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Monday, October 29, 2012


Vatican City, 28 October 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, after presiding at Mass for the closure of the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope began by mentioning the Synod. "For three weeks", he said, "we have discussed the realities of new evangelisation for the transmission of Christian faith. The entire Church was represented and, therefore, involved in this activity which, with God's grace, will not fail to bring forth fruit. First and foremost, however, a Synod is always a time of strong ecclesial communion and for this reason, together with you, I wish to thank God Who has once again allowed us to experience the beauty of being Church, and of being Church today in this world, as it is, in the midst of this humanity with all its weariness and its hopes".

The Holy Father then went on to refer to the "significant fact" that the Synod coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and with the beginning of the Year of Faith. "Turning our minds back to Blessed John XXIII, to Servant of God Paul VI, and to the period of the Council ... helped us to recognise that new evangelisation is not an invention of our own, but a dynamic that began to develop in the Church in the 1950s, when it became clear that even countries of ancient Christian tradition had become, so to speak, 'mission lands'. Thus emerged the need for a renewed announcement of the Gospel in secularised societies, in the dual certainty that, on the one hand, only He, Jesus Christ, is the true novelty that responds to the needs of man at all times and, on the other that His message needs to be suitably transmitted in changing social and cultural environments".

The intense efforts of the Synod Fathers led to "a commitment to the spiritual renewal of the Church in order to spiritually renew the secularised world. Such renewal will come about with the rediscovery of Jesus Christ, of His truth and His grace, of His 'face', at once human and divine, upon which shines the transcendent mystery of God".

After praying the Angelus, the Pope launched an appeal for Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, devastated by a hurricane which recently struck the Caribbean region leaving numerous dead and forcing many people to flee their homes. "I wish to give assurances of my closeness, and of my concern for those who have been struck by this natural disaster", he said. "At the same time, I invite everyone to pray and show solidarity in order to alleviate the suffering of the victims' families, and to help the many thousands who have suffered damage".

The Holy Father concluded by mentioning the inhabitants of the Italian regions of Basilicata and Calabria, which have been affected by a series of earthquakes in recent days.

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