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Monday, October 18, 2010

EL SALVADOR: EVANGELISATION, AN INCENTIVE AGAINST VIOLENCE

VATICAN CITY, 18 OCT 2010 (VIS) - "The ties binding the faithful people of El Salvador to the Chair of the Prince of the Apostles are proof of a noble tradition and cannot be separated from the history and customs of that blessed land", the Holy Father said this morning to Manuel Roberto Lopez Becerra, El Salvador's new ambassador to the Holy See.
  "Within her own specific field of competence and with independence and freedom, the Church in El Salvador seeks to promote the public good in all dimensions, and to foster the conditions that enable men and women to develop fully. ... Evangelising and bearing witness to love for God and for all persons without exception becomes an effective element in eradicating poverty and is a vigorous incentive to fight against violence, impunity, and drug trafficking, which are wreaking such havoc, especially among youth. ... The ecclesial community also finds itself continuously called upon when so many people are in need of adequate housing and employment, ... and are being force to emigrate from the country. Similarly, it would be strange if the disciples of Christ remained neutral to the aggressive presence of sects, which seem to offer an easy and convenient religious response, but which are actually undermining the culture and customs that have shaped the Salvadoran identity for centuries, obscuring the beauty of the Gospel message and tearing apart the unity of the faithful".

  "It is consoling", the Pope noted, "to behold your country's efforts to construct an increasingly harmonious and supportive society as it advances along the path opened by the 1992 agreements, which put an end to the long and destructive internal conflict suffered by El Salvador - a land of great natural riches that speak eloquently of God and that must be earnestly preserved and protected in order to bequeath them in all their vitality to new generations. The Salvadoran people, with their spirit of sacrifice and hear work, will find great joy if the peace process is seen to be daily confirmed".

  "In this regard, I ask the Almighty ... that your compatriots be given whatever aid necessary to renounce the causes of conflict definitively, replacing enmity with mutual understanding and ensuring protection for people and their belongings. In order to achieve these goal, people must be convinced that nothing is to be gained by violence, indeed that everything is worsened because violence is a dead end. ... By contrast, peace is the yearning of every human being who takes pride in that name. As a gift of the Divine Saviour, it is also a task in which everyone should co-operate unhesitatingly, finding strong support in the State through legal, economic, and social provisions as well as proper police and security forces to ensure people's welfare in accordance with the law".

  "In this struggle", Benedict XVI concluded, "they will always find the outstretched hand of the children of the Church, whom I exhort that, with their witness as disciples and missionaries of Christ, they may increasingly identify with Him, asking Him to make every Salvadoran an architect of reconciliation".
CD/                                    VIS 20101018 (530)

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