Brazil Conference to Address
Life and Faith Pope's Presence Will Deepen Communion, Prelate Says
APARECIDA, Brazil, MAY 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI
travels to Brazil this week, his primary mission will be confirming
believers in their faith in Christ, says the archbishop of Aparecida.
Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis told ZENIT: "The Holy Father is
coming to deepen the communion between the bishops and the Successor
of Peter. And also to deepen the communion between our bishops'
conferences and the universal Church."
The Pope will open the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of
Latin America and the Caribbean next Sunday.
"The efficacy of the mission and work of the Church depends on the
communion of the Church itself -- a communion that is moved by the
Holy Spirit in the diversity of the gifts and charisms that he
distributes in his Church," Archbishop Damasceno added.
The May 13-31 conference is set to highlight three issues:
discipleship, mission and life.
A pro-life theme
The archbishop said, "When we speak about life we are not only
talking about spiritual life, the supernatural life of grace lived
in communion with the Holy Trinity, but we are also speaking about
life in the natural sense, human [life]."
"This life," he added, "which is a gift from God, must be welcomed,
respected and defended from its beginning to its natural end."
According to Archbishop Damasceno, a dignified life "presupposes
everything that a person has a right to for a worthy life, such as
education, work, health, a home and a just wage."
The prelate explained that the conference will outline the pastoral
work and evangelization that needs to be done in the upcoming years.
"All bishops' conferences, after the general conference, will try to
apply what they have learned to the directives for evangelization,"
he said. "The results from the conference have a strong influence in
the concrete life of the Church on our continent."
The 70-year-old prelate explained: "We are gathering together as
bishops of Latin America because we have the same problems and
challenges. And that is why the answers are the same.
"We must be attentive and open to the will of God, to that which he
wants to say through his Church that will gather together in
"The Church wants to be attentive to what God wants to say today to
Latin America and to respond to the challenges before us."
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