The month of May had as its central event the apostolic journey to Brazil undertaken by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to inaugurate in Aparecida the 5th General Conference of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean. Pope Benedict XVI - as Paul VI and John Paul II at the previous assemblies - presented an important intervention to the bishops, with an analysis of the “serious challenges” which the Church and the faith are called to face. The centre of the Church's mission - this is the sense of the Pope's words - is and will always be the proclamation of Christ. In fact He, His word are not foreign to any culture or any person. The principal task of the Church - the Pope said - is to “safeguard and nourish the faith of the People of God ”. The Holy Father then corrected the vision which would put the satisfaction of supposed primary needs before evangelisation: “Could this priority mean neglecting the urgent realities of the major economic, social and political problems in Latin America and the world, and flight from reality to a spiritual world?”. The answer is “no”, because - the Pope said - “those who exclude God from the horizon" are the ones who “falsify the concept of realty” and as a result, ends up “on the wrong paths and with destructive solutions ”. And again: “Only those who know God, know reality and can respond to it in an adequate and truly human manner”.
Both during his visit to Brazil and, more in general, during the rest of the month, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI did not fail to mention that May is the Marian month par excellence. “As such - the Pope said before the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer on Sunday 6 May -, it has become down through the centuries a tradition dear to the people and valorised by the bishops and clergy as an opportune time for preaching, catechesis and community prayer. After the Second Vatican Council, which emphasised the role of Mary Most Holy in the Church and in the history of salvation, Marian devotion underwent a profound renewal. And the month of May, coinciding at least in part with the Easter Season, is a most favourable time for explaining the figure of Mary as a Mother who accompanies the community of disciples united in prayer in expectation of the Holy Spirit. This month can thus be an opportunity to return to the faith of the primitive Church and, in union with Mary, to understand that our mission also today is to proclaim and witness with courage and joy to the Crucified and Risen Christ, the hope of humanity”.