which human beings often feel alone, prey to anguish and desperation, the messengers of the Gospel, even if they announce hope and peace, continue to be persecuted as their Master and Lord was. But, despite the problems and the tragic reality of persecution, the Church is not discouraged, she remains faithful to the mandate of her Lord, aware that 'throughout Christian history, martyrs, that is, witnesses, have always been numerous and indispensable to the spread of the Gospel'".
The Pope concluded his address by recalling that the Pontifical Missionary Works had been given the particular task of "supporting the ministers of the Gospel, and helping them preserve the 'joy of evangelising, even when it is in tears that we must sow'. ... Your work of missionary animation and formation lies at the very heart of pastoral care", he told his audience, "because the 'missio ad gentes' is the paradigm for all apostolic activity of the Church. Become an increasingly visible and concrete expression of the sharing of personnel and means among Churches which, as communicating vessels, experience the same missionary vocation and impulse, and which work in every corner of the earth to sow the Word of Truth in all peoples and all cultures".
CONDEMNATION OF DOUBLE BOMB ATTACK IN DAMASCUS
Vatican City, 11 May 2012 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following communique this morning concerning a double bomb attack in the Syrian capital Damascus yesterday, which killed 55 people and injured more than 370.
"Having witnessed yesterday's attacks which brought carnage to the streets of Damascus, we cannot but express our strong condemnation and the heartfelt closeness of the Holy Father and the Catholic community to the families of the victims. These attacks should encourage all sides to boost and strengthen their commitment to implementing the Annan Peace Plan, which has been accepted by all sides in the conflict. Yesterday' attacks also show that the situation in Syria requires a firm and joint commitment on the part of the entire international community to implement that plan and, as soon as possible, to send further observers. The appeal made by the Holy Father on Easter Day is now more pressing than ever: it is necessary without delay to make an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation".
FOUR CARDINALS TO TAKE POSSESSION OF TITLES, DIACONATES
Vatican City, 11 May 2012 (VIS) - A note released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announces that the following cardinals will take possession of their titles or diaconates in coming weeks:
Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, will take possession of the title of San Callisto in Piazza San Calisto 16, Rome, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday 17 May.
Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will take possession of the diaconate of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina in Via Casilina 205, Rome, at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 20 May.
Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major, will take possession of the diaconate of San Ponziano in Via Nicola Festa 50, Rome, at 11.30 a.m. on Sunday 20 May.
Cardinal Domenico Calacgano president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, will take possession of the diaconate of the Annunciazione della Beata Vergine Maria a Via Ardeatina in Via di Grotta Perfetta 591, Rome, at 17.30 a.m. on Sunday 27 May.
Vatican City, 11 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Seven prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Thomas Gerard Wenski of Miami.
- Bishop John Gerard Noonan of Orlando.
- Bishop Gerald Michael Barbarito of Palm Beach.
- Bishop Gregory Lawrence Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee.
- Bishop Felipe de Jesus Estevez of Saint Augustine.
- Bishop Robert Nugent Lynch of Saint Petersburg.
- Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice.
- Vytautas Alisauskas, ambassador of Lithuania, on his farewell visit.