Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


12/9/2009 (5 years ago)

Zenit News Agency (

'There is another pollution...the pollution of the spirit; it is that which renders our faces less smiling, more gloomy, which leads us not to greet one another, to not look at one another in the face'.



Zenit News Agency (

12/9/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe

VATICAN CITY ( - Benedict XVI says there is a toxicity just as dangerous as air pollution, and it is the pollution of the spirit, which leads to gloominess and the tendency to see persons as mere bodies.

The Pope reflected about the pollution of the city and the purity and transparency of Mary when he made the traditional visit to Piazza di Spagna for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The Holy Father blessed a basket of roses that was later placed at the feet of the Column of the Immaculate.

He noted how in the "heart of Christian cities, Mary constitutes a sweet and reassuring presence. [...] In the churches, in the chapels, on the walls of palaces: a painting, a mosaic, a statue recalls the presence of the Mother who constantly watches over her children."

The Pontiff proposed that Mary's message for the city is an affirmation from St. Paul: Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

"She is the Immaculate Mother who repeats also to the men of our time: Do not be afraid, Jesus has conquered evil; he has conquered it at the root, freeing us from its dominion," he said.

Beautiful news

Benedict XVI said there is great need of this "beautiful news" as the press brings a daily serving where "evil is recounted, repeated, amplified, accustoming us to the most horrible things, making us become insensitive and, in some way, intoxicating us, because the negative is not fully disposed of and accumulates day after day."

Hearts harden and thoughts darken, the Pope said, and because of this, "the city has need of Mary, who with her presence speaks to us of God, reminds us of the victory of grace over sin, and induces us to hope."

The city is formed by each one of us, the Holy Father continued. And though the "media tends to make us feel always as 'spectators,' as if evil refers only to others, and certain things could never happen to us," in truth, "we are all 'actors' and, in evil as in good, our behavior has an influence on others."

He added: "We often lament the pollution of the air, which in certain places of the city is unbreathable. It is true: We need everyone's commitment to make the city cleaner.

"And yet, there is another pollution, less perceptible to the senses, but just as dangerous. It is the pollution of the spirit; it is that which renders our faces less smiling, more gloomy, which leads us not to greet one another, to not look at one another in the face. [...] Persons become bodies, and these bodies lose the soul, become things, objects without a face, to be exchanged and consumed."


With this backdrop, the Blessed Virgin "helps us to rediscover and defend the depth of persons, because in her there is perfect transparency of the soul in the body. She is purity personified, in the sense that the spirit, soul and body are in her, fully consistent between themselves and with the will of God," the Pope said.

Mary teaches us not only to open ourselves to God's action, he proposed, but also to look at others as he does -- from the heart.

"And," the Holy Father said, "to look at them with mercy, with love, with infinite tenderness, especially those who are most alone, most looked down upon, most exploited. 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.'"


Benedict XVI said he wanted to give public tribute to all those people who silently go about doing good.

"They are so many, also here in Rome, and rarely do they make news," he reflected. "Men and women of every age, who have understood that it is no use to condemn, to lament, to recriminate, but it is better to respond to evil with good. This changes things, it changes persons and, in consequence, improves society."

The Pope concluded by encouraging us to "listen to Mary's voice" in the midst of daily activities.

"Let us hear her silent but pressing appeal," he said. "She says to each one of us: Where sin increased, grace can overflow, beginning precisely from your heart and your life! And the city will be more beautiful, more Christian, more human."


More Europe

The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will melt your heart Watch

Image of Syrian refugee Alex Assali fed the homeless outside Berlin's Alexanderplatz station in an effort to give back to the city that has helped him, and other refugees, so much (Imgur).


Amid fears of ISIS infiltration and Muslim takeovers, one Syrian refugee took a stand against prejudiced tensions and thanked the city of Berlin on behalf of all refugees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Each Saturday, Alex Assali cooks and distributes food to ... continue reading

Concentration camps and Nazi language: Berlin guards caught on tape speaking unbelievably cruel about refugees Watch

Image of Berlin guards at the office for refugees have reportedly been recorded using Nazi language and suggesting refugees be sent to concentration camps (Markus Heine/ NurPhoto).


Videos have been released showing Berlin guards around the office for refugees using "Nazi language" and suggesting the refugees be sent to concentration camps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Security guards working for private contractor Gegenbauer Security ... continue reading

SHOCK SHOW: Sacrilegious art exhibit in Spain uses 240 stolen consecrated hosts Watch

Image of Photos of the theft of the Hosts and their placement on the ground are shown in a public art gallery in Pamplona.

By Catholic News Agency

Critics of Pamplona's city council say it deliberately attacked Catholics and broke Spanish law by using city property to display a sacrilegious art exhibit with more than 240 stolen consecrated Hosts. Madrid, Spain (CNA) - The Spanish artist Abel Azcona stole ... continue reading

French Hostage Situation: Two armed suspects engage in shootout with French police Watch

Image of French police engaged in a shootout with two suspects armed with Kalashnikovs (Not pictured).


Two suspects armed with Kalashnikov rifles engaged in a shootout with French police in Toubaix, France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The suspects are believed to have taken a bank director and his family hostage, but very little is currently known.[media ... continue reading

Vatican corruption: Journalists stand trial Watch

Image of Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi must stand trial at the Vatican for publishing confidential documents (Reuters).


Following the publication of books claiming the Holy See was mismanaged and spoiled through corruption, five people went on trial at the Vatican on Tuesday. Two of the five on trial were Italian Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, neither of whom ... continue reading

Undercover reporter reveals secret FEMALE ISIS organization in Britain Watch

Image of One veiled ISIS sympathizer was filmed during the undercover investigation (Channel 4).


In a new British documentary titled The British Women Supporters Unveiled, one young female reporter goes undercover to infiltrate a secret Muslim organization designed to garner sympathy for the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reporter, who uses ... continue reading

OUTRAGEOUS: Find out why The Lord's Prayer was BANNED from Just Pray movie theater ad Watch

Image of


An advertisement featuring the Lord's Prayer has been banned from movie theaters in England. According to the Church of England, the policy that prevents the prayer advertisement did not exist when they began production on the commercial. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Swiss farmer finds 4,000 extremely rare Roman coins in his orchard Watch

Image of The cache of coins is estimated to be more than 1,700 years old.


A Swiss farmer was tilling his orchard in Ueken, in the northern canton of Aargau, Switzerland, when he spotted something shiny on the ground. He had inadvertently stumbled across a treasure trove of Roman-era coins - 4,166 in all, some dating as back as 274 ... continue reading

Five people indicted by Vatican in 'Vati-leaks' scandal Watch

Image of Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi (pictured), had both recently published books, citing specific Vatican documents detailing waste, mismanagement, and greed.


A judge, rendering a decision in a scandal involving Vatican finances has indicted five people, which include two journalists and a Vatican monsignor. Information linking the Vatican to financial malfeasance, as well as related graft and corruption called ... continue reading

Massacre in France is a Piecemeal Third World War, and Jesus is the Path to Peace Watch

Image of With tenderness, Jesus looked out from the Mount of Olives and saw the Holy City of Jerusalem. How he loved - and still loves - that special City. Then, Jesus wept. The Word Incarnate, made a man like us in all things but sin, cried. He knew that the City of Jerusalem would soon be overtaken and destroyed by the armies of Titus. He wept the tears of Love - and revealed the compassion of His Sacred Heart

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Do we recognize the time of our own visitation? God is present in our world today. He wants to  speak, to lead, to serve, to heal and to save. He is not to blame for the mess we are in. We are!  Those who purport to be representing their "God"  as ... continue reading

All Europe News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is good
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • Evidence mounts: U.S. supplying ISIS, herding fighters towards Syria ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More