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Thursday, October 20, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The positive results of World Youth Day (WYD) 2008, celebrated in Sydney, Australia, and the recollection of the first country's saint, Mary MacKillop, were the central themes of remarks made this morning by Benedict XVI to prelates of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

The Pope mentioned the increased number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Australia in the wake of WYD 2008. This is proof, he said, of "the youthful vitality of the Church to which we all belong and the perennial relevance of the Good News which must be proclaimed afresh to every generation".

"St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop's "courageous response to the difficulties she faced throughout her life can also inspire today's Catholics as they confront the new evangelisation and serious challenges to the spread of the Gospel in society as a whole".

"It is true that yours is a pastoral burden which has been made heavier by the past sins and mistakes of others, most regrettably including some clergy and religious; but the task now falls to you to continue to repair the errors of the past with honesty and openness, in order to build, with humility and resolve, a better future for all concerned. I therefore encourage you to continue to be pastors of souls who, along with your clergy, are always prepared to go one step further in love and truth for the sake of the consciences of the flock entrusted to you, seeking to preserve them in holiness, to teach them humbly and to lead them irreproachably in the ways of the Catholic faith".

"You are conscious of your special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy", Pope Benedict told the prelates in conclusion. "The new translation of the Roman Missal, which is the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the bishops and experts from all over the world, is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by His people. Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation. As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic. Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone".
AL/ VIS 20111020 (440)

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