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Friday, December 17, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 17 DEC 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy, for opening of the archdiocese's Jubilee Year which began recently and is due to last for all of 2011.

  Naples, the Pope writes, "has a rich religious heritage, and this calls for coherence of faith and courage of witness. In keeping with this opulent tradition, Christian sanctity has flowered abundantly, finding expression in famous figures who left profound traces in the Church and in society. These shining examples have handed down the responsibility to continue the history of faith and charity in your land, showing the same vigour and apostolic drive as they did.

  "Of course", the Holy Father adds, "today's social and cultural context is very different from the past and, although we may joy in the Lord for the genuine and persisting faith of so many Christians, it is painful to note the spread of a secularised view of life and the emergence of evils afflicting the body public, which is threatened by individualism.

  "In this atmosphere, negative and deviant models also exercise their influence, having a strong impact on family and social life, especially on the new generations. Thus I wish to reiterate the urgent need for the human and Christian formation of children and young people, because they are seriously exposed to the risks of deviancy".

  "Christians are called to work for truth and to bear courageous witness to the Gospel in all areas of life. Each individual can and must strive to ensure that spiritual and ethical values, translated into life choices, make a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just and fraternal society. To this end we must work to create ... relationships of authentic charity which give concrete expression to solidarity and service, so as to provide alternative life examples that are accessible to all and, at the same time, emblematic".

  The Holy Father concludes his message: "In this way we will reinforce the awareness that today, as always, the seed of the Kingdom of God is present and active. A seed of the future, capable, if welcomed personally and generously, of transforming even the most difficult situations and of renewing the heart and countenance of Naples".
MESS/                                    VIS 20101217 (390)

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