Saturday, 8 July 2006

For the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI the month of June opened with an important event, the meeting in St Peter’s Square with Church Movements and new Communities. The meeting, eight years since the first such event convoked in 1998 by Pope John Paul II - brought hundreds of thousands of Catholics from all over the world who filled the Square and overflowed into the Via della Conciliazione which reaches down to the River Tiber. During the celebration of 1st Vespers of Pentecost Pope Benedict XVI delivered a long and profound catechesis on the theme of the Spirit of God, his presence in the world demonstrated also in the formation of so many new Church movements and on life lived without this awareness.
Pope Benedict mentioned many Gospel passages including the Prodigal Son. Like the squandering son who fled from his family with his part of the inheritance in search of freedom but ended up as a keeper of pigs, the same fate awaits humanity which puts no objection or limits to this albeit legitimate longing. « Where the true source of life no longer flows, where people only appropriate life instead of giving it, - the Pope said taking as an example abortion, voluntary killing of a new life - wherever people are ready to dispose of unborn life because it seems to take up room in their own lives, it is there that the life of others is most at risk. If we want to protect life,; - the Pontiff underlined -, then we must above all rediscover the source of life». Benedict XVI, said movements were Movements. «for life », in every sense and he urged these new realities to continue to defend life and to work together to further the mission of the Church.
June closed with a Mass on June 29 the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, during which the Pope imposed the Pallium on the metropolitan archbishops appointed in the last 12 months. The Mass was also an opportunity to renew commitment to the cause of ecumenism as the Pope said when he welcomed a delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to take part in the Liturgy.