Pope's Address to Bishops of Zimbabwe
"Witnesses to the Hope Held Out by the Gospel"
VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered Saturday in English to the bishops' conference of Zimbabwe, at the conclusion of their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.
* * *
My Brother Bishops,
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!" (Ephesians 1:2).
I offer a warm welcome to you, the Bishops of Zimbabwe, on the occasion of your quinquennial visit "ad Limina Apostolorum." May your pilgrimage to the Tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and this meeting with Peter's Successor, be for all of you an incentive to ever greater unity in the cause of the Gospel and the service of Christ's Kingdom. May these days also grant you a precious opportunity to withdraw from your pressing pastoral cares in order to spend time with the Lord (cf. Mark 6:31) in prayer and spiritual discernment, so that you may take up with renewed zeal your ministry as heralds of God's word and shepherds of his people in your native land.
The recent elections in Zimbabwe have laid the basis for what I trust will be a new beginning in the process of national reconciliation and the moral rebuilding of society. I appreciate the significant contribution to the electoral process which you offered to the Catholic faithful and to all your fellow-citizens in your Joint Pastoral Statement published last year. As you rightly noted in that Statement, responsibility for the common good demands that all members of the body politic work together in laying firm moral and spiritual foundations for the future of the nation.
Through the publication of the Statement and your most recent Pastoral Letter "The Cry of the Poor," you yourselves have brought the wisdom of the Gospel and the rich heritage of the Church's social doctrine to bear upon the thinking and practical judgments of the faithful both in their daily lives and in their efforts to act as upright members of the community. In the exercise of your episcopal ministry of teaching and governance, I encourage you to continue to provide clear and united leadership, grounded in an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to "the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation" (Ephesians 1:13). In your preaching and teaching the faithful should be able to hear the voice of the Lord himself, a voice that speaks with authority of what is right and true, of peace and justice, of love and reconciliation, a voice that can console them in the midst of their troubles and show them the way forward in hope.
Amid the difficulties of the present moment, the Church in Zimbabwe can rejoice in the presence of so many communities vibrant in faith, a significant number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the presence of a committed laity devoted to various works of the apostolate. These gifts of God's grace are at once a consolation and a challenge to an ever more profound and integrated catechesis aimed at training the faithful to live fully their Christian vocation. "In all areas of Church life, formation is of primary importance" for the future of the Church in Africa ("Ecclesia in Africa," 75). For this reason, I encourage you to work together to ensure suitable and comprehensive catechetical preparation for all the faithful, and to take whatever steps may be necessary to provide for a more systematic education of catechists.
Future priests, for their part, should be helped to present the fullness of the Catholic faith in a way which truly addresses and responds to people's difficulties, questions and problems. The national seminaries require practical support in their challenging task of providing seminarians with an adequate human, spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral formation, while the younger clergy would greatly benefit, in the first years of their priestly ministry, from a program of spiritual, pastoral and human accompaniment guided by experienced and exemplary priests. Your concern for sound catechesis and an integral religious education must also extend to the system of Catholic schools, whose religious identity needs to be strengthened, for the good not only of their students, but of the entire Catholic community in your country.
Dear Brother Bishops, in union with the Successor of Peter and the College of Bishops, you have been sent forth as witnesses to the hope held out by the Gospel of Jesus Christ (cf. "Pastores Gregis," 5). As you return to your native land strengthened in faith and in the bond of ecclesial communion, I ask you to cooperate generously in the service of the Gospel, so that the light of God's word will shine ever more brightly in the minds and hearts of Zimbabwe's Catholics, inspiring in them a deeper love of Christ and a more firm commitment to the spread of his Kingdom of holiness, justice and truth.
With great affection I commend you and the clergy, religious and laity of your Dioceses to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000
Pope, Benedict, Zimbabwe, Gospel, Bishops, Vatican
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Deacon Keith Fournier on Thanksgiving Day and the Need to Return to God
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Thursday, November 23, 2017
- Bl. Miguel Pro: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 23, 2017
- Pope Francis to meet with Rev. Barber to discuss fight agianst poverty
- Quotes of the Saints - Five saints have a message for you on this ...
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Will 2018 be the year the Big One hits California? The news media makes a shocking claim HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, November 25th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, November 24th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way