May 13:  Holy Mass for the inauguration of the 5th General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America

Source: FSSPX News


At the Brazilian shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, before several hundreds of faithful the pope said: “This is the priceless treasure that is so abundant in Latin America, this is her most precious inheritance: faith in the God Who is Love,” affirmed Benedict XVI forcefully to the faithful, who responded with loud applause. For the pope, this is the faith that has made America the “Continent of hope”, and not a political ideology, not a social movement, nor an economic system. “The authentic basis for this hope which has brought forth such a magnificent harvest from the time of the first evangelization until today (…) is faith in the God Who is love,” he added.

Benedict XVI assured that “the Church does not engage in proselytism.”  “Instead, she grows by “attraction”: just as Christ “draws all to Himself” by the power of his love, culminating in the Sacrifice of the Cross.” The Church consequently fulfils her mission to the extent that, in union with Christ, she accomplishes every one of her works,” he added. “Pope John Paul II called you to a new evangelization, and you accepted his commission with your customary generosity and commitment,” Benedict XVI also told the faithful, “I now confirm it with you, and in the words of this Fifth Conference I say to you: be faithful disciples, so as to be courageous and effective missionaries.”

Referring to the reading for the Mass of the day, the Holy Father spoke of the heavenly Jerusalem: “seeing that beauty with the eyes of faith, contemplating it and yearning for it, must not serve as an excuse for avoiding the historical reality in which the Church lives as she shares the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted.” Then he stated that “every Christian is therefore called to become a living stone of this splendid “dwelling place of God with men.” What a magnificent vocation!”

Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on the great square on one side of the immense Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, in the presence of 300,000 faithful. A gigantic podium, upon which stood the altar for the pope, had been set up between the arms of the basilica, and adorned with flags from all the countries of the South American continent and the Caribbean.