Montevideo (Fides Service ) – The Bishops Conference of Uruguay issued a message to Catholics in which they express gratitude to His Holiness Pope Jon Paul II for the 25th anniversary of his election to the See of Peter. In the Message the Bishops underline the importance of the event which is an opportune time to give thanks to God for John Paul II’s prophetic words and acts at the service of the Gospel, to build peace among peoples and to defend life.
They recall with joy the two unforgettable papal visits to Uruguay, in 1987 and 1988: “To recall his visit on the spot where he preached Jesus Christ as fullness of life and horizon of hope for all peoples on the earth, a large Cross will be planted. His message to families resounds today, calling every family to be a school of patient love, joy of life and freedom of education. In Melo the Pope projected the light of the Gospel on the world of work. In Florida, in front of the historical image of Our Lady – he put our people under the maternal protection of Mary, always Mother, protectress and advocate of her children who recognise their poverty and need. In Salto he recalled that the leaven of the Gospel must always stimulate solidarity towards everyone, especially the weak and the excluded in society. At the Catholic University he defined culture in terms of dialogue. Culture consists not only in tools, titles, archives of the past: its essence is the capacity to dialogue and to understand all realities not forgetting God, supreme reality who opens intelligence to the ultimate mysteries and the ethic and spiritual dilemmas of life”.
The Bishops say “The Pope has travelled everywhere as a father who listens and understands. But at the same time he has never remained silent about the truth in order to gain popularity. His fidelity on all fronts is a lesson of courage for believers in these times of relativism which prefer religion which leaves things as they are”. The message ends with a call to Catholics all over the country to pray fervently that God may strengthen the Pope so he may “continue a lead us as we sail the seas of the third millennium to which he introduced us”. (R .Z.) (Fides 18/10/2003 – lines 25; words 394)