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Pope's Address at Church of God the Merciful Father

Church in This City Is Not an "Ecclesiastical Bureaucracy"

ROME, MARCH 29, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered last Sunday, after Mass, in the parish hall of the Church of God the Merciful Father, in Rome's Tor Tre Teste neighborhood. The Pope delivered the address without referring to notes.

* * *

Dear Parish Priest,
Dear friends:

I see that you are really a living parish, where all collaborate, where one bears the burden of the other -- as St. Paul says -- and in this way you foster the growth of the living edifice of the Lord, which is the Church. The latter was not made of material stones, but of living stones, of baptized people, who feel all the faith's responsibility for others, all the joy of being baptized and of knowing God in the face of Jesus. For this reason, you commit yourselves so that this parish may really grow.

We are nearing Easter and two aspects of Christian life are presented to us: One is a climb, an ascent, which can even be somewhat difficult; the other is always constituted by the light of God, the light of our Lord.

I would simply like to thank you for your commitment. To see so many active persons in a parish, who visit the sick, help those in difficulty, collaborate with the parish priest, ensure a good celebration of the liturgy, is a joy for the Bishop of Rome, which I am, though the concrete activity is carried out by the cardinal vicar.

However, I feel this responsibility and I am really happy to see that Rome, the "old Rome," is a "young Rome" and really lives in lively parishes.

The faith must be promoted because outside of Italy it is thought that in Rome there are only ceremonies and ecclesiastical bureaucracy, but that there is no great ecclesial life. The latter, however, can be seen precisely on the outskirts of Rome. Rome is young, the Church is always young again. For me it is lovely to see this participation and I can only say thank you and encourage you to continue, under the guidance of your parish priest.

And already now, I wish you all a happy Easter!

Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana


The Vatican  , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000



Pope, Benedict, Address, Church, Mass

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