Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Saturday, November 19, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2011 (VIS) - At 11 a.m. today, the Holy Father arrived at the Seminary of St. Gall in Ouidah where he visited the tombs of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, the first African to head a dicastery of the Roman Curia, and of his mentor, Msgr. Louis Parisot S.M.A., the first archbishop of Cotonou and apostolic vicar of Dahomey and Ouidah.

  The Pope addressed the hundreds of priests, religious, seminarians and lay people who were awaiting his arrival in the courtyard of the seminary building, expressing his joy at meeting them and his gratitude for the pastoral work they carry out, often in difficult circumstances.

  He recalled how the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae munus" focuses on the themes of peace, justice and reconciliation. "These three values stand out as an evangelical ideal fundamental to baptismal life, and they demand sound acceptance of your identity as priests, as consecrated persons and as lay faithful", he said.

  "Dear priests", the Holy Father began, "the responsibility for promoting peace, justice and reconciliation falls in a special way to you. Owing to your reception of Holy Orders and your celebration of the Sacraments, you are called in effect to be men of communion. ... I thus encourage you to let Christ shine through your life, by being in full communion with your bishop, by a genuine goodwill towards your brother priests, by a profound solicitude for each of the baptised and by great attention to each person. In letting yourself be modelled on Christ, you will never substitute the beauty of your priestly being with ephemeral and at times unhealthy realities which the contemporary mentality tends to impose on every culture".

  Turning to address religious, the Pope noted that "the consecrated life is a radical following of Jesus. May your unconditional choice for Christ lead you to an unlimited love for your neighbour. ... May poverty, obedience and chastity increase your thirst for God and your hunger for His Word, Who, by increasing, transforms hunger and thirst into service of those who are deprived of justice, peace and reconciliation".

  Benedict XVI told seminarians that, "without the logic of holiness, the ministry is merely a social function. ... Faced with the challenges of human existence, the priest of today and tomorrow - if he wants to be a credible witness to the service of peace, justice and reconciliation - must be a humble and balanced man, one who is wise and magnanimous".

  The lay faithful are also "called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world" in daily life, and to contribute to peace, justice and reconciliation. "This mission requires first of all a faith in your family built according to the design of God and in fidelity to His plan for Christian marriage. ... Thanks to the power of prayer, 'personal and family life is transformed, gradually improved and enriched with dialogue, faith is transmitted to the children, the pleasure of being together grows and the home is further united and consolidated'. ... By having love and forgiveness reign in your families, you will contribute to the building of a Church which is beautiful and strong, and to the advent of greater justice and peace in the whole of society".

  Catechists, "those valiant missionaries at the heart of the most humble realities", must, "with an unshakable hope and determination", make their "outstanding and absolutely necessary contribution to the spread of the faith through fidelity to the teaching of the Church".

  Concluding his address the Pope highlighted how "the love for the God Who reveals Himself and for His Word, the love for the Sacraments and for the Church, are an efficacious antidote against a syncretism which deceives. This love favours the correct integration of the authentic values of cultures into the Christian faith. It liberates from occultism and vanquishes evil spirits, for it is moved by the power of the Holy Trinity itself. Lived deeply, this love is also a ferment of communion which breaks down every barrier, promoting the building of a Church in which there is no segregation among the baptised, for all are made one in Christ Jesus".
PV-BENIN/                                VIS 20111119 (710)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service