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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pope commends Filipino Catholic for defence of life

From the website of Vatican Radio:

Pope Benedict XVI has met with the first group of bishops from the Philippines to make their Ad Limina pilgrimage to the Holy See. From now until March 2011, Asia’s largest Episcopal Conference will be travelling to Rome for the five-yearly encounter with the Pope and consultations with Curia officials.

Speaking to the first group Monday, Pope Benedict focused on the Filipino people’s tradition as witnesses to the Gospel in society, their faith and communion with the Holy See, as well as the challenges facing the Church and nation today including the defence of life, rising unemployment and attention to the weakest and poorest of society.

The Pope began by recalling the : “generations of zealous Filipino clergymen, religious and laity” who have “promoted an ever more just social order”, by proclaiming Gospel values in society. He added that sometimes this task touches upon political issues, which “is not surprising”, since the political community and the Church, while rightly distinct, are nevertheless both at the service of “every human being and of society as a whole”.

Pope Benedict commended the Church in the Philippines “for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defence of the integrity of marriage and the family” and he noted with appreciation “the Church’s work to abolish the death penalty in your country”.

The Holy Father went out to speak of the importance of a Catholic presence in the field of social communications “to convey a hope-filled vision of faith and virtue so that Filipinos may find encouragement and guidance on their path to a full life in Christ”.

Finally, Pope Benedict noted that an essential aspect of proclaiming Christ to the world today is in the Churches commitment to “economic and social concerns, in particular with respect to the poorest and the weakest in society”. Noting that many Filipino citizens, “remain without employment, adequate education or basic services”, he praised the work of the bishops and the Churches charitable action on behalf of the poor. In conclusion Pope Benedict expressed his appreciation of the Bishops on-going commitment to the struggle against corruption, “since the growth of a just and sustainable economy will only come about when there is a clear and consistent application of the rule of law throughout the land”.

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s address:

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