Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Latin America and the Caribbean to renew their “vocation of hope” in his homily at a Mass celebrating the independence of Latin American countries earlier this month in the Vatican Basilica. In his homily, the Pope also announced that he would make an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba before next Easter.
“Currently,” the Holy Father said, “while the bicentenary of their independence is being celebrated in various places in Latin America, the journey towards integration on this beloved continent is proceeding hand in hand with its emerging importance on the world stage.”
In such a circumstance, the Pope continued, “It is important for its various peoples to safeguard their rich store of faith and their historical and cultural dynamism, always defending human life from conception to natural end, and promoting peace. Likewise, they must protect the authentic nature and mission of the family, and at the same time intensify their widespread educational efforts which will rightly prepare people and make them aware of their abilities so that they may meet their destiny in a worthy and responsible way.”
The Pope asked the people of Latin America to devise and promote, “ever more adequate initiatives and concrete programs aimed at reconciliation and fraternity, increasing solidarity and protecting the environment, increasing efforts to overcome poverty, illiteracy and corruption and eradicating all injustice, violence, criminality, civil unrest, drug trafficking and extortion.”
Also participating at the Mass were representatives of the local episcopate, the Bishops’ Conference of Latin-America (CELAM) and the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, as well as exponents from various governments and the cultural and academic world.
Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano.