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Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.
BY John Lilly
Pope Closes 2005 With a Look Back to
REUTERS, Dec. 31 — Pope Benedict gave 2005 a bittersweet farewell as he
looked back at the year that saw him elected to lead the Catholic Church after
the death in April of John Paul II, Reuters reported.
At his first Te Deum service of year-end
thanksgiving, Benedict praised his predecessors, specifically John Paul II.
“The family has
always been at the center of attention of my revered predecessors, in
particular John Paul II,” Benedict said during the vespers, or evening prayer
service, at St. Peter’s Basilica.
He added, “My
thoughts go, with profound and spiritual feeling, to 12 months ago when, like
this evening, the beloved Pope John Paul II spoke for the last time for God’s
people to give thanks to the Lord for the many benefits given to the Church and
Benedict said that
“it now falls to me” to give thanks at the end of 2005 and on the eve of 2006.
Pope: Christians Should Work for
Progress in 2006
AGENZIA GIORNALISTICA ITALIA, Jan. 4 — The Pope’s wish for the New Year
is that Christians work for the progress of humanity and that progress bring
all people to Christ, the news service reported.
progress means working to bring man closer to Christ.” This is the “moral
imperative” that the Holy Father expressed to the faithful gathered at the
Vatican for the first general audience of 2006, which was held indoors for the
first time in his pontificate.
Citing the letter
of St. Paul to the Colossians, Pope Benedict returned to the theme of the
centrality of Christ and in an unscripted speech said that man’s ongoing
“history has a destination, a direction: It goes toward humankind united with
Christ, toward man and therefore true humanism. Glorified humanity is thereby
truly humanized,” he added.
The Pope explained
that “in history there is therefore an evolution, progress, and progress is
everything that brings us closer to Christ and true humanism. From these
guidelines we obtain a moral imperative: striving for progress — something we
all want — means striving to bring man closer to Christ.”
Mary ‘Blesses the World by Showing Her
ASIANEWS, Jan. 1 — During the first Angelus of the year, Benedict XVI
greeted the world, urging everyone to look to Mary, who “blesses the whole
world by showing her divine son, the Prince of Peace,” AsiaNews reported.
thousands of the faithful standing under a hammering rain in St. Peter’s
Square, the Pope reiterated the theme — “In Truth, Peace” — of his World Peace
Day message. He urged Christians and “people of good will” to open up to the
“truth that was revealed in Jesus who taught us the content and method to
achieve peace: love.”
The Holy Father
said, “With confidence we call on her powerful intercession so that the human
family, by opening itself to the Gospel message, may spend the year that now
begins in brotherhood and peace.”
“Upon choosing the human condition, God, who
is love made perfect and real, revealed himself,” he said. “In so doing he
showed the way to peace, which involves dialogue, forgiveness and solidarity.
Only this road leads to true peace”.