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Sunday, April 18, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 17 APR 2010 (VIS) - As is the custom on his apostolic trips abroad, the Pope held a brief meeting with journalists accompanying him on his flight to Malta this afternoon.

  In his remarks to them, he briefly summarised the reasons for his trip to Malta, the first of which is St. Paul. "The universal Church's Pauline Year has ended, but Malta is celebrating 1950 years since his shipwreck, and this occasion again throws light on the important figure of the Apostle to the Gentiles and his message, which is still important today", he said. "I think we can summarise the essential point in words he himself used at the end of the Letter to the Galatians: 'Faith expressed in charity'.

  "Faith, the relationship with God which then transforms itself into charity, is still important today. But I also think that the memory of the shipwreck says something to us. For Malta, the opportunity to have the faith was born with the shipwreck. Thus we too can see how the shipwrecks of life can be part of God's project for us, and be useful for a new beginning to our lives.

  "The second reason is that it I am glad be in the midst of a lively Church such as that in Malta, which even today is rich in vocations, which is full of faith and responds to the challenges of our time. I am aware that Malta loves Christ and loves His Church which is His Body, and that it knows that, even if this body is wounded by our sins, the Lord still loves His Church, ... and His Gospel is the true force that purifies and heals.

  "The third point is that Malta is a place where waves of refugees arrive from Africa and knock on the doors of Europe. This is a great problem of our time, and naturally it cannot be resolved just by the island of Malta. All of us have to respond to this challenge, first of all so that people can live a dignified life in their own land, and on the other hand so that these refugees can also find space for a dignified life here. It means responding to a great challenge of our time, and Malta reminds us of these problems. It also reminds us that faith is the force which leads to charity, which allows us to respond well to these challenges".
PV-MALTA/                                VIS 20100418 (420)

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